Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/19

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(pousse un rugissement); it is the order for the merchandize to stand up; but many of them do not obey. What is the matter? Our interpreter, who has gone among the groups, will tell us: listen to him. 'The chains are too short; the dead and the dying prevent the living from rising. The dead can say nothing; but what do the dying say? They say that they are dying—of hunger.'

"But let us leave the consideration of this trader's picture as a whole; and let us look at some of the details. Who is this creature who holds tightly in her arms a shapeless object covered with filthy leaves? On looking close, you see that it is a woman, lying in the mud, and holding to her dried up breast the child of which she has just been delivered. And those little girls who totter as they strive to rise, and who seem to ask for pity, on what are they leaning? On a dead body! And this man who is working with his hands a piece of mud, which he is continually placing on his eye, what is the matter with him? Our guide tells us, 'He is a troublesome fellow, who set a bad example by throwing himself at my feet this morning, and saying with a loud voice, I am dying of hunger; and I gave him a blow which burst his eye; he is henceforth good for nothing;' and he added with a sinister look, 'He wont be hungry long.'"

To the question addressed to the Arab chief, why he dealt thus with the men, his reply was, "I do as my father did before me."

We pass on from the consideration of such revolting scenes, to watch the future destiny of the unhappy slaves when brought down to the coast.

The port of Quiloa, or Kilwa, which we have mentioned, lies about 150 miles south of the island of Zanzibar, and is the great mainland mart or emporium where thousands are exposed for sale, and whence they are shipped for Zanzibar. The cost of the slave purchased at Kilwa is about five dollars. Some attempt is there made to register the number exported for Zanzibar, by means of port clearances furnished by the authorities to the slavers; and it is from these registers that we are enabled to calculate the yearly consumption of slaves. To this part of our subject we shall presently return.

On arrival at Zanzibar, the majority of the slaves pass into the slave market. Many are at once consigned to their Arab purchasers, who have come down from Arabia with the northerly monsoon, and have hired houses for the reception of their pur-