The caravan moved on to the shores of Lake Tana.
At the night camp a major event occurred, forcing me to remember the advice of the governor.  The Christian Lent was approaching. Our caravan was to a great extent international: together with the Amharans there were also Somalians and representatives of other nationalities, part of which were Christian and part Moslem. Before the advent of Lent it was necessary to fill up on plenty of meat because for 6 weeks it had to be abstained from as prescribed by the rules of the church. Following the advice of the interpreter it was decided to purchase a ram. In the village a large amount of spirits was purchased. At night, when the ram was roasted, a major carousing began. One of the men in the caravan, who usually kept somewhat apart from the rest of the members, became especially violent. He decided to untie the hobbles of the mules and allow them to run free. Attempts to persuade him to stop were to no avail. A scuffle began, which continued into the night. The uproar threatened to disrupt the entire caravan. It would have been especially perilous if the mules were lost, since it was difficult to purchase any at this place. Reluctantly, it was decided to shackle the violent man. Toward morning, he came to himself again and all ended comparatively happily.
The next night, in a forest, I had to be on guard the major part of the night. Tired and still not entirely sober, the caravan slept as if dead. After wolfing down the food and wrapping themselves in their covers, the people slept on the bare ground. In the forest one could hear the roar of leopards, which are common in this country. The mules began to snort and jump about. I had to stand guard, fire a round into the air now and then and keep the fire going. The Abyssinian coffee made from the seeds of the wild coffee bushes turned out to be an excellent help. Two cups of it was enough to keep one from sleeping all night, to be in a good mood and to carry out the guard duty necessary. 
- “When I asked the governor what to do if the discipline was violated, he advised me to bring along an adequate amount of shackles, stating that everyone did so, both the French and the English. When I refused to follow his advice, the governor shook his head and said: ‘Mark my words, young man…’.” [↩]
- Photo by Yonatan Zur, used under a Creative Commons licence. [↩]