Livingstone Indeed Affirms
That The Egyptian Paintings And Sculptures Present The Best Type
Of The General Physiognomy Of The Central Tribes.
The return journey was still slower than the advance had been;
and it was not till late in the
Summer of 1855 that they reached
the villages of the Makololo, having been absent more than eighteen months.
They were received as men risen from the dead, for the diviners had declared
that they had perished long ago. The returned adventurers
were the lions of the day. They strutted around in their gay European suits,
with their guns over their shoulders, to the abounding admiration
of the women and children, calling themselves Livingstone's "braves",
who had gone over the whole world, turning back only when
there was no more land. To be sure they returned about as poor as they went,
for their gun and their one suit of red and white cotton
were all that they had saved, every thing else having been expended
during their long journey. "But never mind," they said;
"we have not gone in vain, you have opened a path for us."
There was one serious drawback from their happiness. Some of their wives,
like those of the companions of Ulysses of old, wearied by their long absence,
had married other husbands. They took this misfortune much to heart.
"Wives," said one of the bereaved husbands, "are as plenty as grass -
I can get another; but," he added bitterly, "if I had that fellow
I would slit his ears for him." Livingstone did the best he could for them.
He induced the chiefs to compel the men who had taken the only wife of any one
to give her up to her former husband.
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