Maintaining law and order was our most important single function. Progress in African standards of living depended above all upon stability. Most colonial officers were essentially classical British conservatives, knowingly or not, disciples of Edmund Burke and his successors, who believed that freedom could only be considered in a context of order firmly rooted in traditional institutions: the Chiefs, the Crown, the Governor and, of course, the District Commissioner. Most were fundamentally suspicious of democracy and feared that Africa would dissolve into chaos if that were taken too far or too soon. Sadly, events in the decades immediately after independence very quickly seemed to justify these fears only too well. Yet in the Mwinilunga of 1958, independence appeared a dark cloud, approaching but still distant.