In Darkest Africa, Vol. 2; or The Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Governor of

In Darkest Africa, Vol. 2; or The Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Governor of

by Henry M. Stanley

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In Darkest Africa, Vol. 2; or The Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Governor of by Henry M. Stanley

That uncanny concurrence of circumstances, illustrated by the contents of the last chapter, was recalled to my mind again on the next morning which dawned on us after the arrival of the advance column at Bavabya.
1888.
Aug. 21.
Forest.
In Mr. Bonny’s entry in the log-book will be found mentioned that the Soudanese and Zanzibaris mustered of their own accord to lay their complaints before me.{2} Mr. Bonny, in his official report, had stated it was his intention, “under God’s help, to make the Expedition more successful than it had been hitherto.” By his written report, and his oral accounts, by the brave deliberation of his conduct during the terrible hours of the 19th July, and by the touching fidelity to his duties, as though every circumstance of his life was precisely what it ought to be, Mr. Bonny had leaped at a bound, in my estimation, to a most admiring height. I was sure, also, that Major Barttelot must have discovered remarkable elements of power in him, which, unfortunately for my credit, had been unseen by me. But no sooner had permission been given to the men to speak, than I was amazed at finding himself listening to a confession that the first day’s march to the eastward under Mr. Bonny was to be the signal for his total abandonment by the Zanzibaris.
I gave them a patient hearing. Only sixty seemed in any way likely to survive the trials they had endured out of the 101 or 102 remaining. They all appeared unutterably miserable, many seemed heart-broken, but there were several whose looks suggested a fixed hate, malice, and spite.
“Well, sit down, children,” said I, “and let us talk this matter quietly,” and when they had seated themselves in a semi-circle before me, and our own robust people from the Nyanza had crowded about behind, I addressed them thus:—
“Ah, my poor men, the days of weeping and grieving are over. Dry your tears and be glad. See those stout fellows behind you. They have seen the white Pasha, they have shared his bounties of meat, and milk and millet, and have heard him praise their manliness. They are the people who should weep, but weep for gladness, for every step hence is one step nearer to Zanzibar. We came back from the Nyanza to seek you who were so long lost to us. We have found you, thanks be to God! Now, let bygones be bygones. I cannot restore the dead, but I can rejoice the hearts of the living. Think no more of your sufferings, but live in{3} hope of a brighter future. It was necessary for us to go before you, to clear the road and assist the white man before he perished. We told you all this before we departed from you. You should have remembered our promise that as soon as we had found him whom we sought we should come back with the good news to you. We have kept our word—have you kept yours?
“No, you lost your faith in us. When the runaways from our party returned to you, and they, with gaping mouths, told you what was false to hide their crime of desertion, you listened with wide-open ears, and accepted their tales as truths. Did they bring a letter from any of us? No! but you found silver watches, and Arab cloaks striped with gold in their baggage. Do common carriers find such things in the forest? If they do, then you should have said to them, ‘Come, turn back with us, and show us the place where we may also find such wealth.’ Those carriers had stolen those things from us, and had run away with their booty. You saw these things, and yet you believed that we were all destroyed, that I was shot in seventeen places, and all the white men except one had been killed, and the one remaining had gone to Ujiji! Oh, men of little wit!
“What, nearly 400 Zanzibaris, and six white men, all lost except a few, and those few gone to Ujiji instead of coming to you, their brothers and friends! That is too much for belief. I thought Zanzibaris were wiser men, for truly I have seen wise ones in my time.
“And if I were not dead, how came you to believe that I would forget you, and my white sons whom I left with you. Whither could I go, except to my own children if I were distressed or unable to go on? Was not the fact of our long absence a proof that we were still going on doing our work, since even deserters and thieves had nowhere to flee except back to you?
“Aye, I see well how it has happened unto you. You lay on your backs rotting in camp, and have been brooding and thinking until the jiggers have burrowed into your brains, and Shaitan has caused you to dream of evil and death. You became hardened in mind, and{4} cruel to your own bodies. Instead of going to the little masters, and telling them of your griefs and fears, you have said Mambu Kwa Mungu—it is God’s trouble. Our masters don’t care for us, and we don’t care for them.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149108978
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 09/12/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

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