Built hut, which had been shut up
for some time, the air inside at once gave us a chill, and an attack
of fever; both of which vanished when the place was well-ventilated
by means of a fire. We have frequently observed that lighting a fire
early in the mornings, even in the hottest time of the year, gives
freshness to the whole house, and removes that feeling of closeness
and langour, which a hot climate induces.
On the night of the 1st July, 1863, several loud peals of thunder
awoke us; the moon was shining brightly, and not a cloud to be seen.
All the natives remarked on the clearness of the sky at the time, and
next morning said, "We thought it was God" (Morungo).
On arriving at the ship on the 2nd July, we found a despatch from
Earl Russell, containing instructions for the withdrawal of the
Expedition. The devastation caused by slave-hunting and famine lay
all around. The labour had been as completely swept away from the
Great Shire Valley, as it had been from the Zambesi, wherever
Portuguese intrigue or power extended. The continual forays of
Mariano had spread ruin and desolation on our south-east as far as
While this was going on in our rear, the Tette slave-hunters from the
West had stimulated the Ajawa to sweep all the Manganja off the hills
on our East; and slaving parties for this purpose were still passing
the Shire above the Cataracts.