7 – Stanley Travels Home

Adventure With An Elephant

They had traveled several days.  After making camp one afternoon, Stanley thought he would endeavor to procure some meat, because the region in which they were in seemed to hold much promise for it.  He took his Winchester and walked along the banks of the river eastward.  After he had traveled for an hour or two, he went up a ravine which looked very promising for game.  He strode up the bank and found himself directly in front of an elephant, who had his large broad ears held out like huge sails.

Kalulu, who was with him, shouted and ran off as fast as possible.  Stanley decided that might be the wise thing to do also.  As he looked behind him, he saw the elephant waving his trunk, as much as to say, “Goodbye, young fellow, it is lucky for you that you went in time, for I was going to pound you to a jelly.”

When he arrived back at camp, he found the men grumbling.  They had eaten all the provisions because they all had gluttonous attitudes.  They had eaten all their rations of grain, all their store of zebra and dried buffalo meat, and now they were crying out that they were famished.  The caravan was forced to subsist on short rations for two days until Stanley shot a very large giraffe and some zebras.  This afforded them enough food for them to reach Uganda, where they were hospitably received and generously provided for.  After leaving Uganda, they were able again to slaughter goats and sheep, which furnished abundant meat until they arrived at Unyanyembe. 

They rested there until March 18th, when Stanley divided his goods with the Doctor and set out on a hurried march for Zanzibar.  He had already told Livingstone that he would enlist a new company and send them back to him with additional supplies and goods. 

It was a really sad farewell, because the two men had grown attached to each other in this short time.  They were two white men alone in the wilderness of Central Africa, and when the time came for Stanley to leave, it was very hard.  He was going home to the comforts and pleasures of civilization, while his friend would again plunge into the dark forests in search of the sources of the Nile.  They walked together along the homeward route for some distance, and then Livingstone stopped and held out his hand.  The time to part had come.  Livingstone turned his face to the west and walked slowly back toward Unyanyembe, where he forever disappeared from the civilized world, while Stanley turned to go the opposite way. 

The Pomp and Circumstance of War

Everything went well with the returning expedition until the 27th, when the village of Kiwyeh, on the border of Ugogo, was entered.  They had barely begun to make camp when they heard the booming, bellowing war-horns sounding everywhere.  Messengers darted swiftly in all directions giving the sound of war.  Stanley first thought that the natives were getting ready to fight their party, until he heard the words “Urugu, warugu” (thief, thieves) shouted.  Mukondoku, the chief of the district that was two days to the northeast, was marching to attack the young Mtemi, Kiwyeh, and they were getting ready to fight. 

The men rushed to their villages and quickly arrayed in their full fighting costume.  Feathers of the ostrich and eagle waved over their fronts; the mane of the zebra surrounded their heads; their knees and ankles were hung with little bells;  joho robes floated behind, from their necks; spears, assegais, knob-sticks and bows were in their hands as they were ready to fight.  They all filed past in column after column with their bells ringing in unison.  There were companies and groups from every village and nearly a thousand soldiers filed past the camp going to war.  Fortunately, the alarm was a false one, and the following day all the soldiers marched past them again going home. 

Rough Traveling

They didn’t experience further difficulties until April 13th, when they reached the valley of the Mukondokwa river.  Here they had to wade through mire and water that was sometimes up to their neck, while torrents of rain poured down on them.  On the 13th, it rained the whole night and next morning without any let-up at all.  For mile after mile they traveled over fields that were this way until they came to a place in the river where it was narrow enough to cut down a tree and use it to walk over the stream.  The men started to ford the river on the tree log, and were floating their belongings beside them very cautiously.  One of the men became over-zealous and grabbed Stanley’s box that contained his letters and journal of his discovers.  He put it on his head and started into the river.  Stanley had been the first to arrive on the opposite bank so that he could make sure the crossing went well.  He caught sight of the man with all his precious papers as he walked into the river.  Suddenly he fell into a hole and both of them almost went out of sight.  Stanley was in agony over what might be the fate of his precious papers.  He soon recovered himself, though, and stood up and pointed the gun at the man’s head and told him that if he dropped the box he would shoot him.  All the men halted right where they were to see what was going to happen.  The man made a few desperate efforts and succeeded in getting the box safely ashore. 

They had no other close calls, and reached Bagamoyo on May 7th in good health and also good spirits.  Stanley was surprised to meet Lieutenant Henn of the Royal Navy, and Mr. Oswald Livingstone, David’s son, as some of the first people he saw when entering the village.  The Lieutenant was delighted to learn that Stanley had accomplished the thing that the ‘Herald’ had sent him to do.  He said that it saved him a trip from having to go into Central Africa himself to try to find both of them.  The English relief expedition was abandoned, and both of the men returned to England. 

English Jealousy

His success at first greatly aroused the jealousy of the English people.  Because he was an American, they didn’t think that he should have been the one to try to find Livingstone.  The jealousy even extended to the government, because Lieutenant Henn was not given instructions to try to find Stanley, but only Livingstone.  He also told Stanley that he could not imagine how jealous they were in England about his expedition.  He couldn’t imagine that Livingstone’s own people would not want an American to find him and help him if he needed help. 

This was the first shock that Stanley had received, and from this moment he regarded himself as a doomed man with the English people.  He had not even remotely thought about the idea that anyone would be so inhuman as to desire his failure just because he was an American.  Until that very moment, he had never even thought about how people would even regard his success.  He had been to busy with his work to even think about such a  terrible thing as that any person would rather hope that Dr. Livingstone was irrecoverably lost than that an American journalist would find him.

He was not long at Zanzibar, though, before he was totally aware of the animosity that prevailed in England.  He was shown clippings from newspapers where several members of the Royal Geographical Society had ridiculed the American expedition.  One member had even gone so far as to say that it required the “steel head of an Englishman” to penetrate Africa.

It was not long, though, before they changed their minds about the expedition, though, and their jealousy was soon modified.  He left Zanzibar on May 29th, and after some trying delays arrived in England.  He was received with kindness and distinction by the English people, but they never did put the worthy estimate that they should have upon all his labors on behalf of their distinguished fellow-countryman. 

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning especially with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.