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countries; and, for an expedition on a larger scale, he does well to provide himself with this article. The ropes made of ngille or the dum bush last only a few days ; and those made of hides, which are very useful in the dry season, for tying up the legs of the camels, and even for fastening the luggage, are not fit for the rainy season. We also bought here a good supply of tamarinds, plenty of fowls (for from thirty to forty kurdi each), and a little milk. Part of the inhabitants of this village, at least, consisted of A'sbenawa settlers; and they informed us that the army of the G6berawa had come close to their town, but that they had driven them back.
The town itself, though not large, is tolerably well inhabited, containing a population of about 5000. It is skirted on the east side by a considerable watercourse, at present dry, but containing excellent water close under the gravelly surface, and forming a place of resort for numbers of the grey species of monkey.
The approach of the rainy season was indicated by a slight fall of rain.
The ghaladima, whom the imminence of Monday, the danger had induced to fix his departure March 28th" for the next day, instead of allowing a day for repose, had already gone on in advance a considerable way, when we followed him, and soon after left on our right a large cheerful-looking hamlet, shaded by splendid trees, and enlivened by numbers of poultry. Extensive cultivated grounds testified to the industry of the inhabitants, who likewise belonged to a tribe of the A'sbenawa, or rather to a mixed race of people. Having then crossed dense underwood, where the Mimosa Nilotica, here called "elkii," was standing in full blossom, while the ground consisted of sand, we reached, after a march of about a mile, the southeastern corner of the wall of the considerable town of Z^rmi. The watercourse of Biinka had been close on our left, providing the inhabitants with a neverfailing supply of excellent water, which is found close under the surface of the fine gravel which composes its bed.
Zyrmi is an important town even at present, but, being under the dominion of the Fiilbe, is only capable of preserving its existence by a constant struggle with G6ber and Maradi. However, the governor of this town is not now master of the whole of Zanfara, as he was in the time of Captain Clapperton, who visited it on his journey to S6koto*, the Fiilbe, or Fellani, having found it more conducive to their policy to place each governor of a walled town, in this province, under the direct allegiance of S6koto, in order to prevent the loss of the whole country by the rebellion of a single man. Some ninety or one hundred years ago, before the destruction of the capital, this province was almost the most flourishing country of Negroland; but it is at present divided into a number of petty states, each of which follows a different policy;
* Clapperton, Second Expedition, p. 150.
hence it is difficult to know which towns are still dependent upon the dominion of S6koto, and which adhere to their enemies the G6bera\va.* The town is still tolerably well inhabited, the western more densely than the eastern quarter.
The direct road leads along the wall, and close beyond passes by the site of the former town Dada; but, in order to water my horse, I descended into the koramma, which was here encompassed by banks about twenty-five feet high, the gradually-shelving slopes of which were laid out in kitchen-gardens, where onions were cultivated. Passing then a tract thickly overgrown with monkey-bread trees, we traversed a straggling village, the whole appearance of which left a feeling of peace and comfort, rather than of the constant state of warfare which prevails in this country. But everything in human life depends on habitude; and these poor people, not knowing any better, bear the state of insecurity to which they are exposed, without uneasiness.
Numerous neat cottages were just being built; and the western end of the village especially, being adorned by several groups of the g6nda tree, or Erica Papaya, had a very pleasant appearance. Dyeing-pits are not wanting in any of the larger towns of Zanfara; and a numerous herd of cattle met our view close beyond the village.
* For further details on this subject, see Appendix I.; and for an outline of the history of Zanfara, see the Chronological Tables.
When we again reached the direct road, the neighbourhood of our friends was distinctly indicated by a very strong and not quite aromatic smell, which proceeded from the luggage of those of the caravan of native traders (or fataki) who had attached themselves to our troop in Zekka, leaving their more cautious brethren behind. The merchandise of these small traders consisted, for the most part, of those vegetable cakes, called dod6wa, which I have mentioned repeatedly, and which constitute an important article of trade, as the dor6wa or Parkia, from the fruit of which those cakes are made, thrives in great abundance in the province of Zegzeg, while it is comparatively rare in the provinces of K^bbi and G6ber. Three thousand of these cakes constitute an ass-load, and each of them in general is sold in Sokoto for five kurdi, having been bought on the spot for one uri; so that the profit, being not less than 500 per cent., makes this commerce attractive for poor people, notwithstanding the dangerous state to which this road is at present reduced. The return freight which these petty merchants bring back from S<5koto, generally consists of the salt of F6gha.
Our further road conducted us through a more rugged district, intersected by numerous small watercourses with very rocky beds, and mostly covered with dense forest only now and then broken by a small tract of cultivated ground producing even a little cotton. Thus we reached the town of Diichi, the name of which, meaning "the rocks," served well to
indicate the peculiar nature of the place, which has a very wild and romantic appearance—a labyrinth of
rocky eminences intersected by a small ravine, as shown in the woodcut: the dwellings, which are scattered about in several groups, can scarcely be seen, owing to the prevalence of rocks. Several groups of dum palms contribute greatly to enhance the picturesque character of the place.
Having got inside the wall, which consisted of loose stones, we had some difficulty in finding a fit spot for encamping, and at length, having traversed the whole place, pitched our tent, not far from the western gate, but still inside the wall, in the shade of a fine tsamia or tamarind tree, and close to a small group of huts. The principal hamlet lies nearer the east side. The little watercourse contained only a very small supply of water under the gravelly surface of the bed; but on my return from the west, in the autumn of the following year, a foaming brook was rushing along it. The interesting character of the scenery induced me, in the course of the night,