The Albert N'Yanza, Great Basin of the Nile And Explorations of the Nile Sources by Sir Samuel W. Baker









 -  In an
instant the drum beat, and at the top of my voice I ordered the men to
fall in - Page 100
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In An 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 fidelity.

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