Instant The Drum Beat, And At The Top Of My Voice I Ordered The Men To
"Fall In." It Is Curious How Mechanically An Order Is Obeyed If Given At
The Right Moment, Even In The Midst Of Mutiny.
Two-thirds of the men
fell in, and formed in line, while the remainder retreated with the
ringleader, Eesur, whom they led away, declaring that he was badly hurt.
The affair ended in my insisting upon all forming in line, and upon the
ringleader being brought forward.
In this critical moment Mrs. Baker,
with great tact, came forward and implored me to forgive him if he
kissed my hand and begged for pardon. This compromise completely won the
men, who, although a few minutes before in open mutiny, now called upon
their ringleader Eesur to apologize, and that all would be right. I made
them rather a bitter speech, and dismissed them.
From that moment I knew that my expedition was fated. This outbreak was
an example of what was to follow. Previous to leaving Khartoum I had
felt convinced that I could not succeed with such villains for escort as
these Khartoumers: thus I had applied to the Egyptian authorities for a
few troops, but had been refused. I was now in an awkward position. All
my men had received five months' wages in advance, according to the
custom of the White Nile; thus I had no control over them. There were no
Egyptian authorities in Gondokoro; it was a nest of robbers; and my men
had just exhibited so pleasantly their attachment to me, and their
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