134 THE KING IS CROWNED. [CHAP.
miles to a piece of ground as barren as Greenwich Park in summer-time. They came home every evening thinner than they were the day before, and were now in a wretched state : the poor things were becoming very weak indeed, and we were perpetually talking over the chances of their breaking down on the return journey. It was exactly eighty hours actual travelling from Okamabuti, or allowing two miles and three quarters an hour, two hundred and twenty miles; of this, nearly sixty miles, partly choked with thorns, partly as bleak as Salisbury Plain, had to be travelled without water. This, of course, would be nothing to animals in good condition, and in a European climate ; but it was a very different matter to me in Africa. I had been given to understand from the first that I must neither go back nor go on without Nangoro's express permission ; so that we were always under some anxiety. Of course I did all I could to please him; but still, either from want of consideration on his part or intentionally, things did not go on smoothly, Once when he was in a good humour I produced my theatrical crown, which I had not shown him before, and gave Trim a long discourse upon it. I told him that the great captains of our country usually wore a head-dress of that description, and that I therefore begged he would do me a favour of wearing it, as a memento of my visit to him, It had a contrivance behind for altering its size, and I stretched it to its full extent, for Nangoro's head was like a bullock's, and then put it on him with great solemnity, patting it down to make it sit tight. I must say that he looked every inch a king. The three courtiers were iu ecstasy, and Nangoro himself gave every sign of self-satisfaction when I held up a looking-glass before him to show the effect; and afterwards carefully sketched him. Nangoro, i__n the first instance, had views with reference to me to which I confess I showed but little inclination ; it is really a great drawback to African explorings that a traveller cannot become on friendly terms with a chief without being requested and teased to receive a spare wife or a daughter in marriage, and umbrage taken if he does not consent. It is, I know, very ungallant to betray tender secrets, and I would not do so on any account, if the charming Chipanga was ever likely to read this book; but I cannot help hinting at the subject, as it not only illustrates a phase of African life, but also indicates a direction in which any adventurous fortune-hunter may successfully push his addresses. For the benefit of those gentlemen I must explain how matters stand. Nangoro is king by virtue of his deceased first wife ; by her lie has no children.