Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/259

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247
MISCELLANY.

the western frontier of Ugogo, he quitted the beaten path, and, for the remaining 550 miles, his line of march lay steadily in a northwestern direction. A few days later, the guides who had been hired in Ugogo deserted, and the trail which the expedition had been following was lost in a labyrinth of elephant and rhinoceros tracks. Still continuing his march to the northwest, Mr. Stanley's men, with great difficulty, forced and cut their way through a dense jungle on the third day after the guides had deserted. The following two days' march was very trying to the men, who suffered from hunger and thirst, and a halt was ordered until provisions could be got from Suna, a place distant nearly thirty miles. While waiting, the men had two scanty meals of gruel, which was made in a sheet-iron trunk. At a point 400 miles from the sea, Edward Pocock, one of the four Englishmen, died of typhoid fever. Thirty of the blacks were on the sick list, and six had died at Suna. The most stirring incident of the entire march to Victoria Niyanza was the three-days' battle with the people of the Lewumbu Valley. The savages were soundly whipped, and many of their villages burned. The plunder of the villages supplied the force with provisions for six days. Stanley lost twenty-one men in this little war; and when, three days later, he numbered the expedition, it was found that there remained only 194 men, and the number was still further reduced before he reached the shores of Victoria Niyanza. On his arrival at Kagehyi, he had only 166 native soldiers and carriers, and three white men.

The second letter gives an incomplete account of a reconnoissance of the coast of Victoria Niyanza. This reconnoissance was made in a cedar boat, which had been carried in sections from the sea-coast. Mr, Stanley, in this boat, the Lady Alice, surveyed all the coasts of the lake, sailing over 1,000 miles in fifty-eight days. In the letter which we call the second, Mr. Stanley mentions a previous letter which he wrote at Mtesa, on the north shore of the lake, latitude 0° 20' north, longitude 33° east. There he met Colonel Linaut de Bellefonds, of Gordon's staff, and gave him a letter for transmission to England. Strange to say, this letter has not yet reached its destination, while two other letters, one of them of later date, and which were sent via Unyanyembe to Zanzibar by caravan, have been received. A map accompanies the "second" letter. This map, being based on actual survey, decides the question, long discussed, whether Victoria Niyanza is one lake or a multitude of lakes. It is seen to be one vast sheet of water, with length and breadth nearly equal, but with its largest diameter lying from northeast to southwest. Its extreme northern limit is in latitude 0° 30' north, and its extreme southern limit in latitude 2° south. East and west it reaches longitude 34° 30' east, and 31° 50' east, respectively. During Stanley's absence from Kagehyi, Frederick Barker, one of his English followers, died there of fever. The newspapers in whose service Mr. Stanley is engaged ought to have attached to his staff a secretary possessed of some little literary tact. Mr. Stanley's own communications are verbose to the last degree: they give no clear idea of the nature of the countries visited; their inhabitants; how the expedition obtained supplies, etc. The two letters already published purport to give the history of about six months, but they are in volume equal to about one-fourth of Cæsar's famous memoirs of the Gallic War, which extended over nine years.

 

Putrefaction arrested by Pressure.—A communication to the Paris Academy of Sciences, by M. Paul Bert, on the "Influence of Air-Pressure on Fermentation," a summary of which appears in the Academy, states that a piece of meat placed in oxygen, with a pressure of twenty-three atmospheres, remained from July 26th to August 3d without putrescence or bad odor. It consumed in that time 380 cubic centimetres of the gas. A similar piece, suspended in a bell-glass full of air at the ordinary pressure, acquired a bad smell, consumed all the oxygen, amounting to 1,185 centimetres, and was covered with mould. Another trial was made with oxygen at a pressure of forty-four atmospheres; no oxygen was absorbed between December 19th and January 8th, and no bad odor was exhaled. M. Bert could eat cutlets