As We Had No Desire To Pass For
People Of That Nation - Quite The Contrary - We Usually Made A Broad
Line of demarcation by saying that we were English, and the English
neither bought, sold, nor held black people as
Slaves, but wished to
put a stop to the slave-trade altogether.
We called upon our friend, Mpende, in passing. He provided a hut for
us, with new mats spread on the floor. Having told him that we were
hurrying on because the rains were near, "Are they near?" eagerly
inquired an old counsellor, "and are we to have plenty of rain this
year?" We could only say that it was about the usual time for the
rains to commence; and that there were the usual indications in great
abundance of clouds floating westwards, but that we knew nothing more
than they did themselves.
The hippopotami are more wary here than higher up, as the natives
hunt them with guns. Having shot one on a shallow sandbank, our men
undertook to bring it over to the left bank, in order to cut it up
with greater ease. It was a fine fat one, and all rejoiced in the
hope of eating the fat for butter, with our hard dry cakes of native
meal. Our cook was sent over to cut a choice piece for dinner, but
returned with the astonishing intelligence that the carcass was gone.
They had been hoodwinked, and were very much ashamed of themselves.
A number of Banyai came to assist in rolling it ashore, and asserted
that it was all shallow water.
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