Ufiomi

Name ID 1380

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 126
Extract Date: 1903

Ufiomi

Reports about cattle sickness at Mbugwe and Arusha were confirmed, and we were told that we could obtain a guide at the next camp to make a detour across country. After three hours' march we reached Ufiomi. The chief was a fine fellow, fairly intelligent for a savage. I bought three young bulls from him. He told me part of the money paid him was wanted for hut tax. In the afternoon he came into my tent for a chat and made me a present of a donkey. His only son and heir was a mute, whom he asked me to cure.

We procured a Masai guide for our ten days' march across country, and, not knowing where we might get to, we increased our food supply. We were destined to fare sumptuously next night, as a fair-sized water hole was discovered in the bed of the river where we were camping, and this proved to be full of mud fish. Hooks and lines were quickly got out and we were soon busy. We had a good fry for dinner, and the porters sat round and simply gorged themselves with fish and meat.

Next day at lunch the guide came up to say that his knowledge of the road ceased there, and he could guide us no farther. This came as a great surprise, as I had expected him to take us right through. If this man did not know the way, what were we to do? We were in a trackless wilderness, short of water, with very little food. We might wander for days without finding the right path. I questioned the man closely and gleaned from him that the Wanderobo, a hunting tribe, sometimes frequented these parts, and if there happened to be any in the neighborhood they might be induced to guide us. We immediately pitched camp and I sent men out in all directions to scour the country for Wanderobo. We were again lucky enough to find a water-hole with fish in it, and I had plenty of sport with rod and line. The cattle up to this time were going well and keeping healthy, the only death being that of a young calf which was very weak when we started. The men returned at sunset, but without having met any Wanderobo.

We could not move without a guide, so the next day I again sent out parties to try and find some of the hunters. About noon, some men who had been fishing down the river brought in two of the tribe. The Wanderobo are naturally timid and these men were very frightened. Through an interpreter I asked if they would act as our guides, and after they had eaten a goat and some other food they undertook to do so if I would give them a sheep each at the end of the march. To this I readily agreed.

Extract ID: 3598
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