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









 -  I was thus refused boats, and in fact all
assistance.

To organize an enterprise so difficult that it had hitherto - Page 40
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I Was Thus Refused Boats, And In Fact All Assistance.

To organize an enterprise so difficult that it had hitherto defeated the whole world required a careful selection of attendants, and I looked with despair at the prospect before me.

The only men procurable for escort were the miserable cutthroats of Khartoum, accustomed to murder and pillage. in the White Nile trade, and excited not by the love of adventure but by the desire for plunder: to start with such men appeared mere insanity. There was a still greater difficulty in connection with the White Nile. For years the infernal traffic in slaves and its attendant horrors had existed like a pestilence in the negro countries, and had so exasperated the tribes, that people who in former times were friendly had become hostile to all comers. An exploration to the Nile sources was thus a march through an enemy's country, and required a powerful force of well-armed men. For the traders there was no great difficulty, as they took the initiative in hostilities, and had fixed camps as "points d'appui;" but for an explorer there was no alternative but a direct forward march without any communications with the rear. I had but slight hope of success without assistance from the authorities in the shape of men accustomed to discipline; I accordingly wrote to the British consul at Alexandria, and requested him to apply for a few soldiers and boats to aid me in so difficult an enterprise. After some months' delay, owing to the great distance from Khartoum, I received a reply enclosing a letter from Ishmael Pasha (the present Viceroy), the regent during the absence of Said Pasha, REFUSING the application.

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