[Tappan Introduction]: David Livingstone was a celebrated African explorer and
missionary. After many years in Africa, he was lost sight of, and it was generally
believed that he was dead. James Gordon Bennett, proprietor of the New York Herald, sent
the young reporter, who was afterwards known as Sir Henry M. Stanley, with an open account
in search of him. After two years of searching, during which Stanley's reports--printed in
the Herald--served to energize public interest in the exploration and conquest of Africa,
the following scene took place according to Stanley's account.
We were now about three hundred yards from the village of Ujiji, and the crowds are
dense about me. Suddenly I hear a voice on my right say, ---
"Good morning, sir!"
Startled at hearing this greeting in the midst of such a crowd of black people, I turn
sharply around in search of the man, and see him at my side, with the blackest of faces,
but animated and joyous---a man dressed in a long white shirt, with a turban of American
sheeting around his woolly head, and I ask: ---
"Who the mischief are you?"
"I am Susi, the servant of Dr. Livingstone," said he, smiling and showing a
gleaming row of teeth.
"What! Is Dr. Livingstone here?"
"In this village?"
"Are you sure?"
"Sure, sure, sir. Why, I leave him just now."
"Good morning, sir," said another voice.
"Hallo," said I, "is this another one?"
"Well, what is your name?"
"My name is Chumah, sir."
"What! are you Chumah, the friend of Wekotani?"
"And is the Doctor well?"
"Not very well, sir."
"Where has he been so long?"
"Now, you, Susi, run, and tell the Doctor I am coming."
"Yes, sir," and off he darted like a madman.
But by this time we were within two hundred yards of the village, and the multitude was
getting denser, and almost preventing our march. Flags and streamers were out; Arabs and
Wangwana were pushing their way through the natives in order to greet us, for, according
to their account, we belonged to them. But the great wonder of all was, "How did you
come from Unyanyembe?"
Soon Susi came running back, and asked me my name; he had told the Doctor that I was
coming, but the Doctor was too surprised to believe him, and, when the Doctor asked him my
name, Susi was rather staggered. But, during Susi's absence, the news had been conveyed to
the Doctor that it was surely a white man that was coming, whose guns were firing and
whose flag could be seen; and the great Arab magnates of Ujiji---Mohammed bin Sali, Sayd
bin Majid, Abid bin Suliman, Mohammed bin Gharib, and others---had gathered together
before the Doctor's house, and the Doctor had come out from his veranda to discuss the
matter and await my arrival.
In the meantime, the head of the expedition had halted, and the kirangozi was
out of the ranks, holding his flag aloft, and Selim said to me, "I see the Doctor,
sir. Oh, what an old man! He has got a white beard." And I---what would I not have
given for a bit of friendly wilderness, where, unseen, I might vent my joy in some mad
freak, such as idiotically biting my hand, turning somersaults, or slashing at trees, in
order to allay those exciting feelings that were well-nigh uncontrollable. My heart beats
fast, 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.
So I did that which I thought was most dignified. I pushed back the crowds, and,
passing from the rear, walked down a living avenue of people until I came in front of the
semicircle of Arabs, in the front of which stood the white man with the grey beard. As I
advanced slowly towards him, I noticed he was pale, looked wearied, had a grey beard, wore
a bluish cap with a faded gold band round it, had on a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of
grey tweed trousers. I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such
a mob---would have embraced him, only he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would
receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing---walked
deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said:---
"Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
"Yes," said he, with a kind smile, lifting his cap slightly.
I replace my hat on my head, and he puts on his cap, and we both grasp hands, and I
then say aloud:
--- "I thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you." He answered,
"I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you."
I turn to the Arabs, take off my hat to them in response to the saluting chorus of
"Yambos" I receive, and the Doctor introduces them to me by name. Then,
oblivious of the crowds, oblivious of the men who shared with me my dangers,
we---Livingstone and I---turn our faces towards his tembe. He points to the
veranda, or, rather, mud platform, under the broad, overhanging eaves; he points to his
own particular seat, which I see his age and experience in Africa have suggested, namely,
a straw mat, with a goatskin over it, and another skin nailed against the wall to protect
his back from contact with the cold mud. I protest against taking this seat, which so much
more befits him than me, but the Doctor will not yield: I must take it.
We are seated---the Doctor and I---with our backs to the wall. The Arabs take seats on
our left. More than a thousand natives are in our front, filling the whole square densely,
indulging their curiosity and discussing the fact of two white men meeting at Ujiji---one
just come from Manyuema, in the west, the other from Unyanyembe, in the east.
Conversation began. What about? I declare I have forgotten. Oh! we mutually asked
questions of one another, such as: ---
"How did you come here?" and "Where have you been all this long
time?---the world has believed you to be dead." Yes, that was the way it began; but
whatever the Doctor himself informed me, and that which I communicated to him, I cannot
correctly report, for I found myself gazing at him, conning the wonderful man at whose
side I now sat in Central Africa. Every hair of his head and beard, every wrinkle of his
face, the wanness of his features, and the slightly wearied look he wore, were all
imparting intelligence to me---the knowledge I had craved for so much ever since I heard
the words, "Take what you want, but find Livingstone!"