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Dravby JM Bernatz from a Sketch by D? Barth

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Chap. LVII.



own hints with regard to the state of his health are taken into account.

In the evening, my old friend Módibo 'Ali, and the mother of A'bú, the elder and more warlike brother of the present ghaladíma, who was slain by the Góberáwa two years before my visit to this place, treated me hospitably, and I sent a present to Saídu, a younger son of Bello, who resides in Sokoto, and is considered as a sort of mayor.

It was the great market-day, which was Friday, of some importance to me, as I

April 22nd. good many things, so that I was obliged to send there a sum of 70,000 shells; but the market did not become well-frequented or well-stocked till between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, when I myself proceeded thither. I had taken a ride in the morning through the south-eastern quarter of the town, proceeding through the kófa-n-Atíku, thence along the wall, towards the west, and re-entered the town by the kófa-n-'Alí Jédu, where the whole quarter is very desolate, even the wall being in a state of decay, and the fine mosque, built by the gedádo during Clapperton's stay here, fallen entirely to ruins. But, even in the present reduced condition of the place, the market still presented a very interesting sight, the numerous groups of people, buyers as well as sellers, and the animals of various descriptions, being picturesquely scattered over the rocky slope, as I have endeavoured to represent in the plate opposite. The market was tolerably well attended, and well

supplied, there being about thirty horses, three hundred head of cattle for slaughtering, fifty takérkere, or oxen of burden, and a great quantity of leather articles (this being the most celebrated branch of manufacture in Sókoto), especially leather bags, cushions, and similar articles, the leather dressed and prepared here being very soft and beautiful. There were more than a hundred bridles for sale, the workmanship of which is very famous throughout all this part of Negroland ; but especially a large quantity of iron was exposed for sale, the iron of Sókoto being of excellent quality and much sought for, while that of Kanó is of bad quality. A good many slaves were exhibited, and fetched a higher price than might be supposed,—a lad of very indifferent appearance being sold for 33,000 shells; I myself bought a pony for 30,000. It being just about the period when the salt-caravan visits these parts, dates also, which usually form a small addition to the principal merchandise of those traders of the desert, were to be had; and I filled a leather bag, for some 2000 shells, in order to give a little more variety to my food on the long road which lay before me.

I took another interesting ride through April 23rd.

the kófa-n-Dúnday, not following the direct road to that village, which lies close to the junction of the gulbi-n-Ríma with the gulbi-n-Rába, but not far from the decayed northern wall, and thus crossed a considerable channel, a branch of the river, full of water, being even at the present time about fifteen

Char. LVII.



yards wide, and a foot and a half in depth, and then, keeping away from the village, reached the other branch, which was narrower but more richly bor. dered by bushes, and, following it up in an easterly direction, reached the point of junction, or “megangámu.”

The whole valley here formed one uninterrupted rice-field; and how different was the aspect of the country from what it exhibited on my home journey, at the end of the rainy season of the following year! A number of small boats were lying here, at the side of the narrow channel, but all of them separated into two halves, which had to be sewn together when their services were required for the rainy season. From this point I crossed over to the road leading to the village of Koré, where, two days later, a party of Kél-geres made a foray; and returning along this road towards the town, at a distance of about five hundred yards from the wall, we crossed another small arm of the river, which during the rainy season forms an extensive swamp. Leaving then the kófa-n-Koré on our right, we turned round the north-eastern corner of the wall, and ascended towards the kófa-n-Marké, which has received this name from a tree of the marké kind, although at present none are to be seen here. On the next page is a sketch of a ground-plan of the town.

Altogether my visit to Sókoto formed a most interesting intermezzo to my involuntary stay in the capital, although it could not fail to give me a fur.

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