No one slept much that night, and long before the dawn the fires were lit, and great steaks were broiling, that their stomachs might rejoice before parting with the Musungu, whose bounty they had so often tasted. Six rounds of powder were served to each soldier and pagazi who owned a gun, to fire away when we should be near the Arab houses. The meanest pagazi had his best cloth about his loins, and some were exceedingly brave in gorgeous Ulyah “Coombeesa Poonga” and crimson “Jawah,” the glossy “Rehani,” and the neat “Dabwani.” The soldiers were mustered in new tarbooshes, and the long white shirts of the Mrima and the Island. For this was the great and happy day which had been on our tongues ever since quitting the coast, for which we had made those noted marches latterly—one hundred and seventy-eight and a half miles in sixteen days, including pauses—something over eleven miles a day
The signal sounded and the caravan was joyfully off with banners flying, and trumpets and horns blaring. A short two and a half hours’ march brought us within sight of Kwikuru, which is about two miles south of Tabora, the main Arab town; on the outside of which we saw a long line of men in clean shirts, whereat we opened our charged batteries, and fired a volley of small arms such
as Kwikuru seldom heard before. The pagazis closed up and adopted the swagger of veterans: the soldiers blazed away uninterruptedly, while I, seeing that the Arabs were advancing towards me, left the ranks, and held out my hand, which was immediately grasped by Sheikh Sayd bin Salim, and then by about two dozen people, and thus our entrée into Unyanyembe was effected.
I received a noiseless ovation as I walked side by side with the governor, Sayd bin Salim, towards his tembe in Kwikuru, or the capital. The Wanyamwezi pagazis were out by hundreds, the warriors of Mkasiwa, the sultan, hovered around their chief, the children were seen between the legs of their parents, even infants, a few months old, slung over their mothers’ backs, all paid the tribute due to my colour, with one grand concentrated stare. The only persons who talked with me were the Arabs, and aged Mkasiwa, ruler of Unyanyembe.
Sayd bin Salim’s house was at the north-western corner of the inclosure, a stockaded boma of Kwikuru. We had tea made in a silver tea-pot, and a bountiful supply of “dampers” were smoking under a silver cover; and to this repast I was invited. When a man has walked eight miles or so without any breakfast, and a hot tropical sun has been shining on him for three or four hours, he is apt to do justice to a meal, especially if his appetite is healthy. I think I astonished the governor by the dexterous way in which I managed to consume eleven cups of his aromatic concoction of an Assam herb, and the easy effortless style with which I demolished his high tower of “slap jacks,” that but a minute or so smoked hotly under their silver cover.