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himself with Makua chiefs on all sides and these have kept
strangers from him all these years. We thought he might know
something of the country's minerals - and further, because of
his influence, his friendship would make the country open to
In reality we passed within a few miles of him, but the
chiefs all said they had never heard of him, or else that he
was far away and they did not know his whereabouts. Thus
we got to Nacavalla, where we stayed a week, and at last
impressed the chief there that he must let us through to Moravi.
So at last Nacavalla [villages and their chief often had the
same name] sent messengers to Moravi, 45 miles back
towards the coast; and he, approving of us because we were
English, sent us the necessary guides. Now we are back again
at Nacavalla, having visited Moravi, and learned all he knows
- disappointingly little.
All the country we have yet covered is singularly devoid of
minerals and of gold there is not the faintest trace. Travelling
is only very slow and difficult. At every chief's kraals one must
stop and talk with him and tell him most confounded lies
about being pleased to see him. When one arrives at a place
it is imperative to stop - if you don't want to your carriers
won't proceed, so what can be done? Then the chief comes
and gives permission for the tents to be put up. You give him
a present, about which he generally grumbles and threatens
you with starvation unless it is increased! That is to say, he
would tell his people not to sell food to the carriers for the
cloth we give them every day. Cloth of course, takes the place
of money here, and has the advantage that it can be used to
cover up one's sex organs (!) but the disadvantage is that it
wears out.
At many places the chief tells you he is going to have a
dance in your honour. That is the promise of hell! The first
time it is new and interesting, but afterwards it stimulates
one to more bad language than a lifetime of golf (since golf
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