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The ghaladíma was also very anxious to be gone; but the army of the Góberáwa being ready to start on an expedition, on a grand scale, against the territory of the Fúlbe, we could not leave the place before we knew exactly what direction the hostile army would take. They having at length set out on their foray on the 7th of March, we began to watch their movements very anxiously, each of these two powers—the independent pagans as well as the conquering Fúlbe--having in their pay numbers of spies in the towns of their enemies. Only two days before the Góberáwa left their home they killed Bú-Bakr, the chief spy whom 'Aliyu, sultan of Sókoto, entertained in their town.
In the company of the ghaladíma there was a younger brother of his, of the name of Al-háttu, who had lost the better portion of the character of a free man by a mixture of slave-blood, and behaved at times like the most intolerable beggar; but he proved of great service to me in my endeavor to become acquainted with all the characteristic features of the country and its inhabitants.
Besides this man, my principal acquaintance during my stay in Kátsena this time was a Tawáti of the name of 'Abd e' Rahmán, a very amiable and social man, and, as a fáki, possessing a certain degree of learning. He had been a great friend of the Sultan Bello, and expatiated with the greatest enthusiasm on the qualities and achievements of this distinguished ruler of Negroland. He also gave me the first hints of some of the most important subjects relating to the geography and history of western Negroland, and called my attention particularly to a man whom he represented as the most learned of the present generation of the inhabitants of Sókoto, and from whom, he assured me, I should not fail to obtain what information I wanted. This man was 'Abd el Kader dan Taffa (meaning the son of Mustapha), on whose stores of knowledge I drew largely. My intercourse with 'Abd e' Rah. mán was occasionally interrupted by an amicable tilt at our respective creeds. On one occasion, when my learned friend was endeavoring to convince me of the propriety of polygamy, he adduced as an illustration that in matters of the table we did not confine ourselves to a single dish, but took a little fowl, a little fish, and a little roast beef; and how absurd, he argued, was it to restrict ourselves, in the intercourse with the other sex, to only one wife. It was during my second stay in Kátsena that I collected most of the information which I have communicated on a former occasion with regard to the history of Háusa.
Besides this kind of occupation, my dealings with the governor, and an occasional ride which I took through and outside the town, I had a great deal to do in order to satisfy the claims of the inhabitants upon my very small stock of medicinal knowledge, espe; cially at the commencement of my residence, when I was severely pestered with applications, having generally from 100 to 200 patients in my court-yard every morning. The people even brought me sometimes animals to cure; and I was not a little amused when they once brought me a horse totally blind, which they thought I was able to restore to its former power of vision.
Living in Kátsena is not so cheap as in most other places of Negroland; at least we thought so at the time, but we afterward found Sókoto, and many places between that and Timbúktu, much dearer; but the character of dearth in Kátsena is increased by the scarcity of shells in the market, which form the standard currency, and, especially after I had circulated a couple of hund. red dollars, I was often obliged to change a dollar for 2300 shells instead of 2500.
I had here a disagreeable business to arrange; for suddenly, on the 18th of March, there arrived our old creditor Mohammed e' Sfaksí, whose claims upon us I thought I had settled long ago by giving him a bill upon Fezzán, besides the sum of two hundred dollars which I had paid him on the spot;* but, to my great astonishment, he produced a letter in which Mr. Gagliuffi, her majesty's agent in Múrzuk, informed him that I was to pay him in Sudán.
Such is the trouble to which a European traveler is exposed in these countries by the injudicious arrangements of those very people whose chief object ought to be to assist him, while, at the same time, all his friends in Europe think that he is well provided, and that he can proceed on his difficult errand without obstacle.
On the 19th of March we received information that the army of Góberáwa had encamped on the site of the former town of Róma, or Rúma, and I was given to understand that I must hold myself in readiness to march at an hour's notice.
Meanwhile the governor of Kátsena, who had received exaggerated accounts of the riches which I was carrying with me, was endeavoring, by every means at his disposal, to separate, me from the ghaladíma, in order to have me in his own power; and his measures were attended with a good deal of success, at least in the
* See vol. ii., p. 576.
case of my Arab companion 'Alí el A'geren, who, although a man of some energy, allowed himself too often to be frightened by the misrepresentations of the people. On his attempting to keep me back, I told him that, if he chose, he might stay behind, but that I had made up my mind to proceed at once, in company with the ghaladíma, whatever might happen. I had the more reason to beware of the governor, as, just at the period of this my second stay here, when he knew I was going to his liege lord, I had had another opportunity of becoming fully aware of the flagrant injustice exercised by him and his ministers. For the sherif, who, as I have said, had attached himself to my party in Zinder, having died here of dysentery soon after our arrival, he seized upon what little property he had left, notwithstanding that person had placed himself, in some respects, under my protection; and although he pretended he would send it to his relatives, there is no doubt that he or his people kept it back. The safety of the property of any European who should die in these regions ought to be taken into account in any treaty to be concluded with a native chief; but no such contingency was provided for in draughts of the treaties which we took with us.
CHAPTER LVI. JOURNEY FROM KA'TSENA TO SO'KOTO. Monday, March 21st. The whole town was in motion when we left; for the governor himself was to accompany us for some days' journey, as the whole country was exposed to the most imminent danger, and farther on he was to send a numerous escort along with us. It was a fine morning, and, though the rainy season had not yet set in in this province, many of the trees were clad already in a new dress, as if in anticipation of the fertilizing power of the more favored season.
The hájilij had begun, about the commencement of March, to put out new foliage and shoots of young fruit; and the dorówa or Parkia exhibited its blossoms of the most beautiful purple, hanging down to a great length from the branches. The dorówa, which is entirely wanting in the whole of Bórnu, constitutes here the chief representative of the vegetable kingdom. It is from the beans of this tree that the natives prepare the vegetable cakes
called “dodówa," with which they season their food.* Next to this tree another one, which I had not seen before, called here “rúnhu," and at present full of small yellow blossoms, was most common.
The first day we made only a short march of about three miles, to a village called Kabakáwa, where the ghaladíma had taken up his quarters. I had scarcely dismounted, under a tree at the side of the village, when my protector called upon me, and in a very friendly manner invited me, urgently, to take up my quarters inside the village, stating that the neighborhood was not quite safe, as the Góberáwa had carried away three women from this very village the preceding day. I, however, preferred my tent and the open air, and felt very little inclination to confide my valuable property, on which depended entirely the success of my enterprise, to the huts, which are apt to catch fire at any moment; for, while I could not combat against nature, I had confidence enough in my arms and in my watchfulness not to be afraid of thieves and robbers.t
In the afternoon the ghaladíma came out of the hamlet, and took his seat under a neighboring tree, when I returned his visit of the morning, and endeavored to open with him and his companions a free and unrestrained intercourse; for I was only too happy to get out of the hands of the lawless governor of Kátsena, who, I felt convinced, would not have been deterred by any scruples from possessing himself of my riches; indeed, he had gone so far as to tell me that if I possessed any thing of value, such as pistols handsomely mounted, I should give them to him rather than to the Sultan of Sókoto, for that he himself was the emír el Múmenín; nay, he even told me that his liege lord was alarmed at the sight of a pistol.
Tuesday, March 22d. In order to avoid the enemy, we were obliged, instead of following a westerly direction, to keep at first directly southward. The country through which our road lay was very beautiful. The dorówa, which the preceding day had formed the principal ornament of the landscape, in the first part of this day's march gave place entirely to other trees, such as tall rími or bentang-tree, the kúka or monkey-bread-tree, and the deléb palm or gigiña (Borassus flabelliformis ?); but beyond the village of Dóka, the dorówa, which is the principal tree of the provinces of Kátsena and Záriya, again came prominently forward, while the kadéña also, or butter-tree, and the alléluba, afforded a greater variety to the vegetation. The alléluba (which, on my second stay at Kanó, I saw in full blossom) bears a small fruit, which the natives eat, but which I never tried myself. Even the dúm palm, with its fan-shaped yellow-colored foliage, gave occasionally greater relief to the fresher vegetation around. The country was populous and well cultivated, and extensive tobacco-grounds and large fields of yams or gwáza were seen, both objects being almost a new sight to me; for tobacco, which I had been so much surprised to see cultivated to such an extent in the country of the pagan Músgu, is scarcely grown at all in Bórnu, with the exception of Zínder, and I had first observed it largely cultivated near the town of Kátsena, while yams, as I have already had repeatedly occasion to mention, are not raised at all in Central Negroland. Numerous herds of cattle were seen dotting the landscape, and contributed largely to the interest of the scenery. But the district of Máje especially, which we traversed after a march of about seven miles, impressed me with the highest opinion of the fertility and beauty of this country. Here, also, we met a troop of Itísan with their camels.
* See the description which Clapperton gives of the manner in which these cakes are prepared. (Denham and Clapperton's Travels, ii. p. 125.)
† The wells here were eight fathoms.
Having then proceeded for about two miles through a more open and well-cultivated country, with extensive cotton-grounds, large plantations of indigo, and wide fields planted with sweet potatoes, or dánkali, we reached the village called Kúlkadá, where the governor of Kátsena had taken up his quarters; but, leaving this outlaw at a respectful distance, we followed in the track of the ghaladíma, who had been obliged to seek for quarters in a small Tawárek hamlet at the distance of a mile and a half toward the southeast—a remarkable resting place for a party proceeding to the westward. The heat was very great; and the dorówa-trees, with their scanty acacia-like foliage, which, besides a few gondatrees (Carica Papaya) and a solitary ngábbore, were the only members of the vegetable kingdom here seen, afforded but insufficient shade, the dryness of the country being the more felt, as the supply of water was rather limited.
I was hospitably treated in the evening, not only by the ghaladíma, who sent me a sheep, but even by the inhabitants of the hamlet, who came to visit me in large numbers. I learned that they were Imghád, natives of Tawar Nwaijdúd, the village which