HOW STANLEY MET LIVINGSTONE
It was surely at the hour timed by Providence that Stanley met Livingstone, at Ujiji, in 1871. Rumors had come out of Africa, that the missionary explorer was dead. No confirmation of the news could be had, how-ever; and James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, joined by the London Daily Telegraph, sent Stanley into the unknown interior of Africa with orders to find Livingstone.
Meanwhile Livingstone had been halted in his quest for information concerning the river systems beyond Tanganyika. The Arabs, with whom he traveled in the Manyuema country, had been so merciless in the treatment of the village people that the missionary could see no way but to leave them and turn back to his base at Ujiji. Notes from his journal show how providentially his return fitted into the progress of Stanley’s search for him. The inclusion of a few “notes by the way” will add features of interest, though we are watching for the story of the providential coming of Stanley to meet Livingstone at the very place and time where he had to have help:
July 14. “I am distressed and perplexed what to do so as not to be foiled, but all seems against me.”
July 20. Leaves for Ujiji.
August 8.Spear thrown at him by native hidden close by the path. “As they are expert with the spear, I do not know how it missed, except that he was too sure of his aim, and the good hand of God was upon me . . Another spear was thrown.” This also just missed. Then a huge tree fell across the path. Living-stone heard the crack, as it started falling, and jumped from under the falling trunk. The lower limbs had rattled off. He was near the foot of the tree; so that he again escaped.
“ ‘Three times in one day I was delivered from impending death. My attendants, who were scattered in all directions, came running back to me, calling out,
“Peace! peace! You will finish all your work in spite of these people, and in spite of everything.” Like them, I took it as an omen of good success to crown me yet, thanks to the Almighty Preserver of me.’ ”
September 22.“In the latter part of it [the journey back], I felt as if dying on my feet.”
October 3. “I read the whole Bible through four times—while I was in Manyuema.”
October 23. He arrived at Ujiji, his base on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, expecting to find stores and goods for barter, which he had left in the care of a friendly Arab. Hope of securing comforts and necessaries from this store buoyed up his spirits on the last weary weeks of his march. But arriving, he found his rascally friend had stolen and used or sold off all the stores. He had arrived a mere “ruckle of bones;” and now he was stranded indeed. He could only say in his extremity: “I commit myself to the Almighty Disposer of events.” But his deliverance was on the way, to arrive in time. He writes:
October 24.“I felt in my destitution as if I were the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; but I could not hope for priest, Levite, or good Samaritan to come by on either side
. . But when my spirits were at their lowest ebb, the good Samaritan was close at hand; for one morning Susi came running, at the top of his speed, and gasped out, ‘An Englishman! I see him!’ and off he darted to meet him. The American flag at the head of the caravan told me of the nationality of the stranger.”
“We are saved by hope.”