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the gulbi-n-Rába or Bugga. The evening was clear, and I enjoyed for a long time the scenery of the place in the fine moonlight, but the governor would not honor me with his company, being greatly afraid of the bad influence of the moon, the effect of which he thought far more injurious than that of the sun.
Friday, October 6th. After a night greatly disturbed first by musquitoes, and then by a heavy gale, we pursued our journey, entering a fine open country, which was intersected farther on by a broad fäddama, and beyond that presented several ponds half dried up; but, after a march of about ten miles, we had a larger valley full of water on our right, and three miles farther on had to cross it at a spot where the sheet of water was at present narrowed to about 100 yards in width and 3 feet in depth, and, notwithstanding a considerable current, afforded an easier passage than the other part of the rainy season bed, which at present exhibited swampy ground, partly overgrown with rank grass, but was very difficult to cross, and a few days previously had been totally impracticable for horses or camels.
Four miles and a half beyond this river, through a country adorned with fine trees, but without any traces of cultivation, we reached a large river about 250 yards broad, and more than 5 feet deep, running here in a northeasterly direction, and no doubt identical with the river which we had lately crossed. How it is that the river here contains so much more water than it does lower down I can not state with certainty, but my opinion is that a great portion of it is withdrawn toward the north, where the forest seems gradually to slope down toward the desert region of the centre of Gúndumi, where, in a sort of mould or hollow, a large lake-like pond is formed. It is rather unfortunate that I had not an opportunity of asking information on this subject from one of the followers of the ghaladíma, who, instead of crossing the first sheet of water, kept along its northern bank, and thus, with a longer circuit, but without the necessity of embarking in a boat, reached the town of Gandi. Having then crossed another small fäddama, in a wide open country, where sorghum and cotton were cultivated together in the same fields, we reached the town of Gandi. It is surrounded by a wall (in a state of decay) and by two moats, and is of considerable size, but half deserted.
We traversed with some difficulty the entrance to the town, which was adorned on the outside with three very tall bombax or silk-cotton trees, and was almost entirely obstructed by a wooden
ANOTHER LONG MARCH.
567 gate, and then made our way through the desolate area of the town, overgrown with tall herbage, dúm palms, and kórna, until we reached the house of the mágaji, who is one of the five rulers of this vast and desolate place. But we had a great deal of trouble in procuring quarters in an empty court-yard, where we were glad to obtain some rest, as, owing to my long illness, and my entire want of any strengthening food, I felt extremely exhausted by our day's march. I had, moreover, the dissatisfaction to find that one of my people, a liberated slave from Núpe, had remained behind and could not be found. As for myself, I was not able to stir much about to inquire after him, for I wanted rest the more, as we had a long day's march before us, * and had to rise at a very early hour.
It was three o'clock the following morning when we all assembled round the court-yard of the ghaladíma, but, on account of the guide who had promised to conduct us through the wilderness not daring to trust himself with these people without receiving his reward beforehand, we did not get off till half past five o'clock, after we were quite tired out and ill prepared for a long march. The forest was overgrown with rank grass, and in the beginning exhibited some large ponds. The dorówa formed the principal tree, only now and then a dúm palm giving some variety to the vegetation. Through this dense forest we marched at such a rate that it rather resembled a flight than any thing else, rendering it impossible for me to lay down this road with the same degree of accuracy to which I had adhered with the greatest perseverance throughout the whole extent of my long wanderings. At length, after a march of more than twenty miles, we reached the beginning of the large pond Subúbu, which, however, at present was almost dried up, presenting nothing but small pools of water; but I was sadly disappointed in my hopes of obtaining here some rest, the locality being regarded as too insecure to make a long halt, although, on account of this sheet of water, we had evidently given to our course a direction greatly diverging from that of our main route, which was to the northeast. I felt so much exhausted that I was obliged shortly after to remain secretly behind, protected only by my faithful servant El Gatróni, when I lay down flat on the ground for a few moments, and then, refreshed a little, hastily
* Close to Gandi is the small hill Dan-Fáwa, where the ancient town was situated, and at a distance of about ten miles is the well-known town of Bakúra, after which the river is called Gulbi-n-Bakúra.
followed the troop. Thus we proceeded onward, and the day passed by without there appearing any vestige of a town. After many disappointments, dragging myself along in the most desperate state of exhaustion, about an hour after midnight we at length reached cultivated fields, and encamped at some distance from the town of Danfáwa or Dan-Fáwa, on an open piece of ground. Not being able to wait till the tent was pitched, I fell fast asleep as soon as I dismounted. A very heavy dew fell during the night. .
Sunday, October 8th. Having obtained some water and a couple of fowls from some farming people in our neighborhood, we succeeded in finding our camels (which, on account of the exhausted condition of my people, had wandered away), and set out a little after noon, passing close by the town, where a tolerable market was held, and where I provided myself with corn for the next few days. The town of Dan-Fáwa is tolerably populous, and there are even a good many huts outside the walls; but I was astonished at observing the filthy condition of the pond from which the inhabitants procure their supply of water. It could not fail to confirm my former conjecture that most of the diseases of the inhabitants, especially the Guinea-worm, are due to this dirt and filth which they swallow at certain seasons of the year in this sort of water.
Having lost some time in the market, I overtook my people as they were winding along the steep bank of a considerable river, which, taking a northerly course, and evidently identical with the water-course at Katúru, joins the great valley of Góber a few miles to the northwest of Sansánne 'Aísa. At the place where we crossed it was about 200 yards broad, but very shallow at the time, being only a foot deep and full of sand-banks; but I was not a little astonished to find that it contained a very great quantity of fish, numbers of people being employed in catching them by the beating of drums. Although the bank was so steep, there were evident signs that a short time before it had been covered by the water, and part of the crops, even beyond its border, had been damaged by the inundation.
The country appeared to be well inhabited. A little farther on we passed on our left a populous walled town called Dóle, and an apparently larger place became visible on the other side, the pasture-grounds being covered with extremely fine cattle. After we had crossed the river I found that the highest stalks of Indian
569 corn, which was fast ripening, measured not less than twentyeight feet. Besides sorghum, sweet potatoes, or dánkali, were also cultivated here to a great extent. Having then crossed a stony tract, we again reached the town of Moríki, where the river approaches to within a few hundred yards.* On the high ground close to the border of the town a market-place spreads out. Having observed the narrowness of the lanes, I preferred encamping a considerable distance beyond the town, near a hamlet surrounded by a thick fence, and inhabited by Fúlbe of the tribes of the Jakabáwa and Kukodáwa. The neighborhood of Moríki was said to be infested by the inhabitants of the town of Tléta, who were reported to make nightly forays, carrying away horses and cattle; but, notwithstanding this information, we had an undisturbed night's rest, although I thought it prudent to fire several shots.
Monday, October 9th. Having dried our tent a little from the extremely heavy dew which had fallen during the night, we set out to join our companions. Traversing the same rocky district through which we had passed on our outward journey, we reached again the well-known place of Dúchi, and entering with difficulty the obstructed lanes of the village, where we lost another of our camels, pitched our tent on a small open square opposite the house where the ghaladíma had taken up his quarters. Some tamarind-trees on the slope of a rocky eminence, which rose close behind our resting place, afforded us a tolerable shelter during the hot hours of the day.
Tuesday, October 10th. Our day's march carried us as far as Búnka, with the loss of another of our camels, and we encamped this time inside the town, in a tolerably spacious court-yard, the surrounding fields being now covered with tall crops, and not affording sufficient ground for encamping. Altogether the country presented a very different aspect from what it had done on our outward journey, and the water-course near Zýrmi, with its steep banks, offered a difficult passage, although the water was not more than a foot and a half deep. My camels being either knocked up ' or having entirely succumbed, I endeavored in vain to procure a good ox of burden, the principal reason of my difficulty being that I was not provided with shells, and, in consequence, I had some trouble the next day in reaching the town of Kámmané, where the ghaladíma took up his quarters. Already on the road I had observed a good deal of indigo and cotton cultivated between the sorghum. Even here, close to the town, we found the grounds divided between the cultivation of rice and indigo, and I soon learned that the whole industry of the inhabitants consisted in weaving and dyeing. They have very little millet of any kind, so that their food is chiefly limited to ground-nuts or kolche. They have no cattle, but their cotton is celebrated on account of its strength, and the shirts which they dye here are distinguished for the peculiar lustre which they know how to give to them. Although the inhabitants have only about twenty horses, they are able, according to their own statement, to bring into the field not less than 5000 archers. However exaggerated this statement may be, they had not found it very difficult, the preceding year, to drive back the expedition of the Góberáwa; for they keep their wall in excellent repair, and even at present only one gate was passable at all for laden animals, the others being only accessible by a kadárku or narrow drawbridge. The whole interior of the town presented an interesting aspect, tall dúm palms shooting up between the several granite mounds which rise to a considerable elevation,* while the court-yards exhibited a great deal of industry, the people being busy with their labors till late in the even. ing. The proprietor of the court-yard where I had taken up my quarters treated me with the favorite drink of furá soon after my arrival, and with túwo in the evening. I was also fortunate enough to obtain some milk from the villagers outside.
* The water-course is here still of considerable size, and comes a good many miles from the southeast, from a place called Gózaki, skirting the towns of Kaúrin-Namóda and Góga.
Thursday, October 12th. It was rather late when we left this place for another long forced march, a dense fog enveloping the country; but it was still much too early for my noble friend the ghaladíma, who was busy installing a new governor, for which he received a present of a horse and large heaps of shells, so that it was almost ten o'clock before we had fairly entered upon our march. This district being very dangerous, we proceeded on with great haste, and I really conjectured that it was in truth the unsafe state of the road which had caused the delay of our departure, the people being anxious to disappoint the enemy, who, if they had heard the news of our arrival in this place, would of
* Kámmané is one of those places which are distinguished on account of their granite mounds, and which extend from A'yo and Mágaré to Chábané, A'ijia, and the fifteen rocky mounds of Kotórkoshé, where the Sultan of Sókoto had the preceding year directed his expedition.