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we were up to pursue them. It was a pity that these daring rascals escaped with their spoil; but, in order to prevent any farther depredations of this kind, we fired several shots, and with a large accordion, upon which I played the rest of the night, I frightened the people to such a degree that they thought every moment we were about to ransack the town.
Thursday, December 9th. Keeping along the northeastern border of the swamp, through a fine country where the tamarind and monkey-bread-tree were often interlaced, as I have repeatedly observed to be the case with these species of trees, we reached, after a march of about three miles, the town of Gesma, which is girt and defended by the swamp on the south and east sides, the wall being distinguished by the irregularity of its pinnacles, if pin. nacles they may be called, as represented in the accompanying wood-cut. The inhabitants, clad in nothing but a leather apron,
were busy carrying clay from the adjacent swamp, in order to repair the wall, which, however, on the west side, was in excellent condition.
Close to this town I observed the first rími, or silk-cotton-tree, which in Bómnu Proper is entirely wanting; and as we proceeded through the fine open country, numerous species of trees which are peculiar to Háusa became visible, and seemed to greet me as old acquaintances. I was heartily glad that I had left the monotonous plains of Bórnu once more behind me, and had reached the more favored and diversified districts of this fine country. Small channels intersected the country in every direction; and immense fishing-baskets were lying in some of them, apparently in order to catch the fish which, during the period of the inundation, are carried down by the river. But the great humidity of this district made it swarm with ants, whose immense and thickly-scattered hills, together with the dúm bush, filled out the intermediate spaces between the larger specimens of the vegetable kingdom.
Having then crossed a tract of denser forest, we entered upon deep sandy soil, where the kúka became the sole tree, excluding almost every other kind, with the exception of a few tamarinds, for whose company, as I have observed, the monkey-bread-tree seems to have a decided predilection.
Thus we reached Donári, formerly a considerable place of the Manga, and surrounded with a low rampart of earth, but at present greatly reduced, the inhabited quarter occupying only a very small proportion of the area thus inclosed. But a good many cattle were to be seen, and, lying just in the shade of the majestic monkey-bread-trees which mark the place, afforded a cheerful sight. This was the residence of the Bórnu officer A'dama, who had accompanied me from Borzári, and who the previous day had gone on in advance to pass the night here. But having once made it a rule to encamp in the open country, I preferred the large though leafless trunk of a kúka at a short distance from the eastern gate to a cool shed inside the town; and the heat was by no means oppressive, a cool wind blowing the whole day.
December 10th. We exchanged the domain of the monkey-breadtree for that of the dúm palm, by giving to our course a northwesterly direction toward Zurríkulo, the queen of the region of dúm palms and the residence of the hospitable Kashélla Saíd, * passing at some distance on our way a comfortable and populous little place, surrounded with a stockade, and bearing the attractive name of Kechidúniya, “the sweetness of the world," where a little market was held, to which people were flocking from all sides, male and female, with sour milk, ground-nuts, grain, earthen pots, young cattle, and sheep.
In Zurríkulo I fell into my former route, which I had followed * His province comprises the following villages : Chando, Gíro, Ghasrmari, Kellerí, Gabchári, Bilaljawa, Nkibúda, Lawandi, Dalari, Kerí-zemán, Kábi, Gréma Dalari.
THE WELL OF BERBEʻRUWA'.
in the opposite direction in March, 1851, and, crossing the northern branch of the komádugu, which at present was two feet and a half deep, and following almost the same road, encamped the next day in Shechéri, the first village of the district of Búndi.
CHAPTER LIV. THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRITORY OF MU'NIYO', AND ITS GOVERNOR.
December 12th. In Shechéri I left my former route, which would have taken me to Búndi and Máshena, and followed a N.N.W. direction, toward the mountainous province of Múniyó, which before the time of our expedition was entirely unknown. Passing through the district of Chejéssemo, to which Shechéri belongs, we entered a forest where the kúsulu or magária,* with its small berries, was very common, the ground being covered with tall jungle. We then reached the town of Ngárruwá, surrounded with a clay wall in decay, and here watered our animals. The wells were ten fathoms deep; and crowds of boys and girls were busy drawing water from two other richer wells situated on the north side of the place. The path was also frequented by numbers of people who were carrying the harvest into the town, in nets made from the leaves of the dúm palm, and borne on the backs of oxen. Farther on, forest and cultivated ground alternated; and leaving a rocky mound called Míva, which marks the beginning of the northwestern hilly portion of the Manga country on our right, we reached, after a good march of altogether about twenty-two miles, the rich well of Berbéruwá, a small miserable hamlet which lies at a short distance to the west.
The well, however, which was scarcely a fathom in depth, was surrounded by six fine widespreading tamarind-trees at regular distances from each other, and afforded quite a pleasant restingplace. The well is important as a station for travelers, while the hamlet is so poor that it does not possess a single cow or goat. It still belongs to the province of the ghaladíma, who about thirty years ago had a caravan of from sixteen to twenty Arabs exterminated in this neighborhood, when Mukní, the then ruler of Fezzan and one of the greatest slave-hunters of the time, penetrated as far as the Komádugu Wáúbe. Sheikh 'Omar also, when on his
* See what I have said about this tree in vol. i., p. 404.
expedition against Zínder, in order to subjugate the rebellious governor of that town (Ibrahím or Ibrám), encamped on this spot. The temperature of the water of the well was 66o.
On inquiring to-day for the small territory of Auyók or Nki. zám, the situation as well as the name of which had been erroneously given by former travelers, I learned that it is situated between Khadéja and Gummel, and that it comprises the following places: Táshina, U'nik, Shágató, Shíbiyay, Belángu, Badda, Rómeri, Sóngolom, Melebétiye, and U'marí.
Monday, December 13th. A band of petty native traders, or dangarúnfu, who carried their merchandise on their heads, here joined our party. Their merchandise consisted of cotton, which they had bought in Díggera, and were carrying to Sulléri, the market of Múniyo, where cotton is dear. While proceeding onward, we met another party of native traders from Chelúgiwá, laden with earthenware. In the forest which we then entered, with undulating ground, the karage was the predominant tree. Farther on the road divided; and while I took the western one, which led me to Yámiya, my people, mistaking a sign which some other persons had laid across the path as if made by myself, took the easterly one to Chelúgiwá, where Méle, the lord of this little estate, resided, so that it was some time before I was joined by my party.
The well (which, as is generally the case in this district, lies at the foot of a granite mount, where the moisture collects) in the afternoon presented an interesting scene, a herd of 120 head of fine cattle being watered here; and it was the more interesting, as the herdsmen were Felláta, or Fúlbe, of the tribe of the Hirlége. The well measured two fathoms in depth; and the temperature of the water was 80° at 1.20 P.M., while that of the air was 84o.
Tuesday, December 14th. After a march of about six miles through a fine country, occasionally diversified by a rocky eminence, and adorned here and there by fine tamarind-trees, we reached Sulléri, a considerable place, consisting of several detached hamlets, where the most important market in the territory of Múniyó is held every Friday. The place contains about 5000 inlfabitants, and was enlivened at the time by a considerable herd of cattle. Millet is grown to a great extent, although dúm bush or ngille, with its obstructing roots, renders a great portion of the soil unfit for cultivation, and scarcely any cotton at all is raised, so that this forms an important article of importation. Toward NATRON LAKE.—NEW AND OLD BUNE. 45 the south lies another place, called Deggerári, and to the southwest a third one, called Dúgura. Granitic eminences dotted the whole country; but the foggy state of the atmosphere did not allow me to distinguish clearly the more distant hills.
Proceeding in a northwesterly direction through this hilly country, and leaving at a short distance on our right a higher eminence, at the western foot of which the village of New Búne is situated, we descended considerably into a hollow of clayey soil of a most peculiar character. For all of a sudden an isolated date palm started up on our right, while on our left the unwonted aspect of a tall slender gónda, or Erica Papaya, attracted our attention, the intermediate ground being occupied by a rich plantation of cotton. Suddenly a large "sirge" or lake of natron of snowy whiteness, extending from the foot of the height which towers over Búne, approached on our right, the rich vegetation which girded its border, along which the path led, forming a very remarkable contrast to the barrenness of the “sirge;" for the whole surface of the basin, which did not at present contain a drop of water, was formed of natron, while people were busy digging saltpetre, from pits about six feet deep and one foot and a half in diameter, on its very border. A short distance off, fresh water is to be found close under the surface, giving life to the vegetation, which bears a character so entirely new in this district; and I gazed with delight on the rich scenery around, which presented such a remarkable contrast to the monotonous plains of Bórnu. Widespreading tamarind-trees shaded large tracts of ground, while detached date palms, few and far between, raised their feathery foliage like a fan over the surrounding country. The ground was clothed, besides, with “retem,” or broom, and dúm bush, with the Tamarix gallica, or "tarfa,” which I scarcely remember to have seen in any other spot during the whole of my travels in Negroland.
Ascending from the clayey soil on a sandy bottom, we reached the western foot of the eminence of Old Búne, which is built in a recess of the rocky cliffs on the western slope of the mount. But the village, which has already suffered greatly by the foundation of New Búne at so short a distance, and which is important only as the residence of Yegúddi, the eldest son of Múniyóma, had been almost destroyed some time before by a great conflagration, with the exception of the clay dwelling of the governor, situated at the foot of the cliffs. It was just rebuilding—only the dendal, or principal street, being as yet fit for habitation, while the rest of the place wore a very cheerless aspect.