THE IVORY TRADER
alt aof Africa
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON
DIGBY HEATHCOTE," "SHIPWRECKS AND DISASTERS AT SEA," ETC.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LIMITED
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
GLASGOW, MANCHESTER, AND NEW YORK
THE IVORY TRADER.
A TALE OF AFRICA.
O the north of the Cape of Good Hope Colony, be-
yond the Great Orange River, an extensive level
region exists, known as the Kalahara Desert.
Here no running streams are found to fertilise the plain,
and often for miles and miles together, not a well nor
pool is to be discovered, from which the weary traveller
can quench his burning thirst. Yet destitute as it is of
water, it is in many parts covered with grass, and an
immense variety of creeping plants; while in some places
large patches of bushes, and even trees, find nourishment
in the seeming arid soil, and countless multitudes of
wild animals, especially those which require but little
water, or can go many'days together without drinking,
roam over its trackless wilds.
This region passed, a fertile country is found, thickly
populated by dark-skinned tribes, who till of late years
have had no intercourse with white men. Here an
almost countless number of rivers and streams are found,
some flowing into the mighty Zambesi, and others into
THE IVORY TRADER.
Notwithstanding the dangers which must be en-
countered in crossing the vast Kalahara Desert, from
the scarcity of water, the intense heat, the wild beasts,
the savage people who inhabit its borders, and more
than all, from the attacks of the Tsetse fly, whose
poisonous bite speedily destroys cattle and horses, white
traders from the colony occasionally traverse it, for the
purpose of obtaining ivory from the natives.
A tilted waggon belonging to one of these traders,
dragged by a span of fourteen oxen, was slowly moving
across the wide-extending plain. On the box sat a Hot-
tentot driver, his whip in hand, with lash of prodigious
length, reaching even to the leading animals shouting
out at the same time strange sounds to urge them on.
A dozen dark-skinned men, some clad in jacket and
trousers, and broad-brimmed hats, but others having
merely a cloth or kilt round their loins, moved along by
the side of the waggon. A few were seated on oxen, and
the rest marched on foot, mostly with arms in their
hands. Among those on foot was a young lad, whose
dark skin showed that he was an African, though his
features had somewhat of the Asiatic character. He
was dressed more in the English fashion than the other
black men, though his firm step and independent air
proved that young Kibo was well accustomed to traverse
the desert wilds. Ahead of the caravan stalked, with
spear in hand, the Bechuana guide Masiko, whose people
inhabit the region to the south of the desert, over all
parts of which, from his earliest youth, he had wandered.
His only garment was a cotton scarf, or plaid of a dark
colour, thrown over his shoulders and wound round his
waist, so as to form a kilt reaching to his knees, his
THE IVORY TRADER. 5
woolly head and his feet being without covering. Two
horses without saddles followed the waggon, secured to
it by hongss of hide, and several spare oxen kept pace
with the vehicle, ready to supply the places of any of the
team which might knock up on the road.
Two white persons mounted on strong horses brought
up the rear of the caravan. One Mr Robert Vincent,
the owner of the waggon and its varied contents, was a
strongly-built man of middle age, his countenance well
tanned by African suns ; the other a lad of about fifteen
years of age apparently, who, from his slightly-built
figure, looked scarcely capable of enduring the fatigues,
of the journey before him.
The bright sun shining down from the cloudless sky
shed a peculiar glare over the whole scene, the atmo.
sphere quivering with heat. Here and there a few
bushes rose above the surface, and broke the ocean-like
horizon; but so exactly did they resemble one another,
that to even the well-practised eye of the trader, they
were useless as landmarks to direct his course. He had,
therefore, entirely to depend on the guidance of Masiko,
to conduct the caravan to the different water-holes and
wells on the road across the desert.
Already both men and beasts were suffering greatly
from thirst, for at the last halting-place no water had
been obtained, and there was a fear that the oxen would
break down altogether, unless they should soon reach
the wells which the guide assured him would be found
"Had I supposed we should have found water so
scarce on this route, I would have left you at Mr War-
den's station till my return, Martin," observed Mr Vincent
THE IVORY TRADER.
to the lad by his side. But I wanted to give you an
insight into the dealing of the natives, for which no small
amount of experience is required, that you may be able to
help me in my business, and be competent in a few years
to take charge of a trading expedition yourself."
I shall be very glad if I canbe of assistance to you,
father," answered Martin. I already feel myself the
better for the dry air of the desert. I was very happy
with Mr Warden, and should have been content to re-
main and help him and his wife in the numerous duties
they have to perform."
He is a good man, no doubt, Martin," observed the
trader; but his is not a money-making calling, and it is
not one I should wish you to follow."
If you had not wanted me to help you, father, from
what I learned and saw while I was with Mr Warden,
I would rather have become a missionary like him than
be of any other profession," answered young Martin.
Oh you must put such foolish ideas out of your head,
Martin. It is very well for those who are paid for it,
and are not fit for anything better, but I want my son to
be a man of the world, to make money, and to become
some day one of the leading merchants of Cape Town."
Young Martin made no reply. On his father's pre-
vious journey from the Cape, Martin had accompanied
him, but, unaccustomed to travelling, he had fallen sick,
and had been left at the Missionary-station cf Mr War-
den. Though the trader looked upon the illness of his
son as a great misfortune, young Martin had good reason
soon to believe it the happiest event of his life. He there
for the first time became practically acquainted with the
glorious truths of the gospel: he learned that man is a
THE IVORY TRADER.
sinner, and by nature a rebel against God, and that
through the atonement and mediation of Jesus Christ
can he alone become reconciled to Him.
This truth brought home to his own heart, he at once
comprehended the importance of the efforts which Mr
Warden, and the missionary-band engaged with him,
were making to carry the gospel of love and mercy
among the savage hordes by whom they were surrounded;
he knew it to be the only means by which their natures
could be changed, and they can become not only civilised
members of society, but, what is of far more consequence,
heirs of eternal life. He therefore, rejoicing in the bless-
ings he had himself received, felt an earnest desire to
engage in the glorious work of carrying the same blessings
to the dark-skinned races of that land, long so deeply
plunged in ignorance.
Though his health had been completely restored, he
would therefore far rather have remained with the mis-
sionary than have taken the journey to which his father
summoned him. But he had learned that obedience
to parents is among the first duties of a Christian; and
thus, after he had frankly expressed his wish to remain,
when his father still desired his company, he had no
longer hesitated to obey his summons.
He was accompanied by Kibo, the son of a chief of
one of the tribes to the north of the desert, whom Mr
Vincent purposed visiting. Kibo had been carried away
from his home into slavery by the great Matabele leader
Mloselekatse, in one of his marauding expeditions against
the territory inhabited by the lad's tribe four or five
years before this.
During a visit Mr Warden had paid to Moselekatse,
THE IVORY TRADER.
he had seen young Kibo, then apparently on the point of
death, and inducing the chief to give him his liberty,
had carried him to the Missionary-station, where recover-
ing, he was instructed in the truths of Christianity. The
lad became a true and earnest convert, and his heart
yearned to visit his parents and friends, and to tell them
the good news he had heard. Mr Warden, believing
him to be confirmed in the faith, had consented to his
accompanying Martin, in the hopes that by his means
his tribe might be induced to receive a missionary of the
gospel among them.
The trader and his son rode on for some time in
silence, the former indeed was beginning to feel too
anxious about the chances of finding water at the end of
the day's journey to talk much. Already many hours
had passed since they had left the last water-holes. Al-
though there was still a sufficient supply in the leather
bottles carried in the waggon to prevent them and their
men from feeling much inconvenience from thirst, both
horses and oxen were already suffering from want of the
moisture so necessary to enable them to swallow their
food. They had stopped as usual during the heat of the
day; but though there was an abundance of grass, it was
so dry that it crumbled in the hand, and the poor ani-
mals as they chewed it turned it about in their mouths,
in a vain endeavour to get it down their throats
Robert Vincent had ordered his men to inspann or
harness the cattle at an earlier hour than usual, hoping
by pushing on to gain the promised pool before nightfall;
but the oxen, already fatigued by their previous long jour-
ney, were unable to move as fast as usual, in spite of all
the efforts of their driver.
THE IVORY TRADER
The trader, at length losing patience, rode on by the
side of the guide, and inquired when they were to reach
the pool he had spoken of.
Not till after the sun has sunk far beyond yonder
distant line, unless the oxen move faster than they are
now doing," answered the guide, pointing to the western
The trader shouted to the driver. Again and again
he made his huge whip crack, as lie struck his team in
succession, but without effect; nothing would induce
the poor animals to hasten their steps
I am much inclined to ride forward, and try and find
out the wells myself," said Mr Vincent to his son. I am
not quite sure that our guide is not playing us false. If
I thought so, I would shoot him through the head. It
is wiser to trust to one's own sagacity than to a treach-
0 father do not use violence," exclaimed Martin.
SGentle words and kindness will have more effect in
keeping him faithful. I have no fear about him, for he
has long been known to Mr Warden, who has perfect
confidence in him."
Why do you think he should have confidence in him,
Martin ?" asked his father.
"Because, though he was once a fierce savage, he has
become a faithful Christian, and as such would be ready
to sacrifice his own life rather than risk ours when he
has promised to serve us."
"I am afraid the fellows are all much alike," ob-
served Mr Vincent. "The only way of making them
faithful is not to pay them till the journey is over. I
only hope he and young Kibo will answer your expecta-
ro THE IVORY TRADER.
tions. For my part, I have found the heathen black
men as trustworthy as the whites."
"Yes, father," said Martin, "because in too many
instances the whites are merely nominal Christians. Mr
Warden has shown me the difference between a real and
nominal Christian, and it is of the first I speak. All
men are fallible, and even in them we cannot hope to
find perfection, but still they can be trusted to do their
"Well, well, Martin, when you know more of the
world, perhaps you will change your opinion," remarked
the trader in an indifferent tone. However, water must
be found; and as we have still nearly an hour's daylight,
we may even yet reach it if we push on before dark."
The trader and his son rode on, though their weary
steeds did not move as fast as they wished.
"What is that ?" exclaimed the elder Vincent, point-
ing to an object moving among the dry grass some dis-
tance ahead. A lion ; we must put a shot into him, or
he will be paying the cattle a visit to-night."
Spurring on his horse, he galloped forward, followed
"Don't fire, father !" cried Martin, "it is a'human
Martin was right. They soon discovered that the
object they had seen was an old bushwoman, although,
but for the scanty clothing which covered her wretchedly
thin and diminutive body, she might have been mistaken
for some wild animal. She seemed dreadfully fright-
ened, as if expecting instant death. Martin by speaking
to the old woman somewhat reassured her.
"Water must be near, and she will know where to
THE IVORY TRADER.
find it," observed his father; so she must come with us
whether she likes it or no, and act as our guide."
The poor creature was soon made to understand what
she was required to do, while Martin assured her that
she should receive no harm, and-should be well rewarded.
Still this poor wanderer of the desert, accustomed all her
life to ill-treatment, seemed to doubt the motives of her
captors, and turned her head about, as if meditating an
escape. Knowing, however, that she could not outstrip
the horses, she walked quietly on, every now and then
looking up and imploring the strangers not to hurt her.
Her husband, her sole companion, she said, was in the
neighbourhood, and would be wondering what had be-
come of her.
"Show us the water, and you shall return to him when
you wish," said the elder Vincent.
She replied that it would take nearly an hour to
Look out then for the waggon, Martin, or it may pass
us; for on this hard ground even Masiko may fail to see
Martin did as he was told, and, greatly to his relief,
at length met the caravan.
It moved forward for some time. Martin could no-
where see his father. Masiko made him feel anxious,
by hinting that the old woman might, under the pretence
of looking for water, have enticed him among a band of
her own people, notorious, he said, for their treachery.
Martin on this would have ridden forward, had he not
received directions to bring on the caravan.
The sun was nearly touching the western horizon,
when, to his great relief, he at length caught sight of his
THE IVORY TRADER.
father's horse in the distance. At the same instant the
cattle began to move on faster than they had hitherto done.
"Water water! shouted the thirsty people, and the
whole party rushed forward ahead of the waggon. Mar-
tin, who led the way, could see no pool. The old woman,
however, was on her knees, scraping the sand from a hole,
out of which she began to ladle with a little cup a small
quantity of water into three or four ostrich eggs, carried
in a net at her back.
"I am afiaid our poor oxen will not be much the
better for this discovery," observed Martin when he
reached his father.
"Wait a bit, our men will soon dig more wells, though
it may be some hours before we shall have water suffi-
cient for the animals," was the answer.
The men as they came up commenced digging with
their hands in the soft sand a number of holes some dis-
As soon as the waggon arrived, the order was given to
outspann. Fires were lighted, the neighboring bushes
affording sufficient fuel, and all the usual preparations for
camping were made.
Martin did not forget the old bushwoman, and with
his father's leave gave her, to her no little astonishment
and delight, a piece of meat and a bunch of beads, and
two or three other trifling articles.
The people were employed for several hours in clean-
ing out the sand from the holes, for as fast as they dug,
it again rolled down and filled them up. Gradually,
however, the water oozed out from the sides, and towards
morning there was a sufficient quantity to afford a little
to each of the thirsty horses and oxen.
THE IVORY TRADER.
Directly the first streaks of dawn appeared in the sky
the oxen were inspanned, and the journey recommended.
On search being made for the old bushwoman, it was
discovered that she had decamped. Mean and wretched
though she was, she had rendered an essential service to
the strangers, but she probably thought them as treache-
rous as they had supposed her to be.
FOR several hours the weary oxen dragged on the waggon,
slightly refreshed by the limited amount of water they
had obtained, and at length they began to show signs of
thirst. Masiko confessed that he knew of no pool with-
in the distance of another day's journey, and as the heat
had been excessive, he could not be certain that water
would be found in it. It was a question whether the
oxen could get as far without drinking. Noon was
approaching, and it would have been worse than useless
to attempt moving on while the sun was overhead.
Again they outspanned. The men sat down to sleep in
the limited shade the waggon afforded; but the poor
animals had to stand out in the full glare of the hot sun,
turning their heads in the direction whence came a light
breeze, which prevented the atmosphere being altogether
They had halted about a couple of hours, when two
objects were seen moving across the boundless plain to-
wards them. They proved to be the little, yellow-skinned,
THE IVORY TRADER.
shrivelled old bushwoman, and a man of the same hue, and
as scantily dressed as herself. They came without hesita-
tion up to the waggon. Martin hastened forward, and in
a kind tone thanked them for coming to the camp, assuring
them that they were welcome and would be protected.
Can you show us where we can find water?" he
Their reply convinced him that Masiko was right, and
that there was none to be found nearer than he had said.
They, however, told him that if he would accompany them
a short distance, they would point out where to obtain
what would answer the purpose of water. As his father
was asleep in the waggon, Martin did not wish to disturb
him, and therefore called Kibo, who had meantime
been speaking to the bushman and his wife.
Do you think they can be trusted, Kibo ? Martin
"Yes, good people; no do harm," answered the lad ii
Then we will go with them."
Martin, saddling his horse, called two of the most trust-
worthy men to follow on the spare horses, while Kibo
mounting another, they set out in company with the little
bushman and his wife.
They had proceeded some distance, when the latter
pointed out a creeping plant, with long leaves and a
thin, delicate stalk, spreading over the ground in various
directions. Both the man and his wife had stones in
their hands with which they struck the ground at various
spots, at about equal distances from the centre of the
plant, and then made signs to the people who had ac-
companied them to dig, setting the example themselves.
TIE IVORY TRADER. 15
After throwing out the sand to the depth of a foot and a
half they came to a tuber, three or four times as large
as an ordinary turnip; and at each spot where they had
struck a similar one was procured. On breaking open
one of the tubers, it was found to be full of juice.
"These very good, me remember them before,"
Martin and the Hottentot loaded their horses with as
many of the tubers as they could carry, perceiving at once
what a rich treat they would prove to the thirsty and
Having first fed their own animals, they quickly returned
vith their prize to the camp, accompanied by the bush-
inan and his wife. Martin having rewarded them, they
expressed their readiness to show where more tubers
could be found. The riding oxen having been fed,
another party was despatched to obtain a further supply.
On their return they were able, as soon as the heat of
the day was over, to proceed on to the northward.
"Though I was inclined to look with contempt on
those poor little wretches, father, see how useful they
have been to us," observed Martin. "It goes to prove,
as Mr Warden says, that none of the human race should
be despised; and debased as they may be, they are cap-
able of improvement, and have immortal souls which we
should value not less than those of our other fellow-
As to that, my boy, I doubt whether you would ever
make anything out of those wretched little bushpeople.
Well, well you have got a number of new notions into
your head. However, when we reach the Makololo, you
will have other things to occupy your thoughts; they are
16 THE IVORY TRADER.
sharp fellows, and we shall have to keep our eyes open
when dealing with them."
Martin knew that it would be his duty to assist his
father to the best of his abilities, and he promised to do
They moved on till dark, and started again at dawn,
no water having been found. Had it not been for the
roots which God has caused to grow in this arid desert
to supply the wants of His creatures, the oxen must have
Just as they were about to outspann after their morn.
ing's journey, the little bushman beckoned to Martin,
and intimated that he could lead them to a place where
another production of nature could be found which would
assist to sustain the cattle.
Martin, summoning three men to attend him with their
oxen, and some large nets used to carry fodder, followed
his volunteer guide, who, to show his confidence, left his
wife with the waggon.
The country over which they passed was even more
barren and arid than any he had yet seen.
At length, after travelling several miles, some large
green objects were seen, which, to his surprise and de-
light, he discovered were a species of water-melon.
The Hottentots immediately rushed at them; the first
man cut a huge slice with his axe, but no sooner did he
put his mouth to it than he cast it aside with a look of
disgust and bitter disappointment. The cattle, however,
passing by several, began greedily eating others they came
to. Meantime the little guide, after tasting two or three
which he threw down, pointed to some which he signified
were good. Martin now found that some were intensely
'THE IVORY TRADER. 17
bitter, while others were sweet and full of juice; this, how-
ever, could only be ascertained by tasting each.
The party having now satisfied their own thirst, col-
lected as many of the sweet melons as their animals could
carry, and returned with them to the camp.
That bushman is a serviceable little fellow," observed
Mr Vincent. I have often seen both the tubers and
the melons, but I have never found them before in this
part of the desert. The latter seldom last long after the
rains, as not only do the natives of the desert collect
them, but elephants, and rhinoceroses, and even lions
and hyenas, come from a distance to devour them. It
was probably in consequence of the arid character of the
surrounding desert that the patch to which the bushman
took you has escaped a visit from them."
Martin begged that he might be allowed to reward his
guide, who seemed well satisfied with an axe and several
other useful articles, as well as some beads which he
You should have waited till they can be of no further
use before giving them presents," observed his father.
" Depend upon it, they will be off before long; and it
Masiko, as I suspect, has lost his way, we shall be in no
Martin hoped that their new friends would prove faith-
ful, though as the waggon moved on during the afternoon
they said something which made him suspect that their
wanderings did not extend much further to the north.
They, however, accompanied the caravan to the end of
the day's journey; but when morning broke they were
nowhere to be seen, they had gone off, as the old
woman had before, without being observed by the
- P(IE IVORY TRADAFR.
watch, who had probably been slumbering at the
Here a whole day was spent, that both men and beasts
might obtain that rest they so much required.
Again the caravan was on the move. Masiko urged
that they should push on as rapidly as possible, for he
could not say when they might next reach water. But
a small supply remained in their skin bottles.
The horses and cattle were again suffering greatly.
First one of the oxen in the team fell, then another, and
another; and though their places were supplied by the
spare animals, the waggon continued to move on at an
unusually slow pace.
The last drop of water in the skins was exhausted, and
even some of the men accustomed to desert travelling
declared they could go no further.
The sun was striking down on their heads with in-
tense force. The men's lips were parched, their eyes
bloodshot. The animals moved on with open mouths,
lowing piteously in their sufferings. The trader began
to fear that the whole party would knock up. In that
case, his only hope of saving his own life and that of his
son would be to abandon them with his waggon and
goods, and to gallop forward, on the chance of finding
They had ridden some distance ahead of the caravan,
when Martin, who was a short way in front of his father,
shouted out, "Water! water !" pointing as he spoke to a
beautiful lake in the distance, its waters, curled by the
breeze, shining with intense lustre in the bright sun. On
the further shore trees were seen reflected clearly on the
surface, while among them appeared a number of
THE IVORY TRADER.
elephants cooling themselves by throwing water over
"We need no longer fear losing our animals, for they
will have water enough now to drink their fill," observed
Martin as his father overtook him.
Mr Vincent did not answer, but anxiously gazed at the
sheet of water. I know of no lake hereabouts, and it is
too important an object not to be known to all who have
ever travelled across the desert; yet my eyes cannot be
deceived," he remarked.
"Shall I ride back and tell the people?" asked
"Wait till we have ascertained how far off the water
Is," said his father; you may only disappoint them."
Surely it cannot be very far off, or we should not see
those elephants so clearly," remarked Martin.
They now put their horses into a trot, the poor animals
were too much fatigued to gallop.
Just then the seeming elephants began to move, and
suddenly, instead of elephants, a herd of zebras crossed
their path, scampering over the ground. The next instant
the lake had disappeared, and they found themselves on
the borders of an immense expanse of salt, covering the
ground as far as the eye could reach to the north and
west. On looking behind them, however, they saw both
their cattle and men moving rapidly towards the spot, as if
they too had been deceived. Bitter was their disappoint-
ment when they discovered their mistake. Two of the
poor animals dropped and died, now another, and now a
fourth; still Forward forward was tke cry. Masiko
asserted that water would be at length reached, though it
might be some hours' journey ahead, Thus encouraged,
TIIE IVORY TRADER.
Even those who had hitherto been most inclined to de.
pair exerted themselves.
If this is to endure much longer, I fear that I shall
be unable to stand it," observed Martin to Kibo, who
was riding by his side. Should I die, you will promise
me, Kibo, to remain with my father, and to do your best
to serve him, and try and get him back safely to Mr
Warden's. Perhaps if I die he will be more ready to
listen to him than he was during his last visit, and tc
think that is a great consolation to me. Oh, how
willingly would I give up my life to save his, and much
more, to enable him to learn the glorious truths which
have brought joy to my heart "
The sun was rapidly sinking in the west. They had
left the salt expanse some way behind; still the country
was as dry and inhospitable as ever. Masiko, at Mr
Vincent's order, had pushed on ahead of the caravan.
Suddenly he was seen to wave his spear, and to point
with it to a clump of trees, then to rush forward. Mr
Vincent, with Martin and Kibo, followed him eagerly.
WATER was found in the bed of what had once been a
running river. The men eagerly rushed forward, and
lapped up the refreshing liquid, followed by the horses
and oxen. It was with difficulty that those yoked to the
waggon could be restrained from dragging it in with them,
so eager were they to quench their burning thirst.
THE IVORY TRADER.
The party here encamped, for there were all things
requisite-water, grass, and wood.
Masiko now knew where he was, and he urged his com-
panions to fill all their water-skins, for this pool would soon
be dried up, and they had a wide desert track to traverse
before they could reach the country of the Makololo.
The next morning, having secured as much water as
they could carry, the party proceeded on their journey.
Day after day they travelled on, often suffering greatly
from thirst and hunger, and dreading the loss of more of
At length a stream of running water was crossed flow.
ing to the east, and the caravan reached the borders of
a dense forest, through which a path had to be cut with
axes. Beyond it, far off in the east, hills were seen rising
out of the plain.
Several ruined villages were passed, the plantations
near them overrun with weeds and brushwood; while
many skeletons of their unhappy inhabitants lay scattered
about, telling plainly how they had been attacked by
their cruel foes before they had time to escape, and had
been remorselessly slaughtered, while the remainder
probably had been carried off into slavery.
Such scenes met their sight day after day through what
otherwise would have been a smiling country.
Several more of the oxen had died. Scarcely enough
survived to drag on the waggon.
Ahead lay a level waste covered by scrub. Masiko
urged Mr Vincent to wait till nightfall to cross it. He
was afraid, he said, that it might be infested by the tsetse,
which does not attack cattle at night. The trader, how-
ever, was eager to proceed, as he was now near the
TIIE IVORY TRADER.
termination of his journey, and he thought that Masiko
was mistaken. Martin suggested that one of the oxen
should be sent on first, and that if that was not bitten the
rest should follow. His father, however, seemed to have
abandoned his usual caution, and insisted on proceeding.
They had not proceeded far across the scrub when
several of the dangerous flies were seen on the animals.
It was too late to turn back. They must now push on
in the hopes that some might escape, which they might
do if not severely bitten. The horses might possibly be
saved by galloping on, should the dangerous spot not
be of any great extent. Mr Vincent therefore directed
Martin and Kibo, with two of the men, to push forward
with the horses while he himself remained with the
It was already late in the day before the scrub was
passed. Riding on for some distance, Martin and his
companions crossed a small stream and encamped on a
grassy spot, where they hoped to be safe from further
attacks of the deadly tsetse. Examining the horses, how-
ever, they found that all had been bitten, while there was
no hope that any of the oxen would have escaped.
The disease caused by the bite might not show itself
for several days, and the animals might have strength
to drag the waggon to the end of the journey ; but if bit-
ten, death would certainly be the consequence.
It was late at night before the waggon arrived. Mr
Vincent was much out of spirits, for he anticipated the
loss of all his oxen. It was the more important, therefore,
that they should push on, and the next morning they
were again on their journey.
At length the bank of another large river was reached.
THE IVORY TRADER.
Several villages were seen on the opposite side, the
dwellings composed of conical-shaped reed-thatched huts
surrounded by circular clay walls. The inhabitants, on
observing the waggon, came across in their canoes to
welcome the trader, who had before been to their country.
They were clothed with skins of animals round their loins
and others thrown loosely over their shoulders.
All were eager to ascertain what Mr Vincent had
brought; but he could not commence trading until visited
by their chief, who would first claim his own dues and
make purchases of such articles as he wanted for him-
The waggon was soon surrounded by natives, who ap.
peared disposed to be friendly.
While MrVincent was speaking to them they announced
that their chief, Kanenge, was coming across the river.
In a short time, a tall man, dressed like his people, except
that the skins he wore were handsomer and that feathers
ornamented the fillet round his head, landed from a canoe
and came up to the waggon. Mr Vincent saluted him,
shaking hands in the usual fashion. The chief then
taking his seat on the ground, they discussed the business
which had brought the trader to the country. One had
plenty of goods, the other an abundance of ivory. The
chief was as eager to trade as any of his people, and
appeared incapable just then of thinking of anything else.
Every now and then, however, his eye turned towards
young Kibo. At length he remarked how like the lad
was to his own tribe. Mr Vincent then told him how
he had been captured by Mosilikatse's people some years
before, and had been redeemed by the missionary.
Kanenge listened with intense interest, and calling to the
24 TIHE IVORY, TRADER.
boy, addressed him. As Kibo replied, the chief's before
somewhat stern countenance became animated and eager.
He continued putting questions to Kibo, to which the
boy replied, and then eagerly asked several in return. At
length, with a cry of delight, the chief sprang up, and
pressing young Kibo in his arms, exclaimed-
My heart was moved when I saw him. I knew him
to be of my own people, but I dared not believe that
he was the child I loved, and whom I had lost so long
ago. White man, I will load your waggon .with tusks.
You shall take them to the good missionary chief who
has sent me back my boy; or if he will come here with
a waggon himself, he and his people shall be fed as long
as they will remain."
Thus the father endeavoured to express his gratitude
to the missionary who had preserved his son, and to
those who had brought him back. Mr Vincent, how-
ever, did not put full confidence in his promises. He re-
plied that he should be happy to convey his messages to
the missionary; but that as he had come to trade, he.
must purchase tusks for himself, though he would carry
as many as he had room for, if sent as a present.
The chief offered to convey the trader's goods over
the river, and to float the waggon across it, while the
cattle and horses would pass over by swimming, to his
village. This was accomplished the next day. Kanenge
appropriated several huts for the accommodation of his
visitors, in one of which they took up their residence, in
another their goods were stored, while their attendants
inhabited the remainder.
Trade was now commenced, and everything appeared
to be going on prosperously. Scarcely, however, had
THE IVORY TRADER.
these arrangements been made than Masiko and their
driver came with the intelligence that several of the oxen
were sickening from the effects of the tsetse-bites. No
cure was known. The most healthy had already perished.
In a few days it was found that all the cattle, as well as
the horses, had been bitten" by the deadly insect.
Martin tried to console his father by pointing out how
much worse it would have been had they perished on
the journey, in which case the waggon and its contents
must have been deserted, and they themselves would in
all probability have lost their lives. The trader, however,
was inclined to look at things in a gloomy light.
Though fresh oxen might be procured in the country,
it would require some time to break them in, while their
cost would swallow up a considerable portion of his
Mr Vincent himself was ill, and in a few days he was
attacked with fever, while several of his men were suffer-
ing from the same complaint.
Martin now felt thankful that he had accompanied
his father, and while he attended him with the most de-
voted care, he did his utmost to take his place in carry-
ing on trade with the natives. His father appeared well
pleased with the way he transacted business, when he
each day reported the progress he had made, and
gradually their store-hut became filled with elephant-
"Ah, Martin, you will become a first-rate trader," he
observed; and I hope we shall soon recover our losses.
As soon as I am well we must push further to the east<
ward, where I hear there are large supplies of ivory. In
the meantime we must get fresh oxen broken in."
THE IVORY TRADER.
I am thankful to be able to assist you, father,"
answered Martin; "but I must not pride myself on my
dealings with the natives. We are now with a friendly
chief who treats us fairly, but I understand the people
among whom you propose going are likely to behave in
a very different way; besides which, the country is ex-
posed to the inroads of hostile tribes, and should they
hear that such a prize as our waggon full of goods is in
the neighbourhood, they will attack us in the hopes of
carrying it off."
"We need not be afraid of them; we have a dozen
muskets, besides our rifles and pistols, and may keep
a whole host of enemies at bay," observed Mr Vincent.
" Kanenge will send a party of his men, and probably, if
I ask him, come himself to assist us."
Martin had now to tell his father that two of their own
people were already dead, and that several others were
so ill that there was little hope of their recovery.
Kibo came every day to the hut, and brought presents
of provisions from his father. Martin asked him if he felt
happy at being once more among his relations and own
people. Kibo shook his head.
"No, very sorry," he answered, speaking partly in
broken English and partly in his native tongue. My
father is kind and glad to have me with him; but he
knows nothing of the true God, and wants me to follow
the bad ways of my people, which he thinks right
ways. I tell him that God wishes men to be happy,
and to live at peace, and to do good to each other and
not harm, and to love the;r enemies, and to trust to Him,
and to worship Him anly; and that all men are bad by
-nature and constantly doing wrong, and that it is only
THE IVORY T'ADER. 27
by trusting to Jesus Christ, who was punished instead of
them, that God will forgive them their sins and put them
away out of His sight. My fatncr says he cannot under-
stand how this can be, and that now I have come to live
among my people, I must believe what they do, and live
as they do. I tell him I cannot believe the lies Satan
has invented to deceive them, and that I must not follow
their ways, which are the bad ways Satan has taught
them ; and so I have asked my father to let me go back
with you and try to persuade Mr Warden to come
here, or to send another missionary to teach the people
about Jesus Christ, and how He wishes men to live."
Martin was truly glad to hear Kibo say this, and he
urged him to persevere in trying to obtain leave to return,
promising to beg Mr Vincent to assist him.
Two months had passed by, the waggon was half loaded
with ivory, and Mr Vincent had partly recovered from
his fever; but all his oxen were dead, and so were nearly
half the men he had brought with him. Many of the
natives had also died, and great numbers were suffering.
It was evident that the low-lying region now occupied by
Kanenge and his tribe, intersected as it was by numerous
rivers, with swamps in all directions, was very unhealthy.
Martin was thankful when his father proposed moving
eastward to a higher region.
28 THE IVORY TRADER.
Kanenge had supplied oxen, which the trader's surviv-
ing followers had been engaged for some time in breaking'
in. The chief also, confiding in the firearms with which
he and his people were to be furnished, agreed to accom-
The waggon and goods were transported across the
river, and accompanied by Kanenge, with nearly a hun-
dred men, the trader's party commenced their journey in
the proposed direction. Mr Vincent being too weak to
walk, was carried in a sort of palanquin, while the rest
of the party marched on foot.
After travelling for upwards of a week, the country
greatly improving in appearance, they reached a steep
hill, up which the waggon was slowly dragged, till at
length they found themselves on a wide extent of elevated
ground, high above the plain, which stretched away to
the southward. Here the air felt pure and comparatively
bracing, and Martin at first hoped that his father would
recover his strength.
Still, after some days had passed, observing how weak
and ill he remained, he could not help fearing that his
days were numbered. Should his father die, he would
indeed have been in a forlorn condition had he not
learned to trust to One who rules all things for the best.
He was, therefore, far more anxious about his father than
about himself. Each evening, when they encamped, he
sat by his side, and having read a portion of Scripture,
he endeavoured to turn his father's thoughts to a future
state of existence.
What, do you think I am likely to die ? asked Mt
Vincent one day. Why do you talk so much about
THE IVORY TRADER.
We have seen many of our companions die, my dear
father, and we know how uncertain life is in this country,
as it is indeed in all parts of the world, and at all events
we should live prepared to quit this life at any moment.
Christ has said that we must enter the kingdom of
heaven here, we must become His subjects while we
are on earth, we must be reconciled to God now, we
must be born again; and therefore it is that I am so
anxious you should accept His gracious offers, though at
the same time I pray that you may be restored to health
At first Mr Vincent turned a deaf ear to what his son
said, but by degrees his hard heart softened, he saw how
earnest and affectionate that son was, and he could not
help being aware of his own increasing weakness.
Although he at first thought himself getting better, the
disease had taken too strong a hold of him to be thrown
off. Martin at length had the infinite satisfaction of
finding that his father now listened with deep attention
to God's Word when he read it.
My dear boy," he said one day, "I now know
myself to be a rebel to God, and grievously to have
sinned against His pure and holy laws; and I earnestly
desire to accept the gracious offer of mercy which He
holds out through the atoning blood of Christ, according
to His plan of salvation, which you have so clearly ex-
plained to me. I do not know whether I shall live or
die, but I pray for grace that I may ever continue faith-
ful to Him who has redeemed me with His precious
Martin burst into tears on hearing his father thus
express himself-they were tears of joy-and he felt
THE IVORY TRADER.
the great load which had hitherto oppressed him
removed from his heart.
The natives came in to trade, but Mr Vincent was
utterly unable to do anything. Had it not been for
Martin. who was assisted by Kibo and Masiko, no trade
could have been carried on.
At length most of the tusks in the neighbourhood
were bought up, and as Mr Vincent had still some goods
remaining, he wished to move further on. 11 was,
however, still so ill that he agreed, at the suggestion of
his son, to entrust the goods to Kanenge, who promised
faithfully to take care of them till his return. He ac.
cordingly determined to set out at once, hoping that the
air of the desert would restore him to health, and the
preparations for tie journey being completed, the waggon,
with its valuable load of ivory, descended to the plain.
Kanenge, with most of his men, escorted it; while
Martin and Kibo remained with Mr Vincent, who,
should he feel stronger, was to follow the next day on a
Martin's spirits now revived, and he began to hope
that, the journey being commenced, his father would
ultimately recover. His chief sorrow was with regard
to Kibo. The Makololo chief positively refused to allow
him to return. Martin entreated him to remain true to his
faith, instead of falling into the ways of his tribe. Try
and instruct them, my dear Kibo," he said. Young as
you are you may be the means of spreading the glorious
truths of the Gospel among them."
"You pray for me then," said Kibo. I poor boy, I
very weak, I do nothing by myself."
"We are all very weak and helpless in God's work,"
THE IVORY TRADER.
said Martin. If you seek the aid of the Holy Spirit,
you will have strength given you."
Ah, yes," said Kibo; "I no trust to myself, and then
I strong and do much."
This conversation took place at the door of the hut.
Martin thought he heard his father call to him. He
ran to the side of his couch. Mr Vincent put forth his
hand to take that of his son.
Bless you, my boy," he whispered; the blood of
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin."
Martin put his arm under his father's head. The
trader's eyes fixed to the last on his boy, the film of death
stole over them, and ere a few minutes had passed he
had ceased to breathe.
Kibo left his friend for a time to indulge his grief
alone, while he sent off a message to inform Kanenge of
Mr Vincent's death.
Towards evening the next day, instead of the chief,
who was expected, Masiko made his appearance. Mar-
tin was thankful to have a Christian at such a time with
Martin had chosen a spot under a widespreading tree
for his father's grave, and Masiko, who had brought some
presents to repay the natives, had it dug.
Here the white trader was buried by his orphan son
and his two dark-skinned Christian friends.
Kibo had gone back to the village to order Kanenge's
people to prepare for their departure that night, he
having received intelligence that a party of their enemies
were on the move and approaching the neighbourhood.
Darkness had set in, yet Martin was unwilling to leave
the spot till, assisted by Masiko, he had covered the grave
THE IVORY TRADER.
over with a thick roof of branches to prevent its being
disturbed by savage animals.
He was thus engaged when loud shrieks and cries
from the village reached their ears. His impulse was to
hasten towards it to find Kibo, that they might, if the
placed was attacked, escape together.
"Don't go," exclaimed Masiko, grasping Martin's
hand; "you cannot help him, and will be killed or taken
prisoner with the rest."
At that instant several figures were observed rushing
Come," exclaimed Masiko, dragging Martin forward
in the direction the waggon had taken. "The enemy
will not dare to attack our party armed with guns, and
if we can reach them we shall be safe."
Martin, though anxious to discover his friend, could
not help feeling that it would be unwise to return to
the village, probably already in the hands of the enemy.
He therefore hastened on with his faithful companion,
trusting that they would outstrip the foe. He could only
hope that Kibo had made his escape, and that he would
rejoin them at the waggon. This it was probably the
object of the marauding party to have surprised.
They had many miles of rough country to traverse;
but, though weary, Martin was unwilling to stop and rest,
as it was important to warn Kanenge of what had
occurred, that he might move the waggon to a greater
distance, or if his force was sufficient, pursue the enemy.
THE IVORY TRADER. 33
JUST as day broke, Martin and his companion approached
the camp. The chief, observing Martin's clothes torn,
and his and Masiko's limbs scratched by the bushes
through which they had passed, inquired in an anxious
tone why they had come without his son and the rest of
his people. Masiko then briefly described what had
occurred, and said that they had hurried on to warn him
of the threatened danger.
"I know that you would not willingly have deserted
your friend," said the chief to Martin.
No, indeed, I would not," answered Martin; "and
had not Masiko prevented me, I would have returned at
all risks to the village to try and discover him. I was in
hopes that he might have escaped, and would have
followed us. If he does not appear, I am even now
ready to return to try and find him."
The chief uttered an exclamation which showed his
grief, and said-
"Too probably he and all with him were surrounded
by the enemy, and were either killed or were carried off
as prisoners. If there were a possibility of his being
alive, I would follow him; but our enemies would not
have attacked the place unless with a very large number
of fighting men, against whom my people would have no
chance of success. I also promised your father to de-
fend the waggon and his property with my life, and if I
pursue the enemy I shall leave that defenceless."
I will sacrifice the waggon and all its contents
T71E IVORY TRADER.
rather than allow Kibo to be carried away into slavery,"
I know your friendship for my son, but it would be
useless," said Kanenge. If the enemy were to see a
party outnumbering them approaching, they would put
their captives to death and take to flight. I am better
acquainted with the ways of my country than you are.
Our first business is to take the waggon to a place where
it will be safer than here, and I will at the same time
send out scouts to learn what has happened."
Kanenge now gave orders to have the oxen yoked to the
waggon and the march to begin. He had one of the oxen
saddled for Martin to ride, who, wearied with his long
run, more than once dropping asleep, nearly fell of.
After travelling some distance, a broad stream was
reached, with an island in the centre and a village on the
opposite side. Signals being made, the natives came
across with several canoes. The waggon was quickly
unloaded, when it and the goods were car ied over to the
Kanenge assured Martin that they would be perfectly
safe, as the enemy, having no canoes, could not attack
Shortly afterwards the scouts who had been sent out
arrived, accompanied by one of the men who had been
left in the village, and who was bleeding from several
wounds. He had a sad account to give. The enemy,
numbering upwards of a thousand men, had secretly
approached the village, and almost surrounding it before
they were discovered, had rushed upon the defenceless
inhabitants, killing, as usual, all who opposed them, and
making the rest prisoners. The man confessed that he
THE IVORY TRADER.
and his companions had been completely surprised, but
that they had all fought bravely; and not till he had seen
Kibo surrounded by enemies and carried off, and he him-
self had been wounded, did he take to flight. All the
rest had been shot down.
Martin had eagerly listened to what the man said,
and hoping from the account he heard that Kibo was
alive, he resolved to attempt his release. He proposed,
therefore, as soon as he had rested, to follow the enemy;
and should he overtake them, to go boldly into their
camp, and to try and redeem his friend. They might
possibly be content to receive in exchange the remainder
of the goods in -the waggon, and if not, he should be
ready to offer as many tusks as they might demand. He
could not devote them to a more satisfactory purpose.
He should like to have returned to Mr Warden with a
waggon full of tusks, that he might for the future be no
cost to him, but he would willingly sacrifice the whole
could he regain his friend.
On explaining his plan to Kanenge, the chief replied
that though he and Masiko, being strangers, might be
allowed to enter the enemy's camp, should any of the
Makololo go, they would be immediately killed.
Masiko, though well aware of the risk that he would
run by putting himself in the power of the cruel savages
bent on making slaves of all they could capture, without
hesitation agreed to accompany Martin.
"God will take care of us, we are doing what is right,
we must leave the rest to Him," he observed.
After a short sleep, Martin and Masiko got ready to
Kanenge selected twelve of his most tried warriors to
36 THE IVORY TRADER.
escort them till they should reach the neighbourhood of
the enemy's camp. The Makololo were then to remain
in ambush, to assist in any way which might be found
Among the stores was an English flag which Mr
Vincent had been accustomed to hoist on a high pole
above his waggon when prepared to trade with the natives.
This Martin fixed to a staff with the intention of unfurling
it on approaching the enemy.
Martin and his companions were some distance on their
journey before daybreak. They hurried on till fatigue
and hunger compelled them to halt. After breakfasting
and taking a short rest they again proceeded. In vain
they endeavoured to obtain information as to the move-
ments of the enemy. No inhabitants were to be seen.
They passed, however, several villages which had been
burned, and saw numerous bodies of men, women, and
even of children, shot down while attempting to escape.
Some of the men also had evidently been killed while
fighting for their homes.
Masiko told Martin that the object of this raid, as well
as of numberless others, had been solely to procure slaves
to sell to the slave-dealers, who sent up parties many
miles to the interior from the cast coast.
Unless the Christian people of your country and
others unite to put a stop to the cruel traffic, there will
be no peace or happiness for poor Africa," he observed.
At length a spot where a village had lately stood was
reached. The remains of the huts were still smouldering,
and it was evident that the enemy had not long quitted
it. Numerous dead bodies lay about, shot through by
bullets, showing that the enemy had firearms supplied
THE IVORY TRADER.
by the white slave-dealers to enable them to carry out
their nefarious undertaking. One man was found still
breathing. The Makololo showed very little feeling for
his sufferings, but Masiko stooping down, poured some
water from his leather bottle into his mouth, which
somewhat revived him. The wounded man then told
Masiko that the village having been surprised at night,
most of the inhabitants had been carried off, and he
supposed that the enemy could not be many miles off.
The sufferer's life was ebbing fast, and in a few minutes
he ceased to breathe. Most of those killed were old men
and old women, not considered worth carrying off as
slaves; or, sadder still, several infants, who, incapable of
enduring the fatigues of the journey, had been torn from
their mother's arms and dashed lifeless on the ground.
Martin, unaccustomed to such scenes, felt sick at
heart as he contemplated the spectacle, though the
Makololo warriors regarded it with indifference. Too
often, probably, they had treated their enemies in a
The party now proceeded with the greatest caution, as
it was difficult to ascertain how far off the enemy might
have got. At any moment they might overtake them.
Not a single native could be seen from whom they could
No guide, however, was required to show them the
way, as it was too clear by the dead bodies of men and
women who had been wounded in the attack, and had
sunk down from loss of blood, and frequently by those of
very young children, whose weight had prevented their
mothers from walking as fast as their cruel captors
38 THE IVORY TRADER.
Martin was anxious as soon as possible to overtake
the enemy, that he might have a less distance to send
back for the ransom which might be demanded for Kibo.
He was therefore much disappointed when night again
came on, and his party were compelled to encamp.
They were fortunate in finding a spot near a pool, with
high rocks and trees round it, where they could venture to
light a fire and cook their provisions without the risk of
being seen by the enemy.
The usual sounds heard at sunset in an African forest
had ceased, and were succeeded by the silence which
reigns at night. Martin's companions too, who had
hitherto been talking to each other, had thrown them-
selves on the ground to sleep. He was about to follow
their example, when a cry, which seemed to come from a
distance, reached his ears. He listened attentively. It
was repeated. He asked Masiko if he had heard anything.
Masiko said that he had, but that it was the cry of a
wild beast. Martin was almost sure it was a human
voice, and that it came from the direction the enemy had
taken. Anxious to ascertain if they were in their neigh-
bourhood, Martin begged Masiko to accompany him.
Taking their guns, they made their way through the
wood, the light from the moon enabling them to do so.
After passing through the wood, they ascended a slight
elevation, whence they could distinguish in the distance
the light of several fires, while a murmur, proceeding from
a large number of human voices, reached their ears.
There could be no longer any doubt that they were close
to the enemy's camp, and that the cry they had heard
was that of some unfortunate captive being beaten, or
perhaps put to death.
THE IVORY TRADER.
On this Martin and Masiko returned to their com-
panions, resolved to set out by daybreak, and to try and
reach the marauders' camp before the march was com-
menced. Martin was so occupied with the thoughts ot
what he had to do in the morning that it was long
before he could go to sleep. On one thing he was re-
solved,' that he would not allow Masiko to run the risk
of being seized by the robbers or carried off with the
rest of their captives. Masiko, though very unwilling to
let him go alone, at length consented to remain with the
rest in their place of concealment till Martin's return.
BEFORE daybreak Martin and Masiko se: ynt, the latter
insisting on accompanying him as far as he could ven-
ture without the risk of being discovered.
The sounds which proceeded from the camp showed
that the people were already astir, and Martin leaving
his gun with Masiko, who remained concealed behind a
thick clump of trees, proceeded alone, taking only the
slender staff round which his flag was rolled.
He kept himself, as he proceeded, as much as possible
under shelter, as his object was to get as far as he could
into the camp without being discovered. As the people
were engaged in their various occupations-some collect-
ing cattle, others lighting fires to cook their food, while
many had not yet even risen from the ground-he suc-
ceeded better than he had anticipated. Seeing some
huts before him, he guessed that they were occupied by
40 TIE IVORY TRADER.
the chief of the band and his attendants. Though a
number of people began to press round him, he advanced
boldly forward till he got in front of the largest of the
huts, when, unfurling his flag, he stood quietly waiting
to see what would happen. No one in the meantime
attempted to interfere with him, while the countenances
of the people exhibited astonishment rather than anger.
He had not long to wait before the chief made his
appearance at the door of one of the huts, evidently too
much surprised at what he saw to utter a word. Martin,
taking advantage of his silence, pointed to the flag and
inquired if he knew to what nation it belonged. The
chief made no reply.
I must tell you then," said Martin. It is that of
a great people who have more power than all the tribes
of Africa put together; yet powerful as they are, they wish
to be friends with all people, and to do them good.
You will understand, therefore, that I come to you as a
friend, and as such I wish to talk to you, and to arrange
a matter which has brought me here."
The chief, at length recovering a little from his surprise,
put out his hand and told Martin that though he had
never seen that flag before, nor did he know the nation of
whom he spoke, he was welcome. "Probably," he added,
"some of the people in the camp who have travelled to the
sea may have heard of the great nation." Just then a man
came forward and addressed the chief in a low tone.
Martin did not hear what was said. The chief seemed
somewhat agitated, and at length inquired of Martin
whether any of the big canoes of his countrymen weie"
in the neighbourhood, and what force he had with him.
Martin did not say that no English ships were likely to
TIE IVORY TRADER.
be in the interior of Africa, nor that probably he was the
only Englishman within many hundred miles of him, but
he replied cautiously that he had come on an embassy of
peace, and that he could not suppose the chief would
refuse him the simple request he had to make.
My countrymen," he added, are, as I have said,
powerful, and lovers of peace, and yet when they are
compelled to go to war they never reduce to slavery
those they conquer, but wish them to be as free as they
are themselves. Yet they know how to punish those who
ill-treat the helpless."
"Your countrymen may be a great people, but they
seem to have very different notions to mine," observed
the chief. As yet, however, I do not understand your
object in paying me a visit."
That is the point I am coming to," answered Martin
in as firm a tone of voice as he could command. You
and your people have lately attacked a village in which
were some of my friends, and have carried them off to
sell as slaves. One of them is an especial friend of mine.
He is also of my religion, and understands my language,
and I cannot allow him to be carried away to live among
strangers. As I told you, I came here on a peaceable
errand, and all I demand is that you should set a price
on my friend, and if you will allow him to accompany
me I will send you the goods you demand."
The chief, on hearing this speech,looked greatlyrelieved,
and after consulting with several of his headmen, asked
Martin to point out the friend of whom he spoke.
Martin replied that he would, and was forthwith con-
ducted to the part of the camp where the unfortunate
slaves, who had by this time got ready to commence their
THE IVORY TRADER.
march, were assembled. The men were generally chained
in parties of six together, with heavy manacles on their
hands ; while the women were secured two and two with
ropes round their waists, they having often to carry loads
in addition to their children, who clung to their backs.
The boys were manacled in the same way as the men;
while the younger girls, though fastened together to pre-
vent their running away, were allowed to travel without
loads, not from any feeling of mercy on the part of their
captives, but that they might appear to better advantage
on their arrival at the slave-market. Some of the men
who had apparently been refractory were secured by
having their necks fixed in forks at the end of heavy
poles, the fork being secured by iron pins bolted in at
the broader end so as to prevent them from slipping out
their necks. Two or three dozen of the stronger men were
thus fastened together two and two, some having also
chains round their wrists. A number of men-some armed
with spears and swords, and others with muskets-stood
ready to prevent the possibility of the captives escaping.
Martin hurried to the spot where the boys were collected,
eagerly scanning the faces of the young captives. IIe
had passed by a number, among whom he in vain searched
for Kibo. There was one more group a little further on,
still sitting or lying down. The reason of this was at once
apparent. One of the poor lads being unable to rise,
his companions in misfortune were kicking and pinching
him to make him get up, with the exception of one, who
was endeavouring to protect him from their cruelty. In
that one, though deprived of his English clothes and
naked like the rest, Martin recognized his friend Kibo.
Hie was so engaged in his generous efforts to protect the
THE IVORY TRADER.
sufferer that he did not at first observe Martin approach-
ing. Kibo, at length seeing Martin, uttering a cry of joy,
endeavoured to spring forward, but his chain quickly
checked him. The other lads on this ceased tor-
menting their companion, and gazed with astonish-
ment at the stranger and his flag. Martin, speaking
in English, told Kibo why he had come to the camp,
and advised him not to say who he was lest the
chief should increase the amount he might demand
for his ransom.
"There is my friend," he then said, turning to the
headman who had accompanied him. You see, as I
told you, that he speaks my language, and you will now
believe that everything else I have told you about him is
true. Set him at once at liberty, and I will send the
goods as soon as I return to the camp."
Greatly to his joy, Martin saw Kibo's manacles
knocked off, and they stood together grasping each
other's hands. Kibo, however, did not move from the
spot, but casting his eyes towards the poor lad on the
ground, he said, Can you get him set free too ? he is
sick already, and will die if made to travel with the rest.
I have been telling him about Jesus Christ, and he says
how much he wishes to know Him better, and that he
would come to this country and teach people to be
happy. Oh, how grieved I should be if he were to die
and not know more about Him "
Martin at once pointed out the sick lad to the head-
men, and told them that if they would knock off his
chains and carry him to their chief, he would pay a ran,
som for him as well as for his friend. As the savages
saw that this would be a clear gain, well knowing that.
44 THE IVORY TRADER.
the lad would die if compelled to march with the rest,
they at once complied; and Martin grasping Kibo by the
hand, followed by a couple of men carrying the poor lad,
returned to the hut, in front of which the chief was seated
smoking his pipe, and surrounded by several persons.
One of these, though his skin was as brown as that of
the rest, had European features, and was dressed in shirt
and trousers, and Martin rightly conjectured that he was
an agent of the slave-dealers on the coast, and had
instigated the raid which had unhappily been so suc-
ecssfully carried out. Martin had brought a list of his
remaining goods, and the chief appeared satisfied with
those he offered in exchange for Kibo and the other lad.
He was in hopes that the matter would quickly be settled,
when the white man advised the chief to refuse the articles
offered and to insist on having tusks instead. Martin
had been too long accustomed to deal with the natives to
yield at once, or to acknowledge that he had any
I tell you truly that I offer you all my remaining
goods," he answered. If you will send messengers to
receive them, I promise to send them to you as soon as
I can get back to my camp."
The chief, instigated by the slave-dealer, insisted on
having tusks, finally agreeing, however, to receive twelve
for Kibo and two for the poor sick lad, who, he remarked,
was not likely to be of much use to any one. He would
probably not have allowed his captives to go free until he
had received the tusks, but when Martin promised on the
faith of his flag to send them, even the slave-dealer
advised him to consent, observing that Englishmen, though
he hated them from his heart, always fulfilled their pro-
THE IVORY TRADER. 45
mises. Martin, thankful that his enterprise had thus far
succeeded, set out with Kibo, accompanied by fourteen
men, who were to go a part of the distance and there to
wait till the arrival of the tusks. On consideration of
receiving payment, they agreed to carry the poor lad
whose freedom Martin had obtained. As they approached
the spot where he had left his companions, he and Kibo
hurried forward to give them warning. Their joy at see-
ing their chief's son was very great, and they declared that
Martin ought to be made a chief himself. Martin, com-
mitting the two rescued lads to the charge of the Makololo,
urged them to hasten on to Kanenge, while he followed
with Masiko, as he was anxious to separate the hostile
natives as soon as possible, fearing that either one or the
other might be guilty of some act of treachery. He
advised those who had come from the camp to remain
at the spot where he left them till his return. The men
begged that he would leave his flag, as no one, they
observed, would then venture to attack them, and it
would be an additional proof that he intended to fulfil
his promise. This he gladly agreed to do. He then set
out with Masiko, and travelled on with all speed, sup-
ported by the feeling that he had succeeded in his under-
taking, and by his wish to fulfil his promise. For many
miles the country was desolate, and no food was to be
obtained. In the evening, however, they overtook their
companions, who had sufficient for their wants. Kibo
gave a good report of his friend Telo, who by his direc-
tions had been carried on a litter.
I have promised that you, Martin, will take him with
you to the missionary, who will instruct him in the
religion of which I have been telling him. He says that
46 THE IVORY TRADER.
as all his friends have been killed or carried off as slaves
he will gladly go with you."
But I must get you also to go with me, if your father
will let you," said Martin. You will then learn English,
and obtain more knowledge of the Bible; and you may
some day return to this country with a white missionary,
to whom you may act as interpreter, and be able to instruct
your people in the truths of the Gospel."
Kibo, who had not been attracted by the examples of
savage life he had witnessed, gladly promised to try and
obtain his father's leave to return with Martin. He did
this more willingly as he found with regret that Kanenge
was in no way disposed to listen to him when he tried to
explain the Gospel, and he hoped that a missionary would
be more successful. The discussion of their plans for
the future occupied them during the remainder of their
journey. Kanenge received his son with joy, and expressed
his warmest gratitude to Martin for bringing him back.
Though he confessed that a very high price had been
demanded for his liberation, he seemed rather flattered
than otherwise by it, and insisted on replacing the tusks
aken from Martin's store. He showed, however, that he
was still the savage by observing that Martin had been
over-generous in rescuing poor Telo, who was not worth
the two tusks he had promised. Martin did not consider
it necessary to argue the point, merely replying that he
would give them from his own store.
As soon as he had rested, leaving Kibo with Kanenge
to look after Telo, he and Masiko set out, attended by
several men carrying the tusks he had promised as a ran-
som for the two young blacks. He also selected a number
of articles to distribute among the party who had escorted
THE IVORY TRADER. 47
him from the camp. He found them anxiously waiting
his return, and in fear of being attacked on their march
to overtake the rest of their party. No sooner had they
received the tusks and presents than they hurried off, and
Martin and Masikc returned in safety to Kanenge's camp.
In a short time Kanenge managed to obtain as many
tusks as Martin had paid for his son's ransom, with several
in addition, which he presented as a gift. Martin having
thus, greatly to his satisfaction, rescued Kibo from slavery,
was anxious to rejoin Mr Warden as soon as possible.
Still, eager as he was to set out, he determined not to
go, if possible, without his friend. He had frequent con
versations with Kibo on the subject.
Martin went to the chief, who again expressed his grati-
tude to him for rescuing his son.
"Yes," said Martin, "I, it is true, redeemed him
from slavery, but that was only the slavery which binds
the body; you wish to bring back his soul into slavery,
which is ten thousand times worse than that from which
I saved him. If he remains with you, and follows your
customs, he will be Satan's slave. Allow him to return
with me, and in a few years I trust that he will come
back and be able to show you and your people how you
may be free indeed, and enjoy the blessings which my
religion can alone give you. You acknowledge that I
have been the means of rescuing him from your enemies ;
I have a right, therefore, to entreat that you will allow
him to accompany me."
For a considerable time Kanenge did not speak. A
great struggle was taking place within him. At length
He shall go with you, my son. You have said what
THIE IVORY TRADER.
is true ; only, remember your promise, that he is to re-
turn here to see me ere I die."
Martin again assured Kanenge that should God spare
his life, Kibo would return with a white missionary to
instruct him and his people, and then. hastened away to
communicate to his friend the joyful intelligence.
Preparations for their departure were now made, and
the waggon being well loaded. Martin and his two
young companions, with Masiko as conductor, set out on
his journey southward across the desert. The Hottentot
driver and four of his men survived, while several of
the Makololo gladly undertook to fill the places of the
others and to form the necessary escort. Kanenge ac-
companied them for a couple of days on their journey,
urging Martin to come back with Kibo, and promising to
give him a warm reception.
The journey across the desert was performed without
an accident. Martin had no intention of following the
life of a trader, having far higher aims in view. He
without difficulty disposed of his waggon and its valuable
cargo, and with Mr Warden's assistance, invested the
proceeds, which were sufficient not only to supply his very
moderate wants for the present but for the future. He at
once began diligently to prepare himself for the important
duties of a missionary, Kibo and Telo following his ex-
ample. The three young men were in the course of a few
years fitted to go forth on their destined work, and were
the means of bringing many in that long-benighted region
out of Nature's darkness into the glorious light of the