o ' " Observed Mer. Alt. 162 11 0 81 5 30 0 16 0 81 21 30 Z.D. 8 38 30 D. 22 11 29 Latitude 13 33 0
June 3d—Having sent him the last present mentioned in the above list, I concluded, and was assured by the king's brothers, that no further demands would be made; but was much surprised when our guide and the king's brothers told me on their return that I must send ten bars of gunpowder and ten of flints. Here I determined to put an end to the business; and told the king's brothers that I considered myself as having paid the king very well for passing through his territory; that I would neither give him a single charge of gunpowder nor a flint; and if he refused to allow me to pass, I would go without his permission; and if his people attempted to obstruct us we would do our utmost to defend ourselves. The king's brothers and some of the old Bushreens insisted on my sending the gunpowder or some other goods of equal value; but I assured them that Europeans would much rather run the risque of being plundered in a hostile manner than have their goods (which were brought to purchase provisions) extorted from them by such exorbitant demands. After going backwards and forwards to the king, his Majesty was pleased to say he was satisfied; and what surprised me, said that he was coming to pay us a friendly visit in the afternoon. He accordingly paid us a visit, attended by a parcel of parasites and singing women. Offered me a few Cola nuts, which I desired our guide to take and eat; he likewise told me that I should have a guide to Baniserile.
June 4th.—Early in the morning departed, and having passed the village Eercella, remarkable for a grove of large Sitta trees, about one o'clock arrived at Baniserile, and halted under a tree near the wells. This being His Majesty's birth day, pitched one of the tents, purchased a bullock and a calf for the soldiers: in the afternoon had them drawn up, and fired; and made it as much a day of festivity as our circumstances would permit; and though we were under the necessity of drinking His Majesty's health in water from our canteens, yet few of his subjects wished more earnestly for the continuance of his life and the prosperity of his reign.
Baniserile is a Mahometan town; the chief man, Fodi Braheima, is one of the most friendly men I have met with. I gave him a copy of the New Testament in Arabic, with which he seemed very much pleased.
June 5th.—Employed in purchasing rice, having received information that there was a great scarcity of that article to the eastwards. Bought the rice both here and at Julifunda with small amber No. 5; and I found that though a scarcity existed almost to famine, I could purchase a pound of clean rice for one bead of amber, value 2d. sterling.
Purchased three ass loads, and on the 6th purchased two ass loads more, making in all 750lb. of rice. This day one of our guide's people went away to purchase slaves at Laby in Foota Jalla, distant three long days travel. The people here assured me it was only three days travel from Badoo to Laby. Had a squall with thunder and rain during the night. As the loads were put into the tent, they were not wetted, but one of our carpenters, (old James,) who had been sick of the dysentery ever since we crossed the Nerico, and was recovering, became greatly worse. Observed mer. alt. of 0 161 8' latitude 13 35'.
Dentila is famous for its iron; the flux used for smelting the iron is the ashes of the bark of the Kino tree. These ashes are as white as flour: they are not used in dying blue, and must therefore have something peculiar in them. I tasted them: they did not appear to me to have so much alkali as the mimosa ashes, but had an austere taste. The people told me, if I eat them, I would certainly die.
June 7th.—Departed early in the morning, and as the carpenter before mentioned was very weak, appointed two soldiers to stay by him, and assist him in mounting, and to drive his ass. Four miles east of Baniserile came to the brow of a hill, from which we had an extensive prospect eastwards. A square looking hill, supposed to be the hill near Dindikoo, in Konkodoo, bore by compass due East.
Shortly after crossed the bed of a stream running towards the Faleme river, called Samakoo on account of the vast herds of elephants which wash themselves in it during the rains.
Saw their foot marks very frequently, and fresh dung. Heard a lion roar not far from us. This day the asses travelled very ill on account of their having eaten fresh grass, as we supposed.
Obliged to load the horses, and at noon halted at a large pool of water in the bed of the Samakoo, called Jananga.
From the time of our crossing the Samakoo to our halting place, we travelled without any road; our guide being apprehensive that as there existed a war a little to the south, and the people were in arms; they might attempt to cut off some of the fatigued asses in our rear.
In the afternoon resumed our march, and travelled without any road over a wild and rocky country. Obliged to leave two of the asses on the road, and load all the horses. We did not reach the watering place till quite dark, and were obliged to fire muskets frequently to prevent us from straying from each other.
June 8th.—Early in the morning resumed our march, and about two miles to the east came to the brow of a hill, from whence we could distinguish the course of the Faleme river by the range of dark green trees which grew on its borders. The carpenter unable to sit upright, and frequently threw himself from the ass, wishing to be left to die. Made two of the soldiers carry him by force and hold him on the ass. At noon reached Madina, and halted by the side of the Faleme river; which at this season is a little discoloured by the rain, but not sensibly swelled. The general course of this river as pointed out by the natives is from the south-east quarter; the distance to its source is six ordinary days travel. The bed of the river here is rocky, except at the crossing place, where it is a mixture of sand and gravel. The river abounds in fish, some of them very large: we saw several plunge and leap that appeared to be so large as to weigh 60 or 70 lb. The velocity of the stream is about four knots per hour.
In the afternoon got all the bundles carried over, and up the opposite bank, which very much fatigued the soldiers. When every thing was carried over, I found the carpenter still more weakly and apparently dying. I therefore thought it best to leave him at Madina till the morning following. Went to the village, and hired a hut for him for six bars of amber, and gave the Dooty four bars, desiring him to make some of his people assist the soldier (whom I left to take care of the sick person) in burying him, if he died during the night. In the evening went to Satadoo, which is only one mile east of the river. As there was great appearance of rain, put all the baggage into one, and slept on the top of the bundles, leaving the other tent for the soldiers. We had a heavy tornado with much thunder and lightning.
June 9th.—In the morning the soldier, who had been left to take care of the sick man, returned; and informed us that he died at eight o'clock the preceding evening; and that with the assistance of the Negroes he had buried him in the place where the people of the village bury their dead. Purchased corn for the asses, and a large bullock for the people; likewise one ass.
Went into the town in the evening, and presented the Dooty with six bars, requesting a guide to Shrondo, which he readily granted. Satadoo is walled round, and contains about three hundred huts: it was formerly much larger. Observed mer. alt. sun 160 deg. 6'; observed mer. alt. Jupiter 116 36'.
Five of the soldiers, who did not go into the tent, but staid under the tree during the rain, complained much of headache and uneasiness at stomach.
June 10th. The soldiers still sickly. Left Satadoo at sun-rise: several of our canteens stolen during the night. This forenoon we travelled for more than two miles over white quartz, large lumps of which were lying all round; no other stone to be seen. Carried forwards a large skinful of water, being uncertain whether we should find any on the road. At eleven o'clock reached the bed of a stream flowing to the left, called Billalla, where we found some muddy water.
Resumed our journey at half past three o'clock, and travelled over a hard rocky soil towards the mountains; many of the asses very much fatigued. The front of the coffle reached Shrondo at sunset; but being in the rear I had to mount one of the sick men on my horse, and assist in driving the fatigued asses: so that I did not reach the halting place till eight o'clock, and was forced to leave four asses in the woods. Shrondo is but a small town. We halted as usual under a tree at a little distance; and before we could pitch one of the tents, we were overtaken by a very heavy tornado, which wet us all completely. In attempting to fasten up one of the tents to a branch of the tree, had my hat blown away, and lost. The ground all round was covered with water about three inches deep. We had another tornado about two o'clock in the morning. The tornado which took place on our arrival, had an instant effect on the health of the soldiers, and proved to us, to be the beginning of sorrow. I had proudly flattered myself that we should reach the Niger with a very moderate loss; we had had two men sick of the dysentery; one of them recovered completely on the march, and the other would doubtless have recovered, had he not been wet by the rain at Baniserile. But now the rain had set in, and I trembled to think that we were only halfway through our journey. The rain had not commenced three minutes before many of the soldiers were affected with vomiting; others fell asleep, and seemed as if half intoxicated. I felt a strong inclination to sleep during the storm; and as soon as it was over I fell asleep on the wet ground, although I used every exertion to keep myself awake. The soldiers likewise fell asleep on the wet bundles.
June 11th.—Twelve of the soldiers sick. Went and waited on the Dooty, and presented him with five bars of amber, and two of beads, requesting his permission to go and look at the gold mines, which I understood were in the vicinity. Having obtained his permission, I hired a woman to go with me, and agreed to pay her a bar of amber if she would shew me a grain of gold. We travelled about half a mile west of the town, when we came to a small meadow spot of about four or five acres extent, in which were several holes dug resembling wells. They were in general about ten or twelve feet deep; towards the middle of the meadow spot the holes were deepest, and shallower towards the sides. Their number was about thirty, besides many old ones which had sunk down. Near the mouths of these pits were several other shallow pits, lined with clay, and full of rain water: between the mine pits and these wash pits laid several heaps of sandy gravel. On the top of each was a stone; some of the stones white, others red, others black, &c. These serve to distinguish each person's property. I could see nothing peculiar in this gravel; some silicious pebbles as large as a pigeon's egg, pieces of white and reddish quartz, iron stone, and killow, and a soft friable yellow stone, which crumbled to pieces by the fingers, were the chief minerals that I could distinguish. Besides the above there was a great portion of sand, and a yellow earth resembling till.
The woman took about half a pound of gravel with one hand from the heap, which I suppose belonged to her; and having put it into a large calabash, threw a little water on it with a small calabash; which two calabashes are all that are necessary for washing gold. The quantity of water was only sufficient to cover the sand about one inch. She then crumbled the sand to pieces, and mixt it with the water; this she did not in a rotatory manner, but by pulling her hands towards herself, as shewn in the following sketch.
She then threw out all the large pebbles, looking on the ground where she threw them, for fear of throwing out a piece of gold. Having done this, she gave the sand and water a rotatory motion, so as to make a part of the sand and water fly over the brim of the calabash. While she did this with her right hand, with her left she threw out of the centre of the vortex a portion of sand and water at every revolution. She then put in a little fresh water, and as the quantity of sand was now much diminished, she held the calabash in an oblique direction, and made the sand move slowly round on the line AB, while she constantly agitated it with a quick motion in the direction CD.
I now observed a quantity of black matter, resembling gunpowder, which she told me was gold rust; and before she had moved the sand one quarter round the calabash, she pointed to a yellow speck, and said, sanoo affilli, see the gold. On looking attentively I saw a portion of pure gold, and took it out. It would have weighed about one grain. The whole of the washing, from the first putting in of the sand till she shewed me the gold, did not exceed the space of two minutes. I now desired her to take a larger portion. She put in, as nearly as I could guess, about two pounds; and having washed it in the same manner, and nearly in the same time, found no fewer than twenty-three particles; some of them were very small. In both cases I observed that the quantity of sanoo mira, or gold rust, was at least forty times greater than the quantity of gold. She assured me that they sometimes found pieces of gold as large as her fist. I could not ascertain the quantity of gold washed here in one year; but I believe it must be considerable, though they wash only during the beginning and end of the rains. Gold is sold here, and all along our route, by the minkalli: six teelee kissi (a sort of bean, the fruit of a large tree) make one minkalli: the weight of six teelee kissi is exactly [dram] & [scruple]. In Kaarta they use a small bean called jabee kissi, twenty-four of which make one minkalli; a jabee kissi weighs exactly four grains. In Kasson, twelve small tamarind stones make one minkalli, which I believe is the heaviest minkalli in this part of Africa. If gold is purchased with amber, one bead of No. 4 will, in almost all cases, purchase one teelee kissi: but it can be purchased with more advantage with beads or scarlet, and still more so with gunpowder. I did not purchase any; but our guide bought a considerable quantity, and I was present at all his bargain-making.
Went in the afternoon to see a brother of Karfa Taura's; he had a very large collection of Arabic books, and I made him quite happy by adding an Arabic New Testament to the number.
June 12th.—Left Shrondo early in the morning; the sick being unable to walk, I gave them all the horses and spare asses. Travelled slowly along the bottom of the Konkodoo mountains, which are very steep precipices of rock, from eighty to two or three hundred feet high. We reached Dindikoo at noon; at which time it came on a tornado so rapidly, that we were forced to carry our bundles into the huts of the natives; this being the first time the coffle had entered a town since leaving Gambia. As soon as the rain was over, went with Mr. Anderson to see the gold pits which are near this town. The pits are dug exactly in the same manner as at Shrondo; a section of the pit would have this appearance.
The notches in the side of the pit serve as a ladder to descend by. The gravel here is very coarse; some round stones larger than a man's head, and a vast number larger than one's fist were lying round the mouths of the pits, which were near twenty in number. Near the pits is a stream of water, and as the banks had been scraped away to wash for gold, I could distinguish a stratum of earth and large stones about ten feet thick, and under this a stratum of two feet of ferruginous pebbles about the size of a pigeon's egg, and a yellow and rusty-coloured sand and earth; under this a stratum of tough white clay. The rusty-coloured sand is that in which the gold is found. Saw plenty of the gold rust.
When I returned from the gold pits, I went with Mr. Scott to go to the top of the hill, which is close to the town. The hill was very steep and rocky. The rocks (like all the hills in Konkodoo) are a coarse reddish granite, composed of red feldspar, white quartz, and black shorl; but it differs from any granite I have seen, in having round smooth pebbles, many of them as large as a cannon shot. These pebbles, when broken, are granite, but of a paler colour and closer texture. The day was cool; but after fatiguing ourselves and resting six times, we found that we were only about half way to the top. We were surprised to find the hill cultivated to the very summits; and though the people of Dindikoo were but preparing their fields, the corn on the hill was six inches high. The villages on these mountains are romantic beyond anything I ever saw. They are built in the most delightful glens of the mountains; they have plenty of water and grass at all seasons; they have cattle enough for their own use, and their superfluous grain purchases all their luxuries; and while the thunder rolls in awful grandeur over their heads, they can look from their tremendous precipices over all that wild and woody plain which extends from the Faleme to the Black River. This plain is in extent, from North to South, about forty miles: the range of hills to the South seem to run in the same direction as those of Konkodoo, viz. from East to West. There are no lions on the hills, though they are very numerous in the plain. In the evening Lieutenant Martyn fell sick of the fever.
June 13th.—Early in the morning departed from Dindikoo. The sick occupied all the horses and spare asses; and as the number of drivers was thus diminished, we had very hard work to get on. Ten of the loaded asses and drivers went a different road. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott being with them, fired their muskets as soon as they observed that the guide was leading them in a road where were no asses' foot marks. Answered them; and sent the serjeant to their assistance. In half an hour they came up, having gone about three miles too much to the right. Reached a village almost deserted about one o'clock, and found the coffle halted by a stream to the east of it. Very uneasy about our situation: half of the people being either sick of the fever or unable to use great exertion, and fatigued in driving the asses. Found, to my great mortification, that the ass which carried the telescope and several other things, was not come up. Mr. Anderson, the serjeant, and our guide rode back about five miles in search of it; but returned at half past three o'clock, without being able to find it. Presented the Dooty of the village with five bars of amber; requesting him, if he heard of it, to send it forward, and I would reward him for it. Put on the loads; and part of the coffle had departed, when one of the Dooty's sons came and told us that he had seen the ass, and brought it to the village. Went to the village, and paid the person who found it twenty bars, and the Dooty ten bars. Mounted the load on my horse, and drove it before me. I did not reach Fankia till seven o'clock; having to walk slow, in order to coax on three sick soldiers who had fallen behind, and were for lying down under every tree they passed. Fankia is a small village, four miles North West from Binlingalla. Here we departed from my former route, and did not touch on it again till we reached the Niger.
Departure from Fankia—Tambaura mountains, and difficulties in ascending the Pass—Toombin—Great embarrassments on the road—Serimanna—Fajemmia —Astronomical observations—Increase of the sick—Nealakalla—Ba Lee River—Boontoonkooran—Dooggikotta—Falifing—Losses on the road—Gimbia; inhospitable treatment—Sullo—Face of the country—Secoba —Kronkromo—Passage of the Ba Fing—Mode of smelting and working gold —Fatal accident in crossing the Ba Fing—Hippopotami—Deaths and losses on the route—Increase of sickness—Reach Viandry—Koeena—Danger from young lions—Koombandi—Great embarrassments on the road—Fonilla—Ba Woolima River; difficulties in crossing it—Isaaco seized by a crocodile —Boolinkoonbo—Distressing situation of the whole of the party—Reach Serrababoo—Saboseera.
June 14th.—I halted at Fankia, in order to give the sick a little rest, knowing there was a steep hill to ascend near this place. Found myself very sick, having been feverish all night.
' " Observed mer. alt. Sun, - 159 39 0 ————— 79 49 0-1/2 0 16 0 ————— 80 5 30 ————— Z.D. - 9 55 30 D. - - 23 17 0 ————— Latitude - 13 22 30
Bought corn for the asses, and plenty of fowls for the sick.
June 15th.—Left Fankia: men still very sickly, and some of them slightly delirious. About a mile N.E. of this village is the passage in the Tambaura mountains, called Toombinjeena. The ascent is very steep and rocky: the perpendicular of the steepest place would not much exceed three hundred feet. The asses being heavily loaded, in order to spare as many as possible for the sick, we had much difficulty in getting our loads up this steep. The number of asses exceeding the drivers, presented a dreadful scene of confusion in this rocky staircase; loaded asses tumbling over the rocks, sick soldiers unable to walk, black fellows stealing; in fact it certainly was uphill work with us at this place. Having got up all the loads and asses, set forwards; and about two miles from the steep came to the delightful village of Toombin. On collecting our loads, found that the natives had stolen from us seven pistols, two great coats and one knapsack, besides other small articles. Sent back the horses for two sick soldiers, who were unable to ride on the horses, and were left at the steep. Pitched the tent, and secured the baggage from the rain.
[Footnote: See Park's Travels, p. 257]
June 16th.—Left Toombin. Just as the people and asses were gone, the good old schoolmaster whom I mentioned in my former travels came up. He had heard the night before that I was with the party, and had travelled all night to come and see me. As the loads were gone on, I told him I wished him to go forward with me to the place where we should halt; that I might reward him in some degree for his former kindness. Recovered three of the pistols which had been stolen, and one great coat. Set forwards. About a mile to the east of the village found Hinton, one of the sick who rode Mr. Anderson's horse, lying under a tree, and the horse grazing at a little distance. Some of the natives had stolen the pistols from the holsters, and robbed my coat case, which was fastened behind the saddle, of a string of coral, all the amber and beads it contained, and one barraloolo. Luckily they did not fancy my pocket sextant, and artificial horizon, which were in the same place. Put the sick man on the horse and drove it before me; and after holding him on and using every exertion to keep him on the saddle, I found that I was unable to carry him on, and having fatigued myself very much with carrying him forwards about six miles, I was forced to leave him.
About a mile after I left Hinton, I came to two others lying in the shade of a tree. Mounted one on Mr. Anderson's horse, and the other on my own, and drove them before me. Reached the village of Serimanna about half past twelve o'clock: sent back a horse in the cool of the evening for Hinton, and brought him to the village, being obliged to tie him on the horse.
Gave the schoolmaster five bars of scarlet, one barraloolo, ten bars of beads, fourteen of amber, and two dollars, which made him completely happy. I likewise gave him an Arabic New Testament, which he promised to read with attention.
June 17th.—Finding that Hinton was worse, and Sparks delirious, left them to the care of the Dooty of the village; having given him amber and beads sufficient to purchase victuals for them if they lived, and to bury them if they died. If they recovered, he engaged to join them to the first coffle travelling to Gambia. From Serimanna in two hours we reached Fajemmia: this is only a small village, but fortified with a high wall. The chief, from whom the village has its name, formerly resided at Faramba, to the East of this; but has lately retired here, leaving his people and slaves at Faramba. Fajemmia is the most powerful chief of Konkodoo, and holds under his subjection all the country from Toombin to the Ba Fing.
The customs paid by travellers being always in proportion to the power and mischievous disposition of the chiefs; those paid at Fajemmia are of course very high.
I paid as follows:
Bars Amber 15 Beads 50 Scarlet 20 Amber 35 Amber 14 Barraloolo 15 —— 149 bars;
a soldier's musket, a pair of handsome pistols, a handsome sword, a great coat, and one hundred gun flints.
Very happy to get so well over the palaver; for he insisted long on having the customs, or four bottles of gunpowder for each ass, which would have distressed us very much; and we could have made but a feeble resistance, being so very sickly. Observed an emersion of Jupiter's first satellite.
June 17th, time by the watch 13 deg. 6' 15".
June 18th, altitudes for the time with artificial horizon.
H. M. S. ' H. M. S. ' 6 25 35 19 36 6 27 41 18 43 26 13 19 28 28 19 18 24 26 51 19 5 28 50 18 12
6 29 39 17 49 30 23 17 30 30 48 17 19
Longitude not yet calculated.
' " June 18th.—Obser. mer. alt. Sun, 159 49 0 ————— 79 54 0-1/2 0 16 0 ————— 80 10 0-1/2 ————— Z.D. - 9 50 0 D. - 23 25 0 ————— Latitude 13 35 0 N.
Our palaver with Fajemmia was not finished till the morning of the 19th. During the 18th, 19th, and 20th I was very sick; and though in general I was able to sit up part of the day, yet I was very weak, and unable to attend to the marketing of corn, milk, and fowls. Mr. Anderson therefore bought these articles, and attended to the cattle, &c. Lieutenant Martyn, the sergeant, corporal, and half the soldiers sick of the fever. Boiled a camp kettle full of strong decoction of cinchona every day since leaving Dindikoo. Purchased three asses, and hired our guide's people to drive four of our asses in addition to the two they already drove, making altogether six asses, for one hundred and twenty bars.
On the 18th, Mr. Anderson and one of the soldiers went back to Serimanna to see the two men left there, and ascertain if they could possibly be carried forward. Returned on the 19th, and reported that they were both alive, but not in a state to be moved, and were themselves anxious to remain where they were, as it afforded them the only chance of recovery.
June 20th.—When we had loaded the asses, found one of the soldiers (old Rowe) unable to ride. Paid ten bars of amber, and measured eighteen days rice for him to one of the best men in the village, who, I have no doubt, will take care of him. Shortly after leaving Fajemmia, it began to thunder, and by the time we had travelled four miles we experienced a smart tornado, which wetted many of the loads, and made the road very muddy and slippery. We reached a village nearly deserted, called Nealakalla, about noon. Here we found that the ass which carried the spare clothing was not come up; and as many of the men were very ill situated, particularly with respect to shoes, I thought it best to send back two of the men a few miles to see if they could find it. Felt rather uneasy about the men, as they did not return at sun-set. Fired several muskets, but heard no answer. The village of Nealakalla is close to the Ba Lee or Honey river, which we found discoloured, but not sensibly swelled. Saw two crocodiles, and an incredible number of large fish.
June 21st.—As the two men had not yet arrived, sent forward the coffle to cross the river: desired Mr. Scott to fire a musket when they had all crossed. Mr. Anderson and myself agreed to stop at Nealakalla till noon, in hopes of hearing something concerning the two men. They arrived about eleven o'clock, having found the ass and load so near Fajemmia, that they had gone there and slept in the same hut with old Rowe, who, they told us, was recovering and very well pleased with his situation. Set forwards; and about a mile to the N.E. of the village crossed the river at a place where its course is interrupted by a bed of whinstone rock, which forms the stream into a number of small cataracts. The people had to carry over all the loads on their heads, and we found them cooking on the East bank of the river, and nearly ready to set forwards. Mr. Anderson and I stepped across the river from rock to rock without wetting our feet.
As soon as the men had finished their breakfast we set forwards, and about two miles East came to a narrow and deep creek, in which was a stream of muddy water. Crossed this with so much difficulty, that some were for calling it Vinegar Creek. About four o'clock passed the village of Boontoonkooran, delightfully situated at the bottom of a steep and rocky hill. Two miles East of this we halted for the night at the village of Dooggikotta; where the cultivation is very extensive, and we had much difficulty in keeping our cattle off the corn. A tornado during the night.
June 22d.—Halted till near ten o'clock, as there was great appearance of rain. William Roberts, one of the carpenters who had been sick since leaving Fajemmia, declared that he was unable to proceed, and signed a note that he was left by his own consent. Passed a small village about four miles to the East, and travelled on the ascent near a river course almost the whole day. We had a fine view of Kullallie, a high detached and square rocky hill, which we had seen ever since we left Fajemmia. This hill is quite inaccessible on all sides, and level and green on the top. The natives affirm that there is a lake of water on its summit, and they frequently go round the bottom of the precipices, during the rainy season, and pick up large turtles, which have tumbled over the precipice and killed themselves. Saw many very picturesque and rocky hills during the march, and in the evening halted at the village of Falifing, which is situated on the summit of the ascent which separates the Ba lee from the Ba fing. Lost one ass, and 80lbs. of balls on the march.
June 23d.—Early in the morning resumed our journey; and after travelling two hours on a level plain, bounded with high rocky precipices on our right and left, we descended slowly towards the East, and shortly came to the village of Gimbia, or Kimbia. I chanced to be in the rear, bringing on some asses which had thrown their loads; and when I came up I found all about the village wearing a hostile appearance, the men running from the corn grounds and putting on their quivers, &c. The cause of this tumult was, as usual, the love of money. The villagers had heard that the white men were to pass; that they were very sickly, and unable to make any resistance, or to defend the immense wealth in their possession. Accordingly when part of the coffle had passed the village, the people sallied out; and, under pretence that the coffle should not pass till the Dooty pleased, insisted on turning back the asses. One of them seized the serjeant's horse by the bridle to lead it into the village; but when the serjeant cocked his pistol and presented it, he dropped the bridle; others drove away the asses with their loads, and every thing seemed going into confusion. The soldiers with great coolness loaded their pieces with ball, and fixed their bayonets: on seeing this the villagers hesitated, and the soldiers drove the asses across the bed of a torrent; and then returned, leaving a sufficient number to guard the asses.
The natives collected themselves under a tree by the gate of the village, where I found the Dooty and Isaaco at very high words. On enquiring the cause of the tumult, Isaaco informed me that the villagers had attempted to take the loads from the asses. I turned to the Dooty, and asked him who were the persons that had dared to make such an attempt. He pointed to about thirty people armed with bows; on which I fell a laughing, and asked him if he really thought that such people could fight; adding, if he had a mind to make the experiment, they need only go up and attempt to take off one of the loads. They seemed by this time to be fully satisfied that they had made a vain attempt; and the Dooty desired me to tell the men to go forward with the asses. As I did not know but perhaps some of the sick might be under the necessity of returning this way, I thought it adviseable to part on friendly terms; and therefore gave the Dooty four bars of amber, and told him that we did not come to make war; but if any person made war on us, we would defend ourselves to the last.
Set forwards, and half a mile to the East descended into a rocky valley: many of the asses fell in going down the steep. About noon reached Sullo, an unwalled village at the bottom of a rocky hill. Shortly after we halted Lieutenant Martyn's horse died. This was a God send to the people of Sullo, who cut him up as if he had been a bullock, and had almost come to blows about the division of him; so much is horse-flesh esteemed at this place. Numbers of large monkies on the rocks over the town.
June 24th.—Left Sullo, and travelled through a country beautiful beyond imagination, with all the possible diversities of rock, sometimes towering up like ruined castles, spires, pyramids, &c. We passed one place so like a ruined Gothic abbey, that we halted a little, before we could satisfy ourselves that the niches, windows, ruined staircase, &c. were all natural rock. A faithful description of this place would certainly be deemed a fiction.
Passed a hill composed of one homogeneous mass of solid rock (red granite) without a detached stone or blade of grass; never saw such a hill in my life. In the course of the march saw several villages romantically situated in the crescents formed by the rocky precipices; the medium height of these precipices is from one hundred to five or six hundred feet perpendicular. The whole country between the Ba fing and Ba lee is rugged and grand beyond any thing I have seen.
We reached Secoba at noon. The Dooty of this town is Fajemmia's younger brother. Presented him with goods to the amount of 50 bars; he was so much pleased that he said he would go with us till we had crossed the Ba fing, and see that the canoe people did not impose on us.
Obser. Mer. Alt. of Jupiter ' " 115 28 0 ————— 57 44 0 0 0 36 ————— 57 43 24 ————— 32 16 36 18 49 10 ————— Latitude 13 27 26
June 25th.—Halted at Secoba, in order to refresh the sick; bought plenty of fowls and milk for them.
June 26th.—Departed from Secoba, accompanied by the Dooty and several people. Hired three of the Dooty's friends, as guides to Kandy, in that district of Fooladoo called Gangaran. About seven miles East of Secoba came to the village of Konkromo, where we pitched our tents by the river side. The day was too far spent before we had agreed with the canoe people, and, as we could not possibly carry all the loads over, thought it best to wait till next morning. As I thought it probable that we should have an opportunity of observing an eclipse of Jupiter's first satellite, I took the following altitudes for the time.
H. M. S. ' H. M. S. ' H. M. S. ' 5 25 55 45 36 5 30 2 43 47 5 36 22 40 55 0 26 53 45 13 0 30 42 43 28 0 37 3 40 35 0 27 37 44 55 0 31 25 43 10 0 37 44 40 17
Observed the emersion of the first satellite of Jupiter.
H. M. S. By watch - - - - 9 26 20
Time by Nautical Almanack - 9 24 53 Equation - - - 0 2 15 ———— Mean time at Greenwich 9 27 8 9 27 8 ———— Watch too slow 0 0 48
Longitude 32 m. 24 sec. or 8 deg. 6' W.
June 27th.—Early in the morning paid the canoe people 50 bars to carry over all our baggage and cattle, and likewise presented the Dooty of Secoba with some beads.
Four canoes sufficient to carry only an ass load and an half at a time, were provided for this purpose. Sent over Mr. Anderson and six men with their arms to receive the loads from the canoes and carry them into the tents. The asses were made to swim over, one on each side of the canoe, two boys sitting in the canoe and holding them by the ears.
At this place I had an opportunity of seeing their mode of smelting gold. Isaaco had purchased some gold in coming through Konkodoo, and here he had it made into a large ring. The smith made a crucible of common red clay and dried it in the sun: into this he put the gold, without any flux or mixture whatever; he then put charcoal under and over it, and blowing the fire with the common double bellows of the country, soon produced such a heat as to bring the gold into a state of fusion. He then made a small furrow in the ground, into which he poured the melted gold; when it was cold he took it up, and heating it again, soon hammered it into a square bar. Then heating it again, he twisted it by means of two pairs of pincers into a sort of screw; and lengthening out the ends, turned them up so as to form a massy and precious ring.
When the baggage and cattle were all transported over, I sent over the men, and embarked myself in the last canoe; but as one of the soldiers in the other canoe had gone out to purchase something, I made the canoe in which I was shove off, telling the men to come off the moment the man returned. I found it difficult to sit in the canoe so as to balance it, though it contained only three people besides the rower. We had just landed on the East bank, when we observed the canoe, in which were the three soldiers, pushing off from the opposite bank. It shortly after overset, and though the natives from the shore swam in to their assistance, yet J. Cartwright was unfortunately drowned. The natives dived and recovered two of the muskets, and Cartwright's body; they put the body in the canoe and brought it over. I used the means recommended by the Humane Society, but in vain. We buried him in the evening on the bank of the river.
The Ba fing is here a large river quite navigable; it is swelled at this time about two feet, and flows at the rate of three knots per hour. The people here are all thieves: they attempted to steal several of our loads, and we detected one carrying away the bundle in which was all our medicines. We could not sleep with the noise of the hippopotami, which came close to the bank and kept snorting and blowing all night. The night being clear, observed the emersion of Jupiter's second satellite; it emerged
H. M. S. By watch - - - - 11 25 55 Time by Nautical Almanack 11 24 40 Equation - - - 0 1 53 ———— Mean time at Greenwich 11 26 33 11 26 33 ———— Watch too slow 0 0 38
June 28th.—Purchased an ass for four minkallis of gold, and a horse for 45 bars. Set forwards about seven o'clock. After travelling four miles, the ass I had purchased lay down, and I found it impossible to raise him. Took off the load and left him. At ten o'clock came close to the bottom of a high rocky hill, which rises like an immense castle from the level plain: it is called Sankaree: and on enquiring about a large heap of stones near the foot of the precipice, I was told that the town of Madina, which was in the vicinity, was some years ago stormed by the Kaartans, and that the greater part of the inhabitants fled towards this hill. Some however were killed on the road, and these stones were collected over the grave of one of them. He said there were five more such near the hill, and that every person in passing, if he belongs to the same family or contong, thinks himself bound to throw a stone on the heap to perpetuate the memory of their friend. These heaps are precisely what in Scotland are called Cairns. This hill is accessible only by one very narrow and difficult path. They assured me that there was abundance of water on the summit at all seasons, and that the huts built by the Madina people were still standing on the summit, though out of repair.
At eleven o'clock crossed a stream, like a mill stream, running North. We halted on the East side of it; found that one of the asses with a load of beads had not come up. The soldier who drove it (Bloore), without acquainting any person, returned to look for it. Shortly after the ass and load were found in the woods. Sent the serjeant after Bloore on one of the horses; he rode back as far as Sankaree without seeing him, and concluded he had lost the path. He found one of the sick (Walter) who had wandered from the track (for there was no road); and had laid himself down among the bushes till some of the natives discovered him. Paid the natives ten bars of amber, and desired them to look for Bloore.
In the afternoon collected the asses for marching. Had great difficulty in finding the horses, one of which (the serjeant's), after all our search could not be found. As it was in vain to wait for Bloore, put on the loads and departed. It is to be observed that there is no path-way in these woods, and we found much difficulty in keeping together: fired muskets frequently to give intimation of our line of march. After travelling about four miles, Shaddy Walter, the sick man before mentioned, became so exhausted that he could not sit on the ass. He was fastened on it, and held upright; he became more and more faint, and shortly after died. He was brought forwards to a place where the front of the coffle had halted, to allow the rear to come up. Here when the coffle had set forwards, two of the soldiers with their bayonets, and myself with my sword, dug his grave in the wild desert; and a few branches were the only laurels which covered the tomb of the brave.
We did not come up to the coffle till they had halted for the night near a pool of water shaded with ground palm-trees. Here I was informed that two of the soldiers were not come up; one (Baron) was seen about a mile from the halting place; the other (Hill) was supposed to be three or four miles behind. Fired two muskets every quarter of an hour; one to call their attention, and the other about half a minute after to give the direction. At half past seven Hill came up, being directed entirely by the sound of the muskets. At eleven o'clock saw some lights in the woods, and heard people holla: in a little time five people came, bringing with them Bloore, the man who had gone in quest of the ass. He had gone back as far as the Black River, crossed it and made signs to the people about the ass and the load. As they did not rightly understand him, they thought that some party had fallen on the coffle, and that this soldier had run away. They therefore came with him to see if they could come in for their share, or at least receive some reward for coming along with the man. Paid them ten bars of amber, and desired them to look for Baron, and I would give them ten bars more if they found him.
June 29th.—At day-break fired muskets for Baron; and as it was evident he must have wandered from the track made by the asses, and it was in vain to look for him in so extensive a wilderness, at half past six o'clock loaded the asses and set out. Two more of the soldiers affected with the fever. Route in the morning rocky. Traveled twelve miles without halting, in order to reach a watering place. About two miles before we came to the watering place, Bloore, the soldier who had come up during the night, sat down under the shade of a tree; and when I desired him to proceed, he said he was rather fatigued, and when he had cooled himself, he would follow. I assured him that the halting place was only a very little way off, and advised him by all means not to fall asleep. We halted on an elevated table land: the water was only rain collected in the hollow places of the rock. At half past four o'clock, as Bloore had not come up, I sent the Sergeant on one of the horses to bring him forward; he returned at sun-set, having seen nothing of him, and having rode several miles past the place. I suspected that the serjeant might have rode past him asleep under the tree; I therefore got three volunteers to go with me, and look for him. It was now quite dark. We collected a large bundle of dry grassland taking out a handful at a time, kept up a constant light, in order to frighten the lions which are very numerous in these woods. When we reached the tree under which he lay down, we made a fire. Saw the place where he had pressed down the grass, and the marks of his feet: went to the west along the pathway, and examined for the marks of his feet, thinking he might possibly have mistaken the direction. Found none: fired several muskets. Hollowed, and set fire to the grass. Returned to the tree and examined all round; saw no blood nor the foot marks of any wild beasts. Fired six muskets more. As any further search was likely to be fruitless, (for we did not dare to walk far from the track for fear of losing ourselves) we returned to the tents. One of Isaaco's people shot an antelope in the evening, which more than supplied us all with meat. Much troubled in the night with wolves.
June 30th.—Early in the morning set forwards, and descended from the table land into a more fertile plain. Vast numbers of monkies on the rocks. Reached Kandy after a march of ten miles, all very much fatigued. This is but a small town; the large town having been taken and burnt by Daisy's son about two years ago, and all the people carried away. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott sick of the lever.
July 1st.—Covered a load of beads with the skin of the antelope. One of the bundles containing all our small seed beads stolen during the night; made all the search I could, but in vain: I could not recover it. As we were short of rice, and none could be purchased here, determined to push on as quick as possible; but the men were so very sickly, that I judged it imprudent to trust the baggage and asses without proper drivers. Employed in dividing the asses amongst the healthy men.
July 2d.—Set forwards. Two more of the soldiers sick of the fever. When we had travelled about three miles, one of the soldiers (Roger M'Millan) became so delirious, that it was found impossible to carry him forwards. Left him at a village called Sanjeekotta. I regretted much being under the necessity of leaving in the hour of sickness and distress, a man who had grown old in the service of his country. He had been thirty-one years a soldier, twelve times a corporal, nine times a serjeant; but an unfortunate attachment to the bottle always returned him into the ranks.
We reached Koeena about three o'clock, all very much fatigued. I felt myself very sickly, having lifted up and reloaded a great many asses on the road. The village of Koeena is walled round, and it is surrounded on three sides with rocky precipices. Had a severe tornado at seven o'clock, which put out the watch-fire and made us all crowd into the tents. When the violence of the squall was over, we heard a particular sort of roaring or growling, not unlike the noise of a wild boar; there seemed to be more than one of them, and they went all round our cattle. Fired two muskets to make them keep at a distance; but as they still kept prowling round us, we collected a bunch of withered grass, and went with Lieutenant Martyn in search of the animals, suspecting them to be wild boars. We got near one of them, and fired several shots into the bush, and one at him as he went off among the long grass. When we returned to the tents, I learned by enquiring of the natives that the animals we had been in search of were not boars, but young lions; and they assured me that unless we kept a very good look out they would probably kill some of our cattle during the night. About midnight these young lions attempted to seize one of the asses, which so much alarmed the rest that they broke their ropes, and came at full gallop in amongst the tent ropes. Two of the lions followed them, and came so close to us that the sentry cut at one of them with his sword, but did not dare to fire for fear of killing the asses. Neglected to wind up the watch.
July 3d.—Departed from Koeena, and halted during the heat of the day at Koombandi, distant six miles. Here the guides that I had hired from Kandy, were to return; and I had agreed with them to carry back M'Millan's knapsack, and some amber and beads to purchase provisions for him; but three people came up to us with two asses for sale, and they informed me that they left Sanjeekotta early in the morning; that the soldier who was left there, had died during the night, and the natives had buried him in a corn field near the town. Purchased the asses in order to carry forwards the sick.
About three o'clock left Koombandi. Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scott were so sick, that they wished to remain here for the night; with much entreating, persuaded them to mount their horses and go on. Three miles east of the village, William Alston, one of the seamen whom I received from His Majesty's ship Squirrel, became so faint that he fell from his ass, and allowed the ass to run away. Set him on my horse, but found he could not sit without holding him. Replaced him on the ass, but he still tumbled off: put him again on the horse, and made one man keep him upright, while I led the horse. But as he made no exertion to keep himself erect, it was impossible to hold him on the horse, and after repeated tumbles he begged to be left in the woods till morning. I left a loaded pistol with him, and put some cartridges into the crown of his hat. At sun-set reached Fonilla, a small walled village on the banks of the Wonda, which is here called Ba Woolima (Red river), and towards its source it has the name of Ba qui (White river), the middle part of its course being called Wonda. It had swelled two feet perpendicular by the rains which had fallen to the southward, and was very muddy; but cannot even in its present state be reckoned a large river.
July 4th—Agreed with the canoe people to carry over our baggage and cattle for sixty bars. There being but one canoe, it was near noon before all the bundles were carried over. The transporting of the asses was very difficult. The river being shallow and rocky; whenever their feet touched the bottom they generally stood still. Our guide, Isaaco, was very active in pushing the asses into the water, and shoving along the canoe; but as he was afraid that we could not have them all carried over in the course of the day he attempted to drive six of the asses across the river farther down where the water was shallower. When he had reached the middle of the river a crocodile rose close to him, and instantly seizing him by the left thigh, pulled him under water. With wonderful presence of mind he felt the head of the animal, and thrust his finger into its eye; on which it quitted its hold, and Isaaco attempted to reach the further shore, calling out for a knife. But the crocodile returned and seized him by the other thigh, and again pulled him under water; he had recourse to the same expedient, and thrust his fingers into its eyes with such violence that it again quitted him; and when it rose, flounced about on the surface of the water as if stupid, and then swam down the middle of the river. Isaaco proceeded to the other side, bleeding very much. As soon as the canoe returned I went over, and found him very much lacerated. The wound on the left thigh was four inches in length: that on the right not quite so large, but very deep; besides several single teeth wounds on his back. Drew the lips of the wounds together with slips of adhesive plaister secured with a roller; and as we were not far from a village, he thought it best for him to go forwards before his wounds had become very painful. He accordingly rode forwards to the village of Boolinkoomboo on one of our horses. Found myself very sick, and unable to stand erect without feeling a tendency to faint; the people so sickly that it was with some difficulty we got the loads put into the tents, though it threatened rain. To my great astonishment, Ashton, the sailor whom I had left in the woods the evening before, came up quite naked, having been stripped of his clothes by three of the natives during the night. Found his fever much abated.
[Footnote: The name is thus written in Mr. Park's MS.; but it seems to be a mistake for Alston, v. ante p. 87.]
July 5th.—With great difficulty got the asses loaded, but had not a sufficient number of spare asses for the sick. Set one of them on my horse, and walked, feeling a remission of the fever, though still very giddy and unwell. We soon reached Boolinkoomboo, it being only two miles from the landing place. This village is sometimes called Moiaharra: it does not contain above one hundred people. On collecting the asses, found that three were missing, besides a sickly one, which was too weak to cross the river, and was eaten by the people of Fonilla. All this diminished our means of carrying forward the sick.
I now found my situation very perplexing. To go forward without Isaaco to Keminoom, I knew would involve us in difficulties; as Keminoom's sons are reckoned the greatest thieves and blackguards on the whole route. To stop till Isaaco recovered (an event which seemed very doubtful), would throw us into the violence of the rains. There was no other person that I could trust; and, what was worst of all, we had only two days rice, and a great scarcity prevailed in the country. I determined to wait three days, to see how Isaaco's wounds looked, and in the mean time sent two of his people away to Serracorra with an ass and three strings of No. 5. amber to purchase rice.
July 6th.—All the people either sick, or in a state of great debility, except one. Bought all the milk I could find, and boiled a camp kettle full of strong decoction of barks every day.
July 7th.—Dressed Isaaco's wounds: they looked remarkably well.
July 8th.—Waiting very anxiously for the return of Isaaco's people with the rice, being now on very short allowance.
July 9th.—In the afternoon Isaaco's people returned, bringing with them l23 lbs. of clean rice; Isaaco's wounds looking well, and beginning to discharge good pus. Latitude by uncertain obs. mer. alt. of the sun 13 11'.
July 10th.—Departed from Boolinkoomboo, and eight miles N.E. passed the village of Serrababoo; close to which is a stream called Kinyaco, about knee deep, running to the N.W. It was very difficult to cross, on account of the fissures in the rocks which form its bed. Several of the asses fell, and their loads were of course wet. From this we travelled due North, over a ridge of rocks, which formed the only passage across a chain of hills. When we had crossed this, we travelled six miles on a rocky and almost impassable road, and a little before sun-set, to our great joy, reached Sabooseera (Dooty Matta). This is a scattered unwalled village. Latitude by mer. alt. of moon 13 deg. 50'.
Arrival at Keminoom, or Manniakorro, on the Ba lee river.—Visit to the Chief.—Depredations upon the coffle by the inhabitants—Continued attacks from banditti as far as the Ba Woolima river—Difficulties in passing it—temporary bridge made by the natives.—Astronomical observations—Arrival at Mareena; inhospitable conduct of his inhabitants—Bangassi; interview with the King—Continued sickness, and deaths among the soldiers.—Arrival at Nummasoolo—Obliged to leave five of the sick behind—reach Surtaboo—Sobee—Affray between Isaaco and two soldiers—Balanding—Balandoo—More of the soldiers fall behind—Koolihori—Greatly annoyed by wolves.
July 11th.—From Sabooseera, or Mallaboo, we travelled towards the West and North West till noon, when we arrived at Keminoom, or Maniakorro. This is a walled town fortified in the strongest manner I have yet seen in Africa; a section of the walls and ditch would have nearly the following appearance,
Pitched our tents under a tree near the Ba lee, which runs here with great velocity, and breaks into small cataracts.
July 12th.—Went in the morning with Isaaco and waited on Keminoom, or Mansa Numma, as he is commonly called. I took with me
Bars. Amber, No. 2 25 Ditto, No. 4 15 Barraloolos 20 Beads 33 Scarlet 10 Balls and flints 2 Looking glasses 5 _ 100;
A soldier's musket, A pair of handsome pistols silver mounted.
He sent them all back, and I was forced to put a silver mounted gun on it before he would accept of it; and likewise
To Eerujama, the King's brother, Amber, No. 2 10 Barraloolo 5
To his son, Amber 10 To the King's people 10 To eight Finnis for singing some nonsense 8
Observed mer. alt. of the sun 163 24'; latitude 14 0'
In the evening had such of the soldiers as were most healthy dressed in their red coats; and at Numma's request went with them to the town, where they went through some movements, and fired.
July 13th.—Very desirous to be gone, as we found the people thieves to a man; in fact we have never yet been at a place where so much theft and impudence prevails. This can only be accounted for, by considering that Mansa Numma is the reputed father of more than thirty children; and as they all consider themselves as far above the common people, they treat every person with contempt, and even steal in the most open manner. By the side of the river are a great number of human bones (more than thirty skulls.) On enquiring the reason, I was informed that Mansa Numma always inflicted capital punishments himself, and that the bones I saw were those of criminals. I had reason to regret, that capital punishments seldom or never extend to the real or reputed descendants of the King.
July 14th.—As soon as day dawned, struck the tents and loaded the asses. The townspeople gathered round us in crowds. They had stolen during our stay here four great coats, a large bundle of beads, a musket, a pair of pistols, and several other things. Before we had advanced a musket shot from the town (though we had one of the King's sons on horseback as a protector), one of the townspeople carried away a bag from one of the asses, containing some things belonging to one of the soldiers. The King's son, Lieutenant Martyn, and myself rode after him, and were lucky enough to come up with him, and recover the bag; but before we could rejoin the coffle, another had run off with a musket that was fastened on one of the loads.
We proceeded in this manner in a constant state of alarm; and I had great reason to fear that the impudence of the people would provoke some of the soldiers to run, them through with their bayonets. About two miles from Maniakorro, as we were ascending a rocky part of the road, several of the asses fell with their loads. I rode a little from the path to see if a more easy ascent could not be found; and as I was holding my musket carelessly in my hand, and looking round, two of Numma's sons came up to me; one of them requested me to give him some snuff. Suspecting no ill treatment from two people, whom I had often seen with the King, and at our tents, I turned round to assure him that I never took snuff; at this instant the other (called Woosaba) coming up behind me, snatched the musket from my hand, and ran off with it. I instantly sprung from the saddle and followed him with my sword, calling to Mr. Anderson to ride back, and tell some of the people to look after my horse. Mr. Anderson got within musket shot of him, but seeing it was Numma's son, had some doubts about shooting him, and called to me if he should fire. Luckily I did not hear him, or I might possibly have recovered my musket, at the risk of a long palaver, and perhaps the loss of half our baggage. The thief accordingly made his escape amongst the rocks, and when I returned to my horse, I found the other of the royal descendants had stolen my great coat.
I went and informed the King's son, whom we had hired as a guide, of what had happened; and requested to know how I should act if any of the people should steal from the baggage. He assured me that after what had happened, I should be justified in shooting the first that attempted to steal from the loads. Made such of the soldiers as were near me load their muskets and be ready. The sky became cloudy, and by the time that we had advanced about five miles from the town, we experienced a very heavy tornado. During the rain another of Numma's sons snatched up and run off with one of the soldiers muskets and a pair of pistols, which he had laid down while he was reloading his ass.
We halted amongst the rocks and put off the loads, all very wet. Turned the asses to feed, and cooked some rice, although it rained very heavily. One of the negro boys gave the alarm that three people were driving away our asses. I followed with some of our people: the thieves made their escape amongst the rocks, but without carrying away any of the asses, though they had untied the feet of three and fastened a fourth to a bush. Collected the asses and began to load. Whilst we were loading one of the asses strayed a little from the rest, about two hundred yards, and to my astonishment a man came from amongst the rocks, took off the load, and began to cut it open with his knife. Before any person could come at him, he left the load and run up the rocks. Mr. Scott and one of the soldiers fired at him, but did not hit him. Went on. Road very rocky. Told the soldiers to shoot the first that took any thing from the baggage. Found some of the asses and loads lying at the difficult places in the road, and often two loads with only one half-sick soldier to guard them. Kept in the rear, as I perceived they had a mind to take some of the loads and asses. I saw the thieves peeping over the rocks, and making signs to their comrades, who seemed very desirous of assisting us in putting on our loads. Put one of the loads on my horse, and another on Mr. Anderson's, and luckily cleared the difficult passes of the rocks by sun set, without losing any thing, though surrounded by at least a dozen experienced thieves. When we reached the bottom of the rocky pass, we went on with more ease, and came up to the rest of the party about eight o'clock. They had stopped for the night in the woods, and so were all our clothes; [Footnote: It is thus in Mr. Park's MS. There seems to be some omission.] and in fact we passed a very uncomfortable night amongst the wet grass, and exposed to a very heavy dew.
July 15th.—Early in the morning proceeded, and went on very slowly in the rear, by which means we were separated from the front. Horses loaded as usual. When we reached the cultivated land, which surrounds the village of Ganamboo, we came up to one of the soldiers, who informed us, that a man habited as a slave had come from amongst the bushes, and instantly seized on his musket and knapsack, which were fastened on the top of his load. The soldier struggled with him for his musket, and wrested it from him; on which the thief let go the knapsack, and attempted to make off; but when he heard the soldier cock his piece, expecting to be instantly shot, he threw himself down on the road and roared out in the most pitiable manner. The soldier took a steady aim at him, but unfortunately his musket flashed in the pan, and the slave started up and ran in amongst the bushes.
Ganamboo is only a small walled village: it is situated about ten miles East half North from Maniakorro.
July 10th.—Left Ganamboo, but the soldiers and asses were so much fatigued, that we were forced to stop at Ballandoo (Dooty Mari Umfa) during the night. We had the most tremendous storm of thunder and lightning I ever saw. I was so confident that the tent would be struck by the lightning, that I went to some distance to avoid the explosion of our gunpowder.
July 17th.—Left Ballandoo at eight o'clock, and reached Seransang about noon. All horses loaded; mine fell down under his load, and I was forced to sit by him till an ass was sent from the halting place. Seransang is a scattered but populous town, and the land is cleared round it for a great distance. One of our best asses stolen during the night.
July 18th.—Departed from Seransang, having shifted the loads so as to have the horses free, in order to prevent theft. We had not travelled much above a mile, when two suspicious people came up. One of them walked slowly in the rear; and the other passed on, seemingly in great haste. I desired Mr. Anderson to watch the one in the rear, whilst I rode on at such a distance as just to keep sight of the other. The road making a turn, he was concealed from me by the bushes, and took advantage of this opportunity to carry away a great coat from a load which was driven by one of the sick men. I fortunately got a view of him as he was running off among the bushes, and galloping in a direction so as to get before him, quickly came so near him that he leaped into some very thick bushes. When I rode round, he went out at the side opposite to me; and in this manner I hunted him amongst the bushes for some time, but never losing sight of him. At last he run past a spreading tree, and jumping back, stood close to the trunk of it. I thought I should certainly lose him if I did not avail myself of the present opportunity. I accordingly fired, and dropping my musket on the pummel of the saddle, drew out one of the pistols, and told him if he offered to move, I would instantly shoot him dead. "Do not kill me, white man," he exclaimed, "I cannot run from you, you have broke my leg." I now observed the blood streaming down his leg; and when he pulled up his cloth, I saw that the ball had passed through his leg about two inches below the knee joint. He climbed a little way up the tree, which was of easy ascent; always exclaiming in a pitiable tone of voice, "do not kill me." Several of the people belonging to the coffle, on hearing the shot fired, came running; and amongst others the guide appointed us by Keminoom, who insisted that I should instantly shoot the thief dead; otherwise he said I did not fulfil the orders of his master, who had directed me to shoot every person that stole from me. I had great difficulty in preventing him from killing him, and was happy to recover the great coat, and leave the thief bleeding amongst the branches of the tree.
We proceeded without further molestation till about three o'clock in the afternoon, when it came on a tornado. During the rain one of the sick had fallen a little behind, and four people seizing him, stripped off his jacket. He followed them at a distance; and when they came up to Mr. Anderson and myself, he called out to us to shoot one of them, as they had taken his jacket. I had my pocket handkerchief on the lock of my gun to keep the priming dry. When they observed me remove it, one of them pulled out the jacket from under his cloak, and laid it on one of the asses. Mr. Anderson followed them on horseback, and I kept as near him as I could on foot, my horse being loaded. After following them about three miles, they struck into the woods; and suspecting that they had a mind to return and steal some of the loads from the fatigued asses in the rear, I returned with Mr. Scott, and found that one of the soldiers had lost his knapsack, and another his jacket. But from their description, the robbers were not the same as had formerly passed.
Continued in the rear. When we came within a mile of the town of Nummaboo, the road passes near some high rocks. The asses being a little way before us, two of the robbers first seen came from amongst the rocks, and were going towards the asses; but when they observed us coming up, they attempted to slide off unobserved among the rocky. When I called to one of them to stop and tell me what they were looking after, they came near us; but as they had nothing of ours in their possession, we could not stop them, and they accordingly passed to the westward. Mr. Scott and I went and examined that part of the rocks where we observed them come out, and were lucky enough to find a soldier's coat, a camp kettle, and a number of other articles, which had probably been their share of the booty; for I learned on my arrival at the town, that the ass which carried the muskets belonging to the sick, had been stopped by four people near these rocks, and six muskets, a pair of pistols, and a knapsack taken away. To complete the business, J. Bowden, one of the sick, did not come up; and we had little doubt but that he had been stripped and murdered by these very people in the woods. We likewise had a very good ass stolen during the night.
July 19th.—Having purchased an ass in lieu of the one stolen, we left Nummaboo, which is a walled village, and proceeded onwards. Had two tornadoes; the last, about eleven o'clock, wetted us much, and made the road slippery. Two asses unable to go on. Put their loads on the horses, and left them. Mr. Scott's horse unable to walk: left it to our guide. At noon came to the ruins of a town. Found two more of the asses unable to carry their loads. Hired people to carry on the loads, and a boy to drive the asses. Past the ruins of another town at half past twelve, where I found two of the sick, who had laid themselves down under a tree, and refused to rise, (they were afterwards stripped by the Negroes, and came naked to our tents next morning). Shortly after this, came to an ass lying on the road unable to proceed with its load. Put part of the load on my horse, which was already heavily loaded. Took a knapsack on my back. The soldier carried the remainder and drove the ass before him.
We arrived on the banks of the Ba Woolima at half past one o'clock. This river is but narrow, not being more than fifty or sixty feet over; but was so swelled with the rains as to be twenty feet deep at the place where we proposed to cross it. Our first attempt was to fell a tree close to the river, that by its fall would reach across the stream and form a bridge: but after cutting down four, they all fell in such a manner as to be of no use; for though the tops of one reached the rocks on the farther shore when it fell, yet the violence of the current swept it away. In this manner we fatigued ourselves till sunset, when we gave up the attempt.
Observed the following emersion of Jupiter's satellites.
H. M. S. Third satellite emerged by Watch M. S. 9 25 18 Watch too slow 1 55
First satellite emerged by Watch 9 36 10 Watch too slow 2 34
July 20th.—Altitudes taken for the time.
H. M. S. deg. ' H. M. S. deg. ' 7 6 45 21 21 7 9 42 22 42 0 7 25 21 40 0 10 26 23 2 0 8 8 21 55 0 11 3 23 18
7 13 10 24 18 7 16 27 25 49 0 13 44 24 33 0 17 0 26 3 0 14 14 24 46 0 17 30 26 16
deg. ' " Obser. Mer. Alt. 166 4 0 1/2 83 2 0 0 16 0 83 18 0 6 42 0 20 43 0
Longitude 5 0 13 W. Latitude 14 1 0 N.
The passage of the river being the great desideratum, I proposed a raft to be hauled from side to side with ropes; whilst the Mandingoes were decidedly of opinion that nothing would answer our purpose but a bridge, which they said they would complete by two o'clock. I set to work with the carpenters to make a raft; but when the logs were cut into lengths, we could not muster healthy people enough to carry them to the water side. We were forced to give up the attempt and trust entirely to the Negro bridge, which was constructed in the following manner. A straight pole was cut to sound the depth of the river, and notches made on it to shew the depth at different distances from the shore. Two straight trees were now cut, and their tops fastened strongly together with slips of bark. These were launched across the stream with the assistance of two people, and a rope on the further side; the roots of the trees were firmly fastened with ropes to the roots of the trees on each side of the river. Along the upper side of these trees they planted a range of upright forked sticks, cut correctly to the lengths on the sounding pole. These upright forks supported two other trees tied as the first, but which were not, like the first, permitted to sink into the water, but were kept about a foot above the surface by means of the forks. Another range of forks was placed a little farther up the stream, which likewise supported two trees fastened as the above; the whole was completed with cross sticks. The two trees first laid over, which were permitted to sink in the water, served to prevent the stream from running away with the forks whose roots sloped down the stream; whilst the weight of the current pressed on and kept firm the roots of such as were placed up the stream. A section of the bridge would have the following appearance.
Our people being all so sickly, I hired the Negroes to carry over all the baggage, and swim over the asses. Our baggage was laid on the rocks on the East side of the river; but such was our sickly state that we were unable to carry it up the bank. Francis Beedle, one of the soldiers, was evidently dying of the fever; and having in vain attempted, with the assistance of one of his messmates, to carry him over, I was forced to leave him on the West bank; thinking it very probable that he would die in the course of the night.
July 21st.—Hired Isaaco's people to carry the bundles up the bank, and assist in loading all the asses. One of the soldiers crossed the bridge, and found Beedle expiring. Did not stop to bury him, the sun being high; but set out immediately. Country woody, but level. About half past ten o'clock came to Mr. Scott lying by the side of the path, so very sick that he could not walk. Shortly after Mr. Martyn laid down in the same state. My horse being loaded, and myself, as usual, walking on foot and driving an ass, I could give them no assistance. I came in sight of the town of Mareena a little before twelve; and at the same time was happy to see two of Isaaco's people coming back with two asses to take the loads off the horses in the rear. Sent them back for Mr. Scott and Mr. Martyn, and proceeded to the town. Some of the people, who had crossed the river with us, had informed the people of Mareena of the treatment we had experienced in passing from Maniakorro to the Ba Woolima, which district is called Kissi; and withal had told the people that our coffle was a Dummulafong, a thing sent to be eaten, or in English fair game for every body. The inhabitants of Mareena were resolved to come in for their share; they accordingly stole five of our asses during the night; but felt themselves much disappointed next morning,
July 22d,—when they understood, that instead of proceeding to Bangassi, we proposed to send forward a messenger to inform the king of the bad treatment we had experienced. Three of them returned the asses they had stolen, but the other two would not. About noon we loaded all the horses and asses; and I hired two young men to carry forwards two trunks, the load of one of the asses which was stolen. Bangassi is only six miles distant from Mareena. It is a large town, fortified in the same manner as Maniakorro; but is four or five times as large. Pitched our tents under a tree to the East of the town.
July 23d.—Received a present from Serenummo, the King, of a fine bullock and two very large calabashes of sweet milk; he likewise sent the two asses which the people of Mareena had stolen. Took from our baggage the following articles, and went with Isaaco to the King.
To the King, amber No. 2 30 Ditto. No. 4 20 Barraloolos 30 Beads 30 Looking glasses 5 Balls and flints 2 ——- Bars 117
Mr. Anderson's musket. Ditto sword. Ditto pistols.
To the King's son, amber No. 4 5 Barraloolo 5 ——— Bars 10
To the person who assisted in settling the palaver, amber 10 To the good people in the town 10 To Isaaco's landlord for a goat 10 ——— Bars 30
The town is large and populous, and is better fortified than even Maniakorro. We found Serenummo seated in a sort of shade, surrounded by only a few friends; orders having been given not to allow any person to enter it. He enquired if I was the white man who had formerly passed through the country, and what could induce me to come back again; with a number of such questions. To all which I gave the best answers I could; and then told him that I did not come to purchase slaves or gold; I did not come to take any man's trade from him or any man's money; I did not come to make money, but to spend it; and for the truth of these assertions I could appeal to every person who knew me or had travelled with me. I farther added, it was my intention at present to travel peaceably through his kingdom into Bambarra; and that as a mark of my regard for his name and character, I had brought a few articles which my guide would present to him. Here Isaaco spread out on the floor the articles before mentioned. The King looked at them with that sort of indifference which an African always affects towards things he has not before seen. However much he may admire them, he must never appear in the least surprised. He told me I should have permission to pass; and he would make his son take care of us till we arrived at Sego; but it would be some days before he was ready. I told him I was anxious to be in Bambarra, as I found my people very sickly; and if he would appoint me a guide, I would esteem it a favour. In fact I knew before, that this son proposed going to Sego with the annual tribute, which amounts to three hundred minkallis of gold or thereabouts; but I knew that the gold was not yet all collected, and that part of it would probably be bought with the merchandize I had given him.
July 25th.—Bought two asses for fifty-six bars of amber. During our stay at this town we were plentifully supplied with milk on moderate terms. I always purchased two camp kettles full every morning for the men, in hopes of recruiting them before we set forwards for the Niger; but they still continue sick and spiritless. Corporal Powal is dangerously ill of the fever, and M'Inelli is affected with the dysentery to such a degree, that I have no hopes of his recovery. He was removed yesterday to the shade of a tree at a small distance from the tents; and not being brought near in the evening, he was very near being torn to pieces by the wolves. They were smelling at his feet when he awakened, and then set up such a horrid howl, that poor M'Inelli, sick as he was, started up and came to the tents before the sentry could reach the place where he had slept.
July 26th.—Corporal Powal died during the night. Buried him this morning; two dollars and a half in his pocket, for which I am accountable. Overhauled the ass-saddles, and adjusted the loads, proposing to leave this to-morrow morning early.
deg. ' " Observed mer. alt. Sun 168 26 0 —————— 1/2 84 13 0 0 16 0 —————— 84 29 0 —————— ZD. 5 31 0 D. 19 31 0 —————— Latitude 14 0 0 ——————
July 27th.—The morning being rainy, we did not depart from Bangassi till about nine o'clock. Left here M'Inelli. Paid the Dooty ten bars of amber to purchase provision for him and give him lodging. Shortly after leaving the town, three of the soldiers laid down under a tree, and refused to proceed; their names Frair, Thomson, and Hercules. About a quarter of a mile farther, James Trott, one of the carpenters brought from Portsmouth, refused to go on, being sick of the fever. I drove on his ass, and desired him to return to Bangassi. Found myself very sick and faint, having to drive my horse loaded with rice, and an ass with the pit saws. Came to an eminence, from which I had a view of some very distant mountains to the East half South. The certainty that the Niger washes the Southern base of these mountains made me forget my fever; and I thought of nothing all the way but how to climb over their blue summits.
Reached Nummasoolo at two o'clock. This has formerly been a large town; but being destroyed by war some years ago, nearly three-fourths of the town are in ruins. Before we had time to pitch the tent properly, the rain came down on us, and wetted us all completely, both men and bundles. This was a very serious affair to us, many of our articles of merchandize being perishable. Slept very uncomfortably in wet clothes on the wet ground. Troubled in the night with a lion; he came so near that the sentry fired at him, but it was so dark that it was impossible to take a good aim. All the asses pulled up the pins to which they were fastened, and run together as near the men as they could. As the sick soldiers before mentioned did not come up before sun-set, I concluded they had all returned to Bangassi; and the Dooty's son coming up on horseback, informed me that they had really returned to his father's house, and wished to know what I meant to do respecting them. I told him that I wished my people to be taken proper care of, and gave him ten bars of amber for his care in coming to inform me of them. I likewise put into his possession three strings of amber of forty bars each, and told him how to dispose of them for the use of the sick. I likewise told him that, if any of them should recover, if he would send a proper person forward with them to Bambakoo, I would give him an Indian baft, or ten bars of scarlet, which he preferred. At the same time I wrote the following note to the men.
"I am sorry to learn that you have returned to Bangassi. I have sent in charge of the bearer of this three complete strings of amber; one of which will procure rice for forty days; the second will purchase milk or fowls for the same time; and the third will buy provisions for you on the road till you arrive at the Niger.
July 28th.—Rained all day. Remained in the tent at Nummasoolo.
July 29.—Divided the men's clothes who were left behind amongst the other men; many of them being in great want of clothes, and the nights being now cold and damp. Found five dollars in J. Trott's knapsack, for which I am accountable. Spread out the rice to dry; found it hot and much damaged. Some people arrived from the East, who informed us that a stream on the road, which is usually dry, was so much swelled by the rain that no ass could cross it. Halted here during the day to dry the different articles.
July 30th.—Departed from Nummasoolo. Was under the necessity of leaving here William Allen sick. Paid the Dooty for him as usual. I regretted much leaving this man; he had naturally a cheerful disposition; and he used often to beguile the watches of the night with the songs of our dear native land.
About five miles East of Nummasoolo passed the stream before mentioned, flowing to the S.E. The water had subsided, and was only about eighteen inches deep, but flowed very rapidly. Many asses fell, and had their loads wetted. It likewise rained two hours on the march. Crossed a ridge of hills through an opening. Road tolerably good except in two places. We descended on the East side, and reached Surtaboo, a small ruined village, about two o'clock. Here I learnt that the front of the coffle had gone on to a village about four miles further; but the asses in the rear being all very much fatigued, and lying down with their loads frequently, I judged it prudent to halt till some fresh asses should be sent to my assistance.
We had not halted here above an hour, when three of Isaaco's people and two asses came back; and with their help we arrived at Sobee at seven o'clock. On the road we passed the last of the St. Jago asses, the whole forty having either died or been abandoned on the road at different places. We were all very wet, for it rained almost the whole way; and all very hungry, having tasted nothing since the preceding evening. The town of Sobee has changed its situation three times. It was taken about ten years ago by Daisy, King of Kaarta, with thirteen horsemen and some of his slaves on foot. They carried off five hundred slaves, two hundred of which were women. Such as escaped rebuilt the town about a mile to the East of its former situation; but when it had acquired some degree of prosperity, it was destroyed by Mansong, King of Bambarra. The present town is built nearer the foot of the hills; part of it is walled, which serves as a sort of citadel. There is plenty of corn and rice here on moderate terms; but they have not yet had time to recruit their herds of cattle.