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est elevation which some of the cones reach does not appear to be more than 800 feet above the plain.

In the beginning the appearance of the country was more uniform, while the mountains, covered by the rising ground on our right, looked like mere hills, our track itself lying through a more level country, sometimes covered with underwood, and at others presenting a bleak open ground, or "néga;" but the interest of this scenery increased considerably when we reached the western foot of a broader mound which had already attracted our attention the day before. On a sloping ground, consisting of rubbish and boulders, there rose a wall of steep cliffs like an artificial fortification, forming, as it seemed, a spacious terrace on the top, where

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there are said to be three hamlets, inhabited by a spirited race of natives, who, in this rocky retreat, vindicate their independence against the overbearing intrusions of the Fúlbe. We even observed on the slope under the steep cliffs, where there are several caverns, some people pasturing their sheep, while fields of negro corn and karás, or Corchorus olitorius, testified to the fact that the natives sometimes descend even into the very plain to satisfy their most necessary wants. After passing this mound, and following a more northwesterly direction, we approached another mound, rising from the plain like an isolated cone, and, with its steep, nar

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row, and rugged crest, looking exactly like the ruin of a castle of the Middle Ages. Leaving, this mound, together with the path leading to the Songhay town of Láro on our right, we approached the southern foot of another castellated mound, which stretched out to a greater length, but offered in its rugged and precipitous cliffs exactly the spectacle of crenellated walls and towers. Where the foot of the mound juts out into the path on the top of the offshoots, the inhabitants of the mountain had erected a small chapel, or rather a place for pagan worship, which presented a very peculiar appearance. Here we entered a sort of broad defile, formed between this castellated mound and another cone toward the west, which, although of considerable elevation, was not so rugged, and exhibited a less picturesque appearance.

Greatly fatigued by our long march, especially as a cool breeze in the morning was followed by an oppressive heat in the noonday hours, we reached, at about five o'clock in the afternoon, the Fülbe village of Bóne, situated at the foot of the eastern mound; but, although I had sent two of my people in advance, we were unable to obtain quarters, and after some unavailing dispute we were obliged to encamp outside in the open grassy vale between the two mountains; for the inhabitants of this village, who are exclusively Fúlbe, do not like strangers to enter their dwellings,

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VISIT A TAWAREK ENCAMPMENT.

235 at least not for a night's quarters. They however treated us in the evening with a good supply of milk, while they also informed us that a large encampment of that section of the Tawárek which is called Iregenáten was at a few miles' distance. El Waláti supposed, or rather pretended to suppose, that they were the clan of a powerful chief of the name of Somki, and assured me that it would be necessary to make this chief a handsome present, in or. der that under his protection we might proceed safely from camp to camp till we reached the banks of the Niger; for, although we might have traveled by a more southerly road turning from this point westward to Núggera, it seemed more prudent to endeavor to get out of the range of the dominion of the Fúlbe, in order not to be at the mercy of the chief of Hamda-Alláhi, who certainly could not but be hostile to my intention of reaching Timbúktu. And it seems not to be out of place to mention here that this very Núggera, a hamlet of some note, as being the residence of learning and holiness, was the point from which the founder of the dynasty of Hamda-Alláhi started.

CHAPTER LXIII.

IMO'SHAGH OR TAWA'REK ENCAMPMENTS SOUTH OF THE NIGER.

-LAKES AND BACKWATERS OF THE GREAT RIVER. Wednesday, August 10th. In conformity with our project, I my. self, with El Waláti and two of my people on horseback, leaving my luggage behind with the rest of my servants, started in the morning for the camp of the Tawárek, having provided a very handsome present, consisting of a large Núpe tobe, a red cap, a túrkedí, and three fine “háf” or “lithám," altogether worth about 20,000 shells. However, we had only proceeded about a mile when we met a few Tawárek serfs, who informed us that it was not Somki, but another chief who had moved his encampment to this place; and, from what I observed, I concluded that El Waláti had been well aware of this before, but wanted only to extort. from me a large present. Once in the hands of this crafty Arab, I had to use great discretion in order to prevent him from betraying me altogether, and I was obliged to bear silently any little trick which he might play me in order to enrich himself, as long as I proceeded onward and approached the object of my arduous

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