IT had been arranged that the Bishop should leave in January, and the farewell service was held on the 9th, but he was not well enough to be present. He recovered, however, and was ready to start in a few days, but to those who were privileged to see him in his last hours in England there was apparent for the first time a strange, unaccountable shrinking from action, a dread of starting, a pathetic reluctance to say the farewell which he must have felt would be his last. When the cab was waiting at the door he completely broke down, and laying his head upon his friend's shoulder sobbed in bitter sadness. Never before had his courage been known to fail, never had his profound personal affections been known to cause even a momentary flinching from stern duty. But the emotion was conquered, the wrench was made, and he reached the station just in time to jump into the already moving train. Undoubtedly he felt a presentiment that he should not see England again. He had long had a wish to see the Holy Land, and had determined this year to visit Palestine on his way to Zanzibar, and spend a. month there with Mr. Travers before meeting Bishop Hornby at Port Said. At Jerusalem the disputed question of sites did not prevent his being profoundly impressed by the sacredness of the place, and, far from being disappointed with his visit, his general impression was one of thankfulness and satisfaction at having seen the land of that Gospel story which he had been labouring to make known amongst his African people. Writing from Jerusalem he says:
I had so often heard that I should find Jerusalem disappointing that I was agreeably surprised, The colouring is beautiful whenever the sun shines, and everywhere there is something picturesque to catch the eye. I may add that the new railway station is entirely unobtrusive and hidden from the city. The city itself and the country round is full of interest at every turn. The very things most to be deplored in connection with the sacred sites arise from the intense interest taken by multitudes of Christian people in the places once hallowed by the presence of their Lord during His life on earth. It is no doubt true that many places are connected with events which could never have happened there; but the meaning is probably only that, the places being uncertain where the events occurred, they are commemorated at these spots. In this way the whole Gospel history, and much Bible history besides, is impressed in the most cogent way on the minds of the pilgrims who visit the Holy City.
Now, at the end of our visit, I can only repeat emphatically what I said at the beginning, that I cannot think how anyone can say Jerusalem and the Holy Land are disappointing. At every turn there is something of deepest interest--something which calls up memories of the history of the chosen people or is intimately connected with the salvation of the world. To-day, once more, I have crossed, from Bethany, the Mount of Olives, and stood on the spot where our blessed Lord wept, as He beheld before Him all the splendours of the city which He loved and which rejected Him. Even now, it seems to me, there could be no sight in the world more moving, more full of deep interest, than the city, with the temple in the foreground, as I saw it this afternoon, lit up by the declining sun. To have been allowed to visit it must be one of the greatest happinesses as well as one of the greatest privileges of one's life.
The arrival of the two Bishops in Zanzibar on March 2 was the signal for unwonted enthusiasm amongst the Christian natives:
Our excitement at Mbweni was intense (writes a member of the staff) when we heard the French mail was in, and though the sun was hot the clergy and laymen all walked to welcome them. . . . My turn came next morning, and I think the walk and service will live long in my memory. We started at 5.30, just as it was beginning to get light, and reached the cathedral at a quarter to seven. The church was filling fast with Kiungani boys, native Christians, and Europeans, to thank God for the safe arrival of our two Bishops. The service was one of high festival, and lasted nearly two hours. The Bishop delighted us by saying he was coming back to Mbweni that evening, and asked for a whole holiday for the children. . . . We rode back, and then set ourselves to prepare for our guests. . . . We walked as far as the field path, and there sat down to wait. Soon we saw the party from town approaching, our Bishop riding his donkey, and the Bishop of Nyasaland and his clergy and workers with him. We joined parties, and with the bright colours of the children's dresses and of the tropical vegetation we must have made a picturesque group. When we got within half a mile of Mbweni, we found all the village had turned out to welcome the Bishop. I never remember such a sight--the women dancing and shouting, and every now and then catching hold of the Bishop's hand, and calling him their father. It lasted all the way up to the house.
During the Bishop's absence in England good progress had been made with the hospital, which was now ready to be opened, and accordingly the blessing and formal opening took place on Sunday, March 12, with a good deal of ceremony, a large body of bluejackets and marines from the men-of-war in the harbour being present to add to the importance of the occasion. 'The hospital is quite beautiful inside--large, spacious, cool, solid, airy, open--everything that a building should be in this climate,' writes a visitor; and its work began under favourable auspices, although the nursing staff were saddened by the death of their gifted and gracious head, Miss Campbell, to whom the idea of the hospital was due, but who did not live to see the building completed. By an arrangement made with the Consulate doctor the medical and surgical work of the hospital has since been steadily carried on.
The two Bishops then went together to the Usambara country, where they spent the latter part of Lent and Easter. On Passion Sunday, at Magila, Petro Limo was ordained Deacon, the first Bondei, the first free-born native, to receive holy orders, and the Bishops then left, Bishop Hornby to proceed to his own distant diocese and Bishop Smythies to the Rovuma district. The passage from Zanzibar to Lindi was, by the kindness of the Captain, made on H.M.S. Philomel, and was enlivened by the excitement of capturing a slave dhow, of which the Bishop gives the following account:
We were at some distance from land, off Dar-es-Salaam, on Monday, when a dhow was sighted, and the interpreter advised a search. We thought nothing of it, as hundreds of dhows are being searched continually. Presently, while we were at lunch, the exciting news was brought, 'Dhow has been boarded and is full up with slaves.' It turned out to be an interesting capture, rather out of the common, and it was a great pleasure to see the happiness of the poor people when they understood, as they soon did, that they were amongst friends. The dhow was not large, but forty-two slaves were found crowded on board, besides a crew of six men and eleven traders, including the owner of the dhow. The slaves were mostly adults; I noticed one little girl and one baby in its mother's arms. The mother was very weak, and when one of the sailors took her baby to help her on board the boat, she began to cry, but soon understood it was only to help her. The sailors are always most kind to the slaves, and full of indignation against the slave traders.
The captain of the dhow was recognised by the interpreter as having been captured before and punished as captain of a slave dhow. He looked as if he did not like it. There were no Arabs on board--all black men. On one of them, I suppose the owner, was found a contract to carry 135 slaves to Pemba, and we understood from the slaves that another dhow was to start from Kilwa or Kiswere that night. There was a possibility of the Philomel hearing of this on her return. One of the women told me they had fled before the Maviti--a general name for the robber tribes, perhaps the Magwangwara--from Magongo, about three days' journey from the coast. When they got near the coast they were seized and sold by the coast people. But apparently the Arabs, who were their real captors, had not come with them, but were to go on foot to Dar-es-Salaam, then take a dhow there and meet their captives at Pemba.
When the Philomel's boat first reached the dhow, one of the men threatened the first sailor to board with a revolver, but resistance was of course hopeless, and he thought better of it. Soon the whole fifty-nine people were on board the Philomel, a hole was knocked in the bottom of the dhow, and in three-quarters of an hour from the time she was boarded all was over, and nothing was left of her but a few poor rats swimming hopelessly about in search of a home.
This is the great time for dhows to start for Muscat and there are always more captures now than at other times of the year. The dhows have been waiting, all preparations have been made and precautions taken; then when the south-west monsoon springs up they load and start off. There must be a good deal of slave trading going on. The German coast is not watched by men-of-war or boats, though the Germans hang the slave traders if caught in the act of carrying people off.
Besides rescuing slaves in smaller numbers, the Philomel has made two large captures lately. One was a dhow flying the French flag. The circumstances show what gross scandals are caused by the refusal of the French Government ordinarily to allow dhows flying its flag to be searched. This is evidently taken immense advantage of by the slave traders, to the great disgrace of France. The officers of the Philomel knew, from information received, that slaves were to be carried by this large dhow flying the French flag. They demanded to see her papers, which were quite correct. She was just about to sail--there were thirty-seven Arabs on board. Only four men went from the Philomel, they could easily have been overmastered by the crew; but they were so confident that with their French flag and correct papers they could not be searched that they were quite indifferent. However, one of the sailors kicked open a hatch, when a number of little arms came up from below, and she was found crowded with slaves--seventy-seven in all crowded down below, some under two decks without light or air. Yet this dhow had been cleared by the French interpreter only an hour before, and had received correct papers. The explanation soon came. 'What was the use,' the captain said,' of paying 150 rupees to the French interpreter if this was all he got by it?' This gentleman is happily partly expiating the cruelties his greed has facilitated in the Sultan's prison.
Since then the Philomel's boats found sixty-five slaves on Fuinbi, a small uninhabited island near Zanzibar; we received nearly thirty, who were little children. A dhow was captured near, evidently all prepared to receive them. Knowing the boats were on the look-out, the slaves had been landed on the island.
Chitangali, May 7.--What I have said about the activity of the slave trade is fully borne out by what I hear from our friend Nakaam, the chief here. He tells me that caravans in increased numbers have been passing on both sides of him from Mataka's, Makanjila's, and Mtarika's, and elsewhere, and always wuh slaves; that when they get near Lindi and the coast towns they hide their slaves in the bush, and go into the towns and sell their ivory. They then sell their slaves outside to the coast people. He says that many of them come from the other side of Lake Nyasa, but that Makanjila, being a young, reckless man, breaks up villages of his own people to send them to be sold at the coast.
We did the journey fairly, I, with the help of the donkey, with very little fatigue. We had rain one day, but happily it was over when we reached our night's resting-place. We had an enthusiastic reception here. Relays of men came to meet us, each company firing off guns, and dancing and shouting. Then all the women came following with their peculiar cry of joy, and the older ones throwing dust on their heads and shoulders till they were quite covered. Then the chief, Barnaba Nakaam, and Cecil Majaliwa, came out some distance to welcome us. I have never had a warmer or more cheering reception.
The new church is delightful, much larger than the old--the altar raised high up on steps--and all light and cheerful, and as good as they could build it with the materials they could get here. And all has been done by their own labour, without any help from us, since I was here last year. I am to baptize thirty people on Ascension Day, and there are about a hundred catechumens. It is certainly wonderful to think that five or six years ago the chief was the only Christian in the place, and that now almost the whole village are becoming Christians.
I do not know whether to admire most the constant cheerfulness of the men of this country on a journey like this or their extreme abstemiousness and indifference to food. Except to gnaw a little inferior sugar-cane, and suck at a bottle of rice carried by the boys, into which they put a little water, I could not see that they ate anything while they carried their loads for the twenty-five miles. Even the little boys said they would not have any rice cooked, as the place where we stopped was rather far from the water and it would delay us, though they cheerfully made tea for me, and served the cold lunch which I had been careful to provide for myself. One feels rather ashamed at one's dependence on eating on these occasions. Yet, though they had so little to cheer the inner man, the porters seemed always chatting to one another, and ready to tell all the news to any chance acquaintance we happened to meet.
The Bishop visited Newala and Masasi and then returned with all the clergy to Zanzibar, where, after a Retreat of three days, the second Synod was held, lasting from June 30 to July 4. During the next three months his health was not good, and he more than once became a patient in the new hospital. Two great advances were made in the island work at this time: the opening of the large new chapel for the girls' school at Mbweni, and the beginning of a new building for the little boys' school which had hitherto been carried on in the clergy house close to the cathedral, but which henceforth was to stand on Kili-mani, a beautiful site on the shore close to Mbweni, away from the undesirable surroundings of the crowded town.
Then in October the Bishop set off for Magila, and, with an extraordinary renewal of his old vigour, undertook an extensive preaching tour throughout the country. He travelled in great simplicity; no tent, books, food, or 'luxuries' were taken. The Rev. Petro Limo, who accompanied the Bishop, has kindly supplied some of his recollections of the expedition. A waterproof sheet, a blanket, two tins of biscuits, two of milk, one packet of tea, and one of candles--such was the Bishop's outfit. For the rest of their needs they relied on the hospitality of the native chiefs in whose villages they hoped to preach. Those who know African travelling will understand what such a journey must have been, and what privations the little company must have suffered. Sleeping on the ground often, and having, towards the end, nothing at all to eat except wild bananas, he toiled up and down the mountainous country, apparently oblivious to discomforts. Disregarding all persuasions to desist, he pressed forward with an ardour at which others marvelled. It was as though he braced himself for a last great effort:
Kologwe, October 6, 1893.--Magila is very nice at this time of the year. The long avenue of orange trees, now quite good-sized trees, by which it is approached, are full of blossom, so that the whole place is scented with it. It seems, too, to be healthier--lately there has been little sickness. It may be due to the tank being built which catches water off the church roof, so that we have pure rain water instead of river water to drink. On Sunday I went to Mkuzi for baptisms, and I determined to try a little preaching journey with Petro Limo through the part of the country lying between Mkuzi and the road to Kologwe, where I had never been. The result has been a most delightful little tour, which, I am thankful to say, I have had health thoroughly to enjoy.
We started on Monday, October 2, with one porter--a Christian boy whom I chose as likely to make a good companion. . . . I began our journey with some fear, as I had not been very well for some days, and the experiment of constant preaching in perfectly strange places was rather new, and I did not know whether I should be up to it or how we should be received. We began at Torondo, about three-quarters of an hour from Mkuzi, a village said to be very much under Mohammedan influences, and where there is a Mohammedan teacher and a little mosque. It is the largest village in the neighbourhood of Mkuzi that I have seen, and I found Mr. Dale had been there. Our fears were soon dispelled by the kind reception we received.
Our next village was a small one some way off, called Jamvi, our reason for going there being that they were all Petro Limo's relations. They seemed very pleased to see us, caught a fowl, killed it, and cooked it with some ugali or native porridge. Each day we were entertained in the same way, quantities of ugali being cooked for us with the accompanying fowl, enough for Petro, Benjamin, our porter, and myself. I eat with them in the native way with my fingers, no other implements being of course provided. Our various hosts were much struck by this, and I am sure it is wise to adopt this plan on such an expedition. Besides, the food is served in such a way that any other way of eating is unsuitable. It would also quite destroy the feeling of companionship with one's fellow-travellers and the people. To eat in the same way breaks down a great deal of barrier. We three always said matins and evensong together in Swahili--a still greater bond of union, though not yet, unhappily, extending beyond our three selves in most places.
On our first day we preached in five villages, ending at Kwa Kibai, the largest village I have seen in the Bonde1 country, and in the midst of a district thick set with villages all round. It stands much higher than Magila, which we looked down upon in the distance. I hope very much I may live to see a Mission established there. I had seen nothing like the population anywhere else in Bonde. The chief, too, seemed an intelligent and industrious man. There is one thing I cannot yet manage, and that is sleeping in a native hut, stuffy with its perpetual fire and, to say the least, not without terrors of unpleasant occupants--terrors of which St. Bernard and St. Francis were probably unconscious, and which no doubt St. Francis Xavier completely overcame, but which to unsaintly persons present a difficulty. As it was, I asked for a baraza (or verandah), and one was found, not very spacious, but sufficient for our simple needs--boys being sent to bring armfuls of grass, which I have learnt with a light mattress makes a not uncomfortable bed. Our host was a blacksmith as well as ruler, and we saw little of him in the morning, as he was hard at work transforming an old flint-lock gun by fitting a nipple into it. He had an English-made vice, and had had a copy made of a piece of iron drilled for turning screws which had been given to a friend of his at Umba by Mr. Wilson. German files he said he found wore out more quickly than English ones. I promised him some tools when he came to Magila, which he said he intended to do. This is always a satisfactory present, as it is a real help, and it is very difficult for an ingenious and industrious man such as Kibai to get them, though he values them very much and makes good use of them.
On our second day we preached in three villages and talked in another. One drawback to depending on the hospitality of the people for food is the immense time we sometimes have to wait, as they keep no store of food ready--and indeed the secret of the ugali being so good is that the flour used is freshly pounded. Unless we come at the time the people are cooking, not only has the fowl to be caught, killed, and cooked, but also the grain--here generally Indian corn--has to be pounded. This of course all takes a very long time.
On the second night we slept at Kwa Kifua (where we have a teacher, Hugh Mhina), more than two hours' journey from Magila, in a very pretty part of the country. He seems to be successful with his school, and the chief and people have been very kind to him. . . . We slept at Kwa Mkului, where we have another teacher, Granville Kachipumo, who has a flourishing school and a few catechumens preparing for baptism. His house is very high up, on a tongue of hill with steep descents on three sides, and a most beautiful view over mountain and forest. The evening was very dark, but the chief called the people, and they all came and sat in the middle of the village to listen while Petro and I preached.
From Kwa Mkului, where Mr. Griffin had sent a donkey for me, we came on here, sleeping at a village on this side of the mountain which bounds the Bonde country. The grass along the road was terribly thick and high; but I had a splendid donkey, who forced his way through without flinching. In all we preached in thirteen villages, choosing generally the most important, I preaching in Swahili, and Petro Limo interpreting in Bondei. I have known no work more interesting or profitable for oneself, and I am glad to learn a little more by experience of what Mr. Johnson at Nyasa is doing continually, often under far less favourable circumstances. To do this work I see one must go as simply as possible, taking little literature to distract one, ready to give one's attention to anyone, often bearing to seem to oneself idle rather than run the risk of seeming to others preoccupied. I am also convinced now that it is quite easy to live on native food if we could only get it cooked as a good wife here cooks it for her husband, which I fear would be impossible. Though I had been unwell, I felt nothing of it from the time I started. Everything was in my favour: I could hardly have a more pleasant and helpful companion, the weather was perfect (though sometimes perhaps a trifle hot), the country most beautiful. It no doubt requires an effort to begin this work of preaching, and language is a difficulty, but I commend it earnestly to my brother missionaries. It must be often the only, as it is the divinely appointed, way of stirring up a desire for God and holy things in the hearts of men. We do not want them to think we have only come to open schools for children.
The above letter is dated from Kologwe, the newest development of work in this country, and by far the most promising. More than four years previously, the Bishop had been struck by the beautiful situation of a German planter's house here, abandoned during the insurrection. 'I went to look at the ruins of the house and the deserted cotton plantations,'he writes in June 1889. 'The site is a splendid one, and would be equally good for a Mission station.' But the country was in too unsettled a state then to allow of new openings being made, and it was not till 1891 that Mr. Herbert Lister, with a native teacher, began to collect a few boys and opened a school. In 1892 the Bishop paid a short visit to Kologwe, just before starting for England, and reported: 'Lister has been doing a good work, and seems to have gained great influence.' Up to that year there had been no resident priest, but the Rev. P. R. H. Chambers then took charge of the station; the Bishop spent a day there in the spring of 1893, and now paid his third visit:
The work here at Kologwe seems very interesting; of course it is only in its beginning, but the prospects, with God's blessing, seem very hopeful, and the populations massed together on the islands are much larger than are to be found in the Bonde country. In Kologwe itself, the largest of the towns, and just below us, there are two hundred and eighty houses. There seems to be very little Mohammedanism, but there are dreadful heathen customs. There are said to be quite few children in the Zigua towns because of the fearful amount of child murder. For many trivial causes the father will insist on killing his child, fearing that he shall die himself if he does not. Mr. Chambers tells me he has known of seven cases in Kologwe since he has been here. In one case the father took away the child by force from its mother and killed it, because it cut its upper teeth first, and the mother tried to drown herself in despair. Surely to hear such things must move our friends in England to earnest prayer for a blessing on the work here, that by the spread of the knowledge of God such wickedness may come to an end!
Many of the chiefs are very friendly. . . . Serebo, the chief of Visalaka, seven hours off, sent five of his six sons to stay with us and be taught, and has sent presents of sheep and fowls. The chief of Kwa Sigi, two hours off, has been our warm friend from the first and has done everything he could to help us. We are building a school now near his town. At Kwa Mngumi, the first town we came to on the islands on the road from Bonde, about half an hour from here, the people are unfortunately not so friendly. Half an hour's journey before reaching their town on the Bonde side there is a river to cross, the Luengera, which is infested with crocodiles. The people of Kwa Mngumi used to make a great deal by putting charms in the water to keep off the crocodiles for people crossing the river. When Mr. Henriques crossed the first time he was told by a man who met him at the river that his donkey could not pass unless he paid for the charms in the water. Of course he refused, and put the man to flight. We are afraid we have mortally offended the Kwa Mngumi people by building a rough bridge over the river and so destroying their traffic. The parallels of heathenism are curious in similarity of principle under the most diverse circumstances. I suppose those who made the little silver shrines of Diana at Ephesus felt very much the same as the people of Kwa Mngumi, and the word used for her worshippers is 'Temple-sweepers,' just as those who here sweep round the spirit-trees are the worshippers of the spirit.
It is the custom here to throw the first-fruits of the harvest under the spirit-tree as an offering. Mr. Chambers, in preaching earlier in the year, said that now they ought to offer them to God instead. Afterwards about sixty people brought their first-fruits to the Mission in order--old men, young men, boys, women, and girls. One chief, Sebo of Nyumbu, a hunter, who is very liberal to us, when he kills an animal in hunting, instead of offering a bit to the spirit as a thanksgiving, now brings a piece of the meat to the Mission.
Sunday, October 8.--I preached this morning in Kologwe to about three hundred people, and am going to Zavuza, the next large town, this afternoon. I spoke very strongly, in explaining the Commandments, about child-murder, reminding them that of all animals they are following the example of the dreaded crocodiles of their own river, the male being known to devour its young. To-morrow we start for Vuga viâ Kwa Sigi.
Misozwe, October 17, 1893.--We arrived here yesterday after a wonderful walk on the mountains, which took much longer than we expected. We left Kologwe on the 9th, and expected to be here for Sunday. We had no idea of what we were undertaking. The first day Mr. Chambers went with us as far as Kwa Sigi, a large place on an island where the people are very friendly. On the way we preached at Mgombezi, where we have found lime for our building, and so valuable is lime that any place where it is found is at once invested with a halo of interest. The work at Kologwe impressed me very much, as full of possibilities and being begun in quite the best way. At Kwa Sigi we have begun to build a school with room attached. We slept at Gereza near a tributary of the Luvu, the Mkowazi, and spoke to a few people in the morning. The next day it was very hot, and we had great trouble in passing a large German caravan carrying building materials to Kilima Njaro. In the afternoon we were obliged to cross a marsh, mud and water often above the knees for about an hour. We slept at a small village at the foot of the mountains, and the next morning, after a steep climb of about three hours, reached Vuga, old Kimweri's capital and still looked upon as the great place of the whole district, giving its owner a sort of right to lord it over the whole country, which the present Kimweri was nothing loth in old times to put into practice whenever he could.
Now he is held in check by the German administration; but there is little love lost between them. Vuga is a wonderful place, more like Isombe on the way to Nyasa than any place I have seen. It crowns the top of a round hill with deep valleys on all sides and then the tops of mountains all round. On the east one looks over the plains of the Luvu and its tributaries lying far below, but in every other direction are mountain-tops. Kimweri welcomed us cordially in the middle of the town in the open air, surrounded by his akidas (headmen). It is not his custom to receive people in his houses. He was suffering very much from rheumatism in the knees and feet. A fat ram was presented to us, and we were then escorted to a large house outside the town, which was in fact the blacksmith's shop. It was light and airy, being open, with a shallow baraza on one side, but covered with charcoal dust. Here we had brought to us mountains of millet porridge to eat with our ram, which we promptly killed. We sent half to Kimweri, as our party was a small one. A great dance was being held in a space left on purpose in the middle of the town. The dancers formed a ring round two men beating drums, and three or four girls with feathers in their hands dancing in the middle. All the "men kept time to their dancing by beating two bamboos on the ground, holding one in each hand. Kimweri sent in the morning to say that he hoped his friend would not be angry, but he was too unwell to come and see us. He had recognised Petro Limo, who is his relation, and I think he was really glad to see us. I doubt whether he would care to have any missionary at Vuga.
I had determined to make for Misozwe by way of the mountains, quite hoping by leaving on Monday morning to get there by Sunday. We were already high up when we started, but we climbed much higher, and walked through a most beautiful country, mountain-tops all around us and a splendid wealth of foliage of every variety on all sides. Our donkey was of very little use to us, and our porter of the valleys soon gave in. I saw he could not possibly carry his load, and felt very anxious, when by God's blessing we came upon a man on the way who agreed to carry it till we should reach the low country again, at the ordinary rate of just under sixpence per day and his food. I shall always feel grateful to that porter. He carried his load up and down mountain paths which I could not get up at all without help, and only then with the greatest fatigue. And he did this without any apparent effort, and was faithful and cheerful to the end. I think he found out at last that by marriage he was some sort of relation to Petro Limo; but that was nothing strange, as he found relations in every village. Old Kimweri seems to have had any number of wives and children, so that every important village is officered by one of the family, and they were again surrounded by their relations.
It was not because of this, however, but from the ordinary custom of hospitality to strangers, that we had food and lodging given us at each village where we stopped. There was a difficulty at first, as the people had had very little experience of Europeans and were evidently very much afraid, the women and children, and even the men, running away from us. We found that a traveller had passed who, though treated very hospitably, had forced the people to carry his loads for nothing, and had beaten and cruelly treated them. Naturally they regarded us with the greatest suspicion till they got to know who we were, but I am glad to say we were able to make friends at each place. I had to overcome my dislike to sleeping in the houses, as the villages were in such exposed situations that it would have been very cold outside. In each case we slept in villages built high up on the points of mountains jutting out over deep valleys, precipices going sheer down, and the houses on their very edge. The result is that there are the most splendid mountain views from each village. It would have been quite impossible to have got to these points through the dense masses of foliage had it not been that these villages were placed there, and there were paths leading to them. The country is very sparsely inhabited, and the villages often at great distances apart, so that it was a long and fatiguing walk from one to the other. Here again I found the donkey of little use, and if it had not been for the cool mountain air I could hardly have walked the distances. The houses are just like beehives, round, and thatched to the ground with banana leaves. There is naturally no level space; the ground has been cut irregularly into ridges, each house standing on its own levelled space hollowed out of the ridge behind it, so that the village is built on a series of very steep steps. This is the case with Vuga and all the villages. The doors are very low and small, and I could hardly get into them. The people were good enough to give us always two houses, one for me and Petro, and one for the two porters and donkey-boy, with a fire for cooking. This they delighted in, but I must have faced the cold with nothing but my mosquito net above me rather than sleep in an atmosphere of compressed smoke and stuffiness. There is very little cultivation, but great quantities of sugar-cane and immense quantities of bananas. This is the staple food of the people--a green banana boiled or dried, pounded, and made into porridge. We always had boiled bananas as the quickest to prepare, and very insipid, tasteless food we found them to be. But the trees formed a beautiful feature of the country, and we constantly rejoiced in their cool shade.
Our first halting-place, on Thursday night, was Bambuli. Kimweri had sent a guide with us, and after many hours of most beautiful country we saw the town jutting over the valley of the Luengera, which we had crossed at its confluence with the Luvu close by Kologwe. Here it is a dashing torrent at the foot of the Bambuli Hill. We were not allowed to go into the town, but were taken round to a little village outside and looked at with great suspicion, for which I upbraided the people for their want of hospitality to the friend of their sovereign, Kimweri. After some time it was announced that the chief of the town was coming, and I saw his attendants look at us in a comical sort of way, as if they were expecting with amusement our surprise when we found he was only a boy of about fifteen, Kimweri's eldest son. He did not open his lips, and it must have been a very formidable interview to him. The poor boy is very much to be pitied, as probably he has every wish gratified and no one to control him.
On Friday we went down a tremendous hill, on which we lost our way and had to go back, a very serious matter when it means almost climbing on hands and knees. Then we had to climb up another hill quite as formidable, and arrived breathless and panting at Shembekeza, which had looked quite near from a village on a. neighbouring peak, but which it took about four hours to reach instead of one as we thought. Here the people were very frightened, as it was here they had been treated so badly. ['When we came to Shembekeza the people of the town refused to receive us, for they said, "A German has been here, and he beat us and caught some of our people and made them carry his loads without payment. And now we hear he is coming again, and we are afraid to admit white men." But when they heard me talk Kishambala with them, and found that I was related to Kimweri, they took courage and admitted us; and in the evening, after the preaching, all the older men assembled and took counsel with us about that traveller. And the Bishop said, "Do not wait until he comes back; you had better go to Tanga and see the Bwana Mkubwa (Commissioner) and put the matter before him." And he explained to them that truly the Commissioner was not pleased with Germans who beat the natives for nothing, and that if they went to him he would see that justice was done. They promised they would go, but I believe afterwards their courage failed,'--P. L.] In fact, these villages have many empty houses, and are being deserted for fear of oppression. The chief was away, but his akida at last, after my expostulating at their want of friendliness, did all he could for us. After a time we went and sat on a rock at the top of the village, jutting out over precipices going sheer down for hundreds of feet and overlooking the valley into which the Luengera flows, and which here divides the mountains throughout. The view was splendid.
The rock was the meeting-place of the village, where the men talk and prepare their tobacco, which, by-the-by, is the one crop they seem to grow largely. Here we were able to preach as we sat with them, and several seemed very interested. I saw one nice-looking old man very attentive, and asked if he had understood. He said he had tried to listen to all, but it was the first time, and it was difficult to take it all in. I spoke Swahili, and Petro translated into Kishambala. In the evening the akida came, with the present of a fowl, to ask my advice about their trouble. He said if people had not come from Bambuli that day and reported about us, everyone would have run away from the village from fear of bad treatment. . . .
We saw many beautiful flowers and curious trees on our way. I noticed three kinds of balsam, one large pink and red one very plentiful and conspicuous, also a bright pink lily. We found two wonderful groups of tree-ferns, and in one place near a stream I saw them amongst the trees in every direction. Wild date palms were everywhere growing out from the rocks and precipices.
From Shembekeza we saw we had a very formidable walk before us, and we had long given up all hope of reaching Misozwe by Sunday, or indeed of slackening our journey, as tea and biscuits, and what was much worse for these long nights, candles, were getting very short. Far down beneath us was the flat valley of the Luengera, while on the opposite side three or four miles off, not much more for a bird, towered above us the mountain peak of Lutindi, our next halting-place. I had often seen this peak from the Bondé country, jutting up above the other mountains, and had wished to inspect it more closely. I hardly expected to do so, and certainly never should have done so had we not found that that was our only path. This great valley has no single town in it, as it has been for long the pathway of the Masai to their brethren across the Luvu, and of late years the battleground between the factions of Kimweri's family, led by Kimweri and Kibanga. Till now, I suppose, no one would have dared to cross it without an armed caravan in considerable numbers, and there was one place notorious for waylaying and murder. We had to get down to this valley by the steepest of paths, which it took us nearly two hours to accomplish; then we came upon the rushing stream of the Luengera, where we rested a little, and after traversing the narrow plain in a burning sun, began our ascent.
The first part was not steep, and I was able to ride most of the way. Then we rested under trees by a stream and made tea. Afterwards the ascent began in earnest. The path was covered with fragments of dry grass trampled down from the long grass at the sides, and was so slippery that it was almost impossible to keep one's foothold with boots on, and without them my feet would soon have been cut and bleeding all over. Without help I feel sure I never could have climbed that mountain. It has immensely added to one's respect for donkeys that mine got up so easily. Fortunately for me the donkey-boy came to my rescue, and I found that taking his hand made all the difference, so that at last after great exertions we reached the top--not quite the top--the village which had been there had been destroyed by Kimweri, but there were five houses for which there was just room on a spur of the mountain below, only to be approached by a ladder resting on the rock. Our candles being nearly exhausted, and there being limits to one's powers of sleep, after dark I cowered over the fire where our food was cooking with my four companions in a hut just about seven feet in diameter, with the door just big enough to let me squeeze through on my hands and knees. Petro and I slept in a similar hut close by. It certainly was a curious experience, but we were very grateful for the shelter on the exposed mountain. I feel most grateful that all the time we had no rain, or we must have been in a miserable plight, but eacli day we had splendid weather. We had now come to Sunday, but on we must go, and for a long time we kept through beautiful shady woods on the top of the range which ends in the peak of Lutindi. At one place we passed under groves of sweet bananas, large and excellent, planted long ago near villages which have long since disappeared. We stopped and made our midday meal upon them and carried some on with us. After a long mountain walk we reached a village, still on a spur, though lower down. Here we found two German gentlemen encamped, who kindly asked me to dine. As may be imagined, I must have presented a strange appearance with my white clothes all tattered and soiled.
Yesterday was our last day, and a very long one it was. I fortunately could ride a great deal as we came down from the mountains, but towards evening my donkey showed such evident signs of fatigue that I felt bound to do the last two hours on foot. We got our food at the house of one of our teachers, Isaak Sige, who has an outlying little school here, and then I started on in front with Petro, crossed the Zigi River, and hoped soon to get to Misozwe; but alas! we took a wrong turn and went miles out of our way, wandering by moonlight in an almost uninhabited country, where not a soul was to be seen, taking first one wrong turn and then another, till at last, somehow or other, we reached our resting-place here in time for the festival of our little church of St. Luke to-morrow.
The journey has been most interesting, and I have enjoyed it very much; and Petro and I have, we feel, won the confidence of the few people we have seen; but from a missionary point of view we have been able to do very little--perhaps not all we might. But I remember that it was in an attempt to get to Vuga before that I saw the large population on the Luvu, which led to the foundation of our station at Kologwe, though I seemed then to have done nothing. The getting to know the country, the nature of the people, and the size of the populations may at any time turn out to be a help in deciding where we might be called to work. When one has seen for oneself one can so much better know than by any description where to think of beginning work or take the opportunity of any opening, and where not.
October 25.--At last I have got back to Magila, after being more than three weeks away 'on the jaunt.' I have never had a happier time. We have had splendid weather, not a day's rain when travelling. I have been very well, and I have got to see and know more of the people than ever before.
Finishing his work in the Usambara country the Bishop left in November, crossed to Zanzibar, and went on at once to the Rovuma, where he was anxious to spend Christmas--his last Christmas on earth. He seems to have felt the discomforts of the passage more acutely than usual, and at Chitangali he writes:
I think I have never felt anything hotter than it is here now in the middle of the day.
The reality of the religion of the people at Chitangali impressed him strongly:
It is extraordinary the visible change Christianity makes in some people. When I first knew Nakaam's father he was a stupid old man who seemed to be rather deficient in mind. At first he would have nothing to say to Christianity. Now he has been baptized and is most earnest, comes to church every day, and is interested in everything connected with religion, and has a real happiness in it. Though he is much the oldest man here, and has lost all his contemporaries, he seems to have quite renewed his life, which is full of new interests and a new joy.
December 31.--I have just been delighted at getting two letters from Dr. Hine with accounts of the starting of the Mission at Unangu. [Bishop Smythies had generously allowed Dr. Hine to leave the Zanzibar diocese, and take up work under Bishop Hornby, in whose diocese Unangu lies.] I should wish to say to our friends in England that I think that this is one of the most important steps yet taken by our Mission--that I hail it with the greatest thankfulness to God as the first great result in answer to the prayers and efforts of His people in England, who made it possible by their offerings to found the bishopric of Nyasaland. Without the numbers added by this to our Mission, and the fresh impetus to the work it probably could not have been done for a long time. Unangu is one of the most important centres of population in Yaoland, and is as yet entirely untouched by any missionary effort. It is so high up that it will probably be of great use as a place of change and recruiting for our staff working under the Bishop of Nyasaland, and it gives hopes of great extension of our work amongst the Yaos in the future. I have written to the Bishop to offer him, for two years, one of our best men, Yohanna Abdallah, whom I hope to ordain this year. I thought of it as I came up here from the coast; he had said to me he should like to go away to new work, and suddenly it came into my mind that he ought to go to Unangu. It seemed as if it was an intimation of God's will, as when I reached here one of the first things I heard was that Kalanji, the chief of Unangu, had sought the friendship of Nakaam, the chief here, Yohanna's father. Nakaam has consented to his going, and if he agrees himself, as I feel almost sure he will, he will go under the most favourable auspices, and be of the greatest use to Dr. Hine. Yohanna is already a good preacher in Yao and Swahili, and can read English apparently with ease. I shall feel parting with him, but I believe Unangu is just the place for him. [Yohanna Abdallah was ordained deacon by Bishop Tucker (of the C.M.S.) in August 1894, three months after Bishop Smythies' death. He worked three and a half years at Unangu, being a great part of that time in sole charge of the station, and on March 6, 1898, was ordained priest by Bishop Hine.] I commend this new effort of the Mission, undertaken by the Bishop of Nyasaland, most warmly to the prayers and alms of our friends, and would remind them that, as it is in the heart of the country, fifty miles from Lake Nyasa, it will mean a great additional expense. If any of those who have shown a wish to show their love to our work are moved this year to give special offerings which will not diminish from our regular funds, all of which we shall need, I know of no object more worthy from every point of view than the new Mission to Unangu. Contrary to the opinion of many, and speaking from a deeper experience, I believe that the Yaos are some of the most promising people with whom we have to deal--the most steadfast, and thoughtful, and earnest, when they become Christians.