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learned followers of the Sheikh, having resided for nearly thirty years in the family, first with the Sheikh Sidi Mohammed, then with his eldest son El Mukhtar, who succeeded him in the dignity of a Sheikh during Major Laing's residence in A'zawád, and finally with the Sheikh el Bakáy himself, originally belonged to the Arab tribe of the Welád Rashid, whose settlements in Wádáy I have mentioned on a former occasion. Partly on this account, partly on account of his great religious knowledge, and his volubility of speech, he possessed great influence with all the people, although his prudence and forbearance were not conspicuous. But finding that his usual arguments in favour of his creed did not avail with me, he soon desisted. This was the last time these people attempted to make me a proselyte to their religion, with the exception of some occasional serious advice from my friends under the temporary pressure of political difficulties.
The emir of the place, of the name of Kaúri, who was a good-natured man, and whose colleague, Belle, was absent at the time, having advised my protector to take me again out of the town for a few days, till the kádhi A'hmed Weled Faamme, who was going to Hamda-Alláhi, and who was especially hostilely disposed towards me, should have left, we again set out, on the morning of the 17th October; but, having stayed in the encampment that night and the following morning, we returned to the town the same afternoon, but left again on the morning of the 20th,
. LXVIII. when the kafla of the Tawátiye was ready to set out on their journey to the north, and stayed with them during the heat of the day. They were encamped in about twenty-four small leathern tents, round the well where we had a few days previously watered our horses, and mustered more than fifty muskets, each of them being armed, moreover, with a spear and sword; but notwithstanding their numbers, and the circumstance that a rather respectable man, of the name of Háj A’hmed, the wealthiest person of Insála or 'Ain-Sála, was among them, and was to accompany them as far as Mamún, I felt no inclination to go with this caravan, and thus to deprive myself of the opportunity of surveying the river, nor did my protector himself seem to find in this northerly road any sufficient guarantee for my safe return home. I therefore only made use of this opportunity in order to send to Europe, by way of Ghadámes, a short report of my arrival in Timbúktu, and a general outline of the political circumstances connected with my stay in the city.
The caravan having started the following morning, we stayed two days longer in the camp, and then once more returned into the town, without any further difficulty, in the company of Sídi A'lawáte, who had come out to join us with a body of armed followers, and who behaved now, on the whole, much more amiably towards me. He even gave me some interesting particulars with respect to Ségo*, which
* The chief information related to the circumstance that all CHAP. LXVIII. MOVEMENTS OF THE FU'LBE.
place he had visited some time before, levying upon Dembo, then king of Bambara, a heavy contribution of gold. This king who was sprung from a Púllo mother, had succeeded his father Farma, the son of the king mentioned by Mungo Park under the name of Mansong, two years previously.*
The Fúlbe, however, did not give up their point, and, as they did not find themselves strong enough to proceed to open violence, made an indirect attack upon me by putting in irons on the 27th some Arabs or Moors, on the pretext of having neglected their prayers, thereby protesting strongly enough against a person of an entirely different creed staying in the town. The emír Kaúri himself, who, on the whole, seemed to be a man of good sense, was in a most awkward position; and when the kádhi informed him, that, if he was not able to execute the order which he had received from his liege lord, he should solicit the assistance of the people of Timbúktu, he the four quarters of that town, together with two other quarters which in a wider sense are included in the place, are situated on the south side of the river, as has been stated already in Recueil des Voyages, tom. ii. p. 53. Mungo Park, who states (First Journey p. 195.) the contrary, was evidently mistaken; and from the circumstances under which he passed by Ségo, as a despised and suspected person, his mistake is easily intelligible. The two quarters which in a wider sense still belong to Ségo are called Benánkoró and Bammabúgu, in the former of which a well frequented market is held. There is, besides, a village close by called Bebára.
* My information as to the succession of the kings of Bámbara does not agree with that received by M. Faidherbe, the present governor of Senegal, published in the “Revue Coloniale,” 1857, p. 279. I shall refer to this subject in another place.
refused to have recourse to violence till he had received stricter orders to that effect and inore effectual aid; for, in the event of his having driven me out, and anything having befallen me, the whole blame would be thrown upon him, as had been the case with Sidi Bú-Bakr the governor, who, obeying the orders of Mohammed Lebbo, had obliged the Ráis (Major Laing) to leave the town, and thus, in some measure was the cause of his death, that distinguished traveller having thrown himself in despair into the arms of Hámed Weled 'Abéda, the chief of the Berabish, who murdered him in the desert.
But, on the other hand, the emír endeavoured to dissuade my protector, who was about to send a messenger to Alkúttabu*, the great chief of the Awelímmiden, to summon him to his assistance, from carrying out his intention, fearing lest the result of this proceeding might be a serious conflict between the Tawárek and the Fúlbe. However, from all that I saw, I became aware that the chance of my departure was more remote than ever, and that, at least this year, there was very little prospect of my leaving this place; for the messenger whom the Sheikh was to send to the Tárki chief, and of whose departure there had been much talk for so long a time, had not yet left, and the chief's residence was several hundred miles off. I therefore again pro
* I will here remark, although I have to speak repeatedly of this chief, that the name seems to be an abbreviation, meaning probably .ru bö that is, “pillar of the faith.”
tested to my friend that it was my earnest desire to set out on my home journey as soon as possible, and that I felt not a little annoyed at the continual procrastination.
Several circumstances concurred at this time to make me feel the delay the more deeply, so that notwithstanding my sincere esteem for my protector, I thought it better, when he again left the town in the evening of the 27th, to remain where I was ; for after my return from our last excursion, in consequence of the severe cold during the night, I had been visited by a serious attack of rheumatism, which had rendered me quite lame for a day or two.
With regard to the means of my departure, the Waláti, whom I had sent out at a great expense to bring my horses and camels from the other side of the river, had brought back my horses in the most emaciated condition. As for the camels, he had intended to appropriate them to his own use ; but I defeated his scheme by making a present of them to the Sheikh. This brought all the Waláti's other intrigues to light, especially the circumstance of his having presented a small pistol (which I had given to himself) to Hammádi, the Sheikh's rival, intimating that it came from me, and thus endangering my whole position, by making the Sheikh believe that I was giving presents to his rivals and his enemies. But my protector acted nobly on this occasion ; for he not only warned me against the intrigues of the Waláti, and would not lend an ear to his numerous calumnies