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a powerful chief in those quarters. Meanwhile, well aware from my own experience how far man generally remains in arrear of his projects, in my letter to government I represented my principal object as only to reach the Niger at the town of Sáy, while all beyond that was extremely uncertain.
My little troop consisted of the following individuals. First, Mohammed el Gatróni, the same faithful young lad who had accompanied me as a servant all the way from Fezzán to Kúkawa, and whom, on my starting for A'damáwa, I had sent home, very reluctantly, with my dispatches and with the late Mr. Richardson's effects, on condition that, after having staid some time with his wife and children, he should return. He had lately come back with the same caravan which had brought me the fresh supplies. Faithful to my promise, I had mounted him on horseback, and made him my chief servant, with a salary of four Spanish dollars per month, and a present of fifty dollars besides in the event of my enterprise being successfully terminated. My second servant, and the one upon whom, next to Mohammed, I relied most, was
Abd-Alláhi, or, rather, as the name is pronounced in this country, 'Abd-Alléhi, a young Shúwa from Kótokó, whom I had taken into my service on my journey to Bagírmi, and who, never hav. ing been in a similar situation, and not having dealt before with Europeans, at first had caused me a great deal of trouble, especial. ly as he was laid up with the small-pox for forty days during my stay in that country. He was a young man of very pleasing manners and straightforward character, and, as a good and pious Moslim, formed a useful link between myself and the Mohammedans ; but he was sometimes extremely whimsical, and, after having written out his contract for my whole journey to the west and back, I had the greatest trouble in making him adhere to his own stipulations. I had unbounded control over my men, because I agreed with them that they should not receive any part of their salary on the road, but the whole on my successful return to Haúsa. 'Abd-Alláhi was likewise mounted on horseback, but had only a salary of two dollars, and a present of twenty dollars. Then came Mohammed ben A’hmed, the fellow of whom I have already spoken on my journey to Kánem, and who, though a person of very indifferent abilities, and at the same time very self-conceited on account of his Islám, was yet valued by me for his honesty, while he, on his part, having been left by his countrymen and co-relig. ionists in a very destitute situation, became attached to myself.
I had two more freemen in my service, one a brother of Mohammed el Gatróni, who was only to accompany me as far as Zinder; the other an Arab from the borders of Egypt, and called Slimán el Ferjáni, a fine, strong man, who had once formed. part of the band of the Welád Slimán in Kánem, and who might have been of great service to me from his knowledge of the use of fire-arms and his bodily strength; but he was not to be trusted, and desert. ed me in a rather shameful manner a little beyond Kátsena.
Besides these freemen, I had in my service two liberated slaves, Dýrregu, a Hausa boy, and A’bbega, a Marghí lad, who had been
set free by the late Mr. Overweg, the same young lads whom, on my return to Europe, I brought to this country, where they promised to lay in a store of knowledge, and who, on the whole, have been extremely useful to me, although Abbega not unfrequently
found some other object more interesting than my camels, which were intrusted to his care, and which, in consequence, he lost repeatedly.
In addition to these servants, I had attached to my person another man as a sort of broker, and who was to serve as a mediator between me and the natives; this was the Méjebrí 'Alí el A'geren, a native of Jálo, the small commercial place near Aújila, which has recently been visited and described by the Abbé Ham. ilton. He had traveled for many years in Negroland, and had traversed in various directions the region inclosed between Sókotó, Kanó, Baúchi, Záriya, and Gónja. . But for the present, on my outset from Bórnu, I had not made any fixed arrangements with this man; but in the event of his accompanying me beyond Sókotó, he was to have two horses and a monthly salary of nine dollars, besides being permitted to trade on his own account. Such an arrangement, although rather expensive to me, considering the means at my disposal, was of very great importance if the man did his duty, he being able, in his almost independent situation, to render me extraordinary assistance in overcoming many difficulties; but, as an Arab, I only put full confidence in him as long as circumstances were propitious, while his wavering character as soon as dangers began to surround me did not put me in any way out of countenance.
These people, besides an Arab, a so-called sheríf, from Fás, who was going as far as Zínder, and who had likewise attached himself to my small party, composed the band with which I cheerfully set out on my journey toward the west on the 25th of November, being accompanied out of the town by the Háj Edris, whom I have had frequent occasion to mention. In order to get every thing in readiness, and to be sure of having neglected no precaution to secure full success to my enterprise, I followed my old principle, and pitched my tent for the first day only a couple of miles distant from the gate, near the second hamlet of Kalíluwá, in the scanty shade of a baúre, when I felt unbounded delight in finding myself once more in the open country, after a residence of a couple of months in the town, where I had but little bodily exercise. Indulging in the most pleasing anticipations as to the success of the enterprise upon which I was then embarking, I stretched my. self out at full length on my noble lion-skin, which formed my general couch during the day, and which was delightfully cool.
Friday, November 26th. This was one of the coldest, or perhaps the very coldest night which I experienced in the whole of my
journeys since entering the fertile plains of Negroland, the thermometer in the morning, a little before sunrise, showing only 9° Fahr, above the freezing point. The interior of Africa, so far removed from the influence of the sea (which is warmer in winter than the terra firma), forms, with regard to the cold season, an insulated cool space in the tropical regions in opposition to the warm climate of the West Indies, and the coasts and islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. We were all greatly affected by the cold; but it did us a great deal of good, invigorating our frames after the enervating influence of the climate of Kúkawa. We did not set out, however, before the sun had begun to impart to the atmosphere a more genial character, when we proceeded on our journey westward. The country which I traversed, passing by the frequented well of Beshér, although already known to me from previous travels, now presented a very different aspect from what it had done on my first journey from Kanó to Kúkawa, those bleak and dreary hollows of black argillaceous soil being now changed into the richest corn-fields, and waving with a luxuriant crop of masákuwa, while the fields of small millet (Pennisetum) stood in stubble. • We encamped near the well Súwa-búwa, or, as it was called by others, Kabubíya, on the gentle slope of the rising ground toward the north, from whence the busy scene round the well, of cattle, asses, goats, and sheep being watered in regular succession, presented an interesting and animated spectacle, more especially coming after and contrasted with the dull life of the capital. The well measured fifteen fathoms in depth, and the inhabitants were so on the alert for gain that they thought it right to sell us the precious element for watering our camels. My whole party were in the best spirits, cheerful and full of expectation of the novelties, both in human life and nature, that were to be disclosed in the unknown regions in the far west. In order to protect ourselves from the cold, which had so much affected us the preceding night, we set fire to the whole of a large decayed tree, which, with great exertion, we dragged from some distance close to our tent, and thus enjoyed a very moderate degree of temperature in our open encampment.
Saturday, November 27th. I now entered Koyám, with its strag. gling villages, its well-cultivated fields, and its extensive forests of middle-sized mimosas, which afford food to the numerous herds
25 of camels constituting the wealth of this African tribe, who in former times, before the Bórnu dynasty was driven away from its ancient capital Njímiye by the rival family of the Bulála,* led a nomadic life on the pasture-grounds of Kánem. Having thus traversed the district called Wódomá, we encamped about noon, at a short distance from a well in the midst of the forest, belong. ing to a district called Gágadá. The well was twenty-five fathoms deep, and was frequented during the night by numerous herds of cattle from different parts of the neighborhood.
While making the round in the night in order to see whether my people were on the look-out, as a great part of the security of a traveler in these regions depends on the vigilance exercised by night, I succeeded in carrying away secretly the arms from all my people, even from the warlike Ferjáni Arab, which caused great amusement and hubbub when they awoke in the morning, and enabled me to teach them a useful lesson of being more careful for the future.
November 28th. Having taken an early breakfast—an arrangement which, in this cold weather, when the appetite even of the European traveler in these regions is greatly sharpened, we found very acceptable—we pursued our journey, passing through the district of Garánda, with deep sandy soil, and rich in corn, cattle, and camels. A great proportion of the population consisted of Shúwa, or native Arabs, who had immigrated from the east. As we proceeded on our march, the trees gradually assumed a richer character, plainly indicating that we were approaching a more favored district. There was the ngilísi, or haméd, a tree very common over the whole eastern part of Negroland, with its small leaves bursting forth from its branches; the karáge, or gáwo, now appearing as a small tree of scanty growth, far. ther on spreading out with a large and luxuriant crown not ceding to the 'ardéb or tamarind-tree; and the kórna, which, extending over the whole of these immense regions, is remarkable for bearing almost every where the same name.f The underwood was formed by the kálgo and gónda bush, which latter, however, did not seem to bear here that delicious fruit which has so frequently served to refresh my failing energies during my marches through other districts; and, cold as had been the night, the sun even now was very powerful during the midday hours, there being a difference of 40°. * See vol. ii., p. 31.
| See vol. ii., p. 489, note.