We of course promised, unless prevented by any unforeseen occurrence, that we would do as he proposed, feeling confident that we could trust to his honesty, and that he had a real desire to save his wife from the horrible fate which threatened her. We had not in the meantime forgotten poor Shimbo. Aboh constantly cried out "Oh! my brodder, my brodder."
Charley and I ran down to join him. The next minute Aboh and Shimbo, with two other blacks, stepped out of a good-sized canoe, capable of carrying us three in addition. It was formed very much like the one we had intended to make out of the trunk of a tree. Aboh seemed as delighted to see us as if he had been away for several weeks.
As we were glad of something to do, we accepted the offer, and all four of us, with Aboh and Shimbo, set out with the party the prince had already collected, and who were waiting at the outskirts of the village. It was too dark, however, by the time we reached the part of the forest where the elephants had been seen to go in search of them.
Directly afterwards we caught sight of the hideous doctor, or priest, urging on a party who were dragging forward a person between them. We did not at first see the features of the latter, and it was not until he had been hauled up on the platform, where the king was standing, that we discovered him to be our friend Shimbo.
Before, however, we had time to follow his advice, the savage, springing on him, wrenched his gun out of his hand, while the black fellows pressing round us prevented us from using our weapons. Aboh, Shimbo, and the other blacks, seeing that we were overcome, were about to take to flight, but they were immediately surrounded by a large body of enemies, our whole party thus being made prisoners.
As it was still early in the day, we hoped to find his majesty tolerably sober, and capable of listening to reason. We accordingly issued forth from our house with our knapsacks on our shoulders, and our guns in our hands, Harry and Aboh ready to act as spokesmen, Charley and I coming next, and Tom and Caspar with Shimbo bringing up the rear.
Aboh and Shimbo were so long in preparing the viands, that by the time they announced that all were sufficiently cooked, we were perfectly ready to fall to. We enjoyed our meal, and as soon as it was over, Charley proposed that we should start without delay. The ducks and the venison were carried down to the canoe, as well as the leopard skin.
We later in the day killed three elephants, much in the way I have before described, and early next morning our party, carrying the skin of the ape and the elephants' tusks, with large quantities of meat, returned to the village. In the course of the morning we reached our house, which we had left in charge of Shimbo. We had the satisfaction of finding that none of our knapsacks had been touched.
At last she appeared tolerably well satisfied, and as it was getting late she and her grandfather took their departure. We were now left alone, with only Aboh and Shimbo to attend on us. "Things have turned out much better than I expected, and we are very jolly here," observed Charley; "but I wonder whether Mr Sanga Tanga will let us proceed on our journey."
We were not sorry to partake of them, as we had become very hungry; but as we had had but little rest the previous night, we begged our entertainers to leave us in quiet, which they did not appear disposed to do. At length Aboh and Shimbo making their appearance, at our request turned all our guests out and allowed us to sleep in quiet.