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video clip ga my da cua sat

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-06-15 04:08:24
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video clip ga my da cua sat

While these problems were being imperfectly 132 solved, I walked down with the Governor and one of the Engineer officers to the Ripon Falls, which are but half a mile from the Commissioner's house, and the sound of whose waters filled the air. Although the cataract is on a moderate scale, both in height and volume, its aspect—and still more its situation—is impressive. The exit or overflow of the Great Lake is closed by a natural rampart or ridge of black rock, broken or worn away in two main gaps to release the waters. Through these the Nile leaps at once into majestic being, and enters upon its course as a perfect river three hundred yards wide. Standing upon the reverse side of the wall of rock, one's eye may be almost on a plane with the shining levels of the Lake. At your very feet, literally a yard away, a vast green slope of water races downward. Below are foaming rapids, fringed by splendid trees, and pools from which great fish leap continually in the sunlight. We must have spent three hours watching the waters and revolving plans to harness and bridle them. So much power running to waste, such a coign of vantage unoccupied, such a lever to control the natural forces of Africa ungripped, cannot but vex and stimulate 133 imagination. And what fun to make the immemorial Nile begin its journey by diving through a turbine! But to our tale. Forest Scene near Ripon Falls. The porters had by now got far on their road, and we must pad after them through the full blaze of noon. The Governor of Uganda and his officers have to return to Entebbe by the steamer, so it is here I bid them good-bye and good luck, and with a final look at Ripon Falls, gleaming and resounding below, I climb the slopes of the river bank and walk off into the forest. The native path struck north-east from the Nile, and led into a hilly and densely wooded region. The elephant-grass on each side of the track rose fifteen feet high. In the valleys great trees grew and arched above our heads, laced and twined together with curtains of flowering creepers. Here and there a glade opened to the right or left, and patches of vivid sunlight splashed into the gloom. Around the crossings of little streams butterflies danced in brilliant ballets. Many kinds of birds flew about the trees. The jungle was haunted by game—utterly lost in its dense entanglements. And I think it a sensation all by itself to walk on your own feet, and staff in hand, along these mysterious paths, amid such 134 beautiful, yet sinister, surroundings, and realize that one is really in the centre of Africa, and a long way from Piccadilly or Pall Mall. Our first march was about fourteen miles, and as we had not started till the hot hours of the day were upon us, it was enough and to spare so far as I was concerned. Up-hill and down-hill wandered our path, now plunged in the twilight of a forest valley, now winding up the side of a scorched hill, and I had for some time been hoping to see the camp round every corner, when at last we reached it. It consisted of two rows of green tents and a large "banda," or rest-house, as big as a large barn in England, standing in a nice, trim clearing. These "bandas" are a great feature of African travel; and the dutiful chief through whose territory we are passing had taken pains to make them on the most elaborate scale. He was not long in making his appearance with presents of various kinds. A lanky, black-faced sheep, with a fat tail as big as a pumpkin, was dragged forward, bleating, by two retainers. Others brought live hens and earthenware jars of milk and baskets of little round eggs. The chief was a tall, intelligent-looking man, with the winning 135 smile and attractive manners characteristic of the country, and made his salutations with a fine air of dignity and friendship. Palm Tree near the Asua. Banda with Escort of King's African Rifles. The house he had prepared for us was built of bamboo framework, supported upon a central row of Y-shaped tree-stems, with a high-pitched roof heavily thatched with elephant-grass, and walls of wattled reeds. The floors of African "bandas" when newly made are beautifully smooth and clean, and strewn with fresh green rushes; the interior is often cunningly divided into various apartments, and the main building is connected with kitchens and offices of the same unsubstantial texture by veranda-shaded passages. In fact, they prove a high degree of social knowledge and taste in the natives, who make them with almost incredible rapidity from the vegetation of the surrounding jungle; and the sensation of entering one of these lofty, dim, cool, and spacious interiors, and sinking into the soft rush-bed of the floor, with something to drink which is, at any rate, not tepid, well repays the glaring severities of a march under an Equatorial sun. The "banda," however, is a luxury of which the traveller should beware, for if it has stood for more than a week 136 it becomes the home of innumerable insects, many of approved malevolence and venom, and spirillum fever is almost invariably caught from sleeping in old shelters or on disused camping-grounds. Life "on Safari" is rewarded by a sense of completeness and self-satisfied detachment. You have got to "do" so many miles a day, and when you have "done" them your day's work is over. 'Tis a simple programme, which leaves nothing more to be demanded or desired. Very early in the morning, often an hour before daybreak, the bugles of the King's African Rifles sounded réveille. Every one dresses hurriedly by candle-light, eats a dim breakfast while dawn approaches; tents collapse, and porters struggle off with their burdens. Then the march begins. The obvious thing is to walk. There is no surer way of keeping well in Uganda than to walk twelve or fourteen miles a day. But if the traveller will not make the effort, there are alternatives. There is the rickshaw, which was described in the last chapter—restful, but tedious; and the litter, carried on the heads of six porters of different sizes, and shifted every now and then, with a disheartening jerk, to their shoulders and back 137 again—this is quite as uncomfortable as it sounds. Ponies cannot, or at least do not, live in Uganda, though an experiment was just about to be made with them by the Chief of the Police, who is convinced that with really careful stable management, undertaken in detail by the owner himself, they could be made to flourish. Mules have a better chance, though still not a good one. We took one with us on the last spell of "Safari" to Gondokoro, and were told it was sure to die; but we left it in apparently excellent condition and spirits. An Encampment. But the best of all methods of progression in Central Africa—however astonishing it may seem—is the bicycle. In the dry season the paths through the bush, smoothed by the feet of natives, afford an excellent surface. Even when the track is only two feet wide, and when the densest jungle rises on either side and almost meets above the head, the bicycle skims along, swishing through the grass and brushing the encroaching bushes, at a fine pace; and although at every few hundred yards sharp rocks, loose stones, a water-course, or a steep hill compel dismounting, a good seven miles an hour can usually 138 be maintained. And think what this means. From my own experience I should suppose that with a bicycle twenty-five to thirty miles a day could regularly be covered in Uganda, and, if only the porters could keep up, all journeys could be nearly trebled, and every white officer's radius of action proportionately increased. Nearly all the British officers I met already possessed and used bicycles, and even the native chiefs are beginning to acquire them. But what is needed to make the plan effective is a good system of stone, fumigated, insect-proof rest-houses at stages of thirty miles on all the main lines of communication. Such a development would mean an enormous saving in the health of white officials and a valuable accession to their power. Had I known myself before coming to Uganda the advantages which this method presents, I should have been able to travel far more widely through the country by the simple expedient of trebling the stages of my journeys, and sending porters on a week in advance to pitch camps and deposit food at wide intervals. And then, instead of merely journeying from one Great Lake to the other, I could, within 139 the same limits of time, have explored the fertile and populous plateau of Toro, descended the beautiful valley of the Semliki, and traversed the Albert Lake from end to end, and skirted the slopes of Ruenzori. "If youth but knew...!" But the march, however performed, has its termination; and if, as is recommended, you stop to breakfast and rest upon the way, the new camp will be almost ready upon arrival. During the heat of the day every one retires to his tent or to the more effective shelter of the "banda," to read and sleep till the evening. Then as the sun gets low we emerge to smoke and talk, and there is, perhaps, just time for the energetic to pursue an antelope, or shoot a few guinea-fowl or pigeons. With the approach of twilight comes the mosquito, strident-voiced and fever-bearing; and the most thorough precautions have to be taken against him and other insect dangers. We dine in a large mosquito-house made entirely of fine gauze, and about twelve feet cubically. The bedding, which should if possible be packed in tin boxes, is unrolled during the day, and carefully protected by mosquito-nets well tucked in, against all forms 140 of vermin. Every one puts on mosquito-boots—long, soft, leather leggings, reaching to the hips. You are recommended not to sit on cane-bottomed chairs without putting a newspaper or a cushion on them, to wear a cap, a scarf, and possibly gloves, and to carry a swishing mosquito-trap. Thus one moves, comparatively secure, amid a chorus of ferocious buzzings. To these precautions are added others. You must never walk barefoot on the floor, no matter how clean it is, or an odious worm, called a "jigger," will enter your foot to raise a numerous family and a painful swelling. On the other hand, be sure when you put on boots or shoes that, however hurried, you turn them upside down and look inside, lest a scorpion, a small snake, or a perfectly frightful kind of centipede may be lying in ambush. Never throw your clothes carelessly upon the ground, but put them away at once in a tin box, and shut it tight, or a perfect colony of fierce-biting creatures will beset them. And, above all, quinine! To the permanent resident in these strange countries no drug can be of much avail; for either its protection is diminished with habit, or the doses have to 141 be increased to impossible limits. But the traveller, who is passing through on a journey of only a few months, may recur with safety and with high advantage to that admirable prophylactic. Opinions differ as to how it should be taken. The Germans, with their love of exactness even in regard to the most uncertain things, prescribe thirty grains on each seventh day and eighth day alternately. We followed a simpler plan of taking a regular ten grains every day, from the moment we left Port Said till we arrived at Khartoum. No one in my party suffered from fever even for a day during the whole journey. Our second day's march was about the same in length and character, except that we were nearer the river, and as the path led through the twilight of the forest we saw every now and then a gleam of broad waters on our left. At frequent intervals—five or six times during the day—long caravans of native porters were met carrying the produce of the fertile districts between Lake Chioga and Mount Elgon into Jinja. Nothing could better show the need of improved communications than this incipient and potential trade—ready to begin and thrusting forward along bush-paths on the 142 heads of tottering men. For the rest, the country near the river seemed the densest and most impenetrable jungle, hiding in its recesses alike its inhabitants and its game. The third morning, however, brought us among "shambas," as the patches of native cultivation are called; and the road was among plantations of bananas, millet, cotton, castor-oil, and chilies. Here in Usoga, as throughout Uganda, the one staple crop is the banana; and as this fruit, when once planted, grows and propagates of its own accord, requiring no thought or exertion, it finds special favour with the improvident natives, and sustains them year after year in leisured abundance, till a sudden failure and a fearful famine restore the harsh balances of the world. After a tramp of twelve miles, and while it was still comparatively early—for we had started before dawn—we reached Kakindu. The track led out of the forest of banana-groves downwards into more open spaces and blazing sunlight, and there before us was the Nile. Already—forty miles from its source, near four thousand from its mouth—it was a noble river: nearly a third of a mile in 143 breadth of clear, deep water rolling forward majestically between banks of foliage and verdure. The "Chioga flotilla," consisting of the small steam launch, Victoria, a steel boat, and two or three dug-out canoes, scooped out of tree-trunks, awaited us; and after the long, hot business of embarking the baggage and crowding the native servants in among it, was completed, we parted from our first relay of escorts and porters, and drifted out on the flood. The next three days of our life were spent on the water—first cruising down the Victoria Nile till it flows into Chioga, and then traversing the smooth, limpid expanses of that lake. Every evening we landed at camps prepared by the Busoga chiefs, pitched our tents, lighted our fires, and erected our mosquito-houses, while dusk drew on, and thunderstorms—frequent at this season of the year—wheeled in vivid splendour about the dark horizon. All through the hot hours of the day one lay at the bottom of massive canoes, sheltered from the sun by an improvised roof of rushes and wet grass. From time to time a strange bird, or, better still, the rumour of a hippo—nose just peeping above the water—enlivened 144 the slow and sultry passage of the hours; and one great rock, crowded with enormous crocodiles, all of whom—a score at least—leaped together into the water at the first shot, afforded at least one really striking spectacle. As the Victoria Nile approaches Lake Chioga, it broadens out into wide lagoons, and the sloping banks of forest and jungle give place to unbroken walls of papyrus-reeds, behind which the flat, surrounding country is invisible, and above which only an isolated triangular hill may here and there be descried, purple in the distance. The lake itself is about fifty miles long from east to west, and eleven broad, but its area and perimeter are greatly extended by a series of long arms, or rather fingers, stretching out in every direction, but especially to the north, and affording access by water to very wide and various districts. All these arms, and even a great part of the centre of the lake, are filled with reeds, grass, and water-lilies, for Chioga is the first of the great sponges upon which the Nile lavishes its waters. Although a depth of about twelve feet can usually be counted on, navigation is impeded by floating weeds and water-plants; and when the 145 storms have swept the northern shore, numerous papyrus-tangled islands, complete with their populations of birds and animals, are detached, and swim erratically about the lake to block accustomed channels and puzzle the pilot. For one long day our little palpitating launch, towing its flotilla of canoes, plashed through this curious region, at times winding through a glade in the papyrus forest scarcely a dozen yards across, then presently emerging into wide flood, stopping often to clear our propeller from tangles of accumulating greenery. The middle of the lake unrolls large expanses of placid water. The banks and reeds recede into the distance, and the whole universe becomes a vast encircling blue globe of sky and water, rimmed round its middle by a thin band of vivid green. Time vanishes, and nothing is left but space and sunlight. All this while we must carefully avoid the northern, and particularly the north-western shore, for the natives are altogether unadministered, and nearly all the tribes are hostile. To pursue the elephants which, of course (so they say), abound in these forbidden precincts is impossible; to land for food or fuel would be dangerous, and even to approach might 146 draw a splutter of musketry or a shower of spears from His Majesty's yet unpersuaded subjects. The Nile leaves the north-west corner of the lake at Namasali and flows along a broad channel above a mile in width, still enclosed by solid papyrus walls and dotted with floating islands. Another forty miles of steaming and we reach Mruli. Mruli is a representative African village. Its importance is more marked upon the maps than on the ground. An imposing name in large black letters calls up the idea of a populous and considerable township. All that meets the eye, however, are a score of funnel-shaped grass huts, surrounded by dismal swamps and labyrinths of reeds, over which clouds of mosquitoes danced feverishly. A long wattled pier had been built from terra firma to navigable water, but the channel by which it could be approached had been wholly blocked by a floating island, and this had to be towed painfully out of the way before we could land. Here we were met by a fresh escort of King's African Rifles, as spick and span in uniform, as precise in their military bearing, as if they were at Aldershot; by a mob of fresh porters, and, lastly, by the only friendly 147 tribe from the northern bank of the river: and while tents were pitched, baggage landed, and cooking-fires began to glow, these four hundred wild spearmen, casting aside their leopard skins, danced naked in the dusk. 148


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