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of the hut behind them, nor did they see it when it slunk

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As a specimen of our mode of marching, we rise about five, or as soon as dawn appears, take a cup of tea and a bit of biscuit; the servants fold up the blankets and stow them away in the bags they carry; the others tie their fumbas and cooking-pots to each end of their carrying-sticks, which are borne on the shoulder; the cook secures the dishes, and all are on the path by sunrise. If a convenient spot can be found we halt for breakfast about nine a.m. To save time, this meal is generally cooked the night before, and has only to be warmed. We continue the march after breakfast, rest a little in the middle of the day, and break off early in the afternoon. We average from two to two-and-a-half miles an hour in a straight line, or as the crow flies, and seldom have more than five or six hours a day of actual travel. This in a hot climate is as much as a man can accomplish without being oppressed; and we always tried to make our progress more a pleasure than a toil. To hurry over the ground, abuse, and look ferocious at one's native companions, merely for the foolish vanity of boasting how quickly a distance was accomplished, is a combination of silliness with absurdity quite odious; while kindly consideration for the feelings of even blacks, the pleasure of observing scenery and everything new as one moves on at an ordinary pace, and the participation in the most delicious rest with our fellows, render travelling delightful. Though not given to over haste, we were a little surprised to find that we could tire our men out; and even the headman, who carried but little more than we did, and never, as we often had to do, hunted in the afternoon, was no better than his comrades. Our experience tends to prove that the European constitution has a power of endurance, even in the tropics, greater than that of the hardiest of the meat-eating Africans.

of the hut behind them, nor did they see it when it slunk

After pitching our camp, one or two of us usually go off to hunt, more as a matter of necessity than of pleasure, for the men, as well as ourselves, must have meat. We prefer to take a man with us to carry home the game, or lead the others to where it lies; but as they frequently grumble and complain of being tired, we do not particularly object to going alone, except that it involves the extra labour of our making a second trip to show the men where the animal that has been shot is to be found. When it is a couple of miles off it is rather fatiguing to have to go twice; more especially on the days when it is solely to supply their wants that, instead of resting ourselves, we go at all. Like those who perform benevolent deeds at home, the tired hunter, though trying hard to live in charity with all men, is strongly tempted to give it up by bringing only sufficient meat for the three whites and leaving the rest; thus sending the "idle ungrateful poor" supperless to bed. And yet it is only by continuance in well-doing, even to the length of what the worldly-wise call weakness, that the conviction is produced anywhere, that our motives are high enough to secure sincere respect.

of the hut behind them, nor did they see it when it slunk

A jungle of mimosa, ebony, and "wait-a-bit" thorn lies between the Chicova flats and the cultivated plain, on which stand the villages of the chief, Chitora. He brought us a present of food and drink, because, as he, with the innate politeness of an African, said, he "did not wish us to sleep hungry: he had heard of the Doctor when he passed down, and had a great desire to see and converse with him; but he was a child then, and could not speak in the presence of great men. He was glad that he had seen the English now, and was sorry that his people were away, or he should have made them cook for us." All his subsequent conduct showed him to be sincere.

of the hut behind them, nor did they see it when it slunk

Many of the African women are particular about the water they use for drinking and cooking, and prefer that which is filtered through sand. To secure this, they scrape holes in the sandbanks beside the stream, and scoop up the water, which slowly filters through, rather than take it from the equally clear and limpid river. This practice is common in the Zambesi, the Rovuma, and Lake Nyassa; and some of the Portuguese at Tette have adopted the native custom, and send canoes to a low island in the middle of the river for water. Chitora's people also obtained their supply from shallow wells in the sandy bed of a small rivulet close to the village. The habit may have arisen from observing the unhealthiness of the main stream at certain seasons. During nearly nine months in the year, ordure is deposited around countless villages along the thousands of miles drained by the Zambesi. When the heavy rains come down, and sweep the vast fetid accumulation into the torrents, the water is polluted with filth; and, but for the precaution mentioned, the natives would prove themselves as little fastidious as those in London who drink the abomination poured into the Thames by Reading and Oxford. It is no wonder that sailors suffered so much from fever after drinking African river water, before the present admirable system of condensing it was adopted in our navy.

The scent of man is excessively terrible to game of all kinds, much more so, probably, than the sight of him. A herd of antelopes, a hundred yards off, gazed at us as we moved along the winding path, and timidly stood their ground until half our line had passed, but darted off the instant they "got the wind," or caught the flavour of those who had gone by. The sport is all up with the hunter who gets to the windward of the African beast, as it cannot stand even the distant aroma of the human race, so much dreaded by all wild animals. Is this the fear and the dread of man, which the Almighty said to Noah was to be upon every beast of the field? A lion may, while lying in wait for his prey, leap on a human being as he would on any other animal, save a rhinoceros or an elephant, that happened to pass; or a lioness, when she has cubs, might attack a man, who, passing "up the wind of her," had unconsciously, by his scent, alarmed her for the safety of her whelps; or buffaloes, amid other animals, might rush at a line of travellers, in apprehension of being surrounded by them; but neither beast nor snake will, as a general rule, turn on man except when wounded, or by mistake. If gorillas, unwounded, advance to do battle with him, and beat their breasts in defiance, they are an exception to all wild beasts known to us. From the way an elephant runs at the first glance of man, it is inferred that this huge brute, though really king of beasts, would run even from a child.

Our two donkeys caused as much admiration as the three white men. Great was the astonishment when one of the donkeys began to bray. The timid jumped more than if a lion had roared beside them. All were startled, and stared in mute amazement at the harsh-voiced one, till the last broken note was uttered; then, on being assured that nothing in particular was meant, they looked at each other, and burst into a loud laugh at their common surprise. When one donkey stimulated the other to try his vocal powers, the interest felt by the startled visitors, must have equalled that of the Londoners, when they first crowded to see the famous hippopotamus.

We were now, when we crossed the boundary rivulet Nyamatarara, out of Chicova and amongst sandstone rocks, similar to those which prevail between Lupata and Kebrabasa. In the latter gorge, as already mentioned, igneous and syenitic masses have been acted on by some great fiery convulsion of nature; the strata are thrown into a huddled heap of confusion. The coal has of course disappeared in Kebrabasa, but is found again in Chicova. Tette grey sandstone is common about Sinjere, and wherever it is seen with fossil wood upon it, coal lies beneath; and here, as at Chicova, some seams crop out on the banks of the Zambesi. Looking southwards, the country is open plain and woodland, with detached hills and mountains in the distance; but the latter are too far off, the natives say, for them to know their names. The principal hills on our right, as we look up stream, are from six to twelve miles away, and occasionally they send down spurs to the river, with brooks flowing through their narrow valleys. The banks of the Zambesi show two well-defined terraces; the first, or lowest, being usually narrow, and of great fertility, while the upper one is a dry grassy plain, a thorny jungle, or a mopane (Bauhinia) forest. One of these plains, near the Kafue, is covered with the large stumps and trunks of a petrified forest. We halted a couple of days by the fine stream Sinjere, which comes from the Chiroby-roby hills, about eight miles to the north. Many lumps of coal, brought down by the rapid current, lie in its channel. The natives never seem to have discovered that coal would burn, and, when informed of the fact, shook their heads, smiled incredulously, and said "Kodi" (really), evidently regarding it as a mere traveller's tale. They were astounded to see it burning freely on our fire of wood. They told us that plenty of it was seen among the hills; but, being long ago aware that we were now in an immense coalfield, we did not care to examine it further.

A dyke of black basaltic rock, called Kakolole, crosses the river near the mouth of the Sinjere; but it has two open gateways in it of from sixty to eighty yards in breadth, and the channel is very deep.

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