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of not much difficulty with so loosely formed a stem as that of the plaintain. They then set upon the juicy heart of the tree at the bases of the leaves and devoured it with great voracity. While eating they made a kind of clucking noise expressive of contentment.'
Shortly afterwards, when Mr. Du Chaillu had returned to the mouth of the Fernand Vaz River, three live gorillas were captured by the natives and brought to him. One of these was a large full-grown female, another her baby, the third a vigorous young male. The first two soon died, for the mother had been severely wounded, and her young one only survived her three days. But the male gorilla was christened Tom, and sent on board ship, consigned to Messrs. Baring in London. He died, however, on the passage, most probably of a broken heart, for the species seems to be untameable, and captivity fills them with uncontroilable rage. At a later period of his journey Mr. Du Chaillu came suddenly in the forest upon a whole group of gorillas disporting themselves amongst the trees, but he did not happen to have his rifle in his hand, and they escaped unharmed. Before quitting the subject, we may mention that he is now of opinion that gorillas and not chimpanzees, as he was formerly inclined to think, were the animals seen and captured by the Carthaginians under Hanno, as related in the · Periplus.' Even the name “gorilla,” given to the animal in the “ Periplus," is not very greatly different from its native name at the present day, “ngina” or “ngilla,” especially in the indistinct way in which it is sometimes pronounced.' In one of his preliminary excursions he discovered and caught two specimens of a new species of animal called the lpi or scaly Ant-eater, belonging to the pangolin genus (Manis of Zoologists), which lives in burrows in the earth, or sometimes in the large hollows of colossal trunks of trees that have fallen on the ground. One of their skeletons is now in the collection of the British Museum.*
At last, in September, 1864, Mr. Du Chaillu had received his new supply of instruments from England, and at the end of that month he started on his exploration into the interior. It will give some idea of the difficulty he had to encounter in the transport of his goods, when we mention that he had no less than forty-seven
The skeleton of another animal, very similar to the Ipi of Mr. Du Chaillu, was brought afterwards to England, and was said to have been found in the neighbourhood of the river Niger. It was described by Dr. Gray in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' April, 1865, under the name of Pholidotus Africanus. Mr. Du Chaillu says • The specimen of Pholidotus Africanus, on which ihe describer of the species founds his measurement, and the skull of which he figured, I have ascertained, by my own examination in the British Museum, is not the one said to be received from the Niger, but the specimen which I sent. The Niger specimen is very much smaller. I mention this, because Dr. Gray, doubtless throvgh in. advertency, has omitted to mention my name at all in connection with the species.'
large chests filled with them, besides ten boxes containing his photographic apparatus and chemicals, and fifty voluminous bundles of miscellaneous articles : in fact, a load for a hundred men. He dressed his body-guard of ten Commi negroes in thick canvas trousers, blue woollen shirts, and worsted caps, and each man had a blanket to keep him warm at night.
He had, however, been nearly prevented from setting out on his expedition at all. During his absence in Europe, the chiefs of the clans on the coast had met and passed a law that no Mpongwé (the trading tribe of the Gaboon), or white man, should be allowed to ascend the river Fernand Vaz or the Ogobai.
'It is the universal rule amongst the coast tribes of West Africa to prevent, if possible, all strangers from penetrating into the interior, even if it be only to the next tribe, through fear that they should lose the exclusive privilege of trading with these tribes. Indeed, every tribe tries to prevent all strangers from communicating with the tribe next in advance of them.'
It was necessary to get this law repealed, and in November, 1863, a grand palaver was held on the subject in the village where Mr. Du Chaillu was staying. One of the most important chiefs, called Olenga-Yombi, a notorious drunkard, who presided at the meeting, had been propitiated by the present of a very long blue coat, the tails of which dangled about his ankles when he walked, and a light yellow waistcoat with gilt buttons. The debate took place in the Council-house of the village, a large open shed, where chairs were placed for the principal speakers. The result was that Mr. Du Chaillu was made free of the river, while the Mpongwé trader was still rigorously excluded. The speakers argued that the white man did not go into the interior to trade, but to shoot animals and bring away the skins and bones. "Truly,' they said, we do not know what Chaillie has in his stomach to want such things, but we must let him go.'
In the beginning of October, 1864, Mr. Du Chaillu started on his journey. He first proceeded in two canoes up the Fernand Vaz river, and then up the Rembo and Ovenga rivers as far as the village of Obindji, where his overland route was to commence. Here the porters assembled who had been sent from the Ashira country by king Olenda to carry the baggage; but instead of a hundred porters, which was the least number required, there were only fifty. He was therefore obliged to send only half of the loads forward, and to wait for the return of the men to carry the other half. A friendly old chief, named Quengueza, who accompanied him from the coast, addressed the body-guard of Commi negroes before leaving Obindji, and gave them some excellent advice. He told them to look up to 'Chaillie'. as their chief, and obey him. He warned them not to touch plantains or ground nuts lying on the road, or in the street of a village, for this showed that it was a tricky village, and the temptation was intended as a trap.
them * *Adventures in Equatorial Africa,' chap. xxiv.
· When a house is given to you in any village keep to that house and go
into no other: and if you see a seat do not sit upon it, for these are seats which none but the owners can sit upon. But above all beware of the women !'
After marching across a wild, hilly, and wooded country, the party emerged on the undulating grass land of Ashira, which Mr. Du Chaillu has described in his former volume, * and arrived at the village of Olenda on the 19th of November. Here he determined to try and visit the Falls of Samba Nagoshi, which are in the Ngouyai river, north of Olenda, and which he had in vain attempted to reach on his previous journey. His route lay parallel to the Ovigui river, which flows into the Ngouyai, and after two or three days' march through forest and swamp, he embarked in a leaky rotten canoe, not far from the point of confluence of the two rivers. The Ngouyai is a fine large river flowing northwards, which Mr. Du Chaillu discovered on his former journey, and when he now entered it he was, he says, up to this time the only white man who had ever embarked on its
• The Ovigui, at its junction with the Ngonyai, is about thirty-five yards broad, and is at this time of the year (the rainy season) a deep stream. The banks are clothed with uninterrupted forest, leaving only little entrances here and there at the ports of the villages which lie backwards from the river. Silence and monotony reign over the landscape, unenlivened by the flight and song of birds or the movement of animals.'
On approaching the rapids below the falls, the party left the canoe, and scrambled along the bank. A rocky island in the middle of the river breaks the rush of the water into two unequal parts, and the height of the cataract is only about fifteen feet. Mr. Du Chaillu says :
• The sight was wild, grand, and beautiful; but it did not quite impress me with the awe that the rapids below inspired. We see here the river Ngouyai after flowing through the Apingi Valley in the interior, and receiving the waters of the Ovigui and many other streams, bursting through the barrier of the hilly range which separates the interior of Africa from the coast land. The high ridges which have been broken through by the river rise on each side, covered with varied forest, and the shattered fragments encumber the bed of the stream for miles.'
On his return to Olenda, Mr. Du Chaillu found trouble awaiting him. One of the chiefs of the Apingi tribe, whose villages lay in the line of his intended route, had died during his absence, and the cry arose that the stranger was the cause of his death through witchcraft. The result was that, after a grand palaver it was decided that Mr. Du Chaillu should pass through the Otando country, which lies to the south of the A pingi, and a message was sent to the Otando chief apprising him of the proposed visit, and requesting him to send a party of men to Olenda to assist in carrying the baggage. In the meantime, however, a terrible calamity occurred. The small-pox broke out with fearful violence among the people of Olenda, and they declared that the white man was an evil spirit, who had brought the plague, or eviva, as they called it, amongst them. Old king Quengueza stood gallantly by his friend, and asked them whether he, the king, who held the passage of the Rembo river, had come with his white man into the bush amongst these pigs of Ashira to be cursed? He was urged by Mr. Du Chaillu to return to his own country, but he refused to leave him in the hour of difficulty and danger, saying, “Chaillie, I cannot go back. I came to see you through this country, and I should feel shame to leave you in
What would the Comini people say? They would laugh at me, and say Quengueza had no power to help Chaillie on his way. No, I shall not leave you! At last, however, Mr. Du Chaillu persuaded him to go, and he was left alone with his little band of Commi negroes. They were soon attacked by the disease, which spread like a destroying angel through the villages, and at last king Olenda himself sickened and died. Famine followed in its train, and the natives cursed the traveller as the author of their misfortunes.
• The once cheerful prairie of Ashira,' he says, ' had now become a gloomy valley of the dead; each village was a charnel house—wherever I walked the most heartrending sights met my view. victims of the loathsome disease in all its worst stages lay about in sheds and huts; there were hideous sores filled with maggots, and swarms of carrion flies buzzed about the living but putrid carcases. The stench in the neighbourhood of the huts was insupportable. Some of the sick were raving and others, emaciated, with sunken eyes, victims of hunger as well as of disease. Many wretched creatures from other villages were abandoned to die in the bush.'
And yet the poor negroes behaved with a kindness which might have been looked for in vain amongst a more civilized people.
. And now,' says Mr. Du Chaillu, ‘I was indeed alone, with no one to help me. I had to fetch water, to search for firewood, and to cook for myself, as well as for all my poor stricken followers. The villagers exerted themselves to procure food for me. Those who were now well enough crept towards the plantation to get plaintains for me; and even the invalids, men and women, sent me offerings of food, saying “We do not want our stranger to be hungry.”
At last, after many months of heart-sickening delay, he was able to leave Ashira-land and march forward to Otando. He had to traverse a dense primæval forest, which bounds the eastern side of the prairie, and clothes the bills and valleys of the mountain-ridges, which extend in a north and south direction between the Ashira and Otando territories. One characteristic of this gloomy region is the great scarcity of animal life. “Scarcely
did we hear the voice of birds, and at night, as we lay round the fires of the bivouac, all was still as death in the black shades of the forest. He was plundered by his black porters, and some of them ran away after robbing him of the conterits of the boxes they carried. Amongst the missing articles was his photographic apparatus, which was never recovered. At times the party was reduced to extremity for food, and this gave an opportunity for the display of a touching trait of the African character. Greedy and rapacious and thieving as he is, the Negro of the Equator seems to be naturally humane and kind. On one occasion, when they were starving, his porters succeeded
in killing two monkeys. Instead of devouring the food themselves they brought it to Mr. Du Chaillu, and gave up the whole of it to him. And when he told them that they were entitled to it, they insisted upon giving him the largest share, and then divided the residue amongst themselves. Here, by the way, we may mention that Mr. Du Chaillu speaks in raptures of roast monkey as an article of food. Of course it would be deemed excellent by a starving man; but his opinion was formed at a time when he had abundance to eat. He
that in the month of March, April, and May, the flesh of monkeys is exquisite. 'I know of no game better or more refreshing ; the joints must be either roasted or grilled to bring out the flavour of the meat to perfection.'
The principal village of Otando is called Máyolo, situated in an open tract of undulating grass-land, diversified by groups of trees and patches of forest. Here is a description of the scene :
A wide stretch of undulating country lay open before us, the foreground of which was formed by prairie, the rest appearing as a continuous
expanse of forest, with long wooded ridges in the distance one behind the other, the last and highest fading into blue mist in the far