I was totally ignorant of the interior, and it was difficult at
first to know, what I needed, in order to take an Expedition into
Central Africa. Time was precious, also, and much of it could not
be devoted to inquiry and investigation. In a case like this, it
would have been a godsend, I thought, had either of the three
gentlemen, Captains Burton, Speke, or Grant, given some information
on these points; had they devoted a chapter upon, "How to get
ready an Expedition for Central Africa." The purpose of this
chapter, then, is to relate how I set about it, that other
travellers coming after me may have the benefit of my experience.
These are some of the questions I asked myself, as I tossed on my
bed at night: -
"How much money is required?"
"How many pagazis, or carriers?
"How many soldiers?"
"How much cloth?"
"How many beads?"
"How much wire?"
"What kinds of cloth are required for the different tribes?"
Ever so many questions to myself brought me no clearer the exact
point I wished to arrive at. I scribbled over scores of sheets
of paper, made estimates, drew out lists of material, calculated
the cost of keeping one hundred men for one year, at so many yards
of different kinds of cloth, etc. I studied Burton, Speke, and
Grant in vain. A good deal of geographical, ethnological, and other
information appertaining to the study of Inner Africa was obtainable,
but information respecting the organization of an expedition
requisite before proceeding to Africa, was not in any book.
The Europeans at Zanzibar knew as little as possible about this