Even The Plains Between Linyanti And Sesheke Had Not Yet Been
Freed From The Waters Of The Inundation.
They had risen higher than usual,
and for a long time canoes passed from the one place to the
a distance of upward of 120 miles, in nearly a straight line.
We found many patches of stagnant water, which, when disturbed
by our passing through them, evolved strong effluvia of sulphureted hydrogen.
At other times these spots exhibit an efflorescence of the nitrate of soda;
they also contain abundance of lime, probably from decaying vegetable matter,
and from these may have emanated the malaria which caused
the present sickness. I have often remarked this effluvium in sickly spots,
and can not help believing but that it has some connection with fever,
though I am quite aware of Dr. MacWilliams's unsuccessful efforts
to discover sulphureted hydrogen, by the most delicate tests,
in the Niger expedition.
I had plenty of employment, for, besides attending to the severer cases,
I had perpetual calls on my attention. The town contained
at least 7000 inhabitants, and every one thought that he might come,
and at least look at me. In talking with some of the more intelligent
in the evenings, the conversation having turned from inquiries respecting
eclipses of the sun and moon to that other world where Jesus reigns,
they let me know that my attempts to enlighten them had not been
without some small effect. "Many of the children," said they,
"talk about the strange things you bring to their ears, but the old men
show a little opposition by saying, `Do we know what he is talking about?'"
Ntlaria and others complain of treacherous memories, and say,
"When we hear words about other things, we hold them fast;
but when we hear you tell much more wonderful things than any we have
ever heard before, we don't know how it is, they run away from our hearts."
These are the more intelligent of my Makololo friends.
On the majority the teaching produces no appreciable effect;
they assent to the truth with the most perplexing indifference,
adding, "But we don't know," or, "We do not understand."
My medical intercourse with them enabled me to ascertain their moral status
better than a mere religious teacher could do.
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