We arrived at Seychelles on the 9th of June, about twelve hours after the French mail had departed for Aden. As there is only monthly communication between Mahe (Seychelles) and Aden, we were compelled to remain on the island of Mahe one month.
My life in Mahe is among the most agreeable things connected with my return from Africa. I found my companions estimable gentlemen, and true Christians. Mr. Livingstone exhibited many amiable traits of character, and proved himself to be a studious, thoughtful, earnest man. When at last the French steamer came from Mauritius, there was not one of our party who did not regret leaving the beautiful island, and the hospitable British officers who were stationed there. The Civil Commissioner, Mr. Hales Franklyn, and Dr. Brooks, did their utmost to welcome the wanderer, and I take this opportunity to acknowledge the many civilities I personally received from them.
At Aden, the passengers from the south were transferred on board the French mail steamer, the `Mei-kong,’ en route from China to Marseilles. At the latter port I was received with open arms by Dr. Hosmer and the representative of the `Daily Telegraph,’ and was then told how men regarded the results of the Expedition; but it was not until I arrived in England that I realised it.
Mr. Bennett, who originated and sustained the enterprise, now crowned it by one of the most generous acts that could be conceived. I had promised Dr. Livingstone, that twenty-four hours after I saw his letters to Mr. Bennett published in the London journals, I would post his letters to his family and friends in England. In order to permit me to keep my plighted word, and in order that there might be no delay in the delivery of his family letters, Mr. Bennett’s agent telegraphed to New York the ‘Herald’ letters I had received from Dr. Livingstone at an expense of nearly £2,000.
And now, dear reader, the time has come for you and I to part. Let us hope that it is not final. A traveller finds himself compelled to repeat the regretful parting word often. During the career recorded in the foregoing book, I have bidden many farewells; to the Wagogo, with their fierce effrontery; to Mionvu, whose blackmailing once so affected me; to the Wavinza, whose noisy clatter promised to provoke dire hostilities; to the inhospitable Warundi; to the Arab slave-traders and half-castes; to all fevers, remittent, and intermittent; to the sloughs and swamps of Makata; to the brackish waters and howling wastes; to my own dusky friends and followers, and to the hero-traveller and Christian gentleman, David Livingstone. It is with kindliest wishes to all who have followed my footsteps on these pages that I repeat once more—Farewell.
The following correspondence, and especially the last letter, which was accompanied by a beautiful and valuable gold snuff-box set with brilliants, will be treasured by me as among the pleasantest results of my undertaking.