It was early in the month of November that Baker went down to the last cataracts of the White Nile, about six miles to the south of his camp.
The country was everywhere very rich, and covered with villages, and the people were very friendly, and ready to give the new comers all they wanted in the way of food.
One day a troop of Baker's soldiers had been sent to some distance to fetch corn, and while their commander was quietly sitting smoking on the deck of the boat the leader of the party came galloping back to say that a herd of elephants was coming up from the west of the river.
Baker did not pay much attention to this news, as he expected that the moment the herd caught sight of the people, who had from curiosity climbed on the rocks or squatted on the roofs of the huts, they would turn off in some other direction. But the elephants did nothing of the sort.
On they came, eleven in number, swinging their trunks and flapping their ears, not seeing or not heeding the crowd of boats and people.
When they arrived within about four hundred yards of the river, Baker mounted his horse—Greedy Gray—first telling his servant Suleiman to send on his two elephant rifles, with plenty of powder and ball. He then posted some of his men, dressed in red shirts, on the low hills