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sour milk. But, besides the small dry water-courses just mentioned, we had also to cross a very rapid torrent, which is called Górebi, and is said to come from the direction of Kulféla, a very important market-place in the interior of Mósi, and which caused us considerable delay. Before we entered Champaláwel, also, where we took up our quarters half an hour before noon, we had to cross a considerable sheet of water, three feet and a half in depth, and about thirty yards broad, about the relation of which to the neighboring water-courses I am not quite certain.
Champaláwel is the residence of the governor of the Tórobe; but it was at that time in the utmost state of decay, and almost deserted, the slight remains of the ramparts being almost hidden in a dense forest; for since the decease of Mo'azu (a celebrated chieftain mentioned also in other accounts), who died about twenty years ago, the power of the Fúlbe in this place has greatly declined. The present governor, a younger brother of that energetic chieftain, himself tolerably advanced in years, proved to be a very illiberal and unamiable man, and he would not even assign me quarters on my arrival, so that I had the greatest trouble in taking possession of a miserable little hut on my own account, while good shelter was very essential, as a great quantity of rain fell in the afternoon. However, all was changed when, toward evening, a cousin of the present governor, of the name of 'Othmán, arrived, and I then received a present of two sheep. I also had the great and unexpected pleasure of meeting here an Arab, of the name of Mohammed el Wákhshi, a near relative of my friend Bú-Bakr el Wákhshi, the Ghadamsi merchant whom I have mentioned repeatedly in the preceding part of my narrative. This man was then on his return from Gonja, the northern tributary province of Asanti, the Gúro caravan having been induced, by the state of the country, to abandon its direct road from Yendi to Komba on the Niger, in favor of a northerly and very circuitous road by way of Yágha.* But I was disappointed in the hope of
* The principal stations of this interesting route, at a very slow rate, are the following, starting from Yendi :
1 day. Kaña, still on the great high road to Komba. 5 days. Natóngo, a village inhabited by Dagomba. 5 " Wólawóla, a large place inhabited partly by pagans, partly by Moham
medans, and dependent on Yendi. 10 " Béri, a large place belonging to Mósi. 3 " Another Mósi place, the residence of a powerful officer of the chief of
Wóghodoghó, to whom these native travelers give the title of Yeríma. 1 day. Sálugu, a market-place, residence of a governor. I“ Belússa, a large place of Mósi, to be mentioned also in other itineraries. 7 days. Libtúgu, a small Gurma village. 1 day. Yágha.
GU’RO CARAVAN.—SCARCITY OF CORN. 187 corresponding with Europe by means of this man. The letter which I gave to him, and which I had already written in Say, never reached its destination, for El Wákhshi succumbed to disease in crossing the province of Núpe in the height of the rainy season, before reaching Kanó.
Wednesday, June 29th. On leaving this desolate residence of the chief of the Tórobe, reduced to an entangled thicket, we passed the encampment, or zango, of the Gúro caravan, which, as is generally the case, consisted of small round huts, erected for the occasion with branches and rank grass. The caravan consisted of about one hundred individuals, with a couple of hundred of asses, which form the usual beasts of burden of these native travelers. Scarcely a mile beyond the town we had again to cross a river which, bordered by the richest vegetation, and by abundance of rank grass, runs at this spot from S.E. to N.W., with a depth of about three feet, and at times, when a great deal of rain has fallen, forming a far more considerable volume of water.
The country which we then entered was hilly, tolerably well cultivated, and thickly inhabited. It was adorned here and there with the baobab-tree, and a fine leafy tree called here “harúna." But we made only a short march, being induced, on account of the danger of the road before us, to take up our quarters in a farming village, situated in a very rich tract of country, behind a flat-topped cone, at the distance of a little more than four miles from Champaláwel. Notwithstanding the fertility of the district, no com was to be obtained here at present, the last year's harvest having failed entirely, so that the people were obliged to supply their own wants at Bose bángo. This scarcity is increased generally in districts where only one species of corn is grown, all the produce here being reduced to millet; while, where various grains are raised, which ripen at different seasons, even in these countries, dearth can not prevail to such an extent and for so long a time. All the inhabitants, including even the head man, belonged to the native Gurma race. All the cattle-breeding is in the hands of the Fülbe, who regard “the cow as the most useful animal in creation,” “negge ngombúri déya fó náfa ;” and, there being no such people in the neighborhood, no milk was to be obtained. The
dwelling where I was lodged, with its numerous compartments and court-yards, presented quite a labyrinth of itself. Three servants of Galaijo, all armed with muskets, had attached themselves to my troop, and I supplied each of them here with ball car. tridges, in case of any attack on the road.
Thursday, June 30th. We had a long day's march before us, through the unsafe wilderness which separates the reduced dominion of the chief of the Tórobe from the territory of Yágha. It was a fine morning, and tolerably clear. Corn-fields now and then interrupted the dense growth of talha-trees and prickly underwood, while occasionally a baobab or a tamarind-tree gave
greater variety to the scenery. About four miles and a half from our startingpoint, we passed, on the right of the path, some peculiarly constructed smelting-furnaces, about six feet high, and a foot and a half in diameter at the base. The proceeding is very simple and unsophisticated. On the ironstone is placed a large quantity of wood-ashes till the metal begins to melt, and is then, by means of
three channels at the bottom of the furnace, received in the basin.
Close behind these smelting-furnaces, which happened to be the first I had seen in Negroland, though there are plenty of them in some districts, we passed the site of a former encampment, or zan: go, of native traders, or fatáki, in a spot clothed with the finest Poa, and adorned with large, wide-spreading trees. Ascending then a little, we passed the village of Bangapelle on our left, situated at the eastern foot of an eminence, and then kept along the northern base of the latter, while on our right a dense forest spread out, broken by a rocky ridge. The whole wilderness through which our way led was in general very dry, and did not possess any fresh pasture-grourids, although about two miles beyond Ban. gapelle we passed a considerable pond of water, with numerous traces of the elephant; but gradually the country became more rocky, granite prevailing. We encamped, at length, on the site of a former hamlet, called Kófe, situated on a rising rocky ground, close to a depression, with water, and clothed with a fine pasture interspersed with flowers, in whose sweet blossom numerous butterflies were indulging. Here again the footprints of the elephant
ELEPHANT TRACES.-BOSEBA NGO.
were extremely numerous; but by far more interesting, and of much higher importance to me, were the traces of the rhinoceros, an animal which at present seems to be wanting entirely in the regions between the Niger on the west and the Shárí toward the east. Our rest at this place was greatly disturbed; for after an alarm in the evening, which, fortunately for us, proved to be false, we were kept awake the whole night by a terrible thunder-storm, which broke out with great violence, and rendered our situation, in the midst of a low, swampy ground, very uncomfortable indeed.
Friday, July 1st. In consequence of the storm we started rather late. Close behind our encampment we had to cross a very swampy ground, which we might have passed more easily the day before. We were therefore greatly cheered when the boggy ground was succeeded by sandy soil, which became intersected by several small water-courses, affording a channel to the watery element; but, after a march of about six miles, it was again succeeded by a considerable pond, which we had to avoid by a long circuitous road. Here, also, the ground was marked by numerous footprints of the elephant, while monkey-bread or baobab trees were in great abundance.
In the afternoon the whole aspect of the country changed, the surface becoming rugged, and broken by small rocky ridges; and here the danger increased on account of the vicinity of the town of Lárba, the inhabitants of which, as I have mentioned before, are the inveterate enemies of the Fúlbe. Only a few days before they had robbed and murdered some people of the governor of the T6robe. But, well-armed as we were, all the people round about being aware that an attack upon us would not be an easy affair, we proceeded without any accident; and having twice made a considerable descent, we reached, a little after three o'clock, the village of Bosebángo, which is surrounded by a strong stockade. It is inhabited by the Karábe, who, although kinsmen of the inhabitants of Lárba, fear and respect in some degree the authority of the Fúlbe; however, we soon convinced ourselves that the character of their allegiance is very precarious. The mayor of the village, being a man of advanced age, dressed in a ragged shirt, lodged me in his own quarters, which seemed to contain a very remarkable household, the most interesting objects being his two wives, very stout females, richly ornamented with copper rings on their arms and legs, and with strings of beads round their necks, but having, besides, another ornament, at which I was more surprised, viz., a thin plate of tin in the under lip, like that worn by the Marghí; but I was astonished at not finding the nose-ring, which, from what I had heard, I had concluded that all the Son. ghay were in the habit of wearing. Altogether, these fashionably. dressed women, with their dirty old partner, would have formed a highly interesting subject for illustrating the customs of these people.
Having rested a while, for I felt greatly exhausted after my sick. ly state in Say, I roved a little about the place (which lies at the foot of a well-wooded eminence), and collected several specimens of minerals, which, in the coarse of my journey, were thrown away by my people. Gneiss and mica slate were predominant, and beautiful varieties of granite occasionally appeared.
Having observed from this point that the River Sírba runs only at a short distance from the place, we endeavored in the evening to arrange with the inhabitants to assist us in crossing this sheet of water, where there are no boats. While speaking with the natives about this river, I was surprised to hear from them that they consider the water unwholesome, and more particularly so for horses, while even the herbage which grows close to the border is regarded as extremely deleterious to the cattle; but the people themselves supply their own wants entirely from the river. They do not carry the water in single pitchers on their heads, which is the general custom in Negroland, but use a simple pair of yokes, from which a couple of nets are suspended, in each of which a pitcher is carried, in much the same way as in Germany.
The chief treated my party very hospitably. While in the neighborhood of Bangapelle there seemed to be great scarcity of corn, here it appeared to be in abundance. We spent our evening comfortably, although it was necessary to take great care of the horses, as a number of horse-stealers were hovering about the place.
Saturday, July 2d. A few hundred yards beyond the village we came to the River Sírba, which here forms a bend from N.W. to N.E., between banks about twenty feet high, and caused us not a little anxiety, as it was nearly seventy yards wide, and not less than twelve feet in depth in the middle. We had, moreover, to cross it merely on bundles of reeds, which we had to tie together ourselves. At length, after much controversy, we succeeded in arranging with the natives, for 2000 shells, to assist us in crossing. While the large bundles which were to constitute our frail ferry