We stood upon the deck, watching the rocks exactly before us,
with the rapids roaring loudly around our boat as she rushed upon what
looked like certain destruction. Another moment, and we passed within a
few inches of the rocks within the boiling surf. Hurrah! we are all
right! We swept by the danger, and flew along the rapids, hurrying
towards Old England.
We arrived at Berber, the spot from which we had started upwards of four
years ago for our Atbara expedition. Here we were most hospitably
received by Monsieur and Madame Laffargue, a French gentleman and his
charming wife, who had for many years been residents in the Soudan. It
is with feelings of gratitude that I express my thanks to all Frenchmen
that I have met in those wild countries, for courtesies and attention,
that were appreciated by me like unexpected flowers in a desert. I can
only hope that Frenchmen may, when in need, receive the same kindness
from my countrymen, when travelling in lands far distant from LA BELLE
I determined upon the Red Sea route to Egypt, instead of passing the
horrible Korosko desert during the hot month of August. After some delay
I procured camels, and started east for Souakim, from whence I hoped to
procure a steamer to Suez.
This route from Berber is not the usual caravan road: the country was in
rather a disturbed state, owing to the mutiny of all the black troops in
the Egyptian service in the Taka province; and the Hadendowa Arabs, who
are at no time the best of their race, were very excited.