We slept on the night of the 6th of July on the left bank of the Chongwe, which comes through a gap in the hills on our right, and is twenty yards wide. A small tribe of the Bazizulu, from the south, under Dadanga, have recently settled here and built a village. Some of their houses are square, and they seem to be on friendly terms with the Bakoa, who own the country. They, like the other natives, cultivate cotton, but of a different species from any we have yet seen in Africa, the staple being very long, and the boll larger than what is usually met with; the seeds cohere as in the Pernambuco kind. They brought the seed with them from their own country, the distant mountains of which in the south, still inhabited by their fellow- countrymen, who possess much cattle and use shields, can be seen from this high ground. These people profess to be children of the great paramount chief, Kwanyakarombe, who is said to be lord of all the Bazizulu. The name of this tribe is known to geographers, who derive their information from the Portuguese, as the Morusurus, and the hills mentioned above are said to have been the country of Changamira, the warrior-chief of history, whom no Portuguese ever dared to approach. The Bazizulu seem, by report, to be brave mountaineers; nearer the river, the Sidima inhabit the plains; just as on the north side, the Babimpe live on the heights, about two days off, and the Makoa on or near the river. The chief of the Bazizulu we were now with was hospitable and friendly. A herd of buffaloes came trampling through the gardens and roused up our men; a feat that roaring lions seldom achieved.
Our course next day passed over the upper terrace and through a dense thorn jungle. Travelling is always difficult where there is no path, but it is even more perplexing where the forest is cut up by many game-tracks. Here we got separated from one another, and a rhinoceros with angry snort dashed at Dr. Livingstone as he stooped to pick up a specimen of the wild fruit morula; but she strangely stopped stock-still when less than her own length distant, and gave him time to escape; a branch pulled out his watch as he ran, and turning half round to grasp it, he got a distant glance of her and her calf still standing on the selfsame spot, as if arrested in the middle of her charge by an unseen hand. When about fifty yards off, thinking his companions close behind, he shouted "Look out there!" when off she rushed, snorting loudly, in another direction. The Doctor usually went unarmed before this, but never afterwards.
A fine eland was shot by Dr. Kirk this afternoon, the first we have killed. It was in first-rate condition, and remarkably fat; but the meat, though so tempting in appearance, severely deranged all who partook of it heartily, especially those who ate of the fat. Natives who live in game countries, and are acquainted with the different kinds of wild animals, have a prejudice against the fat of the eland, the pallah, the zebra, hippopotamus, and pig; they never reject it, however, the climate making the desire for all animal food very strong; but they consider that it causes ulcers and leprosy, while the fat of sheep and of oxen never produces any bad effects, unless the animal is diseased.
On the morning of the 9th, after passing four villages, we breakfasted at an old friend's, Tombanyama, who lives now on the mainland, having resigned the reedy island, where he was first seen, to the buffaloes, which used to take his crops and show fight to his men. He keeps a large flock of tame pigeons, and some fine fat capons, one of which he gave us, with a basket of meal. They have plenty of salt in this part of the country, obtaining it from the plains in the usual way.
The half-caste partner of Sequasha and a number of his men were staying near. The fellow was very munch frightened when he saw us, and trembled so much when he spoke, that the Makololo and other natives noticed and remarked on it. His fears arose from a sense of guilt, as we said nothing to frighten him, and did not allude to the murder till a few minutes before starting; when it was remarked that Dr. Livingstone having been accredited to the murdered chief, it would be his duty to report on it; and that not even the Portuguese Government would approve of the deed. He defended it by saying that they had put in the right man, the other was a usurper. He was evidently greatly relieved when we departed. In the afternoon we came to an outlying hamlet of Kambadzo, whose own village is on an island, Nyampungo, or Nyangalule, at the confluence of the Kafue. The chief was on a visit here, and they had been enjoying a regular jollification. There had been much mirth, music, drinking, and dancing. The men, and women too, had taken "a wee drap too much," but had not passed the complimentary stage. The wife of the headman, after looking at us a few moments, called out to the others, "Black traders have come before, calling themselves Bazungu, or white men, but now, for the first time, have we seen the real Bazungu." Kambadzo also soon appeared; he was sorry that we had not come before the beer was all done, but he was going back to see if it was all really and entirely finished, and not one little potful left somewhere.
This was, of course, mere characteristic politeness, as he was perfectly aware that every drop had been swallowed; so we proceeded on to the Kafue, or Kafuje, accompanied by the most intelligent of his headmen. A high ridge, just before we reached the confluence, commands a splendid view of the two great rivers, and the rich country beyond. Behind, on the north and east, is the high mountain- range, along whose base we have been travelling; the whole range is covered with trees, which appear even on the prominent peaks, Chiarapela, Morindi, and Chiava; at this last the chain bends away to the N.W., and we could see the distant mountains where the chief, Semalembue, gained all our hearts in 1856.
On the 9th of July we tried to send Semalembue a present, but the people here refused to incur the responsibility of carrying it. We, who have the art of writing, cannot realize the danger one incurs of being accused of purloining a portion of goods sent from one person to another, when the carrier cannot prove that he delivered all committed to his charge. Rumours of a foray having been made, either by Makololo or Batoka, as far as the fork of the Kafue, were received here by our men with great indignation, as it looked as if the marauders were shutting up the country, which they had been trying so much to open. Below the junction of the rivers, on a shallow sandbank, lay a large herd of hippopotami, their bodies out of the water, like masses of black rock. Kambadzo's island, called Nyangalule, a name which occurs again at the mouth of the Zambesi, has many choice Motsikiri (Trachelia) trees on it; and four very conspicuous stately palms growing out of a single stem. The Kafue reminds us a little of the Shire, flowing between steep banks, with fertile land on both sides. It is a smaller river, and has less current. Here it seems to come from the west. The headman of the village, near which we encamped, brought a present of meal, fowls, and sweet potatoes. They have both the red and white varieties of this potato. We have, on several occasions during this journey, felt the want of vegetables, in a disagreeable craving which our diet of meat and native meal could not satisfy. It became worse and worse till we got a meal of potatoes, which allayed it at once. A great scarcity of vegetables prevails in these parts of Africa. The natives collect several kinds of wild plants in the woods, which they use no doubt for the purpose of driving off cravings similar to those we experienced.
Owing to the strength of the wind, and the cranky state of the canoes, it was late in the afternoon of the 11th before our party was ferried over the Kafue. After crossing, we were in the Bawe country. Fishhooks here, of native workmanship, were observed to have barbs like the European hooks: elsewhere the point of the hook is merely bent in towards the shank, to have the same effect in keeping on the fish as the barb. We slept near a village a short distance above the ford. The people here are of Batoka origin, the same as many of our men, and call themselves Batonga (independents), or Balengi, and their language only differs slightly from that of the Bakoa, who live between the two rivers Kafue and Loangwa. The paramount chief of the district lives to the west of this place, and is called Nchomokela-- an hereditary title: the family burying-place is on a small hill near this village. The women salute us by clapping their hands and lullilooing as we enter and leave a village, and the men, as they think, respectfully clap their hands on their hips. Immense crops of mapira (holcus sorghum) are raised; one species of it forms a natural bend on the seed-stalk, so that the massive ear hangs down. The grain was heaped up on wooden stages, and so was a variety of other products. The men are skilful hunters, and kill elephants and buffaloes with long heavy spears. We halted a few minutes on the morning of the 12th July, opposite the narrow island of Sikakoa, which has a village on its lower end. We were here told that Moselekatse's chief town is a month's distance from this place. They had heard, moreover, that the English had come to Moselekatse, and told him it was wrong to kill men; and he had replied that he was born to kill people, but would drop the habit; and, since the English came, he had sent out his men, not to kill as of yore, but to collect tribute of cloth and ivory. This report referred to the arrival of the Rev. R. Moffat, of Kuruman, who, we afterwards found, had established a mission. The statement is interesting as showing that, though imperfectly expressed, the purport of the missionaries' teaching had travelled, in a short time, over 300 miles, and we know not how far the knowledge of the English operations on the coast spread inland.