Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/249

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239
JOURNEYING IN MADAGASCAR.

modern science, speculative and experimental, teaches, then the reactionary spirit of the movement becomes startlingly clear, and then, perhaps, will we understand the poet, who, speaking for the Goddess of Liberty, said:

"I am a threat to oppression's sin.
And a pharos light to the weak endeavor.
Mine is the love that men may win,
But lost — it is lost forever!"


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JOURNEYING IN MADAGASCAR[1]

By FRANK VINCENT.

EARLY on the morning of September 10th I left Antananarivo for Mojanga. My chief reason for not returning to Tamatave was that I preferred to see new country; and the second, that I wished to visit some gold mines worked by a Frenchman, named Suberbie, who had a concession of a large tract about halfway between the capital and the coast. This gentleman has a house in Antananarivo and spends much of his time there. I had the pleasure of meeting him and he favored me with letters of introduction to his manager at one place and a mining engineer at another. The bulk of my baggage had been left in Tamatave, and was to be sent on by the next monthly French mail steamer to Zanzibar, my ultimate destination. I expected to meet a like steamer at Nosy Bé, a French port and island on the northwest coast, with which I learned I might connect by means of a small French steamer which periodically served the principal ports on the west coast of the island. By thus crossing Madagascar I hoped to familiarize myself with its three great races. The Sakalavas on the western portion of the island have always borne a bad name, which they have in part merited, though high-handed aggressions of foreigners ought often to be urged in mitigation thereof. I was warned to keep my revolver in readiness and my escort near at hand, and so determined to take chances of a safe passage to the sea. The direct distance from the capital to Mojanga is two hundred and forty miles in a general northwest direction, though this distance, by many deviations and changes of level, is lengthened by the traveled route into about three hundred and eleven miles. Of this latter distance some two hundred miles are by land in filanzana and the remainder by water in pirogue and dhow, or small sailboat. The total journey may readily be accomplished in ten days. The country through which I would have to pass was

  1. Extracted from the author's latest book of travel, entitled Actual Africa, recently published by Messrs. D. Appleton & Co.