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
|Amber, No. 2||25|
|Ditto, No. 4||15|
|Balls and flints||2|
|A soldier’s musket,|
|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|
|To his son,|
|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.
|Third satellite emerged by Watch||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.
|Obser. Mer. Alt.||166||4||0|
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.
[Illustration: A. Trees first laid across. B. First range of forks. C. Trees supported by first range. D. Second range of forks. E. Trees supported by ditto. F. Cross sticks for walking on.
If the river was dried up, the structure would have somewhat of this 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|
|Balls and flints||2|
|Mr. Anderson’s musket.|
|To the King’s son, amber No. 4||5|
|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|
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 tomorrow morning early.
|Observed mer. alt. Sun||168||26||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.
July 31st. — Rained hard all the morning, and flying showers all day. Halted at Sobee. During the night one of the town’s-people attempted to steal one of the soldier’s pieces, some of which were standing against a tree close to the tent. Lieutenant Martyn was sleeping under the tree; and hearing somebody moving the muskets, he no sooner observed that it was a Negro, than he snatched one of the muskets and fired at the thief as he was running off with one of the muskets. Whether the ball touched him or not we could not learn; but the thief dropped the musket, and we found it with the pouch and bayonet in the morning.
August 1st. — Early this morning purchased an ass for a pistol, a baft, and a Mandingo cloth. We set out at seven o’clock. Immediately on the East of the town came to another stream flowing towards the S.S.W. It was so deep, that the whole of the bundles had to be carried over on men’s heads. During this, being surrounded by thieves on all sides, Isaaco unfortunately struck two of the soldiers; which action had nearly cost him his life, one of the soldiers attempting to stab him with his bayonet, when Mr. Anderson prevented him; and as I reproved Isaaco for his conduct in the sharpest manner, he went off in a pet with his people, leaving us to find our way across the river in the best manner we could. I hired four people to carry over the loads; and stood myself as sentry over the thieves. In this manner the whole of the baggage was carried over with much less loss than we had sustained at any other river. The asses were swam over, and the whole only cost one string of No. 5; but I had to pay fifty stones to the Dooty’s son for asses going on the corn. As soon as all was over we loaded the asses and set forwards. At sunset we reached Balanding. We had only time to pitch our tent, when the rain came on; indeed we had no time for cooking our victuals, for though all the soldiers cooked, yet the rain came on before our kettle was ready; and Messrs. Anderson, Scott, Martyn, and myself, all slept without having tasted any thing during the day.
August 2d. — Rainy. Halted at Balanding.
August 3d. — Sun rose E. 3°S. Departed from Balanding, and halted at Balandoo, a walled village about four miles to the East by South. Bought two sheep for one barraloolo.
August 4th. — Departed from Balandoo. About a mile to the East saw the hill of Sobee bearing N.W. by compass. About this place Lawrence Cahill, one of the soldiers, who had complained of sickness for some days, fell behind; and I hired a person to drive his ass, telling him to come on at his leisure. At eleven o’clock crossed a stream running S.E. which gave us great trouble, the banks being very steep and slippery. Crossed the same stream again at half past twelve, running E. by N. In the course of this day’s march four of the soldiers were unable to attend to their asses. Mr. Scott, being very sick, rode my horse; and I drove one of the asses. So very much weakened were the men, that when their loads fell off, they could not lift them on again. I assisted in loading thirteen asses in the course of the march. We reached Koolihori at three o’clock. This town is partly walled; but the greater part of the huts are without the walls. As soon as the tents were pitched, the rain commenced, and continued all night. We had not time to cook, and the rain prevented the watch fire from burning; owing to which one of our asses was killed by the wolves. It was only sixteen feet distant from a bush under which one of the men was sleeping.
August 5th. — Morning hazy. Halted, resolving to travel at two o’clock, and sleep in the woods, the Ba Woolli being too far to reach in one march. Bought some ripe maize of this year’s growth.
|Obser. mer. alt. Sun--||172||45||0|
The whole route from Bangassi is marked with ruined towns and villages; some of them are rebuilt, but by far the greater number are still in ruins. We saw scarcely any cattle on the route, and the avidity of the people of Koolihori for animal food, or perhaps their own peculiar taste, made them eat what the wolves had left of our ass. The wolves had eat only the bowels and heart, &c. so that the people had the four quarters and head. The day having clouded up for rain, resolved to halt here for the night. In the course of the afternoon Lawrence Cahill came up; but William Hall, who had gone into a ruined hut near the road, and who did not appear to be very sick, did not arrive. Suspected that he might be killed by the wolves in the hut during the night. At sun-set had all the asses properly tied near the tents; and watched myself with the sentries all night, as the wolves kept constantly howling round us.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:12