Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionary - Africa 1882 - 1892

Memories of a Missionary Tour of Duty in Africa: 1882 - 1892
by Laura Boardman Houchens Eubank
Wife of Rev. Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionaries To Nigeria 1882
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, VA.

Return To Abbeokuta

(Page 17)

So, once more, we packed our goods, loaded our boats, and again started on our Journey - this time alone. This was the first time we had been alone with no white friends. On the first day, till evening, all went well. Then once more trouble began. Near night, very suddenly a tornado Came up. This is a very frequent occurrence on the West Coast, and always sudden and without warning. We may be in our home, everything quiet and peaceable and a severe wind storm will come up so suddenly that we will hardly have time to close our door and windows. So it was this time. The storm was on us and we began to try to get our goods under shelter.

Just as suddenly as the storm came it swept over us, conveying all before it. The frail cover to our boat was blown over carrying us with it and I was pressed down under its weight till I was under the water and entirely helpless to release myself. As soon as possible my husband and the native men came to my relief, drew me from under this weight and dragged me back into the boat. So, that danger was over. The storm subsided as suddenly, as it had come. Soon it as suddenly became as dark as midnight. We took stock of our situation, and found that everything we had - food, bedding, clothes, and everything we had was soaking wet, - everything in one little suitcase which had escaped and contained exactly one dry suit of clothing for each of us. This has always seemed to me no less than providential - and a blessing it was for it rained all the rest of our journey, and we were not able to get our things dried the whole time. How many days, I do not remember.

Well, I said it was dark; and dark it was! Our only hope for that night was to reach the home of a native teacher who lived at a little village near the river. This took some hours more. It must have been near midnight when we landed and struggled through the darkness to find our teacher's home. (Page 18) It was just a native house with native accommodations. They always gave us their best which was only shelter. We always carried our own food and bedding, and in this case, it was all soaking wet, So our only resort was to be on the ground all night and listen to the music of the ever present mosquito.

Would daylight, never come? It did come eventually, but brought little comfort. We had considered remaining over a day to dry out our clothes and bedding. But daylight revealed that this was impossible for it was still pouring rain. So all that was left was for us to pursue our journey as best we could under the circumstances. We restored the cover to our boat, loaded our goods, all wet as they were, and resumed our journey. It was not strange that under these circumstances my fever returned and I spent the reminder of the time lying in the bottom of the boat while my husband, who was mercifully spared the fever at that time, did all he could to minister to my comfort. Of course, the ever present quinine was not missing.

I have failed to mention one very dear friend we had found in Abbeokuta. This was an Englishman, Rev. J. B. Wood of the Church of England who had been 'there 25 years. Such a dear man, and how we came to love him! To his home we were taken and made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

He too, lived in a mud house with a mud floor but he had added home comforts and with his kindly face and manners made us feel that we were in a real home! There were other times when in our trouble we had to fall back on dear Mr. Wood for shelter and comfort and an own brother could hot have received us more kindly than he did, or done more for our comfort. I think when I get to heaven, I'll look him up and thank him again. Maybe my husband has already done this.

August 2000 - Notes - WRE Jr.

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