Nairobi is strangely reminiscent of England, except it is hotter and full of coloureds. I find the wide mix of unknown languages spoken in the street to be a surprising delight. It has been such a time since I was somewhere where I knew so little of the language being spoken. There are a surprising number of Hindi speakers, something I noticed in Mumbasa as well, and a goodly number of Indians (the kind I met in India with Searle, not the savages Custer defeated) make up a sizable portion of the workforce here.
The safari is scheduled for tomorrow, so we went to the McMillan Library to search out the location of the Mountain of the Black Wind. Mrs. McMillan was lovely, and helpful, and they have a fabulous collection of maps and photos that we spent time with- and quite a bit about the Carlyle Expedition including a grisly account of finding the massacre. Doctor Webber and I expect the Mountain of the Black Wind is to the north of the Aberdair mountain range near Mount Kenya, which at least gives us a direction to travel.
We found a picture of the expedition in which Hypatia Masters was clearly pregnant, although I don't recall her being married. The notes we have only indicated her desire to use new lenses on the Nandi Tribe, who are a local tribe from the Kenyan Highlands who worship the sun. At any rate, I doubt her family would like it known she was with child out of wedlock, so I ask you not repeat it.
Despite my desire to stay and read more on local legends and my reservations at going into Blacktown, my companions insisted my translation skills were absolutely necessary and so I accompanied them to meet with a Mr. Kenyatta, who of course, spoke perfect English. I was glad of my heavy netting regardless, as Blacktown has an unsavory nature, although it is clear Mr. Kenyatta and his Kikuyu Central Association are attempting to modernize the populace. I will admit, my attention wandered as he spoke to Doctor Webber.
We were led deeper into Blacktown to a car, a trip that was harrowing and eye opening. Such degredation simply isnt seen back home, thankfully. I admit to clutching Louis' arm rather tightly through that trip as I could not quite feel safe and was apprehensive. He drove us to a village where we were greeted by delightful young black children, the best part of the day.
That is where we met Okumuo, a brusque native, who clearly knew of the cult of e bloody tongue, and very unwilling to speak to us. He warned us off pursuing the cult, going to their mountain, or attempting to cast spells there- something that I dearly hope he was in error about. He drew us a map, and told us of M'weru- their priestess. After some argument with Doctor Webber, he led us to a hut full of protective symbols with an old man.
I remembered the time I spent with that old lady in Egypt who gave me the stone. I suddenly felt better about our trip here, and promptly seated myself close to him and waited. Bundari was old, and Okumuo said he speaks with the Other Side, praying to N'gai to stave off the evil. We waited for hours, but our patience was rewarded.
Bundari told us of the Bloody Tongue, of a man at the railway station planting flowers to guide us, and of the gods work that is moving towards something. M'weru has made a prophecy of a god-child, part human, part not. My mind went to the pregnant Hypatia, and I shuddered. I believe Webber's thoughts were along the same line.
Intriguingly, they knew of the eye of light and dark. Bundari will look for the rest of the sign, and I feel this could be important. Now I wish I had more time in the library in Cairo, although as I recall, I had found as much information as I could there.
Bundari gave Violet a whisk and a wooden cage with a chameleon who will protect us, although not against magic. I will admit I was disappointed they were given to Violet, although I hope it means he does not feel I require help. Surely he knows that Bast will protect me? I did ensure to tell Moza not to eat the poor chamelon upon our return.
Oh, but our return! The stars here are amazing. It was pitch dark when we left the village, and the car headlights did not interfere with the amazing view that was above us. I have never seen so many stars all at once. I was tired, but the stars were so beautiful, that I stayed up the whole trip back to Nairobi. Even the chug of the engine couldn't dampen how beautiful the African plains are at night.
We go on safari tomorrow, although we must find our recommended guide first. I asked Moza if he wanted to come on safari with us as I couldn't decide whether it would be a good idea or not. He was on board, so our party really will be full. I hope he doesn't get lost in the grasses.
I cannot guarantee the regularity of my future correspondence while we are in the bush, but I will try to ensure they make it to you. I admit I am excited and terrified in equal measures. I do wish I had more time to spend in the library before we leave.