« AnteriorContinuar »
A JOURNEY TO
THE ZOOLU COUNTRY,
CAPTAIN ALLEN F. GARDINER, R. N.
UNDERTAKEN IN 1885.
THOMAS GEORGE, JR. SPRUCE STREET.
JOURNEY TO THE ZOOLU COUNTRY.
ing the Cape, he waived his original intention of
proceeding as an emigrant to New South Wales, It is not with a view to recount my personal ad- and agreed to accompany me to Grabam's Town ventures that the following narrative is now of- partly with the desire to ascertain how far it would fered to the public, nor was it for the mere novelty be advisable to make that neighborhood the scene of travelling that I determined on a visit to South of the agricultural pursuits which he had ultimately Africa; far otherwise was the object of my jour- in view. ney-an endeavor, under the blessing of God, to Determined to travel as lightly and expediopen a way whereby the ministers of the Gospel tiously as possible, we distributed our baggage might find access to the Zoolu nation, and be the upon three horses, on which we and our guide means of introducing true religion, civilization, were also mounted, and in this Don Quixote manand industry, into those benighted regions. ner we left Cape Town on the evening of Thurs
That many who may take the trouble to pass day the 20th, sleeping the first night at Stellenthrough these pages will be disappointed I have bosch. Saturday and Sunday we remained at no doubt; they will look in vain for that descrip. Genadenthal; and I have never been more gration of information so interesting to the student of tified than in witnessing the industry, the order, natural history, and so eminently adapted to raise and, above all, the genuine piety which seems to the mind with adoring gratitude to the all-wise pervade this favored institution. It was Sacrament and bounteous God of the universe, but for the Sunday; all
, both missionaries and people, apdevelopment of which the author is aware that peared in white dresses ; and many of the latter he is not competent. His single aim, he trusts, seated in groups in front of the church, or under has been the glory of God, and if, after the indul- the shade of the luxuriant oak trees, where from gent perusal of the facts he shall narrate, a more considerable distances they had assembled, were ardent zeal for the instruction of our fellow-crea- observed at a very early hour, awaiting the opentures in the truths of Christianity, and a more ing of the doors. sincere personal devotion of time and energy to From Mr. Halbec, the superintendent, we re. the cause of Christian Missions, especially in ceived the greatest kindness, and early on the Southern Africa, shall be induced, he shall deem 24th resumed our journey. The following Sunday that he has not written in vain, but thank God, was passed at Uitenhage, said to be the most and take courage.
healthy, and, certainly, one of the prettiest towns It was my intention to have confined myself in this country. It is supplied with abundance of strictly to the words of my travelling journal, but water-every house stands in a garden, while a this, in part, has now become impossible, as a con- range of neighboring mountains not only interests siderable portion, including the whole period from the eye, but creates a cooling breeze, without bemy landing at Cape Town to my return to Port Na- ing near enough to reflect their heat. The next tal, after my first visit to the Zoolu country has day, December 2d, we rode to Bethelsdorp, with been lost. Without this, there would be evidently which I must own I was much disappointed--pera want of connexion, and this deficiency I shall en- haps the recent visit to Genadenthal might have deavor to supply to the best of my ability ; but, as contributed to this feeling; but in so old a mismuch that it contained has now entirely escaped sionary establishment I had anticipated greater my memory, I trust, under the peculiar disadvan- progress. On the 4th, we reached Graham's tages with which I commence my task, great al Town, and I immediately commenced making arlowance will be made. With this explanation, I rangements for the journey beyond the frontier Dow proceed to give a brief outline of the occur- by purchasing wagons, oxen, &c., some horses rences during the period alluded to.
having already been procured on the road. On the 25th of August, 1834, I left Spithead, on Every thing was completed by the 12th; and board the Wellington, Captain Liddle, bound for on the afternoon of that day I left Graham's Town, the Cape and Madras, and eventually sailed from still accompanied by my friend, who, anxious to Falmouth on the 6th of September. From the see something of the interior, proposed continuing evening of the 20th to the afternoon of the 23d, with me until we reached some of the nearest we were at anchor in Funchal Roads, Madeira, missionary stations in Kafirland. With two new and reached Table Bay on the 13th of November. wagons properly appointed, thirty oxen, and seven During the passage, I made a most agreeable ac- horses, accompanied by a young man named quaintance in Mr. Berken, a Polish gentleman of George Cyrus, as an interpreter, we commenced high family and character, and who, from the po- this long journey; and, as it soon afterwards aphtical circumstances of his country, had been de- peared, it was a happy circumstance that such prived of a great part of his property. On reach- despatch in the equipment had been made, for,
had we been delayed but two days longer, the their character by representing them as theives. Kafir war, then on the eve of breaking out, would Tchatchou is a most arrant beggar-having exhave entirely precluded the possibility of crossing pended all his eloquence in persuading Mr. Berkin the frontier. While at the missionary station on to present him with a pair of shoes, he finished by the Buffalo river, (now King William's Town,) an observing, that he wore two, Why then could he unpleasant circumstance took place. One of my not spare him one? His idea of an umbrella was people, a Bechuana, who was in charge of the somewhat curious; my friend having inadvertantly oxen, reported that the whole of the cattle had left his own, a messenger was despatched from been driven off by the natives, and that it was the chief to inquire if he intended to leave his with the greatest difficulty he had escaped with house behind. out the loss of all his clothes, which they had en Not far from this station is a stream called the deavored to purloin. On this intelligence, I went Yellow-wood river, near which we had spanned immediately, with my interpreter, to Tchatchou, out for our mid-day's halt, but it was soon appathe chief, acquainted him with what had occurred, rent from the threatening attitude of the natives, and informed him that, as a stranger, quietly pass- who were collecting in great numbers, and by no ing through his territory, I should look to him to means civil
, that an attack was meditated. At investigate the case, and recover the cattle. The this time I was seated under a tree on the opold man soon gave directions to one of his princi- posite side of the river to the wagons, occupied pal warriors to accompany me for this purpose, with writing some memoranda, but my fancied reand furnishing him with a horse, on which he tirement was soon broken in upon by a crowd colvaulted, without either saddle or bridle, guiding lecting round me. Anticipating their intention, I him only by the halter, off we both set at full immediently sent off directions to collect the oxen speed, followed by my interpreter on another horse; and span in as soon as possible, but to be careful and, although it was raining during the whole time, not to show the least symptom of alarm or hurry. we scoured the country for two hours, before my Something however was absolutely necessary to warlike companion thought it desirable to visit the divert their intention in the mean time, and hapspot where this untoward circumstance had taken pily my pen-knife, which for peace sake I had conplace. This was a secluded dell, in which were signed to the hand of one of the natives, who had two huts, almost concealed by rocks and bushes, made frequent signs for it to disencumber his and near which a small brook was flowing. The chin, had, to his great disappointment, proved inmilitary talent of our hero was here displayed. effectual. The idea immediately occurred, that, While we had been in chase of every horned ani- could I succeed in thoroughly shaving this man, mal that appeared on the surrounding hills, he had the whole current of feeling might be changed in ordered a well armed party to proceed directly to our favor. With this expectation I placed him on the spot we had now reached, and on our approach the trunk of the tree on which I had been sitting, the hamlet was formally invested. We drew up and, in spite of the red ochre with which he was in front, the chief holding a single assegai in his liberally smeared, applied the soap suds and the hand, while his people, who had come on foot, razor to such good effect that in a very short time each with an ample bundle of these destructive his barbe of many years' growth was entirely remissiles, stood near, in an attitude of preparation. moved. To follow up the interest and exciteinent The men were then ordered to leave the huts, on which this unusual operation had occasioned, a which they advanced to a small ridge of rocks glass was exhibited, that the patient himself might facing us, the women standing in groups about have ocular demonstration of the effect, but to my the houses, while a catechetical inquiry was made great dismay, he pointed to his upper lip, and respecting the loss of the oxen. Although the seemed sadly disappointed that any portion of accuser was present for the purpose of indentifica- mustachio had survived the operation. All that tion, and he actually pointed out the individuals. remained in this dilemma was to assure him that who had driven off the cattle, still so adroitly was such was the usual costume of many of our the blame shifted from one to another, that, tired English warriors : happily for me this explanation with the length of the parley, and annoyed at the sufficed, for in the state to which my razor had utter hopelessness of eliciting truth, I resolved to now been reduced, had anything further been rerefer the final decision to Tchatchou himself; and quired it would have been an utter impossibility we accordingly returned to the missionary station. to have complied with his wishes. In perfect good
Although I had apparently effected nothing, the humor the whole party then accompanied me to promptitude of the appeal to the chief had so the wagons, but here the tempest was still on the alarmed the thieves, that, during my absence, the ascendant, and, to my no small disappointment, whole of the oxen had been driven back, and on the necessary preparations for moving off were my arrival were found snugly deposited in the cat- not yet completed. Many of the expressions which tle fold. Anxious to avoid unnecessary delay, I were uttered were sufficiently ominious, and here requested Tchatchou would assemble his Amapa- for the first time we were informed by them of the kati (council) betimes; but although all were duly awkward posture of affairs on the frontier. “One seated in a circle in the open air by eight o'clock, of our chiefs," they exclaimed, “ Tchali's brother, and the business at once commenced upon, at has been killed by the white men, and we are least two hours were consumed in putting and resolved that no more white men shall enter our answering the most roundabout questions, till at country; those who are now here shall remain, last they so puzzled and frightened my unfortunate but not one more shall come in "-intimating that Bechuana, (Solomon,) that he was obliged to sub- they would murder all now within their territory. mit to a fine in clothes and tobacco, for having, as One angry word at this moment would have been they termed it, “smeared them,” viz; defamed fatal to us all. As a dernier resort, and to eko out