Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/355

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339
DR. LIVINGSTONE.

A letter from Livingstone himself, dated February, 1867, and received many months later, confirmed the facts brought out by Young: but, after the arrival of that, nothing but vague and unreliable rumors reached England. "We were again left in doubt as to the fate of the intrepid traveller. At last tidings came. A letter appeared in the Times of December 13, 1869, written by Dr. Livingstone to Dr. Kirk, at Zanzibar, and dated Ujiji, 30th May, 1869. After referring to the untrustworthiness of the Arab traders, both in taking charge of goods and carrying letters—which accounts, by-the-way, for his long silences—the doctor writes as follows:

"As to the work to be done by me, it is only to connect the sources which I have discovered from 500 to 700 miles south of Speke and Baker's, with their Nile. The volume of water which flows north from latitude 12° south is so large, I suspect that I have been working at the sources of the Congo as well as those of the Nile. I have to go down the eastern line of drainage to Baker's turning-point. Tanganyika, Nj-ige Chowambe (Baker's?), are one water, and the head of it is 300 miles south of this. The western and central lines of drainage converge into an unvisited lake west or south of this. The outflow of this, whether to Congo or Nile, I have to ascertain. The people of this, called Manyema, are cannibals, if Arabs speak truly. I may have to go there first, and down to Tanganyika, if I come out uneaten and find my new squad from Zanzibar. I earnestly hope that you will do what you can to help me with the goods and men."

This letter refers to his discoveries east and west of the southern extremity of Tanganyika, and the unvisited lake is Kamolondo. Comparing this with Livingstone's account of his earlier explorations, in recent letters which have reached us, it helps, it would seem, to establish their authenticity, regarding which some are skeptical.

Then we were startled by the following:

"To the Editor of the Times, February 2, 1870:

"Sir: The enclosed letter from my son-in-law, Captain the Hon. Ernest Cochrane, commanding H.M.S. Petrel on the west coast of Africa, is at your service. It gives an account of the awful death which has terminated Livingstone's career.Your obedient servant, Richard Doherty.
"Red Castle, County of Donegal, January 31st."

"My Dear Sir: A few lines to tell you Dr. Livingstone has been killed and burnt by the natives ninety days' journey from the Congo. He passed through a native town and was three days on his journey when the king of the town died. The natives declared Livingstone had bewitched him, sent after him and told him he had witched their king, and he must die. They then killed him and burnt him. This news comes by a Portuguese trader travelling that way. Livingstone was on the lakes at the head of the Congo, making his way to the Congo, where he was going to come out. I believe this news to be true."

And so might others, if on consideration they could have persuaded themselves that, after hearing some native rumor, the thoughts in the Portuguese informant's mind had been unconnected with his wish! But time passes; and then we learn how a solitary American most