Soon after the fire the Doctor put up another temporary shelter and set to work at making preparations for the building of a house of sun dried brick. The fact that he was going to build his house of bricks and not of mud and wattle caused the Lunda great amusement.
"What! Build a house with lumps of earth! No stakes in the walls! Did anyone ever build a house like that? It will surely fall down!"
But soon the Doctor had them working away in teams, some digging the anthill clay and breaking it up, others drawing water in calabashes from the spring halfway down the hill and pouring it on the broken earth to be well trodden and mixed to the right consistency; others with curved trays of musamba bark carrying the mixed mud to the brick molds, throwing it in and then lifting the molds off ready for more, little boys cutting long grass and laying it on the wet bricks to keep them from drying too quickly and cracking in the hot sun. All were merrily at work, talking and laughing. The white man might be mad to dream of building a house of lumps of earth, but it gave them work and they would earn some pieces of bright calico to wear, some beads for their wives or sisters,and some salt. So why worry? A wary eye was kept on the Doctor, and whenever he had to go attend to some other business tools were downed at once and the calabash pipe was brought out from some hiding place and lit and passed around the waiting groups of boys and men. As soon as his step was heard approaching, the pipe would be hurriedly stuffed behind some grass and all would set busily to work again. Gradually the numbers of bricks increased until the building commenced.
There was great difficulty in digging the foundations owing to the rocks that abounded, but the difficulty was finally overcome, the foundations dug to the requisite depth and leveled off. Slowly the walls began to rise. Parties of Lunda stood by and watched this house going up. The first in the history of their tribe to be built mainly as "lumps of earth"! The Doctor toiled day by day laying the heavy, unyielding bricks.
The walls rose steadily and showed no inclination to fall, much to the surprise of the skeptical onlookers. At length they reached the roofing stage. Men were sent into the bush which fringes the banks of the streams near Kalene to cut long straight trees which they adazed into wall-plates. These were laid on the walls and braced by cross pieces to take the roof. Long straight poles were cut and soon a well shaped hip roof was in place. This was covered with lathes and then thatched with the golden nsanji grass which at Kelene is particularly long and suitable for thatching as it grows in the rocky soil of the Zambezi valley. Still the house did not fall down, much to the amazement of the pessimists!