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Full text of "Via Rhodesia; a journey through southern Africa"

Via RHODESIA 



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VIA RHODESIA 



A JOURNEY 
THROUCxH SOUTHERN AFRICA 



BY 

CHARLOTTE MANSPHILD 



WITH 144 ILLUSTRATIONS AND TWO MAPS 



LONDON 

STANLEY PAUL (2^ CO. 



M3lv 



I SHOULD like to give my heartiest thanks to all 
those kind friends who have helped me with photo- 
graphs, information, and hospitality. Words seem 
so weak to express all that I owe ; I can only say 
I owe a debt of gratitude which I can never hope 
to repay. I must also acknowledge my indebted- 
ness to the "Daily News" and "Daily Telegraph^" 

in respect to letters quoted in this volume. 

C. M. 



1174199 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 
I. 


Why? 






PAGE 

I 


II. 


The Mailboat 






^5 


III. 


The Cape .... 






22 


IV. 


Diamonds and Orchards 






39 


V. 


BULAWAVO 






48 


VI. 


Khami Ruins 






59 


VII. 


A Granite Tomb 






69 


VIII. 


Salisbury — -Umtali 






75 


IX. 


Educated Natiyes 






97 


X. 


A Lecture . 






113 


XI. 


"Smoke that Sounds" 






119 


XII. 


Livingstone 




141 


XIII. 


Agriculture 






151 


XIV. 


Mining 






i5« 


XV. 


At Rail Head 






160 


XVI. 


Cotton-growing 






169 


XVII. 


The Machilla 






172 


XMII. 


Sunset and Lightning 






176 


XIX. 


Camp-fires . 






184 


XX. 


Loneliness «^v, 






193 


XXI. 


The MedicinetChest . 






203 


XXII. 


Tobacco-growing 






210 


XXIII. 


Native Villages 






214 


XXIV. 


Serenje 






226 



VI 11 



Via Rhodesia 



CIIAFTER 








FACE 


XXV. 


Caught in the Dark 






236 


XXVI. 


Native Customs . 






243 


XXVII. 


Chilonga Mission 






254 


XXVIII. 


Lions 






260 


XXIX. 


Chambezi River 






267 


XXX. 


A Burlesque 






276 


XXXI. 


A Court Case 






284 


XXXII. 


Tanganyika 






297 


XXXIII. 


Successful Cattle-breeding 






3TO 


XXXIV. 


Judge and Hangman 






320 


XXXV. 


The Witch-Doctor 






327 


XXXVI. 


Lake Nvasa 






339 


XXXVII. 


ZOMBA 






354 


XXXVIII. 


The East Coast . 






373 


XXXIX. 


Beware of Your Friends . 






398 


XL. 


Back to Sunshine 

Appendix A 

Appendix B 

Appendix C 

Appendix D . . 

Index 






405 
411 

415 
420 

421 
423 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



Author with her Caravan . 

Map of Rhodesia 

Moonlight . . . . 

Breakers . . . . 

Cape Town Docks 

Mail Train at Cape Town Docks 

Cape Town and Table Mountain 

Adderley Street, Cape Town 

Groote Schuur . . . . 

Entrance to Michell Pass . 

Paintings in Bushman Cave on Mt. Silozwane 

The Author arriving in Bulawa30 

Fowls in Rhodesia 

Successful Poultry Farming near Bulawayo 

Main Street in Bulawayo 

Khami Ruins, Rhodesia 

Khami Ruins, Rhodesia 

Khami Ruins, Rhodesia 

Tree Fern 

Rhodes's Funeral 

The Grave of Rhodes 

Paintings in Bushman Cave on Mt. Silozwane 

Archery Club at Salisbury 

Lady Milton . . . . 

Post Office at Marandellas 

Umzingwame River 

Twenty Miles from Bulawayo 

A Matabele Kraal 

ix 



To face 



PAGE 

xiii 

I 

i6 

19 

23 

27 
31 
35 
41 
45 
49 
53 
54 
57 
60 
62 
64 
70 
71 
73 
74 
76 
77 
78 
79 
83 
86 



X 



\^ia Rhodesia 



A Mashona Kraal 
Goldminers' Camp 
The "Old Days." Mail Coach starting from Bulaway 

Salisbury . . . . 

Catholic Church, Bulawayo 
Medal designed by Mr. John Tweed 
H.M. the King- of the Belgians at Victoria Falls 
" Housemaids " at Mctoria Falls Hotel 
Professor Beattie carrying out a Magnetic Survey 
At Kandahar Island 

Crocodile shot on Railway Bridge at Victoria Falls 
Baobab Tree . . . . 

In the Palm Kloof 

Main Falls . . . . 

Victoria Falls from Knife-Edge 
Zambesi River above the Falls 
The " Boiling-Pot" 
Cream of Tartar Tree 
The " Smoke that Sounds" 
An Artist's Corner 

H.H. the Administrator and Mrs. Wallace 
Drilling . . . . 

Preparing to drag the Coach through the Floods 
Tlie Postmaster in Difficulties 
Dragging the Coach through the Floods . 
At Kafue Bridge 
Mansfield Lodge, Broken Hill 
Postilion d'Amour from Livingstone 
The Author's First Attempt at Cleaning Mealie-meal 
My Carriers . . . . 

Little " Ugly" and the Friendly Donkey . 
Where the " Plaque" Fashion originated . 
Palm Trees . . . . 

Traps for Catching Birds 
Trap for Catching Small Game 
Drawing Water from a Well 



o for 



List of Illustrations 



The Cotton Plant 

The Author's Medicine-chest 

Crossing" Lusenfwa River 

A Native Pipe . 

Native Village, near Serenje 

Post Carriers with Armed Escort . 

Author crossing the Lukasashi River 

Court House, Serenje 

Serenje Residency 

In the Garden at Serenje , 

Woman with Ear Ornaments 

Barber's Shop in the Wilds 

Chilonga Mission Station 

Post Office, M'pika 

Tiles Drying at M'pika 

Preparing" to cross Chambezi River 

Caravan crossing Chambezi River . 

Chanda Makuba, Chieftainess of Chanda 

Natives on their way to my Camp to trade 

Rukulu River . 

Klipspringer 

Waterbuck 

Kasama Boma . 

Mr. Averay Jones with his Hunting Trophies 

Sawing Mahogany 

Awemba Girl 

Awemba Dance, Chipalu Village 

Native Bridge . 

Indaba of Chiefs held at Kalungwisi, igo8 

Native Group . 

In the Sleeping-Sickness Camp 

The new Carriers 

A Successful Cattle-breeder in N.E. Rhodesia 

Cattle-herd in N.E. Rhodesia 

Fine Cows in N.E. Rhodesia 

Building Barricades against Lions, N.E. Rhodesia 



XI 

PAGB 

200 

203 

204 
207 

217 

220 

223 
229 

-33 

245 
249 

257 
261 
263 
269 
271 
272 
274 

275 
279 
281 
285 
286 
288 
291 
-93 

295 
299 



J08 



;ii 



j>'j 



11; 
315 
317 



Xll 



\'ia Rliodesia 



A Man-Lion 

On the Banks of Rukulu River, B.C. A. 

Armadillos 

Natives runniuij to see Lion just killed 

At Liwonde River, taking Hippo out 

Place for offering" Sacrifices to departed Chiefs, 

River 
Native Village near Karonga, B.C. A. 
Mr. Stuart Wells in Camp, B.C. A. 
Sable Antelope . 

Eland shot near Karonga, B.C. A. 
Mr. \\'el!s' Piccanin 
Native Hut, B.C. A. 
The One-pole Machilla . 
Between Abercorn and Karonga on the Rukuru Ri 
My Sleeping-Sickness Certificate 
Native Painting on Hut . 

View from Government House, Zomba, B.C. A. 
Bush-fire in Central Africa at Night 
Trout snapping Flies, Zomba Mountain, B.C. A. 
Cotton-plucking Shed 
River Shire at Chiromo, Nyasaland 
At the Saw Mills 

River Shire above Murchison Rapids 
Lighter with Natives 

Natives Returning after dragging us off 
Chinde Harbour, with River-boats 
" Landmark " off Chinde . 
A Living Lighter at Mozambique . 
Entrance to Fort, Mozambique 
Zanzibar Women hiding from Kodak 
Native Divers at Zanzibar 
Beautiful Door at Zanzibar 
Road to Bu-U-Bub, Zanzibar 
Native School in Zanzibar 
The Bridge, Zanzibar 



Lower 



Shire 



PAGE 

325 

329 
331 

334 
340 
341 
343 
344 
347 
351 
353 
355 
357 
361 

3^3 
364 
365 
367 
369 
371 
372 
j7j 
374 

375 

376 

377 
379 
380 

381 
382 

385 



List of Illustrations 



xui 



Native Merry-g'o-round, Aden 

Port Doctor at Suez 

Mohammedan Woman buying- Fruit, Zanzibar 

Harbour of Tanga 

Dccdalus Lighthouse 

Sig-nal Station in Suez Canal 

SelHng^ Coffee in the Street, Port Said 

Tramway, Port Said 

Mohammedan Women in Zanzibar 

Fire-drill on board " Kronprinz " 

W^anting- to Shoot Rhino off Cape V^erde . 

Good-bye . . . . 

Map of Rhodesia 



PAGE 

38S 
389 

393 
395 
396 

397 
406 
407 
410 
A/ cinl 




THE AUTHOR WITH HER CARAVAN 



VIA RHODESIA 



CHAPTER I 

Why ? 

VIA youth to experience, via sacrifice to strength, 
via the offshoots of knowledge gleaned from 
others to the permanent establishment of a 
nation made happy through those pioneer efforts — how 
long the journey sounds ! but every footstep of individual 
honest endeavour must mean advancement ; and verily 
via the Colonies must one go to knit closer the rivet- 
work of the Old Country's supremacy. 

Nor is supremacy all. It avails nothing to reach the 
mountain-top if one finds loneliness and misery there. 
The happiness of the multitude, the comfort of the 
people, this is more to be desired than the glittering 
uniforms of conquering armies ; the locked-up wealth 
of a country should be, not jewels in coffers, but bloom 
in the faces of that country's inhabitants, health in the 
bodies, peace in the minds. 

When one speaks of the people of one's Country, one 
is so apt to think of just the Capital and its inhabitants. 
One's Country means the whole — just as Great Britain 
may be likened to a live human being with England for 
its heart, the Colonies for its limbs. 

Why did I wish to visit Rhodesia ? I had heard of 
its vast, empty lands ; I lived for the greater part of 



2 Via Rhodesia 

the year in London, and felt too keenly the pressure of 
human life around, daily noted the suffocation, hourly 
became more and more conscious of the terrible octopus 
which compressed life breeds, not only in London but 
in all densely populated areas, an octopus with fas- 
cinating eyes, far - extended arms, and death - dealing 
jaws. Darkest Africa? — oh, how he who has been 
there must laugh at this description ! Africa, with the 
sun always shining, Africa, with the free air for all ! 
Darkest England, rather — yes, deadly dark, where 
starvation, called by the authorities consumption, is a 
shadow always at your heels — darkest England, with 
its crushed, seething masses, whose ideas are crippled for 
want of space in which to develop, whose bodies are 
maimed for lack of room for growth, not only maimed 
but murdered — darkest England, where death is ; where 
the unwanted baby is overlain — there being too many 
to feed already — the hungry mother refusing food — the 
famished father sinking to crime, the woman sold, 
why ? why ? too many for too little, London the 
vampire, life the victim. 

Dregs are ugly ; the lowest stratum of a city is mud ; 
but it is in the rank above the gutter-wanderers where 
real suffering bites with sharpest teeth, where the brain, 
having received a little culture, knows contrast, and 
the heart aches, not with selfishness but with pity. 

There are three stages of contemplation for these 
humans : the past — a memory of pain endured for self 
and as a helpless witness of suffering in others ; the 
PRESENT, a warfare with Fate, a clinging on like leeches 
to the little earned, fear in the eyes, half turned for 
ever towards that dread shadow, uncertainty, which 
never leaves the half-starved underpaid worker, as to 
how long the wage will continue, how long the strength 
will endure. 



Why ? 3 

The FUTURE ? Ah, if one grain of wisdom kirks within 
that tired brain, here contemplation ends ; one must 
not think of the dread possibihties of the future, or 
additional doubt and dread will rob the fingers of the 
strength to earn now, and fear, torturing one's mind 
with wasp-like stings, will make the eyes burn daily 
without tears. The future ? Others have got through 
— well, perhaps^why not we ? 

Search the whole world over, the same condition of life 
prevails — viz., whenever human beings live too closely 
together misery, poverty, disease, and premature death 
are the result. I know nothing of political economy, but 
I have heard that one of its doctrines is, that population 
is wealth ; I should imagine the quality of the popula- 
tion counted somewhat, but in any case, how terrible to 
think that the wealth of the nation depends on the 
misery of the individual ! 

Population may mean in an abstruse way prosperity, 
but population, to mean individual happiness, must be 
planted out ; anyone who knows anything of gardening 
will understand what I mean. 

How is it possible to plant out the poor bruised human 
plants of our great cities ? 

There are hospitals, but no casual wards, for the lower 
middle classes ; the dregs may cling together, and rot 
or roam, and be fed at each workhouse, or beg from the 
charitable, or steal from the rich — but for the lower 
middle classes there is little charity, nothing but work ; 
they must not leave it, they dare not, and they are 
lucky if the work does not leave them. Then also they 
must strive to save, knowing too well that saving will 
avail little as an income for old age. Usually Fate is 
kind, and kills off the worker before middle age is passed, 
the few pounds saved going to the next-of-kin — a wind- 
fall — yet only enough to keep him or her in misery and 



4 Via Rhodesia 

out of luxury for a longer period than the deceased who 
earned it. 

How little we can do in England with a hundred 
pounds ! Yet in N.E. Rhodesia I stayed at one pros- 
perous farm, owned by a man wlio started only seven 
years ago with a capital of £50 and the loan of a hundred 
head of cattle from the Government ; he now has 750 
head of cattle — but more of this farm anon.^ 

W'itli each human being born into the world comes 
with the breath of life a spark of hope ; how terrible is the 
daily, hourly murder of that hope by the suffocation 
caused by overcrowded existence! "Too many in the 
field," is the cry for ever rising up as the many sink 
down. 

There is more real tragedy in the life of the poor 
worker who lacks the extra sixpence necessary for an 
evening bus drive on a hot summer's evening, than in 
that of the actual penniless one who breaks stones for a 
morning meal at a workhouse, and compared with that 
of an African native — but no, there is no comparison, for 
all natives are contented and happy, unless unnecessary 
education has been forced upon them. 

How drab is the existence of those workers, too, who 
dare not walk in the parks because boots wear out too 
quickly, and who rarely read, even cheap literature, be- 
cause eyesight is so precious and must be guarded and 
kept for work ! 

No sunshine, httle love, only a glimpse of what Hfe 
might be, and the bitter knowledge of what it is not : this 
is the life of the white worker in a white man's country. 

What is the use of free education to people who have 
no room in which to work after that education has 
been obtained ? They must have space for develop- 
ment, space for the growth of body and mind. It is 

^ See page 310. 



Why ? 5 

demoralising to know that every situation one obtains 
means disappointment and perhaps starvation for the 
unsuccessful applicants. Such a condition of things can 
only be termed the cannibalism of commerce. 

Where to place the many humans who daily tread on 
each other's heels and snatch each other's bread, and 
how, is the question. 

Socialists, I fancy, have grotesque ideas of turning 
palaces into doss-houses, and wish to divide up the 
accumulated wealth of past workers. This also would 
be demoralising ; one must work, not thieve. If social- 
ists wanted really to help their fellow-creatures, they 
should preach the doctrine of pioneering ; let them 
teach how to make bricks and build palaces for oneself 
in the open spaces of the world. If the energy they use 
in denouncing ground landlords, and enviously slandering 
capitalists (who after all help the world considerably by 
employing labour), could be used instead to denounce 
the wasted wealth spent annually by foreign missions on 
happy blacks abroad, while the whites at home are 
starving, then funds might be raised wherewith the 
needy white could reach those open spaces where 
sunshine, health, and the possibility of living, await 
him. 

One Sunday afternoon I listened to a Hyde Park 
orator denouncing South African millionaires. He was 
a fat, lazy-looking man with envy and malice writ large 
all over him ; his speech was silly, but he obtained a 
hearing, and pride of publicity is usually all a street- 
orator desires. Sneers against riches were probabh* 
all that was left for him ; the man at the next pitch 
had cornered royalty, while religion, atheism, politics, 
and servants' privileges had their exponents a little 
further on. 

The man expressed the wish to annex the gold and 



6 Via Rhodesia 

diamond mines, and reduce the owners to the level of 
miners, " just to show them what work meant," with a 
move of his fat hand, that knew nothing of manual 
labour yet. " Pay off the National Debt and then give 
every working man free beer." The connection between 
the different propositions and results was vague, but the 
hearers, fancying something might be got for nothing, 
liked the suggestion, and as I turned away and walked 
down Park Lane (which has by some been renamed 
High Street, Johannesburg), I thought, the man is right 
on one point : wealth can be and has been made in 
South Africa. Now, if a few have made so much, surely 
there is room and opportunity for many to make a 
little ! 

It is quite erroneous to suppose that everybody wants 
to be rich, the majority only desire sufficient for the 
present and a small certainty in the future. 

Africa is usually associated in the mind with only 
three things : mines, murders, and missionaries — gold 
and diamonds, slaughter of game, and pennies collected 
by sleek gentlemen who tell funny stories in Sunday- 
schools on Sunday afternoons about the conversion of 
the poor blacks in Darkest Africa. 

Now when the Hyde Park orator spoke in millions, 
breathed gold and airily washed a regiment of soldiers, 
" not in blood, friends, not in blood, but diamonds," with 
many waves of his fat hands, then how I wished back in 
my pocket again the few pennies taken from me in my 
youth wherewith to buy Bibles for blacks, for I con- 
cluded that here indeed was a land to which might be 
sent the miserable whites, and I always had my doubts 
about the necessity of Bibles as an aid to the well-being 
of the blacks. I thought then, as indeed I now do more 
than ever, that what was really wanted was, not a 
Missionary Sunday, but an Emigration Sunday in ad- 



Why? 7 

dition to a Hospital Sunday, and perhaps some day the 
latter might be abolished, for the planting out of the 
many must mean improved health for both those who 
go and those who remain. 

There are many organisations dealing wdth emigration. 
The Salvation Army is doing splendid work with regard 
to emigration of a certain class, and its aid is not re- 
stricted to members of the Salvation Army. It arranges 
for a great number of emigrants to go to Canada at 
reduced fares ; but Canada has bitterly cold winters, and 
to many who have lived in poverty in overcrowded areas 
cold means worse than death, for it promises a seemingly 
endless misery. 

Africa offers sunshine, but Africa is far away, and 
when I made inquiries as to the cheapest way to get 
there, how one could live when one got there, in short, 
what prospects this vast land of sunshine held out to 
the small capitalist who wished to emigrate or the 
penniless worker who needed the sunshine and space so 
badly, I found that very little literature to throw light 
on the subject was obtainable, because the books on 
Africa dealt chiefly with sport, war, or mission enter- 
prise. 

The more I thought of the subject, the stranger it 
seemed to me that England should own such vast tracts 
of land abroad about which the average man knows so 
little, while at home a huge population was herded to- 
gether with less food and in a more confined area than 
was allowed the heathen Chinaman in his comfortable 
quarters on the Rand. 

Why is it that in England there exist so many so- 
called charitable persons who, instead of helping the 
poor at home, are only willing to put their hands into 
their pockets to assist people of another colour and a 
different race ? Or, again, so many others who, in- 



8 Via Rhodesia 

different to the crying needs of the multitude around 
them, spend all their indignation on the atrocities sup- 
posed to be committed in a land with which they have 
no concern, or base their political quarrels upon foreign 
or colonial subjects about which they know nothing at 
all, and which should be left to the men on the spot — 
many of whom are our own flesh and blood — and are in 
the best position to judge ? Have these people become 
cruel slavedrivers because they have emigrated, because 
they are building up the real foundation of Empire in 
hard, steady work ? It seems to me that people in 
England do not see the irony and sarcasm of their ideas. 

The answers to the above questions are difhcult to 
find, and cannot be traced in the region of either common 
sense or humanity. 

After thinking over the question of Rhodesia as a 
possible settling-place for the middle classes who find 
life such a struggle in England, I decided that it would 
be a good thing to go — not for sport, but to try to gather 
together those little details which perhaps would help 
intending emigrants, and from a woman's point of view 
ascertain the possibility of Rhodesia as a good settling- 
ground for women. I read both Grogan's and Mary 
Hall's book on a Cape to Cairo journey, and found that 
neither of these travellers had given the reader any idea 
of what lay beyond the railway terminus ; both had in 
fact somewhat neglected Rhodesia, and neither had 
accomplished the trip from Capetown to Cairo in one 
journey, which feat I felt I should like to try to accom- 
plish. The scheme was certainly ambitious, and rather 
savoured of an amateur starting by playing Hamlet, 
for I had never been inside a tent in my life, or spoken 
to a native, while both of the travellers I have mentioned 
spent much time in Africa preparatory to commencing 
their long journey. 



Wh)' ? 9 



I mentioned my thoughts on the matter to a certain 
poUtical celebrity of South African fame, when he called 
on me, and instead of ridiculing my ambition he said : 
" Well, why not ? it is no more than Mary Kingsley 
could have done, and you would be certain to get on 
with the natives. I would not let the idea slide if I 
were you." 

And I didn't. 

Then began the making of preparations, which was no 
small matter to one whose longest sea journey had been 
a journey of twelve hours, and w^ho knew nothing of camp 
life. I asked the advice of those who did and those who 
did not know% the result being some unnecessary luggage 
and the omission of many simple but extremely useful 
articles. I shall never forget how Selous laughed when 
I afterwards related to him how I went away without a 
tin-opener and regretted the number of spears spoilt 
over Hunter's useful, but securely closed, tins of food. 

Cameras, of course, would be essential, and I purchased 
two Kodaks : one postcard size and the other a No. i A 
with Goerz lens. I had so far never taken a photo- 
graph in my life, and started straight away practising 
on the ducks in Regent's Park ; but November light in 
London is not encouraging, and I looked forward to 
making better pictures when I should reach the land of 
sunshine. I found the Kodak easy to manage, but the 
instructions one receives in England witli regard to 
time, stops, etc., are of little value when one gets to South 
Africa, for there the light is constantly changing and 
cannot be depended on to the same extent as in Egypt. 
I would advise the purchase of a No. 4 or 4 a with a good 
lens and a stand. Films should be taken in small tins, 
and it is important to see that the sticking-plaster pre- 
vents air or moisture getting in between the lid and the 
tin itself. It is a very useful little tip to have a roll of 



lo Via Rhodesia 

half-inch and a roll of one-inch sticking-plaster always 
handy for similar purposes. 

I wished to keep the details and plans of my journey a 
secret until I was ready to leave. But put not your trust 
in journalists ! Having given some particulars to one 
man, with a promise to grant an interview before leaving, 
I found, to my amazement, that every word I had said 
was printed with fantastical additions in the next morn- 
ing's paper ! Then I was besieged with interviewers, while 
cameras blocked the staircase and flashlight horrors were 
forced upon me. 

Apropos of this, I must relate an amusing little in- 
cident that happened at this time. I was travelling to 
the City in the Tube, when an elderly woman opposite 
me nudged her companion to look at an illustrated paper 
she was holding, and observed in audible tones: " This 
woman is going to try to get from the Cape to Cairo 
without any white companions with her. Well, with a 
face like that I should say she would be safe anywhere." 
It required an effort not to laugh outright. How sur- 
prised the good soul would have been had she discovered 
the identity of her vis-d-vis. 

Although not ambitious so far as the shooting of big 
game was concerned, I decided that it would be useful, 
both for protection and to fill the pot, to know something 
of fire-arms, and I therefore had some practice at Mr. 
Lancaster's shooting grounds near Wembley Hill. I 
used to start off by an early morning train from the 
Great Central Station, at least it was early for a winter's 
morning, but I found the cold walk from Wembley Hill 
to the shooting grounds delightfully exhilarating, and 
only growled when fog or rain made shooting an im- 
possibility. I practised with a Webley revolver, and 
a 20-bore double shot-gun, -303 rifle and -470 cordite. 
My practice with the latter was purely experimental, as 



Why : 



> II 



I had no intention of taking such expensive weapons 
with me. 

Naturally all my friends tried to dissuade me from 
attempting the journey. One kind Major who had been 
as far as Mafeking talked of the horrors of camp-life for 
an hour, and both acquaintances and strangers wrote and 
warned me, quoting every crime that police news has 
or has not reported or hinted at. Some dear women's 
remarks were very quaint. At a certain farewell dinner- 
party one lady observed in a very agitated manner : 
" But if only you had a squint you might be safe, if 
only you had a squint ! But of course with your coloured 
hair all the chiefs will want to marry you ! " 

The word "chief " is suggestive of a gorgeous poten- 
tate in silken robes and glittering jewels, but the only 
chiefs I met affected cloth made from the bark of trees or 
mouldy-looking skins, and seemed quite contented with 
their dusky brides. 

Women who had lived in India, and knew only natives 
who had been contaminated by education and made 
criminals through too many privileges, bade me good- 
bye as if I were going to certain death. 

Very amusing were some of the letters received from 
men who wished to accompany me. Some sent medical 
certificates and chest measurements, others clergymen's 
references ; one, a butcher, wished to come to cut up 
rations for my carriers. As the only cutting up that 
had to be done was the cutting up of limbo (calico) which 
they received and which they exchanged for food, I 
do not quite see how I could have availed myself of this 
kind butcher gentleman's services. One woman wrote 
offering to go with me " to fold my dresses "; she requested 

me to address my reply to "Post Office, ", adding 

that she was married, but hoped I would regard her letter 
as strictly secret and confidential. Needless to say I did 



I 2 Via Rhodesia 

not assist in this domestic tragedy by accepting her 
brilliant offer. 

Another mysterious woman called, and refusing to give 
my maid her name, insisted on seeing me. It seems she 
thought I was connected with an Emigration Society, 
and had come with the intention of seeking my advice 
and telling me the story of her life ; but when she saw 
me she concluded I w^as too young to be told, and after 
thanking me for seeing her she went away, and I am 
still wondering what that story was. 

Perhaps the prettiest letter came from a little boy in 
Detroit, U.S.A., who wanted me to take him to see an 
African jungle. He said he would ask his aunt for the 
money, and he seemed convinced he would get it, but 
if I could not take him, would I accept a belt ? The 
offer of a belt as a consolation prize for the loss of his 
companionship was droll. 

Then, the number of firms who wanted to use me as a 
sandwich board for the advertising of their wares ! The 
correspondence was colossal, and my flat small — one 
enterprising shipbuilder wanted to send me a dozen 
different samples of collapsible boats. 

In fact, so much inconvenience did I suffer from 
would-be generous donors, that I positively fled from 
London long before I otherwise should have done, being 
advised that the rains were falling in South Africa and 
that in consequence travelling by caravan would be 
practically impossible for at least another two months. 
I came to the conclusion that while waiting in South 
Africa for the rains to cease I should have an oppor- 
tunity of studying Southern Rhodesia before proceed- 
ing north, and therefore booked my passage by the 
Union Castle liner " Briton," advertised to sail on 
January gth. 

One of the most amusing farewell telegrams was 



Why ? 



I 



a reply -paid one from the Editor of "Pearson's 
Weekly " :— 

" Reply paid 36 words 
" Charlotte Mansfield 
" Could you persuade leading suffragettes to go with 
you ? Please reply." 

I replied that I should be sorry to deprive the English 
of their most exciting topic of conversation. Requests 
from other editors were even more amazing : one made 
the proposition that I should contrive to be lost for 
six weeks and let him have the first wire on being 
" found," while another one was willing to pay a big 
price for stories, " preferably of an exciting and peculiar 
nature." While on my journey, the only English papers 
to which I sent any contributions were the " African 
World," the Manchester " Daily Despatch," and the 
" Grand Magazine." To no paper was I bound. 

As a free agent, able to give unbiassed opinions, I set 
forth on my journey armed with introductions from the 
Chartered Company, from the courteous editor of the 
" African World," and from many private friends. 

It is very dull for strangers to be forced to look 
through family albums, or read descriptions of merely 
social functions in which they took no part, so I will 
pass over the day of my departure. Not that I was not 
proud of the many evidences of good wishes, displayed 
not only by the presence of so large a gathering of 
friends to see the train leave Waterloo, but also by 
the many beautiful flowers sent me by my friends the 
Piccadilly flower-girls, for which my heart was full of 
gratitude. 

Cutting off a dog's tail by degrees is a painful and not a 
pretty action, and prolonged partings are to be deplored. 
Therefore, soon after lunch on board the " Briton," 



1 4 Via Rhodesia 

and long before the signal was given for departure, my 
friends bade me adieu, and I was left alone on that 
mighty vessel, knowing not a soul, and full of wonder 
as to what the future held. 

It is a great saving clause in one's nature to have a 
sense of humour. Perhaps a tear would have fallen had 
not the remark of one of the passengers turned a sigh to 
a smile. A young woman near me observed to a man 
by her side, " What a long way out of the water the 
boat is ; I suppose it is low tide." 

The afternoon was grey as only an English afternoon 
in January can be, and the spectators on shore shivered 
with cold as they waited what seemed an endless time, 
until the heart of the boat began to beat and the " Briton " 
moved slowly, majestically out into the unknown waters, 
unknown at anv rate to me. 



T 



CHAPTER II 

The Mailboaf 

I RED out with the many fatiguing preparations 
I had made, I found the rest on the "Briton" 
an absolute godsend. Nowhere in the whole 
world is there such a rest to be found as on a big liner 
when the sea behaves, except perhaps among the wilds, 
three or four hundred miles from a railway, where there 
is absolute freedom from the fetters of society. 

The second day at sea the steward came to me to 
know if the boxes of Cerebos salt amongst my luggage 
were for use during the voyage ! I told him if any of 
the passengers required salt-water baths I should be 
only too pleased to place the salt at his disposal ; but 
the steward must have been Scotch ; he didn't smile as 
he said " Thank you." The genial captain, however, was 
much amused when I related the incident to him. 

The boat was by no means full, but everyone seemed 
bent on giving a good time to the others. An amusing 
play was written by the editor of a Johannesburg paper, 
who, with his pretty bride, was returning to the Rand. 
The performance of that piece (on the only rough night 
of the journey) gave great pleasure to many. Then, too, 
there were the usual sports, with heaps of prizes, and 
one and all joined in throwing rope rings into a bucket, 
or tried to chalk the pig's eye. How many people there 
are who, wherever they go, must have some sort of 
active amusement, and have no appreciation whatever 

15 



i6 



Via Rhodesia 



of peaceful passive pleasure, as, for instance, at night. 
Surely one can play cards and dance sufficiently on 
land ; at sea it seems almost a sacrilege to mar the 

serenity of such won- 
drous peace. How- 
ever, each one is free 
to do as he or she lists, 
and it is possible to 
leave the chattering 
crowd and artificial 
lights, and, wandering 
to a deserted part of 
the deck, feast on the 
sumptuous glory of a 
silver night at sea — 
the ever-moving, ever- 
shining phosphorus on 
the waves below, the 
glitter of the stars 
above, the clean cool 
air filling one's nos- 
trils, and the exhil- 
arating feeling that 
one is riding through 
the ocean, yes, riding 
rather than being car- 
ried. Space is ours 
and eternity dwells near ; for myriads of years the 
waves have been lapping, and for centuries to come 
the waters will continue to roll. How great is the 
grandeur of perpetual motion ! and the waters are that 
and more ; their power is omnipotent ; life dances 
around, but life continues only at the will of those waves, 
death lies beneath that glittering moonlit surface, death 
and the buried hopes of many. 




MOONLIGHT 



The Mailboat 17 

I must confess to a great disappointment in the 
Southern Cross. I had expected the dazzhng splendour 
of a perfect cross formed of many brilhant stars, instead 
of which one sees only four, with sometimes an intruding 
fifth. It was only later that I learned its fascination, 
when in the wilds it seemed to create a homely feeling, 
a feeling of knowing where you are. Whenever you 
look to the stars, which in the southern hemisphere seem 
much brighter, you always turn again unconsciously to 
the Cross. Yet still, never do I see it without associating 
it with Mr. Dick's kite in "David Copperfield " ; espe- 
cially when it lies on its side, one wonders who holds 
the string. 

It is not within the power of all to take a long sea 
voyage, but it seems incredible that so many people 
should year after year flock to France for a holiday 
instead of occasionally taking a trip to Madeira or 
Teneriffe. The sea voyage affords such a complete 
change, and is therefore more restful to mind and body 
than an hour on a choppy channel followed by the many 
hours of a tedious train-journey. 

And what a gem of earth set in the sea the beautiful 
little island of Madeira is, with its fairy mountains topped 
by fleecy clouds, the perfume of the flowers coming out 
to the sea to greet you, as though the land were waving 
a scented handkerchief of welcome, the valleys sug- 
gesting that they have dug their way into the hill-sides 
with flower-sheathed swords, purple shadows hovering 
near, while high above is a wonderful canopy of blue. 
The sky seems happy to look on so lovely a land ; smiles 
of sunshine are everywhere. Dame Nature appears in 
her happiest mood. 

Quite early in the morning small boats put off from 
the shore, filled with men and boys who for small change 
thrown from the steamers are willing to turn themselves 



1 8 Via Rhodesia 

into acrobatic fish. How swiftly they dive, and how 
much better looks their smooth golden-brown skin than 
the silken and spangled hose of land acrobats ! Their 
limbs are exquisitely shaped. So clear is the water, 
they quickly find sixpence. For a shilling the smallest 
boy will climb up the side of the ship and dive from the 
upper deck. 

Madeira is not modern in appearance. Only one small 
motor-car plies for hire by the shore, but many bullock 
carts with curtains of gay cretonne are waiting to convey 
people to the mountain railway. 

It is a good plan for passengers who wish to visit 
Madeira to purchase the tickets which are sold on board ; 
they cost ten shillings, and include a boat to and from 
the landing-place, railway fare up the mountain, and 
breakfast at the charming cafe on the top. If you do 
not wish to avail yourself of this ten-shilling ticket, but 
only desire to go ashore, arrange before leaving the 
liner for return boat fare, and stipulate that the full fare 
will be paid after return. 

The streets one passes through en route for the moun- 
tain are narrow alleys, and the smiling women, with their 
gaily-coloured shawls, look like the chorus in a romantic 
opera ; quite pretty, too, are the children who so grace- 
fully toss flowers into your lap as you drive past. 

And then as one travels upward in the mountain car, 
how wonderful it is to turn one's head and behold the 
vast panorama of restful valleys, while far away on the 
glittering sea the stately ships are standing still and 
rigid as mighty sentinels under a dazzling sky. Arrived 
at the top of the mountain, of course everyone is hungry, 
or ought to be, and breakfast — what a feast for the gods 
it is ! eaten in the open in the hotel garden. What 
matter if the waiters fall over each other in their hurry, 
so long as they do not smash the baskets of eggs which 



The Mailboat 19 

seem to turn by magic into omelettes ? Everyone off 
the ships in the harbour seems to have arrived at the 
same moment, and the meal is a scramble ; coffee, wine, 
fish, and fruit ordered by you goes to someone else. 




BREAKERS 



But the sun shines, the view is glorious, and nothing 
counts save that. 

After breakfast one visits the Falls. It is doubtful if 
any water will be falling, but again the view is grand, so 
one excuses the lack of water and goes off to toboggan 
down the mountain, a mile and a half of bumping from 
side to side on a wooden sleigh, guided by ropes and 
drawn by shouting men, who ever and anon pause sud- 
denly and demand money for wine. What a pity the 
toboggan does not end in a watershute ! that and a 
final swing on to the liner would indeed be a brilliant 
termination to a delightful morning. 

In the meantime, the passengers who chose to remain 
on board have been well entertained by the boat-loads 



20 Via Rhodesia 

of would-be traders who have come on board with wicker 
chairs, lace, and many other articles for sale. Do not 
buy any canaries, you can get them cheaper and better, 
and without all the trouble of transport, in South Africa. 
The divers, seemingly never tired of their damp pro- 
fession, continue to ply for sixpences. 

You leave Madeira wondering why it is that you hnd 
so many beggars in the most artistic towns. True, the 
Portuguese are a poor race, and you do not seem to mind 
the itching begging palm held out when, instead of 
being greeted with the cry " Clean your boots, sir ? " or 
having a handful of commercial matches thrust before 
you, your eyes rest on a smiling face and a hand proffer- 
ing a bunch of flowers. 

Artists and poets should find Madeira a paradise on 
earth in which to dwell, but the man on 'Change would 
doubtless make many complaints, and smell dirt while 
others inhaled only the perfume of flowers and felt the 
artistic atmosphere which makes pictures of the very 
walls, and songs of peasants' cries. 

How many people there are in the world who find no 
companionship in their own company and are hopelessly 
bored when alone for any length of time, as though one 
could be really alone with the ever-moving sea around 
and the many winds singing their mysterious messages ! 
But so it is, and thus on board ship acquaintances are 
made which would be regarded as little short of scandal- 
ous on shore, and friendship springs up with mushroom 
growth. The ship becomes a sort of floating boarding- 
house, and concocting scandal rivals woolwork. The men 
are as great at gossiping as the women, and the passengers 
who take the least exercise grumble the most at the 
food. How tired the officers must get of the sameness of 
the daily questions : — 

" Will it be rough to-day ? " 



The Mailboat 21 

" How is the wind ? " 

" When do we pass the next boat ? On which side ? " 

One old lady persisted in daily asking how far we were 
from land, and at length received a fitting reply : — 

"Well, madam, I should say, reckoning straight down, 
about a mile ! " 



CHAPTER III 

The Cape 

TO-MORROW we shall see land ! How delicious 
is an unopened book, with what eagerness you 
look forward to a picture to be seen to-morrow, 
a singer to be heard to-morrow — and to-morrow always 
comes to the impressionist. 

To-morrow had come. The mops were busy swabbing 
the deck ; a grey light peeped in through my cabin win- 
dow and beckoned with frail, ghost-like fingers ; it was 
only four o'clock, some time must yet elapse before 
the monarch of day would rise from scarlet sheets of 
light and with sceptre of gold gladden the hours. 

The approach to an unknown shore is a wonderful 
experience. It is more than wonderful, it seems crea- 
tive ; every nerve is strung up to a high pitch of ex- 
pectation. For many days our outlook has been limited 
to the ocean ; now we are to see not only land, but a 
new land, and upon it to enter a new life. 

Of how little consequence seem the details of recent 
intercourse with fellow-passengers ! Only a few hours 
ago they peopled our world, for seventeen days we were 
in that world, and now, looking back, how narrow that 
world seems and how wide the sea ! 

The boat, too, feels the emotion of the minute, she 
has ceased to gallop over high-crested waves, no longer 
she flirts with the wind, but is serious, creeping slowly, 
as though cautiously making certain of her welcome. 



The Cape 



^3 



The pilot has come on board. And how strange it seems 
that such a smaU rope should go out, the little rope with 
the leaden weight, the " blue pigeon," to measure the 
depth of the water so that the stately dame who has 
carried us securely on her bosom, still holding her head 
majestically aloft, may enter the harbour in safety. 

" Eat an apple when approaching Cape Town," one 
passenger had advised. " The dull grey city under the 
shadow of the overhanging mountain will give you melan- 
cholia, but you can't eat and cry at the same time." 

But only links with the land left behind can make one 
sad on entering so lovely a bay. Table Mountain does 




CAI'E TOWN DOCKS 



not overshadow, but instead seems to shelter the city 
lying beneath, and with its Lion's Head it is indeed a 
fitting monument to stand at the gate of Africa. 



24 \^i<i Rhodesia 

One can learn little of a land by the study of geography 
and nothing of a people by hearsay, and therefore elec- 
tions in England are often won by dramatic misstate- 
ments about conditions abroad. We beat our own dogs 
but object to our neighbours chastising theirs, and so, 
regardless of our poor starving whites, a certain set are 
always ready to stand up for the so-called rights of the 
supposed-to-be ill-treated blacks. 

The subject of colour equality had more than once been 
discussed during the voyage, and one youth, decisive 
through ignorance, had pompously announced the fact 
that, despite the colour of the skin, red blood ran through 
black and white alike. This gentleman did not appre- 
ciate my reply that cows and pigs also possessed red 
blood, but I should not care to kiss the former or feed 
with the latter. It so happened that as the " Briton " 
lay in Table Bay, this same youth saw a slight skir- 
mish going on between some porters near the quay, 
and with indignation he exclaimed, " Good Heavens, 
how disgraceful, the black boys are beating a white!" 
"Why not, if the white deserves it ? " asked a passen- 
ger teasingly, " what about your ideas of colour 
equality ? " 

" But it looks so much worse when one sees it than 
when one thinks about it," the young man replied. 

" Well, it happens to be a Cape boy and not a white ; 
however, your indignation floors your argument," the 
passenger observed, and I do not think the young man 
with the beautiful violet socks will talk so much about 
equality of red blood on his return journey. 

Soon after breakfast, when visitors from the shore 
were allowed on board, Mr. Olive, the courteous Secretary 
of the Chartered Company, came on deck, and handed 
me a letter of welcome from Dr. Jameson, and I did 
not feel I was quite a stranger in a strange land. 



The Cape 



25 



The quay is some distance from the Mount Nelson 
Hotel, where I elected to stay, and I shall never forget 
the drive : wharf buildings are not beautiful, but to look 
ahead at the beetling crags of distant mountains, and 
to feel the kiss of the warm sunshine as one left the 
song of the sea behind and approached the town, was to 
enjoy blissful unconsciousness of the proximity of the 
sordid. How pretty the houses seemed in their un- 
evenness ! One was covered with deep blue convol- 




MAIL TRAIN AT CAPE TOWN DOCKS 
(By kind permission of C.G. Railways) 



vulus, which gave an added touch of happiness to my 
stay in Cape Town, for blue is my favourite colour. 
There are no beggars in Cape Town, at least I saw none, 
and I spent ten days wandering about the town and 
suburbs. It is true that in the wonderful avenue of 
oak trees which runs upward from the House of Parlia- 
ment, giving an impression of a ladder framed by foliage 
leading to the sky, one occasionally sees a few loiterers, 
who may be out of work, but they are usually sucking 



2 6 Via Rhcxlcsia 

peaches or toying with a bunch of grapes, looking well 
nourished and quite happy. What a contrast to the 
cities of Europe ! 

Cape Town is something more than a terminus whence 
one visits other parts of Africa. The mines have made 
other parts famous, but that which is on the earth, not 
under it, makes Cape Town endearing. Everywhere you 
feel the strange fascination of Nature in her various and 
most picturesque moods. In the streets the coloured 
girls are selling the most beautiful heather to be ob- 
tained in the whole world ; neither Scotland nor the 
northern counties of England can produce such varied 
hues in so many forms of feathery grace. Malays pass 
with their simple head-coverings and stately mien ; at 
the street corners are groups of natives of various types ; 
a foreign, almost Eastern, atmosphere prevails, and 
although English is spoken on every side, it seems hard 
to believe that Cape Town actually belongs to the English, 
it has so little been boasted of ; and yet, to be proud of 
such a possession would only be to do justice to this 
fairy city. The suburbs are lovely beyond description. 
The air is full of whispers which come from the silver 
trees on Table Mountain. The deep blue of the sky 
melts to a paler shade of hlmy blue mist on the sides of 
the mountains, midway between earth and heaven, again 
to sink into a softer shade of blue in the pale plumbago 
flowers which skirt the roads, and All the gardens with 
azure poesy. It is said that plumbago was the favourite 
flower of Cecil Rhodes ; at any rate, Cape Town keeps 
ever flourishing — perhaps in memory — these dainty blos- 
soms. And what a contrast to the pale plumbago is the 
scarlet probiscus, with its flaunting notes of floral ex- 
clamation to arrest the attention of the passer-by ! 

The air is so clear everywhere, the warmth of the sun 
invigorates rather than oppresses ; in a word, the air 



The Cape 29 

is clean. One remembers in contrast a warm day in 
London, with its stench of sour streets, and shudders at 
the recollection. I thought of the words of a Colonial 
who, after a few minutes' experience of the Strand, 
observed: ''Can't say that I like to eat air after half 
a million other chaps have tasted it ! " 

In Africa there is enough to go round. Truly, health 
is in the air and wealth in the land. In all parts of the 
world progress is impeded by irresponsible grumblers, 
and many emigrants are kept away from Africa by those 
who, regardless of diet and clothing, have condemned 
the climate, when in reality they themselves were to 
blame for any inconvenience experienced. 

" You are going into the African summer, you will 
never be able to stand the heat," many said to me before 
I left. But neither in Cape Town nor Kimberley, neither 
in Bulawayo nor further north, did I find it necessary 
to incommode myself with the burden of a sunshade, 
wearing instead a shady leghorn hat or pith helmet. 
Heavy or uncomfortable headgear should be avoided. 

Before continuing, I should like to insert here a few 
hints for arriving passengers. 

The cheapest and best way (cheapest because they 
have all facilities) to get your luggage off the boat and 
to the hotel or railway station, is to tie to each package 
a label with your name, and, when the various clearing 
agents come aboard, to hand over the lot with the keys 
to the one you fancy, at the same time giving him a full 
declaration of all goods liable to duty. Fire-arms and 
ammunition cannot be imported without a permit from 
the Colonial Secretary. As a rule these articles remain 
in bond in Cape Town until you can produce the necessary 
permits, which, if you are up country, must include 
permit of removal and a further permit of import to the 
place where you are staying. You further inform the 



30 Via Rhodesia 

clearing agent, who gives you a receipt, exactly what 
you intend doing, and then you can drive away either 
in a hansom or by train. If you have to leave Cape 
Town as soon as possible, the best plan is to meet your 
agent again at the train, if you leave in the evening, or 
to receive from him only the small things you require 
during the day, and meet him next morning for the day 
train. This train goes to Kimberley and the north, 
and has a portion for Johannesburg ; the evening train 
goes through the Free State to the Transvaal, and com- 
municates with all eastern parts of the Cape and with 
Natal. 

The cheapest way to deal with vour luggage is to 
send all you do not immediately require per goods- 
train to your destination, and only take the absolutely 
necessary things with you. The luggage excess rate is 
rather high. In the first class you are allowed lOO lbs. 
free, and in the second class 75 lbs. You must reckon 
that per goods-train your things will take about eight 
days to Kimberley, about ten to Johannesburg, and 
about twelve to Bulawayo. 

Dining-cars are provided on all trains, so that it is not 
necessary to carry provisions with you. Fixed tariffs 
at moderate prices are in force. 

If your journey includes a night, it is advisable to 
procure a set of railway bedding at 2s. 6d. 

My strong advice to everyone is, stay a few days in 
Cape Town and see as much of the Peninsula as possible, 
which can be done with very small expenditure. I am 
convinced that no one will regret it. A useful pro- 
gramme is given later on. 

The colonial women look happy and healthy ; they 
have none of the fifteen-hours-crushed-into-twelve ex- 
pression about them. It is a pleasure to go shopping in 
Cape Town, to see the cheery girl-assistants with their 



The Cape 



31 

sunburnt faces, and hands free from chilblains. Their 
hours are from eight until six, except on Saturdays, 
when they leave at half -past one. They are allowed to 
wear white blouses, and never " live in," either residing 
with their families or boarding out. 




if 



ADDEKLEY STREET, CAPE TOWN 
(Bj' kind permission of C.G. Railways) 

At Cape Town quite a number of young girls live at 
the Young Women's Christian Association, which is one 
of the best - organised branches in the world. It is 
managed by Miss Welch, a gentlewoman who gives her 
whole time and income to the cause of furthering the 
comfort and happiness of young women and girls. 

A very pretty bedroom, with full board and the use 
of all the public rooms, can be obtained for five guineas 
a month, or a very pleasant cubicle for four. Taking 
into consideration the excellent quality of food served, 



32 Via Rhodesia 

tliis is remarkably cheap. There is a reading-room 
with an ample supply of papers and magazines, a library, 
a fine music and drawing-room (adorned with a signed 
portrait of Paderewski), also a large room for lectures 
or concerts. The dining-room, when I lunched there, was 
gay with fresh flowers, and the serving put many a 
smart restaurant to shame. A wide balcony runs the 
whole length of the building, where tea can be partaken 
of, if desired. The library was started by a legacy left 
for that purpose by Cecil Rhodes, and many bedrooms 
have been furnished by different people at the small 
cost of fifteen to twenty pounds, the room bearing the 
name of the donor. 

A special feature is made of meeting at boat or train 
any girl or young woman whose parents or friends have 
sent word of date of arrival. 

There can be no doubt that Cape Town is shaking 
itself free from the much-discussed depression of recent 
years ; a boom always brings in its train a reaction, 
and far more satisfactory will be the future state of 
affairs if normal success be the order of the day. Life, 
like water, levels itself ; there can be but little doubt 
that the dissatisfaction was caused only by a forerunner 
of extravagance. One is apt to ignore the indiscretion 
of the individual, and blame instead the country in which 
that individual lives, which is unfair to the country. 
It is true, men have been withdrawn, but this was 
necessary ; too many men did too little and received 
too much for it. Economy practised by a Government 
must eventually benefit the people governed. Further, 
during the war skilled labour was paid for at a ridiculous 
rate, and naturally workmen receiving three pounds a 
day grumbled when the amount was reduced to three 
pounds a week, and talked about depression, but prob- 
ably they will save on the latter figure, while the former 



The Cape 33 

only induced speculation and extravagance, and should 
the price paid for labour rise again, the lesson has been 
learnt. Cape Town will show substantial progress rather 
than jerry-built fortune. 

The sittings of the Convention were nearing an end 
when I was at Cape Town, and on every side one heard 
of little else, most people pretending they knew more 
than their neighbours, but that the hinted-at information, 
having been received in confidence, could not be divulged, 
and everyone knew that everyone else was lying, but 
continued to pervert the truth himself. The question of 
the Capital to be selected gave rise to the most numerous 
rumours, and apropos of this I discovered a most ardent 
supporter of women's suffrage. When at Muizenberg, a 
pretty seaside place about fifteen miles from Cape Town, 
I inspected the simple little cottage at St. James, where 
Cecil Rhodes breathed his last, when Mr. Campbell, the 
caretaker, gave me some of his political views, and one 
was that if only the women in Cape Town had the vote 
there would be little doubt that Cape Town would be 
the capital. 

I have already advised, and again strongly advise, 
everyone arriving in Cape Town to remain there at 
least a few days before proceeding to their ultimate 
destination, for this is possible without great outlay. 
There are hotels of varying prices to suit different 
pockets, and the most beautiful drives may be taken 
on the tramcars. 

I will mention a few. 

Take the Campsbay tram for the Kloof direction in 
Adderley Street; from the top of the Kloof either continue 
down with the tram or take the delightful walk down 
to the Pagoda, where you can get a good cup of tea. 
Then take again the tram for town via Seapoint. 

Take the Wynberg tram at Adderley Street corner, 



34 Via Rhodesia 

and walk through the beautiful new park, beginning at 
the Observatory. 

Take the Tamboers Kloof tram, and from the top 
terminus walk up Signal Hill, whence you have a 
magnificent view of Cape Town. 

All these drives cost only a few pence. 

Somewhat more expensive, but most fascinating and 
interesting, is a drive round Constantia to Houtbay, 
and back over the beautiful Victoria Road along the 
high mountains, with the dark blue sea far beneath 
you. 

Of course everyone will wish to visit Groote Schuur, 
formerly the residence of Cecil Rhodes, and still the 
hospitable meeting-place for all visitors of distinction 
who pass through Cape Town. To give a description of 
this fine house of old Dutch design and its innumerable 
treasures is not necessary, because every guide-book 
contains this information. 

The impression made upon me on the day I lunched 
there with Dr. Jameson as my host and Mr. Walton as a 
fellow-guest, will never be effaced. It is not often that 
an occupied house reminds you of a cathedral, but so it 
is in the case of Groote Schuur ; memories have sanctified 
it, and the perfect taste of its beautiful possessions made 
it holy. I was quite in sympathy wdth a lady I m.et 
later who remarked : " When I dined there I felt I must 
only speak in a whisper." 

Perhaps nowhere in the world exists such a wonderful 
vale of hydrangeas — people come many miles to 
picnic within sight of these lovely blossoms. The house 
also is always filled with fragrant flowers, and writing 
of flowers I am tempted to tell a little story. The day 
I was at Groote Schuur the table was very daintily 
garnished with Eschscholtzia, and I admired the deep 
yellow of the petals very much, and asked for the name. 



The Cape 37 



" Ah," said Dr. Jameson, " that is the only flower 
whose name I always remember, it is . . . " and then 
he had to ask the servant to ascertain the name. 

Mr, Walton was kindly solicitous as to whether I was 
taking with me any antidotes against snake poisoning. 
How right he was I afterwards realised when I was in- 
formed at a French Mission Station in Northern Rhodesia 
that the Fathers there had collected over two hundred 
varieties of poisonous snakes in that locality. I was not 
molested by these reptiles, which at times become very 
troublesome, and fortunately there was no necessity 
to make use of a very handy little pocket instrument 
which Burroughs, Wellcome & Co. supply, which con- 
sists of a lancet at one end and a receptacle with per- 
manganate of potash at the other. 

I think at Groote Schuur I wished more ardently than 
ever that I possessed a poet's pen and an artist's brush. 
It needed a Morland to paint the picture of Robin, the 
old horse who persisted in putting his head in through one 
of the open windows during lunch, while Whistler should 
have etched the beautiful interiors of Groote Schuur. 

After being shown the house and all its treasures, a 
Cape cart was placed at my disposal, with Bob and Violet, 
the horses Cecil Rhodes used to drive. How glad I was 
that I had not been offered a motor-car ! Marny, the 
Capeboy who drove, and who had lived many years at 
Groote Schuur, seemed so much more in the picture 
than an up-to-date chauffeur would have done, while the 
power of petrol surely would have disturbed my dreams ! 

The site chosen for the Rhodes Memorial is one of 
grandeur, on a height, as all memorials to idealists should 
be, and commanding the view of a vast panorama. One 
is used to hearing the burial-place of Cecil Rhodes in the 
Matoppos spoken of as the World's View, but rather 
should this name be given to the view obtained from 



^8 Via Rhodesia 

this hill, for here is the World's View of life, there is the 
World's End — death. Here, on a seat, not far from the 
foot of the present monument, the world's greatest 
modern Imperialist sat morning after morning. Maybe 
the vastness of this wonderful panorama, embracing two 
oceans, the Indian on one side, the Atlantic on the other, 
with the wealth of a verdant world between, inspired 
him, developed his ambitions, and gave birth to his 
ideals. 

Nature here gives so much that the soul of man must 
sw^ell in response. As one stands where he once stood, 
imagination gives one the vision of a seer, and one sees 
the greatness of the past revealed in the present, a 
strange living presence is in the atmosphere, each leaf 
of the silver trees is a page holding unwritten thoughts, 
the winds from the mountains whisper as they pass, a 
fierce light burns from the sun — God's golden eye — and 
one knows the truth is mingled with the mystery. 

Surely every human being who descends from this 
hill-top takes with him the wish to do great deeds, or, at 
least, no paltry ones. 



CHAPTER IV 

Diamonds ami Orchards 

PEOPLE who travel in Africa from Cape Town 
northwards, and look at the earth rather than 
at the sky, are apt to think of it more or less as a 
dust-heap, a dust-heap on which herbage sprouts in 
places. Certainly one gets this impression when travel- 
ling through the Karoo. Looking out from the train, you 
wonder when signs of habitation will appear, and when 
at length you pass a homestead, or see it nestling amid 
green trees in the distance, it is so small in comparison 
with the vastness of the land, and looks so lonely, you 
marvel where the people registered in the census live. 
No wonder the Boers have the reputation of being good 
horsemen ; one imagines also that the horses must be 
supernatural to travel so many miles. The distances, 
according to English ideas, are colossal, and the monotony 
of everything, the eternal blue of the sky, the gold-brown 
and red of stones, rocks, and earth, is as though one 
has opened a book but is unable to turn the page. The 
sameness of Africa almost frightens one, until its fascina- 
tion grips you, and then the monotony is restful, that 
is, the monotony of the land. For change in the sky, 
one must get away from the blue of midday and see 
what varying pictures sunrise and sunset can offer — 
never two alike and each seeming to possess a greater 
beauty. Truly in Africa the sky is a brilliant kaleido- 
scopically-coloured domed roof above a sanded floor. 

39 



40 \'ia Rhodesia 

The trains are all supplied with dust shutters. They 
are greatly needed, because at times one encounters a 
duststorm, even when not passing through a sandbelt, 
and one eats grit, breathes grit, and feels decidedly gritty. 
A motor- veil for the hair and a bottle of eau-de-Cologne 
wherewith to refresh the face are all one craves for at 
such a time, and it is well to take no further interest in 
the scenery, but retire within oneself behind the shutters 
until the spiteful dust fiend proclaims a truce. There 
is always dust where there are mines, but if you have 
no particular interest in diamonds or gold it seems unfair 
that you should have just as large a share of dust as 
your financial neighbours. 

An American lady visiting South Africa was very dis- 
gusted to find, instead of tropical forests, karoo-bushes, 
stunted trees, yellow grass, and exclaimed : " Waal, I 
guess it's a good thing the Lord put plenty under the 
earth, for thar is a mighty poor crop on top." 

How much I to-day regret that I WTut from Cape 
Town direct to Kimberley ! But unfortunately nobody 
advised me to make a detour and visit the George 
district. The programme for this tour would be arranged 
best in the following way. 

Train from Cape Town to George, leaving 8.30 p.m. 
Book your seat early to ensure a place in the through 
coach, fare first class £4 17s. 3d., arriving in George at 
9 p.m. A good hotel is the George Hotel. 

The second day arrange for a drive to the Wilderness, 
and thence walk to the Kaymans River, where there is 
a very interesting waterfall. At the Wilderness is a 
very good little private hotel, and you can enjoy either 
a sea or a river bath within a minute's walk. 

The third day hire a Cape cart with a good team to go 
to Oudtshoorn via the Montague Pass. During this 
drive you will see some of the finest, if not the finest. 



Diamonds and Orchards 43 

scenery in the Cape Colony. You first come upon 
Blaney, a spotlessly clean village, and after leaving the 
Toll you make for the Pass, crossing a small river over a 
picturesque, very old stone bridge. The ascent to the 
summit is at times most exciting, when waggons loaded 
with heavy timber pass you on the edge of a precipice 
hundreds of feet deep. On the other side you pass the 
Doom River twice, and in the afternoon you reach Oudt- 
shoorn. The Queen's Hotel seems to be the best. Do not 
take the postcart, which leaves at wrong hours to enable 
you to enjoy the beauty of the country. If the railway 
is finished, avoid also this more comfortable means of 
travelling, because you cannot see the Pass to advantage 
from the line. After arriving in Oudtshoorn, arrange at 
once at the hotel for a Cape cart with a good team to 
take you to Prince Albert next day. 

The fourth day, in the early morning, first see Oudt- 
shoorn and leave at half-past eight, immediately after 
breakfast. You very soon pass Schoemanshoek, and 
the scenery becomes more beautiful. You will now also 
see some ostrich farms. Drive on to the Cango Inn, 
where you partake of lunch, and then proceed to the 
caves, about two miles off. These caves are now pro- 
tected and looked after by the Government, and they 
alone are worth the journey. A courteous caretaker, or 
rather one of his sons, acts as a guide, and shows you 
the beauties of these immense caves. At the entrance 
there are a few bushmen paintings. To visit the caves 
takes several hours. Return to the inn, where you 
remain the night. 

The fifth day, continue the journey along the Croco- 
dile Valley and over the marvellous Zwartberg Pass 
(Black Hills) to Prince Albert, where you arrive in the 
afternoon. 

The sixth day, you leave by postcart at 11.30 in the 



44 Via Rhodesia 

morning for Prince Albert Road, where you join the 
train to Kimberley. 

The distances by cart are : 

George to Wilderness and return, 23 miles. 

George to Oudtshoorn, 42 miles. 

Oudtshoorn to Prmce Albert, 60 miles. 

Prince Albert to railway, 28 miles. 

Take as little luggage as possible with you, and send 
the rest as parcels per passenger train to your next 
stopping-place. 

Or, if you can afford the time and the money, hire a 
good motor-car in Cape Town, and proceed by train to 
Prince Albert Road, from where you journey in the 
opposite direction. From George you can easily visit 
Knysna ; then proceed through the Prince Alfred Pass to 
Avontuur and return over the Long Kloof Road to 
George, where you travel via Mosselbay, Riversdale and 
Swellendam to Caledon. The next day you proceed via 
Houw Hoek and Sir Lowry Pass to Cape Town. 

After a journey of twenty-eight hours Kimberley is 
reached. Here I was met at the station by the Crown 
Prosecutor, Colonel Tamplin, an amiable giant, and by 
Captain Tyson, one of the Directors of De Beers. These 
gentlemen kindly escorted me to the Sanatorium, which 
was the home of Cecil Rhodes during the siege and has 
now been renamed the Belgrave Hotel. Here also was 
staying Mr. Oats, the Chairman of De Beers ; the latter 
gentleman, by the way, spoke to me most severely about 
the folly of my intended trip, and prophesied extermina- 
tion or worse at the hands of the natives ; but being a 
fatalist, advice of this nature counted little — one must 
die, when or how does not matter so much as morbid 
contemplation of it. However, the advice w^as offered 
in a kindly spirit. 

While in London I received a letter of introduction 



Diamonds and Orchards 



45 



to Captain Tyson, and the friend who gave it said : 
" Be sure you ask to see his bath ! " Now it seemed to 
me a queer request, but I was assured that he would 
show no surprise, in fact expected it, and when I went 
to the " Workman's Cottage," Captain Tyson's residence, 
I made the request, to discover that his bath is a very 



r^aP?*'^'' 



r^-:^^^^ 




PAINTINGS IN HUSHMAN CAVK (iN Ml. >l 1 ,< i/W A M-, 
(By kind permission of Messrs. Mennel and Chubb) 



beautiful marble one. I believe it is the only one of its 
kind in the country besides the one in Groote Schuur. 

An amusing little story is told, that once upon a time, 
in the early days in Mashonaland, Captain Tyson and two 
other men were out trekking with waggons, and finding a 
suitable place to camp, outspanned, and decided to bathe 
in a small river close by. Part of the river was fenced 
in with wire, in fact there appeared to be many large 
pools all fenced, but as the water looked especially 
tempting in one of the deep pools, they took their bath 



46 \^ia Rhodesia 

there, afterwards returning to the waggons, to find the 
other men of the party also arrived. Dr. Jameson, who 
was present with Mr. Rhodes, asked Captain Tyson and 
his companion if they had bathed. 

" Yes," answered they, " in that fine pool down there ; 
but why on earth is the wire round it ? " 

" Because that is one of the most dangerous crocodile 
pools in all Mashonaland, and the wire is to prevent 
cattle from drinking, and being caught by the reptiles," 
was the unexpected answer. 

In the old days Kimberley bore the nickname of 
" Tin Jerusalem," because of the material from which 
the shanties were made and the race who chiefly popu- 
lated the diggings, but now Kimberley is a very fine 
town, and has historical associations which will make 
its memory live long after the mines have ceased to 
yield their wealth and are silent as empty tombs. 

Kimberley is usually associated in the mind with 
diamonds, and very few know of it as a practical and 
enduring monument to the work and unselfish thought of 
Cecil Rhodes — his consideration for the public during 
the siege, his foresight and wisdom in utilising the un- 
employed in making the fine roads which lead from all 
directions to the monument of the honoured dead, his 
designing and planting of the beautiful orchards which 
have turned an arid plain into a garden of fruit-trees. 
There is one avenue of vines, a mile and a quarter long, 
under which a carriage and four can drive. 

The orchards seem to cover endless space and hold 
countless trees. What becomes of the fruit ? Is it sold 
for profit or exported for gain ? No, the fruit is for the 
thousands of natives who work in the mines. " The 
white man's slaves" (not natives, but whites 7000 miles 
away invented this miserable lie), as the native labourers 
have been misleadingly called, may eat to repletion 



Diamonds and Orchards 47 

fruit of a quality that would be far beyond the purse of 
the white toiler in England. 

I visited the Wesselton Mine and went through the 
compound, where live 4000 natives, to whose health 
and comfort every consideration is paid. The hospital 
contains a fine operating theatre, and the wards are 
both light and airy. I found them almost empty. The 
British workman wT)uld doubtless prefer, instead of the 
cleanliness and order of the compound, the squalor of a 
room in an overcrowded area and the freedom of a gin- 
palace, and when the native is educated he will probably 
require the same. In the Kimberley Diamond Mines the 
natives sign on for a period of three months. And in 
these three months they can earn sufficient to remain 
the rest of the year in their native kraal, basking in sun- 
shine and idleness. Where is the white man who can 
w^ork for a few months a year and then afford to loaf 
the remainder ? And yet I met ignorant people wiio 
said the natives must not be urged to work for the 
whites. Every man of every colour should w^ork ; we 
have stopped the natives' natural occupation, war, and 
therefore should find him other labour, and since at 
home his only idea of work is watching women doing it, 
it is as well he should be induced to do a little work 
away from his kraal. 



A 



CHAPTER V 

Buhrtuayo 

FRICA has one great fault, it is too large ; half 
one's time seems to be taken up with travelling 
from place to place. Nature has been too generous 
in her gift of land, and too niggardly in clothing it ; 
one hnds a great many samples of trees, flowers, birds, 
beasts, and butterflies, but they, like the people, are 
too far apart from each other. It was evidently intended 
to be a huge garden, with plenty of space for the speci- 
mens to take exercise, and the humans who have adopted 
the land have to experience, and, let us hope, some day 
overcome, its disadvantages. Perhaps when airships 
make rapid transit possible the markets of Africa will 
no longer seem so far removed from each other. And 
what an ideal land for aerial transport ! the climate a 
certainty, the light so powerful, very few mountains or 
lakes, but hundreds and hundreds of miles of plain open 
country where one can see forty or fifty miles ahead 
with the naked eye. 

At present there are trains, comfortable trains, but, 
oh ! such slow trains. One hears stories of passengers 
leaving the train to pick flowers or to walk across country, 
to join it again at a distant point, where the train has 
to pass sharp curves and climb steep gradients. One 
must regard railway travelling in Africa in the light 
of a rest-cure, and learn patience accordingly. The 
carriages are very comfortable. 



Bulawayo 49 

Travelling by caravan is not nearly so monotonous as 
travelling by train, for one enjoys daily new adventures cr 
discovers one of Nature's surprises, but those who have 
to travel much by train must wish that Kimberley wa3 
only three hours' journey from Cape Town, and Bula- 
wayo but half a day's journey further on. And under 
these conditions, how 
much richer the in- 
habitants would be ! 
Yes, Africa is too 
large, but as com- 
pression is not pos- 
sible the best thing 
to be done is for 
people to go out and 
fill it up. 

But I should be 
the last to grumble 
at the train service 
in Africa, for not 
only was every con- 
sideration for my 
comfort paid me, 
both by the Cape 
Government and the 
Rhodesia and Ma- 
shonaland Railways, 
but I was allowed to 
journey on the en- 
gine for some dis- 
tance, which was a novel experience, and I do not mind 
confessing that until that day I had had a vague idea 
that trains were steered somewhat after the fashion of 
motor-cars ! The engine-driver refused a tip, but asked 
if I had such a thing as a postcard with my face on it 




THE AUTHOR ARRIVING IN BULAWAYO 



50 \^ia Rhodesia 

for his daughter's collection. I suppose I must be Hke 
Peter Pan who could not grow up, for I really think I 
enjoyed sounding the whistles most of all. There was 
no dangerous traffic ahead, but a few gangers on the 
line made a good excuse for a whistling display. I do 
not think I should recommend stoking on a train as a 
pleasant or lucrative profession for women. 

Then how delightful it was to sit on the cow-catcher 
of the engine, motoring with no motor in front, the 
earth passing rapidly away under one's hanging feet, 
and the fresh air kissing one's face with the keen fillip 
of swiftness and sweetness, for we were approaching 
Rhodesia, and the air came to greet us laden with the 
fragrance of the promised land. 

The "kopjes" had the appearance of huge rockeries, 
quite unlike in appearance to anything in England. 
Kopjes in different parts of Africa vary very much in 
appearance and size ; some are Lilliputian hills covered 
with grass and short bush, others oblong heaps of earth 
topped with trees. But quite the prettiest are the giant 
rockeries, the stones supporting each other in a marvellous 
way, as though poised by giants, while tufts of grass and 
flowers peep out in unexpected places. 

From Plumtree to Bulawayo the air was so charged 
with exhilarating crispness that it seemed almost im- 
possible to believe that one was really in Africa. The 
train behind was forgotten, and on wings of fairy light- 
ness I entered Bulawayo, the prosperous commercial 
centre of Rhodesia, which stands on a site formerly 
known as " Place of Slaughter." 

There is so much of interest in and around Bulawayo 
that it becomes difficult to know which to speak of 
first, the beautiful, the romantic, or the commercial. 
However, perhaps bread and butter is a substantial 
start, and in life one must have the wherewithal to 



Bulawayo 5 1 

enjoy the delights of nature or the accompHshments of 
man. 

I was told that I need not book a room in advance 
at the Grand Hotel, as there were a hundred bedrooms 
and at least twenty empty ones would be offered me 
to select from. I found, however, that the hotel was 
packed, and I had to wait two hours before a room was 
vacated by a man leaving by the two o'clock train, and 
then it was only a back room, and there seemed no 
prospect of obtaining a better one for at least three 
weeks ! I found that not only every hotel was full, but 
men of good social standing were satisfied with a cubicle 
in a superior doss-house if they could get one, and yet 
there was no extra rush of visitors to the town and 
nothing of unusual importance going on. 

If one desires to stay some time in Bulawayo, special 
boarding terms can be arranged at the Grand Hotel 
for the moderate sum of £17 los. a month, or one can 
obtain room and board from 17s. a day. 

Owing to the exceptionally heavy rains I had to 
remain in Bulawayo ten weeks, and long before I left 
I had come to the conclusion that a fortune awaits the 
man who will build a substantial hotel with restaurant 
and grill-room attached. He must cater not only for 
those passing through, but by offering comfort in the 
way of private sitting-rooms and good public rooms, 
he must induce visitors to remain in Bulawayo some 
time before proceeding north. Two new theatres are 
being built, but what is wanted is a good open-air 
restaurant some little way out, so that visitors may have 
an excuse for, and an object in, a drive. At present 
there are three drives : to the Matoppos, the Khami 
Ruins, and Government House. 

A restaurant at the Matoppos would be a profanity, 
but there are good sites on the road or at Khami. And 



52 Via Rhodesia 

if Bulawayo wants more money, Bulawayo must cater 
for the moneyed people, who prefer comfort to art and a 
good dinner to historical associations. People who have 
made their money in Africa must have occasion not 
only to spend it, but to display it, or they will go on 
parade elsewhere. 

In Bulawayo, as in all parts of Rhodesia, or in fact of 
South Africa, one has to look to the Roman Catholics 
for the best-built churches and well-organised schools 
for whites. These schools are attended by Protestant 
and Catholic children, and I was assured by many 
parents that at no other schools could they obtain so 
thorough an education. Rhodesia is an English pos- 
session : why is it that the English Church is so behind- 
hand ? Is it that English funds are only forthcoming 
for the unnecessary education of the native ? or has 
lack of interest in England in the education, secular and 
spiritual, of the white, so undermined the ability of the 
Church of England's representatives that they no longer 
care ? 

I was in Bulawayo ten weeks, and during all that time 
only one clergyman called upon me, and he was a priest 
of the Roman Catholic Church, Father Nassau — and yet 
I am not a Catholic. 

But those who work deserve success. Never shall I 
forget visiting the convent schools at Bulawayo, and 
seeing how the extension was being carried on. One 
sister was on a ladder, whitewashing a ceiling, another 
was painting a door, and so on, all cheerful, smiling, 
and happy, and seemingly delighted with their change 
of labour as a recreation from teaching their many pupils. 
The nuns have charge of the girls and infants, while the 
Fathers take in hand the education of the boys. 

This teaching order is the outcome of the pioneer 
nursing sisters who did so much good in the old days 



Bulawayo 53 

when hospitals ^ and trained nurses were unknown in 
Africa. 

I cannot write a scientific paper on the prospects of 
farming in Rhodesia, because I am not an expert, but 
perhaps a few remarks from personal observations may 
interest. 

Rhodesia wants more poultry and dairy farms, 
especially near the towns. Imported eggs and tinned 
butter and \ cheese 
seem ridiculous in 
a country where 
land can almost be 
had for the asking. 
Fresh eggs some- 
times cost five shil- 
lings a dozen, not 
only in Bulawayo 
but also in Salisbury 
and in Umtali. I 
know of one woman, 
the wife of a farmer, 
living not far from 
the Matoppos, who 
makes £150 a year 
by keeping fowls for 
laying ; and I came 
across another wo- 
man near Umtali 
who had made £18 
in a few weeks. 

I visited a poultry- 
farm quite near Bu- 
lawayo where I saw 
700 fowls, on a ten-acre plot, which bring their owner 
a nice little income. They are fed with soft meal 




FOWLS IX RHODESIA 



54 



y\n Rhodesia 



food in the morning and eat sunflower seeds during 
the day, the sunflowers being specially grown for this 
purpose. All the chickens are reared in incubators, the 
stock birds having come from England. 




SUCCESSFUL POULTRY FARMING NEAR EULAWAYO 



In proportion to its white inhabitants I do not think 
any country in the world imports such quantities of 
tinned foodstuffs — meat, jam, butter, cheese, fruit, 
biscuits, pork, flsh, lard, etc. — as does Africa. When 
Africa can emulate America by producing enough food 
to " eat all it can and can all it can't," then the land 
will have yielded the wealth which now lies hidden in its 
agricultural resources, and be a land of richness indeed. 
At present everyone wants to discover mines (even 
people who immigrated with the intention to farm), 
but those who work in the mines must be fed, and here 
is where the agriculturist steps in ; certain markets 
and assured profits await him. ]\Iost of the illnesses 
credited to the climatic conditions would vanish if fresh, 
cheap, clean nutritious food could be obtained in sufficient 



Bulawayo 



:):> 



quantity. All the tinned food consumed represents 
profits taken away from the country instead of profits 
kept therein. To live on food grown in the country is to 
ensure the prosperity of that country, and the mines 
offer great opportunities to the farmer by importing 
wage-earners with appetites, paying them high wages, 
and leaving the farmers to make profits out of the 
appetites. 

One of the first laws Union Parliament should pass, 
is a provision whereby every inhabitant in South Africa 
of the age of twelve should be compelled to plant at least 
two trees somewhere near his habitation. What begging, 
borrowing, and stealing of trees would go on to be sure, 
but with what delightfully shady results ! Even a thorn 
tree fetched from the veld would hide a corner of a tin 
shanty, and in many prosperous towns there are still 
many tin shanties which would be the better for the 
hiding. It is so easy and so cheap to plant fruit trees 
that I am astonished at not finding more orchards ; I 
have passed many a homestead with abundant water 
yet without any fruit trees, and the only reason I could 
find for this astonishing fact was that the occupants 
were probably born tired. 

Main Street in Bulawayo is lined with pepper trees 
(Schimts molle), but the street is so wide that they 
afford very little shade. The width of the streets is a 
source of annoyance to the taxpayer on account of the 
lighting. The original idea in having such wide streets 
was to allow a waggon with sixteen oxen to turn with- 
out the necessity of unyoking. 

In Main Street, facing north, stands the statue of Cecil 
Rhodes, the work of John Tweed. When you look at 
the natural and (those who knew him say) lifelike 
attitude, you seem to hear him say his often repeated 
words, " The north is my thought." 



S6 Via Rhodesia 

Further up the street, and not far from the band- 
stand, where good music is played by an adequate band 
on Sunday nights, is a monument erected to the memory 
of the two hundred and fifty-seven pioneers of civihsation 
who lost their lives in the 1896 Matabele Rebellion, 
and a story is told that the original intention was to 
place a lion on the top of the pedestal, but when the 
one ordered from England arrived it proved to be a 
very diminutive lion, indeed some say not larger than 
a toy terrier. However, it was placed on the pedestal, 
much to the amusement of local hunters. Then one 
night a wag collected hoops of iron off tiny barrels and 
muzzled the poor little beast. After that the lion was 
seen no more, and a gun now stands in its place. 

Bulawayo has a very good water supply, a large dam 
having been built some distance away, whence the 
water passes twice through a filtering process before it 
reaches the consumer. A walk to the dam is well worth 
the trouble, a sunset viewed from the vast expanse of 
water being very beautiful, the brilliancy of the colour- 
ing finding a reflection in the artificial lake. It is ad- 
visable when walking to the dam to wear boots rather 
than shoes, for the grass seeds cut like needles, and ticks 
are not pleasant companions to carry away with one. 

There are good shops and stores in Bulawayo, and 
here in fact is the place where purchases should be made 
by those who intend travelling into the wilds, because 
the stores elsewhere cannot be relied upon to supply 
even simple articles which may be required ; it is 
therefore better to pay a little extra for luggage than 
go on and find that just what one wants most is not 
procurable. Taking into consideration the distance 
from the coast, the prices are not high. All goods bought 
should.be packed in cheap tin boxes or tin trunks (which 
can be purchased locally), because everything keeps 



Bulawayo 57 

better if packed in tins. When finished with, the trunks 
are not difficult to seh at a good price up country, but 
if the purchaser should be a settler, not a traveller, he 
will cling to these trunks. Not only will they preserve 
one's belongings from ants, but they form useful pieces 
of furniture where tables and chairs are scarce. 

Writing of tin, I never realised how valuable tin cans 
could be until I visited Rhodesia. Biscuit tins should 
be spoken of with reverence ; they are handed down 




MAIN STREET IN BULAWAYO 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



from generation to generation, so to speak, and paraffin 
tins — well, outside quite swagger residences one sees 
rows of these, cut in halves and painted green, utilised 
as flowerpots. All tins the whites have hnished with are 
eagerly sought after by the natives. My men used to 
put pebbles into Hunter's small potted-meat tins and 
tie them to their legs, combining ornament with (to 
them) musical sounds. 

At present, certainly, a tin can of some sort is your 



58 Via Rhodesia 

constant consort, but, as I remarked before, times will 
change when more land is farmed and fresh food is 
obtainable. How absurd it seems that in a country 
where citrus trees grow in the open with abundant 
crops, lemons are imported ! If you require a lemon- 
squash in a hotel a horrible decoction out of a bottle is 
offered ; then again, fruit, instead of being grown locally, 
comes from the Cape. Fruit-growing is another in- 
dustry well within the sphere of the small capitalist, 
because fruit-growing and jam-making offer a quick 
and lucrative return. While waiting for the young trees 
that have been planted to grow, poultry-farming will 
keep one easily above water with a very small outlay.^ 

In Rhodesia one meets few snobs. The right kind of 
men have been the pioneers, and the result is that one 
succeeds on one's own merits and personality. The 
beginner on a ten-acre plot has as much chance socially 
as the owner of many thousand morgen.'^ 

There are very few two-story houses in Rhodesia. 
I saw one in Bulawayo and one in Umtali, and a few 
palaces of that height belonging to missionaries, but 
otherwise everyone is on the same level so far as struc- 
ture goes, and in Rhodesia perhaps more than anywhere 
else in South Africa grit and personal charm count higher 
than mere money. 

^ The British South Africa Company are issuing free a very interesting little 
pamphlet on the possibility of Rhodesia as a citrus-growing country. 7 his 
pamphlet, which is full of valuable information to intending emigrants who wish 
to take up fruit-growing, can be obtained from any information bureau of the 
B.S.A. Company, for instance, from 138 Strand, London, W.C. 

^ A morgen is a measure of land equal to about two acres. 



CHAPTER VI 

KJuDiii Ruins 

IN Ireland it is said the rain descends on at least 
360 days out of the 365. In Africa one can usually 
reckon on having about nine consecutive months 
of sunshine, but in the other three months it seems as 
though one gets the accumulation of the whole year, 
because when it rains, it rains, not in half measures, but 
each drop seems heavy enough to fill a fair-sized bucket ; 
at least this is the impression one gets when caught un- 
awares and without shelter. Crossing the road means 
getting soaked through, and the roar as the torrent of 
rain falls on the corrugated iron roofs is better imagined 
than described. The early months of 1909 will long be 
remembered in Rhodesia as having the heaviest rainfall 
for over twenty years, and unfortunately this caused 
much alteration in my plans. I had hoped to be able to 
visit the celebrated Zimbabwe Ruins ; the great authority 
on these ruins. Professor Hall, who has written two 
very interesting books on the subject, called on me 
soon after my arrival in Bulawayo, and expressed the 
hope that I should hnd time to visit Zimbabwe and to 
see many results of his researches. It was, however, 
not so much a question of time as of the weather, and 
it was impossible for me to see the ruins, because in 
consequence of the heavy rain the road from Victoria 
had become quite impassable. For the convenience of 
travellers who are more fortunate with the weather, I 

59 



6o 



Via Rhodesia 



will give the route. Travelling from Bulawayo towards 
Salisbury, you have to change at Gwelo, about six hours' 
journey from Bulawayo, whence a branch line runs to 
Selukwe (where is situated the Wanderer Mine), and 
from there to Zimbabwe, via Victoria, is a coach journey 
of ninety-seven miles. 

The ruins are about seventeen miles from Victoria, 
which was the first township established after the occupa- 
tion of Mashonaland. If one may not see the greater 
then one must perforce be contented with the lesser. 
As a visit to Zimbabwe was not possible I determined 
to visit the ruins on the Khami River. At the worst it 



^^ 













||||3 



KHAISII RUINS, RHODESIA 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 




could only mean a few hours' soaking, if the gods of the 
weather were not propitious. 

On inquiry I found that I could hire a Cape cart with 
four mules and the driver for two pounds. Armed with 
a waterproof coat, some sandwiches, and a kodak in its 



Khami Ruins 6i 

waterproof tin case, I set off one morning from the 
Grand Hotel at eleven o'clock. The sun was shining 
in a tempting, alluring kind of way, and I felt quite 
important as I started on my journey of solitary ex- 
ploration. 

My equipage was by no means elegant. The mules 
looked sorry specimens, by no means lit for exhibition 
purposes, the harness had seen better days, and the 
driver — well, the driver ought to have a chapter to 
himself. 

Jacob, for that was his name, had one of the ugliest 
misarrangements of features that has ever been dignified 
by the name of face, complexion of a sickly yellow, the 
tint that tells of the white man's error. His clothing 
would have brought tears of shame to the eyes of a scare- 
crow, but there was an air of distinction about his straw 
bonnet, tied with a string round the back of his head, 
and decorated with the fading likeness of a tailless 
pugaree of a pastel shade of navy blue. 

Asked if he had any " scoff," he replied " No." 

On any occasion, except when asked if he possesses 
food, a native invariably answers " Yes." 

A man up country one day asked his native servant, 
who only brought in meat and bread, *' Are there no 
potatoes ? " " Yes," said the servant, and disappeared. 
The white man, assuming that the potatoes would be 
brought, waited a considerable time. He then called 
the servant back again and said, " Where are the 
potatoes ? " whereupon the boy shook his head. The 
white man then again told the native to bring the 
potatoes, but he again shook his head. Then the white 
man told him, " But you said just now there were 
potatoes." The boy smiled and said, " Yes, Baas, no 
potatoes." 

I climbed into the back of the cart, and off we went. 



62 



Via Rhodesia 



All traces of the town were soon left behind, and we 
were in the open country. 

Jacob's conversation certainly could not compare in 
quantity or quality with a London bus driver's ; to 




KHAMI KUINS, RHODESIA 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 

all my inquiries he had but one reply, " Yes, missus." 
In fact, he must have been the human descendant of 
the Raven of poetical fame. Occasionally he made 
strange noises, which, however, the mules seemed 
thoroughly to understand, and he rarely, very rarely, 
used a prehistoric whip, the handle of which reminded 
one of a worm that hac been ruthlessly cut by man and 
joined by nature. 

In England we boast of the fresh green of the country. 
Perhaps South Africa may wear tints of gold and bronze 
longer than her northern mother, but during that drive 
to the Khami ruins the green of the foliage of the trees, 
and the delicate freshness of bush and herb, could not 



Khami Ruins 63 

have been beaten in England or her sister Emerald 
Isle. 

Then the wild flowers — there were acres of dainty 
fancy grasses with millions of pale wedgwood-blue 
blossoms peeping forth, and here and there a single 
flower, the shape of a primrose, only much taller and in 
colour a bright vermilion, while for ever dancing near 
the flowers were swarms of tiny yellow butterflies, and 
overhead, swiftly flying through the blue, were many 
birds of brilliant plumage. One little bird in particular 
I noticed, and named him " Robin Red Back," on account 
of the streak of crimson running from the top of his 
head to his tail. 

The road was villainous. The recent rains had much 
to answer for, but surely the roads to the few show- 
places round Bulawayo could be kept in better con- 
dition ; it would pay in the long run. I was very soon 
one mass of bruises, through being thrown from one 
side to the other as the cart fell into ditches and scrambled 
over ruts ; the mules were positively acrobatic and did 
not slip once. 

Several times we left the road altogether and found 
it better to drive through the tall grass. The effect was 
very pretty, because for many miles the grass was quite 
a foot above the mules' ears. What a waste it seemed, 
all this lovely grass and so few cattle. That is what 
strikes you so forcibly in Rhodesia — the terrible waste 
of good material, so much fertile land and so few in- 
habitants. During the whole drive to and from Khami, 
in all about twenty-three miles, we met only five natives 
and not one white ; there were no farm-houses, no 
kraals, no huts, only the land and its abundant growth 
of grass and flowers. 

We must have been about a mile from the Khami 
River when Jacob suddenly left the road and turned 



64 



Via Rhodesia 



the mules off to the right, and we travelled so far into 
the grass, and in a totally different direction from the 
road, that I began to wonder if Jacob was merely 
driving to exercise the mules or show them rural scenery, 
when he abruptly stopped, and pointing with his oft- 
mended whip in the direction of a far-away kopje, ex- 
claimed : 

" Think ruins there, missus." 

I thanked him adequately for these voluminous direc- 
tions, and alighted. The sun was sheltering behind 
grey clouds, and I thought it wise to change my alpaca 










•^ !». ^jI "S*^ 







U 'J*^if ^^^^^S.^.-%;gi^^ -< .o':fe^"S^ 



KHAMI RUINS, RHODESIA. WALL SHOWING A MORE INTRICATE DESIGN 

(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



coat for the mackintosh slip-on ; then, slinging my kodak 
over my shoulder, I set forth to find the ruins. 

It had sounded extremely easy when the obliging 
clerk of Mr. Zederberg, from whom I hired the turnout, 
had hinted that I might have ten minutes' walk and a 



Khami Ruins 65 

bit of rough climbing after I left the cart, but without 
a guide, and having absolutely no knowledge of the 
country, it proved a trifle perplexing. The English 
aspect of the land had changed, and instead of flat 
country with waving grass I was surrounded with small 
kopjes of the giant rockery order. These seemed posi- 
tively to mock me by imitating each other when I strove 
to take landmarks. Jacob naturally was soon lost to 
view, and the mules became an unknown quantity. 
Then I reached the river, which I had been told must 
be crossed, no difficulty being experienced in dry weather; 
but, oh ! obliging clerk of Zederberg, this was not dry 
weather. For some time past the river had been im- 
bibing freely of the rain, and in parts looked uninvitingly 
deep ; but in some places huge stones stood boldly forth, 
showing, if put to the push, what an excellent builder 
of bridges nature may be. Creeping from stone to stone, 
I reached the other side, and here huge flat stones, more 
like the surfaces of rocks, suggested that Africa must 
at one time have been the bed of a mighty ocean ; and 
then, in the midst of long damp grass, I found myself 
at the foot of a kopje. This I climbed, and when near 
the top espied above me huge stones, so enormous that 
at first I thought they must be the tops of huts, so round 
were they and of such huge dimensions. Arrived at the 
top, I beheld the remains of a ruined wall. Apparently 
I had reached at least a portion of the Khami ruins. 

As I photographed that wall I could not help thinking 
how small and puny are the remnants of man's work 
compared with the stone creations of nature. If man's 
work shows signs of endurance beyond even a century, 
or advances into the chronicles of three, then it is made 
a place of pilgrimage, while the stone boulders shaped 
by unseen hands are strong beyond the ravages of time, 
monuments of eternity. 



66 Via Rhodesia 

Then it began to rain. 

I knew there were other walls further on, better walls, 
walls of more intricate design, but the rain damped my 
enthusiasm for walls and I wanted to go home ; home, 
for the moment, meaning Jacob and the mules. 

The intention was all right, but the carrying out of 
my purposes was another matter. I looked back and 
realised how to an untrained eye one kopje is the duplicate 
of another, and high grass such a disguise to Mother 
Earth that it is impossible to know if one has wandered 
a hundred yards this way or that. 

However, I found the river again, but struck it in 
quite a different part from that where I had previously 
crossed. I may at once admit that I have no bump of 
locality, in fact in all my journeying the special provi- 
dence supposed to guard children and drunkards must 
have taken me in charge. 

The stones on the banks were higher, the water was 
deeper, and the tall grass was very wet and infested with 
strange insects and beetles, though I did not see a single 
snake. I found a large bone, and, securing it, deter- 
mined if ever I reached Jacob or other specimen of 
mankind again, I would ask to what species of animal 
the bone belonged. The rain was treating me kindly 
and was only descending in a gentle introductory man- 
ner, and gazing through the dampness I beheld on the 
opposite bank of the river, far away to the right, foot- 
prints on a patch of sand. They were large, and I 
seemed to recognise them as my own, which conclusion 
held more comfort than flattery. I must have been in- 
toxicated by those footprints, for when I ventured to 
cross the river I slipped and fell ; down I sat in mid- 
stream, having cut my leg against the sharp face of a 
stone in the process. 

vSo unexpected was the proffered seat, I did not rise 



Khami Ruins G^ 

for a moment but let the water flow over me while I 
laughed. Oh, I know I ought to have cried, for the 
pain in my leg was bad, and the footprints in the dis- 
tance had vanished, and doubtless I was lost. 

There being not a single policeman on either side to 
help me, I then arose unaided and struggled on, but again 
only to pause and wonder if I should make for the right 
or the left. It seemed so silly to be lost only eleven miles 
from Bulawayo, and yet perhaps it was not so silly 
after all, for afterwards I heard of a man who was lost 
and died from starvation within three and a half miles 
of Kimberley, and another man up country, thinking 
himself lost, fired into the air when he was only a few 
hundred yards from his companions, the grass between 
being so high that for aught he knew they might have 
been many miles away. After wandering about for 
some little time longer I suddenly felt a glow in my heart 
despite the soaking wet clothes on my back, for, oh, 
joy, I beheld the grotesque form of Jacob in the dis- 
tance ! I shouted, but he took not the slightest notice 
of me ; a native cannot think of two things at once, and 
he was busy leading a hobbled mule to the water to 
drink. I went forward then as quickly as possible, 
determined not to lose sight of the straw bonnet. I did 
not suspect him of spite, but as he led the mule away 
again he seemed to walk through the longest grass he 
■could find. At length I gained his side, and gasped : 

" I have been sitting in the water." 

" Yes, missus," he replied indifferently. 

" I got lost," I continued, trying to be impressive. 

" Y£s, missus." His tone showed no emotion. 

Sympathy not being obtainable, I became practical : 
" I think I will have lunch," I said, for the rain had 
suddenly ceased and a few sunbeams were struggling 
out from behind the clouds. 



68 Via Rhodesia 

" Yes, missus," he answered, in exactly the same tone 
in which he had received my saved-from-drowning in- 
formation, and led the way to the cart, taking quite the 
opposite direction to that which I should have selected. 

Jacob was sufficiently polite to take a cushion from 
the cart and place it under a tree for me, and then, 
forgetting to give me the luncheon-basket, went off to 
a stream running near. I watched him, in amazement, 
remove his straw boniiet carefully and, kneeling down, 
wash his face in the bubbling brook. I had been led 
to believe that natives never washed. This action 
seemed to proclaim the white blood in him, but I was 
hungry, and his toilet was therefore only a secondary 
consideration, so I yelled for the basket, having been 
instructed never to do myself that which a native could 
easily do for me^ — an excellent maxim. My drenched 
garments added weight if not dignity to the feast, and I 
conclude cheerfulness is an antidote against chills, for 
though I wore those garments for four hours I did not 
take cold. 

And the bone ? 

Oh, yes, I remembered to produce it, and asked Jacob 
from what kind of animal it came, and when I got his 
answer, I concluded that in addition to being a good 
driver of mules Jacob was a very fair liar. 

" Lion," he said ; " Yes, missus, lion." 

I did not contradict ; I had been a very short time in 
Africa. 



CHAPTER VII 

A Granite Tomb 

SILENCE and solitude ; no greatness was ever 
yet achieved without them, nor, without them, 
was the just reward of greatness, perfect rest, 
ever attained. 

The concentrated silence and solitude of all time 
seem to hover over the Matoppos. Surely since creation 
first caused those rugged mountain-tops to rise, no one 
has laughed in their midst ! Or, if puny human voices 
rose in mirth or derision, did not the solemn voices of the 
winds turn back unto themselves the frail echoes of the 
sounds of fools ? Granite, hard, inflexible as fate, under 
one's feet, granite, towering above one's head till its 
apex seems to pierce the blue vault of heaven, on every 
side granite, and a feeling from the moment one leaves 
behind motor or cart that one treads upon consecrated 
ground. 

One feels the presence of Rhodes's life on the hill-side 
near Groote Schuur where his memorial stands, one knows 
that the spirit of the dead has risen from those bones 
which lie at rest under the granite slab, and involuntarily 
one looks upward, almost expectmg to see a spirit face 
looking down from space, watching and still guarding 
Rhodesia. 

I was glad I visited the Matoppos with a man who 
had been an intimate and trusted friend of Rhodes, a 
man who knew that the situation called for silence, and 

69 



o 



Via Rhodesia 



who showed due reverence for the dead. No other 
human being was there on that Sunday morning. Tiny 
green lizards darted across the granite pathway, while 
far off a number of baboons walked in solemn single file. 








TREE FERN 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



their grotesque figures looking like black shadow^s, but 
they also seemed to belong to the picture, evidence of 
the wild solitude of the place. 

Around, as far as eye aided by glass could reach. 



A Granite Tomb 



/ J 



stretched pinnacle after pinnacle of nature's grey monu- 
ments to the dead, granite mountains from which vegeta- 
tion seemed expelled, a world's end of death, " calm and 
deep peace" reigning everywhere, a fitting place wherein 
to lay the body to rest, waiting for resurrection of spirit 
to reawaken life elsewhere. Rhodes's life had brought 
day to many ; this mountain Walhalla is the night into 
which his body passed ; but the influence of a great life 
brings for ever the sunrise to those who follow his un- 
selfish ideas, and though the body of Cecil Rhodes should 
lie buried in darkness in these granite hills, yet will his 




THE GRAVE OF RHODES 

(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



spirit rise with each sun and continue to shed a light 
over Rhodesia. 

Looking to the dark wall of granite, one can imagine 
the spirit of the mighty dead brooding over the land he 
had conquered, and one recalls the words of Rudyard 



4 



Via Rhodesia 



Kipling in the beautiful poem which was read by the 
Bishop 'of Mashonaland at the burial service of Cecil 



Rhodes. 



" There shall he patient make his seat 
(As when the Death he dared), 
And there await a people's feet 
In the paths that he prepared." 











PAINTINGS l.\ KL.sH.MAN CAVE ON MT. SIL02WANK 
(Bj' kind permission of Mess s. Mennel and Chubb) 



CHAPTER VIII 

Salisbury — Unit all 

THE train journey from Bulawayo to Salisbury is 
full of interest, owing to the scenery, which in 
parts is very beautiful when the kopjes are green 
and the wild flowers are in bloom. Especially lovely 
is the wild fancy grass, which can only be compared 
to coral mounted on graceful stalks ; the colour varies 
from palest pink to deep crimson, all the shades are to 
be obtained on a single spray, and when the wind sweeps 
through the grass truly one has a vision of waving 
jewels. 

One quaint feature in the table appointments of the 
railway dining-cars is that the tracing of a map of 
Rhodesia is woven into the linen serviettes. 

Doubtless some Rhodesians will be very vexed with 
me when I call Salisbury, the seat of the Government 
for Southern Rhodesia, a glorified village. But why be 
angry ? What could be more fascinating as a poet's 
dream of a city ? Judged, however, from a practical 
point of view, it is rather like a children's game of 
pretence and hide-and-seek combined. / will be the 
Government Buildings, and in solitary grandeur they 
appear ; you pretend to be a big bank, and go far away 
and sit over there ; Tommy shall keep a store, so he 
must hide at a considerable distance, then we shall not 
be worried with the odour of commerce ; and as Maude 
needs exercise, she must walk for an hour and then sit 

75 



76 



\^ia Rhodesia 



down and pretend to be the Public Library ; if George 
is to be the General Post Office he had better take a 
basket and pick flowers by the way, because he must 
move quite two miles in another direction ; and as the 
Drill Hall is a place where all public meetings are held, 
we will make everyone walk a bit, so James must go 
right away from everybody else and we will hope to 
find him. 

And that is Salisbury. 

Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that was 
Salisbury, because building is going on at a very rapid 
rate, owing to the recent finding of further mines and 
the taking up of land by fresh settlers. I hear that two 
new hotels are being built, and they are badly needed, 




ARCHERY CLUii AT SALISRURV 



the hotels in the town being far from adequate as re- 
gards both room and catering — so far, the hotels in 
Rhodesia seem to have been in the hands of amateurs, 



Salisbury — Umtali "i"] 

or the managers have been men who have abandoned 

some other trade or profession for that of hotel-keeping. 

The hotel I stayed at in Salisbury previous to enjoying 




LADY MILTON 



the kind hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Hole, was 
one kept by a poet, and on my door were pinned two 
poems, composed by mine host, one on " Solitude " and 
the other on " Fortitude." 

On inquiry I found that the poet had also been a 
printer. 

In Salisbury what one loses on the cocoanut shies 
one makes up on the roundabouts ; one may complain 
of the unnecessary space between the public buildings 
for a busy man or woman, but no one can find fault with 
the delightful sports grounds, which are quite the finest 
in Rhodesia, if not in South Africa. Polo, cricket, 
croquet, tennis, footbah, each game has its spacious 
grounds screened off from the other by high banks of 



/ 



8 



Via Rhodesia 




green turf and flowers. The effect produced, as may 
well be imagined, is not only picturesque but it makes 
one forget the fierce heat of the sun. Here, daily, 
pretty women in dainty costumes, and civil servants in 
flannels, but looking by no means fools (pardon, please, 
Mr. Kipling), deport themselves in pleasant sport and 
social intercourse. 

Lady Milton is a great advocate of archery, and every 
Wednesday afternoon holds an archery meeting for 

ladies at Govern- 
ment House. 
^ When I was there 

^^^.^^ they were compet- 

''' ing for a diamond 

brooch. 

His Excellency Sir 
Wilham Milton, the 
Administrator, is 
very fond of croquet, 
and rarely misses a 
daily round. 

Umtali is only 
eighty miles distant 
from Salisbury as 
the crow flies, but 
the journey by rail 
is 175 miles. It is 
amusing to look from 
the train and specu- 
late as to which 
roundabout way the 
engine is going to 
take next. 

At Macheke, some few[miles from Salisbury, the engine- 
driver obligingly stopped the train while I made a wild 




'1 I K. 1. A I \l \RANDELLA~ 



5 Z 




Salisbury — Umtali 8 1 

rush across grass and bush to take a snapshot of some 
bushmen paintings, which were on stone and were sup- 
posed to be sixty years old. 

Unfortunately the light was not good, and the film 
was spoilt. 

About forty-live miles from Salisbury on the Umtali 
line is Marandellas, with its quaint round hut post office. 
Here also still stands the huge shed used by Lord Methuen 
for the supplies for his men during the war, and now put 
to the peaceful purpose of a railway store. 

At one point of the line, on a clear day, it is possible 
from the train to see the mountains eighty miles away. 
This seems difficult to believe, but in Africa the light not 
only appears to bring objects into prominence, but also 
considerably to shorten the distance, making it im- 
possible for anyone not accustomed to the country to 
give mileage at a guess. 

It would need the pen of Dickens to describe the 
hotel at which I stayed in Umtali. There are two hotels 
in this town, and both are so arranged that they may be 
used as theatres, if necessary. In my hotel the dining- 
room was the theatre, and at one end of the room 
there was a stage with a faded back cloth and tired- 
looking footlights. I breakfasted at a table in the 
stalls on the right aisle. The butter was vile, and I 
wondered where, oh where, were all the dairy farmers 
who grumbled at competition yet continued to live in 
England, with such a good market waiting for them in 
Southern Rhodesia. This hotel was kept, or rather one 
should say graced, by the presence, a very large, spread- 
ing presence, of an ex-opera singer, a lady of ample figure 
and abundant smiles. She could flirt in several languages, 
and had an affection for parrots, which rested on her 
once yellow-golden hair, and cooed on her affectionate 
breast. One day in particular she seemed covered with 



82 Via Rhodesia 

them ; green, also grey and rose-tinted, fowls literally 
swarmed all over her, and yet she had room for tears 
in her eyes as she begged me to write something to keep 
all the yonng men of the neighbourhood from drinking 
themselves to death on the credit system. 

I don't quite know which troubled her the more, the 
degrading effects of the liquor on the young men's 
morals, or the credit terms on which it was obtained. 

However, she was a good-natured soul ; Heaven send 
that her shadow may never grow less, or become lonely 
through lack of parrots. 

Umtali is situated among the most charming scenery 
in Southern Rhodesia, for all round the hills rise up and 
proclaim the splendour which a flat country, however 
pretty, never gives. One of the most fascinating drives 
is that which goes from Umtali over the Christmas 
Pass through the Valley of the Ancients, so called 
because of the evidence of ancient mines, to Penha- 
longha. 

The drive has just the faint element of danger which 
gives a hllip to the romance of the surroundings ; one 
needs sure-footed mules. Also the presence of lions in 
the neighbourhood is not infrequently heard of, and 
only a fortnight before I drove through, a party of four 
men travelling in the dusk had beheld a lion taking an 
evening repast off a donkey who had strayed too far 
out of bounds. 

Half-way between Umtali and Penhalongha, as a rule, 
one rests at a little wayside hotel to change horses or 
mules, n one has the time, a night can be spent to 
advantage here, for the sunrise from the top of the 
mountains within the shadow of which the hostelry 
stands, is a wonderful sight. 

At Penhalongha there is a very good little hotel, 
where I obtained an excellent lunch. I then set off 




TWENTY MILES FROM BULAWAVO 
(By kind permission of Umtali Railway Institute) 



Salisbury — Umtali 85 



to see the mines, the hotel dog attaching liimself to me 
by way of bodyguard. 

I called at the manager's house and introduced myself, 
asking the courteous wife if I might see her husband. 
He soon appeared, accompanied by an Inspector of 
Mines, a man about seven feet in height, with umbrella 
in proportion. I know I ought to have remembered 
the output of that mine, and various details given me, 
but no — my lumber-room of a brain carries only the 
huge umbrella. It was my first experience of a stamp 
battery, and the noise seemed to me the most dreadful 
I had ever heard. It in no way daunted the courage of 
the dog, however ; he followed me everywhere up the 
wooden steps and along the various platforms. 

In Rhodesia, it is said, every mine is unlike another, 
though there may be some similarity in the Transvaal 
mines. There is certainly a great likeness about mine- 
owners. A book-keeper at one hotel explained to me 
how he found a gold mine and had it jumped from him ; 
he was a 'Varsity man, and seemingly of too trusting a 
nature to deal with the not-too-scrupulous men one finds 
hovering near the world's wealth. Another man of 
diminutive, shrunken stature, quite uneducated, was 
drawing £1500 a month as his share in another gold mine. 
This man had been selling vegetables previously, and 
had to borrow £10 to pay for his first claim licence. 
The ups and down of men in a new country are a strange 
study. " See that barman over there ! " said a man to 
me one day ; "he was a colleague of mine at Glasgow 
University." 

And what does it matter what a man works at, so 
long as he works his hardest at what lies within his 
reach ? There is always comfort in the thought that 
something better may turn up. The only sin is sloth. 

A very sensible custom is, to make convicts work 



86 



Via Rhodesia 



out of doors ; they make or repair roads, and in some 
places can be hired out at one shilling per head per day 
to work in private gardens or at making pathways. 
As a rule they are in charge of armed native police boys. 




A MATABELK KKAAI. 
(By kind permission of Umtali Railway Institute) 



In North-Eastern Rhodesia I saw convicts working 
in gangs of three and four, chained together. Up- 
country, white prisoners are found to be very undesirable 
by the magistrates of remote districts, as it is difficult to 
feed and keep them, European prison accommodation 
being either inadequate or entirely lacking. A white 
man gets passed on from pillar to post, and in fact I 
was assured that if I only committed a crime I could 
travel through Africa free of cost, as no one would 
want me. 

Southern Rhodesia is the very place for men and 
women who wish to live the simple life with profit, and 



Salisbury — Umtali Sy 

offers a wider scope than does Chelsea with its brown 
serge affectations and Christian Science hysteria. 

It is an oft-proved fact that half the earth is suffering 
from not knowing the requirements of the other half. 

In England there are hundreds of women with just 
sufficient capital not to know what to do with it, not 
enough to keep them, a something which on account of 
its inadequacy is almost worse than nothing. 

In France every girl is taught some trade, business, 
or profession, and it is considered no disgrace to have a 
practical knowledge which will enable her to help her 
husband should she marry, and to keep herself if she 
does not. 

In England, to-day, women are realising the necessity 
of this, and prejudice is giving way to common sense. 

But in England there are so many women, too many 
women, and hence the distant thunder, always growing 
nearer, of the war of the sexes. 

Rhodesia wants women, needs women ; in fact, women, 
and women only, can ensure its future prosperity. Some 
few dozen men, and half a dozen women, have been 
pioneers ; they are past their first youth, but they still 
work ; however, new energy, new enterprise, and, 
greatest of all, young courage, are needed to-day. The 
pioneers have paved the way, and many young men 
have gone out and reaped the benefit of the early efforts 
— but, and this is a very grave but, the element of great 
danger having been surpassed, the element of self- 
sacrifice has to some extent passed with it, and self- 
indulgence of a depraved nature seems likely to step in 
if the hand of women do not arrest it. The average 
young man of to-day expects rather to live by the success 
of others than the sweat of his own brow. 

How can this be altered ? My advice is, treble the 
tax on whisky, and import women free of charge. 



88 



Via Rhodesia 



The young man on the farm grows lonely, and so he 
either speculates and gambles, losing all with the idea 
of getting rich quickly and going back to England and 
women — or takes to whisky and loses all through lack 
of women. 

But the right kind of women must come out ; Rhodesia 
is no place for the tin-cup and plate immigrant ; Rhodesia 
is not a gift, but a safe investment. Women of the servant- 
girl class are no good, and this is at present where 
many mistakes are made. The young farmers out here 
are men of birth and education ; they should meet their 
equals of the opposite sex in friendship or marriage, as 




A iMASHONA KRAAl. 
(By kind permission of Umtali Railway Institute) 



the case may be. Men and women need each other to 
keep the balance of life gracefully as well as decently 
poised. There is one point I must touch on, and that is 
the horrible (though near the town usually hidden) 



Salisbury — Umtali 89 

liaisons between white men and black women, the result 
being a sickly-coloured progeny which, growing up in 
all directions, will at some future time be a terrible 
menace to civilisation and a grievous subject for legisla- 
tion. To give men their due, they begin by intending 
to be adamant, wishing to be decent ; but day after 
day the dark girl goes and sits outside the lonely man's 
hut ; she is not always ugly if she is very young, and 
though her lips are thick, her body is beautifully formed ; 
and then, too, she has an eye for colour ; the lonely man 
has grown a few flowers round his hut, just the flowers 
perhaps he loved at home, and one day he sees her at 
sunset, when the gold and crimson of the sky makes 
the whole world seem beautiful, and in her hair is a red 
carnation, plucked from his garden. Then the lonely 
man forgets he is white. 

The chess-board of life must be furnished with an 
equal number of pieces each side, then fate will play 
the game. White men settlers are there already, the 
white women must now be induced to come, and this is 
where the woman who is a small capitalist has her chance. 
How can white men expect natives to have respect for 
white women while they, the same white men, lower 
themselves to the native's level by living with native 
women ? 

In England women are daily proving more and more 
their self-reliance and capability, but England is so 
densely populated that with the increasing capability 
will come increasing competition. 

Out in Rhodesia there is room for all comers ; let the 
women who are cramped at home prove that they can 
carry on the work of the Empire in the Colonies ; they 
will then not only find scope for themselves, but help 
their fellow-creatures. 

The presence of sincere women must ever raise the 



90 Via Rhodesia 

moral tone of a country in which they Uve, while they 
in turn will have their ideas of life broadened and their 
sympathies developed by coming into contact not only 
with nature's wonders but with men who have known 
life in the rough. One thing I can promise women, and 
that is, that go where they will in Rhodesia, hotel, mining 
camp, or farm, they will meet with nothing but courtesy 
from men of all ranks, if they merit it. 

True friendship one gets from Colonial men, not the 
veiled insult which too often lurks in the polite attention 
proffered in the cities and towns of so-called civilisation. 
The cities of the future spring from the villages of to- 
day ; if women go to new countries they must be pre- 
pared to start at the beginning ; the present progress 
of the world is being impeded by the tendency to expect 
to begin where those who have been successful have 
left off. 

One must start anew on a fresh plot of ground. 

It would be well if the women who have been studying 
agriculture at the various farms and colleges were to turn 
their attention to Rhodesia, where land can be obtained 
near the railway at a very moderate price ; for instance, 
near Umtali very good land is to be had at £5 an acre. 

I have already mentioned that I am of opinion that 
poultry-farming would pay handsomely. I will now 
give a few details for the practical help of women who 
might care to try their luck, and want to begin on a 
very small scale. 

Supposing twelve acres of specially selected land were 
chosen, not too far from the railway for transport, the 
top price would be £60. 

Two moderate-sized huts could be obtained for £25 
each, one for day and one for night ; then, a small 
settler's hut at ;fio would be large enough for a kitchen. 
These huts can be made to look quite pretty when hung 



Salisbury— Umtali 91 



inside with Liberty washing stuffs. They are also cool 
and dry, the lower part being built of either corrugated 
iron or mud bricks, and the roof is thatched. A camp 
bed takes up little room, while folding-table and chairs, 
such as one uses when trekking, are very useful, as they 
can easily be carried outside should one wish to feed 
in the open. 

The boys engaged would not cost more than 5s. a 
month if they were raw boys ; boys with a little experi- 
ence would cost los. to I2S., while good farm hands get 
even more. Four acres of land sown with mealies will 
keep them in food, two crops being obtainable in a year, 
and they would build their own huts with the grass cut 
down. 

The boundary line of the twelve acres could be marked 
by a small heap of stones here and there, while near 
the huts about 150 feet of good iron fencing could be 
erected for about £9. Outhouses and hen-houses cost 
little where timber is plentiful and labour cheap. 

Orange, lemon, or banana trees grow quickly and bear 
abundantly, and they would make a pretty and pro- 
ductive border to the little farm, while a couple of acres, 
if devoted to potatoes and onions, would not only 
afford additional food, but the produce would sell weh 
if not required. Potatoes, when plentiful, sell at 2|d. 
a lb., but the price often goes up to 6d. when the supply 
runs short. 

Special care must be taken to keep the fowls clean, 
otherwise they suffer from the ravages of a small flea, 
which is best got rid of by spraying with paraffin. 

Settlers' huts, incubators, iron fencing, and anything 
of a similar nature, can be obtained at Salisbury, and 
therefore no one need incur the expense of bringing 
them out from England. The floors of the huts can be 
made quite watertight and durable if dagga is used. 



92 



Via Rhodesia 



which is a kind of cement made from mud. Across the 
window of the hut (which should open outwards), inside 
the glass, place a fine wire netting; it lets in the air and 
keeps out insects. 

A great number of flowers grow wild in Rhodesia, 
and the honey obtained from the wild bees is delicious. 




GOLDMINERS' CAMP: SHOWING HUTS FOR DWELLING 

(By kind permission of Umtali Railway Institute) 



Women who would add to their income could start bee- 
keeping ; there would be a continuous and ready sale 
for honey in the towns, and since so many flowers grow 
wild so easily, how great w-ould be the wealth of bloom 
with a little cultivation ! 

Hives are not expensive, and there is no need to 
import bees. The care of bees is not a difficult study. 
Some people have an idea that bees should not be kept 
in conjunction with poultry, but there is no reason why 
this should not be done, onty the hives must be placed 
at some little distance from the fowl-houses, and from 
any roadway or any place where the bees would be likely 
to be disturbed, because they dislike noise and unex- 
pected blows to the hive ; they wdll sting when so dis- 



Salisbury — Umtali 93 

turbed. Bees also dislike the smell of tomatoes, and 
they will sting you violently if you have patted a sweat- 
ing horse, the busy little brown insects being very 
sensitive to certain odours. On the other hand, they 
are quite harmless when properly managed. 

June is a good month for the intending small settler 
to start, because, though at that time the country does 
not wear its most beautiful appearance and thus offer 
the best of encouragement, the climatic conditions are 
good, and one is able to get all in readiness in order 
to plant as soon as the rain comes ; and when the rain 
does begin, " Well," as one lady remarked to me, " you 
just watch things grow ! " 

This lady, who, with her three daughters, has nine 
huts and twelve acres near Salisbury, is justly proud of 
her garden. It seems impossible to believe that all was 
uncultivated veld only a year ago. 

The land having been selected, all could be prepared 
in a month, during which time one should live not too 
far away, so as to be able to superintend. 

No expensive outfit in the way of clothing is necessary, 
ordinary English clothes being suitable, with the addi- 
tion of a few plain print frocks, some thin, easily washed 
blouses or skirts, and large shady hats of the cheapest 
nature. The climate of Rhodesia is delightful in summer, 
and in winter not so cold as in England, so that the 
question of fires need not seriously enter into one's 
calculations. 

If the young settler cannot afford a mule and cart to 
begin with, then a bicycle will be found very useful. 
In Rhodesia everyone cycles, from the Administrator 
downwards, for, when the roads are bad, the Kaffir 
paths are usually navigable if one is on a wheel. 

With regard to the safety of women, it must be re- 
membered that the country is young, and the nature of 



94 Via Rhodesia 

the native differs from that of a white. It is a great 
mistake to imagine for one minute that you can trust 
to their lionour or gratitude ; they do not possess any ; 
they appreciate firmness and justice, but regard leniency 
as weakness. Also for generations they have regarded 
women only as workers and as bearers of children, so 
that white women must take a firm stand from the 
beginning, not only insisting on obedience but never 
showing the slightest fear. 

In the wildest and most remote parts of Rhodesia 
w^omen need fear no harm from the native, but near 
the towns and mission stations, and with other natives 
who have received education, the case is different. With 
so-called education they acquire vice and put off their 
native virtue. 

It would be wise for any women living quite alone to 
keep a dog and acquire some knowledge of shooting. 
Of course if two or three friends started a small colony 
of huts together, the isolation would be less and thus 
danger would be eliminated. There are many young 
unmarried w^omen with private means in England who 
share rooms and study art together. Why should they 
not have a hut each and farm together ? Their com- 
bined incomes would render existence a pleasant one, 
and having boys to do the rough work would leave them 
plenty of time to turn into pictures the beautiful scenery 
around. 

The Loyal M'omen's Guild is doing fine work in 
Rhodesia by forming committees in the various towns 
to investigate all matters concerning the welfare of 
women and children, and to render help when needed. 

It speaks well for the prosperity of Umtali that, since 
the branch was formed in that town a year ago, only 
one case of real need has come under their notice, and 
this w^as a case of desertion, the husband going away 



Salisl)urv — U mtali 



95 



and leaving a wife and four cliildren, a matter of in- 
dividual sin not to be imputed to the country — needless 
to say the woman and children have been taken good 
care of. There are no workhouses in Rhodesia, and let 
us hope there never will be. Each town looks after its 
own poor, if there are any, but considering the con- 
trasting poverty of our towns in England, it seemed 
almost incredible that at Bulawayo ladies should tell 




THE "old days." ZEDERBERG'S MAIL COACH STARTING FRO.M 

BULAWAYO FOR SALISBURY 

(By kind permission of L^mtali Railway Institute) 



me they did not know what to do with their old clothing, 
there being no women sufficiently poor to need it. 

In England there are many women, young and healthy, 
who are wasting their vitality by striving to compete 
with thousands of others in an overcrowded area ; they 
have usually a little money — why should they not use it 
in seeking and cultivating pastures new instead of wish- 
ing the little was much, and losing all eventually in a 
race so handicapped by too many entries. 

One may live in a hut and yet be well within touch 
of civilisation. At Salisbury, Bulawayo, and Umtali, 



96 Via Rhodesia 

there are libraries ; the museum at Bulawayo contains 
nuich of interest, while the sports grounds at Salisbury, 
as I have already stated, are certainly the finest in 
Africa. 

The life on the few acres will be rough in contrast to 
the city left behind, perhaps, but the delight of assisting 
creation by cultivating one's own little plot, will far 
outshine the wretched treadmill of existence in the 
dark dreariness of bricks and mortar, where the streets 
are usually lined with hypocrisy and paved with want. 

Turn to the sunshine for happiness and to the land for 
peace. 



CHAPTER IX 

Educated Natives 

RHODESIA at present has no cathedral, although 
funds are being collected to build one at Salis- 
bury. The present tin edifice is a standing dis- 
grace, a colossal example of the little interest shown 
in England to the white man's soul in the Colonies. 

If ever one speaks about the absurd squandering of 
money by the Missionary Societies upon the so-called 
conversion (which in very many cases is only perver- 
sion) of the black, one usually receives the answer that 
direct orders have been given in the Bible to spread 
the gospel. This is quite correct, but nowhere have I 
read the order that it should be spread chiefly amongst 
people of another colour. Perhaps the Christian religion 
is suited to the whites ; many think so, and I will not 
dispute it, but if so, then its influence and teachings 
are needed as much in Africa as in England ; yet the 
English Church seems sadly to neglect her children in 
the Colonies. One lady remarked to me, " It is so easy 
to collect money in England for the blacks and so 
diflicult to obtain anything for the whites." 

Throughout Africa there are white children in large 
numbers who can neither read nor write, and who know 
very little of religion of any kind, while money is con- 
tinuously pouring into the country for the education of 
the native. What does this mean ? It simply means 
that, if this continue, the day will come when the black 
H 97 



98 Via Rhodesia 

will try to predominate, and the misguided philanthropists 
of Europe will be responsible. 

In 1892 a full-blooded native, Mokone by name, who 
styled himself a Wesleyan Reverend, started a Church 
of his own for blacks only, which he called the Ethiopian 
Church. It did not take long before the greater part of 
the other native churches, which are all united in the 
hatred of the white man, affiliated in some way or other 
with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is 
partly financed from America, whence native bishops 
and priests have poured into South Africa, where they 
have to-day firmly established themselves. It is also 
from them that the motto, " Africa for the Africans," 
originated. Their missionaries are all over the country, 
practically teaching a religion of revolt. They also 
control a number of native newspapers which are 
circulated broadcast all over South Africa. In " Naledi 
Ea Lesotho " (Basutoland Star) I have seen the follow- 
ing :— 

" May the white in South Africa know that unless 
and until the natives are satisfied on this all-important 
question of native chieftainship, then good-bye to peace 
between blacks and whites so long as the sun fulfils the 
Almighty's decree." 

In " Voice of the Missions " I have seen : — 

" Drive the British into the sea from whence they 
came." 

And in another issue of the same paper : — 

" If the Anglo-Saxon cannot mingle his blood by 

wedlock with the natives of this country, which he 

grabs, why does he not keep his heels in England on 
the fenders of his hearth ? " 



Educated Natives 99 

The " Imvo " ^ is a similar paper, edited by Mr. 
Stead's friend Tengo-Jabavu, a full-blooded native of 
whom Stead said he would prefer him as a guest at his 
table to many an English M.P. 

It was also for this paper, which has been preaching 
the doctrine "We shall boss the whites in Africa," that 
Mr. Stead appealed in his " Review of Reviews " to 
people in England for funds and assistance, to enable 
the poor oppressed natives to voice their so-called 
grievances. 

We must always bear in mind that the native is well 
aware of his vast numerical superiority, and that he 
regards education as a big help to attain his racial 
ambition : " Africa for the Africans." 

His desire for education knows no limits. Statistics 
show that all over South Africa native education has 
made greater strides than the education of the whites. 
That this should be allowed is disgraceful, because all 
open threats as to the future fate of the whites emanate 
from these highly educated Christian natives. 

If only the English would not be so keen to assist the 
stranger " that is without the gate," there would be 
more salvation at home and a better state of satisfaction 
abroad. 

There seems to be little doubt that the next great 
African war will be one in which the native will try to 
become supreme, in fact, the Master of Africa, and for 
the bloodshed which then will take place the main 
responsibility will lie with the missionaries and those 
who assist them, because to these missionaries must be 
given the blame of forcing education upon the black 
before he is sufficiently civilised to receive it. Cleanli- 
ness is said to be next to godliness ; it may come next 
in relative importance, but it ought to come first in point 

' Zabatsundu (Native Opinion). 



I oo Via Rhodesia 

of time ; let the native learn to take decent care of his 
body, and acquire some knowledge of the dignity of 
labour, before he is packed with conceit by being told 
that he has a soul of equal importance to a white man's. 
And not only is his mental balance disturbed by what he 
is taught concerning this hitherto unknown soul about 
which his ideas are, and for generations naturally must 
be, vague, but his hitherto unused brain is suddenly forced 
into activity, and, as is only natural, unable immediately 
to turn from a lower beast into a philosopher of higher 
intelligence, he becomes possessed of a little knowledge 
which, in his case, is a very dangerous thing. His instinct 
of cunning turns what he learns to criminal use ; to 
acquire the white man's knowledge is not only to rival 
him in fair competition, but, not being possessed of the 
white man's conscience, to use this knowledge against 
him whenever opportunity occurs. To learn to write is to 
learn to forge passes and even cheques, and the native 
who reads of crime is the one who not only copies, but 
adds refinements of brutality, and the spiritual teaching, 
not correcting these instincts, only makes the criminal 
more cunning. These are not only my opinions, but 
they are also the opinions which I have heard from 
every white man in any responsible position, and from a 
large number of others I met during my tour. One cannot 
doubt that amongst the missionaries there are many 
noble and wise men, to whom South Africa owes a great 
debt, because they were pioneers in exploration, who 
have made enormous contributions to our knowledge 
of folklore, botany, zoology, geology, geography, etc. 
Many of them have also done good from a medical 
point of view, but let us not forget that from a spiritual 
point of view the mission " amongst the heathen " is at 
its best only undesired interference with old-established 
practice, and often even leads to real evil. 



Educated Natives loi 

As a first example let me mention Bishop Colenso and 
his daughters. His absurd views about natives have 
done great harm. Cetewayo, a powerful native chief, who 
had been perpetrating wholesale murder amongst other 
tribes, was preparing for a war against the whites, but 
fortunately for these Sir Bartle Frere dealt pretty 
quickly with this ambitious gentleman. In John 
Martineau's " Life and Correspondence of the Right 
Hon. Sir Bartle Frere," Vol. II, one can read how Sir 
Bartle Frere corresponded with Colenso, who had taken 
up the case of the Zulus in a most enthusiastic way : — 

'' Colenso printed and circulated this correspondence, 
not at the Cape or in Natal, where it would have been 
promptly criticised, but in England, where the facts 
were little known." 

In the same volume, on page 430, is a letter of Rev. 
H. Waller, Bishop MacKenzie's companion in Central 
Africa : — 

'' Colenso and Chesson, Secretary of the Aborigines 
Protection Society, are the greatest burdens under which 
South Africa labours. . . . When the whole history of 
the troubles of Africa comes to be wTitten, Colenso and 
Chesson ought to be credited with the loss of thousands 
of lives and millions of money." 

This severe criticism is the opinion of one who knew 
something about missions. Bishop Colenso, and his 
daughters lately in the same way, took up the view that 
the natives were a glorious race and that their destiny 
was to guide and absorb the whites. 

Miss North, in her " Recollections of a Happy Life," 
Vol. II, describes a visit to the Colensos : — 

" Doctor Colenso's conversation was delightful, but 
he gave me the impression of being both weak and vain. 



I02 Via Rhodesia 

and very susceptible to flattery. His two elder daughters 
were perfectly devoted to him and his Zuluism, which 
governed everything. The dear natives were incapable 
of harm, the whites incapable of good. They would, I 
believe, have heard cheerfully that all the whites had 
been eaten up and Cetewayo proclaimed King of Natal. 
His portrait was all over the house, and they mentioned 
him in a hushed voice as a kind of holy martyr. . . . 
It would have driven me mad to have stayed long in such 
a strained atmosphere." 

For the benefit of those who would like to have a few 
more examples of intolerance, I can recommend Miss 
Colenso's " My Chief and I," published in London in 
1880, and "The Ruin of Zululand, an Account of British 
doings since the Invasion of 1879," by the same author, 
published in London in 1885. By " invasion" is natur- 
ally meant the British occupation. 

Why is it that so few people have anything to say in 
favour of missionaries ? Mainly, I think, on account of 
the way in which the natives have been treated by 
missionaries, the way they have been made " pets " of. 
Only those have been guilty of this unnatural partiality 
who could not realise that kindness means to a native 
purely and simply weakness. I will admit there are 
reasons why missionaries should have acted in this way^ 
"petting" the native. One reason is, perhaps, that they 
saw what they believed to be hardships inflicted on the 
natives, and they then considered themselves to be the 
protectors. 

The " Review of Reviews," May, 1905, on page 483, 
affords very interesting reading, where Mr. Stead relates 
an interview with the late Mr. Paul Lessar, Russian 
Ambassador at Pekin : — 

"Certainly," said Mr. Lessar, "all our recent troubles 



Educated Natives 103 

had their origin in two things — the attempt to scramble 
for China and the attempt to convert the Chinese. Let 
me deal with the latter question first. ... I would 
say at once that when a man becomes a missionary he 
should cease to belong to any nationality. Jesus Christ 
should be his only Consul, the Kingdom of Heaven his 
only country ; and if he should have the misfortune to 
be slain then he will become a blessed martyr, and his 
blood will become the Seed of the Church. If this 
principle be carried out it is possible that Christianity 
might make great progress in China, progress which I 
don't expect so long as the present system continues, in 
which men become missionaries as a kind of business 
and women go into it as a kind of excitement and from a 
love of travel, knowing that if they get into trouble there 
is always the Consul and the gunboat." 

Mr. Stead protested against this very low estimate of 
the motives which prompted missionary endeavour, but 
Mr. Lessar insisted that he was right, and went on to 
expound an even more startling theory as to the nature 
of Chinese converts : — 

" The fact is, it is all the rascals who become Christians. 
When a man has got into trouble, when he has stolen 
some of his neighbours' goods, or has done some other 
villainy and the place seems likely to be too hot to hold 
him, he becomes a Christian and acquires the protection 
given to converts. It has happened so everywhere. I 
have seen it myself so often at the Persian frontier. . . . 
Hence we have a most undesirable colony of rapscallions 
who have all become Christians in order that they may 
become criminals with impunity." 

Professor Cory, in his " Rise of South Africa," next 
to the monumental work of Dr. McCall Theal the most 



I04 Via Rhodesia 

important work on Soutli African history, and no doubt 
a model of thorough and accurate research, condemns 
very strongly indeed the Exeter Hall view, and in sup- 
port of his attitude he gives a multitude of instances 
in his book where the missionaries were at fault, where 
they spread exaggerated reports of cruel treatment of 
the natives, and where much mischief was the conse- 
quence : — 

'' In England there soon came into existence a pre- 
vailing tendency to regard the majority of the white 
inhabitants of Cape Colony, whether of English or 
Dutch descent, as lost to all sense of justice and humanity 
— missionaries alone being imbued with any feeling of 
philanthropy — and the blacks as the innocent and 
harmless victims of constant oppression. . . . The 
statements of political missionaries came to be believed 
in preference to those of the highest and best-informed 
officials in the Colony, and were, unfortunately, acted 
upon. Thus in a measure Downing Street became 
subordinate to Exeter Hall. Through a long series of 
years the principal results of the machinations of pseudo- 
philanthropists were the devastation of the Eastern 
Province by assegai and firebrand, the driving forth of 
thousands of the Dutch inhabitants to seek new homes 
in South Africa, and the establishment of matters w^hich 
shocked the sense of natural justice and lacked the sup- 
port of any considerations of sound policv." ^ 

A typical example of these pseudo-philanthropists was 
that pohtical firebrand, the Reverend Dr. Philip, the 
first superintendent of the London Missionary Society's 
South African Missions. Nicholas Poison describes him 
as : " one whose talents and powers of persuasion would 

^ "The Rise of South Africa," by George Edward Cory, p. 170. 



Educated Natives 105 

do honour to the most glorious cause, but whose conduct 
would disgrace the worst." ^ 

In his " Researches in South Africa," this same Dr. 
Philip wanted to make people believe that not only the 
Boers but also the English Colonial Government cruelly 
oppressed the natives. He described Bushmen and 
Hottentots as a race of high civilisation, and even went 
so far as to say that he had seen Bushmen make waggons 
and ploughs. 

This is an absurdity similar to that which S. Bannister, 
in his " Humane Policy, with Suggestions How to 
Civilise the Natives," brings forward, when he tells us, 
for instance, that the Bushmen are capable of any 
degree of refinement, and when the chiefs are painted as 
men of high character. It is similar nonsense in which 
the Rev. Stephen Kay, in his " Travels and Researches 
in Caffraria," indulges, when he describes all white men 
who are not missionaries as '' ruffians " and " murderers." 

But let us return to Dr. Philip, who in many instances 
contorted the truth to make the episodes suitable for his 
purposes. 

When his book appeared, everywhere in South Africa 
its accuracy was denied, not only by English but also by 
Dutch, and even many missionaries differed from him.- 
In England, however, this book was well received by a 
large section of the people. And what did Dr. Philip 
further do ? Sir Benjamin D'Urban, probably the most 
popular ruler South Africa ever had, refused to be led 
by Dr. Philip and his small party, who naturally, in 
consequence, entirely disagreed with their Governor's 
policy. Philip's party consisted only of a few men, but 
they had powerful support from England. They de- 

' "A Subaltern's Sick Leave ; or, Rough Notes of a visit in search of hcalili 
to China and the Cape of Good Hope," by Nicholas Poison. 

- See McCall Theal's " History of South Africa," \'ol. II, pp. 11S-9. 



io6 Via Rhodesia 

sired, says Dr. McCall Theal, in his " History of South 
Africa"— 

" the formation of states ruled by Bantu chiefs under 
the guidance of missionaries of their own views, and 
from which Europeans not favoured by missionaries 
should be excluded ... as the readiest means of 
opposing the Governor, Dr. Philip visited England, taking 
with him two men named Jan Tshatshu and Andries 
Stoffels. The first — a son of the captain of the Tinde 
clan — had been educated at Bethelsdorp and was a pro- 
fessed Christian, the last was a Kat River resident of 
mixed Xosa and Hottentot blood, a clever individual, 
who had been strongly suspected of treasonable inten- 
tions during the war. 

" A Committee of the House of Commons was at the 
time taking evidence upon the condition of the Ab- 
origines of British Settlements. . . . Jan Tshatshu, 
whose father's clan was composed of less than a thousand 
individuals of both sexes and all ages, was represented 
as a powerful chief who could bring two thousand 
warriors into the field. He and Andries Stoffels were 
examined by the Committee, and spoke in accordance 
with their training. Dr. Philip then went on a tour 
through England with these men, everywhere attracting 
crowds of people to see and hear the converts from 
heathenism and enlisting supporters for this cause. In 
stirring addresses in which the most sublime truths were 
mixed with fantastic theories, he appealed to those 
feelings of English men and women which are most 
easily worked upon. His eloquence was amply rewarded, 
his tour was described by his admirers as a triumphal 
procession, in which such incidents were not omitted 
as Tshatshu and Stoffels taking ladies of rank to the 
dinner - tables of houses where they were guests, and 
the enthusiastic cheers with which they were greeted on 



Educated Natives 107 

appearing before public assemblies. The cost to the two 
Africans seems never to have been thought of. Stoffels 
speedily contracted consumption, and died at Cape 
Town on his way back to his home. Tshatshu became so 
conceited and so fond of wine that he was utterly ruined, 
and we shall meet him hereafter expelled from Church 
membership and fighting against the white man." ^ 

In another volume Dr. McCall Theal tells us that — 

" In this attempt to get possession of Fort Peddy the 
Tinde Captain, Jan Tshatshu, took part. After his 
return from England with the Rev. Dr. Philip he was 
puffed up with pride and self-importance, and as he had 
acquired a fondness for strong drink his career thence- 
forward was most unsatisfactory." - 

Speaking of Dr. Philip elsewhere in the same volume, 
Dr. McCall Theal also says : — 

" Yet . . . the man whom he had exhibited in Eng- 
land as a model Christian Kaffir was in arms against the 
Colony and taking part with the murderers of helpless 
Fingo women and children." ^ 

I do not think any mission society will accuse Dr. 
George McCall Theal of being biased or unfair, and 
therefore his statements must carry weight. Speaking 
of the Rev. J.J. Freeman, who published " A Tour to 
South Africa," he says : — 

" The author of this work was Home Secretary of the 
London Missionary Society, and was deputed by that 
body to visit its station in South Africa. A single 
quotation from this book will show how distorted were 
the views of its author. ..." 

^ " History of South Africa,"' Vol. II, p. 136. 

- /did., Vol. Ill, p. 4. ^ Jduf., Vol. Ill, p 60. 



1 08 Via Rhodesia 

Of the Rev. E. Casalis he says : — 

" He and the French missionaries in the Lesuto must 
be regarded as the champions of the wildest pretensions 
of Moshesh." 

Of the Rev. Stephen Kay, also a political busybody, 
he says : — 

" he regarded white men who were not missionaries as 
little better than incarnate fiends," and " the accounts 
given by Mr. Kay . . . were investigated by the Govern- 
ment and found to be strikingly incorrect." 

And there is a great deal more to the same effect. 

Even Livingstone, of whom I am a great admirer, 
has in his " A Popular Account of Missionary Travels 
and Researches in South Africa," given a false colouring 
to the portion of his work which refers to the immigrants 
and settlers, and some of his statements have over and 
over again been proved to be incorrect. 

After I returned to England, in August, 1909, I ex- 
pressed my view that I had not a very high opinion of 
the good of the missionary enterprise, and gave several 
reasons. 

Needless to say, I was denounced at Whitefield's, 
Tottenham Court Road. The Rev. Charles Abel de- 
livered there on the 22nd August, 1909, an address with 
" applause " (see " Daily News," August 23) which 
was supposed to be a denial of my statements, and in 
which he said : — 

" . . . we had recently read of a lady who . . . had 
stated that missionaries had no good influence on the 
natives. He believed the lady meant what she said, 
and he was perfectly willing to admit, that if she went 
to New Guinea she might come back to this country 
and make a similar statement. ..." 



Educated Natives 109 

A Miss M. Blunt, b.a.lond., writing to the "Daily 
News " on August 19, from Cricklewood, says : — 

" Having had a year's residence amongst the native 
people of South Africa, I should be glad if this further 
protest against Miss Mansfield's opinion, a protest based 
on personal observation of missionary work, may be 
allowed to appear in your valuable space. 

" . . . it must be remembered that it is often the 
least worthy subjects of missionary influence who be- 
come known to the traveller or the casual observer. 
The lazy and conceited Christian native, through his 
natural self-assertiveness or conspicuous failings, brings 
an undue proportion of discredit on his teachers." 

But who else than the teacher is to be blamed ? 
Natives without Christian education are quite different. 
Rubbish like Miss Blunt 's is cheap. 

In the " Daily Chronicle " of August 18, 1909, the 
Rev. H. Cecil Nutter has a highly interesting letter in 
which he challenges me with regard to the morality of 
Africans. From this letter I see that this member of the 
London Missionary Society states : " I am not sur- 
prised to read that she has not a high opinion of the 
results of missionary enterprise." He goes on to state 
that I quite truly describe the natives as big, strong, and 
happy, but he considers they are not always happy, 
and he then makes a long statement about morality and 
immorality. There is unquestionably a good deal of 
truth in what he says, but I have heard of more im- 
moral proceedings in London, Paris, Berlin, etc., amongst 
the whites, than I have heard of during my travels or 
afterwards amongst the natives. It is well known that 
the moraUty of the Zulus, Swazies, Pondos, etc., is 
beyond reproach, and to quote again the authority on 
South African History, Dr. McCall Theal : — 



I 1 o Via Rhodesia 

" Another question which has been put to me is 
whether there are any traces of phaUic worship amongst 
the Bantu of South x\frica. To this I can reply : none 
whatever. . . ." ^ 



In the " Daily News " of August 23, 1909, I saw : — 
" Missionary Influence. 

" To the Editor. 

" Sir, — Rev. E. W. Davies, in answer to Miss Mans- 
field's on the above question, quotes Sir H. Johnston 
against her contention that ' missionary influence is 
not really a good thing for natives.' Sir H. Johnston, 
in the ' Nineteenth Century,' November, 1887, writes : — 

" ' . . . In many important districts where they 
[missionaries] have been at work for twenty years, they 
can scarcely number in honest statistics twenty sincere 
Christians. ... In other parts of Africa, principally 
British possessions, where large numbers of nominal 
Christians exist, their religion is discredited by num- 
bering amongst its adherents all the drunkards, liars, 
rogues, and unclean livers in the colony.' 

" Prof. Max Muller, in the ' Nineteenth Century,' 
January, 1885, cites the speech of ' a grand Maori chief,* 
who condemns the influence of the missionaries on the 
natives. 

" Mr. Joseph Thompson, the African explorer, who 
writes in the ' Contemporary Review,' December, 1886, 
' as one having the interest of Christianity deep at 
heart,' speaking of East Central Africa, noticed ' a sort 
of veneer of Christianity, which made a show and looked 
satisfactory only when described in a missionary maga- 
zine.' 

^ " History of South Africa," Vol. Ill, p. 457. 



Educated Natives 1 1 1 

" I don't know if the writers are novel writers, or if 

they made a hurried journey for sensations, but let us 

have fair play. ,, ^r 

^ -^ Yours, etc., k x r- 

A. COODE. 
" Swansea." 

That really kind woman, Mrs. Moffat, at Chitambo, 
whom I asked what good she thought Christianising of 
natives did, answered me : " If we do not teach them 
Christianity now, they will fight in the future ! " 

In Kimberley quite recently some native " prophets " 
were tried for sedition and sentenced. One was a 
kitchen-boy from Mafeking, who with some followers 
went round preaching in the Taungs District that he was 
Jesus Christ, and that he had come to summon his black 
brethren to kill the whites. 

And only a few weeks ago, further " prophets " "of 
the blood " appeared with the same seditious language 
and necessitated strengthening the Bechuanaland Police. 
Several severe sentences were passed upon the main 
mischief-makers . 

If this is going to be the blessing derived from Chris- 
tianity, then I say, stop it as soon as possible. 

Is not, perhaps, Mohammedanising the native much 
preferable ? Reliable people, old residents of Uganda, 
have told me that this latter course is much more de- 
sirable than Christianising. 

The best way to civilise the black is to improve and 
maintain the position of the white. Example means 
much in the teaching of children ; the example of 
whites means everything in the development of the 
native, and therefore surely it behoves everyone in 
England who has the interest of the natives at heart to 
send out in the first place money for proper schools and 
churches for the whites. 



I I 2 



Via Rhodesia 



If some of the many Mission Societies in England, who 
all have the one idea of saving " heathens " in their own 
particular way of salvation, would look more to the needs 
of people of their own colour, then the civilisation of the 
black would follow in natural, though slow and steady 
course. Let the natives become good servants before 
the responsibilities of masters are thrust upon them. 
The old proverb of the beggar on horseback still holds 
good. 

To sum up, I should like to say : Missionaries, do not 
take up politics, do not interfere with natives, but de- 
vote your great knowledge, your powerful resources, 
your organising talents and your many other abilities 
to the welfare of those of our own colour, of your own 
brothers and sisters, many of whom are in great need 
and would be pupils who would remain thankful to you 
to their last days ! 



CHAPTER X 
A Lccfitre 

ICi\NNOT speak too highly of the kind hospitahty 
of the people I met, among whom were many 
interesting men and women of culture and charm. 

A visit to the police camp at Salisbury, and tea with 
pioneer Colonel Bodle, afforded the opportunity of seeing 
a line display of a lightning drill by the Black Watch. 
One of the native soldiers whistled, in lieu of a band, 
and very smart the men looked with neat uniforms and 
bare, glistening black legs. Near the parade-ground 
are the huts where live the wives and children of the 
native police, and what Apollos must seem these soldiers 
to their adoring dusky brides ! 

For three days while at Salisbury I stayed with Mr. 
and Mrs. Marshall Hole, who were very kind to me. 
Mrs. Marshall Hole enjoys the distinction of having been 
one of the first women to enter Rhodesia in the pioneer 
days, and tells a quaint story, showing how women can be 
dainty even under difficult circumstances. 

It seems that she arrived by waggon at a certain spot, 
clothed in a blue serge dress, happy in the knowledge 
that a promise had been given that her luggage, with 
clothing, etc., would arrive by the next waggon transport. 
She naturally expected this w^ould mean living in blue 
serge for three days, but it was three months before 
those boxes arrived, and towards the end of this time 
the settlers decided to give a dance. There were only 
I 113 



114 



Via Rhodesia 



three ladies, but still they decided to dance and be cheer- 
ful. Then came the question of clothes. Of course the 
men could not dress, that was out of the question, as 
there was only one black coat in Salisbury for many 
years, and that was the one owned by Dr. Jameson in 
his dignified position of Administrator. But could a 
woman dance in blue serge when that serge had had so 




CATHOLIC CHURCH, BULAWAVO 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



many weeks' wear ? No, certainly not ; and into Mrs. 
Marshall Hole's pretty little fair head there crept a 
scheme. Saying no word of her secret, she bought 
white limbo (calico) and made herself a dress, draping 
around the low V some of her husband's white silk hand- 
kerchiefs. The night of the dance arrived, and when 
the other ladies saw the confection they both exclaimed, 
" Oh, your boxes have come ! " 
Another story which shows the ingeniousness of 



A Lecture i i 5 

women is told of a lady who had lost all her hairpins 
and used long mimosa thorns instead. 

While in Bulawayo, I was asked to give a few of my 
impressions to a representative of the " Rhodesian 
Journal." I did so, and the B.S.A. Co. have widely 
circulated these impressions in leaflet form.^ I was both 
surprised and flattered when I returned to London to 
find that they had done so, and am pleased that my little 
effort was thus appreciated, for I now feel I have thanked 
them for the kind attention I received throughout 
Rhodesia from their representatives. 

Before leaving Bulawayo I was also approached by the 
President and Secretary of the Loyal Women's Guild 
and asked if I would give a lecture in aid of their funds. 
As I had never given a lecture in my life, I was at fi.rst 
frightened at the idea and then perplexed as to the choice 
of a subject. I eventually decided however on Word 
Pictures,- and was delighted that the lecture resulted in 
obtaining about £20 for the Guild, which Guild, by 
the way, might with advantage now be called the United 
Women's Guild, in view both of the union of the States 
and the supposition that at the present moment all 
women are loyal and that therefore there is no necessity 
to differentiate. 

1 am very proud of the fact that I was the first woman 
to lecture in Rhodesia, where women even as public 
speakers are up to the present practically unknown. 
The audience was most appreciative. I hope other 
women will come forward to assist the numerous funds 
required for purposes of public interest by lecturing on 
various topics, and thus help also the literary talent 
now lying dormant in Rhodesia. 

' See Appendix A. 

2 The report of the lecture, which appeared in the " Rhodesia Journal," is 
,1,'iven in Appendix B. 



I t6 Via Rhodesia 

At the lecture I offered a medal for the best Word 
Picture on a Rhodesian subject, the writer to be a 
resident of Rhodesia. I regret that only nine contribu- 
tions in verse and prose were sent in.^ I obtained from 
j\Ir. John Tweed, the eminent sculptor, a promise to 
design the medal, and seven months were allowed for 
the composition of the pictures. However, everything 
has a beginning, and the nine competitors at any rate 
made a better attempt than did the members of the 
Lyceum Club (over 3000) when some time ago I offered 
two prizes for a poster design. David Murray, r.a., 
promised to judge, and wrote saying he would place 
two days on one side for this purpose. But alas, only 
one poster was sent in ! 

The time I spent preparing the lecture was very en- 
joyable, and possessed of a particular charm. By the 
courtesy of Mr. T. Stevens I experienced the quiet and 
inspiring hospitality of Government House, a house 
built by Cecil Rhodes, and a modest imitation of Groote 
Schuur, some three miles out from Bulawayo. 

Here, on the stoep, looking out on the Dutch garden 
of green lawns, sheltered by orange trees, one could sit 
and dream, with no sound save the songs of the doves ; 
and with the blue sky above and the golden sunshine 
everywhere, one felt indeed that the earth and every- 
thing thereon offered rich colour schemes for word 
pictures. 

I am grateful to " Jack Stevens," as he is endearingly 
called in Rhodesia, for these two days. 

^ The two contributions which were found to be the best by the President ot 
the Poets' Club are given in Appendixes C and D. 



CHAPTER XI 
''Smoke that Sounds'' 

IT was on St. George's Day that I left Bulavvayo for the 
Victoria Falls, and very beautiful were the roses pre- 
sented to me at the station. His Majesty King Albert 
of Belgium, then H.R.H. Prince Albert, travelled by the 
same train, and I had the honour of being presented 
to him. At the Falls we took each other's portraits. 
His Majesty speaks English perfectly, and has a charm- 




H.M. THE KING OF THE BELGIANS AT VICTORIA FALLS 

ingly simple manner. One of his A.D.C.'s, a handsome 
Baron, looked as if he had stepped out of a romantic 
play produced at St. James's Theatre. I wondered if I 
was taking part in the " Prisoner of Zenda," or " Rupert 

119 



I 20 



Via Rhodesia 



of Hentzau." At the Falls we were met by H.H. Mr. 
\\'allace, the Administrator of North-Western Rhodesia, ^ 
and his amiable Secretary, Mr. Francis. Here also I met 




HOUSEMAIDS ' AT VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL 



Dr. Beattie, of the S.A. College, and a very pleasant 
companion I found him. Every day he spent many 
hours in his tent, pitched on the veld some short dis- 
tance from the Falls, busy with a magnetic survey. He 
was good enough to show and explain his wonderful 
compass to me, and one day I took his photograph, with 
his collar off, by special request, because I explained to 
him that he looked so much more interesting without 
the stiff linen badge of civilisation. Prof. Beattie had 
mapped out for himself a tour from the Cape to Cairo by 
nearly the same route as I intended to go. He after- 
wards changed his plans, and I had not the pleasure of 
meeting him again, but I am glad to say he accomplished 

^ N E. and N.W. Rhodesia have now been amalgamated, and Mr. Wallace 
is Administrator of both portions. 



"Smoke tliat Sounds" 



121 






\\ 



that which I failed to perform, for he travelled from 
the Cape to Cairo in one journey and in one year, a 
feat never before accomplished by man or woman. I 
have since heard from him that he walked about two 
thousand miles. One day, I remember, when the Professor 
and myself went by 
boat to Kandahar 
Island, taking our 
lunch with us, we 
spent seven hours 
together, and he re- 
marked that such a 
test meant that if 
we met up country 
we could travel to- 
gether without quar- 
relling. Most tra- 
vellers, it seems, 
quarrel when only 
two are in the wilds 
together. I have 
heard many in- 
stances of this. At 
Kandahar Island, 
which is up river 
about five miles from 
the Falls, and which 
was so named by 
Lord Roberts during 
his visit in Septem- 
ber, 1904, there is an abundance of rich tropical growth, 
and we amused ourselves by making up stories of ad- 
ventures with elephants, which might have happened, 
and I promised I would not tell the newspapers any 
fatter lies than invented that day. 




Pkoi-Kssok HEAiiii': (.\KK^l^l 

A MAGNETIC SURVEY 



12^ 



Via Rhodesia 



Now, the joke is that we really thought adventures 
with elephants an absolute impossibility on that island, 
and I afterwards heard that only a short time previously, 
when the river was low, a herd of elephants had broken 
down the trees on many parts of the island, and also that 
the bobbing up and down in the river through which we 
rowed, and which I took to be huge lumps of weed, were 
in reality the heads of hippopotami, so we really might 
have had an adventure. Rowing-boats or a motor- 
launch can be hired at the Falls for the day. We 
chose a rowing-boat, preferring to be rowed by dusky 
oarsmen. 




AT KANDAHAR ISLAND 



The accompanying photo is of a crocodile which was 
shot by the toll-taker from the bridge over the gorge 
just below the Falls a few weeks before I arrived. The 
photograph was also taken by him. Writing of this toll- 
taker reminds me of a very quaint incident. One morning 



"Smoke that Sounds" 



12 



I left the hotel, saying I would probably not return for 
lunch, and taking some biscuits with me. I further gave 
instructions that if a telegram should come a messenger 
would find me somewhere in the Palm Kloof. Arriving 




CROCODILE SHOT iiN KAILWAN IKIIiGE AT VICTORIA FALLS 

(By kind permission of the shot, Mr. Sloper) 



at the bridge, I gave the same information to the toll- 
keeper. He showed me some wonderful walking-sticks 
he was making out of hippo hide, and told me the 
crocodile-shooting story. I then passed on, crossed the 
bridge, walked some distance along the edge of the cliff 
till I reached a big baobab tree, then turning to the 
left entered the steep, narrow zigzag pathway leading 
down to the wonderful Palm Kloof, which lies at the foot 
of the Falls by the side of the gorge. 

On the way down I saw some natives with picks ; 
they respectfully stood aside to allow me to pass, and 



^4 



Via Rhodesia 



further down the pathway, where the beautiful palms 
rising to the height of forty feet grow densely together, 
I met several more natives. Evidently they had been 




BAODAB TREK 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



removing debris from the pathway, and having finished 
their^work were going aloft. It was rather eerie meeting 
these black men in the dim light and far from any sound 




IN THE PALM KLOOF 
(By kind permission of Mr. Percy M. Clark, photographer, Victoria Falls) 



''Smoke that Sounds" 127 

save the distant rushing of the water, and this was my 
first encounter with natives. They took off their hats, 
and I said " good morning " in much the same tone, I 
fancy, as that in which I should liave said " poor dog " 
to propitiate a strange cur of whose temper I was un- 
certain. Arrived at the bottom of the somewhat steep 
path, I found so much water had accumulated from the 
recent heavy rains, that it was quite impossible to 
remain in such a damp atmosphere, and therefore, after 
a few minutes spent in admiration of the wealth of 
foliage around, thrilled with that sense of awe which the 
roaring waters near must ever bring, I began the ascent. 
The native workmen had by this time all disappeared, 
and when I reached the top I gave the biscuits to a 
native police boy who seemed to be guarding the baobab 
tree, in the shade of which lay the workmen's tools, and 
I returned to the bridge. 

The toll-keeper was about to mount his bicycle to 
ride to the hotel for his midday meal. He informed 
me that no telegram had come for me, and rode away. 

I walked some distance along the pathway leading 
from the bridge, the spray from the distant Falls moisten- 
ing my face as a cool mist, and then I saw to my sur- 
prise that the toll-keeper had dismounted from his 
bicycle and was looking in my direction, apparently 
waiting for me to come up, and when I reached him he 
said : 

" Do you mind. Miss, if I walk by you as far as the 
hotel ? I don't like the look of a man over yonder." 

The man " over yonder " was a white man of tramp 
appearance, and I was amazed that the toll-keeper 
should find it necessary to shield me from a white, while 
he had uttered no word of warning with reference to 
the natives at work in the Kloof. A low w^hite is cer- 
tainly more to be feared than an ignorant black, and this 



128 Via Rhodesia 

the toll-keeper knew. He explained that the white 
man in question was apparently waiting to " jump " 
the bridge, tliat is, cross without paying the necessary 
shilling, while the toll-keeper was at dinner. 

It is said that when the British Association visited 
the Falls a year or two ago, one learned professor looking 
forth from the bridge determined to drop a stone and 
time its fall. After a space of solemn silence he dis- 
covered that he had dropped his watch and still held 
the stone. 

This bridge is on the boundary between North- 
Western and Southern Rhodesia, for though Livingstone 
is only seven miles from the Falls, that town is the seat 
of the Administration of North-Western Rhodesia, while 
the Falls are claimed by Southern Rhodesia and will 
doubtless prove more and more one of its best paying 
means of revenue. 

The relative beauties of the Victoria Falls as com- 
pared with those of Niagara are constantly discussed, 
and a story is told that one day an Englishman and an 
American stood side by side and gazed with speechless 
admiration at the Main Falls of the Zambesi. The silence 
was broken by the American, who observed : 

" I guess it's fine, but Niagara knocks spots out of it ! " 

Now it happened two years later that the Englishman 
visited America, and meeting the American before- 
mentioned, they together visited Niagara Falls, and as 
they stood and looked at the rushing waters the American 
observed : 

" Fine, but I guess your Victoria Falls just beats this 
hollow ! " 

" What ? " exclaimed the Englishman. '' But when 
we were there, you gave the palm to Niagara." 

" Yes," answered the Yankee, " but I hadn't seen 
Niagara then." 



3 ^ 



^ i 




"Smoke that Sounds" 131 

Without the slightest wish to be disloyal or lese- 
majestic, I must confess that the name of the Falls 
seems to be its one drawback. The name Victoria sug- 
gests solid English comfort and stolid dignity. How 
much better would it have been to retain the native 
name Mosi-oa-tunya (" Smoke that sounds "), for truly 
such a name gives in a short sentence a graphic descrip- 
tion of the spray rising many thousands of feet, to the 
far-off traveller appearing as smoke from a gigantic 
veld fire. And the sound, the distant thunder of the 
water's music, a roar of triumph. Nature in her deepest 
notes proclaiming her omnipotence ; what organ built 
by man ever gave so grand a tone ? What trumpet so 
majestic a herald ? 

When the waters move with so much force, man seems 
but a puny monster, a monument of conceit, and to 
the Falls one looks, and there is but one thought within 
the heart : God is great, for God and nature are in 
accord. Near the Falls should stand, not an hotel, but 
a temple, a hall of silence into which one might pass 
from sound to prayer. 

The frame of a great picture had better be of thorns 
than tawdry in design, and so it is with nature ; leave, 
oh, leave, a big margin to the Falls, a space, a some- 
thing of indefinite grass, tree, or bush, let the paths 
lose themselves in underwood and let no notice-boards 
desecrate the spell. What though many, when the 
Falls are better known, will rashly venture too near the 
fatal brink or long to float on the foaming, onward, 
downward vehemence of the milky surface of the Devil's 
Cataract ! Better sacrifice of human life than rails to 
mar and bar the way. 

Such a world-wonder, so beautiful, will ever and 
should ever claim a percentage of human sacrifice. To 
die in Nature's arms must give something of complete- 



I ^2 



Via Rhodesia 



ness even to a commonplace life ; beds are stuffy at 
their best, though considered by many (chiefly the un- 
imaginative) respectable receptacles to be born and to 
die in. 

With what a feeling of awe amounting to dread must 
Livingstone, in November, 1855, have approached these 
Falls ! One can picture him, not standing upright, but 
creeping, crawling nearer and nearer, the spray on his 
face, the sound of the rushing of a thousand oceans filling 
his ears, and every heart-beat a throb of expectation. 
xA.las that it should have been in November, when the 
Falls are not in full flood ! and yet perhaps better so, for 
otherwise there would have been too much unexpected 
marvel. 

Africa, having so decidedly a wet and a dry season, is 
almost like two different lands, so altered is its aspect 
before the rains begin and after the clouds have yielded 
their liquid wealth. If one would wish to see the wonders 
of the framework of the Victoria Falls one should visit 
Rhodesia between September and December, when it is 
possible to examine the walls of the great chasm ; it is 
also possible at this period to walk across to Livingstone 
Island and, in fact, to approach to the brink of the 
naked edge of the Main Falls. I met one man who had 
crossed " Knife-edge," but he declared that to his last 
day he would never forget the awful experience, and 
often now he awakes from sleep imagining he is back 
there again. This Knife-edge is a depression with narrow 
surface which has at one end a dripping grove of palms 
and at the other the termination of the promontory 
which faces Buttress Point across the cauldron. Once 
this spot is reached, one has a splendid view of the bridge 
and gorge, but a slip on the Knife-edge might easily 
mean death, for the rocks are slippery and crumbling, 
and a gust of wind would quickly render balance uncer- 



^~J^ 







:V?S?^-' 4<f >. -X 



^; . 



VICTORIA FALLS. VIEW FROM "KNIFE-EDGE," LOOKING WEST 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



'* Smoke that Sounds" 135 

tain. It is quite possible to enjoy the full beauty of the 
Falls without risk of any kind whatever. 

It is quite impossible for any photograph to give 
even a shadow picture of the great reality of the Victoria 
Falls, for when they are at their best photographic re- 
production is impossible on account of the clouds pro- 
duced by the spray, the damp atmosphere, and the 
constantly changing light. Truly one passes through a 
fairyland even when one only ventures on to the bridge, 
which, like a lace pocket-handkerchief thrown across 
the gorge, binds the two shores together, for beneath, 
above, around, and across one's very person are rain- 
bows of exquisite colours. At the Falls Nature has her 
own cathedral, with arches of luminous colour and an 
ever-sounding anthem of praise. 

Imperishable the Falls, and alike imperishable the 
memory of them. One feels a httle nearer God for 
having been privileged to see so much glory. Each man 
or woman who listens to the spirit of the waters must 
marvel anew at the world and its wonders ; less do we 
seem than the very flies who come to life in its vicinity ; 
one feels inclined to ask, why need the sun worry to 
shine on our little homes when she has also this ? and 
why should the moon ever light our dark pathways, 
when she can make lunar rainbows by smiling upon 
these waters ? Surely none of us are sufficiently grate- 
ful to life, for every human being has a big share of many 
marvels. 

No one who visits the Falls should omit the Rain Forest. 
South Africa, on the whole, is so disappointing with 
regard to tropical verdure that one should cherish every 
possible gUmpse of it. Many visitors imagine that Rain 
is only a name for this tiny forest, and smile at the idea 
of going forth clothed in mackintoshes, but the man or 
woman is wise who wears little else, because the damp 



136 Via Rhodesia 

has a way of penetratini^ and spoiling garments, while 
the spray runs down one's neck and renders collars of 
linen a certain producer of sore throats. Better go forth 
in pyjamas and mackintosh only, walk to and from the 




VIP:\V of ZAMliESI RIVER ABOVE FALLS 

hotel, and have a hot bath as soon as possible after the 
excursion is over. In that way chills and colds are 
avoided. 

The forest gives one the impression of a fern-clad 
borderland between the world of dreams and the world 
of reality, for everywhere the dainty fronds of maiden- 
hair ferns peep forth, and as one walks through the 
strip of forest, knowing that quite close on one side is the 
veld, one feels that one is for the moment in a dream, 
and that regaining the veld will be awakening. For the 
nonce the fascination on the other side will claim and 
frighten, as with the curiosity of the beauty-loving one 
ventures up the narrow paths leading to the boiling, 
seething waters, which fall into the abyss just at one's 
feet, only to run back like timid children trying to re- 
member that the safe hand of the veld is near. 




THE "boiling-pot" 
(By kind permission of Father Nassau) 



" Smoke that Sounds " 



139 



The spray gathers itself into a column, and then, 
spreading into a white canopy, covers the forest and 
sheds its tears of rain, drip, drip, until every leaf is but 
a lip to suck the moisture in, and beneath one's feet the 
earth has become a pool before one has realised one has 
walked so far. 

Then one becomes brave, the fascination is so great, 
and for a few minutes the shelter of the forest is left, the 
veld forgotten, and one stands and clings to the moist 
stones on Danger Point and sees a sight it is worth all 
one's life journeying to see. 

Not away from us, but a part of us, seems the moving, 
living stream. The Falls here, the Falls over there, the 
Falls beyond — the mighty masses of scarce-divided and 




CREAM OF TARTAR TREE AT VICTORIA FALLS 
88 ft. 6 in. round trunk outside curves 



yet disjointed perpendicular oceans rushing with deter- 
mined haste, running a race with time, as though eager 
to overtake eternity, and the chasm beneath, the boiling, 
seething whirlpool, the seemingly bottomless pit into 



140 



Via Rhodesia 



which the waters leap as though fighting an emptiness 
determined to fill, yet powerless to overflow. 

It is too much, one weeps, yet need feel no shame for 
those tears. 




THE "SMOKE THAT SOUNDS" AS SEEN FROM THE HOTEL 



CHAPTER XII 



Livi]igsfojic 



PROFESSOR BEATTIE left the Falls for Broken 
Hill a week previous to my departure (I having 
accepted the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. 
Wallace to spend a few days at Government House, 
Livingstone), and laughingly he assured me that he 
would jump all my carriers should they be waiting for 
me. That week the new train service began whereby 
it was possible to reach Broken Hill spending only one 
night in the train instead of two en route. This train 
did not contain a dining-car, and the picnics which used 
to ensue may well be imagined. Also, to enable the 
engine-driver, fireman, and guard to sleep, the train did 
not travel during the night, and camp-fires used to be lit 
by the side of the raihvay line. But the old order 
changeth, and now the run is made in a much shorter 
time. I really thought the amiable professor would 
have a good laugh at me when, immediately after his 
departure, I heard that the Kafue River had risen to 
such an extent that no more passenger trains would 
be allowed to pass through. It seemed I was to be left 
behind altogether. When I arrived at Livingstone, 
however, the Administrator kindly said he would see 
what could be done, for I urged that at the close of 
my visit I must go over the floods by boat if no other 
way was possible. 

Livingstone is to a town what a heading is to a chapter, 

141 



142 



Via Rhodesia 



a hint of wliat it will become, and doubtless before many 
years have passed a prosperous town will be established. 
The inhabitants are ambitious and surprisingly up-to- 
date in their ideas. The great thing in settlements is to 
have the right kind of leaders, and in Rhodesian towns 
it is a noticeable fact that the officials are cultured men 
and their wives charming women. Sport is naturally at 




AN artist's corner 
(By kind permission of Mr. P. M. Clark) 



present the chief pastime, but as opportunity arrives art 
too will hold her own. Everyone reads, many are 
musical, and conversation has as much and often more 
of interest in it than the bored talk in European towns, 
where too often one depends on the footlights for topics 
and newspaper scandals for wit. There is only one 
drawback to Rhodesian society, there are not enough 
women. Often a dinner-party consists of eight men 
and two women in North-Western Rhodesia, while 



Livingstone 143 

further north — well, in 540 miles I saw only one white 
woman, and she was a missionary's wife, to see whom I 
went twenty-five miles out of my way. 

Everyone has read " Alice in Wonderland," and will 




H.H. MR. WALLACE, ADMINLSTRATOR OF NORTHERN RHODESL\, 
AND MRS. WALLACE 



remember the Cheshire cat that was all smiles — well, 
Government House resembles that cat in that it is all 
verandah and very little house. One afternoon while I 
was there Mrs. Wallace gave an " At Home " garden 
party, and over seventy people were given tea at little 



T44 ^^'^^ Rhodesia 

tables on that verandah. The Secretary, a positive 
Admirable Crichton, arranged the tables, and I volun- 
teered to do the flowers. While thus occupied a murder 
case was being tried in a room close to me in the house. 

This verandah was a charming sight, for many flowers 
and creepers festooned the archways, through which one 
had glimpses of the garden beyond. The women wore 
pretty frocks, and a native band of drums and fifes 
discoursed music on the lawns below. 

According to arrangements wliich had been made, 
H.M. the Queen would have stayed at this house during 
the King's shooting trip, on His Majesty's visit to South 
Africa, as Prince of Wales, to open the Union Parliament. 

While I was there a wild dog entered the larder at 
night and eloped with a ham. This ham w^as intended 
to be turned into sandwiches for my journey further on, 
so I felt specially grieved at the theft. 

But a stolen ham is nothing compared with a lost 
mail bag. Before Mr. and Mrs. Wallace came to Living- 
stone they were at Fort Jameson, N.E. Rhodesia, and 
Mrs. Wallace gave me a copy of the following notice, 
that was issued from Fort Jameson on the 9th of Septem- 
ber, 1907 : — 

"Postal Notice No. 8 of 1907. 
"Missing Mails 

" It IS HEREBY NOTIFIED for general information that 
the carriers conveying the European and Colonial Mail, 
due to arrive at Fort Jameson on the 8th September, 
1907, were attacked by lions near Mlflo's vfllage, Peatuke 
Division, on the evening of the 2nd, and in consequence 
abandoned some of the bags and fired the grass. 

" The mail_^bag despatched from Southampton on the 
3rd August was partially destroyed by lions and fire. 
The bag despatched from Salisbury on the 21st August, 



Livingstone 145 

one of the bags despatched from Livingstone on the 
24th August, the Kalomo bag of the 24th August, and 
one bag from Broken Hill of the 26th August have not 
been recovered, and it is feared that they have been 
almost totally destroyed. 

"(Signed) H. A. Baldock, 
"Comptroller of Post and Telegraphs." 

In Livingstone one either drives mules or, if a visit 
to the Falls is desired, hires a little trolley, when no 
train is running, and travels along the rails. On a clear 
day the spray from the Falls is discernible as a distant 
misty cloud in the sky, and the roar of the water can 
be distinctly heard when the wind blows from that 
direction. 

There is a charming little hospital at Livingstone ; 
the verandah around is mosquito-proof, and one imagines 
one is observing a human Zoo when looking through the 
network at the patients lounging on low chairs reading 
or dreaming the hours away. All hospitals throughout 
Rhodesia have a staff of trained nurses. 

At Livingstone there is also a well-equipped hotel, but 
what are really needed are good ready-money general 
stores, not only for Europeans, but also for natives. In 
fact, throughout Rhodesia one should meet more shop- 
keepers of English blood with the sound principles of 
commerce for which so long the English have been noted. 
One meets too often the Jewish, Indian, and German 
trader ; they reap the profits, and the country does not 
benefit because most of the money goes out of the 
country. 

" English Traders for English Colonies " would 
not be a bad motto, but the Government is powerless 
to act ; a trading licence is applied for, and, no criminal 
record being produced against the applicant, is granted 



146 Via Rhodesia 

on payment of the recognised fee. It is not a question 
of preference, for up to the present the Englishman as a 
trader has practically put in no appearance. Everyone 
wants to be a mineowner and to become quickly a 
millionaire. This is naturally absurd. On the other 
hand, there is a great future for the Englishman of brains 
and conscience who will not regard trade as beneath his 
consideration. 

With regard to the stores, I have no grudge against 
the Jew or the foreigner, but I should like to see a few 
Englishmen make money. At present the Jew and the 
foreigner seem to be collecting all the plums. Great 
credit is due to them for their energy and enterprise in 
superintending labour, and building their own fortunes, 
but, oh, you Englishmen, what a chance you are losing by 
leaving the trading to others ! 

It is time that the tin shanty in Rhodesia should 
vanish from out the land, and in its place well-built 
stores be erected, and business carried on with less 
credit and with more sound business principles. 

Not only a fortune, but the thanks of the whole com- 
munity await the individual who will start the first 
ready-money store. Of course, a separate building will 
be necessary for the native trade. Only where there are 
no blacks the black is your brother. 

With ready-money trading copper coinage could be 
introduced, making the condition of things better. 

The Kaffir stores at present in existence are not only 
unsightly, but also in many cases a snare to the native. 
The Government is powerless to interfere in a matter 
of private commercial enterprise, but the credit system 
as existing is not a good one. A native wishes to obtain 
a tin trunk ; he pays a deposit and is presented with 
the key ; he must not take the trunk away, but may 
come when he likes and deposit his belongings there and 



Livingstone 147 

lock them up. Then comes a day when he cannot pay ; 
the contents often make good compensation for an un- 
paid debt. And who is to prevent stolen articles from 
being hidden there ! Then, supposing a man wants to 
buy one yard of limbo (calico) and the price is 4d., 
there being no coppers he must buy three yards for is. 
or pay 6d. for the yard, as the smallest coin in circula- 
tion is the " tickey " or threepenny-bit. I am glad to 
say I have not seen such a store kept by a countryman 
of mine, but how much better it would be if the English 
would take more kindly to trade. Why should these 
others step into our Colonies and reap the benefits ? 

There are at present no motor-cars in Livingstone, 
but the late Administrator, Mr. Codrington, had a motor- 
bicycle, with which he thought the natives would be 
very much impressed ; they, however, evinced no sur- 
prise at its speed or its machinery, so thinking to im- 
press them, he explained that one day flying machines 
would be in vogue. This information, however, also 
failed to impress. 

" What white man wants white man gets," was the 
reply. A very simple contrivance will often impress a 
native far more than an intricate one, the latter being 
as much beyond the limits of his comprehension as the 
stars are to one who knows nothing of astronomy. 

Mr. Codrington had a favourite native boy, and on 
one of his visits to England he took the boy with him 
and asked the man who afterwards told me the story, to 
take him to the Hippodrome. 

Instead of enjoying the entertainment, however, the 
native begged with tears in his eyes to be taken out, 
and he said : " There are lions over there (pointing to 
the stage), and I am the only black man here." It is a 
well-known fact that a man-eating lion will make a meal 
off a black in preference to a white man if it is a question 



148 Via Rhodesia 

of choice. Perhaps the flavour is stronger and the taste 
for white flesh (hke caviare) has to be acquired ! 

No penniless person is allowed to enter Livingstone. 
I heard that the awkward predicament of not having 
enough money was often averted by a crafty money- 
lender, who for half-a-crown would lend the necessary 
£10, w^aiting for the would-be borrower outside the 
boundary and receiving back the money as soon as the 
examination terminated. 

It is quite easy to walk from Livingstone to the 
Falls along the railway line, and a delightful walk it is, 
but not without danger, for the river is full of hippos, 
which often come to land for a stroll along the banks, 
and if one leaves the rails for the river one should 
beware of holes in the soft turf, as the spoor of a hippo 
is a deep and dangerous trap for unwary ankles. 

If large and unusual beetles are trophies to be desired, 
very fine specimens can be found in the early morning, 
for at night these black creatures fall into the space 
between the rails of the railway and, being unable to 
return, die from exposure. 

Every year a regatta is held at Livingstone, and some 
very fine cups are competed for. There is also a very 
good cricket team, and there are rifle clubs for both men 
and women. 

Clergymen visiting the Falls often extend their visit 
to Livingstone, and by kind permission of the Adminis- 
trator hold services in the Court House ; it is hoped, 
however, that soon a church will be erected ; nearly 
£1000 have already been collected, and only £3^^ ^.re 
yet required. Here, again, is a suitable opportunity for 
those in England religiously inclined to help their white 
sisters and brothers in the wilds. 

One morning during my stay at Livingstone a dress 
parade of native troops was given ; the light was good, 



Livingstone 149 

and I was able to take some snapshots of this most 
interesting and smart display. 

Civilisation leaves nothing alone ; natnral talent and 
patient persuasion give way to trained efforts and uni- 




1^ 



liiniiilli^^ 



DRILLING 



form practice. The native band of drums and fifes will 
soon become but a memory, for brass instruments have 
been introduced to the camp, and the tunes, so varied 
and learned entirely by ear, are to be replaced by ortho- 
dox music. Oh, those early morning efforts to play five- 
finger exercises on cornet and trombone ! How they 
worried the performers and harassed the hearf;rs ! 
Doubtless more melody has been introduced by now, 
and future royal visitors will be met by a fully equipped 
brass band. 

Livingstone possesses a newspaper of its own, which 
is published, if I remember rightly, twice a week. A 
charming pictorial Christmas Number is also issued. 



150 Via Rhodesia 

There is also a circulating library, which, as weh as the 
newspaper, is the outcome of an enterprising chemist, 
who further has claim to public appreciation by giving 
gramophone concerts on the stoep outside his shop on 
Saturday nights. 



CHAPTER XIII 
Agriculture 

TO succeed in Rhodesia you should be Jack of many 
trades and master of all — have the pride which 
produces enterprise, but not the vanity which 
cripples work. 

It would be wise for the small capitalist who wishes 
to make a living in Rhodesia by trading or farming, to 
take first a situation of some sort at a nominal wage, 
and study the outlook and gauge the requirements. I 
have a bone to pick with the Chartered Company on 
this matter. At the stations, or bomas, throughout the 
parts of Rhodesia sparsely populated by whites, natives 
are taught and employed by the officials of the Company 
as typists at salaries which, though small from a white 
man's point of view, are large for natives. Would it 
not be advisable in a country where more white popula- 
tion is required, to reserve every kind of work of a nature 
capable of being done by white men or women for white 
men or women ? These small salaries would be a boon 
to the wife or daughter of a small farmer, and would at 
any rate keep from starving the white man on the look- 
out for something better. It would, in fact, in the long 
run pay the Chartered Company to increase the salaries, 
or at any rate provide housing room free of charge to 
enable white men to fill these minor positions, and at the 
same time keep the native at his natural work, which is 
manual labour. 

151 



I =;2 



Via Rhodesia 



One man told me that for some time he received by 
messenger letters from the office of another man wlio 
lived some distance away, and though he was certain 
that these business letters were written by the native 
typist he could not understand why at the end of the 
letter the initials " N.C." came after the native's name. 
He sent a private letter to his friend asking for an ex- 
planation. 

When the native gentleman was asked why he added 
these initials he replied conceitedly : 

" N.C. may stand for Native Commissioner, but it 
also stands for Native Clerk ! " 

Twelve pounds a month, a free house, meat and birds 
to be had for the shooting, and enough vegetables grown 
as the result of a few hours' labour, is not a position a 
young man should despise as a beginning. It is better 
than starving on a pound a week in a London office. 
Neither whisky nor expensive Egyptian cigarettes can 
be bought on ^f 12 a month, but the boy is better without 
it, and around him is the land, which he has the op- 
portunity to study, above the sunshine, and every- 
where freedom ; there is no one to care if his clothes 
are new or old, there is no rushing to catch the early 
morning train, no eating of stale buns at tea-shops, when 
his hunger cries for meat, but a chance, a great chance, 
that the land around may one day be his, it is so cheap, 
so easily acquired, and needs so little as a start to end 
in a prosperous farm. 

Just a free passage out, and the Chartered Company 
have another white man on the land, and every one 
counts in a country where one can travel a hundred 
miles at a time and not meet more than two whites. 

N.W. and N.E. Rhodesia have since my visit (1909) 
become amalgamated, with Mr. Wallace as the Adminis- 
trator of both. This country, the size of France, forms 



Agriculture 153 

the whole of Northern Rhodesia, and is practically the 
property of the Chartered Company. That it has a great 
future before it, there is little doubt ; neither its mineral 
nor agricultural resources have been sufficiently tested 
as yet. There is much scope for the prospector, and still 
a greater certainty for the agriculturist. 

Of course, when the small capitalist decides to try 
his fortune in Rhodesia he must first make up his mind 
as to what he wants most, a quick return with a get-at- 
able market or a slower result and more sport. Rhodesia 
is of such huge dimensions that this must be decided 
upon before taking up land. In the south, the railway 
assures a quick and certain market, but on the other 
hand the land is more expensive and labour is dearer. 
For example, the native pays 5s. a year hut-tax in the 
south and 3s. in the north, and the cost of the white 
man's living can be reckoned accordingly. There are 
expenses in the south not to be met with in the north, 
but then again cattle produce can be more easily dis- 
posed of in the south, whereas in the north one has to 
wait. But in the north there is plenty of sport, there 
are no social expenses, and there is the hope that some 
day the railway will come. 

Farmers can obtain a supply of native labour for an 
average wage of los. to 12s. 6d. per month in the north, 
and 15s. to 20s. in the south. As a rule a food allow- 
ance of about 3 lbs. of mealie-meal a day is added, but if 
it is possible to procure sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and 
similar vegetables, the allowance is naturally shortened. 
Good drivers are more difficult to get, and local boys 
who have been trained for this work often receive 30s. 
a month, whereas the Cape drivers often receive £3 a 
month and their food. All household work is per- 
formed by natives, who receive from 15s. to 45s. per 
month, with food. They readily adapt themselves 



I 54 Via Rhodesia 

as houseboys, cooks, and " nurses " to look after the 
children. 

I read with great interest the report on Rhodesia of 
Mr. Hannon, Superintendent of Agricultural Co-opera- 
tion in the Cape, and think that his remarks should be 
more universally known in England. I will append a 
few extracts, from which can be seen this expert's 
opinion on a few questions of vital importance to an 
intending settler : — 

" Notwithstanding the fact that my opportunities for 
observation were limited and that I visited the various 
districts when the season was at its best, I have still 
no hesitation in stating that from an agricultural point 
of view it is perhaps the finest country I have ever seen. 
I have from time to time during the past thirteen years 
been employed to investigate the conditions of agricul- 
ture, and the circumstances affecting farming economics 
in almost every country north of the equator, and I 
cannot remember having seen anywhere so remarkable 
a combination of all those qualities of soils that in the 
hands of capable and intelligent people are the essential 
elements of agricultural prosperity. . . . 

" I was astonished to find some of our most valuable 
English grasses, such as Timothy, growing with great 
vigour among the rich natural herbage of the veld. In 
some of the beautiful stretches of valleys I saw arable 
land in many respects not inferior to the Carse of Stirling. 
Many of the large tracts of flat country resemble the 
great wheat and maize-carrying areas in the middle and 
Western American States, and I have seen no portion of 
the country which did not lend itself to the conservation 
of water and to what has come to be known in modern 
agriculture as dry-soil farming. . . . 

" In my opinion the outlook for the farmer settler who 



Agriculture 155 

is energetic and has a fair amount of capital is more 
hopeful in Rhodesia than in any part of the British 
Empire. . . . 

"Water is always near the surface, and facilities for 
small irrigation schemes and for the use of the water- 
drill are obvious almost everywhere. . . . 

" In many parts of Rhodesia which I have seen, 
economic fibres, pineapples, ramie and rubber, could 
probably be introduced as paying crops, but these should 
be in the hands of a competent expert having experience 
in tropical culture. . . . 

" I am satisfied that the most profitable way in 
which the large volume of surplus milk, which, it is 
stated, is available on many farms during half the year, 
can best be dealt with is by conversion into cheese. . . . 

" Especially cheese-making seems to me to offer an 
enormous field of development. There is no reason 
whatever why Rhodesia should not become a cheese- 
exporting country, as with the existing opportunities of 
feeding with hay and ensilage properly bred cows may 
be kept in milk for the greater part of the year, and the 
cost of production would certainly be as low as in any 
other part of the world. . . . 

" With the increase of cattle and the possible en- 
largement of flocks of Persian and other sheep, the dead 
meat industry will shortly become a subject to be dealt 
with on a large scale. There seems to me no valid reason 
why, in the course of a few years, Rhodesia should not 
secure at least a portion of the dead meat trade with 
British markets through the port of Beira. . . . 

" There seems practically no limit to the extent to 
which mealies may be cultivated in Rhodesia. . . . 

" I have gone very carefully into this question of 
mealie cultivation, and, after thoroughly discussing the 
matter with the best farmers in the country, the average 



156 Via Rhodesia 

crop may be taken as ranging from six to ten bags per 
acre, and the cost of production may generally be esti- 
mated at about, under existing conditions, 3s. 6d. per 
bag. Many farmers put this figure much higher, but 
no evidence has been submitted to me sufficiently con- 
vincing to show that excellent crops cannot be produced 
at the figure given. 

" In the present state of European markets the de- 
mand for maize is constantly increasing, and the output 
both from Russia and America has a constant tendency 
to diminish, and therefore it need not be anticipated 
that a farmer may sell his bag of mealies at a lower price 
than from 6s. 6d. to 7s. delivered at the nearest station or 
siding. With anything approaching fair production, this 
return ought certainly to be regarded as highly profitable." 

Surely these extracts form a most valuable testimonial 
to Rhodesia. 

In Rhodesia, the Cape land measurement is used, land 
being surveyed and sold by the morgen. This measure- 
ment is slightly different from English measurement, 
1000 Cape feet being equal to 1033 English feet, and a 
morgen of land, consisting of two Cape acres, is therefore 
equal to 2'ii654 English acres. 

The short ton of 2000 lbs. is used. 

I have been informed that since Mr. Hannon wrote 
the report from which I have quoted the above extracts, 
the Rhodesian railways have undertaken to receive 
mealies at any station between Bulawayo and Umtali, 
and to dispose of the same at market prices on account 
of the sender on arrival in England, and to remit the 
amount realised by the sale less 2s. 6d. per bag to cover 
railage, shipping, wharfage, insurance, etc. This is 
similar to the arrangements which have been made in 
the Transvaal and the Free State, and many instances 



Agriculture i 5 7 

have come to my notice where farmers in these countries 
received as much as lis. 6d. per bag at the station. 

As I have already said, he who wants more sport must 
go further north. Probably the Game Laws of Northern 
Rhodesia will shortly be modified, but for intending 
settlers I will give a summary of the present regulations, 
which, however, does not in any way profess to be a 
full statement of the law. Intending hunters must care- 
fully read the various proclamations. 

All game is divided into four schedules : No. i consists 
of birds and small buck, which may be shot by anyone 
for a £1 annual licence. No. 2 consists of the ordinary 
big game which may be shot by residents for £5 annually, 
with the limitation to three eland-bulls, one koodoo-bull, 
five bulls and three cows of the sable antelope, and three 
zebra. Game which may not be shot except under an 
Administrator's licence, which costs £50, is contained in 
Shedule No. 3. 

A game licence does not cover the sale of game, for 
which a special licence must be taken out. 

Vultures, secretary birds, owls, and rhinoceros birds 
are protected on account of their usefulness, and may 
not be hunted at all. 

No licence is required to kill noxious animals, such as : 
lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, baboon, snake, crocodile, 
and birds of prey. 

The duty on guns intended for Rhodesia is : for a single 
barrel, £1, for a double barrel, £1 los., and in addition 
an ad valorem duty of ten per cent, which is payable 
at the first Administration station in the territory. 

As I have already stated, special permits are required 
to take arms into the country. 

The Cape Dutch names for lion, leopard, and spotted 
hyena are leeuw, tiger, and wolf ; and the native names 
in Rhodesia are tau, n'kwe, and setongwani. 



CHAPTER XIV 



'.b 



BEFORE proceeding with details of my further 
journey north I should like to give a few notes 
on mining, from which intending settlers will 
be able to see for themselves what markets there are 
at present in Southern Rhodesia, and what immense 
possibilities the near future offers, not only for this 
portion, but for the whole of Rhodesia. 

The production of gold continues to show an increase 
over previous years, the output for 1909 being £2,623,708, 
or a total since 1890 of £14,455,233. The total output 
of a few other minerals has been : silver 991,235 ozs., 
copper 216 tons, lead 4596 tons, coal 757,622 tons, 
chrome iron 50,642 tons, zinc ore 13,156 tons, and, further, 
asbestos, antimony, scheelite, wolframite, and diamonds 
have been produced. 

In the early days very little systematic prospecting 
was done, and people only acquired and prospected 
reefs on which the ancients had worked. In consequence 
very few virgin properties have yet been touched, and 
surely no one will assume that the ancients had dis- 
covered all the paying gold reefs. The recent discoveries 
in the Abercorn (S. Rhodesia) District have attracted 
much attention, even from the large Transvaal groups, 
and the finding of payable values in this formation, which 
is unique, may lead to many more valuable discoveries, 
as similar formations are at present being properly 
prospected in other districts. 



Mining 159 

The Chartered Company's Resident Mining Engineer, 
in his report for the nine months ended September 30th, 
1909, states : — 

" In reviewing mining matters in Southern Rhodesia, 
the most pessimistic must confess that the industry 
to-day is on a much sounder footing than ever before 
in the history of the country. This position to a very 
large extent has been brought about by serious hard 
work among the small workers or individual prospectors, 
who are responsible for several valuable discoveries, 
amongst which may be mentioned the Shamva and 
Lonely Mines. There has also been a marked improve- 
ment in some of the large mines, and the proving of 
some extremely good values at comparatively great 
depth has undoubtedly established a feeling of confidence 
that has never existed in the past. There has been a 
marked increase of new-comers to the country, and an 
increased activity in all mining centres is to be noticed." 

What better inducement can be held out to an enter- 
prising, energetic farmer than the markets created by 
the mines ? In September, 1909, these already existing 
mines employed 34,308 native labourers, each of which 
it roughly costs 14s. a month to feed. 

I know nothing about mining, with all its intricacies, 
but I have seen in Southern Rhodesia that the so-called 
small worker has had a most successful career. I there- 
fore think that a large number of such men will make a 
home in Rhodesia, meaning naturally that a further 
demand will be created for agricultural products. 



CHAPTER XV 
At Rail Head 

THERE appeared in the Press, local and otherwise, 
the official notification that on account of the 
height of the floods of the Kafue River no 
passengers or parcels would be carried beyond this spot 
until further notice. What was to be done ? A wire 
came stating that my carriers had arrived at Broken 
Hill and would be ready to take me north as soon as I 




f 




PREPARING TO DRAG THE COaCH THROUGH THE FLOODS 



could get there. Mr. Wallace kindly wired for further 
information, and then arranged that I might go through 

1 60 



At Rail Head 



i6i 



with a coach if natives could manage to drag it through 
the floods — as a letter ! for mails were to be taken if 
possible. I am quite certain that I have the distinction 






.^... 




THE POSTMASTER IN DIFFICULTIES 




of being the most weighty epistle yet carried by the 
Rhodesian mail. 

With a feehng of deep gratitude to H.H. the Adminis- 
trator and Mrs. Wallace for their great kindness and 
hospitality, I left Livingstone and boarded the train 
bound for Kafue. Although the ham had disappeared in 
so cruel a manner, yet I went forth armed with a tea- 
basket filled with plenty of food for the journey. On 
the train was a Native Commissioner, whom I had 
previously met, and we decided to join food forces and 
picnic together; he had fish and I had fowl, and so the 
journey was enlivened with a veritable feast. 

At Kalomo Station I saw a herd of tame elands stand- 
ing with some cattle close to the railway ; they looked 
quite happy, and were as tame as the cows. Kalomo 
was at one time the seat of the Administration for N.W. 



1 62 Via Rhodesia 

Rhodesia, but the site proved so unhealthy that the 
officials were transferred to Livingstone. The advocacy 
of Kalomo as a health resort is said to have been the 
only mistake ever made by the great explorer Living- 
stone. It proved to be quite the reverse, and it was at 
considerable cost that the change of the seat of the 
Administration was made. 

The Native Commissioner who travelled by the same 
train was accompanied by a bitch and litter of pups, 
and when we arrived at his destination, I said I should 
quite miss the wee beauties, and he replied : 

" If I thought you wouldn't throw him away, I would 
give you one." 

** But I should love one," I cried, as the train was 
moving, and the result was that a little black pup was 
thrust back hurriedly through the carriage window. 
After that the little mongrel was my constant com- 
panion. I named him "Ugly." 

Rarely have I seen a more beautiful sight than the 
floods around Kafue. The river had overflowed its banks 
to such an extent, that for considerably over a mile 
the land had become transformed into a beautiful lake, 
a huge surface of water covered with water-lilies. These 
flowers, of exceptionally large growth, were of the most 
delicate shades of pale mauve and white ; their long 
stems, like tubes of india-rubber, could be seen deep 
down in the clear water. 

Kafue Station was quite unapproachable. The station- 
master, armed with the mail bag, bravely set forth on 
a raft to deposit the letters on the coach, which, mean- 
while, had been detached from the engine. I stood on 
the front platform, and was keenly interested in w^atch- 
ing the arrangements for dragging the coach through 
the water to the bridge, on which another engine was 
waiting. 



At Rail Head 



163 



A very stout rope was fastened to the coach, and a 
hundred natives, Hke athletes in a tug-of-war, seized 
the rope, and with much shouting pulled with all their 
might. The funniest sight was the head-boy cracking 
a long whip and beating, not the boys but the water, as 
with wild gesticulations he urged them on. It took 
over an hour to drag the coach through the mile and a 
quarter of water-lilies. 

In front of us the bridge, a structure of thirteen spans, 
and each span a hundred feet, but around on either side 
water glistening in the glory of the African sun, above 
the blue of the sky, a canopy of azure edged with flame- 
tinged clouds, away in the far distance green trees and 




DRAGGING THE COACH THROUGH THE FLOODS 



verdant land, and, flying across the space between a 
radiant heaven and a beautiful earth, large birds with 
white and grey plumage — it was a sight to dwell for 
ever in one's memory. 



164 



Via Rhodesia 



On the bridge the waiting engine was attached, and 
also the white coach of the doctor, who twice a week 
journeyed down from Broken HilL I was kindly invited 
by the doctor to join him and another man for dinner, 




AT KAFUE BRIDGE 



and later, in dense darkness, we arrived at Broken 
Hill. 

That night I made my first acquaintance with a hut, 
for a very comfortable one was given to me to sleep in. 
This hut, I learn, is hereafter to be called Mansfield 
Lodge in honour of my visit. 

I remained three days in Broken Hill, and during that 
time received much consideration from all the officials. 
And what a jolly party they were ! I used to take my 
meals at their united mess, and one day they proclaimed 
a half-day's holiday so that I might tell all their fortunes. 
What a picture they made, seated round the table, so 
eagerly watching the cards ! 



At Rail Head 165 

The tall, handsome sergeant was called Maude because 
his name was Allen, and another man was called Lottie, 
his surname being Collins ; in fact, all had nicknames, but 
unfortunately I have forgotten them. One man played 
the piano quite well and sang many songs. The Magistrate 
was the best banjo player I have heard off the profes- 
sional platform, and the cheery Government Agent, well, 
he is universally known as a man who is only unhappy 
when he is not helping someone. He even tried to find 
me some reliable doves ! but it was not to be. 

Doves seem to be the musical sparrows of Africa. How 
plentiful they are, how tame, but yet how elusive if 
one is on shooting bent ! The cooing of the doves is a 
sound as much associated with Africa as the humming 
of the veld beetle, the singing of the crickets, and the 
croaking of the frogs. 

Wherever there are trees, there are doves, graceful 
birds of soft, pale grey plumage ; their voices are sweet 
and low yet very distinct as they coo to each other at 
sundown, that sweet, brief period between flaming day 
and starlit night. When out in the wilds one wishes to 
find water ; the doves will lead you there, for thither 
they fly every evening. There are doves everywhere, 
near the towns, in the gardens, and again hundreds of 
miles away from the railway — truly the doves are one's 
most constant companions, and yet how wild they are ! 

Armed with a gun, and dreaming of a possible pie, 
you follow the cooing of a dove. Now it is on the right, 
you are quite certain, and turn in that direction ; then, as 
though playing a game of touch-about, "coo coo" sounds 
far away on your left ; then you fancy, in fact you are 
sure, that you see two fly to a tree in front of you, you 
throw up a stick to dislodge them, for it isn't good sport 
to shoot a bird on a bough ; "coo coo " sound the gentle 
mocking voices behind you, and you decide that shooting 



i66 



Via Rhodesia 



doves may be good exercise for your legs, but you need 
not overburden yourself with cartridges ! 

Quite a number of people, I find, are under the erro- 
neous impression that the recently opened railway into 
Congo territory, of which Broken Hill is the terminus, 
is another link in the original route of Rhodes's scheme 
of a Cape to Cairo railway, and that the Tanganyika 




>' -^j 



MANSFIELD LODGE, liROKEN HILL 



Concessions Mines are situated near Lake Tanganyika; 
they are even further distant than is the Victoria Falls 
Power Company in Johannesburg from the Victoria 
Falls — with which it has no connection whatsoever save 
that it has usurped the name. 

The rails, when they leave Broken Hill, branch off to 
the north-west instead of to the north-east, and lead 
no nearer Cairo from the Rhodesia end than before. 



At Rail Head 



167 



This new railway is certainly of benefit to Rhodesia, 
because it brings more traffic through, but what would 
really put N.W. and N.E. Rhodesia on the same com- 
mercial footing with Southern Rhodesia would be a 
railway from Broken Hill to Tanganyika, or as near 
the lake as sleeping- 
sickness regulations 
permit, taking the 
route past Serenje, 
Mpika, Kasama, and 
Abercorn. The last- 
named place must 
not be confounded 
with the Abercorn in 
the Salisbury district 
of Southern Rho- 
desia, which has 
recently acquired no- 
toriety on account 
of newly discovered 
gold finds. Aber- 
corn, in N.E. Rho- 
desia, is within a few 
miles and within 
sight of Lake Tan- 
ganyika. 

Doubtless one day 
the railway will em- 
brace these 540 miles, 
and then, indeed, 

will the country prove a rich harvesting ground for 
farmers ; the land is so cheap now that it should 
prove a good investment for those who can afford to 
wait. 

At Broken Hill there is a very interesting bone cave, 




POSTILLON D AMOUR FROM LIVINGSTONE 



1 68 Via Rhodesia 

discovered only witliin the last two years ; it contains 
remains of animals which are supposed to have existed 
before the Stone Age. 

Excavations are being made, and developments are 
watched with interest, by Dr. McKnight, w'ho is very 
enthusiastic about the subject and quite an authority 
on the relics, a number of which he has examined. So 
far no human remains have been discovered, but many 
bones of animals now extinct have been unearthed. 
The cave probably became at some time hermetically 
sealed, and the teeth and bones have been preserved 
by the proximity of zinc, this same zinc which 
is the despair of the shareholders of the Broken 
Hill lead mine, for so far it has been impossible to 
separate the two minerals, and the lead is therefore 
impure and cannot be smelted. Experiments are still 
being made, and hopes are entertained that a successful 
process may yet be discovered. A fortune awaits the 
man who finds it, because at present these mines are 
worthless. 



CHAPTER XVI 



Coffon-gro7C'iiig 



RHODESIA should appeal to Manchester, the 
home of the cotton industry, perhaps more 
than any other British Colony, for the limbo 
(calico) is money, and a yard of white or blue calico will 
often purchase a meal where silver is refused. I have 
offered a shilling for two small fowls and been asked 
instead for two yards of limbo, worth about 8d. here and 
costing probably less than 4d. originally — thus one is 
forced to trade and save money against one's will. 

A man once told me he had a dreadful dream, he 
dreamed he was in hell, and his special task was to 
wheel a heap of refuse from one place to another and 
fetch the same back again. I know little of commerce, 
but it seems to me that to grow cotton in Rhodesia, send 
it to Manchester, and after it has passed through the 
mills receive it back again, is as useless and senseless as 
that man's imagined task, especially as Rhodesia is just 
the place where mills should be erected ; the cotton is 
grown there and thousands of acres are awaiting further 
cotton cultivation ; the land is cheap, there are plenty 
of rivers and waterfalls for power ; labour is cheap, 
and, above all, the material, when finished, is saleable 
on the spot. When I was at Broken Hill the Government 
Agent showed me 250,000 yards he had in stock, and 
said his last order had been for a quarter of a million, 
and this not for a trading company. Millions of yards are 
» 169 



IJO 



Via Rhodesia 



imported every year. The African Lakes Company must 
sell an enormous quantity, and every trader throughout 
the country simply must have it. I should strongly 

advise one of the 
leading cotton mill 
owners in Manches- 
ter to send a re- 
sponsible man to 
Rhodesia fully to in- 
vestigate the matter. 
Not only are soil 
and climate believed 
to be very suitable 
for the production 
of Egyptian and 
American upland 
cotton, but this 
cotton is stated to 
represent a type for 
which the demand 
is increasing more 
rapidly than the pro- 
duction. Last year 
something like 300 
bales were shipped, 
and of a recent con- 
signment from the 
Experimental Farm 
near Kafue, twelve 
bales were sold in Liverpool at 13d. per lb. I was told 
that it is expected that this year fully 100 tons will be 
exported, and I understand the Government contemplate 
erecting a central ginnery at a convenient site on the 
raihvay as soon as the expansion of this industry warrants 
such a step. 




'-^^yiik 



THE AUTHORS FIRST ATTEMPT AT CLEANING 
MEALIE-MEAL 



Cotton-growing 1 7 i 

The question of coal will doubtless interest anyone 
who may think of introducing mills into Rhodesia. 
An important discovery has recently been made not 
sixty miles from the railway at Broken Hill ; the area, 
which covers about forty square miles, is now being 
developed. 

Good coal is also obtainable from the Wankie Collieries, 
the owners of which are at present improving and ex- 
tending their plant, so that in future they will be in a 
position to produce about half a million tons a year. 

With regard to the price of native labour in the Kafue 
district, the wage paid is 4s. to 6s. a month, with food ; 
two yards of limbo a week would be sufficient for each 
man to buy his own meals with. The labourer's only 
expense is his hut tax, which in N.W. Rhodesia is only 
5s. a year ; his hut, of course, he builds himself, and 
he has his land free. In N.E. Rhodesia the hut tax is 
only 3s. a year — which, considering the productiveness 
of the land and the lazy lives the able-bodied men lead, 
is, I think, far too small. 



A 



CHAPTER XVII 

The Mac J III la 

T Broken Hill the African Lakes Company have a 
store ; there is also a small hospital ; the Court- 
house is a round hut near which are the police 
boys' quarters, and the homes of their wives and numerous 
children. At Broken Hill the caravans are made up for 
those who wish to travel further north if on hunting or 
pleasure bent. Some travellers take this route for Fort 
Jameson, a matter of eighteen or nineteen days' journey 
by machilla, and the Government Agent superintends 
the despatching of the carriers. 

My men were camped about two miles out from 
Broken Hill, so as not to receive contaminating influence 
from other natives, because the forty-nine which were 
to form my caravan were of the Awemba tribe and had 
come many miles to take me many more. 

They were absolutely without education, and there- 
fore considered honest, as indeed they also proved to be. 
Some were of very fine stature and all were unencum- 
bered by much weight in the way of clothing. 

I shall never forget what a weird sensation I experi- 
enced when I first saw the herd. It seems their chief 
or head boy, the capitao, had been asking the Govern- 
ment Agent on their behalf if I was very fierce. 

To be candid, I felt somewhat smaller than the smallest 
worm I had ever seen. 

First of all the machilla team were sent for, to carry 

172 



The Machilla 173 

me from my hut to the store, so that I should have my 
first experience of this, to me, new kind of vehicle. I 
found the machilla, a hammock slung on a pole and 
carried by a boy at each end, very easy to get into. I 
got in, and off we set. 

How those savages shouted and yelled ! The first 
sight of me, I thought, made them angry, they looked so 
fierce, but I was assured that they were really pleased, 
and sang, " They had to carry me a long, long way, but 
did not mind, as I did not weigh much." 

Their next song and chorus consisted of the informa- 
tion that they had to take me to Tambalika, and if any 
harm came to me there would be trouble with the 
tribe. I befieved in the veracity of the translation at 
once^ — it was so comforting. 

I did not feel quite so happy at night though. It 
happened thus : the doctor, the Government Agent, and 
I, were invited to dine with a man who lived some little 
distance from the boma (boma means stock-head or 
home, and is usually a station for white people). The 
Agent was to go on his bicycle, and my boys were again 
to be sent for to take me in the machilla. 

It was quite dark when I came out from my hut, 
ready to start. Dusky forms were squatting all around 
on the grass. I got into the machilla, and then, just 
as my men were told to start, the Agent had to stop to 
read a letter. A minute afterwards I knew that the boys 
had left the road and were making for the open veld, 
and I thought they had not lost much time in running 
away with me. The darkness lifted, suddenly the 
machilla stopped, and in the faint starUght I saw one 
dusky face after another peering into mine. I had, 
thanks to my morning ride, grown accustomed to two 
men carrying me and ten others shouting round, but 
now there seemed to my excited fancy to be dozens of 



^74 



Via Rhodesia 



men. Still they came, and how they stared ! Their 
shouts suddenly turned to silence and only their great 
dark eyes seemed to speak, but what they wished to 
say I could not fathom, I felt too frightened. For a 
moment or two I really thought that they had bolted 
with me ; I wore no hat, and my hair seemed to attract 
the most attention ; the boys holding the machilla did 
not attempt to lower it, and so I concluded that after all 
this host of men had stared their full I was to be carried 




M\ CARRIERS 
To author's right the michilla, to author's left the tanga-tanga boys 



on elsewhere. Then I heard in the distance a loud 
whistle ; a voice shouted, off started the boys at a 
quick trot, and I was soon joined by the Agent. It 
seems my boys had concluded the way across the veld 
was a short cut, and then found they did not know 
the way. I had, of course, only been a short time alone 
with the dusky cavaliers, but it had seemed long, for 
it must be remembered I had never been in such close 
proximity to natives and had never spoken to one, and 
the first experience was the worst. The crowd of men 



The Machilla 175 

was accounted for by the fact that all my carriers had 
escorted the machilla team, so anxious were they to 
see the white Donna. How I wished I knew their 
language ! One boy would start a few words in a 
sing-song chanting way, and then the others take the 
last two words and make a refrain of it, and so they 
sang and shouted till we reached the house where we 
were to dine. The Agent bicycled by my side all the 
way, and seemed at times amused by the song. They 
sang about me the whole time, and it seems that 
though they had seen one or two white women before, I 
was the first sample of a fair one they had come across ; 
the fact that a woman was to be their bwama (master) 
also interested them greatly. 

Concluding that we had had sufficient noise for one 
night, the boys were dismissed at the house, for, a moon 
seeming likely to put in an appearance, we decided to 
walk back to the boma later. 

After dinner mine host played the mandolin, and then 
we all walked together to the doctor's house, to look 
at his collection of bones from the wonderful cave, and 
I was given a huge tooth, supposed to be of some gigantic 
species of pig, as a souvenir. 

After bidding the doctor and his friends good night, 
we walked back to the boma, arriving about i a.m. 
En route I had my first experience of listening to the 
sickly cry of a hyena singing to the moon. I did not 
sleep much that night, the surroundings were so novel, 
and my mind was full of the many hunting-stories I 
had heard during the day. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
Sunset and Lightning 

REALISING how difficult it would be until I had 
acquired the knowledge of a few words of the 
native language to make my men understand 
me, I consented to having a youth as interpreter when 
first I left Broken Hill, on the understanding that as 
soon as I wished to dispense with his services I could 
do so. 

This boy had been assisting in prospecting near the 
new Rhodesia-Congo Railway, and was anxious to know 
more of Rhodesia, so he brought his small tent and 
bicycle, and I saw him often during the first few days 
out from Broken Hill, and quickly learnt to shout 
" Hema " when I wanted my tent put up or down, or 
order " Chy " if tea was desired. Before I left Broken 
Hill the natives had christened me " Donna Chabwina " 
(Lady all right), and the name stuck to me throughout 
the journey, only being changed further north into 
" Mama Chasama," which has the same meaning. I 
do not know if the spelling is correct ; native words are 
all spelt phonetically, thus " c's " and '' k's " are used 
by different people for the same word, and both may be 
equally correct. 

Just as my caravan was ready to start, and the tanga- 
tanga boys (carriers) had marched ahead with the 
baggage, it was found that the boy who had been en- 
gaged as cook had run away. Another boy, an Angoni, 

176 



Sunset and Liohtninij 



177 



who was to be gun-bearer, said he could cook, and so, 
hoping that at one of the bomas I might chance on a 
cook-boy, the Angoni was told off to be the chef. This 
meant at once engaging another boy to carry the Angoni's 
blanket, for a cook is a man of dignity and carries only 
himself. This gentleman, by the way, started the 
journey in a grey suit and cuffs, the only boy who had 
any complete garments, but within twenty-four hours 
his suit had disappeared, and instead he wore a woman's 




MY LITTLE " UGLY " AND THE FRIENDLY DONKEY 



white chemise and trousers, the chemise hanging down 
like a skirt over the trousers. 

Everyone at Broken Hill mustered in force to say 
good-bye ; photographs were taken, and amid much 
shouting off we went. When in Salisbury, Mr. Marshall 
Hole had told me that after leaving Broken Hill I must 
not fail to visit Mr. Christian's farm, about six miles out. 
We arrived, however, to discover that Mr. and Mrs. 
Christian were unfortunately away. A friendly donkey 
came and looked at me, and the man in charge showed 



178 Via Rhodesia 

me his two wives, who made excellent pliotographic 
models. They wore flat, round plaques at their necks, 
special tribal charms, the kind of jewellery which since 
my return has come into fashion — dear, dear ! to think 
that in such matters North-Western Rhodesia should 
lead the way ! But the world is small, and afterwards, 
when I saw the henna-plastered heads in North-Eastern 
Rhodesia, I thought, after all women are strangely 
alike. 

The Boers have a saying, " Cross the river before 
you camp," and they are wise, for one never knows 
how much higher it will rise during the night, the African 
rivers being mostly narrow but swiftly flowing. I had 
my first experience of crossing a river when w^e reached 
Mulungushi, which had become much swollen by the 
recent rains. I looked at the deep rushing water in 
dismay ; no bridge, no huge stones, nothing but the 
tallest of my machilla team kneeling down and pointing 
first at the water and then at his head. Never shall I 
forget that acrobatic crossing ; I can truly say my heart 
was in my mouth. 

Men on either side supported my carrier, for the water 
was swift enough to carry him off his legs, stahvart as 
they were. I clung on to the wool of his head, and 
wondered how many hours would elapse before I found 
myself back in Broken Hill Hospital. No, I do not 
like neck-riding, and, if the water is shallow enough, 
much prefer a " pick-a-back," although the natives do 
not quite understand the latter and will flock round to 
push up your feet in front, which gives a feeling of un- 
certainty to the spine. On the other side of the river 
was pitched my first camp. I sat on the veld and 
watched the sunset, while the tanga boys collected wood 
for fires and the machilla boys put up the tent. 

And what a wonderful sunset it was ! Clouds had been 



Sunset and Li^htningf 



i>' 



1/9 



gathering during the afternoon, and now waves of grey 
were transformed as if by magic into waves of vermiUon, 
in a few minutes to be changed again, broken up this 
time into countless separate jewels ; all colours seemed 




WHERE THE "PLAQUE" FASHION ORIGINATED 



there, purple of the amethyst, yellow of the topaz, the 
pink of the carnelian and a gathering veil of deep blue 
sapphire, a jewelled shelter for the night through which 
soon diamonds would sparkle as stars crept out. 

Worship within stone walls ? Not when the glories 
of the sky made the stained-glass windows of cathedrals 
seem but faint echoes of memory, so faded are they in 
comparison, and we thrust back recollections, fearing 
lest the imitation of the past should steal somewhat 
from the splendour of the real and present glory. 

The next morning it was nearly seven o'clock before 
the boys were ready to march, but later on I managed 
to get away earlier. 

A camp looks dismal in the morning, with the grey, 
sullen remnants of dead hres, and if the morning is cold 
and misty the boys seem as incapable of movement as 



1 80 \' ia Rhodesia 

flies in winter, nor do they begin to sing until the sun 
has warmed them and the day again is bright. 

I had been given a Ust of names of villages and rivers 
I might pass, unless I left the mail route, which I did 
for some days. Villages have a way of getting shifted ; 
for instance, Kawai, formerly about thirty-five miles 
from Broken Hill, I discovered had come to town, so 
to speak, and resided only seventeen miles out. On 
this second day out I sighted a reed-buck, and leaving 
my men, who became silent as the grave the moment 
they saw a possible meal ahead, started off to walk 
through the long wet grass, one boy coming with me. 
I really think that the eagerness in that boy's face, the 
glitter in his dark eyes, and the grace of his silent, 
crafty movements, interested me more than the buck. 
We had a long and tiring walk, for the buck darted 
away just as I took aim ; however, when up to my 
knees in swamp, and feeling that shooting was an over- 
rated game, the buck ran back right across my path- 
way only about fifty yards off, and stood still to listen. 
I fired, but only wounded a leg, so I quickly fired again, 
and victory ! at the price of tired legs, was mine, for 
I had not yet become accustomed to the long grass, 
and the rain-soaked land was hard to walk over. 

The men were delighted, and quickly found the buck, 
waving green branches of trees, and loudly singing and 
dancing, as they carried their bleeding burden to their 
companions. To be candid, I don't much like killing 
things, but I did enjoy the liver for dinner that night. 

At first one is astonished at the manner in which 
natives not only find their own way, but know so much 
as regards locality and distance. It is never wise for a 
white person to go even a short distance from a camp 
without a native in attendance ; he will guide you back 
to camp, no matter if he knows little or nothing of the 



Sunset and Liuhtninij i8i 

country, and, as I said at first, you are astonished, and 
then you realise that for generations these men have 
had Nature's lessons, and they are far more happy in 
their knowledge than they will be when books will 
contradict and education mystify. 

Removed from civilisation, one quickly learns some 
of Nature's simple lessons. I never went even a few 
yards away from my camp alone without observing in 
which direction the sun cast my shadow, knowing that 
to return safely I must reverse that shadow, and I met 
a man once who always used his shirt button as a sun- 
dial and glanced at it when he wanted to know the time. 
But the sky is the finest timepiece of all, and in the open 
you soon can read its news. 

The second night, it had rained just before sunset, 
and no gorgeous colours swept the sky, but a still greater 
marvel occurred. The rain had ceased, and in grey 
veils of clouds the sun had sunk, when came the still, 
silent, short period which in Africa divides day from 
night; a clear and yet not a brilliant light of palest amber 
lit up one portion of the sky, and stencilled against it 
in bold, perfect outlines appeared a gigantic statue of a 
man ; it seemed to be a colossal statue of Cecil Rhodes, 
a far less imperfect statue than is the one seen in a 
certain direction when driving to the Matoppos, which 
has not been carved by man but is a curious develop- 
ment of the stones. Just then the white boy interpreter 
bicycled into camp. I pointed to the sky and asked 
who was it. " Cecil Rhodes," he replied. And then 
I saw that many of the carriers were also looking and 
pointing to the sky. The picture was in reality formed 
by the dark trees against the light, which soon faded, 
and the statue was no more. That night a thunder- 
storm burst forth over the camp ; it was my final adieu 
to rain, for I saw no more in Africa that year. 



1 82 Via Rhcxlesia 

One gets quite accustomed to lightning in Africa, it 
is one of its chief characteristics, and I think attrac- 
tions ; it comes sometimes with an organ accompani- 
ment of thunder, when the Hght flashes and the earth 
seems to spht beneath one's feet, while one expects to 
see the heavens open and reveal all their hidden wonders, 
but more often the lightning is dancing or gliding across 
the sky without sound to herald its approach, with 
movements more beautiful perhaps because of the silence ; 
we must look and watch, our ears are resting, the music 
of motion is enough. 

It is night, and suddenly you see, behind a bank of 
dark clouds, a shining silver snake running along on 
its belly, trying to wriggle out, or as a silver rocket the 
light leaps upward and cuts the clouds with a shiver and 
a spring, and the sky is like a cracked looking-glass. 

Sometimes the lightning comes in spreading sheets, 
and illuminates the sky behind the grey clouds and turns 
them to curtains of rose-pink beauty, or the night is 
cloudless, and you have an uninterrupted view of the 
whole of the horizon, and then the wonder of travelling 
flashes of lightning will astonish and hold you spell- 
bound. From east to west, from north to south, no 
matter which direction the living light has chosen to 
travel, it will cross the entire archway, rivalling the 
travelling stars in speed and beauty, for it is a long, 
luminous serpent, a gigantic comet, with a quivering, 
moving tail. 

Lightning, as well as stars, will appear in or change 
to various hues and colours. I have seen both lightning 
and stars of yellow, pink, and blue, and the illuminating 
power of lightning is wonderful, for on a dark night, 
when neither moon nor stars appear, it is not only 
possible but pleasant to walk across the veld, saved 
from pitfalls, knowing that the constant flashes of 



Sunset and Lightning 183 

lightning will guide you, so incessantly they come, 
seeming not to leave the sky at all, but as revolving 
lights to continue their luminous movements. 

Truly not the works of man, nor the fertility of the 
earth, but rather the marvels of the sky proclaim the 
nearness of the gods. 



CHAPTER XIX 

Cainp-fij^cs 

A MODE of letter delivery which might be pro- 
ductive of many romantic adventures prevails 
in the unpopulated parts of Rhodesia. A hears 
that B has been seen by some natives camping fifteen, 
twenty, or thirty miles away. A sends a letter by 
native bearer, and that letter is shown to every white 
person the impromptu postman may meet. It is un- 
likely that a stranger will be in those parts, but on the 
other hand two or three might be travelling through, 
and during my journey I was twice stopped and shown 
letters. The first really was for myself. This letter 
came from a man engaged in collecting hut tax, who 
had camped at Shayiwira's village ; it stated that he 
had heard that I, or someone resembling me, had camped 
at a stream near ; would I come to tea, and would I 
bring my own cup and saucer ? It was quite exciting, 
this letter in the wilds, and I directed the police boy who, 
having delivered the letter, stood at salute, to show my 
boys the way to his " bwama." 

When I reached the white man's camp I found him 
seated — or should I say enthroned ? — on a substantial 
chair at an important-looking table ; round him, squat- 
ting on the ground, were groups of natives, all of whom 
had come either to pay their tax or to offer produce for 
sale. This produce is often called a present, but in 
that light has a Gilbertian meaning, for no white man 

184 



Camp-Hres 185 

receives presents from the natives, and one has to give 
money or hmbo in exchange. If called a present one 
feels one cannot refuse, and so buys unnecessary meal 
or unwanted sweet potatoes, but if the native in the 
beginning offers to sell them, it is much better, for then 
you can give a downright refusal. 

The Native Commissioners lead very lonely lives when 
out collecting hut taxes ; not infrequently they have 
to travel in all directions round their own boma a 
radius of several hundred miles. All the Native Com- 
missioners in Rhodesia are well-educated men, often 
coming from universities and public schools, yet such is 
the fascination of the land, they would not change their 
lives for that of a town d\veller. 

This particular Commissioner expressed his regret 
that I had not come by the mail road, as then I should 
have seen his wife and little boy, who were settled in a 
small boma about eighty miles from Broken Hill. 
Another man joined us, and pitching my tent near 
theirs, I spent a very delightful evening. Our dinner, 
produced by the combined efforts of two cooks, was 
quite a success, and the flames from the camp-fire round 
which we afterwards sat, seemed to spring up with notes 
of exclamation at the stories told. How I wish I could 
remember only half the stories I heard on my journey, 
but they have faded as did the camp-fires by which I 
sat listening to them. 

Here is one which is not fiction but fact : — 

" Knew man of same name, a surveyor, eh ? Well, 
I never knowed Mickey Currie survey much except the 
points of a horse or the chance of a haul, or — well, yes, 
he could survey a bottle of whisky in half the time it 
took any other man. 

" Mickey was fine. He stood six foot two in his socks, 
and had a big heart. He was always the first to pass 



I 86 \^ia Rhodesia 

liis ' British warmer ' to a pal, and never let anyone 
else take the blame if he was in the wrong. I remember 
one day he was standing on a cart, trying to blot out 
Boers, when he says to me as how he was short of 
ammunition. I says, I would fetch some if he would 
take charge of my carbine, and, if I did not come back, 
see it was brought in. ' Right you are,' says he, and off 
I went. Now I hadn't gone far before I saw a rough 
Tommy lying on his stomach. I stooped down to find 
out what was the matter with him. Not dead, not ill 
neither, nothing but funk, sheer funk. He laid there 
with fists doubled up, like a sick puppy ; then I met 
the Major, and told him how the land lay. He soon got 
that Tommy up, and ordered him to walk to the most 
exposed portion of the line or be shot w^here he then 
stood in double quick-time. Fine man, the Major ; he 
knew how to cure nerves. Well, I got that ammunition 
and went back, but by then Mickey had moved away, 
and so I had to return to camp, but not a sight of my 
carbine could I see, and when the counting began I 
was in a pretty fix. One carbine short and that mine ! 
Awful disgrace ; yes, and the order came rapping out 
that I must go up for court martial next day. However, 
Mickey got wind of it, and came and spoke up for me, and 
then as the carbine was found and could be counted in, 
nothing came of that court martial, but it seemed to make 
Mickey and I greater pals than ever, and a few nights 
later Mickey came to me, and, says he : 

" ' Tom, are you game for a share in a loot ? ' 

" * Rather,' says I ; ' what's on ? ' 

" ' Get my horse through the guard-line to-night,' 
says he. 

" ' A tough job, but I will try,' says L ' What are 
you after ? ' 

" ' Tell you later,' says he, laconic like. 



Camp-fires 



i8 



/ 




" Well, that night fortunately there was no moon ; I 
ain't much of a man as to size, as you see, and I just 
wriggled myself 
through that guard- 
line flat on my 
stomach like and 
going slow. I knew 
Mickey's horse well 
enough, and once 
through I just un- 
hitched him and he 
was free. Mickey, 
t'other side of the 
line, gave a low 
whistle ; the horse 
pricked up his ears, 
he knew that whistle • 
sure enough, and 
galloped through the 
line to Mickey, who 
mounted him bare- 
backed and rode 
away, right past the 
sentries, and then 
on and through the 
Boer lines. A brave 
thing ? Rather ; I 
told you Mickey was 
no ' stiff.' Well, to 
make the story short, 
Mickey tethered his 
horse to a tree and 
walked bang into a 
farmhouse where seven men were seated at a table ; 
they had charge of £380 of the Commandant's money. 




PALM TREKS 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



iSS Via Rhodesia 

How Mickey got scent of it, the Lord Almighty knows, 
I don't ; but, ' hands up,' says Mickey. You see, they 
had the money, but Mickey had his gun and six foot two 
of soUd flesh behind him. Well, they handed over that 
there bag of gold, and away went Mickey. I was waiting 
for him, for the horse must be put back. Yes, it made 
me sweat a bit, but I did it, and Mickey handed over 
the share of the plunder. 

" Next day, though, we nearly got found out, for 

Mickey put his ' oof ' into the stufhng of his saddle, and 

going over a bit of rough road, a few quid slipped out 

and fell in the path. The Major saw it and called a halt. 

" ' What's that ? ' says he. 

" ' Why, blowed if I haven't gone and broke the bank,' 
says Mickey. ' My savings, sir,' he added, saluting, and 
the Major, good sort the Major, says, ' All right,' and 
on we went." 

" And what became of Mickey eventually ? " asked 
a man, tapping his pipe against a half-burnt log. 

'' Ah, Mickey, he went into the Colony for a bit, but 
there was not adventure enough for him there, so as 
there was a row on in German East Africa, off went 
Mickey, and a bit of trouble he gave those Germans, I 
can tell you. He and two other men used to raid horses ; 
well, they — they caught him in the long run, and poor 
old Mickey was shot, he and the other two. Oh, but 
he was fine, was Mickey ; no fear, and six foot two in 
his socks. Yes, thanks ; I won't say no to a drink." 

Sometimes one hears a different kind of story, one of 

folk-lore, such as the following, which savours of ^Esop : — 

" Once upon a time a Lion met a Rabbit. The meeting 

took place in N.W. Rhodesia, so the authenticity of this 

story cannot be doubted. 

" * Good morning, Mr. Lion,' said the Rabbit timidly. 
" ' Good morning. Master Rabbit,' replied the Lion 



Camp-fires 189 

with a patronising tone in his voice, adding with mocking 
cruelty, ' I intend to eat you.' 

" ' Dehghted, I am sure,' quavered the Rabbit, trying 
not to show how his knees were shaking. 

" ' If you have any message you would like to give 
to your mother, you can tell the breeze,' continued the 
Lion, with the air of conferring a great favour. 

" ' Thank you, Mr. Lion ; thank you very much ; 
but first won't you let me show you what a clever little 
Rabbit I am ? ' 

" 'All right,' said the Lion ; ' I shall probably be bored. 
The performances of others usually bore me, even the 
roaring of other lions.' 

" ' I don't doubt it,' said the Rabbit, with just the 
glimmer of a smile in his left eyelid. 

" ' What can you do ? ' asked the Lion, placing his 
imperial body beneath the shadow of a tree. 

" ' If, Sir, you will deign to walk to the top of yonder 
granite kopje and roll down the biggest stone you can 
find there, I will catch it in my mouth,' said the Rabbit, 
and then he nibbled a few leaves off a shrub near. 

" The Lion smiled when he saw the Rabbit eating, 
and thought of the story he had once heard of the custom 
amongst civilised people of allowing a man to choose 
his breakfast before he was hanged. 

" ' Certainly, I will do so ; the little walk will sharpen 
my appetite,' he observed, moistening his lips with his 
long pink tongue, and then away up the kopje he walked. 

" Now the Lion's sense of humour w^as well de- 
veloped, only in developing it had acquired a cruel 
strain, so when he saw at the top of the kopje a stone 
three times the size of the Rabbit, he thought to him- 
self : ' Ha, ha, if I roll this stone down, how surprised 
Mr. Rabbit will be, it will certainly crush all the conceit 
out of him,' so he pushed the stone and set it rolling. 



1 90 Via Rhodesia 

" Now kings of men have not always shown their 
monopoly of all the human brains, and kings of beasts 
often fall short of that same commodity, and so it 
happened that the little Rabbit had been allowed by 
some beneficent fairy to become possessed of quite a 
fair share ; his body was small but his thinking pro- 
found, and when he perceived that the Lion had left 
him he crept behind a bush and waited for the stone 
to arrive. 

" At last it came crashing down the kopje, disturbing 
the peace of sundry pink grasshoppers and brown 
Hottentot gods, and the Rabbit stood out of the path- 
way of the stone until it was quite still, then quick as 
lightning he darted out and licked the stone, covering 
it with the green leaves he had been chewing and moisten- 
ing it with the saliva of his tongue ; then he waited for 
the Lion to arrive. 

" With his nose in the air and a superior snort in his 
voice the Lion came, and then found to his intense sur- 
prise that the Rabbit, instead of being crushed, wore the 
expression of a serio-comedienne when she is taking a 
' curtain.' 

" ' What,' cried the Lion, observing the green leaves 
and saliva on the stone, ' you have done it ? ' 

" ' Yes,' answered the Rabbit, adding, ' but not until 
to-day have I had the honour of performing before 
royalty ! ' 

" The Lion swallowed the compliment as though it had 
the flavour of a youthful buck, and said : 

" ' And I suppose you think you are the only one 
who could do it ? ' 

" ' Craving your pardon, I am afraid I do think so,' 
answered the Rabbit. 

" ' And I will quickly prove you are wrong by doing it 
myself,' replied the Lion loftily. 



Camp-fires 



191 



"Now that was exactly what the Rabbit wanted, but 
he tried to look crestfallen instead of pleased. 

" ' Go to yonder kopje and roll down the biggest stone 
you can find/ ordered the Lion, waving his tail in lieu 
of a sceptre ; and Master Rabbit ran away to obey the 
imperial command. 

" Now the Lion really believed that the Rabbit had 
caught the stone previously rolled down, and having 
been told so often by travellers (who had never travelled 



y isw- 




■^f^^-JM^'^--M^ 



■m 




TRAPS FOR CATCHING DIRDS 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 

further than story-books) that he was king of beasts, 
he decided that what a mere Rabbit could do would be 
easy work for him, so when a huge stone came rolling 
down the kopje he lay down and caught it in his mouth ; 
but, alas ! for his imperial pride, the stone knocked out 
all his teeth, so that when the little Rabbit came down 
he had the laugh against the Lion, for the Lion was 
unable to eat him. 

" And ever afterwards the little ' Kalulu ' (Rabbit) 
was regarded as a hero for having saved from certain 
death all the other rabbits in the neighbourhood." 



192 Via Rhodesia 

I was told that quite a number of the native stories 
resemble ours ; for instance, our story of the hare and 
the tortoise is closely related to theirs of the " duiker " 
(a species of antelope) and the tortoise. 

" A tortoise met a duiker and challenged him to race 
to the next water. The duiker started off with a bound, 
then lay down within sight of the water and went to 
sleep. After a while he was awakened by a loud laugh ; 
the tortoise had quietly passed and stood triumphant 
by the side of the stream." 

Natives have a way of remembering white men by 
incidents or descriptions rather than by the white man's 
name. The first man to open a store launched by the 
African Lakes Company wore spectacles ; the natives 
named him Mandala, the man with the double eyes, and 
to this day they speak of the stores as the Mandala 
stores. It is also interesting how a name given by a 
native spreads amongst tribes who have never met. 
Tell any native in or near a Rhodesian boma to take 
you to Mandala, and you will find yourself at the store. 

A white man died, and one native, to whom the white 
man was known, asked another native as they sat by 
their camp-fire over their evening meal : " Do you re- 
member so and so ? " mentioning the white man's name, 
but the boy addressed shook his head, and then the 
other boy explained : 

" He is the baas who took out his teeth and put them 
into a cup without any water, and the rats came and 
took them away, and he never had any teeth after." 

Then the other boy grinned broadly and replied, " J ah, 
jah," he remembered ! 



CHAPTER XX 

Loneliness 

WHEN I returned to England, the two sentences 
I heard most often were : " But were you 
not frightened ? " and " How lonely you 
must have been ! " 

I confess I was often frightened. One morning 1 
particularly remember ; it was a few days after I started. 
We found water at about twelve o'clock, and so I cried 
" Linda," which means stop, and decided to wait there 
with my machilla boys until the carriers should catch 
us up, bringing food, cooking utensils, and other things 
with them. 

I alighted from the machilla and sat down on the grass ; 
it had been too hot to walk during the last hour, so hot, 
in fact, that I had loosened my coat and taken off my 
revolver and belt, which I forgot all about when I got out 
of the machilla, leaving them under a cushion. The men 
sat round me in a ring and stared at me. I was still 
a new and I suppose a strange specimen to them, and 
they sat nearer than I quite liked ; I did not know 
how to tell them to move away, and I would not myself 
get up, determined never to appear frightened, even if 
I felt so. Then one of the men fetched me a cushion, 
and in doing so discovered the revolver. He took it 
out, I feeling the while somewhat clammy with fear as 
I watched him, for the men — eleven of them — were 
moving ever nearer me, and all their dark eyes were fixed 
upon my face. They saw me look at the boy standing 

o 193 



194 ^^^^ Rhodesia 

holding the revolver, and glanced at him, then looked 
back again at me. The boy pointed the revolver to me 
as though to show he knew how to hold it — and I 
managed to smile and held out my hand for him to give 
it to me. He at once gave it to me, and I then pointed 
it at him, and all the men laughed ; the tit-for-tat 
seemed to them a joke. Then I got up and pinned a 
piece of white paper out of my pocket-book on the trunk 
of a tree, and showed them all that I was able to hit it. 
No one ever touched my revolver again — in fact, I took 
good care always to have it with me, in my belt by 
day and under my pillow by night — but I soon ceased 
to have any feeling of fear \^hen with my men, or appre- 
hend any ill-treatment from them when alone in ni}' 
tent. They were all, with the exception of the Angoni 
cook, Awembas, and mutilation for generations has 
been the pet pastime of this tribe, but they have their 
own system of crime and punishment by cruelty, and at 
any rate behaved to me — an unprotected woman — with 
the greatest chivalry and kindness. I met more than 
one man when in the Awemba country who had had 
his hands cut off for running away with another man's 
wife, or for theft, and who dare say the punishment 
was not just ? It certainly was more effective as a pre- 
\'entive of future error than our civilised action for 
damages. Honour with us is compensated for by money, 
with them by blood. 

The Awembas on this point are to be congratulated. 
If more blood were shed in Europe there would be less 
dirty linen washed in the divorce courts. 

At the native dances a man does not dance with a 
woman until he has asked her husband's permission. 

Women, to be thoroughly happy, m.ust be properly 
protected or entirely free. In Europe they are neither, 
and hence the unrest. 



Loneliness 



195 



With regard to the conchision that I must liave been 
very lonely, let me hasten to say that I don't believe 
loneliness and life on the veld have any connection with 
each other. Many have written on the loneliness one 
experiences in crowds, but I never met a man or woman 
who had really lived a veld life who considered loneli- 
ness a bar to happiness. In fact, in Africa, if any dis- 
content exists amongst women it is usually found in the 
towns, where the social obligations of European cities 
are aped and too much gold dust has turned otherwise 




TRAP FOR CATCHING SMALL GAME 
(P>y kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



decent folks into snobs. The woman who in the true 
sense of the word is her husband's chum, loves the life 
of the lonely farm or the out-of-the-world boma. 

In cities I have met men and women who could not 



196 Via Rhodesia 

endure their own company unless asleep. How little 
such people know of themselves, unless indeed they have 
no inside to read ! Maybe they are human covers, that 
is all, frames whereon are hung the fabrics invented by 
others, and their lips speak only the little learning their 
feeble memories have retained of the teachings or lives 
of others. 

To be alone is first to criticise oneself, to be almost 
startled at the thoughts that come from dusky corners 
of the mind into which one has not had time to peep 
while surrounded by the noise of the world. Perhaps 
one may even become morbid, but only for a very short 
space. The balm of nature is very healing, and one 
forgives not only oneself but others, and steps into peace, 
a dreamland, where no disturbing voices come to argue 
that life is different from that which it now appears to be 
— a harmony. 

The moment one has to touch oneself, so to speak, 
and feels that nothing is real, and yet that all is real and 
memory a dream, from that moment the joy of solitude 
has entered into one's heart, never again to be dethroned. 
A tiny flower chanced upon unexpectedly is more than 
a flower, it is a fellow-traveller by the wayside, and one 
greets it before one passes on ; the clouds travel with 
one, the wind, and animals, and birds are our talkative 
travelling companions, for everything is travelling with 
us across the earth, we are all going on and on and on 
to see the sun rise to-morrow, to see it set to-morrow 
night, to see it rise again the next day. 

We are travelling through life, and the whole earth 
seems to be ours to travel across, so long as no human 
habitation is seen and no voice speaking the language 
we spoke in that other world comiCS to disturb our 
dreams. 

Autumn is beautiful in England, with its glory of 



Loneliness 197 

fading leaf, but it comes only once a year, lasting but 
a few months, and then its colours turn to ugliness and 
decay. In an African sunset you may behold the splen- 
dour of autumnal tints of scarlet and gold every night, 
both when the veld beneath your feet is green and when 
it is dry and harsh. The sky is yours, no season robs 
you of that, and no vast stack of chimney-pots hides 
the picture. 

Open the tent door, peep through, and behold! the 
world is yours. Perhaps it is early morning, and the air 
is cold, as yet unkissed by the sun ; a heavy mist still 
shrouds in soft vaporous garments Dame Nature, yet 
beauty is around, a cold beauty w^hich you admire, but 
treat as an hors-d' CEitvre of human life ; this chilly white 
dame will please you little, but you smile contentedly, 
knowing that soon a rosy liue will embrace the earth 
and a glad smiling dame will appear, wdth hair of golden 
sunbeams, a voice of singing birds, and a garland of 
flowers. All the earth is yours, for no one shares its 
picture with you ; you will rejoice, and life will become 
a warm glad thing. 

Monotony in miles and miles of the veld ? There is 
monotony nowhere save in the minds of unimaginative, 
unappreciative people. 

Gather at random a handful of grass ; each blade 
has some slight deviation from its neighbour. Yes, the 
veld varies, if one examines it closely, almost or quite 
as much in colour as the sky above. True, one does 
not so easily see the gorgeous reds and purples. Some- 
times the flowers are hidden, the tiny blossoms must be 
searched for. Those wee, violet, velvet pansies, little 
faces hardly larger than threepenny-bits, with tiny 
yellow eyes — how those flowerlets cling to the earth, 
those baby faces so tenderly laid on green leaves closely 
gripping Nature's bosom ! There are daisies, too, in 



I 9S 



Via Rhodesia 



Rhodesia, exactly like the English daisy, only much 
smaller. 

Natives here have no love of the beautiful as we 
understand beauty. They value only those vegetables 

and trees that yield 
food. They plant 
no flowers near their 
huts. At first my 
boys were surprised 
to see me gather 
flowers, and they 
seemed to imagine I 
liked them for their 
colour, and so, to 
please me, began to 
gather scarlet or yel- 
low flowers if any 
grew in our path- 
way, and presented 
them to me without 
stems ! I shall never 
forget the first time 
I was offered a flower 
on a stalk. I was 
walking slowly one 
morning, for I had 
just seen a herd of 
zebras grazing near 
and I wanted to see 
more of their quaint 
stripes and pretty heads before they scented the pre- 
sence of strangers and trotted off. My men were all 
walking quietly behind me. I turned and signalled for 
them to stand quite still, for we were very near the 
zebras. I had no intention of shooting ; I had been told 




IJRAWING WATER FROM A WELL 
(By kind permission of C.G. Railways) 



Loneliness 199 

their meat was tough, I had nothing with nie wherewith 
to preserve their skins, and shooting just for the sake of 
taking hfe never appealed to me. The picture, however, 
of a peacefully grazing herd soon turned to one of 
scampering zebras — how those creatures ran, seeming 
to have the winged heels of Mercury ! 

Then I gazed around and with difficulty kept from 
laughing ; my biggest, burliest, most savage-looking 
boy, clad only in a sly expression and a small loin cloth, 
was advancing towards me, holding out at arm's length 
one small scarlet flower on a stem, in fact two of his 
fingers held the stem much in the same way as one clasps 
a flea before consigning it to a watery grave ; I accepted 
the offering with thanks, wishing my friend Hassall 
could have been present to sketch the scene and label it. 

The next day no flowers were given me, and I won- 
dered what I had done to offend my followers ; however, 
when I dined in the evening the mystery was solved. 
The flowers gathered during the day had been hidden, 
and appeared on my dinner-table stuck through holes 
pierced by spears into condensed milk-tins. I was quite 
proud of my solitary banquet that night, for, as the 
Press would doubtless have put it, the floral decorations 
were in excellent taste. 

Surely everyone who has once experienced the fascina- 
tion of a camp-fire, must for ever cherish a longing to 
return to the wilds and live again through a few of those 
fascinating night hours. 

I remember once in Milan entering the cathedral at 
dusk, when the whole of the beautiful interior was lit up 
in a weird way as though to exhibit shadows rather than 
display light. Tiny crimson lamps were burning on the 
many altars, but otherwise there was no illumination ; 
human shadows moved softly up the aisles, entered con- 
fessional boxes, and then as silently glided away — 



200 



Via Rhodesia 



evening, and rest, and the crimson glow of a wonderful 
religion were there, the scent of incense recently burnt 
came to one's nostrils, and the fascination of beauty 
only half seen gave to the interior of the cathedral a 
peculiar charm, impossible to be attained in the full 
light of day. 

I have only seen that scene equalled in a large camp 
at night. The boys who have come from different villages 











THE COTTON PLANT 



have separate fires, call themselves brothers, and sit 
round a mutual pot of cooking mealie-meal. Sometimes 
we had twelve fires, including one in front and one at 
the back of my tent, and when the natives in the villages 
had given my boys warning of the near company of 
many lions, we had as many as twenty fires. 

How^ beautiful those fires looked in the dark hours ! 
each group of brothers forming a ring round their blazing 
logs, burning crimson on a moonless night ; how im- 



Loneliness 201 

possible it is to give any adequate description of the 
mystery, the warmth, the music of the scene ! the glow- 
ing colours seeming to strike upon one's brain in full 
triumphant chords and the shadows to be full of the 
low soft notes of poetry. 

Dark hands stretched out to the pot of food show clear, 
brown cameos stencilled against the firelight. The faces 
are Rembrandt pictures. There is stillness in the world 
around. Is there a world ? No, only the veld and bush. 
The men are silent, and will not sing till they have fed. 
Afar off one hears now and again the cry of a single bird, 
perhaps a keevit. The hyenas have not yet begun their 
sickly chant, nor has the deep breathing of lions, who 
grunt as they walk, come within one's hearing. Here 
is a psalm of colour, a poem of satisfaction. 

Away, afar off, the world lies, so far away it is only a 
memory in the back of one's mind ; one brushes the 
memory aside as one would brush away a stinging, 
buzzing fly, for in that world there is a chaos of noise 
and bitter striving — a long ladder leading from poverty 
to riches, and a screaming, fighting mob trying to climb ; 
there is blood on the rungs of that ladder, cloud all 
around — a vale of tears for all. 

Here there is fire, food, rest, no movement save the 
natives' gesticulations, which must be graceful, for they 
are unstudied and natural ; the half-naked bodies are 
beautiful, unencumbered by unnecessary clothing, un- 
weighted by a harassed mind within, a critical, cruel 
scrutiny without. 

We are near to nature, and nature is kind when not 
bothered b}^ human exactions. Life is here and we love 
it, death is a bogey we do not fear ; those others fear it, 
that striving mass on the ladder, for with it they will lose 
all they are striving so hard to attain. Here we have 
little, so little that nothing counts except the warmth 



202 Via Rhodesia 

t)f the camp-lire, the meal we are eating, the song we 
will sing, and the sleep which must come, for our bodies 
are pleasurably weary and our minds lulled by con- 
tentment to oblivion. 

There is incense, too, the scent of burning wood, 
and perhaps the perfume of tobacco flowers, pink and 
white blossoms which open only at night, steals through 
the air, the gentle breeze having wafted this delicious 
odour from the nearest native garden. Mother birds 
are covering their young. The earth grows drowsy. 
The dark forms around the fire are now crouching low, 
their songs have ceased, even their chattering voices 
grow one by one silent, the forms stretch out perilously 
near the burning logs, but theirs is the faith of children. 
The flames will guard, the warmth give comfort, and 
soon they are asleep, fire worshippers all. Here there is 
no mocking memory of past days to haunt one's dreams, 
no harassing anxiety for to-morrow to disturb one's 
rest. 

A contented sigh, then sleep and forgetfulness. 




THE AUTHOR S MEDICINE-CHEST 



CHAPTER XXI 



The Medicinc-chcst 



TWENTY-EIGHT swamps and four swollen, rush- 
ing rivers in three days ! It seemed as if fate 
had conspired to give me enough of rough travel- 
ling as a start to make me turn back — however, I learned 
to " hang on by the skin of my teeth." 

The swamps were really a trial of patience. They 
were too deep in parts for me to be carried through in 
the machilla, and sometimes they were very wide and 
uncertain. I had enough of the game of pick-a-back to 
last me to the end of my days. My boys were really 
very good, and the only subject of quarrel amongst them 
appeared to be as to who should carry me over. The 
longest man seemed to me preferable to the broadest 
back. At first I was afraid of grasping the wool on the 
top of my Centaur-head too tightly, but I soon found 
that no grip, however hard, could give the slightest pain 
— truly a native's head seems harder than the heart of a 
miser. I once saw a glass bottle fall many feet on to tlie 
head of a native and smash ; he just flicked his wool as 
though a fly had annoyed him. 



204 



Via Rhodesia 



The Liisenfwa Iviver, about lifty-seven miles from 
Broken Hill, pi"o\'ed an ordeal ; swollen by the unusually 
heavy rains, it was about 600 feet wide, though divided 
in the middle by huge stones. There were bridges from 
the sides to the stones formed of trunks of trees lying 
in single and uninviting file — looking even for my eight 
stone too fragile to be trusted. However, with my 
natives at each end stretched out to help me, I got 

across, and then 
waited and watched 
the carriers with 
their loads, and felt 
I had been a miser- 
able coward to care 
at all, when I saw 
them coming over. 

Then my revered 
and esteemed medi- 
cine-chest fell into 
the water, and great 
was the consterna- 
tion, for of all my 
possessions the boys 
prized that most. 
Natives love to be 
physicked — and if 
one pats his " tum- 
my " and in response 
to his sad groaning 
receives a pill, many 
others will at once 
develop pains. I wish Messrs. Burroughs, Wellcome and 
Co. could have seen all my other goods and chattels 
deserted while the tanga-tanga boys, joined by the 
machilla boys, one and all waded in the river for that 




CROSSING LUSENFWA RIVER, RHODESIA 



The Meclicine-chest 205 

precious case. They would have felt pride stealing 
through their minds and joy warming their hearts. 
Throughout my journey this wonderful case had the 
monopoly of attention. 

The current of the river was strong, and boys and 
case seemed likely to disappear, when with a joyous 
shout it was rescued, and to my relief not one bit the 
worse for its ducking. 

I think the fact that I knew very little about medi- 
cine made me specially proud of possessing a real medi- 
cine-chest, and so carefully were the directions given on 
the labels that all danger arising from a possible over- 
dose was eliminated. Certainly the very possession of 
it seemed a protection against illness, as one takes an 
umbrella out with the conviction that the trouble of 
carrying it will cause the rain to hold off, such is the 
perversity of weather and the superstition of mankind. 

If you want to amuse a bored native, open a box. 
Nothing interests or attracts him more. However tired he 
may be, curiosity will throw off fatigue and he will come 
near and stand or crouch with eager interest, and should 
it chance that the occasion is the opening of the " muti " 
(medicine) box, then the curiosity turns to avarice, and 
if pills are to be given to one man, why, then, the one 
who looks on must have pains and " muti " too. 

If a native asks for " muti " for a child, usually castor 
oil is the safest to give. I once saw a native mother 
dose her child. She held out her hand for the oil, then 
covered the poor baby's face with it, held cup-like, and 
though the child gurgled, struggled, and seemed choking, 
the hand was not withdrawn until every drop had gone 
down the red lane. 

My men had a very simple way of telling me what ailed 
them. They patted head or stomach, or wherever the 
pain located itself, or held out sore feet. For the latter 



2o6 Via Rhodesia 

I found the compressed bandages of great use, while 
the compressed cotton-wool made excellent dressing, 
sprinkled with iodoform. 

One really requires a very small assortment of medi- 
cines on South African travel. Half a dozen in all is 
sufficient, but these should be of the most reliable make ; 
it is therefore best to buy an outfit before starting, 
consisting of a case of medicines in tabloid form. 

How many times my precious medicine chest was 
nearly lost in swamps by the stumbling of the carriers I 
do not know, but I shall always remember its adventure 
in the Lusenfwa River. 

Once only the white Donna's " muti " failed to have 
effect, and surely that was not the fault of the medicine, 
for was not the cook-boy lame on account of the path 
being bewitched? Only blood could cure this, and so the 
poor cook-boy was bled, becoming in consequence more 
lame than ever, and finallv having to be left behind in 
a native village. What weird witchcraft was used here 
as a healing power I know not, but to my surprise the 
cook turned up again three days later smiling, and 
cleansed from the power of the evil one. I noticed, 
however, though the others ignored it, that he walked 
with a limp. 

This cook-boy had only one fault — no, two : he could 
not cook, and he got drunk every night. At first I 
thought he made himself drunk with alcohol, but found 
later that the cause was tobacco. However, as he merely 
slept and was harmless, I did not take his pipe away. 

Tobacco-growing is very much on the increase, in 
both Southern and Northern Rhodesia. Amongst the 
natives, both men and women smoke. They have strange 
large pipes made out of dried gourds, and they use water 
with the tobacco, which has the effect, if carried to excess, 
of making them drunk like my cook. The native to- 



The Medicine-chest 



20' 



bacco is very strong, as if over-cultivated. It is done 
up in cones, in shape like a cottage loaf. The natives 
also grind it up very finely and make snuff of it. They 
make a cigarette with bamboo round it, having hollowed 




A NATIVE Pll'K 



out the latter. The women seem to smoke more than 
the men. 

A large quantity of native tobacco is grown at Khoni, 
N.W. Rhodesia, a native kraal about io8 miles, or 
according to others 114 miles, from Broken Hill. At 
this kraal also English peas and kidney beans are 
grown, splendid samples of which I saw, which proves 
not only the wonderful possibilities of the land, but 
the increasing enterprise of the native, this being en- 
tirely due to the Native Commissioner of this district, 
who supplies the natives with seeds. 

Enormous outcrops of coal are known to exist on the 
Lusenfwa and the Mulungushi, near the junction of the 
two^^^rivers. 

It was at the little village of Tsingulo I bought my 



2oS Via Rhodesia 

lirst lot of eggs, and so small were they, I was reminded 
of a story I once heard. A lady, missing an ostrich egg 
from a cabinet in the drawing-room where it usually 
stood, afterwards discovered it in the little hen-house, 
where her son kept his bantam fowls. It was suspended 
from the roof by a string, and above it, written in large 
letters, were the words : 

" Look at this and do the best 3'ou can." 

The native fowls are called cuckoos, and are not much 
larger. One should obtain three for a shilling, but the 
natives often ask for more. 

I have bought even nine eggs for sixpence. They are 
tiny, but quite good when fresh. The best means of 
ascertaining whether they possess this most desirable 
quality is to put them into a bucket of cold water, w^hen 
the bad ones will rise to the top. 

Goats seem to be the staple small stock of the country, 
and they make good eating when game is scarce. The 
average price of a goat is about 3s. 6d., though once I 
purchased one for 2s. 6d. The natives often prefer limbo 
to money, in fact they will refuse the latter and take 
a piece of limbo worth about 4d. in preference to 6d. in 
silver. Thus one is sometimes forced to make a profit 
against one's will, but I usually added a few beads. It is 
not advisable to pay the natives more than what their 
produce is actually worth, as it not only spoils them for 
the next traveller, but is most annoying for those who 
are residents in the country and whose incomes are not 
any too large. 

A source of annoyance to the genuine hunter is the 
rich amateur, who persists in petting natives and chiefs 
— sometimes the gifts of such men are ridiculous. I 
heard of one man who presented prawns in aspic, mar- 
malade, and sardines to a chief. The gift was regarded 
with suspicion as being "muti" of a questionable order. 



The Medicine-chest 209 

and was promptly buried. The same chief afterwards 
met a man with a load of condemned meat, and begged 
as a great prize that this putrid, odoriferous delicacy 
should be given to him. It was ; and every morsel was 
eaten by him and his favourites ! The traveller of aspic 
fame used also to break a bottle of champagne over the 
head of every specimen of big game he was able to 
secure, and imagined he had shot — but the story goes 
that spears or a knife were responsible for the kill. 



CHAPTER XXII 



Tobacco-gnrd 'ing 



I VERY often asked if the tobacco industry was 
not going to be overdone, and I was invariably 
answered that as far as low-grade tobacco was 
concerned this would probably be the case, but as re- 
garded the Virginian and Turkish leaf excessive produc- 
tion would hardly be possible, because not only were the 
best markets of the world open to the growers of these 
types, but the prices which had been paid were more 
than satisfactory. I was informed that during the six 
months which elapsed up to the time I left Rhodesia, 
nearly 100,000 lbs. of Virginia leaf had been received at 
the Salisbury warehouse, and that the whole of this 
crop, to which was further added a large amount which 
was brought in after July, 1909, was sold at a public 
sale at an average price of is. 2d. A small lot even 
fetched 2s. 4|d. per lb. 

The Chartered Company has erected a tobacco ware- 
house at Salisbury for the handling of the Virginia leaf, 
and another warehouse at Bulawayo for Turkish tobacco. 
Every facility is given the grower who delivers his tobacco 
to the warehouse, where he receives an advance of 
fifty per cent of the value. The tobacco is then graded, 
packed, and sold, when the balance is paid to the grower. 
Through this arrangement the buyer is sure not to sus- 
tain any loss through bad grading or packing, and in 
consequence Rhodesian tobacco has gained the reputation 



Tobacco-growing 2 i i 

of being uniform and reliable. At present there is 
already in South Africa a very large demand for tobacco 
and for the excellent cigarettes. The latter could, how- 
ever, be improved if better paper were used. The pro- 
duction has not yet been sufficient to allow of an exten- 
sive sale in Europe, but with the rapidly increasing pro- 
duction it probably very soon will be. 

To the farmer or settler tobacco-growing in Rhodesia 
offers very profitable employment, but my attention 
has been particularly drawn to the fact that it is un- 
wise to expect a profitable return in the first year, 
and that it is just as unwise to undertake a too exten- 
sive culture until after two or three years' experience 
on a small scale. It is quite natural that to do anything 
with success experience is required, and I was assured 
not only by officials but also by actual growers that the 
experience to grow tobacco with success can be acquired 
very easily, and practically depends upon the intending 
grower's intelligence and faculty of observation. I met 
a man who once was a plumber, but who to-day is an 
experienced grower of very superior Virginia, and he 
was very proud to show me some fine bright leaves 
for which he confidently expected to get 2s. 6d. a pound. 
The summary of a large number of inquiries is, that a 
man with a general knowledge of agriculture can learn 
the principles of tobacco-growing within two years. 

With tobacco-growing it is exactly the same as with 
cotton or citrus-fruit growing, it would be a great mis- 
take to make the one produce the sole source of income. 
The right way to do it is to make this special crop a 
branch only of the general farming, and I found that 
on these principles several people are to-day doing very 
well indeed. 

The average cost of growing tobacco, drying, pressing, 
etc., in fact, the outlay until it is ready for delivery at 



2 12 



Via Rhodesia 



the warehouse, is something Hke £cj per acre, and the re- 
turns vary from £15 to £40, giving a very substantial 
profit. If one takes into consideration that the annual 
consumption of tobacco throughout the world is roughly 
a million tons, of which about one-fifth is of the Vir- 
ginian and Turkish varieties, it is quite clear that there 
is a great scope for increased activity in the produc- 
tion of these two types, and in Rhodesia there is sufficient 
scope for more growers. As this seems a very lucrative 
and very interesting side-line to the farmer, I collected 
a good amount of information and will give just a few 
hints for the intending settler. 

The best soil for Turkish tobacco is the soil which 
contains a large percentage of sand, and therefore the 
sandstone area of Matabeleland must contain ideal 
places. Where the rainfall is sufficient, the Virginia 
leaf will also do well. The large stretches of granitic 
soil are not quite so fertile, but this defect can easily be 
corrected by the use of fertilisers. Some of the finest 
tobacco I saw had been grown on some of the reddish 
sandy loam. The heavy black and dark red soils grow 
a leaf which is too coarse and heavy, and so-called " brak 
veld " should be avoided as totally unsuitable. Good 
natural drainage is an essential for tobacco soil, and it 
is also very important to see whether the granitic soils 
are underlaid with an impervious subsoil. I should 
highly recommend intending growers, when in Cape 
Town, to see the most interesting collection of the Cape 
Agricultural Department relating to soil which the 
Department has compiled, and to study the statistics. 

The land on which it is intended to grow tobacco must 
naturally be fenced, and the preparation of the soil 
should be done as early as possible. The fields, when 
worked up into garden tilth, must be kept so by harrow- 
ing well after every rain. I have seen some fields where 



Tobacco-growing 2 i 3 

the growth of the tobacco seemed checked, and it was 
explained to me that the soil did not contain sufficient 
moisture, as the conservation of the full rainfall by care- 
ful tilling had been neglected. 

What cannot be impressed upon a tobacco-grower 
too strongly is the fact, that cultivation is one of the 
great secrets of success. 

In case the land is full of insects, which will injure 
the crop, an excellent way of cleaning the land is to 
keep flocks of fowls which follow the plough and eat 
caterpillars and grasshoppers. 

Curing barns are essential, and I am informed that the 
Chartered Company provide plans for a kind of ffiie- 
curing-barn, which has proved to be the most satis- 
factory for this country. One farmer was greatly 
annoyed by losing all the bricks he had made because 
he had waited too long and had begun making them 
after the rains set in. 

The main advice is, to get the very best seed obtain- 
able and thereby not run the risk of obtaining only low- 
priced crops. And it is also advisable to have fertiliser, 
needles, twine, and baskets ordered in good time so as 
to save disappointment when wanting them. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

Ahitive I lllaiyes 



'.b' 



IT is never advisable to pitch one's tent in an old 
camp, for jiggers are usually to be found there. 
These insects are small and annoying ; they usually 
bury themselves under the toe-nails and may poison the 
foot if left in too long. It is advisable to ask a native 
to extract either jigger-flea or tick for you, because they 
are very clever at taking out the little creatures whole, 
instead of leaving part in, which, if it contains eggs, 
may cause serious trouble. 

Nor should one camp too near a swamp, for fever may 
be caught from the rising mist ; on the other hand, 
do not go too far away from a stream, but just near 
enough to have water easily fetched. In the deep valleys 
it gets much colder than higher up. 

The boys drink with their evening meal, but they do 
not usually drink during the day. The water is carried 
in large calabashes, which look very pretty, covered at 
the top with leaves, which prevent the water from spill- 
ing as the carrier walks. 

One of the most useful things to carry on ulendo 
(travelling) is a large zinc bath. Cooking utensils can be 
packed in it during the day, and a few buckets of water 
heated over the fire soon fill it for one's bath at night. 
A pole through the handles makes it a good load for 
two boys. 

Boys do not carry more than 50 lbs. weight each, 

214 



Native Villages 215 

and the packages should be made up accordingly. With 
the load they travel usually at the rate of about 2^ 
miles an hour, whereas the machilla boys do as much 
as 3^^ miles, going from 15 to 20 and sometimes 25 miles 
in a day. The most I ever accomplished in one day 
was 38 miles. 

By the time I had left Shayimbira (a native village), 
about 102 miles from Rail Head, I had crossed forty 
swamps. After that I grew tired of counting ; the num- 
ber seemed to increase alarmingly if I paid the swamps 
too much attention. I had been given, before leaving 
Broken Hill, a list of approximate mileages and names 
of villages as they had stood about a year previously. 
The white man who had then travelled that route had 
taken great pains to chronicle details, and I was much 
obliged for the MS. guide — but quite the opposite con- 
ditions prevailed when I travelled, and where he de- 
scribed water as being scarce, I was nearly drowned. 

At M'lembo River, over which there is a bridge of a 
sort, between 120 and 126 miles north of Broken Hill, is 
the N.E. boundary of Rhodesia ; one then comes upon 
a very small village, Kasowa, and some three miles 
further on is Kapenda, which is a very large village. 
I camped about two miles further on and then walke^. 
back, while my tent was being put up and fires were 
being made, to look at the village. 

What struck me most about the villages was the 
atmosphere of sloth ; to quote Gilbert, " The house of 
lords did naught at all and did it very well." The natives 
sat about in groups and rarely seemed even to pretend 
to work. They were thoroughly and consistently lazy. 
Apparently enough for the moment is their motto, 
and young and old, upright or weighted down by years, 
one and all appeared happy. 

The women of the M'lala tribe have a hideous custom 



2i6 Via Rhodesia 

of inserting large round pieces of liorn or tin into the 
upper li]). They begin when young with smah round 
roHs of thin bark, and then the ornament (?) increases 
until the end of the nose is entirely hidden and the horrible 
protruding upper lip becomes the chief feature of the 
face. I did not inquire, but I fancy kissing is not in 
vogue, because under the circumstances the performance 
would be one of peculiar enterprise. 

Even to N.E. Rhodesia the mania for red hair has 
apparently spread, or did natives first set the fashion ? 
In lieu of henna the women cover their hair with a thick 
red paste, made from the red bark of a tree, or, if that 
is not obtainable, they gather a sediment from the water 
that runs over ironstone ; this, mixed with monkey- 
nut oil, gives the desired tint. 

The teeth of the men are filed to very fine points, and 
amongst some tribes the four front teeth of a boy are 
extracted when he reaches the age of puberty. 

From Broken Hill to Serenje, the first white man's 
boma one enters north of Rail Head. I did not always 
travel on the mail route, and therefore saw native 
villages off the beaten track, and they were interesting, 
though in some cases not of a savoury odour. The 
pigeon-houses on long poles were pretty, the storage 
places for meal being built in much the same way, thus 
keeping damp and rats away from the precious grain. 

Needless to say the people in the villages were all 
surprised to see me, for very few women pass that way, 
and so far not one unaccompanied by friends had ven- 
tured to stroll through their midst. The children cer- 
tainly had never before seen a specimen of a white 
woman, and were not at all pleased with my appear- 
ance. They howled and screamed, but they could not 
hide their heads under their mothers' aprons as they did 
not wear any, so they disappeared into the huts, some- 



Native Villages 219 



times tumbling over fowls and goats in their mad haste 
to get away from me. Weird-looking dogs barked furi- 
ously, my little black " Ugly " answering back, while 
my boys always yelled as they entered a village, so the 
musical honours witli which I was received can be 
imagined. 

The elders were usually more friendly than their 
children, and they shouted and clapped a welcome, often 
kneeling when I approached a village, and sometimes 
running by my side for miles when I left. 

Honours were divided between my hair and my boots, 
I really do not know which interested the people most. 
I always wore my hair down, tied with a ribbon, and 
the women would point to it and talk excitedly. Its 
fairness seemed to perplex not only them, but also my 
boys, for at one boma my boys asked the servants of a 
magistrate if they could ascertain what muti (medicine) 
I took to make it the " colour of the sun." 

I found the best time to walk was in the early morning, 
rising at half-past five o'clock, if it was light enough, 
and, after a cup of " hyglama " (cocoa), getting away 
from the camp at half-past six or seven, hoping to find 
water and have breakfast and luncheon combined at 
about eleven. Sometimes on damp, cold, misty mornings 
the time for leaving would be later, for when the boys 
are cold they will not hurry, but seem only half alive. 
The grass was so high (sometimes twelve to fourteen 
feet) that before one had gone far one was soaked to 
the skin unless clad in waterproof garments, and I was 
thankful for my Burberry cloth. However, the sun 
soon gives heat as the day dawns, and one is not un- 
happy long. 

Chiwale had been given me as the name of Stephen's 
old boma, but it is now Chibori. As the names are 
frequently altered it is practically impossible to make a 



220 



\^ia Rhodesia 



proper list of tlie villages. The M'lala tribe live at 
Chibori, which is about 145 miles from Rail Head, and 
near here is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by some 
tropical growth, palms and ferns, making a picturesque 
oasis in a not otherwise particularly beautiful country. 
Chibori is situated on the watershed between two rivers, 







I'OVr C\RRIKRS WITH ARMED ESCORT, NORTH RHODESIA 



the Pamparway and the M'lomwa, and lies about 4800 
feet above sea-level, and the air is invigorating. 

Two days' journey from here I met a post-bov with 
armed escort, and gave him some letters wrapped in 
limbo to take to Broken Hill to be posted. Post-boys 
travel throughout N.E. Rhodesia once a week, taking 
letters and parcels to the different bomas. They wear 
scarlet cloth clothing and a scarlet fez. They travel very 
quickly, buying their food at the villages and either 



Native Villages 221 

sleeping in native huts or, where there are none, making 
huge fires to keep off the wild beasts. All the letters and 
tins of films I sent by these boys found their way safely 
to England, which speaks well for their honesty and 
care. I usually gave a post-bo}^ a knife or some other 
little keepsake for a present, and often he would join 
my camp for the night with his escort, mioving on at 
daybreak. 

Most of my boys carried spears or sticks of sorts. 
One day I passed the remains of a native foundry for 
making axe-heads. It w^as round and formed of clay, 
originally an ant-heap, the blow-pipes being also of 
clay. When in use a bellows, made out of a bladder of a 
buck, is employed. The iron ore is obtained locally. 
The natives make very fair steel from hematite, which 
is found in many places all over Rhodesia. Later on 
I saw natives at work at a forge. They were squatting 
on the ground and working slowly but quite adequately 
for their simple weapons. 

A few miles beyond Chibori the Muchinga Highlands 
begin along a spur, and even when I was there water 
was not very plentiful, as the rains run away from the 
hard hill-sides and there are no dams to catch the 
water ; in the dry season one must not expect to find 
a good supply of water until the Lukasashi River is 
reached, some seventeen or eighteen miles further on. 

The air is wonderfully crisp on the top of these hills, 
and well it might be, for one is about 5800 feet above 
sea-level. A splendid view of the country around is here 
obtained, and some of the granite kopjes seen in the 
far distance are of a very curious formation. I did my 
best to take some photographs, but the distance was 
too great. What a large empty world was around ! 
No signs of habitation, very little herbage, a strange 
silence as of a derelict earth, while above was the blue 



0-7 



Via Rhodesia 



sky, whose vast dome, dipping down to the horizon, 
seemed to lose itself in ethereal mists of bine on the 
distant peaks. 

It is a good plan, when being carried np a steep slope, 
to reverse the machilla, face your boys, and thus travel 
head upwards — otherwise your feet are in the air. 

At the Lukasashi River, about 170 miles from Broken 
Hill, there is a canoe ferry. The canoes are trunks of 
trees hollowed out and are called "dugouts"; one sits 
on the bottom of the boat, usually in a pool of water, 
and is paddled across. When one has many carriers 
and packages considerable time is occupied in crossing, 
as the canoes hold very little. These canoes are kept 
by a family of natives, who live by the water-side, and, 
in consideration of taking the post-boy across every 
week, have a certain concession from the Government. 
From casual travellers a present is expected, or, as they 
term it, prize. After the whole of my ulendo had 
crossed — fifty persons and a large number of packages 
— I tried to ascertain what my bill was. An aged man 
rubbed his right thumb across his left hand and thus 
graphically illustrated his craving for matches. 

By this I knew there must have been a recent birth 
or death in the neighbourhood, as the natives keep 
fires perpetually burning in their huts, except when 
someone dies, when the fire is allowed to go out, and it 
must not be lighted afresh from another fire, but after 
the hut has been cleaned an entirely new fire must be 
made, which must be lit either from a match or, if one 
is not available, from a spark obtained by rubbing one 
piece of stick swiftly in the hollow of another. Matches 
are therefore highly prized by the natives. A new fire 
must also be lighted to make the first drink for a new- 
born babe. 

I presented the desired box of matches and added 



W^H w^ 



S II- 




Nativ^e Villages 225 

sixpence by way of toll. Truly, in some parts of Rhodesia 
one could live like a king on an old age pension, that is, 
if one would live as a peasant and be happy merely in the 
possession of health. Some people would say, " Yes, 
but think of the monotony of the life of a native, living 
and eating, marrying and dying ! " Well, many a poor 
white has more of pain and less of pleasure and some- 
times not even enough of the eating — a starved native 
does not exist. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Sereujc 

ELEVEN days out, and only one white man met 
on the road, the Native Commissioner before 
referred to ; and yet Rhodesia belongs to the 
English, and, so far as productive land and glorious 
climate can make it, is certainly a white man's country. 

So far I had not met a lion in the flesh, although I 
had been presented with a lion's tooth in N.W. Rhodesia 
and had seen several fine skins in S. Rhodesia, and had 
met a man who had shot ten lions. In Rhodesia lions 
really are called lions, but leopards are usually called 
(after the Cape Dutch; tigers, and the hyenas are gener- 
ally spoken of as wolves. The flowers, too, suffer from 
topsy-turveydom. Forget-me-nots are often mauve or 
pink instead of blue, and grow in clusters of four on 
one stem. There are also pink gladiolas, and corn- 
flowers of a much paler blue than in England, in fact 
Cambridge instead of Oxford blue, and the trees put 
forth their first leaves with autumn tints of crimson 
instead of the delicate green we associate with spring 
in England. 

One often comes across bushes of proteas, beautiful 
flowers about four inches across, both pink and white 
varieties being found on the veld. A pale yellow flow^er 
somewhat like a small thistle is more abundant than 
any other kind. Then there are tiny white and violet 
flowers, with only three petals, all of which grow on one 

226 



Serenje 227 

side, like the one-sided spiders, and bright geranium- 
coloured flowers, which grow singly and are not unlike 
the japonica blossoms. There are also some very pretty 
grasses, but ferns are scarce. 

On May 23rd I reached Serenje. The boys made 
noise enough on approaching native villages, but the 
word noise in no way describes my majestic advance 
to a white man's boma. For several days the same 
song had been sung, growing in strength of sound and 
ardour, and the words of the chorus became engraved 
on my memory. I afterwards ascertained that they 
meant, "Come nearer, Serenje, you are still far away; 
come nearer, Serenje." The idea of telling a place to come 
nearer to you as you travel closer to it is quaint, and 
savours rather of a fairy tale. 

The shouting of my boys could be heard far away, and 
soon it was answered by the yelling of the people who ran 
out from the village. The young men drove away my 
machilla men and insisted on carrying the white Donna 
themselves to the white man's boma. My arrival caused 
great excitement, as no lady is resident (or was then) 
in Serenje, in fact, the only white woman in that part 
of the country is a missionary's wife living at a new 
station twenty-five miles away. 

A young, bearded white man came forth to greet me, 
and after we had shaken hands he informed me that 
Mr. Cholmondeley, the Assistant, or rather Acting Magis- 
trate, was away elephant hunting, and would not be 
back until the next day. He had, however, left a 
message to the effect that, if I arrived during his absence, 
the Post Office was to be placed at my disposal. I 
therefore had my camp furniture carried into one of 
the empty rooms, and my boys were allowed to camp 
near. 

The Post Office was a quaint little brick cottage, with 



2 28 Via Rhodesia 

a thatched roof, but, strange as it may seem, I always 
felt more secure when sleeping in my tent, surrounded 
by fires, than when taking temporary shelter for a night 
or two under a real roof. 

The Post Office opens one day a week, when the mail 
passes through. There is no telegraphic communica- 
tion at the bomas between Broken Hill and Abercorn, 
but telegrams can be sent from Broken Hill to Abercorn, 
N.E. Rhodesia, via the Trans-Continental Telegraph 
Line, which runs through British Central Africa. 

Serenje is certainly the prettiest little boma I have 
seen. It stands in a picturesque position amid charming 
surroundings, and is about three-quarters of a mile 
distant from the native village. Range after range of 
beautiful hills can be seen, the farthest visible to the 
naked eye being about eighty miles distant. 

The bearded white man who had come out to greet 
me was living in a tent, having come many miles to see 
the Magistrate wdth regard to the accidental shooting 
by one of his boys of another boy. He said he would 
ask me to dinner if some fowls he was expecting arrived, 
and meanwhile regaled me with tea, informing me that 
he had seen only three white women in six years,'! 
being the third. 

Afterwards, when walking round the outskirts of the 
boma, I met a boy carrying several small cuckoos 
(fowls), so I knew the invitation would hold good, and 
taking an offering from my stores I went forth to dine 
with the bearded man by a huge fire outside his tent. 

The boys from both camps prepared the feast, and 
how they chattered ! thoroughly enjoying the enter- 
taining of " company." All w^hites up here share not 
only each other's food but also each other's goods and 
chattels, and often at a dinner-party one recognises one's 
own plates or glasses or cutlery mixed up with the table 






berenje 229 

appointments of others, for the servants would lend 
without thinking it at all necessary to ask permission 
first, well knowing that in the wilds what is mine is 
also my friend's. 




C(.)URT HOUSE, SlORKXjK 

The next morning, while seated outside the Post 
Office busily engaged in mixing a chocolate pudding (for 
I was determined to offer a change in diet that day), 
I suddenty saw a vision ! Not an Itahan brigand, 
though he looked very like one's idea of one, but the 
Magistrate, rode up on a bicycle. I heard later that he 
had intended changing his clothes before I saw him, 
but I am glad he had not the opportunity, I should have 
been sorry to miss the picture he presented. I hope 
that if he ever reads these lines he will not blush at my 
description. He was wearing, I think "smalls" is the 
correct term, and had a scarf round his throat in 
lieu of a collar, and a felt hat on the back of his head 
with a tiny feather in it. Not a Bond Street turn out, 
but truly a good-tempered, rollicking, handsome man 
from the " back-of-beyond " the Magistrate looked, 



2 :;0 



Via Rhodesia 



and he hospitably invited me to hinch and dine with 
liini, I liaving decided to continue my journey the next 
day. 

The Residency at Serenje boma is a very comfortable 
house, as will be seen from the photograph. It was 
built by native labour and the furniture is made of 
native wood. The garden is delightful. Roses blossom 
in profusion, while sweet violets and many carnations 
perfume the clear air. In one corner of the garden is 
a huge native banana tree. 

Serenje seems to be clasping the hand of her mother- 
land by holding so charming a bouquet of English 
flowers. 

At this place there is also a tiny Court House, and 
ten native police-boys guard the boma. It was pleasant 
at sundown to see the herds of cattle and goats returning 
to the boma for the night ; they were very tame, and 
appreciated an offering of salt. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the two days I spent at Serenje. 
There is something fine about Rhodesian men ; they 
seem to imbibe the clearness and strength of the atmo- 
sphere and the sunshine, and give it back in sincerity 
and kindness ; and how fascinating it is to listen to 
their adventures — so little of boasting, so much of 
appreciated grit. 

Now I must tell a story of a man who came to lunch. 
His visit was a great surprise, as was also his appear- 
ance, which was quite unlike one's usual idea of a settler. 
His name was Needham, and he had a farm of 10,000 
acres close to Serenje, which had the beautiful name of 
Luangala, which means the " River that dances." 

Now for the story. 

Very frail he looked when he alighted from the piece 
of sail-cloth in which he had been shaken for seven miles 
by four natives. He apologised for being in his shirt- 



lerenje 



231 



sleeves, remarking that he did not know the Magistrate 
was entertaining a lady, it was an unheard-of event. 
But the lady ignored the toilette and at once secretly 
admired the long, thin lingers of the most beautiful 
hand she had ever seen. Round his neck the frail man 
wore a black ribbon ; to this was attached a whistle, 
with which he was in the habit of summoning his boys. 
The lady thought it should have been a cross, and was 
not surprised to hear later that he was a Roman Catholic. 
A priest, or a poet of the exquisite school ; yes ! that 
was what he suggested. 

Connect him with sport ? Never ! 

Yet he had killed a lion. It happened so : the man 
had returned for the night to his hut ; the night was 




t«<#* 



SERENJE RESIDENCY 



very dark, there being no moon ; he was tired and soon 
asleep, when, as he thought in a dream, he heard a 
tapping at the door. The tapping continued, it was no 
dream ; he roused himself and, sitting up, listened. 



2^2 Via Rhodesia 

Outside were two or three boys calling " B'wana, 
B'wana ! " (Master, Master !) Their voices held fear, 
and the man jumped up quickly. 

On opening the door he could discern the outlines 
of shaking forms. He lit a candle, and whilst doing 
so the boys explained that they had run from their hut, 
which was next to the cattle kraal, as a kanga (lion) 
was in the hut, and had already attacked one of the boys 
they had left behind. 

The man listened, but not a sound came from the 
cattle kraal, which was extraordinary, as cattle scent 
lions quicker than human beings as a rule, and give the 
alarm, but in this case the cattle remained silent. 

The man looked round for a lantern. There was not 
one to be found, but his gun, only a shot-gun, was at 
hand here ; so he seized that, and holding the gun in one 
hand and the flickering candle in the other, proceeded 
to the hut, the boys, with true native cowardice, re- 
maining behind. 

Arrived at the hut, he summoned all his courage, 
and entered — and there, straight in front of him, he 
saw the lion. The first thing that gleamed at him in 
the darkness were the lion's eyes, round, yellow rings 
of cold cruelty. For one second the lion looked up 
from his spoil, the native he was eating, then continued 
his meal. The man placed the candle on the floor and 
pulled the trigger of his gun. In the excitement of the 
moment he forgot to cock it, and missed fire. He remedied 
his error, and pulled. The lion rolled over. The man 
tried the second barrel, but had forgotten that he had 
only cocked the other side, so without waiting to see 
if the lion was dead or not, he seized the mangled body 
and carried the boy out of the hut. At the report of 
his gun the cattle had been roused, and they stampeded 
to the opposite side of the kraal. 



Serenje 



20 '-> 
JO 



The boys came creeping forth when they heard the 
man returning with the wounded boy, and then they 
told him that two boys had been left in the hut, not 
one. 

Then came the most terrible moment of all, the moment 
that broke the nerve 
of a strong man and 
made him frail. He 
knew he must return 
to the hut, he could 
not leave that other 
boy there, and he 
did not know if he 
had killed the lion 
or not. 

I noticed those 
delicate hands trem- 
ble when his friend, 
the Magistrate, who 
was telling the story, 
came to that point. 

He entered the 
hut for the second 
time, with the rem- 
nant of that flicker- 
ing candle, and, 
thank God, he found 
the lion was dead ! 

The shot had evidently penetrated a vital part. But 
dead also was that other boy ; he must mercifully have 
died quickly, for apparently one blow had smashed his 
head. 

The next day the father of the dead boy came from 
the village and brought with him a crowd of other men, 
who one by one passed the lion's skin and spat at it. 




IN THE GARDEN AT SERENJE (RHOIJESIA) 



2 34 ^^i^ Rhodesia 

Not one touched the Hon, for it was considered unclean, 
and a boy of another tribe had to skin it. 

Five days after, the rescued boy succumbed to his 
thirty-four wounds. 

This happened in N.E. Rhodesia in the year 1909. 
I felt proud to Iiave shaken the hand of that frail man, 
and when, many months later, in fact only quite re- 
cently and long after my return from Rhodesia, I heard 
that this same man had died from the bite of a mad 
dog, I felt very grieved, for the man was brave, and what 
made the death more pathetic, he had only recently 
been joined, I hear, by his mother and an aunt, two 
sweet ladies who had decided to share his life in the 
lone wilds. To be spared from a lion and die by a dog — 
such is life with its sledge-hammer blows on butterflies 
and escapes of criminals from earthquakes. Fate may 
be just, no one knows, but methods often seem clumsy. 

Good-bye, Serenje, a pleasant memory, with your 
flowers and the stories at night, this time round a 
blazing fire indoors. Wonder of wonders, there was an 
American organ at the Residency, and many were the 
accompaniments I played while the Magistrate sang, his 
lusty voice w andering forth, doubtless surprising the birds 
asleep in the garden. 

One incident I heard during my visit which shows 
how magisterial command may be aided by native 
prompting. 

A native arrived at the Residency and informed the 
Magistrate that that day a cow-elephant had been shot 
by a white man. 

" Where ? " asked the Magistrate. 

" Two days from here," replied the native, but would 
not say how the news had travelled. 

True enough, in two days' time a white man turned 
up at the boma. 



Serenje 235 

" So you have come to report that you have shot a 
cow-elephant ? " said the Magistrate. 

" Quite so ; but how on earth did you know ? " rephed 
the man, in surprise. 

" You have travelled two days, and the weight of the 
tusks was so much," continued the Magistrate. 

" That is true," answered the white man, who had 
come to pa}/ his fine, it being illegal to shoot a cow- 
elephant. 

Then the Magistrate explained that a native had told 
him. 

It is quite extraordinary, the way in which news travels 
from native to native and from village to village. Some- 
times news is signalled from many miles by the beating 
of drums. My approach to a native village was known 
long before I got there. 

Even without the aid of drums news travels quicker 
than man can carry it, though by what means remiains a 
secret. In Matabeleland the natives knew two days in 
advance of the news reaching the white of the relief of a 
siege, or the casualties of a great battle, during the 
recent war. It seems as though a sort of human tele- 
pathy between natives is a powerful existing force. 



CHAPTER XXV 

CaiiQ'hf ill tJic Dark 



'<i>' 



A T Serenje a letter was awaiting me from Mr. 

/ \ Moffat, of missionary fame, inviting me to visit 
■^ ^ the new station he was making about twenty- 
five miles away, whither he had gone from Serenje, 
taking his wife and children with him. In Southern 
Rhodesia I had met his sister, a very kind, amiable 
lady, the wife of the Attorney-General, and I promised 
her that if I could manage to visit her brother I would 
do so. 

The old village of Chitambo, into which Livingstone 
was carried, and where he died, no longer exists, and 
so Chitambo is the name given to the new station, which 
is off the main road from Serenje to M'pika. 

Mr. Moffat would ^Try much have liked to start a 
mission station near the spot where, amid silence and 
solitude, the brick memorial to Livingstone now stands, 
and where the heart of the great explorer is said to be 
buried, but the country around is very unhealthy, and 
so the new Chitambo is two da\^s' journey away from 
the place where the great man fell. 

It is said that the natives, after they had disembowelled 
the body and buried the heart, filled the body with salt to 
preserve it until they could reach the coast, but, hunger 
overtaking them on the road, they were forced to trade 
with the natives in the villages they passed through 
with handfuls of salt taken out of the body. 

236 



Caught in the Dark 237 

I arrived at Chitambo late in the evening, sending a 
messenger in advance with a note, and Mr. Moffat had 
already, with great kindness, erected a tent for me in case 
my carriers should arrive late. 

After supper I was asked if I would give the children 
a treat by playing on my banjo, and I naturally con- 
cluded that the offspring of my kind host and hostess 
were to be m\/ listeners, but very soon the room was 
crowded with native children, who had been invited in. 
They were treated absolutely as equals, which to me 
seemed a great folly, although kindly meant. I went 
to sleep that night amid the serenading of Moody and 
Sankey's hymns, chanted around me by many natives, 
who seemed to sing for their suppers and doubtless found 
it profitable. 

Although Mr. and Mrs. ]\Ioffat had only been at 
Chitambo a few months, I must say to their credit that 
they had in that time taught the natives to make bricks, 
and sixty thousand had been made already for the house, 
which was in course of construction. 

The material for these sixty thousand bricks was taken 
from one ant-heap, and I was assured there remained 
enough to make a hundred thousand more, so the size 
of some of the ant-heaps in N.E. Rhodesia ma}' be 
imagined. The clay obtained therefrom is mixed with 
water and stamped smooth by the feet of the natives, 
being afterwards moulded and baked. I went over the 
site of the station in the morning and saw the roads 
being made. The school-house was nearly finished. It 
was all for the natives, who are happy in these parts 
without education, while whites are starving in other 
parts for lack of it. 

I remarked to Mrs. Moffat how happy and contented 
looked all the natives living around. 

" Oh, but," she answered, " they are so immoral." 



238 Via Rhodesia 

" In what way?" I asked, and, believe me, the examples 
quoted were no worse than the immoralities committed 
amongst the white people who herd so closely together in 
our over-populated cities, where incest is not an unusual 
crime and where infanticide is a daily occurrence. 

But there is this difference, the whites sin more often 
through sheer misery and lack of Ught, physically and 
mentally ; the natives are merely animals with a super- 
abvmdance of health and the power of a butterfly of 
living in the pleasure of the moment. And there is this 
to be said for the natives, female children live as a rule 
in a separate hut from the male ; but for the unhappy 
white children of the poor there is usually only one 
room, in which the parents sleep as well. 

I could not help pitying those happy natives when I 
thought of the tears that would be shed if ever they 
realised that what seemed to them natural was black 
sin — pocket-handkerchiefs must be given with knowledge. 
I would not care to have the responsibility of the sorrow 
caused by awakening, or, what is more probable and 
worse, the double sin involved by continuance in evil- 
doing in spite of knowledge. 

No, no, m\^ good missionaries, leave the natives and 
their customs alone. Morality is often merely a question 
of climate and geography. Turn your attention to 
those of your own colour who sin and know it to be sin, 
whose lives are empty of sunshine and whose bodies 
are unfit through lack of care. At Chitambo Mission, 
as well as at other mission stations, the same thought 
always came uppermost in my mind : What a fine 
place wherein to plant out some of the waifs and strays 
of Dr. Barnardo's Homes in England, the orphans and 
semi-orphans, the gutter-snipes, the poor, not-wanted 
white children of England — but in Africa it is a case 
of "to those who have, shall be given." 



Caught in the Dark 239 

No one can say that the African chmate does not 
agree with white children, for the three sturdy sons 
at Chitambo have not had a day's iUness ; everybody 
and everything seems to flourish in Rhodesia. At 
Chitambo about sixty chickens, which had been reared 
without the aid of incubators, were running about, 
while forty head of small native cattle with humps 
looked in a very fine condition. 

All the natives round here turned out to see me, for 
I was the second white woman they had seen, Mrs. 
Moffat being the first. Some ran beside my machilla a 
great distance, or when I walked, walked by my side, 
playing on little musical instruments of three notes, and 
singing songs in a monotone. 

Throughout Rhodesia the natives are very fond of 
music, and more than one instance has been known 
of a boy who sang better than his neighbours having 
his eyes put out, so that he could not leave the village. 

I left Chitambo later in the day than I should have 
done, for in May the days are short and cold, and dark- 
ness comes with sundown at six o'clock. My carriers 
and cook-boy had started off many hours in advance, 
and I had instructed the head-boy in charge that they 
were to wait for me at Kawanda, where I wished to 
camp that night. 

Kawanda lies about half a mile off the mail road, in 
fact the road stops altogether here and begins again 
about four miles further on. It must be remembered 
that the "mail road" is the native path usually taken 
by the post carriers, and, though fairly broad in places, 
it is often for miles no wider than an ordinary native 
path, the breadth of which is usually about fifteen or 
eighteen inches. When part of the carriers in advance 
come across paths which cross each other, or lie almost 
parallel, they lay twigs of trees or even long blades 



240 Via Rhodesia 

of grass across the wrong path after they have ascertained 
the correct one, so that the ulendo fohowing may know 
which way to take. 

The journey from Chitambo to Kawanda took much 
longer than I had estimated, and I soon gave up walking 
and urged my machilla team to go as quickly as possible, 
for, on an unknown road, and off the main track, travel- 
ling at dusk is uncertain and not very pleasant, and 
when the sun has set, an hour seems eternity, so quickly 
the darkness comes, and with the appearance of the 
first star one shivers with cold. I hugged my little dog 
"Ugly" and kept the little black mongrel warm, but I 
was cold and tired and not inclined to enjoy the attention 
of the natives of the little villages we passed through. 
The shouting youths who insisted on driving my men 
away and taking turns in carrying me were too zealous 
or very careless, for I w^as dropped four times, and every 
bone in my body ached. 

It was an eerie night, too, for after the shouting mob 
had left we entered some woods, and I seemed to feel 
that my boys were getting nervous. The moon was 
only at its lirst quarter, and we had no torches. The 
diamond fields of the skies did their best, and the stars 
were luminous and beautiful, but there were shadows 
on every side, shadows dark and mysterious. Every 
now and then the boys would suddenly howl and imitate 
the cries of wild animals with, I presume, homoeopathic 
ideas of keeping possible wild beasts away. Then there 
would be silence, save for the footsteps on ground and 
grass, and the deep breathing of the boys as they moved 
onward as quickly as possible. 

I kept the sail-cloth covering of my machilla up, and 
looked eagerly from side to side, wondering if I should 
see gleaming in the darkness those cruel yellow eyes 
the lion-hunter looks for and the natives dread. 



Caught in the Dark 241 

The Awemba tribe, to which my carriers belonged, 
consider themselves unclean if they even touch the 
skin of a dead lion, and should they have done so they 
must not enter the kraal until they have been cleansed, 
so when my boys began quite suddenly whistling, 
groaning, growling, and even hysterically laughing, I 
thought to myself : it isn't the one who whistles the 
loudest who fears the ghost the least. 

Then the path became so narrow that we had to ad- 
vance in single file, for the trees entwined above, and 
there was much undergrowth. The path ahead, seen 
by the starlight, seemed to wind away in the distance 
as the spectre of a snake, while the patches of light 
through the trees looked almost worse than darkness, 
and suggested that the ghosts were hanging out their 
washing. 

Poor little " Ugly " grew very restless, he whined and 
shivered and seemed very unhappy. I held him tightly, 
afraid lest he should jump out, for leopards soon scent 
out dogs and make short work of them. The road after 
a while grew wider, and the boys came nearer together ; 
then suddenly they stopped their noise, for without any 
warning we had stepped from the shelter of the trees 
into a long, deep swamp. 

By daylight swamps are not pleasant, but at night 
and when the moon is hiding three-quarters of its face, 
they are, to say the least of it, speculative. One of the 
boys slipped and went in up to his waist, another one 
caught him, while two others seized the side of my 
machilla, shouting to the others to help. They managed 
to raise me to the level of their heads, and so, wading 
through water, mud, and slime, we struggled on and 
out. 

Again the wild shouting and whistling began, only 
quite suddenly to stop, for it seemed the calls were 



242 Via Rhodesia 

answered, and I was about to congratulate myself on 
the fact that my camp must be just on the other side 
of the rise, when it dawned upon me that the answering 
shouts and yells were only echoes. 

The boys did not resume their noise, but w^alked 
cautiously, and seemed like wild animals to be sniffmg 
the air, and then they broke into a glad shout, for the 
scent of burning wood was wafted to us, telling that a 
kraal was near, and we entered a narrow pathway 
leading between high-growing Kaffir corn. 

We approached a large native village, and evidently 
we were expected. My carriers had passed that way 
early in the day, and doubtless sang of their Donna 
Chubwina, for crowds of natives were standing outside 
their huts. One huge ruffian dashed forward and seized 
one end of the machilla pole, the front end, before the 
one at the back was aware of his intention, and I had 
the worst fall of the day. Oh, that hard ground ! My 
spine shivers at the memory. I was already fairly 
bruised, but that last tumble was the last straw\ I 
hadn't a laugh left in me, I wanted to howl. I was 
soon up, however, and on the boys rushed, carrying me 
with rapid strides past the shouting men and inquisitive 
women. About a mile we went, and I was wondering 
how much more I could stand, w^hen I saw in the dis- 
tance the welcome sight of a dozen fires blazing, and 
knew that my camp was gained at last. How beautiful 
seemed the clouds of smoke, and how savoury the goat 
roasting for my supper ! 



CHAPTER XXVI 

Native Custiviis 

I HAVE omitted to mention before, that when I 
started away from Serenje I was amazed to find 
what I thought were new bo3's in my ulendo, but 
I soon discovered them to be the old ones transformed ; 
several had taken advantage of the two days' rest to 
have their heads clean shaved, and instead of black 
wool I saw what appeared to be mahogany eggs with the 
shells off. Others, preferring more fancy styles, had 
shaved each other's heads in patterns ; one man, in fact, 
looked as though his head was fastened from the nape 
of his neck to his forehead by tiny buttons, for about 
an inch apart from each other were tufts of hair the 
size of a tickey (threepenny-piece) left on the otherwise 
bare scalp. The boys shave each other's heads with 
pieces of glass or flint or hard sharp stones. 

The Awemba tribe, to which the majority of my 
carriers belonged, boast of being an unconquered tribe. 
They are by no means ugly, comparing very favourably 
with other tribes, both in stature and general appear- 
ance. Some have quite good, regular features, fine eyes, 
and long, upward-curling eyelashes. 

The chief tribes of Southern Rhodesia are the Matabele 
and Mashona. North-west dwell the Barotse in Barotse- 
land under King Luwananika, and the Mashukulumbwe, 
the latter extending from the Kafue northwards. In 
N.E. Rhodesia are the M'lala, M'Senga, and Awemba. 

243 



244 ^^i^'^ Rhodesia 

The M'lala women in the north are ugly in face and 
stinnpy in form, while the Matabele women in the south 
have beautiful hgures and often pretty faces. 

The Awemba women (N.E. Rhodesia) are almost as 
good-looking as the Awemba men. Unlike the M'lala 
women, they do not disfigure their mouths by wearing 
unsightly lip ornaments, but instead affect ear-rings of a 
painful though not so disfiguring nature. 

Some of the past history and native customs as still 
practised by the Awemba tribes are most interesting, 
and I am indebted to Mr. West-Sheene, the Acting 
Magistrate at Fife, N.E. Rhodesia, and others, for in- 
formation on the subject ; it is impossible in this book 
to give lull details, as in like manner one must not 
describe many of the customs of the whites appertaining 
to matters medical. 

When a child is born, only the Nakimbusa (nurse) is 
present, and the mother usually confesses to her all 
the sins of her life, thus going through the ritual of the 
confessional, and for the honour of the nurse let it be 
added that the seal of secrecy is not often broken. 

The nurses are always old women and are held in high 
esteem, songs being sung and dances given in their 
honour at feasts and on all festive occasions. 

A newly born child is first washed, and then a little 
salt is placed in its mouth, after which the nurse hands 
it back to the mother and invites the father to enter the 
hut. The child is given to him, and after he has looked 
at it he returns it to the mother. If the birth has 
occurred during the day, he then goes out immediately 
to inform the neighbours. 

If the baby is a man child he says, " Wa kanando " 
(he is for the hoe), and if a girl he says, " Wa mpero " 
(she is for the mill). Then the wife's friends come and 
say, " Samalale mukwai " (congratulations). 



Native Customs 



24s 



If the mother and child die at child-birth then the 
bodies are buried at cross-roads, as the natives think the 
mother must have sinned greatly, and when women pass 
that way to draw 
water they say over 
the grave " Wapo- 
leni " (is it well with 
you?), andthus strive 
to conciliate the dead 
woman's spirit. 

Some time after 
the birth the old men 
of the village come 
together before the 
hut. The child is 
placed on a goat-skin 
facing the door ; 
then the ' ' musonga ' ' 
(first drink) for the 
child is cooked. The 
mother is present, 
leaning on an axe if 
the child is a male 
and on a hoe if 
female. 

Then the medicine 
man places on the 
mother's right toe 
some ointment pre- 
pared for this cere- 
mony, and with this 

the mother anoints the child, beginning with the right 
thigh and rubbing in the ointment up to the neck ; and 
holding the child between her knees she anoints in the 
same manner the left foot and up the thigh to the neck. 




WOMAN WITH EAR ORNAMENTS 



246 Via Rhodesia 

By this time the " musonga " has been cooked, and a 
young child relative of the baby must give it, a ycnmg 
child being chosen because a child, being a virgin, is 
considered holy. The child having onh^ just touched 
the lips of the baby with the pap, then hands the baby 
to the father, who returns it to the mother saying, " Na 
bweshya mvana obe " (I return your child). 

Then the medicine man, who has been consulting 
the lots drawn by the old men, comes and proclaims 
before all the name of the child ; the doctor, who be- 
comes thus the name-giver, is regarded as a sort of 
godfather of the child, and this relationship is known 
as " M'bozwa." 

If the baby is a firstborn, the father and mother are 
henceforth called by the name of their child preceded 
by the particle Si — father, or Na — mother. Thus the 
parents of a child named Chanda would henceforth be 
Sichanda and Nachanda. No wife may call her husband 
by his proper name until she has borne a child by him ; 
she must content herself by saying " uyu " (him) or 
" mwini wandi " (my master) or " munandi " (my com- 
panion). 

When the first tooth appears, the baby's gums are 
bared. The relatives, when satisfied that the lower 
teeth are appearing first, congratulate the mother. It 
is considered ill-omiened for the upper row of teeth to 
come first, so much so that on the latter event occurring 
the baby is often made away with by drowning. 

The mother is responsible for the safety and good 
conduct of her female children, and very strict are the 
Awemba ideas on this point, though differing from 
English custom somewhat — for a betrothed couple may 
live together until the actual marriage takes place, 
though during this time platonic friendship is insisted on. 

The marriage is arranged by a third party. The cere- 



Native Customs 247 

mony of betrothal is called " Kisungu " and the nuptial 
rites are called " Bwinga." These are the two most 
important ceremonies in the lives of the natives. 

The giving of presents or dowry is considered a pledge 
and not as a selling of their daughter, and the giving of 
the "impango" does not constitute marriage but is only 
one of its conditions. 

When the time for the marriage has been settled, 
the girl leaves the hut of her fiance and returns to her 
mother, and rites and dances then take place which 
last for several weeks ; but the bride-elect has a sorry 
time, for she must remain in the seclusion of her mother's 
hut and go through many ordeals, the meaning and 
ultimate utility of which are difficult to understand ; 
they certainly appear to be both silly and useless. 

A crown of thorns is placed on her head, and she is 
made to jump over stools, while at night she is frightened 
by a man outside the hut imitating the roar of a lion ; 
all these tests are called " Mbusa." 

When the end of the mionth draws nigh, the bride- 
groom appears at the door of the hut with bow and 
arrow, saying, " Nunshye nama yandi " (where is my 
game ?). He peers round, and finds a small target with 
a dot of black in the centre ; he shoots, and if he scores 
a bull he dances, but if he misses the women assembled 
pinch him. 

This custom certainly seems more sensible, for it at 
any rate encourages sport, and at times must be rather 
amusing and not unlike our game of " touch about." 

Not until another month has passed do the joint lives 
of bride and bridegroom begin ; then they are shaved, 
and after having bathed at the village stream they return 
to their hut, and the villagers bring presents of beads 
to the bridegroom and flour to the bride. 

But for still another two days the marriage ceremony 



248 Via Rhodesia 

lasts (no quick ten minutes* registry rush is permissible 
with the Awemba). 

Tlie bride shuts herself into the hut and the bride- 
groom visits surrounding villages begging beads and 
arrow-heads with which he must pay the parents of the 
bride. When he returns he puts a maize cob at the end 
of his spear. The bride, having been warned of his 
approach, appears at the door ; he rushes at the maiden 
with the weapon in his hand ; she backs into the hut 
and closes the door ; he beats upon the door, and then 
goes off to more dancing and feasting. 

The next day the bridegroom must again be shaved, 
and this time most of his curls are cut, and brushed 
aw^ay with a zebra's tail, the cut hair being placed in a 
basket and hidden safely away. 

The ceremony of shaving and hiding the hair is re- 
peated four times. At the end of each shave the groom 
turns to the bride, who then stands up (she having left 
the hut for a space) and places his foot on her extended 
foot. He then takes a stick from his mother-in-law and 
touches the bride W'ith it ; the mother-in-law then takes 
off his head-dress and stretches a mat for him, on which 
the bride sits supporting the bridegroom on her knees ; 
the father-in-law then makes a long speech, and gives 
his son-in-law an arrow. This arrow is kept, and re- 
turned in the event of divorce ; it therefore seems to 
point to some legal significance or certificate. 

Although the maiden is now a bride she does not 
speak in the bridegroom's presence until the next day, 
when he gives her a present to break the silence. 

And who can say that these ceremonies rival in tedium 
the months of trial preliminary to a fashionable marriage 
at St. George's, Hanover Square ? 

With so many ceremonies attached to marriage, no 
wonder a man goes through them only with his first 



Native Customs 



249 



two \vi\'es. Sliould he afterwards wish for more female 
society in addition to his two legally wedded wives, he 
must provide a separate hut for each lady. 

Divorce is not easy, but separation can be arranged. 
Very few widows exist, as a widow is theoretically the 
wife of the next heir, who is the elder brother. Nor is 
a man a widower for long. If his wife dies, her sister 
or nearest relation must take her place. Should the 
sister be too young, the father-in-law provides another 



^..<<r^./v 

















A BARBER'S SHOP IN THE WILDS, N.E. RHODESIA 



housekeeper (or should one say hut-keeper ?) until the 
sister-in-law has grown up. 

The widowTr places beer on his wife's grave, then 
walks in the garden with his new w'ife, who, on entering 
his hut, sits down on a mat, taking the man on her 
knees (as in the " Bwinga " ceremonious marriage), to 
show that she is henceforth his, and the people dance 
round, thus acknowledging the new wife. 

The sources of native law are to be found in the 
decisions of the old men, who are the councillors to 
the Chiefs, and in the utterances of their M'ganga as to 



250 Via Rhodesia 

what was " fas " or " nefas," pleasing or displeasing, to 
the gods. 

In the past the Awemba Chiefs, while assiduously 
attending to their judicial duties (one Chief died at his 
post as judge), defied the code they themselves enforced 
on others by the most bloodthirsty acts against their 
own subjects, merely to strike terror into their hearts. 
Many, instead of having recourse to the law to right 
their wrongs, sought relief in suicide, which habit the 
Awemba derived from the Bakongo, from whom they 
migrated. 

Under the Awemba Kings the head-village at Kili- 
amkulu was divided into thirty-three quarters and 
superintended by Kilolo, who were responsible for the 
peace of the village. They acted as assessors in all 
cases with the King, and decided questions of peace 
and war. They may be compared to the Greek Gerousia. 

At the King's death, the Wakabiro were consulted as 
regards the succession. These Wakabiro, or divisional 
head-men, were put over the various provinces conquered 
by the Awemba, collected dues, and lived on their 
subjects. 

The Simuperva, or guardians of the gates, were custom- 
house officials, usually posts occupied by the King's sons 
or his powerful brothers. 

When any Ainamwanga wished to put themselves 
under the protection of the province of Abemba, they 
had to pay their toll by giving a woman to Chipakula 
or Makasa, the guardians. 

If the Kilolo thought that the Awuvu were not paying 
enough toll, they sent a Simuperva with a spear as a 
sign of war. Kafwimbi, who was a man of peace, would 
send back the most beautiful of his daughters, with a 
hoe on her head as a token of submission, and his old 
men with presents of cattle and food. 



Native Customs 251 

If the King accepted the girl as his wife, then the old 
men called him their father-in-law, and he told them to 
tell Kafwimbi that his people might hoe that year as 
their crops would be safe. 

Every poor native, if free, tried to marry a free woman, 
so that his children should not be called "anamushya," 
sons of a slave, afterwards marrying a slave woman 
when he acquired more wealth. 

Exogamy children take the clan name or token from 
their mother and must not intermarry with their mother's 
relations. 

An Awemba w^ho married into his mother's clan was 
shunned by all in former times. Nowadays this rule 
seems elastic, although marrying with first cousins on 
the mother's side is still strictly forbidden. 

The wives of the Chiefs had less power than the 
mothers of Kings, the succession being handed down on 
the distaff side. 

The sister of a King could choose as many husbands as 
she wished, and they had to call her husband, the men 
being the wives. 

The women take no part in the government, but by 
the selection of good-looking husbands they have raised 
a splendid race. 

The Awemba still wrap their dead in a blanket and 
pray to it, saying they will put beer on the tomb and 
look after the children. Then one of the mourners gets 
into the grave and cuts a hole into the blanket just over 
the ear, so that the dead can hear God speak. 

About forty-five miles from M'pika there is to be seen 
a huge field of skulls. This is where the Awemba fought 
the M'lala with axes, and conquered them. 

The Angoni claim that the Awemba have never beaten 
them, but this is disputed. 

The system of matriarchy was followed so that those 



252 Via Rhodesia 

whose mothers were of royal blood could inherit ; thus 
M^^•a^lba would be succeeded by his brother, who would 
take over all his wives, and failing the brother, the nephew 
by Mwamba's sister w^ould succeed. 

The ceremonies at the death of a King used to take 
nearly a year, and one of the horrible customs was to 
place above his grave a high heap of maidens who had 
been stabbed, and not until the blood from the top one 
had trickled down to the bottom of the grave was the 
Chief supposed to be satisfied. This practice, however, 
has been stopped by the Chartered Company, who at 
once on assuming possession prohibited the taking of 
life, and a story is told that wlien the last Chief died 
(about a hundred miles north of Chanda, N.E. Rhodesia) 
the natives were at a loss to know what to do with the 
body. They were afraid to bury him without the usual 
ceremony, and equally afraid of having to account to 
the Native Commissioner for any bloodshed, conse- 
quently they decided not to bury him at all, and made a 
case of beeswax in which the body was placed. 

Then a new difficulty arose. It was impossible for a 
new Chief to be installed when the old one remained 
above-ground, and so for some time they had no Chief 
at all, and the body of the old Chief remained unburied, 
embalmed in the beeswax. 

But the Native Commissioner got tired of settling 
their petty affairs and domestic differences for them, 
and came to the conclusion that they must elect a new 
Chief — but what was to be done with the body of the 
old one ? 

The influence witch-doctors and witchcraft used to pos- 
sess is now fast disappearing from the country, outwardly 
at any rate, and the natives are punished if they encourage 
or practise it, and this is probably the last story on 
record of a Native Commissioner holding a candle to the 



Native Customs 253 

devil. But something had to be done, so the white man 
in charge of the district sent for the witch-doctor and 
told him that unless the bod}^ of the old Chief was buried 
without bloodshed within a fortnight, and a new Chief 
elected, he, the witch-doctor, would answer for it with 
his life. History does not relate what spells the witch- 
doctor used to appease the spirit of the old Chief, but 
suffice it to say the body in the beeswax case disappeared 
and has not been seen or heard of since, and a new 
Chief reigns. 



CHAPTER XXVII 



Chilonga Mission 



WHEN about eleven miles from Kawanda there 
is a near cut to M'pumba by turning off the 
road to the east. All over this part of the 
country there is plenty of water, there being many 
small streams which even in the dry season still flow. 
About half a mile from M'pumba one rejoins the road 
again, and about three-quarters of a mile further on 
one comes to a high hill which must be climbed. 

The road from Serenje onward, north, is very good, far 
better, indeed, than many in N.W. Rhodesia, but one 
thing should be insisted upon all over Rhodesia, and 
the neglect made punishable, and that is, each chief or 
head-man of a village should be compelled to keep in 
some sort of order the approach on either side to his 
village. As it is, one finds as a rule the worst path- 
ways nearest the villages. 

Soon after the high hill is passed the end of the Serenje 
boundary is reached and that of M'pika begins, and 
about twenty miles further on is the Kilonga, or, as it is 
more usually called, the Chilonga, Mission, where live 
the French White Fathers. 

But before I reached there, and wirile near the Lum- 
batwa River, I began to feel very ill, and discovered I 
had a temperature of nearly 105°. After an absence, 
I was here again joined by the white boy who had 
first started wdth me as interpreter. He now seemed 

254 



Chilonga Mission 255 

bent on a combination of prospecting and studying the 
chances of labour recruiting. Although I no longer 
required his services, finding the few words I knew 
quite sufficient, I was glad of his company, for when 
one is ill, it is good to see someone of one's own colour, 
and he was very kind. 

Malarial fever takes about nine days to develop, and 
on thinking backward I remembered I had camped 
about that time rather near a big swamp, and further- 
more, tired out after a rather fatiguing day, I had gone 
to sleep without first covering my hands and arms wdth 
Muscatol, a delightful preventative against mosquito 
bites, which I generally used, besides always sleeping 
under a mosquito net. 

One's hands and wrists are apt to get bitten, if nothing 
is rubbed on them, while one takes one's evening meal. 
I took a big dose of quinine, and camped early that day, 
that is, as early as w^as possible, for though the boys 
knew I was ill they did not behave with their usual 
obedience, but deliberately took us about five miles astray 
in order to visit a small kraal where some of their friends 
lived. If I had known who the ringleader was, I really 
should have felt like cutting off his ears or performing 
some other pleasantry of the kind, which he would have 
appreciated. Then another boy, in order to lighten his 
load because he had obtained a bargain of some sort 
for himself, deliberately threw aw^ay a number of tent 
pegs, and naturally on that particular night the wind 
was exceptionally high and the cold crept into my tent 
in a cruel way. I had been told before I left England 
that if I were really ill all the boys would desert me, 
which was a comforting reflection to go to sleep upon. 

The next day, however, my temperature went down, 
and I felt less weak, but still, I was very glad when we 
arrived at Chilonga. It was noon on Sunday, May 31st, 



256 Via Rhodesia 

and the three Fathers, in their robes of cream serge, 
came to greet me ; with them was Mr. Melland, the 
Assistant Magistrate of M'pika, who had bicycled over 
to spend tlie Sunday with the Fathers. 

The mission buildings stand on the top of an eminence, 
and command an uninterrupted view of country for 
forty miles around. 

I was very glad that Mr. Melland was present, for 
the Fathers do not speak Fnglish, and my French is 
rather weak. A dainty dejeuner of soup and eggs was 
prepared for me, and as I sat in the refectory, unable 
really to do justice to their kind hospitality, everyone 
was much concerned that I was ill, and my heart was 
full of gratitude for their kindness. It seemed quite 
impossible to imagine that one was really in an English 
colony ; the Fathers with their robes, bronzed faces and 
dark beards, speaking either French or the native 
language, in which they are very proficient, the white- 
washed walls of the refectory, on which hang coloured 
prints of the Saints, the views of other white buildings, 
bathed in vivid sunshine through the open door, and of 
goats strolling about untethered, and the sky so blue 
above, combined to create the impression that I could 
not be in Rhodesia, and I almost imagined that I was 
in Italy. 

These Fathers came from Algeria, and had been in the 
country forty-two years. 

Both the church and the domestic buildings are 
foreign-looking in design, and are entirely the outcome 
of their teaching the natives to work, and I must say, 
that of all the missionaries, the Roman Catholic do 
the least harm, for they never preach equality nor allow 
the natives to approach the level of familiariiy in any 
way. They teach them to work and be clean and above 
all to respect the white man. Therefore, politically as 



Chilonga Mission 



257 



well as socially, the Roman Catholic missionaries may 
be congratulated, standing as they do at the head of 
the religious orders engaged in training the natives. 

That it is possible to live in Rhodesia on very little 
money while yet observing all the rules of cleanliness, 
comfort, and hospitality is shown by these teaching 
Fathers. The buildings were spotlessly clean, the table 
was loaded with good things to eat and home-made 
wines to drink, and the gardens were filled with vege- 




Hrjui 




CHILONGA MISSION STATION, N.E. RHODESIA 



tables, and yet each Father has an allowance of only 
twenty-five pounds a year to live upon ! 

I begged the Fathers, if they were in the habit of 
holding afternoon service, not to give it up on my 
account. It seemed that they usually had a service at 
two o'clock, but in order that I might have a little rest, 
and then attend the service, the bell was ordered to be 
rung to summon the natives at three o'clock. 

I shall never forget that service. It really was very 
impressive. Two chairs draped in scarlet were placed 
opposite each other in the chancel near the altar. I 



258 Via Rhodesia 

sat in one, the other being given to Mr. Melland. The 
whole of the aisle was filled with natives. The mass 
chanted by the congregation was led by one of the 
Fathers, who played a harmonium, and then another 
Father walked to the chancel rails and preached a short 
sermon in the native language. A few unruly black 
babies, who accompanied their mothers, yelled at 
intervals ; but nothing can upset the eloquence of a 
Roman Catholic priest who is in earnest. 

At the conclusion of the service came a dramatic sur- 
prise, and a great compliment was paid to me, an 
Englishwoman, for the Father Superior requested the 
congregation to sing the National Anthem, and kneeling, 
they sang one verse. 

The whole sea of black faces turned towards me, and I 
fear the thoughts of these people were more with the 
strange white woman present than with the King they 
prayed for. Their voices were harsh, perhaps, and the 
final notes a little uncertain, but that detracted nothing 
from the emotion that verse of the National Anthem 
stirred within me. 

The verse had been learnt for Empire Day, and on that 
Sunday only two white subjects of the vast English 
Empire were present to listen — the Magistrate and I — 
while around us Rhodesia, with its empty acres, a vast 
uninhabited land, craved the presence of the white people 
who own it. Here was space unlimited, while the poor 
w^orried Motherland over the sea had hardly room and 
food for her overcrowded children. 

After the service I sat with the Fathers for a little 
while on the verandah, at the top of a long flight of 
steps, and the natives were allowed to come and look at 
me, but all showed the greatest respect and no one was 
permitted to come too near or to be seated ; they either 
knelt or stood. The Fathers seemed to enjoy both 



Chilonga Mission 259 

affection and reverence. There was none of the hail- 
fellow-well-met air which is so deplorable about many 
mission stations and which, without elevating the native, 
leads to the deterioration of his respect for the white 
man. 

Then, feeling tired and faint, I retired to my tent, 
which had been erected near, and went to bed until the 
next day, still feeling the effects of the fever. At sunset 
I heard the beating of many drums, and I was after- 
wards told that this drumming had accompanied the 
many men from the native village, who had come to dance 
before the Fathers to show their appreciation of kind- 
ness received. 

Being too weak to dine with the Fathers, I remained 
in my tent, and was greatly refreshed by the huge mug 
of fresh milk brought to me. How strange it is what tiny 
details get impressed upon one's memory ! I remember 
that mug so well ; it was of blue enamel covered on one 
side with pink flowers, and in my dreams the drums all 
turned to blue mugs, and the whole world seemed to 
join in a war-dance, while the perfume of all flowers, no 
matter what colour or kind, was that of incense. 

Truly, every thought and every action of these French 
Fathers carries not only an odour of sanctity with it, 
but emanates from unselfish hearts, for these priests 
do not amass wealth by trading with the natives as I 
have heard many missionaries of other denominations 
accused of doing, but give their lives and their own 
possessions to the cause of helping others. 

One lady, the wife of a Government official, said to 
me : 

" When I was ill with smallpox, no one offered to 
help me but a French Father, and he came and was 
willing to nurse me." 



A 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

Lio]is 

BOUT sixteen and a half miles from the Chilonga 
jMission is M'pika. It is not such a pretty boma 
as Serenje, but then Serenje has many natural 
advantages in the beauty of the surrounding scenery, 
and so it is hardly fair to compare the two, and as a 
boma M'pika is certainly very well arranged. The 
buildings have been erected round an open square space 
where an armed police-boy patrols at night ; the roads 
in the vicinity of the boma are well made and lined 
with trees, while as for the garden, of which Mr. Melland 
is justly proud, it is perfectly wonderful. The following 
is a list of fruit trees and vegetables which are grown in 
this garden :■ — 

Fruit Trees : peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, 
apples, pears, cherries, tangerines, oranges, limes, lemons, 
citrons, figs, mangoes, mulberries, vines, Cape goose- 
berries, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries. 

Vegetables : peas, haricot beans, broad beans, cab- 
bage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, carrots, beet- 
root, parsnip, leeks, shallots, tomatoes, salsify, celery, 
mint, parsley, cucumber. 

Various : coffee, rubber, wheat, oats, lucerne, pota- 
toes; and furthermore, a hundred rose trees and a large 
number of other ffowers. 

I had my first taste of strawberries for that year, 
and at night we had broad beans for dinner ! Some 

260 



Lions 



261 



people may prefer asparagus out of season at 35s. a 
bunch, but let anyone travel 300 miles, very little of 
which is cultivated, and then unexpectedly be offered 
fresh beans, that man will certainly say grace in his 
heart even if his lips are silent. 







POST OFFICE, M'PIKA 



I wish space permitted me to give an adequate de- 
scription of this garden. The arrangements both for 
draining and watering w^ere excellent, and I could have 
spent many pleasant hours walking through the narrow 
pathways and stepping across tiny streams, only to 
discover again and again surprises both in fruit, vege- 
tables, and other plants. 

There are trees in Rhodesia which I have never seen 
elsewhere, but, of course, that is not to say that they 
are not to be found in other parts of the world. I refer 
to the beautiful trees having leaves of a dark green 
colour, whose tops are covered with crimson flowers, 



262 Via Rhodesia 

which give, in the distance, the idea that a giant damask 
rose tree has blossomed forth. The trees are not large, 
as people in England think of timber, but they are 
much bigger than the average Rhodesian tree, and the 
effect is very beautiful when one sees many such trees 
on a hill-side. On closer inspection the flowers seem to 
be more like tiny clusters of leaves than actual flowers. 
Many of these trees grow in the vicinity of M'pika. 

A guest house is to be built as soon as possible, but I 
was given some offices which had just been completed 
and were afterwards to be used for Government work, 
the Post Office then serving for magisterial purposes as 
well. 

A prison has been built at the cost of £80, to afford 
night accommodation for twenty. No day rooms are 
required, as criminals work out of doors in the day- 
time, unless ill. 

I regret to say the gentle sex out here are often un- 
ruly, too. I saw one coloured lady, engaged in pound- 
ing corn, who was doing time for being drunk and dis- 
orderly and biting a policeman. Female prisoners are 
never flogged. 

Nowhere in the world, I suppose, is there such a beauti- 
ful brickfield. In the tile-sheds the rafters overhead are 
covered with ferns, beautiful trees edge the sheds, and 
near by a running stream makes music. After moulding, 
the bricks are dried in the open and the tiles under the 
sheds. Bricks cost only 3d. a 1000 to make, and tiles 
lod. 

When I was there Mr. Melland lived alone in " The 
Residency," and Mr. Waterall, who was introduced to 
me the first night as the Postmaster-General, and the 
second night as the Chief Commissioner of Public Works, 
has a house some distance away, while the offices placed 
at my disposal were at the farthest side of the open 



Lions 



263 



space (it can hardly be called a market square, for there 
are no markets). After dusk set in, however, I was 
given ample escort to cross the square, going to and 
from dinner, the police-boy carrying his rifle with 
bayonet fixed, another boy holding a lantern, and Mr. 
Waterall accompanying me with loaded revolver. These 
precautions were quite necessary, on account of the 
daring and ferocity of lions, who had only recently been 
in the neighbourhood ; in fact, Mr. Waterall said it 
was the first time he had walked out at night without 
his -470 rifle. 

It seems that, about seven weeks previous to my visit, 
six lions had visited M'pika and on dark nights would 
come right into the boma and howl outside the Magis- 
trate's house, and news came from the village that 
twenty-eight natives had been eaten by them. 




TILES DRYING Al M PIKA 



The guards, though doubled, refused to cross the 
square, sitting instead on the stoep outside the Magis- 
trate's house. Special lights were arranged, and the 
Magistrate and his Assistant rested during the day 



264 Via Rhodesia 

so that they might have a good chance of shooting 
the brutes, if possible, at night. They were successful 
in killing three, but knew by the spoor that the 
other three were still at large and might return at any 
time. 

Lions usually travel in ones and twos, but these 
creatures were specially uncanny beasts, and entirely 
exploded the idea that a lion will not touch dead or 
carrion food. Just previous to the visits of the lions 
several natives had died of pneumonia, and instead of 
being buried in deep holes (natives are always buried in 
a sitting posture) they were apparently only sprinkled 
over with earth, and the natives declared that the lions 
smelt out the dead bodies and, digging them up, eat 
them ! 

One hears many strange stories of lions, and the crea- 
tures seem almost human in their varying characters. 
At one place a lion was killed and his entrails were 
buried. At night a lioness was seen to be prowling 
about. The next day a goat was tethered to a tree near, 
to tempt the lioness back again, should she be in the 
neighbourhood. At night the lioness returned, but the 
goat slept peacefully, for apparently she was only 
interested in finding the body of her husband. The 
entrails she seems to have found, for the ground all 
round was rooted up, while her spoor told the story 
of the object of her visit, for having satisfied herself as 
to her lord's death the lioness went away, leaving the 
goat untouched, and never returned. Another widowed 
lioness took a more tragic view of life, for she, finding 
the unburied body of her mate, who had died from 
poison, deliberately took a bite out of his flesh and was 
found dead by his side ! The Administrator (the late 
Mr. R. Codrington) was told of this, but he at first would 
not believe it ; however, after visiting the spot and 



Lions 265 

examining the carcases he was convinced of the truth 
of the story. 

Some natives worship hons, beheving them to be the 
returned spirits of departed chiefs who at death are 
turned into these " kings of beasts," and even should a 
hon destroy a whole herd of cattle, no attempt is made 
to kill it, as to them it means that the chief has come 
back to earth. 

The unused offices had been given me to sleep in, 
but I fear I did not sleep much the two nights I was 
there. Somehow I do not care to be in an empty room, 
knowing there is another empty one beyond, and the 
lion stories were not calculated to calm my nerves. 
There was a fine moon, and the whole of the empty 
space was cloaked in silver, and I knew that the dark 
shadow now and again appearing was only the guard 
on patrol, but still I wished that little " Ugly," the httle 
black puppie, would wake up, and not sleep in that un- 
sympathetic way, rolled up like a ball of black silk, and 
I kept a candle alight for company. 

I have a horror of the dark, and when I first started 
living in a tent I was most extravagant in the way of 
candles. The first night after going to bed I burnt 
three candles, and on the second two and a half. I 
then made a calculation which horrified me, for I found 
that, going on at that rate, I should require about 
200 candles before I reached Tanganyika. Forced 
economy made me brave, but I always kept the matches 
within reach. 

The night after leaving M'pika I camped about 
seventeen miles away, and ordered that extra fires 
should be made. The hour after sunset was very beauti- 
ful. The veld seemed filled with singing beetles and 
crowned with a wonderfully sheltering sky. She was 
bending down over the camp with arms of gold^and 



2 66 Via Rhodesia 

hair of silver, and soon showed many, many eyes of 
sparkhng hght. 

Little " Ugly " was asleep on my lap. I didn't want 
to go to bed, for sleep holds dreams, and to awake in an 
enclosure is to be alone. Out there by the camp fire, 
who could be lonely with the whole world for company ? 

Then I sang to my banjo, and all the men stopped 
their chattering and turned to listen. No, I am not a 
musician, but there are snatches of songs which take 
beauty from the surroundings and make harmony of 
one's thoughts. 

And then one by one the men stretched themselves 
out and went to sleep, only the fires and I were awake, 
and it was some time before I crept away to my tent, 
the cry of hyenas in my ears and in my heart the fear 
that soon other sounds might come, sounds holding even 
greater horror than darkness. 

Selous has since told me that he loves to be surrounded 
by the calls of wild animals. I, too, felt a weird, awful 
fascination, but alas ! I must be a coward, for fear was 
there too, like a damp cold hand on my forehead. 



CHAPTER XXIX 
Chanibezi River 

SO good were the native crops round Serenje and 
M'pika in 1909 that I was assured that if the 
natives had no more harvests for two years they 
would not starve ; that is to say, if they could be in- 
duced to store more ; but immediately the native has 
stored what he thinks is sufficient for the needs of his 
family, the remainder of the meal is placed on one side 
for conversion into beer, so the greater the harvest the 
greater the drinking at festivities. 

Beyond M'pika there are not any villages calling for 
special notice, but the road is good and there are native- 
made bridges over the rivers. 

About fifty miles from M'pika the Tsetse Fly belt 
begins, and stretches for about thirty miles. Nothing is 
obtainable here, and with the exception of the ffies 
there is practically no sign of animal life. There is no 
sleeping sickness anywhere in this district, and there- 
fore, though the flies are irritating, their bites are not 
harmful to human life, but they mean death to animals. 

I kept little " Ugly " in the machilla, and we were 
both wrapped up in green mosquito netting, but it is 
impossible to keep the flies from biting a dog even 
when great care is taken. I bade " Ugly " adieu later 
at Blantyre, and have not heard since if he survived 
or not, as a bite from a tsetse fly does not always take 
effect at once. 

267 



2 68 Via Rhodesia 

The boys all armed themselves with branches of trees 
to keep the flies off them, but a fly has to bite very 
deeply and repeat the operation on the same spot 
before a native notices it has alighted on his back. 

Tsetse flies are somewhat like the horse-flies we see in 
England, the same long shape and brown colour, only 
the wings fold over into a point at the tip, and they have 
six legs and a needle in lieu of a tongue. 

I don't wish to be blasphemous, but oh, I wish when 
Monsieur le bon Dicii was planning Rhodesia more 
imagination had been devoted to bird life and less 
attention given to insects, for there are too many 
annoying specimens, and the natives, who seem to 
find a use for most of Nature's gifts, have so far found 
no requirement which insects can help to fulfil. 

It is really amusing to watch a native when he wants 
anything. Supposing it should happen that the goat's 
skin which so far has stood duty as portmanteau has 
done its service and exists no more, there being no 
Harrod's store near, he cuts a piece of bark off a tree 
and makes a fine hold-all, the string being of fibre 
twisted into rope. 

Then, if limbo is scarce, need a native go naked ? 
Certainly not. Again the bark of a tree serves, being 
converted, by hammering, into cloth, which is sewn 
together with grass, the latter doing duty as needle 
and cotton in one. When finished, the garment looks 
like one of suede leather of a delicate tan hue. 

I was very glad when, the tsetse fly belt having been 
passed, signs of animal and bird life again appeared. 
One morning, when we had paused for a breakfast 
interval, a little honey-bird flew to a tree quite near me 
and began calling in a very excited manner. One of the 
boys whistled in reply, and then the bird flew away 
and the boy, quickly running, disappeared. He did not 



Chambezi River 269 

return for quite an hour, in fact, I was just thinking 
of moving on without him, when, with flashing eyes 
and a broad grin, he appeared by my side and offered 
me a large honeycomb filled with honey ; with gestures 




PREPARING TO CROSS CHAMBEZI RIVER, N.E. RHODESIA 

and whistling he showed me how he had run and how 
finally the little bird had led him to a tree up which 
he had climbed, to find the honeycomb in a hole in the 
trunk. I hope he left a little for the bird, for there is 
a superstition that if a honey-bird leads you to a place 
where the bees have deposited their honey and you do 
not give her any, then some day she will lead you on 
and on until you are lost and can never get back to your 
kraal again. 

I cannot remember being so glad to see water as 
when we reached the Chambezi, for the rivers and 
streams, although swiftly flowing and often a true oasis 
in a great expanse of uninteresting land, were after all 
such little rivers, and to one used to the rivers and lakes 



2/0 Via Rhodesia 

of England, Africa seemed not too well dowered so far 
as water is concerned. 

But the Chambezi ! Its size was a great surprise, 
and evidently my boys knew something of it and 
were certain of my admiration, for, as we drew near, 
they tried to tell me many things by word and song, 
and there was a general atmosphere of satisfaction 
abroad. 

The Chambezi is easy of approach from both sides, 
there being no swamps near. Like a lake it looked, so 
broad was it in comparison with the other samples of 
rivers I had seen. There was a good supply of dugout 
canoes to take my ulendo across, and my boatman 
intimated by pointing up the stream and back again 
and then at the canoe that he would take me boating if 
I wished, and I decided that I would stay the day there, 
and camp near, and explore the beauties of the river 
the next morning instead of continuing my journey 
immediately. Then I left the river, and when the camp 
was being made I walked away to look at the country 
round, taking two of my boys with me. 

I came upon a most weird-looking plain ; all the grass 
had been burnt, and here and there, peeping up from 
the harsh, black carpet, were single blades of new young 
emerald grass, while on either side and far, far away as the 
eye could reach, ant-heaps, like narrow, perpendicular 
steeples, rose up from the ground to the height of many 
feet. I seemed to have come to a grotesque cemetery 
filled with skeleton monuments. The ant-heaps were 
grey in colour, and rising from the black, burnt earth, 
the sombre appearance can be imagined. Here seemed 
the ideal conception of a satirical series of tombs built 
up on the burial-ground of wasted thoughts. 

The Chambezi is an ideal spot for the sportsman, if 
he craves a big and easy bag, for every conceivable 



Chambezi River 271 

animal comes to the river to drink. The bucks are so 
tame, it seems cruel to shoot them. 

After leaving the open plain I entered more thickly 
wooded country, and here every minute one saw a buck 
of some sort or other. I am not very keen on killing 
things, but I was tired of tinned meat, and even "cuc- 
koos " may pall, so I took aim at a pookoo standing on 
rising ground about sixty yards away (I think, though I 
confess to not being a very accurate judge). I fired, 
but had aimed too low, for the dust flew up ; the obliging 
creature, however, stood quite still, and the second shot 
spelt death. 

I was anxious to secure the skin, for by this time I 
had learnt that if one has not remembered to bring 



N 




CARAVAN CKOSSIXG CF1 AMl'.KZI RIVKK, N.K. KH()I)P.SIA 

arsenical soap, ashes spread over the pelt will preserve 
a skin, and I told my boys, as best I could, not to skin 
the animal there, but to bring it into camp, as I not 
only wanted the skin but also wished to photograph 



272 



Via Rhodesia 






the buck before it was skinned. But this time my 
pantomimic instructions failed, and only a portion of 
my wislies were understood. True, they did not skin 
the buck on the spot where it fell, but carried it into 

camp and skinned it 
there before I had 
fetched my camera 
from the tent — also 
the skin disappeared, 
and only the skull 
and horns of the ex- 
terior fell to my por- 
tion. That is how 
I knew it was a 
pookoo, because by 
showing the horns 
afterwards I was told 
so by a white man — ■ 
no, not even in a 
book of travel will I 
claim a knowledge I 
do not possess — and 
in zoology I am not 
a bit learned. 

The next morning 
I went boating on 
the river. It was 
Sunday, and I smiled 
to myself as I con- 
trasted my dugout 
with a launch on the Thames, and thought how amusing 
it would be to appear suddenly with my boys at Boulter's 
Lock ! I should like to have had some good photographs 
of the boating-party, but I had to trust to my head-man 
to take the photo, and I fear the result is not too good. 




CHANDA MAKUllA, CHIEFTAINESS OF CHANDA, 
N.E. RHODESIA. MY TENT IN liACKGROUND 



Chambezi River 273 

At first my cameras were regarded with suspicion by 
my boys, but they soon got used to them and would 
often run and fetch me one if I paused while walking 
or seemed interested in any special object. The natives 
in the villages, however, were very difficult to take ; 
they either ran away or would not stand still, and by the 
time I had bribed acquiescence the light would change, 
or another native would arrive and divert their attention 
or spoil the group, or they got tired and calml}/ walked 
away. 

When I returned from the little river trip and alighted 
from the dugout, I saw a man regarding me with special 
interest. I had not noticed him the previous day. He 
seemed greatly excited, and my boys eventually made 
me understand that the new arrival had come from far 
away, and I was the first white woman he had ever 
seen. I was very sorry I had not a better specimen to 
show him, but apparently my appearance pleased him, 
for he presented me with his bow and an arrow. I had 
nothing in my pocket but a bright new thimble, so I 
gave him that, and doubtless he will wear it as an ear- 
ring for the rest of his days. 

The large village of Chanda is about nine and a half 
miles from the Chambezi, and here a chieftainess, Chanda 
Makuba, reigns. She inherited from her brother, who 
was the chief but now is dead, and enjoying the royal 
privilege, she is allowed as many husbands as she likes. 
She brought two to call on me. So far as one can judge a 
native's age, Chanda Makuba appeared tobe about twenty- 
eight or thirty. She allowed me to take her photograph ; 
the light, however, was fading, and so the result was not 
very good. The chieftainess wore a great number of bead 
chains and metal bracelets, and seemed very keen on a 
big trade being done between my boys and the villagers, 
who brought meal and sweet potatoes. It was very 



274 



Via Rhodesia 



amusing to see the natives bargaining with each other. 
Fowls, goats, and eggs were very plentiful, and I was 
able thoroughly to restock my larder. 

After all the trading was over, Chanda Makuba asked 




NATIVES ON THEIR WAY TO MY CAMP TO TRADE, N.E. RHODESIA 



for a prize, and, wonder of wonders, showed by an imita- 
tion display of washing that what she craved most was 
a piece of soap ! 

I seemed to feel I was indeed in the presence of 
royalty, and proffered a piece of Sunlight soap, which 
was graciously accepted. 

Chanda village contains more interesting features than 
many native villages, for the women are better looking 
than usual. One girl in particular I admired ; she was 
over six feet in height, but she would not stand upright 
for me to photograph her, being very sensitive about 
her (for a native woman) extraordinary height. 

In this village I also found some rude paintings on 
one of the huts, daubs in red and blue pigments, which 
were difficult to photograph. 

I evidently found favour in the eyes of the native 



Chambezi River 



275 



queen, for when my ulendo passed through the village 
the next morning, Chanda Makuba ran out from her hut 
and bade me farewell with many smiles and much clap- 
ping of hands. 

About five miles from Chanda the Chambezi River is 
touched again on the north bank, and six miles further 
on the Rukulu River is seen. 



1 




RUKULU RIVER, A BEAUTIFUL SPOT ABOUT TEN MILES FROM 
CHANDA, N.E. RHODESIA 



CHAPTER XXX 
A Burlesque 

I BELIEVE it is Disraeli who is supposed to have 
said, "Other people's books bore me; when I 
want to read a novel I write one." 
It seemed such a long time since I had read a paper 
of any kind, and such was my mood that I craved a 
peep at "Punch." Not possessing even a back number, 
I determined that I would emulate Disraeli, and as I 
wanted a funny story I would write one myself. It 
may have been that the fever affected my brain, but 
anyhow the following was the result : — 

"WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED. 

" N.E. Rhodesia, June, 1909. 
"Dear Mr. Punch, 

"In the hope that you will accept this story of 
real fiction, and incidentally pay for it, I hasten to say 
that I find your valuable and instructive journal widely 
read throughout this Colony. No hut is to be found 
without a copy lying on the simple grass mat, every 
chief swears by or at it, and the children are brought 
up to revere its authentic historical facts. Enough of 
praise, I pass to my story, and wait (probably till after 
death) for the applause. 

" I was fatigued, I had walked about forty miles that 
day, but w^iat really had tired me was the two books 

276 



A Burlesque 277 

I had read after the morning trek during the luncheon 
hour. I refer to two works by mere men, who claim 
to know something of African travel, namely, ' Cuckoo 

Shooting, or Why Did the Lion Lie ? ' by S s ; and 

' How I Gleaned from the Brains of Others,' by Sir 
H J . 

" No, I am not jealous of their adventures, I envy 
them their imagination. Enough of the roaring of others ; 
I say I was tired, and retired to my tent (my tent made 
of the bark of trees). My dog lay stretched out before 
the door (N.B. — If you fail to have a dog's tail bitten 
off in babyhood he can stretch much further in after 
life ; please pass this discovery on to ' The Field ' or 
' Sporting Life '), when all of a sudden (dramatic incidents 
never occur after three months' warning) a Tanga- 
tanga boy rushed to my tent and cried : ' Donna, 
Donna ! ' I understood him perfectly. I had not studied 
the seven dialects of the five different languages spoken 
in Rhodesia for nothing ; my three days' study at 
Broken Hill while waiting for my carriers had not been 
wasted. 

" I knew at once a lion was there, so I went out. I 
did not take my revolver or the rifle lying near. As a 
true woman I thought first of pacification. The smooth- 
ing of pillows has ever been relegated to my sex, while 
the slinging of bolsters has amused the other. 

" It seems that some of the boys had built a ' scarum ' 
inside which some dozen were sleeping, when a lion 
arrived and began to take a late supper off the nearest 
boy. He was at his fifth course when I was called. 

" Of course I knew the great thing to do was to cap- 
ture the lion. What did life of white or black matter 
by the side of securing a trophy ? I thought for a 
moment, I never think long, one gets so overcrowded 
with original ideas, and then I decided what to do. 



2/8 Via Rhodesia 

" If I should liave waited until the lion had eaten the 
twelve boys, he naturally would have supped to reple- 
tion and be longing for a rest. In childhood I had been 
told that the way to catch anything was to put salt 
on its tail. The lessons of my mother were not wasted. 
I selected a spot at the entrance to the ' scarum.' Oh, 
horrible, yes, horrible, were the groans of those poor 
natives, and wickedly exultant the noise made by the 
smacking of the lips of that lion. Having selected 
the spot, I ordered a shallow hole to be made, just 
deep enough to rest in, and had the hole lined with 
cotton-wool and sprinkled with Cerebos salt. I knew 
the lion would require rest, and lying there the salt 
must touch his tail. I had studied the game traps of 
the natives, and decided to profit by the knowledge thus 
acquired. 

" From the branch of a tree that spread out above 
that resting-place I suspended by a blue ribbon a small 
knife from my manicure set, and so careful were my 
calculations that I knew that the moment the king of 
beasts should lie down, the wind would spring up and 
wave the branch, and the result would be that the 
knife, descending, would pierce that cruel heart. 

" All went well until the lion was just starting on the 
twelfth native, and then the moon disappeared behind 
a bank of clouds (there were no stars, there never are 
in Africa, the Southern Cross is the name of a herb). 
What was to be done ? No, no, I could not be robbed 
of my glimpse of the final scene of that drama. I was in 
despair. I would have torn out my hair, but I had 
left it in my tent. And then Nature, although I was 
conspiring to rob her of one of her most reliable heroes 
of romance, came to my aid. Suddenly the veld became 
brilliantly illuminated, and I beheld a truly beautiful 
sight. On every bush and tree-top there perched a 



A Burlesque 279 

'Night-bird,' a bird famous for its phosphorous feathers. 
The blackness of the sky served but to throw into greater 
radiance the hght emanating from these flocks of birds. 
Thousands of electric globes could not have given the 
same illumination ; it was superb, and by this light I 
saw the mighty monarch of the forest lick his lips for 
the last time and advance towards his doom. It thrills 
me still. I must have a fresh paragraph. 

" It was with difliculty I could restrain my little black 
puppy (he had unstretched by now) from bounding 
forth, brave little beast ! To this day I do not know if 



'■^Ivt!*. 




KLIPSPRINGER 

(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



it was the cotton-wool or the lion he craved — suffice it 
to say, my calculations had been rightly made. Balanced 
to a nicety, so to speak, the lion lay down on the couch 
prepared for him, the breeze whistled through the mid- 



2 8o Via Rhodesia 

night air, the bkie ribbon quivered, the knife descended, 
tlie heart, sighing with repletion, was silenced for ever ! 
"Dear Mr. Punch, forgive me if I now conclude; 
modesty forbids that I should dwell further upon this, 
the proudest moment of my life. 

" Yours truthfully, 

" Charlotte Mansfield." 

" P.S. — A woman's postscript has been said to con- 
tain usually more truths of vital importance than her 
letter. I am no judge. I only feel I must tell you what 
happened the next day. 

"The lion had been disembowelled and the bones of 
the dead natives used like boot-trees, as it were, to 
keep the skeleton in position and the skin properly 
stretched. The news of my courage spread like a veld 
fire, and when in the morning I started forth to continue 
my journey, all the natives from surrounding villages 
came to meet me. They turned somersaults as a mark 
of respect. 

" I forget what I wore, probably a creation in chiffon, 
but this I distinctly remember, I wore no boots. In 
my excitement the previous night I had forgotten to 
obey the order issued by the retiring, modest representa- 
tive of the Board of Trade, that boots must never be 
left on the floor of the tent. I had left mine on the 
ground sheet (made of cork, seasoned with tar four and 
a half inches thick), with the result that during the night 
the ants took possession of those boots, after eating 
through the four and a half-inch ground sheet. Of 
course everyone knows that on the veld you must have 
a new ground sheet every night, and a boy to carry 
each sheet, and as, of course, you secure a trophy every 
day, the boy whose sheet is used carries the new trophy. 
This by the way. 



A Burlesaue 






281 



" To revert to those ants. The loss of the boots was 
bad enough, but that was not the worst trial. Those 
boots must have led the ants to my machilla, for they 
secured that also, which was most unfortunate, as I had 




WATER15UCK 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



determined to take my machilla and team of boys to 
London, for use both when shopping in Bond Street and 
for light theatre work. Of course, owing to the exigencies 
of the climate and the regulations of the County Council, 
the quarter-yard of limbo which now represents the 
entire uniform of the machilla boys might have had 
to be changed to half a yard of astrakhan apiece, but 
the cost would have been trifling in comparison with 
the sensation. However, my dream was doomed to 
die, killed by ants. 

" This being so, I found my white silk hose but scanty 



282 Via Rhodesia 

protection against the hard ground, and was forced to 
rest at the next village, some fifteen miles distant. 

" Ah, but then I thanked those ants, for in that village 
I saw a sight that brought tears of emotion to my eyes, 
and I hastily sent for my Union Jack to wipe them wath. 

" What do you think those villagers were engaged in 
doing ? (those of course who could be spared from coming 
to greet me). Oh, it makes one feel proud of our Colonies 
to think of it. 

"Out of a huge baobab tree, 700 feet long (I am not 
certain if it was feet or yards, I never could understand 
longitude, and find latitude more interesting), they were 
making a Dreadnought to present to their beloved King 
Edward, with the compliments of the Rhodesian natives. 

"'Oh, Cream of Tartar,' I exclaimed, 'you have my 
sympathy ; but w^iy, oh, why, a baobab ? ' It is well 
known that the fibre of this tree is so pulpy that a well- 
aimed needle can pass through a trunk of 150 feet 
diameter. ' Whv not, when you have harder wood, use 
it ?' 

" The chief, a fine old man of ninety summers and 
seventeen winters, I mean wives, looked at me with 
pity. He spoke perfect English, having lately cultivated 
English instead of sweet potatoes, and got the vegetable 
into his blood, as it were. ' Madam,' said he, ' this 

is ' Oh ! but I must have a fresh paragraph, the 

dignity of the chief demands it. 

" ' Madam, this is a labour of love, and therefore we, 
loving labour, have determined to set ourselves no easy 
task. At dawn, some six suns back, five hundred of the 
finest men of our blackest blood set forth to follow the 
honey-bird. She will lead them to hives, bee-hives ; 
they will return anon, laden with honeycombs, and 
with these honeycombs, mark you, shall we line our 
Dreadnought. The wax will make firm the wood, the 



A Burlesque 283 

cells serve to hold the ammunition for the shot-guns 
which every well-directed man-of-war carries.' 

" I had naught to say against the common sense of the 
chief's argument ; I bowed my head in acknowledg- 
ment of the superior reasoning of the masculine mind, 
and with admiration for the patriotism of this far-away 
village I made my adieu and passed on, rested and re- 
freshed, thinking to myself, England, God Bless Her, is 
safe so long as her Colonies can thus act. 

" Dear Mr. Punch, although I know it is not usual to 
sign a postscript, and being a novelist I naturally object 
to seeing my name in print, yet I cannot refrain from 
again signing myself 

" Yours truthfully, 

" Charlotte Mansfield. 

"June Jth, 1909, 

" ?>^7a miles north of rail-head, 
" N.E. Rhodesia." 



CHAPTER XXXI 
A Court Case 

SUNDAY is a holiday in Rhodesia, a real holiday 
in N.E. Rhodesia, for there it is a sports day, 
a no-shave day, and thus it shines forth (or should 
I say bristles ?) from the rest of the week. I was ex- 
pected to arrive on a Sunday, that is, according to the 
native reports of my movements and the date of my 
leaving M'pika, but no one had guessed how long I 
should linger by the shores of the glorious Chambezi, 
and so three white men shaved at Kasama on Sunday, 
and I feel I can never sufficiently apologise for having 
inadvertently caused them to do so. 

The Kasama boma is situated on the top of a hill, so 
steep that steps have been cut in the ground leading 
up to it, the native huts being grouped at the foot. 
As I approached, in addition to the clapping and shout- 
ing of the men, to which I had now grown accustomed, 
the women uttered a new and horrible greeting by 
pinching their cheeks and shrieking through their teeth, 
while more than the usual number of dogs started bark- 
ing in chorus. Some of the children looked particularly 
horrid, a portion of their faces having been whitened 
with chalk or vivid white paint of some sort, while their 
heads were daubed with a scarlet pigment. They ap- 
peared to be the offspring of an ugly 5th of November 
" riuy." It seems that they were so got up to avert 
the evil eye. I don't know if it was my eyes they were 
afraid of. 

284 



A Court Case 



285 



As I advanced up the hill I quite expected to see a 
fortified castle at the top, and wished that the Baroness 
Orczy could have been by my side, adequately to de- 
scribe the scene. 

I don't know if it was the Postmaster-General or the 
Civil Commissioner or the Inspector of His Majesty's 
Prisons who came to greet me this time, but anyhow a nice 
white man was waiting at the top of the steps, and in- 
formed me that Mr. Averay Jones, the Assistant Magis- 
trate, was engaged with a case in Court, but hoped in 
the meantime I would take possession of his house. 

Many and varied are the cases heard in connection 
with the administration of justice in Rhodesia. I heard, 
for instance, of a native who went to the Native Com- 
missioner and said a certain chief had murdered his wife 




KASAMA HOMA, N.E. RHODESIA 



and his brother, and both he (the complainant) and his 
son could bear witness to the fact. This was a serious 
matter, and at once the Native Commissioner, who was 
at the same time Acting Magistrate, despatched some 



2 86 



Via Rhodesia 



police-boys to arrest the chief. But he was nowhere 
to be found. Six months passed away, and one day 
who should walk into the Native Commissioner's ofhce 
but the missing chief, who merely said he had been away 




MR. AVERAY JONES, ACTING MAGISTRATE AT KASAMA, WITH HIS 
HUNTING TROPHIES, OUTSIDE POST OFFICE 



and had returned. He denied all knowledge of the 
murder, and demanded that the witnesses should be 
sent for, but when the messenger arrived to request the 
father and the son to come and give evidence, they were 
nowhere to be found, and to this day they have not 
been heard of. The only thing to do was to discharge 
the chief, but the Native Commissioner believes that 
he, being tired of staying away, had returned, killed the 
witnesses, and then called at the boma. 

It is usually very difficult in Rhodesia to know when 
one must sa}^ Magistrate, Acting Magistrate, Assistant 
Magistrate, or Native Commissioner. I asked two 
" Assistant " Magistrates who they were assisting, and 
it appears that these men really do magistrate's work, 



A Court Case 287 

but having the lesser title receive a smaller salary 
accordingly. 

One plea I must make on behalf of these lonely 
ofhcials. Police-boys are allowed extra rations if married; 
could not the same consideration be extended with 
advantage to their masters ? 

Rhodesian hospitality is colossal, it really says and 
means, "Take the house, though there is but one, and 
all that therein is, and let us sleep out on the veld ! " 

The Magistrate's house at Kasama placed at my 
disposal was unique, on account of its having slate 
floors, the slate coming from a local quarry. One room 
also had a very pretty dado of bark, a quaint and 
charming idea. 

There were no blinds in the room I was to sleep in, 
and in which my tent furniture had been placed, so I 
pinned a mat over one window and left the other bare. 
How could one be conventional with those hills in the 
distance, and a declining moon cutting paths of silver 
through banks of dark cloud, and a little distance from 
the house a fire, round which my boys were seated ? 
Such a picture should not be shut out. 

At Serenje and M'pika a good store is badly needed, 
but at Kasama there is a store, and if it has not a large 
stock of goods there is certainl}^ a very large man in 
charge, quite the tallest man I have ever seen, six feet 
seven in height, or thereabouts. 

The soil here is ver}^ sandy, and flowers are somewhat 
difficult to cultivate, but the view around compensates 
somewhat for the lack of vegetation at the boma. 

A prison was in course of erection, and has probably 
been finished long ere now. This prison is the proud 
possessor of two cells for Europeans. I climbed over 
the debris of bricks, and entered, so as to be the first 
prisoner. 



2SS Via Rhodesia 

Near the boma I saw a chained gang of natives 
working on the road. One man looked a particularly 
villainous specimen of humanity. He was doing five 
years for murder. 

I saw several white men at Kasama (in the wilds 
even five seem a crowd !). One man told me he had 
spent three sad hours preparing for my visit by trying 
to sew buttons on to a white shirt, and another apolo- 
gised for wearing khaki fastened with gold safety-pins. 




SAWING MAHOGANY 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



The poor fellow had come to the end of needle and 
thread, and he had no buttons. 

I heard that another white man had recently visited 
the boma, a renowned elephant-hunter from the Congo, 
but he had fled at my approach, not having spoken to 
a white woman for several years and being consequently 
shy. Next morning I saw near the Post Office a man I 
had not seen the previous day, so I went up to him and 
asked : 



A Court Case 289 

" Are you the man who doesn't want to know me ? " 

" I haven't a collar," he said apologetically. 

" And I am longing for a clean pocket-handkerchief," 
I replied, " so shake hands." He did, and came to 
lunch. I stayed only one night at Kasama, and what a 
cheery evening it was ! After dinner another banjo 
was produced, so we sang songs, and I told fortunes and 
the others related stories of adventures. Then I was 
handed a lamp, the men said good night, and I was left 
alone in the house — for the Magistrate, kind soul, had 
literally given me the whole house, and had had his 
stretcher-bed taken to the Post Office. 

I should like to have written down all the stories I 
heard, but in the wilds sleep seems more to be desired 
than memoirs, and so I had to leave a great deal to 
memory, and alas ! have forgotten much. One little 
story, however, I do call to mind. It was about a 
little rabbit and was entitled, " Kalulu, the sagacious 
Rabbit." 

" Once upon a time Rhodesian rabbits had long tails, 
but they used to invent so many yarns to decoy the 
other four-legged creatures to their doom, and in fact 
spent so much of their time inventing practical jokes, 
that one day Monsieur le hon Dieu had an indaba with 
the chief offenders, and said : 

" ' Now, I admit, you are very clever little animals, 
but I really cannot have you going on all the time like 
this ; for the future you will have no tails, and perhaps 
this will aid you in curtailing your narratives.' 

"And so ever since Kalulus have had only wee 
stumps instead of tails. Yet still they are very cute 
little creatures, and to call a native a Kalulu is not an 
insult. 

" Now, one day a Kalulu met an Elephant. 

" ' How do you do ? ' asked the Kalulu. 



290 Via Rhodesia 

"'I always do well,' replied the Elephant, giving his 
trunk a conceited little tilt upwards. 

' I suppose you think you are very strong,' observed 
the Kalulu. 

" * Think ? I know ! ' replied the Elephant. 

" ' Did you say " No ? " ' asked Kalulu teasingly. 

" The Elephant did not deign to reply, but instead 
twisted his trunk round a tree and broke it off and 
tossed it to one side. 

Not bad,' remarked Kalulu ; ' but trees are rotten 
after the rains.' 

" ' What ? ' 

" Mr. Elephant gave a rather angry snort. 

" ' Emphatic, but not pretty. Besides, noise is not 
argument. Now, Mr. Elephant, I will bet you half a 
ton of wild spinach to a monkey nut, that if I chose 
you could not drag me along, not even twenty yards, 
nay ten.' 

" ' Impudent young Kalulu, you deserve to be prodded 
with ivory,' said Mr. Elephant. 

" ' No, no, draw me along the path instead,' urged 
Kalulu. 

" ' As you wish,' replied Mr. Elephant, with conde- 
scension.' 

" ' My only condition is,' said Kalulu, ' that you shall 
lie down on the path for five minutes, facing the east, 
while I cut a piece of narrow bark, so that I can harness 
myself to your tail.' 

" ' Delighted,' observed Mr. Elephant pompously, and 
down on the pathway he lay. 

" Now Master Kalulu never by any chance did any 
work himself when there were other folks to do it, so 
he just skipped to where he knew^ a native had left 
a heap of narrow strips ready to make into rope, and 
collected the strongest rope he could find. 



A Court Case 291 

It had happened that earher in the day Master Kalulu 
had had a conversation with A. Rhino, Esquire, on pre- 
cisely the same hnes as the one with Mr. Elephant, and 
had asked him to wait a Httle while, facinjj; west, while 




AWEMBA GIRL, OVER SIX FKKl HKIH 
She would not stand upright, for she thought I would laugh at her length 

he looked for string ; so now that he had made both 
appointments he proceeded to tie one end of the string 
to the tail of Mr. Elephant and the other to the tail of 
A. Rhino, Esq. You see all this happened in the densest 
forest in Rhodesia, so that on account of the brushwood 
these two gentlemen had not previously observed each 
other, and as one faced east and the other west neither 
knew what was really happening. 

" Master Kalulu ran from one to the other, and stand- 
ing on tiptoe whispered in turn to each, ' Count fourteen 
and then rise and pull.' 

" And then what a tug of war it was ! Surprise turned 
to indignation, and both Mr. Elephant and A. Rhino, 
Esq., pulled for all they were worth, thinking that 



292 Via Rhodesia 

indeed Master Kaliilu was endowed with superhuman 
strength. And then, wdth a bang hke the report of a 
pistol, the string broke, and the two samples of piece 
de resistance were each thrown right into where the 
jungle grew thicker on either side, so they parted with- 
out even seeing each other, and Master Kalulu ran 
quickly to each to receive congratulations on his great 
strength." 

The Kasama giant had two dogs, and they were named 
Brandy and Soda. Brandy was celebrated for his dis- 
like of natives, and also his disinclination to be on 
friendly terms with anyone. Now the Kasama giant 
was going away from Kasama for a few days, and I 
having expressed a liking for all dogs, mongrels or 
otherwise. Brandy was given to me. 

I left in the afternoon, and Brandy, rechristened Jim, 
came with me. I really could not allow a follower of 
mine to be branded with so intoxicating a name, and 
so, out of consideration for my reputation, and safety, 
should I perchance meet Carrie Nation on the w^arpath, 
I once and for all time consigned the obnoxious title to 
oblivion. 

Jim, poor beast, had never been on a lead before, and 
didn't like it, nor did the native who led, for either the 
dog stood still or moved eagerly towards the boy's 
ankles, in such a manner that it seemed we should make 
little progress. The sun was very hot, and I was in- 
clined to walk, so up into the machilla I lifted Jim, 
much to the astonishment of the boys, who thought he 
would be certain to bite me. But he lay panting and 
foaming in my arms, a heavy lump, but seemingly glad 
to be rid of the boys. 

" Ugly " was furiously jealous, and not wishing to 
be fought over I directed one of the boys to lift the 



A Court Case 



29, 



bristling, barking little black imp out of the machilla 
and carry him. Then came a pleasant hour, for Jim 
was covered with livestock, and I was kept busy seeing 
that the flea point-to-point races over Jim's brown, 
short-haired body didn't terminate in a goal being found 
on me. 

Needless to sa}^ the day terminated in a good tubbing 
all round, I holding Jim's jaws, while one of the boys 
scrubbed. 

Natives have no idea how to take care of animals. 
My boys had to be taught not to lift up " Ugly " by one 




AWEMBA DANCE, CHIPAIU VILLAGE, N.E. RHODESIA 
(By kind permission of Mr. E. Averay Jones) 



leg when crossing a swamp. They had a quaint way of 
pronouncing the name " Ugly," making it a word of three 
syllables. I didn't sleep much that night, for both Jim 
and " Ugly " slept inside my tent, and several times I 



294 Via Rhodesia 

had to dash cnit into the open after Jim, who seemed 
bent on a tour of inspection. 

I knew the dogs would be an attraction to, rather 
than a protection from, wild beasts, but they were 
company, and it is better to share a real danger than 
be alone with imaginary horrors. 

North of Kasama the timber gets bigger, while many 
palms and ferns growing round rivers and streams add 
picturesqueness to the scene. Pale mauve foxgloves 
grow in wild profusion, while butterflies of every con- 
ceivable colour play touch-about in the sunshine. 

One morning I found a half-burned log on a cold 
camp-fire. A mark on it attracted my attention, and, 
picking it up, I found what happened to be an engraving 
of a butterfly in sepia colour on the plain wood. I 
stripped off more of the bark, and discovered most won- 
derful and beautiful designs in the finest poker work I 
have ever seen. Butterflies with wide-spreading wings 
full of fine lines were represented. The lines were 
perfect. 

I showed it to my capitao (head-boy), but he laughed 
as though it was nothing unusual, said " schelms," and 
pointed to an ant-heap. But how the ants could have 
eaten those wonderful and perfect patterns was a 
mystery to me. I kept the log for two days, and then 
one of the boys lost or burnt it, probably thinking me 
mad for adding to his load that which in his eyes was a 
valueless possession. 

At night, when camped near a village, I often used to 
listen to the signalling by drums from one village to 
another, the echoes coming from many miles away 
through the clear night air. Sometimes too the natives 
dance and sing, but they will not give their war-dances, 
or perform, before strangers unless an ox is roasted for 
them and unlimited beer paid for. 



A Court Case 295 

The meal eaten by the natives in N.W. Rhodesia is 
called Mpeira, and in N.E. Rhodesia, Msaaka. They 
also grow Kasasa or Karondwe, a very good arrow- 
root, which they, however, consider only good enough 




■y.'% . 



iH. . 













NATIVE HKlDi.E 



to eat during a famine. Their opinion of the strength of 
their regular meal may be thus estimated. That it 
possesses wonderful sustaining value, there is no doubt. 
It is cooked in a pot, with water, and stirred with a 
stick. The boys, sitting round, eat it when boiling hot, 
sometimes helped from a lump at the end of a stick, at 
other times putting their hands into the steaming mass, 
but never getting their fingers burnt. Their skin must 
be very thick, for a boy will often take a red-hot stick 
out of the centre of one fire to light another, carrying it 
there in his naked hand. 

The natives are also very fond of sweet potatoes, 
which they call Kortdola. 



296 Via Rhodesia 

Quite the widest bridge yet seen (north of the Kafue) 
is the one over the Musombishi River, between Pesondwa 
and Uningi. It is made of logs tied together with bark, 
and measures 734 feet across. The river is not really 
very wide, but the ground is very swampy and the 
bridge forms a perfectly dry if uneven pathway across 
the whole. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

Tanganyika 

THERE was great excitement in the camp as we 
neared Abercorn, the most northerly point of the 
B.S.A. Company's domain, and only a few miles 
from Lake Tanganyika, for some of my carriers came 
from a kraal only a day's journey away, and they had 
walked over a thousand miles, having gone all the way 
down to fetch me up. Their wives and children came 
to meet them, and about three nights before we reached 
Abercorn there were at least thirty women and children 
in the camp. It was bitterly cold, and none of them 
had any blankets or more than a wisp of clothing, but 
all seemed happy, healthy, and very merry. 

About five miles from Abercorn there is a thatched 
shooting-box known as '' The Pans," where one can 
picnic or stay the night if taking a shooting trip out 
from Abercorn. I had breakfast near, and my boys 
made me a shelter of leaves to keep off the cold wind, 
while a huge fire blazed at my feet. It may sound in- 
credible that the sun is not always giving forth a torrid 
heat in Africa, but it is nevertheless true, and I advise 
all coming to Africa to bring their warm clothing with 
them. Every night when the sun set I used to put 
on a fur-lined ulster to dine in, and I always slept in 
blankets with the same fur ulster over me. 

At sunset, too, in the bomas and towns of Rhodesia 
you may observe men anxiously looking at the sky. 

297 



298 Via Rhodesia 

" Sundown ? " asks a man. " I tliink so," another 
replies, and that means quinine for those who take it, 
or an excuse for a whisky and soda or a vermouth for 
many who do or don't — thus a sundowner is the recog- 
nised title for an offer of Uquid refreshment — and writing 
of drink reminds me of the following story I heard of 
a Scotsman and a shoot. 

" ' Yes, it happened in Abercorn long ago in the early 
days, when men worked hard and drank hard and a 
flood of whisky washed the land. I got in at the end 
of the tide just in time to get my feet wet and hear 
some funny stories.' 

"It was a cheery little man speaking, and another 
man chipped in with, ' Well, as we are short of drink at 
present, let's have one of the stories — may take our 
minds off the lack of it for a bit.' 

" So the first speaker continued : 

" ' There had been a big shoot on that day, everyone 
within forty miles came in, and we blotted out quite a 
lot of game ; but that Jimmy McAlister, usually our 
crack shot, had no luck, and every time he missed, well, 
he cursed pretty considerably and helped himself to the 
wine of his country — long live Scotland ! Well, by the 
time we returned to our huts and the shelters the boys 
had put up, Jimmy was pretty full. 

"'Now, Jimmy had been living in the place quite a 
time and had a large hut and poultry, and when Jimmy 
went home sad and sorry and full of whisky he was 
determined to shoot something, so off he went out of 
sight and got one of his boys to drive the poultry his 
way. He felt he must get his hand in again on some- 
thing. Thirty-two fowls, and he shot them all ! Then 
Jimmy felt better, had some more whisky, and invited 
us all to dinner. 

"'Certainly, Jimmy's hut was unusually large, but it 






/_ 



•o — 



< > 



^ c 



CO <**?%. ■ 




Tanganyika 301 

was a tight lit to get us all in. However, we crowded 
close and waited for dinner. We waited quite a consider- 
able time, and then Jimmy called the cook and asked 
him why the blankety blank "skoff" wasn't ready. 

" ' " Ikona skoff," (no food) the cook rephed. 

" ' Then Jimmy got angry. There we were, all waiting, 
and had been waiting for over an hour. " Where the 
blankety blank are the thirty-two fowls I shot?" he 
roared. 

" ' The cook-boy went out and presently returned 
with a handful of feathers. Jimmy had shot those 
thirty-two fowls with explosive bullets ! ' " 

Abercorn was both a surprise and a pleasant revela- 
tion to me, for with regard to the boma buildings and 




NATIVE GROUP 



the grandness of the surrounding scenery it far excels 
any other part of N.E. Rhodesia. There is no tsetse fl}^ 
at Abercorn, and the herds of cattle are very good. 
Abercorn is the head-quarters station of the Tanganyika 



302 Via Rhodesia 

district, and tlu' buildings include the Magistrate's 
residence — which is a charming house, surrounded by a 
large garden, with a fine view of Lake Tanganyika in the 
far distance — Government Offices, Post Office and Post- 
master's house, Victoria Memorial Hall, doctor's house 
and Government dispensary, two stores, and a gaol. 
Yet with all these advantages only about eight white 
people live in the boma, three of whom are women — 
Mrs. Hugh Marshall, wife of the Magistrate, and truly 
the daintiest little lady I met in Rhodesia — and two 
others, the wife of the Post and Telegraph Master and 
the wife of a young Native Commissioner, a man of 
much literary talent. Unfortunately both he and his 
wife were out on ulendo, and therefore I did not see 
them, but I cannot speak too highly of the kindness 
shown me by the other two ladies. 

I stayed several days with Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Marshall, 
and what a pleasure it was, after five weeks spent on a 
hard camp bed, to seek slumber again with the comfort 
and cleanliness of fine linen ! 

Mrs. Hugh Marshall is certainly an example to be 
cited in evidence of how happy and up-to-date a woman 
can be in the wilds and 540 miles from a railway station. 
The house is made beautiful by her wood-carving, and 
everywhere one finds evidences of a cultured and active 
mind ; it was good to see all the dainty toilet arrange- 
ments and the table appointments dear to the heart of 
woman. 

Abercorn was so named by Sir Harry Johnston, and 
was opened as a station in 1893. The Magistrate, Mr. 
Hugh Marshall, is called by the natives M'Tambalika, 
which means, the hunter. He is certainly a wonderful 
shot, shooting with left or right hand equally well. 

I saw an example of his revolver shooting, which was 
marvellous, with an old skin of a leopard as a target. 



Tanganyika 



,o^. 



As soon as I arrived I was implored not to risk sick- 
ness and ultimate death by passing over the boundary 
into the district infested with the deadly palpalous fly, 
a bite from which means developing sleeping sickness 




AUTHOR IN THE SLEEPING-SICKNESS CAMP NEAR LAKE TANGANYIKA 
(By kind permission of Mrs. Usher) 



any time within three years, the risk being equal for 
white and native alike. I had heard very little before 
of sleeping sickness and its devastations, in fact people 
only just seem to be waking up to the seriousness of this 
deadly scourge, and H.M. King Albert of Belgium has 
now set a fine example by giving £40,000 in aid of re- 
search in connection with this, one of the greatest evils 
which may befall mankind. 

Many people are under the impression that only 
natives are attacked. This is quite an erroneous idea, 



304 Via Rhodesia 

although statistics of white mortahty on either German 
or Congo territory have not been pubhshed. 

On the Rhodesian side of the Lake, thanks to the 
money spent and great trouble taken by the B.S.A. Com- 
pany, there had not been at the time I was there a 
fresh case of sleeping sickness among either whites or 
blacks for eight months — all the natives had been re- 
moved from the shores of the lake, and the fishermen 
had been compensated for the confiscation of their boats, 
while natives found to be suffering from symptoms were 
placed under medical supervision in a special camp, and 
well cared for. 

This camp I one day visited, for, unlike many Euro- 
pean diseases, sleeping sickness is not infectious, and 
only the deadly fly can give it. No one is allowed to 
approach within several miles of the fly district, and 
all paths leading thereto are guarded by native police- 
boys. 

That patients suffering from sleeping sickness sleep 
all the time and die a peaceful, painless death is quite a 
mistaken idea. One of the first symptoms is swollen 
glands, and a man or woman may live for two years 
and be apparently healthy before another development 
takes place, which often is madness. I saw one man who 
looked the picture of robust health. He was busy making 
mats of strips of bark, and seemed quite happy and un- 
concerned. He had been in the camp about a year. I 
also saw a baby who had been born in the camp, both 
of whose parents were victims of sleeping sickness. The 
mother was nursing the child and looked very emaciated. 
And while I was there a woman carrying an earthenware 
native-made jar fell down in a fit, broke the jar and cut 
her face, and all the other patients in the camp shrieked 
with derisive laughter. To them it seemed a fine joke, 
but the laughter made me feel sick. I gave them all 



Tanganyika 305 



some beads to play with or make decorations of, and 
then, after taking some photographs, we left. 

No one is allowed to take carriers from Rhodesia 
across the border to German territory, and, if I had in- 
sisted on going on, the only arrangements I could have 
made would have been to have my goods and chattels 
dumped down near the border, carriers from the other 
territory coming to fetch them. But as my going on 
seemed likely to help no one and risk the lives of many, 
it was not worth while. 

Had I been clever enough to investigate the fly area 
from a scientific point of view, and capable of helping 
medically, it would have been another matter, but to 
risk crossing such a danger zone for sheer travel and 
adventure would have been selfish and foolhardy. Be- 
sides, I had accomplished the greater part of that which 
I set out to do, viz., study Rhodesia, and for the glory 
of the rest — well. Professor Beattie and his colleague 
have now accomplished this, and I offer them my hearty 
congratulations. 

Soon, let us hope, the fatal disease will be wiped out 
and a preventative found rather than a cure. 

When Mary Hall travelled from Chinde to Cairo there 
were several steamers on Lake Tanganyika, British, Ger- 
man, and Belgian, as well as African Lakes Company 
steamers ; all these had been removed before I got there, 
with the exception of a German gunboat, and I was 
informed that that month she was doing her last trip. 

One day we picnicked seven miles from Abercorn, where 
a splendid view of the lake was obtainable, and never 
shall I forget the magnificence of that vast expanse of 
silver water ; even from the distance — about fourteen 
miles — the ripple of the waves was discernible, and w^hen 
looked at through slightly smoked glasses, so that the 
sunshine lost a little of its brightness, the picture 



3o6 Via Rhodesia 

revealed was beyond description. I see it now when I 
close my eyes, I shall always see it — the hills on either 
side clothed in emerald verdure, the faint line of the 
Congo border in the far distance, an island dividing the 
lake so that it appeared as two seas instead of one, the 
sky an endless vista of blue, blue seeming to palpitate 
with the rays of the glorious golden sun. A wonderful 
stillness brooded over the whole, a waiting one knew not 
what for, a silence as though a spell was cast over the 
earth, which held locked in its outstretched arms of 
shore the secrets of this beautiful lake. 

There is only one outlet to the lake, and that opens 
only once in about ten to fifteen years, when the water 
flows towards the Congo, but so deep is this wonderful 
inland sea that should it run out until it reached sea- 
level (it is now about 2800 feet above) there would 
still be sufficient water left in it to float any ocean steamer 
in the world. One peculiarity of Lake Tanganyika is 
that in it are found fish, both shell and otherwise, which 
are found nowhere else in the world except in salt- 
water seas, seeming to indicate that at one time, cen- 
turies ago, it must have been connected with the ocean. 

From Lake Tanganyika we returned after sunset, and 
the dark, which always succeeds sunset so quickly, 
brought with it the stars, but no moon, so our pathway 
was illuminated by the boys running by the side of 
machilla or bicycle carrying bunches of flaming grass ; 
the grass burns quickly and had often to be renewed, 
but the effect was picturesque in the extreme, and it 
relieved one from the anxiety which otherwise would 
have been caused by the rustling under dark branches, 
or the sounds of prowling animals, which now and 
again reached our ears through the intervals of the 
boys' voices as they shouted or sang. 

A small but quite pretty lake is the Chila, only a few 



Tanganyika 307 

minutes' walk from Abercorn boma. It is the favourite 
drinking-place of lions, and twice, recently, Mrs. Marshall 
has encountered these so-called monarchs ; but they 
are in reality terrible cowards, and on both occasions 
ran away without even a snarl. Of course a lion sings 
a different song if wounded, or if accompanied by a 
lioness with young cubs. 

The years 1908 and 1909 will always be remembered 
amongst women as the thin age, the period of the Directoire 
and Empire gowns, and I must relate an amusing incident 
connected therewith. Fashion papers reach even Lake 
Tanganyika, and the limited feminine world up there is 
kept acquainted with what the numerous women on the 
other side of the equator are doing. Mrs. Marshall asked 
if I had in my wardrobe such a costume as a Directoire 
gown ; I owned to having a white satin one. " Oh," 
she said, " don't show it to me ; we will have a dinner- 
party, and please wear it." The next day a man who 
also was staying with the Marshalls (in fact, being nursed 
by kind-hearted Mrs. Marshall, for he had had an attack 
of tick fever and had come a great number of miles from 
his station in order to be taken care of for a while) said 
to me : 

" Miss Mansfield, we like the frocks you are wearing, 
but have you such a thing as a Directoire gown ? If so, 
do put it on one night." 

Well, we had the party. Mr. and Mrs. Usher (the Post- 
master and his wife) and the man from the stores, whose 
name I have forgotten, came to dine, and I wore the 
gown. I had to walk round and round like a manikin 
and have the gown admired. The dinner-table was 
beautifully decorated with flowers, a bouquet of violets 
and a sweet little poem written by my kind hostess 
were placed on my plate, and we had quite a festive 
gathering. 



3o8 



Via Rhodesia 



I hope M'Tambalika will not be very angry with me 
if I relate that, owing to the inducement offered by my 
banjo accompaniment, he sang forty-nine verses of 
Clementine, and the genial tick-fever official, who had 

come from afar, was 
very distressed when 
I said that Rhodesia 
had not treated me 
^^ fairly — not a single 

lion had I met at 
close quarters, and I 
felt that the money 
I had expended on 
the trip should be 
returned. 

"This shall be 
seen to at once," he 
cried, and calling his 
servant he said a 
few words to him in 
the native language. 
The man bowed and 
departed. 

" That man dare 
not return without 
a lion, his life is 
forfeit if he does," 
observed the genial 
official. 
We discussed other subjects for a time and other 
songs were sung, then— ugh ! just outside the window 
the most awful roaring and growling of an angry lion 
was heard. In the distance such sounds are bad enough 
— but this was so near, too near to be pleasant^ — dogs 
began barking, and soon afar off in the village tin cans 




THE NEW CARRIERS 



Tanganyika 309 

and drums were beaten — for it seemed that a ferocious 
lion was in our midst. 

True, it was only the servant performing with a jug, 
but he was a past master in the art of imitation, and 
would have earned a good salary in any music-hall. 



T 



CHAPTER XXXIII 

Siicccss/itl Cattle-breeding 

HE natives at Abercorn are of the A'Mambwe, 
and from this tribe my new ulenda was made 
up, as I had decided not to go forward, but to 
return along the Stevenson Road to the coast. 

I sold the greater part of my baggage, and therefore 
was able to travel with a far smaller number of boys ; 
in fact, instead of forty-nine my ulendo now numbered 
twenty-six. It was with a feeling of regret I said good- 
bye to my old ulendo, for the boys really had been 
bricks ! 

I had travelled only a few miles after bidding my 
friends at Abercorn farewell, when a boy on a bicycle 
caught me up. He had been sent by Mrs. Marshall with 
eggs and strawberries and a kind letter. Really in 
Rhodesia one makes friends in a few hours and hopes 
the friendship will last a lifetime — there is so much 
sincerity and hearty goodwill amongst settlers in this 
English Colony. 

The first night out I spent at a farm twenty-seven 
miles south-east of Abercorn. This farm is the one I re- 
ferred to in my first chapter. It was started seven years 
ago by a man who possessed only £50. He had been in 
Africa during the war, and therefore knew something 
of the climatic conditions. He tried farming in Canada, 
but soon gave that up. He is quite satisfied with the 
results of his work in Rhodesia, and well he might be, 



Successful Cattle-breeding 



OM 



for in those few years his cattle have increased from 
the 100 he leased from the Government to 750 ; he has 
built a nice house, been once to England and taken 











(_ Al 1 l,K-HI,kl> IN N.E. RHODESIA, WITH NATIVE MUSICIAN 



back a bride, and now has one of the most comfortable 
farms I have ever stayed at or seen. 

The Saisi River flows past the farm, so there is no 
lack of water, and the cattle have never suffered from 
disease of any kind. They are kept in kraals at night, 
and they roam over the veld during the day, I got up 
at five o'clock to see them as they came out of the kraals, 
and a fine lot of beasts they were. 

Certainly, if I were going in for cattle-farming, N.E. 
Rhodesia would be my goal, and the vicinity of Abercorn 
my selection. One has not a railway near, it is true, 
but there is a good market for cattle on both German 



3 1 4 Via Rhodesia 

and Englisli territory, and I have heard quite recently 
that some of these fine herds are now to be sold, and 
that the money realised is to be invested. The restric- 
tions placed on the removal of cattle are, I understand, 
to be removed or considerably modified. Cattle-breeding 
has, therefore, a fine future before it in N.E. Rhodesia.^ 

Nature makes good provision for her children. Thus, 
native-bred cattle have humps, and sheep have fat tails 
weighing, in some instances, more than a leg ! Both 
the humps and the tails serve the same purpose as the 
hump of a camel, they are the larders provided by nature 
upon which the animals live when food is scarce. 

The Stevenson Road is a wide and well-made road, 
but grass grows up quickly between the stones. Efforts 
are made to keep it clear, gangs of natives engaged in 
removing herbage, etc., from the road being encountered 
in many parts, yet the traffic is so small that the road 
has the appearance of being a relic of a one-time great- 
ness. As a matter of fact, the traffic seems to have left 
this part of the country altogether. One notices it more 
and more as one advances towards British Central Africa. 
The greater part of the traffic which used to take this 
route now goes through the centre of Rhodesia, taking 
the route from Broken Hill to Abercorn, or Broken Hill 
to Fort Jameson, though there is still a certain amount 
of passenger traffic via Chinde, the Shire River, and 
Lake Nyasa. 

Passengers who take this route for N.E. Rhodesia dis- 
embark at Domira Bay or Kota-Kota for Fort Jameson, 
and at Koronga (whither I was bound) for Abercorn. 

After leaving the Saisi River, one goes through 

^ The B.S.A. Company are issuing, free of charge, a pamphlet: "A few 
Notes on the Selection and Breeding of Cattle in Rhodesia," by Robert 
Wallace, and I would advise intending settlers carefully to peruse the various 
chapters on hardiness, crossing, breeding, diseases, etc. 



Successful Cattle-breedine 



J 



15 



Mpanda and Mambwe, and has line views of distant 
mountains, passing at one point close to German terri- 
tory. 

Nothing of interest occurred until I reached Ikomba. 
Here, I had been told, I should find an empty Govern- 
ment House, and I was advised to use it, if clean. 
There had been a Government farm, but all the cattle 
had recently been transferred to Fort Jameson. 

The little brick house was in good condition, and so I 
had my bed, etc., put into a room in which there were 
two windows, and dined on the little stoep outside. I 
arrived early in the afternoon and enjoyed a stroll 
through the village, which was about five minutes' walk 
from the house, a grove of banana trees coming be- 
tween. 

The women iii this village wore huge pieces of wood in 




FINE COWS IN N.E. RHODESIA 



their ears, studded with brass nails. I bought two 
particularly line ones for a shilling. Later in the after- 
noon, when sitting on the stoep outside the little house, 
a number of men and women came from the village 



3 1 (^ Via Rhodesia 

to stare at me, under the pretence of selling eggs, and 
the woman from whom I had bought the ear-rings came 
too ; she had a sad and sorry air, and the huge hanging 
holes in her ears, where the wooden ear-rings had been, 
looked very hideous. She touched her ears, and then 
pointed to a large basket of potatoes she was carrying, 
indicating that she wanted the ear-rings back in exchange 
for the potatoes ; but I shook my head. She would not 
go away, so I showed her a shilling and the ear-rings, and 
gave her to understand that if she returned the shilling 
the ear-rings would be given back to her ; but no, the 
good lady wanted the shilling and the ear-rings, and as 
I would not have the potatoes, she had to go away. 

I had dinner about six o'clock, and then the boys 
left me. As I was in a house they made no fires except 
one of wood in my room, and then all disappeared in 
the direction of the village. Near by the house were 
pomegranate trees, with bright scarlet blossoms, and 
in the swiftly fading light I could just see the beautiful 
grove of banana trees. I was standing just outside the 
house enjoying the beauty of the night, which seemed 
to be coming like a gentle cloud to envelop the day, 
when, coming from the side of the house, I heard a deep 
breathing and a low grunt, almost a growl, and snatching 
up "Ugly" I ran in and closed the doors. The wood 
fire was burning brightly. I quickly lit two candles and 
then glanced at the windows. Both were uncovered. I 
was too frightened to look out and see what beast was 
prowling about the house, but instead hung up at one 
window as quickly as possible my Union Jack, and then, 
with shaking knees and trembling fingers, stood still a 
moment wondering with what I could cover the other. 
Then my eyes fell on a large map of Rhodesia that had 
been mounted on linen. Up went this with my banjo 
and a couple of spears to hold it in place. Then I felt 



Successful Cattle-breeding 3 1 7 

better, for I did so dread seeing two yellow eyes and a 
shaggy mane peering in at the window. 

Little " Ugly " seemed nervous and would not lie 
down, but walked round and round with ears pricked 




BUILDING BARRICADES AGAINST LIONS, N.E. RHODESIA 

up and coat seeming to bristle as a man's hair is sup- 
posed to bristle on seeing a ghost. 

The supply of wood was limited ; I saw it would not 
last the night, but I knew all the boys were away. I 
dared not open the door to go in search of any more, and 
my stock of candles was very low, so I determined to 
keep awake all night and put out the candles, burning 
only one at a time after the firelight had failed. 

All doubts as to the nature of my unwanted visitor 
were soon at an end, for a roar quickly told me that a 
lion was stalking round. Then in the distance I heard 
drums and tin cans being beaten and every conceivable 
noise one could imagine; the echoes of distant singing also 
came across from the village, so I concluded that a beer- 
drink was going on, and knew none of my boys would 
return until the morning. The noise, however, had 



3 18 



\Ma Rhodesia 



one good effect, for the next roar I heard was farther 
away. I sat upright in a chair for I don't know how 
long. Little " Ugly " went to sleep. Presently the 
noise from the village ceased, and I was just thinking 
that the lion had gone and peace would reign. I must 
have been dozing when the cry of a wounded animal 
startled me. I think a poor buck must have been caught 
at that moment not very far away. I listened. The 
cry was again repeated, and then silence came until a 
wild turkey cock started shrieking. I got a book then 
and lit a candle, for I felt that all the beasts from the 
infernal regions were let loose, and I didn't want to go 
mad before morning. I heard afterwards that the last 




MAN SUPPOSED TO CHANGE HIMSELF INTO A LION AT WILL. WAS CHASED 

FROM VILLAGE TO VILLAGE AND ARRIVED AT THE MISSION HOSPITAL 

NEARLY DEAD 

(By kind permission of Dr. Chisholme) 



time the house had been used was about a year previously, 
when three men had slept there, and as they were dining 
in a room with plenty of lights and an open window, a 



Successful Cattle-breeding- 31c) 

lion came and took away one of their dogs from the 
stoep. 

At my next stopping-place, about eighteen miles 
further on, there was a so-called Rest house, a hut 
kept for passing travellers, but I object to stuffy huts 
kept by natives, and so I refused to camp there, although 
my boys in advance had already lighted a fire and 
seemed to conclude that there I should certainly stay. 

I, however, left them all chatting and arguing, and 
walked off up a hill. They had to follow, and pitch my 
tent where I directed, grumbling all the time, for they 
had heard that there were many lions in the neighbour- 
hood, and very busy they were for several hours making 
barricades of trees, and the fires that night seemed like 
a positive wall of flame dividing our camp from the rest 
of the world. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

Judge and Hangman 

IT was a Sunday morning, and a few miles north of 
Fife I was suddenly surprised by hearing a bell 
ringing. I called out " Linda," and the boys 
stopped. I listened, the bell continued, and then I 
remembered I had been told there was a mission here- 
abouts, with a wonderful two-story mansion fitted up 
with all the latest improvements ; in fact, the wife of a 
Magistrate had observed, when speaking of these up- 
to-date luxuries and suggesting that I might possibly 
see them : '' Why marry a Government official when 
there are the missionaries in the country ? " 

I signalled my boys to proceed in the direction whence 
the bell-ringing arose, and after a delightful walk I came 
to a well-made road and a pretty stream. Over this 
was a light bridge by the side of which stood two or 
three mission-house natives, who ran on to give the in- 
formation that I was approaching. By this time the 
bell had ceased ringing, and evidently morning service 
was proceeding. I saw a little white boy, and then a 
white woman appeared, hastening towards me from the 
church. She was the nurse in charge of the hospital and 
the boarding-school for native girls, and she informed 
me that Dr. Chisholme was in church, but would I wait 
for lunch and see him. She very kindly showed me the 
hospital, comprised of three substantial buildings, all 
of which were empty. 

320 



Judoe and Hangman 



^2 I 



Then I saw the home where the native girls left off 
their beads and adopted copy-books and a pinafore sort 
of dress, and as I looked at those children I could not 
help contrasting them with the poor shivering white 




ON THE BANKS OF RUKURU RIVER, li.C.A. 



kiddies at home, thankful for a " Daily Graphic " dinner 
or any old rags anyone might choose to give them. Here, 
in a hot climate, blacks were given the unnecessary 
covering so necessary to the poor whites at home. 

Presently Dr. Chisholme returned from church, and 
I found him a very kind and interesting man, not the 
uneducated Bible-thumper so many missionaries are. 
He entertained me most hospitably before I went on my 
way, and told me many interesting details about the 
customs of the natives. 

Now why could not such a man as this be placed at 
the head of a mission for poor whites, either at home or 
abroad ? Why not leave the natives alone in their 
happy state and send out to this school the unhappy 
children of the slums, to be trained in agricultural 
pursuits before they become criminals ? It is no good 



32 2 Via Rhodesia 

sending out adults of the lowest class, they would only 
loaf, and associate on equal terms with the natives ; but 
are not the white children's souls to be taken account 
of ? Would not their bodies, transplanted to the light 
and sunshine, make a parade of more genuine Christian 
evidence than this assembly of veneered hypocritical 
blacks ? 

There is a well-known saying all over Africa, that 
when a native woman puts on boots she leaves off her 
virtue. 

And when I saw those boarders in the hideous frocks 
with such vain, complacent faces, well, all I can say is, 
they did not compare favourably with the fine Matabele 
women in their pleated skirts and body drapery, upright 
in carriage and possessing fine defiant faces. Native 
women have beautiful figures and walk well in their 
natural state, but they slouch and bend their backs and 
become almost deformed as soon as they wear European 
clothes. 

The two-story house was truly a regal palace com- 
pared with the homes of white men farther north, and 
the spruce missionary, with his well-cut clothes and 
waxed moustache, seemed hardly to belong to Africa at 
all. My memory travelled backward to the French 
Fathers, with their whitewashed dwellings, white serge 
robes, and long beards ; somehow they seemed more in 
keeping with the picture. 

I arrived at Fife in the afternoon. 

The entrance to Fife is like an English park, and as I 
went along the broad road I was surprised to see the 
marks of cart wheels and the spoor of a horse's shoe. 
It seemed so strange and unexpected to see again those 
signs of civilisation and yet to know how far away I 
was from it. The mystery was afterwards explained. 

It transpired that some years ago the Administrator 



'I O '> 

0-0 



Judge and Hangman 

brought two ponies up country, and one still lives. He 
draws a Cape cart, and his harness is of strips of rhino 
hide. 

Mr. and Mrs. West Sheene received me with the usual 
kindness I had hitherto experienced. The news that I 
was on the road had travelled, and a comfortable room 
had been prepared for me. Mrs. West Sheene informed 
me that all the servants were very interested, they 
never before having seen a " white donna without a 
white bwama." 

After a wash and change of garments I went for a 
drive with that wonderful pony, Mrs. West Sheene 
taking the rhino reins. 

Many were the interesting stories I heard here. Per- 






X, 



^^'^V 



.-'^ *1&p.'>^ 







^/ ^*=i-^ 
















'T4S.M 



(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



haps by degrees my memory will unfold, but I think 
my store-room got so full of impressions that I can only 
let out a few at a time now ; the rest remain a concrete 
block, which onlv with time will dissolve into ink. 



324 Via Rhodesia 

It seems that every Magistrate up here has to be 
also the pubhc hangman if a murder occurs. I wonder 
how our judges would like to pass sentence first and 
use the rope afterwards ? 

Once Mr. West Sheene had to hang a man, and it was 
arranged, in order that Mrs. West Sheene might not be 
frightened, that when in the early morning all was pre- 
pared a man should come and ask Mr. West Sheene 
whether he was ready to go shooting. Mrs. West Sheene, 
however, afterwards discovered the ruse. 

After leaving Fife I had yet another lion adventure. 
Oh, I know I ought to give it a chapter all to itself, with 
startling headlines, but I am not a journalist — only a 
very simple woman telling simple unvarnished truth — 
except when labelled in plain figures otherwise. 

It happened in the early morning. My carriers had 
left the camp about an hour and gone forward with the 
loads, and the machilla boys were taking down the tent. 
The police-boy, who had been lent to me for my special 
protection, was taking a last nap under cover of bossing 
the machilla boys, and little " Ugly " and I were walking 
along alone about a mile away. It was not a romantic 
scene, no tropical growth, no mountains, no kopjes, no 
roaring river or foaming cataract, in fact no stage 
scenery that ought to have been there met the eye, just 
the veld, high grass, and trees about twelve feet high. 
And then, as though coming from nowhere, there sud- 
denly appeared in the pathway some fifty or sixty yards 
in front of me a tawny-looking animal about the size of 
a small donkey, with untidy hair and — well, I can't 
tell you any more about the appearance of the creature. 
I only know I realised I was face to face with a lion. 
I had only a revolver with me, and am certain I should 
not have used my rifle had it been handy. All I thought 
about at the moment was how quickly I could climb a 



Judge and Hangman 



0-3 



tree, and as I looked round, the trees never looked so 
stumpy as that morning ; and then another thought 
crossed my mind. It may sound ridiculous, but is never- 
theless true. I remembered little " Ugly," and I thought 




NATIVES RUNNING TO SEE LION JUST KILLED 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



I must put him on my shoulder while I climbed, and I 
felt vexed as I thought also that his claws would be 
certain to scratch my neck ! 

Instead, however, of being disfigured in this way, I was 
let off unscathed, for the lion apparently had been well 
fed, and, not liking the look of me, just turned and went 
away quickly through the grass and was soon lost to 
view. 

Not all lions are man-eaters ; only when too old to 
catch game do lions turn their attention to man-eating, 
and then they prefer natives to whites. ' But the un- 
concern of some natives is amazing. 



3 



26 Via Rhodesia 



I heard of one man who on looking out from his tent 
and seeing the lires going out kicked a boy and said, 
" Get up, schehn, and see to the fires ; there are hons 
about." And the boy repUed laconically, before turning 
over for another sleep, '* There are forty other boys," 
as though he saw no reason why a lion should choose 
him first. 



CHAPTER XXXV 
The Witcli-Doctor 

IT is impossible in this book to give a comprehen- 
sive account of all the tribes inhabiting Rhodesia, 
and their characteristics ; perhaps, however, a few 
further details will interest those who are thinking of 
making Rhodesia a future home. I have already acknow- 
ledged my indebtedness to Mr. West Sheene and Dr. 





AT LIWONDE RIVER — TAKING HIPPO GUI' 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



Chisholme for information on the subject, but I must 
also add the name of Mr. T. C. Coxhead, of Fort Jame- 
son, who was kind enough to place his notes at my 
disposal. 



328 Via Rhodesia 

North of the x\wemba country, on the Tanganyika 
plateau, there are several small tribes. The A'Mambwe 
inhabit the part of the country between Abercorn and 
the Chosi River ; they were greatly harried by the 
Awemba before the days of the British South Africa 
Company, and, in fact, have been saved by them from 
extermination. Another tribe owing their present peace- 
ful existence to the same source is the Alungu. 

Between the Chosi and Karungu Rivers, part of the 
country is occupied by the Ainamwanga. The greater 
portion of this tribe live on British ground, but the 
chief, strange to say, resides on German territory. They 
are a quiet people, possessing good flocks of sheep and 
goats. None of the natives in Rhodesia have large 
herds of cattle, fifteen or twenty head being considered 
quite a good number ; but the people are lazy, as a rule ; 
" sufficient unto the day " is a universal motto. 

The Awiwa live to the west of the Ainamwanga, and 
are great iron-workers. At one time they supplied the 
country round with hoes, spears, and axes. The Awiwa 
tobacco, too, is considered superior to any other of 
native growth. At one time this tribe paid tribute to 
the Awemba. The Awiwa number about 10,000 on the 
British side, and there is said to be about the same 
number in German East Africa. This tribe is an off- 
shoot of the Ainamwanga, who trace their history back 
to the advent of a great and skilful man who came from 
Wiza country some three hundred (?)' years ago. Before 
his coming this tribe are believed to have dwelt in 
forests and lived on game and wild fruits and roots, 
possessing neither huts nor crops. But he brought 
seeds with him and taught them many things, and so 
they made him their chief, and he and his successors 
reigned over them for many years. The knowledge of 
what they were and what they have now become seems 



The Witch- Doctor 



329 



strong with this tribe and has turned into a form of 
ancestor worship. 

These people, as weU as most tribes, construct their huts 
and ah their buildings, whether grain stores, cattle 




ll.\cl-. I MR OFFERINt. -A( KIIICES TO Dl- I'A l< I I-, I ) CHIEFS, 

LOWER SHIRE RIVER 

(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 

kraals, pigeon-houses, or what not, all on the round 
pattern, which, after all, is much easier for them than 
building in the square style, very few natives being able 
to draw a straight line. In fact they cannot lay down 
a trunk of a tree or a piece of cloth in a straight line. 
But stick a spear in the ground, tie to the spear a piece 
of string with a scrap of iron attached to it, and run 
round marking the earth as you go, and you have the 
perfect ground plan of a hut marked out. These huts 
are about six feet in height and are built of wattle and 
daub, the wattle being usually not reeds but strong 
poles. Neither windows nor chimneys are made, so the 
atmosphere when a huge fire is burning may be imagined. 



330 Via Rhodesia 

I attribute to the smoke from the fires the fact that so 
many natives have bloodshot eyes. Natives certainly 
are fire-worshippers ; they will sometimes sit so near 
a camp-fire that they go to sleep, and falling in they get 
badly burnt before they are aware of the nearness of 
the flames. 

Most young native children wear little besides a few 
beads. Their parents usually have a little drapery of 
limbo or an apron made from bark, but the grandfathers 
still cling to the older fashion of wearing two little 
antelope skins, one hanging from the waist in front and 
one behind. The old women don similar attire, but the 
two pieces in their case are often of cotton cloth instead 
of skins. The women also rub oil into their skins and 
put red and yellow powders on their hair. 

These people are largely vegetarians, eating meat and 
game but rarely. However, they vary their usual diet 
of " maleyi " (red millet) by such delicacies as cater- 
pillars, locusts, ants, etc. 

Natives have a quaint way of standing up when 
earthquakes happen, believing that death or plague is 
stalking through the land. Lightning and thunder they 
regard as signs that God Himself has come down to 
earth ; and should the lightning set fire to a tree, all the 
fires in the village are put out, and fire-places are freshly 
plastered. Head-men take the burning tree to the chief, 
who prays over it and then sends it round to all his 
villages, and his messengers receive presents from the 
people. 

Certain places where shady trees grow are kept apart 
by each family as meeting-places where they can gather 
together to worship spirits. They believe that after 
death spirits go to " Kuzimu," which is situated in the 
heart of the earth ; thus they always speak of spirits as 
rising up, never as coming down, and they believe there 



The Witch- Doctor 333 

is only one place for all spirits. And if a man dies away 
from his kraal, his family quite believe that his spirit will 
return to them and, when not in Kuzimu, haunt the 
trees where the spirits of that particular family are wor- 
shipped. Further, should the family move to another 
village, the spirits of the dead will go with them, and 
before moving, prayers are offered to the spirits, and 
guidance by them is requested. 

Sacrifices are often made to the spirits of chiefs by the 
offering of bullocks and rams, and of fowls and goats to 
the spirits of forefathers, and beer is poured on to the 
place where the blood of the sacrifice is spilt. These 
sacrifices are cooked at a special fire, lit by the priest, 
and are eaten as a sacrament and not to appease hunger. 
The head of the family, or the priest (the office of 
priesthood descends from father to son), will sit near 
the offerings and say prayers to the spirits as though 
they were really present. 

The idea that the spirits of the dead really return is an 
accepted belief also with the Japanese. A military 
attache who was present when a great Japanese general 
gave thanks to his troops for their courage during the 
late Russian- Japanese war, said to me, " I shall never 
forget the wave of emotion we felt when General Yogi 
turned from the troops present and, looking towards 
a mountain near, on which was no visible sign of human 
life, addressed the spirits of his dead soldiers supposed 
to be gathered there, for the Japanese believe that if 
you fight bravely in war, and fall, your spirit returns 
to see the victory and to receive the thanks of its com- 
mander." 

It is the wish of officials in Rhodesia and British 
Central Africa to stamp out, if possible, the native belief 
in witchcraft, for it leads to many crimes. But super- 
stition dies hard, even in a thoroughly civilised country, 



334 Vi^ Rhodesia 

and some highly educated people in Great Britain are 
strangely superstitious ; therefore it is not to be won- 
dered at that it will take some time before belief in 
witch-doctors is wiped out, and, after all, there is a 
great similarity between native superstition and so- 
called Christian Science, both being founded on faith, 
which has more influence over nerves than anything 
else. Common sense and firm resolution would have 
precisely the same results, but would not be so romantic. 
One has only to get an idea firmly fixed in the mind, 
and it quickly affects matter. Medical science has proved 
this again and again. But in our world people who are 
tired of bridge must have new diseases with new doctors, 
and new religions with new preachers, to cure them, and 
in like manner a little romance and dramatic possibilities 
are introduced into the native's life by the sorceries of 
the witch-doctor. And who can say that some of our 
own laws are less cruel than the injustice said to be the 
result of the witch-doctor's influence ? 

The world is much the same all over, only things are 
called by different names. So many want others to look 
at life only through their own special microscope or 
telescope, but so long as colour cling to colour, the black 
to black, the yellow to yellow, and above all, white to 
white, the world will not be a bad place to live in. 

If a native is away on a journey and his return is long 
over-due, then the stars are not consulted, as in India, 
or a palmist visited, as in Bond Street, but an insect 
is put into a heap of sand. If the insect finds its way 
out, the man is still alive, and if it remains in, then the 
relations of the absent man conclude that he is dead. 

It is not only believed that some chiefs become lions 
at death, but also that others become pythons, and, 
in consequence, no one is allowed to kill a python, and 
should one visit a village it is allowed to take sheep. 



•y ^ 




The Witch- Doctor 337 

dogs, or fowls, and after it has fed the chief tries to 
entice it away by the offering of a white fowL 

Ordeal by fire is unknown, but ordeal by hot water is 
often practised to ascertain if a native is guilty of theft 
or not. If his hand comes out of the pot unseal ded, 
then he is innocent, if scalded and skinned, then he is 
convicted. Now scientists say, that if one plunges one's 
hand quickly into water that is actually boiling, it 
does not hurt, so perhaps there is more sense in the 
ordeal than is at first apparent, for naturally the guilty 
man would hesitate and approach the water gingerly, 
believing that his guilt would really be found out. 

We hang up horse-shoes for luck, but the native pro- 
cures from his witch-doctor special bits of wood to place 
in his garden, so that anyone coming to steal may get a 
disease. We wTar rings to cure rheumatism, but the 
native has a little horn filled with ashes and bits of 
charms, and w^ars it on the painful side. 

But in addition to the weaving of spells and giving of 
philtres, native doctors often have genuine skill. They 
will set fractures, and stitch wounds with fibres from 
the castor-oil plant, the leaves being used for dressing. 
Every witch-doctor has his special small basket in which 
are kept his charms for making his medicinal prepara- 
tions efficacious. But why laugh at the witch-doctor's 
basket, since such useless things as the huge red and 
green glasses which fill every chemist's window in Eng- 
land are recognised as trade-marks of the pharmaceutical 
profession ? Not until our judges give up wearing a black 
cap when giving sentence of death, or our barristers sell 
their wigs to theatrical wardrobe dealers, should we 
start belittling the customs of other people. 

Most natives bury their dead some distance from their 
homes, and I was surprised to find two graves quite near 
the village of Chanda, as the graves of natives are not 



T,T,S Via Rhodesia 

usually conspicuous. There are tribes, however, who 
bury their dead at a convenient distance from the hut 
where the deceased died, so as to make a Uttle garden 
of maize near the grave. 

The waiUng over a corpse, and after the funeral, may 
easily be compared to an Irish wake — with this differ- 
ence, that the natives keep sober, and as soon as the 
burial has taken place bathe in the nearest stream, the 
women in one part, the men in another. 

A very pretty custom is the placing of the corpse in 
the grave in such a way that the eyes look towards the 
place where the family of the deceased lives. Also, in- 
stead of our sad service, the head-man prays to the spirits 
of the deceased's forefathers, asking them to welcome 
their child, and telling the spirit of the corpse that though 
he has left the land of sunshine he will find peace in the 
home of the spirits. 

When all is finished and the grave filled in, then all the 
relations of the deceased, from the old tottering grand- 
mother to the tiny infant in arms, throw a handful of 
earth on the grave. 



A 



CHAPTER XXXVI 

Lake Nyasa 

T Fort Hill, which is the boundary dividing 
Rhodesia from British Central Africa, or Nyasa- 
land, as it is now usually called, I had again, 
on account of sleeping-sickness regulations, to change 
my ulendo, not being allowed to take even a personal 
boy over the boundary. This made travelling more un- 
comfortable than on my journey north, for a tent, or 
personal, boy soon gets to know all one's wishes without 
directions having to be repeated again and again, which, 
when one has little knowledge of the language, usually 
means learning the useful lesson of doing without. 

Fort Hill is in charge of a capitao (native) who is sup- 
posed to know a little English, but that little may just 
as well be spelt none. There is a small house there, but 
I was advised beforehand on no account to sleep in it, as 
much live stock had taken up residence therein, and so, 
after holding a reception of all the local native digni- 
taries on the steps, and receiving some fowls and a bowl 
of milk as presents, I retired to my tent, which had been 
pitched quite near, and there I fed and shivered and 
tried to sleep, for it was a bitterly cold night. The 
capitao and several other natives asked me if I had 
any blankets to sell, but unfortunately I had not. 

Here again, as in fact all over Rhodesia, I saw the 
necessity for good stores being opened. The company 
who at present hold the monopoly of stores in Rhodesia 

339 



340 



Via Rhodesia 



and Nyasaland grumble that they are losing their trade, 
and are inclined, I fancy, to blame not only the country 
but also the residents, who, they say, will not buy 
locally. Rut how can the residents buy locally when 
the stores are so badly stocked ? I was given several 
instances of the men in charge of the so-called stores 
having had often to buy what they require personally 
from the residents, or borrow, until fresh goods arrived. 
One man in N.E. Rhodesia said to me, " We should all 
prefer to buy locally, instead of ordering what we want 
from England in bulk and a year in advance, but under 
existing circumstances it is impossible, in fact the natives 
are better catered for in many stores than the whites." 



ri - J: 




SABLE ANTELOPE 
(By kind permission of Mr. Stuart Wells) 



'f^ 



The store arrangements are one of the first and chief 
things which must be looked to, and it is to be hoped 
that Britishers will take this matter in hand before 



Lake Nyasa 



341 



Germans step in and seize the opportunity and the 
profits. In N.W. and N.E. Rhodesia especially, good 
stores are becoming more and more of a necessity on the 
Broken Hill to Abercorn route. 

During the whole 
nine days' travel 
from Abercorn to 
Karonga I met only 
one white man on 
the road, and he was 
Mr. Stuart Wells, 
xA-Ssistant Magistrate 
at Karonga, who was 
out on a tour of in- 
spection. 

It was not far from 
the Luangwe River 
that I suddenly came 
on a tent with a table 
standing outside it, 
on which rested a 
large tin of Cerebos 
salt and a tea-pot, 
and then I knew 
white blood must be 
about somewhere, 
and soon Mr. Stuart 
Wells put in an ap- 
pearance. I decided 
to camp there and proceed to Karonga the next day. 

Mr. Stuart Wells had had the good fortune the day 
before we met to shoot a fine eland. The head was still 
hanging up, and I took a photograph of it. We had 
eland soup and eland steak for dinner. While we were 
dining, a head-man and a police-boy arrived in a very 




ELAND SHOT NEAR KARONGA, B C.A. 



342 Via Rhodesia 

excited state. They had come a two days' journey, 
and I witnessed what appeared to be a dramatic recital, 
and noted the evident satisfaction displayed by the 
two men when they were dismissed. The conversation 
between the men and the Magistrate was conducted in 
the native language, and I was afterwards told the gist 
of the matter. 

It seems that a man had come from German territory 
without a permit, and, transgressing sleeping-sickness 
regulations, had joined in a beer-drink on British terri- 
tory, and when asked for his permit had confessed he 
hadn't one. The chief had then driven away the police- 
boy who had demanded the permit, and given the offender 
shelter. 

The Magistrate's order was short but to the point, 
for his instructions were, " Go and arrest the chief." 

The next morning Mr. Stuart Wells bicycled away at an 
early hour, having arranged to w^ait for me later in the 
day at a very pretty part of the road some ten miles 
farther on. 

I was very much amused at a tiny " piccanin " (boy) 
who seemed to be the chief man of Mr. Wells's ulendo. 
He was always the first to start a job and the quickest 
to finish, and often ran thirty miles in a day, I w^as told. 
He had a sense of humour, too, and one day, w^hen a 
police-boy went bathing, the piccanin, being left in 
charge of the camp, dressed up in the askiri's clothes, 
and was so found. 

Near my camp was a long, peculiar bridge, made of 
steel wire, and it w^as very amusing to see my boys 
(who were used to bridges of wooden piles) try to cross 
it quickly. One boy jumped into the air quite eighteen 
inches and then fell flat on his face. 

About five miles away I paused for a rest, and then 
went quickly forward and joined Mr. Stuart Wells, who 



Lake Nyasa 



343 



was peacefully picnicking under the shade of a huge 
tree close to one of the most charming bits of scenery 
I have seen in British Central Africa, for the banks on 
either side of the river were here richly wooded. 

I was asked if I 
had paused at all at 
a stream some dis- 
tance back. " Yes," 
I replied, " about live 
miles away." " So 
did I," said Mr. 
Stuart Wells, "and 
as I was stooping to 
drink I found I was 
surrounded by fresh 
lion spoor, so hav- 
ing no gun with me 
I quickly left." 

As we neared Kar- 
onga, I noticed that 
a number of huts 
were of quite differ- 
ent appearance from 
those farther north, 
being square instead 
of round, and formed 
of light-coloured 
reeds. 

But the natives, 
although their huts seemed to be of more intricate archi- 
tecture, certainly displayed with regard to themselves 
less vanity in the matter of clothing, for save a string 
and a piece of cloth not much larger than a postage 
stamp, they were entirely naked. 

Formerly there were Government stations at Deep 




MR. WELLS'S PICCANIN 
(By kind permission of Mr. Wells) 



344 



Via Rhodesia 



Bay and Fort Hill, but these have been abandoned, 
and now the Government station of North Nyasa is at 
Karonga. At one time this district was much troubled 
by the Angoni tribe making raids and stealing both 
slaves and cattle, but now peace reigns. Here, too, the 
Arabs estabUshed a slave centre, but in 1889 they were 
routed out, their stockade being captured and des- 
troyed. 

All the good garden land on the plains is now under 




NATIVE HUT NEAR KARONGA, B.C. A. 



native cultivation, but there is still some good and well- 
watered garden land in the hills not yet taken up. 

Certainly North Nyasaland is far more picturesque 
than the greater part of Rhodesia, but the very points 
which lend to its beauty detract from its utility from 
an agricultural point of view, for the hills and valleys 
seem to be too broken and precipitous to afford good 
vantage ground for crops. 

Game in Nyasaland is very plentiful, including (in the 
southern portion) elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffaloes. 

Before the middle of the last century very little was 



Lake Nyasa 345 

known about the region now called Nyasaland, the first 
European supposed to have visited these parts being 
Jasper Bocarro, a Portuguese, in the seventeenth cen- 
tury. 

While at Karonga I stayed for two nights at the house 
connected with the African Lakes Company, and dined 
one night at the house of Mr. Stuart W'ells fwho, in the 
absence of Mr. Dove Easterbrook, the Magistrate, is 
Acting Magistrate), and he very kindly invited all the 
white residents to meet me. 

It was a beautiful moonlight night, and I thoroughly 
enjoyed not only the party but the machilla ride to and 
from the house, accompanied by Mr. Bruce of the 
African Lakes Company. It certainly was novel to 
chat en route to a man who was also being carried in a 
machilla. 

Mr. Stuart Wells not only showed me his wonderful 
collection of photographs, which he takes, develops, and 
prints himself, but presented me with a very beautiful 
set of game pictures, the whole of which I deeply 
regret I cannot reproduce, as space does not allow, 
but even the few specimens printed show how unique 
these photographs are, and I feel I cannot thank Mr. 
Stuart Wells sufficiently for his kindness in giving them 
to me. 

The next day Mr. Dove Easterbrook returned ; he 
wrote to me inviting me to lunch, including in his letter 
the information that on account of the roughness of the 
lake the gunboat "Gwendoline" (in which I had per- 
mission from H.E. Sir Alfred Sharpe to travel) could not 
anchor in the usual place, and therefore Mr. Dove 
Easterbrook was good enough to offer to take me out 
in his boat to the place where she lay at anchor, some 
three miles away. 

To speak of a lake is to convey the impression of 



34^ Via Rhodesia 

a peaceful, smootli, still sheet of water, but an African 
lake can have very bad manners, and Lake Nyasa was 
more like a tempestuous sea all the time I was sailing 
thereon. I really thought the boat would capsize when 
we hrst left the shore, and did not think we could 
possibly reach the '' Gwendoline." However, I said 
nothing of my fears, but clung to the boat with one 
hand and held little " Ugly " with the other. The 
native sailors did not seem to mind standing on their 
heads one minute and their feet the next, and I con- 
cluded they must be used to it. Mr. Dove Easterbrook 
asked them to sing, and they broke forth into a kind 
of boating chant. 

At length we reached the gunboat, and I must say 
Captain Tate didn't look at all pleased to see me, though 
we afterwards became excellent friends and no one 
could have been more kind than he was. It seemed he 
had never before taken a lady alone down Nyasa, and 
feared I might be a weird and impossible woman with 
dictatorial manners and selfish requirements, but I soon 
showed him I could be as happy on a gunboat as on a 
liner. I did not send for help every time I saw a beetle 
in my cabin, or mind a native coming in and standing on 
my bed every morning to close the port-hole (we used to 
anchor every night), nor did the revolvers, cutlasses, and 
handcuffs hanging near my cabin terrify me in the least, 
and further I found no fault with the cats who daily 
shared meals with us. It really was funny ; the dear 
bluff captain would grumble at those cats every day, 
and all the time he was grumbling at them he would 
feed them — a kinder-hearted man never breathed. When 
I was ill with a " go " of fever he had a bed put up on 
his deck for me, and I used to lie up there all day, 
sheltered from the spray and longing for sundown, 
when we anchored, and the world seemed more like a 



Lake Nyasa 349 

monument of some substantiality instead of a rocking- 
horse. 

The name of this lake was recorded by Livingstone as 
Lake Nyasa, this being its Yao appellation and meaning 
" broad water." One never loses sight of the land, and 
very beautiful are some of the harbours. Monkey Bay 
is particularly picturesque, with its few native huts 
dotted in the foreground and the hills covered with 
thick foliage rising range after range at the back. Here 
swarms of monkeys are to be seen swinging from tree 
to tree. 

At Kota-Kota there are natives who make quaint 
little things of hippo ivory which may be purchased 
for a few pence. They are usually tiny crude imitations 
of animals, and are rather pretty, but otherwise one does 
not find many objects of interest, and as going ashore 
usually means returning to the boat accompanied by 
ticks as companions, one soon gets tired of excursions 
inland. 

These ticks are horrible little insects ; they have a 
nasty way of burrowing under the skin, and are difficult 
to dislodge. The engineer remarked to me, " I went 
ashore last night, and in consequence had to be over- 
hauled by sailors to-day." As it was not possible for 
me to be overhauled I had to do my best with a hand- 
glass and a darning needle. I have recently (1910) 
seen among the Cape Colony Government exhibits at 
an Agricultural Exhibition, samples of ticks which, 
for scientific purposes, have been preserved in bottles 
without food or water for two years, and are still 
alive ! 

Lake Nyasa is the third largest lake in Africa, and is 
360 miles long. The water is fresh and drinkable. 
There are practically no good harbours, for all the 
anchorages are exposed to the north and south winds, 



350 Via Rhodesia 

which sweep the lake from end to end, and make tlie 
water very rough. 

I was at first much puzzled by the appearance of 
what looked like clouds of smoke, which seemed to 
cling to the shore in many parts, but the captain ex- 
plained that what I took to be smoke w^as in reality a 
swarm of flies of a kind which the natives often catch 
in great quantities and make into cakes. 

The " Gwendoline " did not go so far as Fort Johnston, 
but stayed some miles away, and a smaller gunboat, 
" The Dove," came out to meet us with a doctor on 
board, and then I had the unique experience of being 
examined for sleeping-sickness. My throat was pinched 
in various parts, and being passed I was duly presented 
with my certificate. It will be noticed that on it Eng- 
land is given as my village, and Edward VII as my 
chief. 

I had given up my tent and other kit at Karonga, 
having been informed that I could go from Fort John- 
ston to Zomba by house-boat, but when I reached Fort 
Johnston I found that the one and only house-boat 
which holds one person and luggage, or two if on very 
intimate terms, had been engaged, and I therefore must 
wait some days, or take to a machilla again. I concluded 
that one night at the African Lakes Boarding-house at 
Fort Johnston would be quite enough for me, and ordered 
a machilla team to be ready the next morning. 

There were then no w^hite w^omen at Fort Johnston, or 
I would have called on them. I really felt it would be 
a great treat to see some of my own sex again, and in 
the afternoon (I arrived soon after lunch) I strolled 
round and saw^ a brickfield where natives were at work, 
and visited the native huts and bought a few bracelets 
from the native women, but Fort Johnston depressed 
me, and I felt I should be glad to leave it. 



Lake Nyasa 



--> -" o 

03 



It was a relief when the next morning came and I 
set off again with a machilla team. This time my 
machilla had two poles and was carried by four boys ; 
not that I had increased in weight, but a four-boy 
machilla is the custom in this part of the country. 






3g 



'■- Y A -.\,u A N D PHOTECTOKATE. 

4625 

V. N T K Y PASS. 



M OiikjMi^/ttecu^^.^^,;,^ 



^.-pt^l^-fCi^^?^^^.- 



. ; tribe. 



i"jO lia.s been mwlically uxawiMijil for trypaiiosomia&ia aiiri ifaaa hcvn {onnd-free-fattHt mietJjaaSHe is h-ereby 
^ jHMMrattedu, ..ar^r^he y. .^?'^..^fC,,?:T-«»j TWrict. 

^^hp swn-s he ..,r....i. (..i^iS;;^^;'^'"^. ^"^^^^^/Z /^: ./^c^fi:'!rff!^JiJJ^ 




U-kiL 



Meilieal Oliicer or otlier ' 
Offioer in clia.rg'e of Entry Staiiou, 



MY SLEEPING-SICKNESS CERTIFICATE 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

Zomba 

IN addition to my machilla team a small piccanin 
ran along with some cold luncheon for me in a 
basket and a dead fowl slung over his back, the 
latter destined to be cooked for my dinner when we 
should reach the rest-house. The spot I selected for 
lunch was beneath the shade of the quaintest tree I 
have ever seen ; it was a sort of family tree with a series 
of trunks all joined together. 

My new boys seated themselves quite close to me, 
and seemed to be enjoying a feast of sight, at any rate 
they never left off staring. 

When I reached Mvera and saw the rest-house I 
wished I had not left my nice tent at Karonga, for this 
house gave one the " creeps " after being in it even for 
only a few minutes. The window of the best bedroom 
was broken, and the two natives in charge of the house 
were not of very fascinating appearance. However, 
the fowl duly appeared, cooked, and to my surprise and 
delight some fresh fish, so I forgave the natives their 
ugly faces, and enjoyed my meal. 

Some little distance from the house were two huts in 
which the caretakers of the rest-house lived with their 
wives, the native village being some little distance away. 
Later in the evening I heard the sound of drums and 
shouting, which seemed to indicate that some festival 
was taking place, but I was too tired to walk in that 

354 



Zomba 



o r '- 

j5d 



direction to see what was going on, and instead strolled 
across a few paces which lay between the rest-house and 
the river, and enjoyed the beautiful moonlight scene, 
listening the while to the grunts of a neighbourly hippo, 
who, accompanied by a chorus of croaking frogs, seemed 
to be serenading either me or the moon. 

When I returned, I found the wife of the manager of 
my hotel busy pounding corn outside the hut. It was 
close on ten o'clock, and I was surprised to see the 




NATIVE PAINTING ON HUT 



woman working so late, but it seemed some natives 
had just come, and all the meal having been cooked, 
the woman had to prepare a further supply for either 
a late supper or an early breakfast, I could not quite 
ascertain which, but she made a pretty picture in the 
moonlight. 

The next morning I discovered some rude paintings on 
the hut, an attempt to reproduce a horse. As horses 
are not very frequent visitors in the neighbourhood 
nowadays, I take it the work must have been by one 
of the old masters ! 



^^6 Yvd RHckIcski 

Apparently one approaches Liwonde through a lake 
of cabbages. I shall never recall without a smile 
that strange pond, covered with a growth like tiny 
cabbages, through which native ferry-men steered you 
across in boats larger than up-country canoes, in fact, 
seeming like barges in comparison with the dugouts to 
which I had grown accustomed. 

Liwonde boasts of one white man's residence, but 
there was no white man, he having gone away on some 
excursion. I looked longingly at the house, stole some 
citrons from the garden, and then sorrowfully set off to 
the rest-house of the African Lakes Company. H.E. the 
Governor told me afterwards that I should have taken 
possession of the white man's house and stayed there 
the night, but used as I was to Colonial hospitality, I 
really had not the nerve to commandeer a house and 
all that therein was. 

I should have reserved my grumbling at Mvera until I 
arrived at Liwonde. At the former place at any rate 
I obtained some fresh food, but here I could not even 
get an egg, and was forced to look through the contents 
of the corner-cupboard store wliich is in every rest-house. 
You take what you like from the cupboard, and then 
write in a book provided for the purpose what you have 
had. 

I took a biscuit, and a glance at a tin of condensed 
milk, admiring its brown colour (without exaggeration 
the milk was the colour of mahogany), and then in- 
dulged in a whiff of the scent of a tin of salmon, and 
finally seized a small packet of cigarettes, hoping this 
last item would take from my memory the recollections 
of those other horrors. 

A glance through the visitors'-book and the remarks 
contained therein was an education in itself, although 
during the last two years only a few had called at this 



Zomba 359 

House of Rest. Still I should advise the Company con- 
cerned to provide a new visitors'-book at all their rest- 
houses, for the critiques contained therein are not by 
any means advertisements. 

A native capitao, knowing English, has charge of 
the transport. I did not see him, he having gone to a beer- 
drink, at least so I was informed by a police-boy. How- 
ever, the next morning he sent. me fresh boys and the 
following letter : — 

" From the Head Caiptao, Resident, To the Mrs. Esqre 
" Liwonde, Upper Shire District. A. L. Store, 

" Liwonde. 
" Sir, 

" I have the honour that I am sending to you 
the i6 carriers for your Mchila. Jim and I honour you 
that when you will reach at Zomba, singe the ulendo 
rate and return it with them. 

" I have the honour to be 
" Sir, 

" Y. O. S." 

It was indeed a faint and weary woman who arrived 
at Zomba, and very grateful indeed was I for the kind 
invitation Sir Alfred and Lady Sharpe gave me to rest 
a few days at Government House before proceeding to 
Blantyre. Lady Sharpe was a true Samaritan, for she 
literally clothed me, the boys not having arrived with 
my baggage, and, after the uncomfortable experiences 
since leaving the gunboat, Government House really 
seemed a haven of rest. I stayed there six days, and 
I am quite certain I should have been very ill had it not 
been for the great kindness I met with. 

For Zomba I have nothing but praise ; it is really 
one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The view 



360 Via Rhodesia 

from my bedroom window was so engrossing, I never 
tired of looking at it ; one wanted so to see the distant 
mountains under every aspect and at every changing 
time of day or night. 

I felt I had indeed returned to civilisation, for Sir 
Alfred Sharpe not only has a motor-car but is quite 
an expert driver. Many white men at Zomba have 
motor-bicycles, and not only was the road between 
Zomba and Blantyre being macadamised when I was 
there, but also a fine road up Zomba mountain was in 
course of construction. 

The road will enable the women and children to live 
on the height during the hot weather. About a hundred 
natives are employed on this road, the total cost per 
head for food and labour being 5s. 6d. a month. 

There are fortunately no rivers to cross, only gullies, 
and the road is about ten feet wide. The natives em- 
ployed on the mountain have shelters of branches of 
trees to sleep in at night, and a merry, cheery lot they 
are. 

The bracing atmosphere on the top of Zomba mountain 
may be imagined when it is realised that the highest 
point of this plateau is 6647 feet above sea-level. The 
view to be obtained from here is beyond description. 
The whole country round is covered with forest, which 
is kept green and fertile by the many streams. 

A successful trout hatchery has been established on 
Zomba mountain, and I saw both brown and rainbow 
trout sporting in the clear water and looking in a very 
healthy condition. We were greatly excited to find 
that some new baby fish had appeared. The pools 
where the trout live are shaded by much overhanging 
foliage, and are therefore difficult to photograph. 

Zomba can boast of having electric light, and an 
amusing story is told of the dynamo at Government 



z ^ ^ 

•g. Kl K 
£ -J - 



3 — — 



^ > 

• s 




Zomba 



36, 



House. A native was taught how to look after it, the 
dynamo being placed in his charge. Now it happened 
that the native committed a slight crime and was 
sentenced to two weeks' imprisonment. What was to 
be done ? It was impossible to do without the electric 
light, and equally impossible to teach another native 
immediately the other man's work. The difficulty was 
solved by the native coming out of prison every evening 
and sitting by the side of the dynamo in charge of a police- 
boy so long as the electric light was required, returning 
to prison immediately the light was switched off. 

I went over the prison, which is also a lunatic asylum, 
the mad patients being tied to trees in the daytime in 
order to give them fresh air. The cells are so made 
that the entire front is open to both light and air. The 




TROUT SNAPPING FLIES. ZOMBA MOUNTAIN, B.C.A. 



criminals are not allowed to be idle. They are taught 
such useful things as carpentering, tailoring, etc. 

There is a very good hospital at Zomba, which I was 
glad to see w^as quite empty, also a library — in fact 
Zomba is well equipped with buildings. 



3^H 



Via Rhodesia 



I also went o\'er the Legislative Chamber, which is 
quite a fine building and looks very important, but I 
could not help being amused at what seemed to me a 
rather comic-opera incident that occurred while I was 
there. 




COTTON-PLUCKING SHED AT MR. LIVINGSTONE BRUCE'S FARM, B.C.A. 



The Attorney-General arrived from Blantyre, and a 
Legislative Council was held, only three being present, 
and the next day an Executive Council was held to pass 
the laws made the previous day, and — the same gentle- 
men were present, but this time as Executive. It 
seemed a delightfully simple way of arranging matters, 
instead of our squabbling method, with the dissensions 
intensified by the reporters of the press. 

The Mlanje mountain is especially beautiful. Rising 
abruptly from level ground, it attains the maximum 
height of 9846 feet. One of the paths of the northern 
end is used chiefly for the purpose of transporting timber 
from the cypress forest, which covers a large part of the 
mountain. So bracing is the air on this mountain that 
European invalids often go there specially for a rest 



Zomba 



36 



and change. There are many tribes in Nyasaland, but 
perhaps the more numerous are the Yao. They are 
very superstitious, and I was told on the gunboat that 
if a Yao sailor got his hand cut once he became melan- 
cholic, thinking his wife was unfaithful, but if he got 
two cuts then he became angry, and on reaching land 
divorced two wives ! 

Between Zomba and Blantyre is a very prosperous 
cotton farm, the property of Mr. Livingstone Bruce, who 
is a grandson of the great explorer and is justly proud 
not only of his name but also of the farm, the success 
of which is entirely due to his untiring efforts. Some 
of his fields yield as much as 180 lbs. each, a field being 




AT MR. LIVINC.STONE BRUCE'S SAW MILLS, B.C. A. 



about the size of an acre. Over 1000 acres are planted 
with cotton. 

Cotton seed is exempted from import duty. Coffee 
and tobacco are also grown largely in Nyasaland. 



3 



68 Via Rhodesia 



Blantyre, the commercial centre of Nyasaland, is 
forty-two miles from Zomba, and there is a rest-house 
midway, about twenty-five miles from Blantyre, at 
Namadzi. Ox waggons and mule carts are seen on this 
road, but there are very few horses in Nyasaland and 
as a rule carriers are employed, who usually get about 
IS. a head for fifty miles, and take two days for such 
a journey, not carrying more than 56 lbs. 

In order to save me the tediousness of a further 
machilla journey. Sir Alfred Sharpe kindly took me by 
motor part of the way to Blantyre, my luggage and a 
rickshaw having been sent the night before to wait for 
me, and so I did the journey comfortably in one day 
instead of having to spend another night at a rest-house. 
Of the condition therefore of the one at Namadzi I 
cannot report, but with regard to the others, a tent, 
please, in preference. 

When approaching Blantyre I felt, indeed, that my 
travels in the wilds must really be at an end, for I met 
a white man who didn't take off his hat. It seemed quite 
strange to pass without speaking, and, in fact, I found 
Blantyre to be quite an up-to-date town. True, one 
paid visits in rickshaws or machillas, but there the 
difference between Africa and an English country town 
ended. 

The boarding-house of the African Lakes Company 
was really a comfortable house to stay at, and life was 
made a condition of wonder by a landlady who sang 
twenty-three hours out of the twenty-four and never 
seemed to get tired or lose her cheerful smile. 

I was most kindly entertained by the Judge and 
his pretty wife, and also spent a delightful Sunday at 
the Residency. And what pleased me very much, I 
found a kind woman who was willing to adopt little 
" Ugly." I knew it would be impossible to take him 



Zomba 



0/ 



to England owing to quarantine regulations, and the 
little mongrel had been such a chum I would have 
shot him rather than have risked his not being cared 
for. 





LIGHTER WITH NATIVES COMING TO DRAG US OFF THE SANDBANK 

There is a railway from Blantyre to Port Herald, a 
distance of forty miles, and at Port Herald one gets into 
a sort of gondola covered with a Lilliputian shed, called 
by courtesy a house-boat, and is paddled through the 
mud to a steamer, which takes you (if it doesn't get 
stuck on a sandbank) down the Shire and Zambesi Rivers 
to Chinde. 

I enjoyed the trip on the house-boat very much, for 
it was a pitch-black night. As I sat in the bottom of 
the boat under the shed a rat came and ate the pugaree 
off my helmet. 

At the Portuguese boundary a tall, thin, dark official, 
looking like the foreign villain of a melodrama, came 
on board the gondola — I mean house-boat — and very 
politely said good night, and the boys, as they paddled, 
made weird noises, which I suppose was their idea of 



J/ 



12 



Via Rhodesia 



singing, and so the night passed until we got at last 
alongside the " Empress." 

Of the journey down the Shire and Zambesi I can 
write little, for I was ill most of the time, so tired that 
I just wanted to sleep for ever and ever. I remember 
only that it was a comfortable boat and that the captain 
was fair and kind, and that for companions I had a 
Government nurse — and a missionary. 

At Chinde, I remember, there seemed nothing but sand. 
I remember nothing else save a harmonium and hymns 
at the boarding-house, which disturbed me when I wanted 
to sleep, and a cheery English Consul, who invited me to 
the Consulate and took me out in his boat to the tug. 
And I am afraid I was not a bit pleasant to anybody, 
for I was oh ! so tired, and nothing seemed so desirable 
as sleep. 




AFTER DRAGGING US OFF, NATIVES RETURN 





--i 



CHINDE HARHOUR WITH RIVER-IJOATS 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

East Coast 

BACK again to England ! It seems an endless 
distance the tug takes you out, past the " Land- 
mark " to the liner waiting outside the bar. 
Packed into a basket, you are safely " heaved " aboard, 
where, if you are fortunate, you land without too many 
souvenirs in the way of bruises. 

The hooter, oh, the awful hooter ! But why does it 
sound ? Nothing is to be seen except water all round. 
The anchor is weighed, and before you have really 
settled down Mozambique is reached. Naturally, ashore, 
to see the fort, under the guidance of the amiable skipper, 
Captain Pohlenz. This fort, which now serves as a 
prison, was built in 15 lo, by slave labour, with stone 
imported from Europe. With its curious entrance, its 
hundreds of pigeons, and vegetable gardens behind the 
battlements, it could be anything except a prison. 

373 



74 



Via Rhodesia 



The Governor's palace is a line building, but every- 
thing is so quiet, the streets are so silent, with coral 
reefs sticking out here and there, the squares so empty, 
with their white and pink houses, giving the impression 
of glorious days long past. Since the seat of the Govern- 
ment has been transferred, Mozambique has become an 
unimportant place, although trade from the mainland 
concentrates on this little coral island. 

Two days after Mozambique we approach a picturesque 
little lighthouse, just outside Zanzibar. The water takes 

a pinkish colouring 
through the red coral 
bottom, and is nearly 
as clear as at Madeira, 
and here also natives 
dive with great skill 
after the pennies 
thrown into the water. 
Zanzibar is a world 
of itself ; it is Pompeii 
come to life, only more 
picturesque. Moham- 
medans and Indians, 
natives of the interior 
and of the island, form 
a variegated crowd, a 
heteroclitical display 
of nationality and 
colour. 

Who knows Zanzi- 
bar ? I read a lot 
about it, saw many 
pictures, painted and photographed, but I did not see it. 
Those two days I was there seemed an hour, or less 
even : so much new, so much totally different, so much 




"landmark" off chinde 



East Coast 375 

more beautiful than anything else, it is impossible to 
describe Zanzibar. You must come and see it ! Why go 
to the Riviera year by year, where after all you only see 
again the same people you saw in London ? Why not 




"zii^- i<H T T 1^ T 





A I.niNi, l.ii.llTLR Al MOZAMIJIOUE 



take a trip over these coasts to Zanzibar and back ? 
These German steamers are comfortable enough, the 
food is excellent, practically every day fresh, and what 
you see is a thousand times more fascinating than the 
various hats and frocks of latest fashion, or the people 
who wear them at Monte Carlo. 

When landing you are assisted by hundreds of black 
hands out of the little boat, and the only way to get 
rid of the crowd is to engage one of them as a guide. 
His name will probably be " Winston Churchill," or 
" Lloyd George," or some similar name, reminding you 
again of English politics with all their worry and trouble, 
with all their insincerity and hollow phrases. The best 
you can do is to let him carry your kodak. 

How I tried to " snap " one of the veiled Mohammedan 
women ! It seemed impossible, they a!ll run away and 



376 



Via Rhodesia 



are afraid of the camera, but witli some intriguing, by 
hiding the camera to the last minute, I managed it, 
and you can see some results of my little dodge. 

Why the women wear black and not white cloth I 
cannot understand, it seems so odd. 

The curio-shops, crammed with ornaments of gold 
and silver, ivory goods, precious stones, ebony carvings 

and sticks, silk and 
cotton wear, are very 
inviting, but not so 
interesting as the 
real native shop 
where the owner sits 
outside. Here you 
can find really good 
curios worth having, 
from bedsteads to 
trunks, from anklets 
to ear - rings, from 
shoes to head-gear, 
everything piled to- 
gether, seemingly 
rubbish without 
value, but still it 
offers an amazing 
temptation to spend 
hours looking for 
bargains. 

A lovely drive 
through the clove 
plantation is well 
worth the time. Small white houses peep forth here 
and there with their mysterious inhabitants, through 
beautiful palm trees and abundant tropical vegetation. 
Ruins, witnesses of once grand old times, remind you 




p:ntrance to fort, Mozambique 



East Coast 



dl I 



of the history of ancient Zanzibar, with its slave trade 
and man-eating tribes. 

But back to the town again, wdth its hustling crowds, 
who anxiously try to avoid being run over by the steam 
tram that comes 

whistling and puffing ' . -. ^ . . - .w\ 

out of the narrow 
street, to cross the 
bridge and then dis- 
appear along the 
river-side. 

Probably through 
their narrowness the 
streets appear so pic- 
turesque ; here and 
there a " mashra- 
bije," a grilled win- 
dow of a harem, with 
all its puzzles and 
mysteries behind it, 
artisans in their open 
shops at work, turn- 
ing silver and gold 
into all kinds of 
ornaments, Indian 
traders of all tribes, 
children and goats — 
all these and more 
enter into the com- zanzihar woman nihL\>. irum kodak 
position of a picture 

you will find nowhere else, a picture which you cannot 
even imagine. 

On the way to the landing-station near the new 
palace there is a quaint old stone ship, high and dry, a 
couple of hundred feet long, which in the olden days 




3/8 Via Rhodesia 

was used as a bath for the ladies of the Sultan's harem. 
You can imagine the yarns and stories, and therefore 
I need not give them. 

The anchor winches are again at work, a last look, 
as if on a lost paradise, and very soon we are again on 
the high seas, bound for Dar-Es-Salaam, the modern 
" Harbour of Peace." 

The " Kronprinz," one of the hne liners of the D.O.A. 
Line, anchors outside the lighthouse, and the captain 
intends entering at daybreak. You must get up and 
see the narrow channel through which, with great skill, 
our floating home is guided into one of the finest natural 
harbours existing. Rounding the corner where the water 
seems hardly deep and broad enough for one ship to 
get through, one of the most charming surprises awaits 
the early riser, a fine modern city, with beautiful build- 
ings rising amongst palms and other lovely trees. 

In 1862 a Sultan of Zanzibar, Said-Majid by name, 
decided to build a town at this place, and commenced 
erecting a palace which, however, was never completed. 
What Cape Town has been to South Africa, Dar-Es- 
Salaam will be to German East Africa. With the rail- 
way rapidly advancing to the interior, there is no doubt 
that this German base will be a very important com- 
mercial centre. The town itself is possessed of well-laid- 
out wide streets, lined with trees, and everywhere you 
are impressed by the amtliche (official business-like) 
appearance of things. It is not a Zanzibar with all 
its beauty, but a new creation which has undoubted 
charms. 

The " Bier Garten " of Mr. Schultze is deserving of 
imitation. Sitting under the cool, shady trees even I, 
not accustomed to beer, enjoyed a large glass of it. 
Why do we English not adopt this style of refreshment ; 
why must it always be whisky and soda ? 



East Coast 379 

A good lunch on the verandah of an excellent up-to- 
date hotel at the far end of the town makes you forget 
that time has wings. 

The monument to Wissmann attracted my attention. 
It is a tribute to a brave, far-sighted man, who with 
hrm hand did a great deal towards establishing German 
authority in these parts. 

Next morning early we leave and make headway 
for Tanga, an old world amongst new places shooting up 



y 




4r^ 



NATIVE DIVERS, ZANZIBAR 
(By kind permission of Mr. P. Brandt) 

out of the ground. Tanga reminds you in a way of 
Mozambique, only that it has palms and ferns, and 
abounds in a wealth of tropical growth. The market is 
quite an attractive sight. It is laid out in the old Arab 
style of a circle within a circle, and was the first of its 
kind I saw. 

It is near Tanga that, lately, the farmers have taken a 
great fancy to rubber, and declare that for this product, 
as well as for mahogany, there is a big future in store for 
them. 



8o 



Via Rhodesia 



From here the railway runs to Umhesa, and it is being 
carried on farther as quickly as the Reichstag votes 
funds, but they are just as stingy in this respect as our 
lords and masters, and think that civilisation comes 
first and railways follow, whereas the opposite is the 

constant truth, as 
anybody can see who 
wants to see. 

Half a day later 
we enter Mombassa, 
or rather its harbour 
Kilindini, where, 
amongst cocoanut 
palms and the lux- 
uries of tropical 
foliage, wharfs and 
warehouses are now 
being built. From 
here a man-propelled 
tramway takes you 
in twenty minutes 
over a lovely road, 
lined with giant 
trees, to Mombassa. 
From here begins 
the main road to the 
interior of Uganda, 
and from here start 
all expeditions to 
Khartoum and Cairo ; I have even seen one such trip 
(that of Mr. and Mrs. Hellman of Johannesburg) des- 
cribed as a Cape to Cairo tour. Winston Churchill 
and Roosevelt took this route, via Nairobi. It is such 
a pity to see in all stores, even chemists' shops, only 
Indians, mostly Parsees, and I regret to think that 




A BEAUTIFUL DOOR IN ZANZIBAR 



East Coast 



381 



Winston Churchill was right when he named Mombassa 
"an annex to the Indian Empire." 

After a few days we round Ras-Hafun, the most 
eastern cape of Africa, where with a little imagination 
you can see a giant lion watching the sun. 

The sea, which had not been behaving too well, on 




ROAD TO BU-U-BUL, ZANZIBAR 

account of the monsoon, suddenly took the appearance 
of a huge duck pond after we had turned into the Gulf 
of Aden, and had not tiny little dhows, which we quickly 
passed, shown us that we were moving, one might have 
thought the boat was asleep. 

It was here that one day at lunch I heard the follow- 
ing amusing story. 

A man had many fowls, some of them very valuable 



382 Via Rhodesia 

ones, and to his great disgust he found that somebody 
was busily and ingeniously engaged in stealing them. 
After a while he became suspicious of one of his native 
servants, and decided to test them. One evening he 




^. 



■iin'i- / "~li 

NATIVE iiCHOOL IN ZANZIBAR 

called them together, and after they were all assembled 
he showed them a large pot which stood upside down 
on the table, and told them that he had put a fowl under 
it. He then informed them that he would put out the 
light, and they were to pass one by one and put their 
hands flat on the pot, and as soon as the thief should do 
this the fowl would crow. 

He turned the light out, and the procession began, 
and to the joy of the guilty one the fowl did not crow. 
The owner of the fowls turned the light on again and 
then looked at the hands of each servant, and as he 
had blackened the pot, he found all to have blacking 
on their hands except the guilty one, who had been 
too frightened to touch the pot, fearing the fowl would 
crow. 

Aden ! Yes, there in the distance those rocks, huge 



East Coast 



3« 



rocks, barren rocks, brown and nearly black in places, 
with not a sign of life, not a sign of habitation, not a sign 
of floral growth, only a soUtary signal station on the top ; 
yes, that is Aden ! After rounding and entering the 
harbour, a more animated scene appears. A large 
"P. & O.-er " and several other steamers were in the 
roadstead, and a number of small boats communicating 
with the shore. 

It was a Mohammedan holiday, and everyone was in 
a suitable mood. Native cafes were full of customers 
enjoying coffee with doubtful sweets of huge dimensions, 
and some kind of pastry that did not look too inviting. 
Farther up the street was a merry-go-round, patronised 
not only by the shouting youth, but also by grown-up 
men, who seemed to enjoy it more than the children. 
How happy are these people, even with their vices (?) 




NATIVE I\IERRY-GO-ROUND, ADEN 



(may I call them vices ?). I never saw any gambling 
that approached what I saw that day. Young and old, 
everyone at it, and the games that w^ere played w^re far 
superior to " Trente et Quarante," for you lose your 



384 Via Rhodesia 

money much more quickly and much more surely, and, 
after all, that is what the " bank " must aim at. 

I tried to take a snapshot, but the crowd made it 
quite impossible. I did not see the Tanks, but I think I 
spent my time much better in having a glimpse behind 
the curtain at native life. 

I shall never forget that row of little gambling tables, 
and the expressions on the faces of " bank " and " loser." 
I could have watched them for hours, and I only re- 
gretted to hear the hooter, again that same awful hooter, 
reminding us to return to the boat, where we arrived in 
the nick of time. 

Very soon we passed Bab-el-Mandeb, and the small 
island of Perim, which, being a first-class cable station, 
is rather important. 

The Red Sea ! Why are people so frightened ? The 
heat is in no way unbearable, and the monotony of the 
voyage is broken several times by the passing of some 
tiny islands, mere rocks sticking out of the sea, with 
lonely lighthouses thereon. The most celebrated are the 
Tw^o Brothers and the Daedalus. 

And then, after imagining that we saw Mount Sinai, 
in the distance is Suez. 

Here I found a w^oman carrying on a profession which 
I do not envy her. After we dropped anchor, the Port 
Doctor's launch, with a little yellow flag, arrived along- 
side, and to my greatest astonishment a young woman 
w^alked up the " fallreep " and performed the duties of 
medical officer of health. She has been here for several 
years, and is always most amiable, so I was assured, but 
unfortunately I did not notice much of her amiability, 
because, when I asked her permission to take her photo- 
graph, to show in England further proof of the justice 
of our desire for equal rights, she abruptly turned round 
and walked away. Before I recovered she was on the 



East Coast 



387 



gangway, leaving the boat, but I just managed to get 
a " shot " at her. 

Now I understand why some people talk about losing 
your feminine ways when you become emancipated. 
Anyhow, it requires a good deal of pluck to fill such a 
post as Port Doctor in Suez, and I must admit that I 
admire this woman 
who, in a trying 
climate, has carried 
out these duties for 
so long a time. 

Something had 
gone wrong in the 
canal, and we had 
to wait a long time 
before we were al- 
lowed to enter. In 
the meantime, fur- 
ther steamers ar- 
rived, and at last, 
when we started, 
there was a stately 
number of boats 
lined up, including 
an Italian man-of- 
war. Carrying the 
mail, we entered 
first. To describe 

the impression created by this narrow strip of water 
running through an endless desert would require more 
space than my courteous publisher will allow me, and 
therefore I can only say " Come and see it yourself ! " 

The mystery of passing at night, with moonlight and 
the searchlights of the other steamers behind us, is 
beyond comparison ; it is weird and singular, it is 




PORT DOCTOR AT SUEZ 



o 



88 



Via Rhodesia 



interesting and fascinating, with its ever-changing sliadow 
pictures on the white banks of sand. 

About half-way the canal widens, when we enter the 
Bitter Lakes, with Ismaila on the distant shore, and a 




>^:>-. 



-ii^^i^^^ 



MOHAMMEDAN WOMAN BUYING FRUIT, ZANZIBAR 



few hours later the canal again widens into Lake Menza- 
leh, where swarms of ibis, the holy bird, attract con- 
siderable attention. 

Huge dredgers are widening and deepening the canal, 
and a number of dhows begin to animate the scene. 
On the distant horizon we can see the outline of buildings 
and masts, Port Said, the most international port in 
existence. Every language is spoken here, every coin 
is accepted, but still one feels one is close to Europe. 

The town is as cosmopolitan as can be, but I think 
the Lidians outnumber the others. The curio shops are 
crammed with all kinds of highly desirable things at 
most undesirable prices — Egyptian cigarettes, which, as 
a rule, if bought from the "hawkers" at seemingly low 
prices are of still lower quality; Japanese goods in all 
their coloured and attractive flimsiness; Arabian charms. 



East Coast 391 

little green beetles, " askarabije," offered at £10 apiece, 
which you ultimately get for a shilling and then have 
paid tenpence too much for. You feel so proud, after 
bargaining for the best part of an hour, that you have 
at last succeeded in obtaining some lace or needlework 
at what you think your own price, the merchant declar- 
ing, on oath, " I lose, I lose, but if you promise to tell 
no one, I will let you have it, but I lose ! " 

Does anyone really believe that a trader will sell you 
something whereby he loses ? But you do not want 
to be a philosopher, you are happy at the thought of a 
bargain. 

I saw one traveller, who thought he knew a lot, assist- 
ing some fellow-travellers to try to " do down the 
beastly Kuli." They were bargaining about some little 
lace handkerchiefs, when one of the Indians took down 
a beautiful shaw^l for which he wanted £S. Our guiding 
man, having no intention to purchase, wanted to show 
his superior cleverness, and offered £1. The merchant 
said, " My brother, why offend me ? Take everything, 
all is yours, but do not offend me ; I will give it for 
seven pounds." Our friend answered again, " One 
pound." 

After the others had at last finished their purchases, 
real genuine bargains, and were leaving the place with 
regret that so many fine things should remain there 
and they possess so few, and were getting into a little 
cart, out comes the offended man again with the shawl : 
" Two pounds, because you were so kind." 

"One pound," replied our man, climbing into the cart 
and directing the driver to drive on. 

" All right, it's yours for one pound." 

Our friend pulled rather a sad face, but had to take 
it, and did not miss an opportunity in the further drive 
to show " how to get them down." 



39 2 Via Rhodesia 

Wlien they returned to the boat, just in time not to 
be left behind, our clever friend discovered that the 
shawl he actually got was about half the size of the one 
he saw first, and not worth more than about ten shillings. 
It is sometimes wrong to want to be too clever. 

I enjoyed an excellent lunch in a new restaurant at 
the upper end of the quay, where, in the open, under an 
enormous canopy, the statue of Lesseps, the constructor 
of the canal, can be seen. 

Half of the pleasure of living will go if ever the time 
come when we shall know for certain what happens after 
death, and to be certain what to-morrow will hold would 
probably take away half the inducement to live through 
to-day. And yet, few of us can say that we have not 
at some time of our lives tried to peep into the unknown 
future, always telling our friends that of course we don't 
believe in palmistry or astrology ; but it is \'ery amusing 
to hear. 



D^DALUS LI(;H 



It was here in Port Said that I met a wonderful palmist, 
an Indian. I was walking with two friends, when he 
accosted us and asked leave to tell mv fortune. At first 



East Coast 393 

I demurred, but the man's face looked so intelligent, and 
he had such beautiful artistic hands, I had to consent, 
and so we sat down at a table outside a cafe, ordering 
some ice-cream. And then followed a few minutes full of 




SIGNAL STATION IN SUF:Z CANAL, NEAR BITTER LAKES 

wonder, for the Indian was a marvel — by palmistry he 
gave details of the past and foretold the future, parts 
of which seemed to me most improbable and out of the 
question ; however, all of what he said with regard to 
the latter came true within six months ! And yet he 
could not possibly have known me, for the town was 
filled with the passengers from many liners. Perhaps the 
most marvellous thing about the " fortune " was that 
this Indian told me practically the same as "Cheiro," 
the first celebrated London palmist, and the " Queen of 
the Gipsies " both told me over ten years ago ! 

Yes, Port Said is a wonderful place, fascinating by 
day, though dangerous, I am told, by night. Some of 
the most amusing street loungers are the conjurers, with 
their beaming smiles and seemingly cruel fingers as 
they pretend to cut off the head of a chicken, producing 



394 Via Rhodesia 

" one little chicken, two little chickens, three little 
chickens " instead. 

But the smiles which come so readily at Port Said 
vanish wlien one nears the Straits of Messina. Terrible 
beyond imagination is the devastation the recent earth- 
quake made at Messina. The greatest suffering occurred 
at Reggio and Pazzo, where the ruins still standing show 
the skeletons of former houses, and vividly display the 
havoc that Nature can do when she rends the earth and 
lays low the work of man. 

In comparison with the beautiful stretch of water and 
the romantic situation of the old towns, how hideous 
are the dwellings which have been hurriedly erected for 
the poor homeless people to take shelter in ! They look 
like ugly barracks, as though a common man in check 
trousers had suddenly dared to sit dowai on a Rose 
du Barry satin couch of ancient date ! Better the 
wreckage and silence than those ugly landmarks. 

Terrible, it is said, was the ruthless plundering that 
proceeded before military assistance came to aid in keep- 
ing order. Women w'ere found minus their fingers, they 
having been hurriedly cut off by the brigands in order 
to secure the rings. Crime followed the disaster as 
though man wished to add a darker shadow to the 
sorrow for which Nature was accountable. 

After passing the " Charybdis," of which one sees 
very little, we make a sharp turn and head for Naples. 

Although the boat stays here only one day, it is 
possible in that time not only to go ashore, but also to 
catch a train which will take you out to Pompeii and 
back in time to return to the steamer again, if you are 
proceeding to Marseilles. Lunch can be obtained at 
the station at Pompeii. 

The first thought that enters one's head when travers- 
ing the narrow streets of this one-time city is, what tiny 



East Coast 



395 



people must have been the inhabitants, for not only 
are the streets narrower than those of Zanzibar, but 
the rooms in the richest houses are so small that to 
speak of feasts and what not being held therein is to 
summon up a vision of a Lilliputian people. It seems 
impossible to believe that chariots with three horses 
abreast ever dashed through the narrow streets, or that 
even a moderate-sized man or woman lived in any of 
the houses. The only places where it appears at all 
possible that more than two persons could have breathed 
at the same time are the stadium and the bath. 

Apothecaries' shops were apparently only the size 
of pill - boxes, and 
the only substantial 
remaining evidences 
that Pompeians 
really existed with 
the same healthy 
appetites as our- 
selves are the ovens 
of the public bake- 
ries. 

Everyone, after 
visiting Pompeii, 
must wish to possess 
at least one room 
decorated in black 
and scarlet, for the 
walls still existing in 
the house of the 
famous two brothers Vettii display how truly artistic 
such a scheme of colours may be. 

Pompeii is too fascinating ; one would wish to stay a 
long, long time and wander alone without a guide through 
its many silent streets, a wordless poem in stone. 




SELLIKG COFFEE IN THE STREET, PORT SAID 



396 



Via Rhodesia 



One's imagination fills in the space which lies between 
the then and now, and one sees not only the stepping- 
stones over which pedestrians used to cross the streets 
when water flooded through, but also the little lady 

gathering her robes 
about her and pois- 
ing her sandalled 
feet, while cavaliers 
in gorgeous drapery 
hover near. The 
sky above must 
have been as blue 
then as now, and 
the perfumes from 
the gardens as 
sweet. 

To travel in one 
year from a new 
country such as 
Rhodesia to an old 
and buried world 
like Pompeii is to 
see, as it were, the 
beginning and the 
end of many things, 
and to learn the 
lesson that too 
much luxury spells not civilisation, but decay. 

Strange, indeed, are the ways of human beings ! A 
new town is to be built at Messina on the ruins of the 
old one, and though round Pompeii one sees vast tracts 
of land covered with the lava that fell only a year or 
two ago, yet people come as near as they can to build 
fresh houses and make new gardens. Beautifully fertile 
is the land around, and a smiling people seem happy on 




TRAMWAY, PORT SAID 



East Coast 



397 



the verdant earth, though Vesuvius towers above with 
menacing mien, and smoke from its height seems to rise 
up as though Nature were offering a perpetual monument 
of mockery to man. 




MOHAMMEDAN WOMEN IN ZANZIBAR 



T 



CHAPTER XXXIX 

Beivayc of \ 'our Friends 

HE " New York Press " of September 8th, 1909, 
gave publicity to the following statement : — 

''WOMAN ENJOYS AFRICAN HUNT. 



" Charlotte Mansfield, a young English novelist, has 
returned to London from a hunting-trip over the same 
African wilds now being traversed by Theodore Roosevelt. 
She travelled 400 miles alone, with 100 native carriers, 
and shot four lions and two elephants, in addition to 
specimens of every other kind of big game in British 
East Africa. She reports the natives welcomed her to 
their villages, signalling with drums from one kraal to 
another, that a white woman was coming. At every 
village she was met by the black chief, who in token of 
peace and goodwill threw bows, arrows, and spears on 
the ground at her feet. Miss Mansfield found a woman 
the chief of one tribe, and by her was embraced for 
the gift of a bar of soap. The young Englishwoman did 
not see a white man for four weeks. When returning 
to the coast she met President Roosevelt in Nairobi, and 
he grew enthusiastic over her accounts of her hunting 
exploits." 

Who said " liar " ? 

Others in England did it nearly as well. 

398 



Beware of Your Friends 399 

The " Daily Mail " of the i6th August, 1909, had a 
paragraph as follows : — 

"FIRST WOMAN TO CROSS AFRICA. 

" Miss Charlotte Mansfield, the novelist, who has 
achieved the distinction of being the first white woman 
to travel through the continent of Africa from the Cape 
to Cairo, arrived in London on Saturday afternoon." 

The " Evening News " of October 5th, 1909, said : — 

" Only quite recently Miss Mansfield returned to 
London from a journey through Africa from the Cape 
to Cairo, and she claims that she is the first woman to 
make this complete journey overland." 

And then there was this wonderful bit of geographical 
imagination in another paper : " From Abercorn, in 
N.E. Rhodesia, she traversed Central Africa by rail, 
and after a three days' journey got to Zomba. This 
was the last stage before Cairo was reached, which city 
she was not allowed to enter owing to infectious disease 
prevailing there ! " That railway through Central 
Africa the Colony is still hoping for, and Cairo is some- 
thing like 3500 miles from Zomba — and then the funny 
excuse for not getting in ! 

If you are not personally concerned you cannot know 
how annoying this hash is. It is quite a relief to see 
a letter like the following, which appeared in the " Daily 
Telegraph" of January 27th, 1909, that is, sixteen days 
after I left England : — ■ 

" To the Editor. 

"Sir, — In justice to Miss Charlotte Mansfield, who is 
now en route, I should like to state that she never claimed 
to be 'the first woman to attempt the overland journey.' 



400 Via Rliodcsia 

" I interviewed her just before she started, and she 
particularly impressed upon me the fact that she was 
not the hrst woman to attempt the journey, but the 
first to go along this particular route under the same 
conditions — which is quite another thing. 

" Miss Mansfield was extremely modest about her own 
journey, and is, I should say, the last woman in the 
world to wish to rob another of her laurels." 

Or such a paragraph as this, which appcc.red in the 
" Pelican" of the 13th January, 1909 : — 

" Miss Mansfield believes she will be the first woman 
to go along this particular route under these conditions." 

And in August, 1909, in the "Globe," '* Daily Graphic," 
" Morning Post," " Morning Leader," " Nottingham 
Express," "Birmingham Post," "Glasgow New^s," "Man- 
chester Despatch," and so on, and so on, one can read: — 

" At Lake Tanganyika she had to abandon her original 
intention on account of sleeping sickness, and in conse- 
quence went via Nyasaland to the coast." 

In the August issue of " Travel and Exploration " 
there is a paragraph headed, " Abandonment of Miss 
Mansfield's Trans-African Journey," in which appears 
the following statement : — 

" . . . . The prevalence of sleeping sickness, however, 
in the country that lay ahead of her constrained her to 
abandon her intention. Had she determined to go on 
she would probably have won through, but to do so 
would have been to endanger the lives of her carriers 
and to incur the responsibility of spreading the most 
fatal of all African diseases. In accepting failure she 
has chosen the better part. She will return by way of 



Beware of Your Friends 401 

Lake Nyasa and the Shire River, reaching the coast at 
Chinde at the mouth of the Zambesi." 

And in the " Review of Reviews " for September, 
igog, occurred this passage : — 

"Yes," said Miss Mansfield, "what I really set out to do 
was to cross Africa from the Cape to Cairo in one journey. 
So far as I can learn no one has yet done that, though 
several have done it in two or three journeys. As it was, 
I only reached as far north as Abercorn, south of Lake 
Tanganyika ; there sleeping-sickness regulations upset 
all my plans. I don't think the extent and ravages of it 
are at all realised here." 

I myself sent the following letter to a number of 
papers : — 

" In order to prevent any erroneous impression being 
formed as to my having crossed Africa from Cape to 
Cairo by land, I should esteem it a favour if you would 
publish this letter. I am anxious to have it known that 
I was prevented from proceeding north of Abercorn 
(Lake Tanganyika) owing to the ravages of sleeping sick- 
ness having stopped all traffic by natives on the road, 
as well as all steamer transport on the lake. After being 
informed by the officials that my progress northward 
was impossible under these circumstances, the lives of 
too many people being at stake, I was reluctantly com- 
pelled to proceed with my caravan via Nyasaland to 
Chinde. From here I came to Marseilles by the D.O.A. 
liner ' Kronprinz ' by the Suez Canal route." 

Most papers concerned had the courtesy to publish 
this letter and have not again referred to the imaginary 
travels. One paper, however, appears to have ignored 
the letter completely, and, as I found out later, its first 

2 D 



402 Via Rhodesia 

nonsense was republished in other papers under the same 
control, through which I have suffered a good deal of 
inconvenience. 

I must refer here also to another matter. Throughout 
Rhodesia I had given my London address as " The 
Lyceum Club, London." 

When I returned to London in the middle of August, 
I found a letter awaiting me dated February 3rd, 1909, 
notifying me that I had been expelled from the Club on 
account of my novel, " Love and a Woman." 

The following is from " Truth," September ist, 1909 : — 

"... The facts are briefly as follows : Miss Char- 
lotte Mansfield, the novelist, whose name has been re- 
cently before the public in connection with an adven- 
turous African journey, before she left England pubhshed 
a novel dealing incidentally with the Lyceum Club and 
its members, in a spirit, I should perhaps add, of ap- 
proval that was almost adulation. Miss Mansfield, as 
it happened, left England for Africa within a few days 
of the appearance of the book, leaving the Lyceum Club, 
of which she was a prominent member, as her London 
address. On her return to London she was amazed to 
receive a letter from the Secretary of the Club, informing 
her in sufficiently brusque terms, that her novel had been 
brought before the notice of the Executive Committee, 
and that, acting in accordance with the powers con- 
ferred upon it by Rule 11, her membership was cancelled 
and her name removed from the register of members. 
Furthermore, she also found that letters addressed to 
her at the Club during her absence had been refused, 
which, as many of them were business communications, 
caused her very considerable inconvenience. . . . What 
is certain is, that the brusqueness of the Committee's 
methods leave very much to be desired from the point of 



Beware of Your Friends 403 

view of the ordinary member, who is tliereby placed at 
the mercy not only of an autocracy but of one acting 
according to the best traditions of despotism. She may 
leave London one day and upon returning a month later 
may discover that she has been expelled the Club, be 
given the barest of reasons or no reason at all, and be 
condemned to suffer a slur upon her name without either 
explanation or the chance of appeal. In any ordinary 
man's club the procedure in such a case would be for 
the offending member to be called upon for an explanation 
of his conduct. If the Committee or sectional committee 
considered the explanation unsatisfactory, he would then 
be called upon to resign, and failing that be expelled. I 
am ready to admit that in a woman's club of so com- 
prehensive a membership as the Lyceum, there might be 
occasions when it would be necessary to act promptly 
and to avoid discussion and the possibility of open 
scandal, though it should not, I think, be beyond 
feminine ingenuity to find a more satisfactory solution 
than by emulating the methods of the late Sultan. That 
difficulty, of course, in no way applies to the present 
case, wherein the victim was a well-known writer and 
an honoured member of the Club. The obvious and only 
decent course would have been to wait until her return 
to London — for her absence, and in a place where letters 
could not reach her, was a matter of common knowledge 
— to have then asked her for an explanation of the offence, 
whatever it might be, and if that were thought unsatis- 
factory, to have asked her to resign her membership. 

" In failing to take this course I cannot but think 
that the Executive Committee has not only done grave 
injustice to Miss Mansfield, but may also be doing serious 
injury to the future of the Club itself. No one — certainly 
no woman — would care to leave her character and repu- 
tation at the mercy of a committee of other women, 



404 Via l^hodcsia 

however eminent, witliout tlie oj^portnnity of appeal or 
explanation." 

My amazement was followed by amusement at the 
impudence of the Club officials soliciting me in a letter 
dated July 3rd, 1909, and also awaiting my arrival, to 
buy members' shares of the Club. It is incredible, but 
I can produce the original letters. 

On August 17th, 1909, my name still appeared in the 
" Lyceum Magazine," the recognised official organ of the 
Club, as a member of the Committee of the Oriental 
Circle. 

I think, in fairness to the majority of the Committee, 
I should state that they, and also a very large number of 
other members of the Club, heard of my expulsion only 
after my return to England, and were for over six 
months quite unaware of the drastic decision arrived at 
by the few Committee members who were present at 
the meeting when the resolution in question was passed. 

I have considerably more than a hundred letters from 
prominent members of the Club, in which they express 
their indignation at what some of them call high- 
handed procedure. 

I attribute it also to the gross incivility of the Club 
management, in refusing to accept and redirect my 
letters until I took up this matter very seriously, that 
numerous letters, photos, and other communications 
from South Africa never reached me, and I therefore 
was unable to reply. 

I take this opportunit}^ of thanking friends and 
strangers who may have written to me and, never re- 
ceiving an answer, must have thought me very rude. 



CHAPTER XL 

Back to Sim shine 

I RETURNED to Africa much sooner than I had 
anticipated returning, and owing to certain reasons, 
which are not of pubhc interest, came out this 
time on the D.O.A. Uner " Admiral," by the West 
Coast. I knew, from experience on the East Coast, 
how comfortable the boats of this line are, and was 
glad of the opportunity of seeing a fresh route via Las 
Palmas and German S.W. Africa. 

After leaving Southampton, the first port of call is 
Las Palmas, which is very much like Madeira. Perhaps 
it is not quite so pretty, but it affords finer views and 
contains more of interest, as, for instance, the cave 
dwellings. One has sufficient time to take a drive into 
the mountains to "La Brigita," where, amidst lovely 
flowers, an enjoyable breakfast is served. Returning, 
one notices better how the road has been ascending by 
serpentine windings to higher levels, and after a half- 
hour's drive one again arrives in the town. A fine 
Roman Catholic church is well worth visiting, and also 
the adjoining square, where are to be seen a large 
number of quaint bronze dogs. 

A number of novices were on board, and when nearing 
Cape Verde they believed that the liner would stop to 
allow of their going shooting " rhino " on the coast. The 
steam-launch was fired up, a good picnic lunch packed 
into it, the first officer took the wheel, and the intend- 
ing hunters were informed that as soon as he blew the 

405 



4o6 



Via Rhodesia 



whistle the winches would hoist the launch up. The 
sailors at the winches were trying them, and making an 
infernal noise. 

"All aboard?" "Yes!" was the answer. The 
whistle blew, and what then happened can be seen 
in the photo which the ship's barber, Mr. Brandt, was 
happy in securing. 




FIRE-DRILL ON BOARD " KRONPRINZ " 

Swakopmund, the principal port in German S.W. 
Africa, looked so miserable with all its sand, that I quite 
understood one fellow-passenger remarking that he would 
not even like to be buried there. 

A day later we entered Luderitzbucht, where new 
diamond fields have been found, and a very interesting 
study of human life was here afforded us. Adventurers 
of all kinds and of many countries seem to have found 
here a new El Dorado, and came by hundreds to the 
boat for fresh beer. 



Back to Sunshine 409 

Again Robbcn Island, again Cape Town, guarded by 
Table Mountain, and good Captain Doherr took us 
safely into harbour. 

My thoughts went back to the time when I saw- 
it first with all the new and unknown before me. This 
time, also, I did not eat an apple. 

Again in one of the large British Colonies, and to one's 
mind come the intricate questions which people in Eng- 
land discuss without knowing what they are talking about. 

What does Great Britain ask of her Colonies ? Cut 
away the political aspect, unmask the commercial pro- 
position, come face to face with reality. What does 
Great Britain ask ? Allegiance ! Be true to me ! 

And what do her Colonies crave for ? What is it 
that makes a sacrifice seem a gift, what is it that explains 
all, asks for all, and yet gives all ? There is only one 
answer — Love. 

We white people are a great family, and must cling 
together, for there are enemies abroad. The black and 
yellow races are not of us ; why, then, should they be 
for us ? 

We whites must give of our best to each other, hope 
on our lips, love in our hearts, and the knowledge that 
" not too much trust, not too much faith," but work 
must be our armour, leading to our ultimate supremacy, 
remembering that where the white succeeds civilisation 
is at its best. 

My task is over, I must say good-bye. Not good-bye 
to the sunshine, for Africa is now my home, but good- 
bye to the camp-fires, pictures in black and scarlet ; 
good-bye to strange shadows with weird voices of the 
night ; good-bye to the singing of the wind through the 
hours as it passed, making the tall grass and Kaffir 
corn quiver with thrills of its song ; good-bye to the 
mystic lightning ; good-bye to the elusive doves ; good- 



4IO 



Via Rhodesia 



bye to my " boys," gallant giants, ignorant, yes, as we 
count knowledge, but how rich in the contentment 
nature gives and the man of means rarely knows ! 
good-bye to my one and only journey, which started 
with faith, travelled through danger, and ended in love. 
And good-bye to my book, in whose pages I have 
lived one year over again, and through whose voice I 
wish with all my heart to help those emigrants who are 
longing for life in a new world. If to them I give per- 
chance a little hope and encouragement, then my work 
will not have been in vain, for courage can conquer every 
obstacle, even self. 




GOOD-BYE 

AUTHOR IN A NOVEL FRAME 

A ig-ton casting for one of the large rock-breakers for the Voorspoed Diamond Mine, 

Orange Free State 



APPENDIX A^ 
IMPRESSIONS OF RHODESIA 

special for the '■^Khodesiaii Joiinial" 

I HAVE been asked to give a few of my impressions 
of Rhodesia. Experience has taught me that, 
though I may perchance waver in an interval, I 
always return to my first conclusions, therefore I will 
give you my first impressions, feeling certain they will 
be lasting ones. 

To begin with, Rhodesia is a surprise, in fact, the 
whole of South Africa is quite different to anything I 
had been led to expect. I fear, too, many of the folks 
at home hear only of the disadvantages, and thus 
imagine that malaria fever is contracted on leaving 
Southampton Water, lions await one at Cape Town, 
while as for food one has to live on tinned inferiorities 
eaten with a steel fork, instead of which you have not 
only comforts but luxuries. 

Some Rhodesians complain of the quiet and say the 
towns are dull. If you grumblers could only realise 
how golden is the silence ! A few days ago I went over 
a crushing-mill at a mine at Penhalonga. Believe me, 
the sound was music compared to three motor omnibuses 
all trying to pass along a London street at the same time. 
Then the absence of disagreeable odours strikes me as 
being one of your towns' chief charms. The air is so 
clear, so exhilarating, so free from the microbe-laden 

^ See page 1 15. 
411 



412 Via Rhodesia 

matter which stings one's nostrils, bringing in its trail 
the " hay fever " which is now really more prevalent in 
the towns in England than it was of yore in country 
places. 

I have come while the rains are on, yes, but the rain, 
though heavy while it lasts, does not chill one to the 
bone, the sun shines between the showers. And what can 
I say in sufficient praise of the warmth and brightness 
of this glorious sun ? It is all your fuel and half your 
food. " Too much sun sometimes," I hear it said ; 
yet surely five months' sunshine without a single cloud 
is preferable to a five hours' fog. 

The wild flowers and grasses are to me a constant 
delight. I w^onder that we do not hear more of them 
in England, and I hope soon a great Rhodesian artist 
will arise able not only to depict the grandeur of the 
scenery but also the wealth of colours and bloom lying 
on every side within one's grasp. 

Everywhere I find civilisation more advanced than I 
expected. It now only needs individual effort to bring 
to a speedy issue the glorious results of the Great 
Founder's dreams. It is to be hoped that those now 
participating in the profits will not lose sight of the 
original ideals, but, each laying aside party principles 
and petty interests, will strive to ennoble and beautify 
the wonderful country they occupy. 

Salisbury and Bulawayo having each their special 
attractions so different in type, have no cause for jealousy 
and need never be rivals. In Salisbury, I hope soon 
will be laid the foundation stone of a really beautiful 
cathedral, to the building of which all Rhodesians of 
every denomination should contribute, well knowing 
that cathedrals are a nation's greatest monuments, and 
politically as much as from a religious point of view 
show the landmarks of progress. Destroy the cathedrals 



Impressions of Rhodesia 413 

of Europe and you annihilate one of the greatest, as well 
as artistic, assets. 

If Salisbury is to be the cathedral city, why should 
not busy Bulawayo be the seat of literature and art ? 
The beginnings of to-day may mean the universities of 
the future. 

Already you have a library, and it is good news that 
an adequate museum is to be built. Would it not be 
possible to utilise the same as a lecture hall, where lectures 
of practical use may ultimately with advantage be given ? 

I should like to suggest that when the promised Young 
Men's Christian Association institution is opened, one 
night a week shall be devoted to literary debate, women 
being admitted, not only as guests, but allowed to take 
part in the debates. There is no greater bond of friend- 
ship between all classes than that which has an intel- 
lectual basis. 

One trait which I find very delightful in the colonial 
character is the sincerity of courtesy amounting to 
genuine friendship. The polite froth of ultra-civilisation 
has not yet been developed, and let us hope never will. 
Also there is a breadth in thought and freedom in action, 
a courage of one's own convictions, which I think only 
comes from having room to breathe in. One does not 
tread on the heels of each other's thoughts, and there- 
fore there are fewer faddists and no cranks. Where all 
are combining to build a city, there is less inclination to 
quarrel about each individual chimney-pot. 

With regard to a health standpoint, I really do not 
think Rhodesia has much to complain of. I have not 
examined any statistics, but I doubt if fever is as great 
a scourge here as influenza is in England. Death may 
come quicker in some cases, but surely that is prefer- 
able to the lingering troubles of heart and lung which are 
left behind by influenza ! 



4T4 ^'^^ Rhodesia 

I have seen nothing of poverty since I left London, 
and it appears to me to be non-existent in South Africa. 
Every native as well as every white has food, raiment, 
shelter and sunshine, also the happiness which comes 
from a well-nourished body. It seems so long since I 
saw haggard, draggle-tailed women, shivering men and 
crying children, and yet only two months ago my heart 
ached at the daily sight. 

What has impressed me most of all ? The Matoppos, 
the silence, and the simple grave. I never saw Cecil John 
Rhodes living, but everywhere I feel the influence of his 
spirit, which still lives, though his body is dead. And 
why does it live ? Because on every side is evidence 
that he lived for others and not for self. Let us hope 
that the lives of future generations of Rhodesians will 
be of sufficient nobility to prove the merit of his legacy 
of unselfishness. 

Most men arc merely men and no part God, 
A few have thoughts which live beyond the sod, 
And so we say of Rhodes "He leas a man," 
Knowing that something more was Jiis inspan. 

BULAWAYO, 

i^th March, iQoq. 



A 



APPENDIX B' 
LECTURE ON WORD PICTURES 

The Report of the " Rhodesia /i Joi/ntai" 

WELL-x\TTENDED gathering assembled at the 
Grand Hotel Hall on Saturday evening to listen 
to Miss Charlotte Mansfield's lecture on this 
subject. Mrs. R. A. Fletcher presided, and was sup- 
ported by Mrs. Cummings. The proceeds were for the 
funds of the Loyal Women's Guild of Bulawayo. 

Mrs. Fletcher, in introducing Miss Mansfield, said 
this was the first time in the history of Bulawayo that 
a lady lecturer had appeared before them. She hoped 
it would not be the last. 

Miss Mansfield, who was accorded a very hearty 
reception, said : 

" Shall I tell you why I chose ' Word Pictures ' ? Be- 
cause someone, I grieve to say a resident, told me that 
Bulawayo was a dull place. There is no such thing as a 
dull place. Like Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Gamp's bosom friend, 
it does not exist. A place may be beautiful or otherwise, 
healthy or the reverse, but since wit and humour dwells 
in and comes from ourselves, and not from paving-stones 
or veld, a place cannot be dull, and to call it so is to 
accuse the inhabitants of being indolent or ignorant, or 
both, which the people of Bulawayo certainly are not. 

" When anyone tells me he or she is bored I always 
feel inclined to reply : ' Who are you boring ? ' 

' See page 115. 
415 



41 6 Via Rhodesia 

"Now what I think you really need in Bulawayo is a 
new game, a game which amuses and at the same time 
is an education in itself ; and the study of Word Pictures 
may be both. 

" The making of puns is the finding of the relationship 
of words ; word pictures are formed by their artistic 
and emotional arrangement ; pictures of life may vary 
in costume or differ in language, a different century will 
mean different spelling, but the sentiments, the passions, 
have ever been the same. 

" I have heard people remark that they do not care 
for poetry ; they are unconsciously lying — they do ; but 
they do not recognise it as such. In every human being 
lies the germ of a poet, as every bushman's painting 
proves that love of, or necessity for, art exists among 
all classes ; every human being at some moment in his 
or her life is a poet, perhaps not in words, but in either 
deeds or thoughts. Why, Rhodesia itself is named after 
a poet. Cecil Rhodes was a poet in thought and deed, 
although I do not think there is any record of his having 
written poetry, but his life showed it, the selection of 
his burial-place proved it. 

" So far from imagination being a bar to progress or 
practical results, study history, read the pages of every- 
day life, and you will find that no man or woman ever 
accomplished anything of value, or made a mark in the 
world, who lacked imagination. Imagination is twin 
sister to faith, and with hope as a mother, may alter 
the history of nations. 

" How is this game of Word Pictures to be played ? 
Begin by teaching children to play with words as they 
would with marbles, for if, as a child, one learns to 
make a pattern of words, one is weaving for old age a 
carpet of comfort. What matter if hearing fails or eyes 
grow dim, one can take down from the shelf of memory's 



Lecture on Word Pictures 417 

store-room a picture and walk again through the gallery 
of one's youth. 

" Many people if asked to express an opinion on the 
relative value of poetry and prose, would say that prose 
must be of more value than poetry, as it holds more 
truth, but I contend that it does not ; poetry to live 
must be founded on truth, either as chronicling events 
or describing an emotion. 

" You have no snow-topped mountains in Rhodesia, 
but you have an equal mystery in the wonders of the 
Matoppos. How long, I wonder, will it be before you 
realise the wealth of material waiting so near at hand ? 
The pigments are there in the mountains, in the plains, 
in the dome of the ever-changing sky above ; which of 
you will take this mass of inspiration and colour and 
make pictures that those in other lands may see ? In 
your library you have mind pictures from all quarters of 
the globe ; so far you have given little in description to 
these other lands — it is not a just exchange. 

" After all, we remember most vividly the simple 
things of life, if those simple things hold a tiny string 
attached to one's heart. The work of Bernard Shaw 
will die ; it excites one's brain but never stirs one's 
emotions to their depth. We do not care if his heroes or 
heroines weep or laugh, live or die, they must amuse 
us for the time being, that is all we desire. The pictures 
which will live are those which may have made us feel 
the magnetism of the warmth of the writer's blood 
mingling with their own. 

" Do you ever pick up a stray button without thinking 
of Charles Dickens, and seeing the pictures of dear old 
Peggotty whose heart was too big for her bodice ? or 
eat a herring without remembering Lady Nairn's beauti- 
ful song ' Caller Herrin' ' ? 

" If Swinburne had never written more than that 



4 1 eS Via Rhodesia 

one line, ' The Gradual Sea,' he would have proved 
himself a poet, for in three words he gives us a seascape 
and marks the rhythmical measure of its grace and 
speed. The gradual sea — one seems to see it coming 
so gently yet so certain. 

" It may seem a paradox to say that Mendelssohn's 
Songs Without Words are word pictures; they are, in 
that the music of the composer makes possible the poetry' 
in ourselves. Who has ever listened to one of these so- 
called wordless songs without unconsciously accom- 
panying the music with the story of one's own thoughts ? 
To you it may mean one memory, to me another. We 
love this music and to it we can sing our secret songs, 
the poems of our inner selves, the sacred stories the 
world knows nothing of. Mendelssohn understood 
humanity, he knew that there are times when one's lips 
refuse to speak, when one's ears shrink from the recital 
of another's life history ; when the soul seeks either 
solitude, or the music to which we may whisper in 
thoughts the yearning or the disappointments of life. 

" The excuse that life is short is often given as an 
excuse for not studying literature. Instead of being an 
excuse for not doing, it should rather be the impetus for 
greater endeavour. A woman gives most thought to the 
gown she wears for the shortest length of time, a court 
dress in which to make one curtsy, a wedding-dress 
worn for an hour. We none of us embroider our shrouds, 
although we must needs wear them for many seasons. 

" If life is short then each moment should be used. 
We grumble at Nature who makes a passion-flower to 
live only twenty-four hours ; we cannot understand 
why so much should fade in so short a time, and yet we 
ourselves allow our thoughts to die almost at their birth 
without striving to keep or cultivate them. 

" From the days that Thomas Pringle, who was born 



Lecture on Word Pictures 419 

in 1788 and died in 1834, ^-nd may be called the father 
of South African poetry, until the present day, you 
have had your artists of song, but the output has been 
small — very small in comparison to other lands, and 
yet from Table Bay to Tanganyika what a land you 
have ! teeming with material for thought, filled with 
the beauty necessary for inspiration. 

" We have studied many different kinds of word 
pictures to-night. Some novelists have even greater 
power of making us feel the actual presence of atmo- 
sphere than any painter who wields pallet and brush. 
If on being asked if you had crossed the desert you 
replied ' Yes,' you would be telling no lie if in reality 
you had never left Bulawayo, but while here had read 
Robert Hichens' ' Garden of Allah.' 

" If, then, these writers can bring so vividly pictures to 
you, why should you not make pictures for each other 
and for those who have no opportunity of seeing your 
beautiful land ? Some say that the English language is 
poor compared to Italian and French ; it is rich in words, 
but rarely do we use them sufficiently in our daily life — 
our conversation is poor, we use the same words day 
after day, without some of the most beautiful words, 
which fall into disuse or are forgotten. 

" I have a proposition to make : if you will form a 
literary debating society for the discussing and forming 
of Word Pictures in poetry and prose, I shall have much 
pleasure in offering a medal to be competed for, and 
will ask the President of the Poets' Club, London, to act 
as judge of the most original Word Picture.^ There will 
be two conditions, one, that the picture shall be written 
by a resident in Rhodesia, the other, that the subject 
shall be Rhodesian in character — that is, containing local 
colour or describing events connected with Rhodesia." 

^ The two contributions adjudged to be the best are given overleaf. 



APl^iNDIX C 

THE SELUKWE HILLS 

OTHE lire of life breaks o'er the hills 
At the Spring's bright dawn ; 
For the sun has touched the branches brown 
And the trees wave their crimson pennons down^ 
To greet the glad march of morn 
With the living fire of the hills. 

O the fire of death creeps o'er the hills 

In the winter's night ; 
When the flames advance with relentless ire, 

Behind them destruction and blackness dire. 
The earth has no strength to fight 

'Gainst the fire of death on the hills. 

O the fire of storm bursts o'er the hills 

When the thunders roar 
And the steel-blue arrows of lightning dart 

As if they would reach e'en the mountain's heart ; 
And torrents of rain downpour 

While the storm-fire plays on the hills. 

O unmovable, steadfast the hills 

Whate'er may betide — 
Though the storm-fiend rage with awful force, 

Though black death follow the veld-fire's course, 

Yet, as the bridegroom the bride, 

Comes the fire of life to the hills. 

Druid. 

' The new leaves of the mountain acacia are bright red. 
420 



APPENDIX I) 

NATURE IN RHODESIA 

NATURE was in a grim mood when she came to 
Rhodesia. She was tired of being orderly and 
neat, tired of being prim and precise. She had 
been busy making a world, and here she threw down 
her spare materials and her palette and paints. She 
had given others of her best. She had left behind a 
bewildering choice of grass-hid nooks, silent creeks and 
water-bound islets. She had provided wide, placid 
streams that wound away between buttercupped mea- 
dows, bordered by withe and ash ; mirror-lakes ringed 
in by hills that seemed. Narcissus-like, to calmly con- 
template their own beauty faithfully traced upon the 
waters below ; trees that sheltered the short, sweet 
grass and filled the sky with the leafy beauties of oak, 
larch, cedar, and elm. And yet her people wandered 
and sent her on to prepare other lands. 

So, she arrived here, hot and panting and not a little 
sulky. They would wander ? Then, quoth she, they 
shall become as hot and as thirsty as their servant ; and 
she ordered things to her whim. She had a large country 
to cover and swept hurriedly over it. She gave us the 
broad art of the scene-painter, laying on as a background 
the great monotone of the veld to throw out more 
sharply the wild, rugged beauties of form that she piled 
up for us, oases of colour in a desert of drab. She gave 
us rivers, but not lazy, smug bodies of water content to 

421 



42 2 Via Rhodesia 

flow sluggishly on between prescribed limits as though 
in accord with their well-ordered surroundings. Instead, 
dashing, irresponsible watercourses that owned no 
banks nor confines, that slept in guarded pools and 
awakened to madly tear up their own bed, without 
thought for the discomfort awaiting when they should 
sleep again. She hurried on. There was no time to 
turn and sweep up after her. She left her chips lying 
around and upon the hills, irritating crumbs in the beds 
of her rivers, lumber on the flats — debris everywhere. 

And over the whole, with a callous swing of her arm, 
she grudgingly scattered a few seeds. 

Then, woman-like, she sat down and wept. Her tears 
formed the Zambesi and her seat the Falls. And the 
ever curious wanderers left their well-ordered lands to 
look upon the splendid scene of her sorrow. 

Hydra. 

Gwelo, Rhodesia. 



INDEX 



A 

Abercorn, N.E. Rhodesia, 167, 297 

Abercorn, Southern Rhodesia, 167 

Aden, 383 

Agriculture, 15 i ft". 

— Mealie cultivation, 155. See 

also Farming 
Awemba. See Native Tribes 

B 

Barnardo's Homes, opportunity for, 

238 
Beattie, Dr., 120, 141 
Bee-farming, 92 
Belgium, H.M. the King of, 119, 

303 
Blantyre, 368, 369 
Bodle, Colonel, 113 
Boers, 39, 178 
Brick-making, 237 
British South Africa Company, 58, 

15'. 152, 153. 210 
Broken Hill, 141, 160, 164, 166, 

169, 171, 172, 176-8 
Bruce, Mr. Livingstone, 367 
Bulawayo, 50 ff., 115, 210,415 

C 

Camping, 185, 199 ff., 214, 228, 
242, 294 



Cape Town, 23, 25, 26, 29-34, 409 

Chanda, 273-5 

• — • Makuba, 273-5 

Chinde, 372 

Chisholme, Dr., 320 

Chitambo, 236 ff. 

Cholmondeley, Mr., 227, 229 

Churches, 52, 97, 148 

Citrus trees, 58 

Climate, 93, 239, 298 

Codrington, Mr., 147 

Coffee-growing, 367 

Colenso, Bishop, 10 1 

Colenso, Miss, 102 

Colour question, the, 24 

Convicts, 85, 262 

Cory, Professor, 103 

Cotton-growing, 169 ff., 211, 367 

Coxhead, T. C, Mr., 327 

Crocodiles, 122 

Cuckoos (Native Fowls), 208 



D 

Diamond mines, 46 
Doves, 165 

— as water-finders, 165 
Dress, 1 14, 307 

E 

Easterbrook, ISIr. Dove, 345 



425 



426 



Via Rhodesia 



Education in South Africa, 52, 

9+. 97 ff-, 172, 237, 320, 321 
Elephants, 122 
Export — 

Cheese, 155 

Cotton, 170 

Meat, frozen, 155 

Tobacco, 211 



Farming — 

Bee, 92 

Dairy, 53, 155 

Fruit, 58, 211 

Mixed, 211 

Poultry, 53, 90, 239 

See also Agriculture, Cuckoos 
Farming prospects in Rhodesia, 4, 

53 
Fauna of South Africa, 63, 122, 

165, 316 
Fife, 322 
Firearms, 29 
Flora of South Africa, 55, 62, 63, 

75> 124, 135, 197, 226, 260-2, 

292 
Fort Hill, 339 
Fowls, 208, 239 
French Mission Station, 37 
Fruit-farming, 58, 211 



Game, 157, 161, 180, 209, 271, 

344 
German liners, 375> 378) 405 
German South-West Africa, 406 
Goats, 208 



Gold, 85, 167 

Grass, long, 219 

— lost in, 67 

Groote Schuur, 34 ff., 69 

H 

Hannon, Mr., 154, 156 

Hassall, 199 

Hippopotami, 122, 148 

Hole, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, 77, 

ii3> 177 
Honey-bird, 268 
Hospitals, 145, 363 
Hotels, 81, 82, 145 
Houses, Rest, 319, 339, 354, 356, 

368 

I 

Ikomba, 315 

Immigrants, hints for, 29, 30, 93, 

151, 212, 297. See also Settlers 
Imports of South Africa, 54 
Insects, 213, 268 

Beetles, 148, 165 

Butterflies, 294 

Jiggers, 214 

Mosquitoes, 255 

Palpalous fly, 303-5 

Ticks, 349 

Tsetse fly, 267 

J 
Jameson, Dr., 34 
Johnston, Fort, 350 
Jones, Averay, 285 
Justice, Administration of, 285 ; 
Prisons, 262, 287, 363 



Ind 



ex 



427 



K 

Kalomo, 162 

Kandahar Island, 121 

Karonga, 341 ff. 

Karoo, 39 

Kasama, 284, ff. 

Kawanda, 239, 240 

Khami River, 60, 65 

Khami Ruins, 60 ff. 

Kimberley, 45, 46 

King, H.M. the, of England, 144 

Kopjes, 50, 65, 221 

Kota-Kota, 349 



Las Palmas, 405 

Leopards, 241 

Lions, 82, 147, 226, 231, 263 ff., 

307> 3i7> 324, 325. 326, 343 
Livingstone, 141 ff 
Livingstone, Dr., 132 
Liwonde, 356 
Lyceum Club, 402 ff. 



M 

Macheke, 78 

Machilla, 172 ff., 222, 240, 267 

— Team, 178, 179, 193, 240, 255, 

297, 353, 354 
Madeira, i 7-20 
Mails, delivery of, 184 

— missing, 144 
Malarial Fever, 255 

Mansfield, Charlotte, origin of her 
journey, 8 ; her outfit, 9 ; her 
shooting practice, 10; leaves 
England, 1 4 ; arrives at Cape 



Town, 22 ; visits Groote Schuur, 
34 ; Kimberley, 44 : travels on a 
railway engine, 49 ; arrives Bula- 
wayo, 50 ; visits Khami ruins, 
60 ; Rhodes's grave, 69 ; arrives 
Salisbury, 75; lectures, 115; at 
Victoria Falls, 119 ff . ; her first 
encounter with natives at Living- 
stone, 141 ; crosses Kafue River 
as letter, 161 ; arrives Broken 
Hill, 164; her Machilla team, 
172; travels north by Machilla, 
173; engages interpreter, 176; 
in camp, 184 ; carried through 
swamps, 203, 242 ; barters with 
natives, 208, 316; reception of, 
bynatives, 216, 227, 240, 242,273, 
339 ; arrives at Serenje, 227 ; has 
malarial fever, 255, 259 ; arrives 
Kasama, 284; arrives Abercorn, 
301; abandons projected journey 
to Cairo, 305 ; arrives Ikomba, 
315; arrives Fife, 322; arrives 
Karonga, 343 ; arrives Zomba, 
359; returns to England, 373; 
expelled from Lyceum Club, 
402 ff. ; and Journalists, 398 ; 
returns to South Africa, 405 

Marandellas, 81 

Marshall, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh, 302 

McKnight, Doctor, 168, 173, 175 

Medicines, etc., 204 ff., 255 

Melland, Mr., 256 

Messina, 394 

Milton, H. E., Sir William, 78 

— Lady, 78 
Mines, 85 

— coal, 171, 207 



428 



Via Rhodesia 



Mines, diamond, 46 

— gold, 85, 167 

— lead and zinc, 168 
Mining, 153, 158 ff. 

Missions in South Africa, 52, 94, 

97 ff-, 238, 254, 256 {(., 321 
Moffat, Mr., 236, 237 
Mombassa, 380 
Mos([uitoes, 255 
Mountains — Matoppos, 37, 69 

— Mlanje, 364 

— Zomba, 360 
Mozambique, 373 
M'pika, 263, 267, 287 
M'pumba, 254 
Muizenberg, 33 
Mulungushi, 178 
Mvera, 354, 336 

N 

Native canoes, 222 

— carriers, 214, 220, 221, 239, 339, 

354, 359, 368 

— carriers, letter, 184 

— huts, 343 

— labour, 153, 169 

— manners, customs, and supersti- 

tions, 57, 178, iSo, 192, 194, 
206, 214, 215-16, 222, 241, 
243 ff> 294, 315. 328 ff. 

— morals, 89, 93-4, 172, 237-8 

— music, 149, 239 

— news carrying, 234-5 

— paintings, 355 

— trading, 208, 273 

— tribes — -Ainamwanga, 250, 328 

A'Mambwe, 310, 328 
Angoni, 176, 251, 344 



Native tribes -Awumba, 172, 194, 

24', 2 43> 244 ff- 
Awiwa, 328 
Awuvu, 250 
Bakongo, 250 
Barotse, 243 
Mashona, 243 
Mashukulumbwe, 243 
Matabele, 243 
M'lala, 215, 243, 244 
M'Senga, 243 

— troops, 148 

— villages, 2 1 5 ff. 

— weapons, 2 2 1 

Natives, beauty, sense of, 178, 192 

— dress of, 172, 177, 343 

— education of, 52, 94, 97 ff., 172, 

237, 320, 321 

— food of, 295, 330 
--- how to treat, 68 

— language of, 176 

— in mines, 46 

— resource of, 268 

— trading with, 169 
North, Miss, loi 
Nyasa Lake, 346 ff. 
Nyasaland, 339 



Palpalous Hy, 303 
Photography, 272-3 
Pompeii, 394 
Port Said, 388 ff. 
Poultry-farming, 53, 90, 239 
Prisons, 262, 287, 363 

Q 
Queen, H.M. the, of England, 144 



Incl 



ex 



429 



R 

Railways of South Africa, 30, 48, 49, 
78, 141, 153, 156, 161, 166, 167, 
176, 371 

iny season, 59, 412 
.evenue, collection of, 184-5 

- Game Licences, 1 5 7 

— Gun Duty, 157 

— Hut Tax, 171, 185 

j>^hodes, Cecil, 26, 32, 33, 34, 46, 

55, 69 ff., 166, 414, 416 
Rhodesia, lightning, 182 

— loneliness in, 193, 195 
North-Eastern, 178 

— North-Western, 178 

— social life in, 142, 165, 185, 
228, 230, 289, 307 

sunsets, 178, 179, 181, 197 
Roberts, Lord, 121 
Rivers, Chambezi, 269 ff., 284 

— Kafue, 1 41, 158, 160 ff. 

— Luangwe, 341 

— Lukasashi, 221, 222 

— Lumbatwa, 254 

- Lusenfwa, 204 

— M'lembo, 2 1 5 

— M'lomwa, 220 

- Musombishi, 296 

- Pamparway, 220 

— Rukulu, 275 

Roman Catholics in South Africa, 
52, 254, 256 ff. 



Salisbury, 75 ff., 113, 114, 210, 412 
Schools in South Africa, 52, 97 
'^erenje, 216, 227 ff., 2S7 



Settlers, hints for, 212 

— opportunities for, 51, 76, 81, 86, 
90, 91, 92, 145, 151 ff., 211, 313, 

339-4J, 344 
Sharpe, H.E. Sir Alfred, 345, 359, 

360, 368 
Sheene, Mr. and Mrs. West, 323 
Sleeping-sickness, 167, 303 (C, 339, 

342 
Social Life, 142, 165, 185, 228, 
23o> 289, 307 

— Camp-fire Stories, 185 
Sports, 77-8, 148, 284 
Stevenson Road, 314 
Stores, i45-7> 339-4i 
Suez, 384 

Swamps, 203, 214, 215, 241, 255 



Table Mountain, 23, 26 

Tambalika, 173 

Tamplin, Colonel, 44 

Tanganyika, 302 ff. 

Tate, Captain, 346 

Taxes, 153 

Theal, Dr. McCall, 103, 105 ff. 

Tobacco-growing, 206, 210 ff, 367 

Tourists, hints for, 29, 30, 40 ff., 

214, 297 
Trees, dearth of, 55. See also 

under Flora 
Tsetse fly, 267 
Tyson, Captain, 44, 45 



U 

Umtali, 78, 82, 90, 94, 95 



430 



Via Rhodesia 



V 

Veld, 197 

Victoria, 60 

— Falls, I ig ff., 148 

^v 

Wallace, H.H. ]\Ir., 120, 141, 143, 

144, 152, 160, 161 
Waller, Rev. H., loi 
Walton, Mr., 34, 37 
Waterall, Mr., 262, 263 
Weights and Measures, 156 
Welch, Miss, 31 



Wells, Mr. Stuart, 341-3, 345 
Witchcraft, 206, 252, 333 
Women, need of, 87 ff. 

— opportunities for, 92, 94, '9 

— safety of, 93 

— in the Wilds, 195 
Women's, Loyal, Guild, 94, 1 1 



Zanzibar, 374 ff. 
Zebras, 198 
Zimbabwe ruins, 59 
Zomba, 359 ff. 



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