They Were Evidently Surprised At
Seeing Us There, And Halted; As Did Also The Main Body Of Perhaps A
"Kill them," cried the Manganja; "they are going up to
the hills to kill the English," meaning the missionaries we had left
But having no prospect of friendly communication with
them, nor confidence in Manganja's testimony, we proceeded down the
river; leaving the Ajawa sitting under a large baobab, and the
Manganja cursing them most energetically across the river.
On our way up, we had seen that the people of Zimika had taken refuge
on a long island in the Shire, where they had placed stores of grain
to prevent it falling into the hands of the Ajawa; supposing
afterwards that the invasion and war were past, they had removed back
again to the mainland on the east, and were living in fancied
security. On approaching the chief's village, which was built in the
midst of a beautiful grove of lofty wild-fig and palm trees, sounds
of revelry fell upon our ears. The people were having a merry time -
drumming, dancing, and drinking beer - while a powerful enemy was
close at hand, bringing death or slavery to every one in the village.
One of our men called out to several who came to the bank to look at
us, that the Ajawa were coming and were even now at Mikena's village;
but they were dazed with drinking, and took no notice of the warning.
Crowds of carriers offered their services after we left the river.
Several sets of them placed so much confidence in us, as to decline
receiving payment at the end of the first day; they wished to work
another day, and so receive both days' wages in one piece.
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