Adventurer and Ivory Trader in Central Africa and Author
Trader Horn, fully Alfred Aloysius "Trader" Horn, born Alfred Aloysius Smith, alias Zambezi Jack
Adventurer and Ivory Trader in Central Africa and Author
Mr. Smith was routinely taking his boat up the Estuary to Azya on the Rembwe. His contract may have come to an end soon after his patience did with Sinclair. In any case, he had, he said, "made up my mind to take a trip home to the old country as my folks in the old home in Lancashire were continually writing for me." ... Apekwe [who Horn describes as "my bosom friend in whom I could confide and he never betrayed me"] and his followers lined the shore, crying, "Come back to us we shall always be thinking of your return." ... Aloysius and Herr Schiff also shared a 'duck and doras' ... Herr Schiff said that if Aloysius wanted to return as an independent trader he would supply him with any goods he wished ... and would back Aloysius to any amount.
My great-uncle Bill, him that had landed in Jamaica and was the last of the privateers, and my grandfather John Horn, started the firm Hamlin, Horn and Hamlin. Know it? Aye, the world knows it. All, me uncles and cousins I've ever had are in it, same as they were in the Alabama syndicate. My uncle Richard was killed in the fight off Galveston.
Never cared for Stanley, us traders. 'Twas no love of humanity made him go after Livingstone. 'Twas nothing but newspaper ambition. Always wanted the spotlight turned on him. There was that poor feller Pocock was with him. Got carried over the Samba Falls in a boat. Very likely. But 'twas an open suspicion among the traders that the boat was cut from its moorings
Nina spoke to me first. She was nattily dressed in the European togs I had given her and spoke in a firm voice which I understood. Come and see us at once and you will receive protection. If not, you will be attacked and surely die.
On entering the temple, which had an ornamentation of human skulls ... I was confronted by a row of masked objects hideous to behold. I was then seated bareheaded on a small seat composed of leopard skins. There were two objects the chief called my attention to, one was a square piece of crystal, the other was peg-top shaped and pointed at one end. He told me to place my hand on these objects, and that one represented fire (the red one) and the other water. ... I came to the conclusion it was a ruby of great value. After this there was a great vociferation from the building, supposed to come from the spirits behind. ... Now everything in the temple began to sparkle and placing his hand on my head, which I bowed low, he announced in a loud voice the entrance of Izaga. ... The chief then ordered me to stand up and approach the centre mask. ... There stood the God that Never Dies, the most beautiful white woman I had ever seen. Her eyes were wide and had a kind of affectionate look. Although I thought there was pity in them they had a magnetic effect on me. ... Her head was auburn and was plaited in circles and pressed onto her temples. Two ringlets ornamented with gold and green tassels fell down on each side of her shoulders, whilst high up on her forehead the hair formed a diamond-shaped coronet. A short leopard-skin kilt ornamented with snakeskin and dainty fur sandals with black straps formed the rest of the dress of this Izaga.
The creek leading to the lake is arched over by vines, from which hang all kinds of vegetation which was simply crowded with flowers of all kinds of shape and hue. As the trees on both banks were high, there was lots of space between this natural archway and the water and terra firma, which was one mat of varied colored vegetation. Birds of all descriptions flitted to and fro. Now the beautiful crested crane would rise and fly away and kingfishers of all kinds disturbed would follow them. The most beautiful bird in the world, the pippin, which is one mass of green and gold, finds a home here... As we neared the mouth of this enchanted waterway... I saw three gorillas, one big fellow and two smaller ones.
There was me great-uncle Dick that was the last of the buccaneers and had a house in M? Road, Hyde Park. Property in Savannah [Georgia, USA]. ... And there was me great-uncle Horn. Stone blind. Always siting in a little chair by the fire.
This I found later was correct, as far as reading went, so that I could always smuggle in a short note to the goddess when I used to visit the temple to make a wish.
Tis a good time to push a book like mine foreword. There's been nothing novel lately since Rider Haggard. One of the biggest mythologizers in the world, that feller. But mine'll be facts. You can weave a lot out of that.
Aye, when I saw de Brazza's canoes disappearing to make new country for the French ... I could 'a' done it all for England a dozen times and over. ... If I'd been Sinclair I would have owned the country. In Britain's name of course. ... I thought myself as big as de Brazza. I was better armed and had the instinct for top-dog lacking in one of his make-up. A proper nobleman, though. Full of high thought and proud reserve with all his bravery. ... If I'd sent home for proper backing I'd have got clear of Sinclair's timidity and photo worship. Rhodes knew the power of home backing.
We examined the sack I removed [containing] the tiara of diamonds with a large pigeon blood ruby and an emerald on each side, it was a beauty, there were also four string of black and white pearls, nicely graded and the gold work slippers.
Dates? ... Excuse me sounding impatient, but I'd say my books are built on facts, not dates. ... When you're here there and everywhere for seventy years you can't be as neat as a lawyer's ledger. A man's got to choose between being a bit o' nature and being chained to the office calendar.
We were in a land of chance, Chief Isogu on one side and Rengogu on the other, both notorious river pirates ... a place we could not afford to stick for long with a valuable cargo. If they saw us well-stuck they would attack us in a minute.
He [de Brazza] eventually landed with his quartermaster and several French soldiers, both black and white. His native soldiers were all from Senegal and were fine fell fellows. In fact, we all got along splendidly. Count de Brazza was a tall gentleman of what seemed middle age, although not thirty, and was a pensive man who never joked or smiled. His men were armed with the Fusi Gras, which I found was a splendid rifle and a French machine gun completed his armory. He brought along a number of beautiful looking donkeys who surprised the natives, whenever turned loose, with their loud braying and kicking antics ... De Brazza had to stay with us till his large canoes came from Okanda away up the Ogowe River. I had many a long chat with him and as he spoke both French and English I soon formed a great friendship with him and he promised I should have his assistance if I followed him up to establish trading posts. He also told me he intended to put up the French Flag at Stanley Pool, and there he made his town which is Brazzaville today.
Well, I'm getting along to the sensational later. That'll provide me contrast to the quietude of the Chesterfields. What do you say to finding Eastern ladies of high rank, looking their best, and fully be-jeweled, afloat in the cabins of the ill-fated Empress of India? Aye, they'd be fully caparisoned in their beautiful clothes, nearing Zanzibar as they were ... Golden slippers and silken trousers ... Emerald rings weighting down the floating hands of the dead ... Naturally they were pressed up against the cabin roof by the floating furniture... All those fabulous scents, attar of rose etcetera, and so forth drowned in the smell o' death that can't get free to the cleansing of the sea ... Sharks 're very quick to notice tainted water. They must have been sailing their fins about the Empress of India for many a day, hoping for the best... High class Mohamedan ladies, meant for the Sultan's harem .
I?ve never burdened me memory with dates. A brains given you for thoughts, not dates.
Well, just see how you like it, Ma'am. I'm sorry I wasn't able to elaborate the story of the princess of the harem cuddling the ceiling of that cabin. 'Twould a' led to too much reality and other unpleasantness. No way to treat a poor dead woman to expose her bones to the public gaze.
If I have to gather together all that I know of Nina T? and her father into a ponderous mass all in one chapter ... it would sure be an indigestible result. Chase the threads and then weave them into pleasing results in what proves best in the ultimate.
Whereas the memory of the chief, Mr Sinclair, still lives in the land, there are but few old people who can remember his subordinate of that time. What they still remember is that he was very young, that he wanted to trade according to his own ideas and on his own account and was therefore constantly at variance with Mr Sinclair ... Apart from trifling discrepancies, Trader Horn's description of the country and it's inhabitants is accurate.
It takes a pretty strong prayer to shut out matricide. Not but what they'd have to get permission from the priests at the Josh [Joss] House to do way with 'em. Then they'd gather a few friends together and chuck somebody's old mother or granny into the river, at an age when in Lancashire she'd be just right for a shawl and a good cup o' tea.
Like all Liverpoolers he became very communicative ... especially on going ashore at various landings. I made it a strict practice of showing a military front, which he soon found was quite necessary in a land of piracy, slavery and murder. As the old salt talked at me with my bandaged hand and many of my boys still patched, he began to think that this was surely a land where for a lad romance runs amuck.