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Chap. LVH. WORKS OF 'ABD ALLA'HI AND BELLO. 187
whom the western portion of the conquered region was awarded as his share. But although this work, the title of which is "Tez^n el aurekat," contained, besides a great deal of theological matter, some important historical data, it did not satisfy my curiosity; and I had been endeavouring in vain to obtain the work of Bello, entitled "Infak el misuri fi fat-hri, el Tekriiri," which had been earnestly recommended to me by my friend the fdki 'Abd el Kdder in Katsena; but I did not succeed in getting it into my hands till a few days before I left this place, when I found that the greater part of its contents, which had any geographical or historical importance, were identical with those documents brought back by Captain Clapperton, on his first journey, and which have been partly translated by Mr. Salame, in the appendix to the account of those travels.
Meanwhile the country became more unsafe; and on the 5th of May the cattle of the village of Salame were driven off by the people of Ch^beri, to the great loss of my friend 'Abd el Kdder dan Taffa, who had considerable property there; but strongly reminded of the effects of the rainy season, by a heavy shower which fell on the 6th, driving me out of my cool shed, I urged my departure, and in the afternoon of the 8th took leave of 'Aliyu with a cheerful spirit, it being evident to me, not only that he entertained not the slightest mistrust of my future proceedings, but on the contrary even took considerable interest in me, as he found that it was my earnest desire to become well acquainted with the country and the people, and that I was anxious to establish friendly relations with the most distinguished and learned among them. But he gave me repeatedly to understand that he wished me not to go to Hamdallahi, to present my compliments to their countrymen and coreligionists there and their chief or his successor, we having just received a few days previously the news of the death of Sh^kho A'hmedu, while he had not the slightest objection to my going to Timbuktu, and paying a visit to the sheikh el Bakay, who had spent some time in S6koto and was on friendly terms with the family of F6diye. CHAP. LVIII.
STATE OF INSECURITY ALONG THE MOST FREQUENTED HIGHROAD. —
At length I was able to pursue my journey, Simday) which now, as soon as I had passed S6koto, May 8tk was to lead me into almost unknown regions, never trodden by European foot.
I was escorted out of the town, in grand style, by the ghaladima with six horsemen, and then pursued my former track to S6koto, the character of which was but little changed, on account of the vegetation having only just begun to be vivified and restored by the first showers of the rainy season. The little stream which skirts the foot of the hill on which the town of S6koto is situated, and where we had watered our horses on our former excursion, now began gradually to increase, although as yet it exhibited but few signs of that considerable volume which I found here on my home journey the next year.
I was lodged in my old quarters, in the house of the ghaladima, and was treated by my old friends M6dibo 'All and Said with great hospitality. Although most anxious, on account of the season, to continue my journey with the shortest possible delay, I remained here the four following days, in order to procure what was still wanted in my outfit for the long journey before me, but principally from regard to the interests of my companion 'All el A'geren, who had here to arrange some business; hence we did not set out until the 14th of May.
There had been so heavy a shower the preceding afternoon, that a large stream broke through the roof of my dwelling and placed my whole room several inches under water. I passed, therefore, a most uncomfortable night, and when I got up in the morning I had a very bad headache. Every thing, also, was extremely wet, so that it took us a long time to get ready our camels, and it was eight o'clock when we left the k6fa-n-Taramnia, which, though the widest of the gates of the town, did not allow my two largest boxes to pass without damage.
A grandson of M6dibo 'AH, together with Shekho the chief of the Zoromawa, escorted me outside the town. The first was certainly sincere: but as for the second, 1 could not expect that he was in earnest in wishing me success in my undertaking; for the Zoromawa, who are the chief traders of the country, viewed my enterprise with a great deal of mistrust, as they were told that I wanted to open an intercourse along the river.
Thus we entered the large open plain, which is only bounded, at the distance of about three miles to the north, by a low chain of hills, and scarcely dotted with a single tree. But the monotonous country at
present was not quite wanting in signs of life, the plentiful fall of rain having inspired the inhabitants of the several villages which were scattered about with sufficient confidence to trust their seed to the ground. Having then passed a larger village, called KafFarawa, we crossed a considerable depression or hollow, stretching from S.W. to N.E., with plenty of water, and with extensive grounds of yams, a branch of cultivation which, in these swampy valleys of Kebbi, is carried on to some extent; and this depression was soon succeeded by others of a like nature. Numerous herds of cattle were here grazing on the intervening pasture-grounds, which were adorned with sycamores and monkey-bread trees; and this continued till we reached Bodinga, and took up our quarters in a small cluster of huts lying on the outside, close to the wall. This time I did not enter the town, but I did so on my return journey, when I satisfied myself of the considerable size of the town, and the state of decay and desolation into which it has at present relapsed.
While we were loading our camels, the Sunday, governor of the town, who is a son of May 16thModibo 'Ah, of the name of Mohammedu, came out to pay me his compliments. He was of a cheerful disposition, and had treated us hospitably the preceding evening. He even accompanied me to a considerable distance, till we left, on our right, the town of Sifawa or Shifawa, an important place in the history of the Piillo reformer 'Othman dan F6diye, but at present almost desolate and reduced to great misery, present