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POSTSCRIPT: THE LAST JOURNEY
BY JEAN KENYON MACKENZIE
MEJUN, WEST AFRICA, July 17. me in surroundings as low as she susI am about seventy miles southeast pects them to be. of Elat, in a forlorn little town of the Two women have been standing at Yemvae tribe; got in this afternoon af. the door looking at me. I am lying on ter a run through the forest from Ek- my cot. They double up with laughter. wen. Left Miss Eick at the crossroads. One says (she is eating), 'Here I stand She is having a good time, I think. The and my plantain cannot find the path people are devoted to her; the path she to my mouth for wonder!' And when is going is an Elat path; many Chris- I told them my mother had borne six tians are in the towns, simple folk who children, she said, 'All with bodies like love her. These new people have some- you? Not a black one in all?' They thing to give the black people that we surely would have thought themselves older missionaries have lost - a kind cursed with such a brood. of personal response to their wonder, and a pleasure in their wonder that is
Wednesday, July 23. worn away in time. Many of the peo- On Monday night we slept in the ple here have never seen a white wo- Ntum town of Wo’o. A large town full man before. The women laugh at us of waggish old men, full of interest in so much. One clapped her hands with sex and the humor of that interest, pleasure and said, 'The little talk of like old French libertines. The men do her and the little voice and all!' not wear the headdress any more, but
There are rats 'too much’ in this the women are all coiffed. A very beauhouse, and I shall be hearing the lit- tiful art, I think, very becoming and tle talk and the little voices and all as curiously modifying to the face, so that soon as I turn out the light. Gracious the face of a Ntum woman, under its sakes, my dears, they begin already casque of brass studs and bead fringe, and badum are bột !!
bridled through the nose with strings of A girl asked me to-night if I knew blue or rose beads that pass back of the a charm to give her a child. I have ear, and strapped across the forehead been asked this several times lately. with a band of beads, - the face of the
Ntum woman has a curiously disciMASAN, Saturday, July 19. plined and softened aspect, a kind of Another rather dreadful town where touching submission. I notice this very I shall stay until Monday. When I get generally, and Miss E. notices it too. into a dreary town like this, I think At this town we had quite a success of how satisfied Miss D. would be to see curiosity. Miss Eick's bicycle was a
1 'They are as noisy as people.' great wonder. ‘And so the white man
er saw SO
has white women,' cries one silly; 'I order of his clearing the headman sat thought the tribe were just men, men! ' in his little shelter
a young man, heavily braceleted with ivory. There Sunday, August 3. were lots of men in this settlement, and Three old ladies sit watching me presently many women gathered, all where I lie on my cot. One says, 'So bustled and coiffed, and some rubbed new!' Another says, “So fresh!' The with red powder. Every one was busy: last says, 'Like a thing newborn!' men making furniture for the new town,
I am staying under the eaves of a women knotting little nets, shelling very grand house. There is a kind of peanuts, grinding corn; and all this inporch fenced in with slats of bamboo, dividual industry going forward in a and there are twenty pairs of eyes look- kind of common gayety. I think I neving through the slats, children on their
how shall I give you an hands and knees and bigger ones high- idea so harmonious a scene. As I er up. I am tired of weeks of this. spoke to these people about the things
I want to write very particularly of of God there came a pause in the indusWednesday, July 23, for I suppose I try. The tool was arrested. The hands shall never pass another such day. We of the women bruising green leaves in slept Tuesday night near the fork of wooden troughs and the grinders at the the Ntem and the Kom, in a very quiet stones were idle. Men laughed with a little settlement. We had a little town kind of wonder. One woman flashed to ourselves and rested. Walked to a with interest behind her mask of purvillage in the afternoon, where I had a ple tattoo and bright beads. Another meeting. On Wednesday we walked bridled young thing gazed in a great through two hours of forest, real forest, stillness. I see this thing in my heart but good walking,-a trail, not a path. like a thing shut in from time and Lots of elephants had passed within a change, and I wish that I may never few days, and we saw the fresh tracks forget it. of a gorilla. Afterward we heard from We spoke of the new Tribe and of its the people that the gorilla, or more than Chief. Mba came to take me home, for one, had been seen that day. At about he had heard tales of gorillas. The ten o'clock we came into the deserted women followed me to say good-bye; villages of Mengama. In the palaver they ran ahead shouting about the house a man sat by a bit of fire. My Commandments - these people dote funny Ebolo in his tattered, his really on commandments. And these brown catastrophic trousers, found an old harp creatures headed like flowers were cryin a house. He put aside his load, ing to each other, ‘Don't steal. Don't the kitchen load, all pots and pans, commit adultery. Don't kill.' I have and was a new man. He sang our ad- seen so much that is sordid, so much ventures in a beautiful voice-a mock that is vile, that I cannot think when I sentimental voice, all laughter and have seen an hour so unspoiled as this, bathos, and mellow, mocking tremolo. though in those days and in those
‘ I loved him for it. It was a purple streets,' as Galsworthy says, there patch, a ragged purple patch in the gar- must be deeds of horror. ment of the journey.
In Wo'o, where one felt the horror Another stretch of forest and we very near, there was a beautiful creacame into the new clearing of Asok. ture, a young woman with four red Later in the day I came back to this pompons in her headdress. Her body place. In the middle of the leafy dis- was rubbed with red powder; it was
young and fine. There is a bloom of into the bark walls, no curtains, the light on the outline of a body so cov- floor covered with a coarse bamboo ered, and in the shadows there is some- matting. Frau Mülling came half way thing luminous too. Strange, morbid down the hill to meet me, pretty and beauty!
friendly. Her husband was away lookI am scribbling beside a wood fire in ing after the disorders across the Ntem; our little camp. A plantain roasts in he was to be gone the night. She showthe ashes for your child. An animal, ed me into a room where there was some frightened little thing, has just a real bed,
a real bed, my dears, made up with an crashed through the underbrush near extravagance of linen. My room, she by.
told me, and was much disappointed LOLODORF, Monday, August 11. because I could not stay. She took me Well, my dears, I am back since part of the way back, a mile and a Thursday from what I think to have bittock," with a soldier to follow us bebeen a good trip, as good as I could cause dusk was closing in and she was have wished. Gone forty-six days, and afraid of leopards. traveled four hundred and perhaps The road west of Ambam to the forty miles. I think I wrote from beach is beautiful, open but not too Ekin, where we camped three nights; open. In a village by the way I had a left there on Monday morning and were half-hour session with a proud blackglad to leave, after the ungrateful fash- smith, — the Ntum are great blackion of transients. We walked until one smiths, - and we parted with tears, or o'clock the next day, part of the time nearly. We men,' said he, ‘love to tell in the forest, but mostly now on a tales in the palaver house, and when quite open path, for we were coming we are telling our tales, where is the out at Ambam, the government post ring I will be showing the other men for the Ntum. We slept at Kulezok. to prove that the white woman and We were awfully tired that day. In I, we are friends?' 'If you speak of one of these settlements near Ambam tales,' said I,ʻI love to tell a tale mywe came on some Efulen people, who self, and where is the present you will were mighty glad to see us, and called be giving me to show my friends when one to the other, 'Ah Obam, Ah Bilo'o, I say that I and the blacksmith from come and see the faces of home!' Akumbetye, we are friends?' More
Now that we had got back to the of such gentle hints, followed by an exneighborhood of the white man, the change of keepsakes. Brass for ivory, people were ruder, but as curious as and some magic in the ivory too. ever. In the afternoon I went to see When we came out of the forest at Frau Mülling, the wife of the military about three o'clock, into the sunny upofficer in charge at Ambam, about an land valley of Nyabet, I met a happy hour's walk from the town in which we man who had killed a monkey. He carslept. I sent Mba Esone to tell her that ried the most beautiful crossbow I have I would call; in such an out-of-the-way ever seen, and he carried it with the part of the world she could not be look- most noble gesture. 'Tis a grand thing ing for callers. Ambam is a cluster of to kill a monkey; you rush home in a bark houses on a long hill; the houses little wind of victory. I bought that lie along the crest, a rather noble and crossbow the next day. leisurely effect. The dwelling house is I spent Sunday at Mesamba. On quite one of the most satisfactory I Monday we cut up through the forest have seen in Africa — big windows let to Mfenda, and from there to Nkotoven,
all day in bilik and bekotok — that is,
she goes far for her chickold deserted clearing; nothing so hard en; at ten I put out the light and go to to go through. And it rained. I got in- sleep, Zamo still away. The young to Nkotoven, Bululand, at five o'clock. wives of her husband lie down and 'Zamo Ntem,'I call, and old Zamo sits sleep too. They are Christians, children up in her house.
of the childless Zamo. She is a wonder
a 'That little voice,' she says, 'where ful person, with hundreds of converts have I heard that little voice before?' to fill her heart. "Zamo!'
In the morning we parted and I had And Zamo comes out slowly, blink- a chicken all my own. She was going ing, and then quickly and puts her arms to show me a great piece of path, but around me and cries on my sleeve, the old legs got tired. She went too far because old Minkoe Ntem, her sister for the chicken. That day we went and my friend, is dead. And they told through the Mebem bilik, not bad. Ate her at Efulen that I was gone beyond fine pawpaws in a little clearing about the seas. The owner of that little voice a palm tree. Spent the night at Minkan is embraced by many old friends. Zamo in our own territory, where the people cannot sit down to chat; she has guests came far to hear us through the night to feed. She leaves plantains in the and the rain by the light of reed torches. kettle for my carriers, and is off to beg I think I shall never see old Zamo a chicken for her dear child. Poor old again.
BY LAURA SPENCER PORTOR
man can tell what religious revolutions 1
await us in the next years.' Then with In his essay on 'Character' Emerson thundering assurance he gives us the points to the mutation and change of coveted reassurance. But the science religions and theological teachings, and of ethics has no mutation. The pulpit then thunders characteristically, 'The may shake, but this platform will not. moral sentiment alone is omnipotent.' All the victories of religion belong to Now, Emerson never takes away any- the moral sentiment.' thing traditional and cherished, but he I wish it were given me to speak with puts something nobler into your hands some such force and truth of what we in place of it. Hear him: 'The lines of are wont to call education. Theories religious sects are very shifting, their are very shifting; the whole science of platforms unstable; the whole science instruction is of great uncertainty. No of theology of great uncertainty. No man can tell what pedagogic revolutions VOL. 117 - NO. 2
await us. But the educational value that it was more given to the practice of life has no uncertainty. Schools of hospitality and the entertainment may come and go; this, the school of of guests. life, remains — the greatest of them all. Of the homes of my day my own was, The highest attainments of mankind I believe, fairly typical. Though a full are due to its teachings.
description of it and of the men and In still another essay Emerson, de- women who frequented it would make picting, we suppose, the ideal not the a colored recital, so would a like deacademic scholar, declares with the scription of the homes of many others same tonic forcefulness that ‘his use of besides myself who were children also books is occasional and infinitely sub- at that time. I do not mean that such ordinate; that he should read a little homes were entirely the rule; yet there proudly, as one who knows the original were enough of them certainly to conand cannot therefore very highly value
stitute a type. the copy.' Always, life is to Emerson Such homes were not luxurious; the greater art, and learning, literature, those of people of less position nowaand all other arts whatsoever, but less- days are far finer. The old house was a er things. “You send your child to the large and comfortable one, with lowschoolmaster,' he flings out, “but it is ceilinged, well-proportioned rooms, and the schoolboys who educate him.' wide verandas. Its furnishings were in
Precisely. When shall we have taken taste, and contributed greatly to its wholly to heart the so obvious truth? character. The big Holland secretary, It cannot be but the author of the with its bulging sides and secret drawer, 'Greatest Show on Earth’ was right. was a very piece of romance; the tall The world likes to be humbugged; else clock with its brass balls and moon face, why all this elaboration of education- the old clawfoot mahogany tables, the al systems and theories, educational long scroll sofa, the heavy scroll mahogforms and creeds, this multiplication of any sideboard, were as mellow in tone modern methods and ‘didactic mate- as the old Martin guitar on which men rial'? These are, indeed, but things and women, beaux and belles of a past that change and fluctuate, and already generation, had played; or the harp are on the way to being superseded. that stood in a corner, all gold in the Meanwhile the older and larger school- afternoon sunlight; or the square Steck room of Life never closes its doors, piano of the front room, a true grandee makes no bid for patronage, retains its in its day. Several really well-painted old teachers, changes its methods not at portraits looked down from the walls all, and still turns out the best pupils. and added a certain stateliness to the
My own education is generally warmth of every welcome. thought to be above the average. It is Many people, recalling that home, my belief that it would be far less con- have spoken to me since of a peculiarsiderable but for those various circum- ly warm and beautiful light which on stances which in my childhood denied sunny days was present in the three me much schooling, and accorded me a lower rooms — parlor, sitting-room, good deal of staying at home.
and dining-room- that opened one The home of those days had, it is into another. true, a far greater educative value than This light, which had first to make can be claimed justly for the home of its way past maples and a few pear the present day, owing mainly-I hold trees, entered, it seemed, with an esit almost beyond dispute — to the fact pecial graciousness, touching softly and