More Progress on the Stanley Book, Dear Blog Readers!

Self is ALMOST at the halfway point of How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa.  Oh happy happy joy joy.  (She actually read to a little farther, late last night, but decided to double back and re-read a few pages).  If she continues at this rate, she can anticipate finishing in about two weeks (Naturally, she’s already at the maximum number of renewals for this library book.  The sooner she finishes, the sooner she can stop those late fees of 25 cents per day)

It is September 14, 18xx (Don’t make self go backwards to search for the exact year!  It’s about the 1800s, that’s all self can tell you)

The Arab boy Selim is delirious from constant fever.  Shaw is sick again.  These two occupy most of my time.  I am turned into a regular nurse, for I have no one to assist me in attending upon them.  If I try to instruct Abdul Kader in the art of being useful, his head is so befogged with the villainous fumes of Unyamwezi tobacco that he wanders bewildered about, breaking dishes and upsetting cooked dainties, until I get so exasperated that my peace of mind is broken completely for a full hour.  If I ask Ferajji, my now formally constituted cook, to assist, his thick wooden head fails to receive an idea, and I am thus obliged to play the part of chef de cuisine.

Bear in mind, dear blog readers, that when Henry M. Stanley was given the task of finding Livingstone, he was already 53 years old.  And the last 200 pages have found him contracting malaria not once, but twice.  Yet he never, ever entertained the idea of abandoning his mission.

Am pretty sure, also, that he did not speak any African languages and was entirely dependent on the good faith of his servants.  A majority of whom ended up abandoning him.  But — Onward!

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