It mattered not
how much of the precious liquid he carried, he generally drank it
all before reaching camp, and he consequently suffered during the
Besides this, he endangered his life by quaffing from every
muddy pool; and on this day he began to complain that he discharged
blood, which I took to be an incipient stage of dysentery.
During these marches, ever since quitting Ugunda, a favourite topic
at the camp-fires were the Wa-Ruga-Ruga, and their atrocities, and
a possible encounter that we might have with these bold rovers of
the forest. I verily believe that a sudden onset of half a dozen
of Mirambo's people would have set the whole caravan arunning.
We reached Marefu the next day, after a short three hours' march.
We there found an embassy sent by the Arabs of Unyanyembe, to the
Southern Watuta, bearing presents of several bales, in charge of
Hassan the Mseguhha. This valiant leader and diplomatist had halted
here some ten days because of wars and rumours of wars in his front.
It was said that Mbogo, Sultan of Mboga in Ukonongo, was at war
with the brother of Manwa Sera, and as Mbogo was a large district
of Ukonongo only two days' march from Marefu; fear of being involved
in it was deterring old Hassan from proceeding. He advised me also
not to proceed, as it was impossible to be able to do so without
being embroiled in the conflict.
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