“‘Are you sure?’
“‘Sure, sure, sir. Why, I leave him just now.’
“‘Susi, run, and tell the Doctor I am coming.’”
Susi ran like a madman to deliver the message. Stanley and his men followed more slowly. Soon they were gazing into the eyes of the man for news of whom the whole civilized world was waiting.
“My heart beat fast,” says Stanley, “but I must not let my face betray my emotions, lest it shall detract from the dignity of a white man appearing under such extraordinary circumstances.”
The young explorer longed to leap and shout for joy, but he controlled himself, and instead of embracing Livingstone as he would have liked to do, he grasped his hand, exclaiming, “I thank God, Doctor, that I have been permitted to see you.”
“I feel grateful that I am here to welcome you,” was the gentle reply.
All the dangers through which they had passed, all the privations they had endured were forgotten in the joy of this meeting. Doctor Livingstone’s years of toil and suspense, during which he had heard nothing from the outside world; Stanley’s awful experiences in the jungle, the fact that both men had almost exhausted their supplies; the terrors of open and hidden dangers from men and beasts, sickness, hope deferred, all were, for the moment, pushed out of mind. Later, each recounted his story to the other.
After a period of rest, the two joined forces and together explored and made plans for the future. Stanley tried to induce Livingstone to return with him. But in vain; the great missionary explorer would not lay down his work. He persevered, literally until death.
At last the hour of parting came. With the greatest reluctance Stanley gave his men the order, “Right about face.” With a silent farewell, a grasp of the hands, and a look into each other’s eyes which said more than words, the old man and the young man parted forever.
Livingstone’s life work was almost done. Stanley was the man on whose shoulders his mantle was to fall. The great work he had accomplished in finding Livingstone was the beginning of his career as an African explorer.
After the death of Livingstone, Stanley determined to take up the explorer’s unfinished work.
In 1874 he left England at the head of an expedition fitted out by the London Daily Telegraph and the New York Herald, and penetrated into the very heart of Africa.
He crossed the continent from shore to shore, overcoming on his march dangers and difficulties compared with which those encountered on his first journey sank into insignificance. He afterward gave an account of this expedition in his book entitled, “Darkest Africa.”
Stanley had successfully accomplished one of the great works of the world. He had opened the way for commerce and Christianity into the vast interior of Africa, which, prior to his discoveries, had been marked on the map by a blank space, signifying that it was an unexplored and unknown country.