Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 2
by James Richardson
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LONDON: Printed by G. Barclay, Castle St. Leicester Sq.



Description of Tintalous and its Environs—Palace and Huts—Bedsteads—Kailouee Race—Unhandsome Conduct of Mr. Gagliuffi—Proposed Journey to Aghadez—Dr. Barth starts—An obstinate Bullock—Present extraordinary—State of Zinder—Affability of the Sultan—Power of Charms—Scorpions—Dialogue with a Ghatee—Splendid Meteors—Visit from En-Noor—Intrigues of the Fellatahs—A Sultan loaded with Presents—Talk of departing for Zinder—State of the Bornou Road—Division of a Bullock—Bottle of Rum stolen—More Visits from the Sultan—A Musical Entertainment—Curious Etymological Discussions—A wonderful Prophetess—Secret Societies—Magicians—The Evil Eye—Morality of Soudan—Magnificent Meteor—Stories of the Sfaxee.


Muslim want of Curiosity—Gossip on Meteors—A Family Broil—Rationale of Wife-beating—Abominable Dances—Evil Communications—Dr. Overweg—Kailouee Vocabulary—Windy Day—Account of Wadai—Madame En-Noor—Profits of Commerce—The letter Ghain—Fellatah Language—Introduction of Islamism—Desert Routes—Trade in Agate Stones—A lively Patient—The Eed—A Visit en masse—Arrival of the Boat—Butchers—Exchange of Visits with the Sultan—Diet—A Shereef—A delicate Request—Information on Maradee—Tesaoua—Itinerant Schoolmasters—En-Noor's Territory in Damerghou—Unpleasant Communication—Amulets—The Foundation of a City in the Desert—En-Noor's Political Pretensions.


News from Barth—Camels restored—Expensive Journey—Proposed Migration of Males—Supply of Slaves, whence—A new Well—Pagans and Christians—Tibboo Manners—The great Gong—When is a Tibboo hungry?—Hunger-belt—Queen of England in the Sahara—The Shanbah—A hasty Marriage—Said's new Wife—Wild Cauliflowers—Tolerance of the Kailouees—Men go to fetch Salt from Bilma—Approach of Dr. Barth—Lion's Mouth—Tibboos and Kailouees—Mysteries of Tintalous—Fewness of Men in Aheer—Trees preserved in the Valley—Bright Stars—Method of Salutation—Purposed Stars—Kailouee Character—Champagne at Tintalous—The Wells.


Dr. Barth's Journey to Aghadez—Description of the Route—Tiggedah—Luxuriant Scenery of Asadah—Plain of Tarist—Beautiful Valley—Buddeh—Small Caravan—Aghadez—its Inhabitants—their Occupation—The great Koku, or Sultan—Asbenouee Revolutions—Election of a Prince—Interview—Ceremony of Investiture—Razzia—Intricate Political System—Account of Aghadez—Mosque—Environs—Women—Tribes of Asben—The Targhee Family—Population of the Ghat Districts—of Aheer—The Oulimad and Tanelkums—Tribe of Janet—Haghar—Sagamaram—Maghatah—Extent of Aheer—Connexion with the Black Countries—Mechanism of Society in Aheer—Chieftains—Tax-gathering—Food of the Kailouees—Maharees—Amusements—Natural Features of Asben—Vegetation—Cultivation—Manufactures—Bags for Charms.


Projected Departure for Damerghou—False Start—Picturesque Caravan—Sultan's Views of White Skins—My Birthday—The Sultan fights his Battles over again—His Opinion of Women—Bragging—The Razzia on the Fadeea—Political News in the Desert—Cold Weather—Continue our Journey—Bornouese Fighis—Tin-Tagannu—Trap for a Lion—Mousa's Camels—A further Delay—Jackals and the Fire—Language of Signs—Tintalousian Coquettes—Departure of the Zinder Caravan—Natural Features—Languages—The Kilgris—Killing Lice—The Razzia to the North—Present of a Draught-board—Pagan Nations—Favourable Reports.


Medicine for Bad Eyes—A summary Proceeding—News from the Salt-Caravan—Towns and Villages of Tesaoua—Earthquakes—Presents for the Sultan of Maradee—Yusuf's Insolence—English Money in Aheer—A Razzia on the Holy City—Bornouese Studies—Gipsies of Soudan—En-Noor and the Marabouts—Ghaseb—State of the Weather—Calculations for the Future—Senna—Relations of Man and Wife in Aheer—En-Noor in his Family—Gouber and Maradee—Beer-drinking—Study of the Sau—Shara—The Oulimad—Lions—Translating Jokes—Digging a Well—Projects.


Razzia on the Fadeea—Haussa—Names of Places—Ant-track—Circular Letter from Mourzuk—Vast Rock—Mustapha Bey's Letter—Effects of Water—Butterflies—Aspect of the Country—A Slave advanced to Honour—Shonshona—Herbage—Birds—Appearance of the Salt-Caravan—Colours of Dawn—Bilma Salt—Mode of Barter—Pass the Rock of Mari—Granite—Indigo Plant—Presents at Stamboul—The Sultan begs again—Old Men's Importunities—Baghzem—Curiosities of the Route—People of Damerghou—Temporary Village of Women—Country begins to open—Barter Transaction with Lady En-Noor.


We continue our Journey—Huntsmen—Gum on the Tholukhs—The Salt-Caravan—A Bunch of Gum—Games among the Slaves—Baghzem—Trees—Palm of Pharaoh—Deserted Villages—Birds' Nests—Wife of En-Noor—Unan—Lizards—Bad News—Christmas day in Africa—Christmas-boxes—Begging Tuaricks again—Bargot—Musicians—Speculations—Tribes at War—Parasitical Plant—Importance of Salt—Animals—Agalgo—Force of the Caravan—Beat of Drum—Approach the Hamadah—Giraffes—Poisoned Arrows—Ear of Ghaseb—Soudan and Bornou Roads.


Enter the Hamadah—Home of the Giraffe—Water of Chidugulah—Turtles—Cool Wind—Jerboahs—Centre of the Sahara—New-year's Eve—Cold Weather—Birds of Prey—Soudan Date—Burs—Animals on the Plateau—Young Ostrich—The Tholukh-tree—Severe Cold—Eleven Ostriches—Termination of the Desert—Inasamet—The Tagama—Purchases—People begin to improve—Fruit of the Lote-tree—Village roofed with Skins—Vast Plain—Horses—Approach Damerghou—Village of Gumrek—Rough Customers—Wars of the Kilgris and Kailouees—A small Lake—Guinea-hens—Vultures—Party of Huntsmen.


My Barracan—Spontaneous Civility on arrival in Damerghou—Ghaseb Stubble—Cactus—Water-Melons—Party of Tuaricks—Boban Birni—Huts of Damerghou—Tagelel—Women of the Village—Population of the Country—Complaisant Ladies—Festivities—Aquatic Birds—Dancing—A Flatterer—A Slave Family—A new Reason for Wife-beating—Hazna Dancers—Damerghou, common ground—Purchase of Ghaseb—Dethroned Sultan—Yusuf—Mohammed Tunisee—Ophthalmia—Part with Barth and Overweg—Presents to Servants—Sheikh of Fumta—Yakobah Slave—Applications for Medicine—Boban Birni—Forest—At length enter Bornou ground—Daazzenai—Tuarick Respectabilities—Detachment of the Salt-Caravan.


March for Zinder—Enter the City—Reception—Delighted to escape from the Tuaricks—Letters from Kuka—Hospitable Treatment—Presents for the Sarkee and others—Visit the Shereef—His Duties—Audience of the Sarkee—Servility—Double-skulled Slave—Powder and Shot—Portrait of the Sultan—Commission from Kuka—European Clothes—Family of En-Noor—Tour of the Town—Scavengers—List of Sultans of Central Africa—Ancient Haussa—The Market—Money—Conversation with the Shereef—The Sultan at Home—Mixed Race of Zinder—Statistics—Personages of the Court.


Presents from Officials—Mode of treating Camels—Prices—Cowrie Money—Shereef Interpreter—Visits—Harem—Houses—Grand Vizier—Picturesque Dances—Tuaricks at Zinder—Kohlans and Fullans—Province of Zinder—Account of its Rebellions—Trees—Details on the Slave-trade—Prices—Mode of obtaining Slaves—Abject Respect of the Sultan—Visits—Interview with the Sarkee—The Presence—Curious Mode of administering Justice—Barbarous Punishments—Hyaenas—Gurasu—Fighis—Place of Execution—Tree of Death—Hyaena Dens—Dancing.


Brother of the Sultan—Trade of Zinder—Prices—The Sarkee drinks Rum—Five Cities—Houses of Zinder—Female Toilette—Another Tree of Death—Paganism—Severity of the Sultan—Lemons—Barth and Overweg—Fire—Brother of the Sarkee—Daura—Shonshona—Lousou—Slaves in Irons—Reported Razzia—Talk with the Shereef—Humble Manners—Applications for Medicines—Towns and Villages of Zinder—The great Drum—Dyers—Tuarick Visits—Rationale of Razzias—Slaves—"Like Prince like People"—French in Algiers—The Market—Old Slave—Infamous System—Plan of the great Razzia.


Family of the Sarkee—Converted Jew—Hard Dealings—How to get rid of a Wife—Route to Tesaoua—Influence of Slavery—Prices of Aloes and Silk—Medicine for a Merchant—Departure of the Sarkee for the Razzia—Encampment—Mode of Fighting—Produce of Razzias—Story of the Tibboo—Sheikh Lousou—Gumel—Superstitions—Matting—Visit of Ladies—The Jew—Incendiaries—Hazna—Legend of Zinder Well—Kohul—Cousin of the Sheikh—Female Sheikh—State of the Country—Salutations.


Political News—Animals of Zinder—Sleepy City—District of Korgum—Razzias—Family of Sheikh Omer of Bornou—Brothers—Sons—Sisters—Daughters—Viziers—Kashallas—Power of the Sheikh—A Cheating Prince—Old Slave—Fetishism—Devil in a Tuarick's head—Kibabs—Fires—A Prophecy—Another Version of the Razzia—Correspondence between Korgum and Zinder.


Sheikh of Bornou—Arab Women—News from the Razzia—Procession of newly-caught Slaves—Entrance of the Sarkee—Chained Slaves—My Servant at the Razzia—Audacity of Bornou Slaves—Korgum—Konchai—Product of the Razzia—Ghadamsee Merchants—Slave-trade—Incident at Korgum—State of Kanou—A Hue and Cry—Black Character—Vegetables at Zinder—Minstrel—Medi—Gardens—Ladies—Fanaticism—Americans at Niffee—Rich People—Tuaricks Sick—Morals—Dread of the Sarkee—Fashions.


News from Tesaoua—Razzia on Sakkatou—Laziness in Zinder—The Hajah—Herds of Cattle—More Tuarick Patients—Gardens—My Luggage—Adieu to the Sarkee—Present from his Highness—Start from Zinder—Country—Birds—Overtake the Kashalla—Slaves for Kanou—Continue the Journey—People of Deddegi—Their Timidity—Horse Exercise—Cotton—Strange Birds—Occupation of Men and Women—State of African Society—Islamism and Paganism—Character of the Kashalla—A Dogberry—Guddemuni—Cultivation—Beggars—Dancing Maidens.


A Village plundered—Shaidega—Animals—Our Biscuit—Villages en route—Minyo—Respect for Learning—Monotony of the Country—A Wedding—Palsy—Slave-agents—Kal, Kal—Birni Gamatak—Tuaricks on the Plain—Palms—Sight the Town of Gurai—Bare Country—Bearings of various Places—Province of Minyo—Visit the Sultan—Audience-room—Fine Costume—A Scene of Barbaric Splendour—Trade—Estimate of Wealth—How to amuse a Prince—Small Present—The Oars carried by Men—Town of Gurai—Fortifications.


Fezzanee Traders—Sultan in want of Medicine—The Stud—Letters—Yusuf's Conduct—Architecture—Fragment of the History of Minyo—Politics of Zinder—Bornouese Fish—Visits—Two Routes—Dancing by Moonlight—Richness—Fires—Information on Boushi and Adamaua—The Yamyam—Liver Complaints—A Girl's Game—Desert Country—Gift Camel—Few Living Creatures—Village of Gusumana—Environs—The Doom Fruit—Brothers of Sultan of Sakkatou—Stupid Kadi—Showing off—Hot Weather—[Final Note—Death of Mr. Richardson.]




Description of Tintalous and its Environs—Palace and Huts—Bedsteads—Kailouee Race—Unhandsome Conduct of Mr. Gagliuffi—Proposed Journey to Aghadez—Dr. Barth starts—An obstinate Bullock—Present extraordinary—State of Zinder—Affability of the Sultan—Power of Charms—Scorpions—Dialogue with a Ghatee—Splendid Meteors—Visit from En-Noor—Intrigues of the Fellatahs—A Sultan loaded with Presents—Talk of departing for Zinder—State of the Bornou Road—Division of a Bullock—Bottle of Rum stolen—More Visits from the Sultan—A Musical Entertainment—Curious Etymological Discussions—A wonderful Prophetess—Secret Societies—Magicians—The Evil Eye—Morality of Soudan—Magnificent Meteor—Stories of the Sfaxee.

I begin at length to consider myself as it were at home in this singular country of Aheer—without, however, experiencing any desire to dally here longer than the force of circumstances absolutely requires. It must be confessed, as I have already hinted, that the town of Tintalous,[1] in front of which we are encamped, does not at all answer the idea which our too active imagination had formed. Yet it is a singular place. It is situated on rocky ground, at the bend of a broad valley, which in the rainy season becomes often-times the bed of a temporary river. Here and there around it are scattered numerous trees, many of considerable size, giving the surface of the valley something of a park-like appearance. The herbage is not rich, but it is ornamental, and refreshes the eye in contrast with the black, naked rocks, which rise on all hands to the height often of two or three thousand feet. To the east, it is true, the country is a little open; and between the mountains run in numerous white sandy wadys, sprinkled with fresh green plants, or shaded by various species of mimosa and other spreading trees, under which the shepherds and herdsmen find shelter from the sun.

[1] Tintalous is 40 short and 30 long days from Ghat, N.N.E.; 60 short and 50 long from Mourzuk, N.E.; 20 short, 15 long, from Zinder or Damerghou, S.S.W.; 7 long, 10 or 12 short, from Bilma, E.; 38 to 45 days from Tuat, N.W. (via Taghajeet). Maharees, of course, trot and gallop in half the time. These are native statements.

The principal feature of Tintalous itself is what may be called the palace of En-Noor. It is, indeed, one, compared with the huts and stone hovels amidst which it is placed. The materials are stone plastered with mud, and also the wood of the mimosa tree. The form is an oblong square, one story high, with an interior courtyard, and various appendages and huts around on the outside. There is another house, and also a mosque built in the same style, but much smaller. Of the rest of the habitations, a few are stone sheds, but the greater part are huts made of the dry stalks of the fine herb called bou rekabah, in the form of a conical English haystack, and are very snug, impervious alike to rain and sun. There are not more than one hundred and fifty of these huts and sheds, scattered over a considerable space, without any order; some are placed two or three together within a small enclosure, which serves as a court or yard, in which visitors are received and cooking is carried on. There is another little village at a stone's-throw north. The inhabitants of these two villages consist entirely of the slaves and dependants of En-Noor.

All around Tintalous, within an hour or two hours' ride, there are villages or towns of precisely the same description, more or less numerously peopled. At Seloufeeat and Tintaghoda, however, we saw more houses built of stone and mud. This may be accounted for by the fact that the inhabitants are not nearly so migratory as those of Tintalous, who often follow in a body the motions of their master, so that he is ever surrounded by an imposing household.

I must not omit mentioning an important article of furniture which is to be observed in all the houses of Aheer—namely, the bedstead. Whilst most of the inhabitants of Fezzan lie upon skins or mats upon the ground, the Kailouees have a nice light palm-branch bedstead, which enables them to escape the damp of the rainy season, and the attack of dangerous insects and reptiles like the scorpion and the lefa.

I shall hereafter make a few observations on the tribes inhabiting Aheer. Here I will note that they are all called Targhee, that is Tuarick, by the traders of the north; and that the predominant race is the Kailouee. To me the latter seems to be a mixture of the Berbers, or supposed aborigines of the northern coast, with all the tribes and varieties of tribes of the interior of Africa. This may account for their having less pride and stiffness than the Tuaricks of Ghat, who are purer Berbers; as well as for their disposition to thieving and petty larceny, of which I have recently been obliged to give some examples. The pure Berbers, likewise, are much less sensual than their bastard descendants, who seem, indeed, to have no idea of pleasure but in its grossest shape.

The Kailouees are, for the most part, tall and active, little encumbered by bulky bodies; some having both complexion and features nearly European. At any rate there are many as fair-looking as the Arabs generally, whilst others are quite negro in colour. The women are smaller and stouter; some are fattened like the Mooresses of the coast, and attain to an enormous degree of embon-point. They are not ill-looking, but offer nothing remarkable in their forms.

I have already set down many particulars of manners, and shall proceed to do so in the same disjointed way. At a future time all these traits must be collected to form one picture.[2] For the present I am anxious about the future progress of the Mission, and impatient, at any rate, to hear some news of our advance. We cannot do all the things we would. Our position is almost that of prisoners. We must depend entirely on the caprice of En-Noor, who, however, may already have laid out his plans distinctly, though he does not choose to communicate them to us.

[2] Perhaps the note-books of Mr. Richardson, in which facts are set down fresh and distinct just as they presented themselves, will be found to be more interesting than an elaborate narrative. At any rate it has seemed better not to attempt to do what was left undone in this matter.—ED.

Oct. 2d.—We have been lately discussing the practicability of going to Sakkatou, on a visit to the Sultan Bello; and this morning I looked over, for the first time, some "letters of credit" which Mr. Gagliuffi, our plausible consul at Mourzuk, had given me. I found that the amount offered for the use of the expedition in Kanou does not exceed a hundred and fifty reals of Fezzan, or about twenty pounds sterling, and that the agent is expressly requested not to advance any more! This extraordinary document induced me to look further, and it soon appeared that the documents on which I relied so much were mere delusions. The wording of the Arabic letter to Bornou was ambiguous; but in as far as I and my interpreter could make it out, Haj Bashaw, to whom it is addressed, was requested, if he had any money of Mr. Gagliuffi's in hand, to give me a little! I really did not expect that a person in whom I had placed so much confidence would play me this trick. But it seems that Levantines are and will be Levantines to the end of time. I have written to Government, complaining of this unworthy conduct.

3d.—Dr. Barth is about to take advantage of the delay necessarily incurred at Tintalous to visit Aghadez, the real capital of Aheer, to which the new Sultan has lately been led, and where his investiture will shortly be celebrated. This journey will extend our knowledge of this singular Saharan country, and may also be of advantage in procuring the signature of the Sultan to a treaty of commerce.

4th.—Dr. Barth started this morning in company with Hamma, Waled Ocht En-Noor (son of the sister of En-Noor). The departure took place in presence of the Sultan himself, who had come to take tea with me. The caravan was at first composed of bullocks, the camels being a little in advance on the road. Our friend the Doctor started astride on one of these animals, which are a little difficult to manage, especially when they have been out at grass for some time. Indeed, in the first place, it is no easy matter to catch them from amongst the herds; then it is hard to load them; and then, though not often, they refuse to proceed. On this occasion a powerful brute proved absolutely unmanageable. En-Noor, seeing its obstinacy, exclaimed that he gave it to me to kill and eat. He afterwards, however, modified his gift, and said that the bullock was also to be distributed amongst the Arabs of the caravans now in Tintalous; and that we were to give a turban as a present to the herdsman. I was told that, in the meantime, representation had been made to him, to the effect that it was unfair to distinguish the Christians in this manner. Soon after the animal was given it ran away, and no one could catch it.

Well, the bullock caravan went off in good style; and Sultan En-Noor remained taking his tea and eating English pickles and marmalade with me. He drank the tea and ate the other delicacies with evident pleasure, not being afraid, like the greater part of his subjects, to eat the food of Christians. Possession of power seems to have one good effect—the destruction of prejudice; pity that it sometimes goes further and destroys belief. En-Noor told us that the Sultan of Asoudee had gone out on a razzia to the west. We are obliged to hope that it will be successful, as otherwise our affairs will most materially suffer. We talked also of the state of Zinder, which is represented to be a walled town, with seven gates built amidst and around some huge rocks. The governor, Ibrahim, keeps fifty drummers at work every night, but whether with a purpose superstitious or political I do not know.

En-Noor admired much the portraits of the personages who figure in the accounts of the former expedition to this part of the world, particularly that of Clapperton. He had also a wonderful story to tell of this traveller's magic. He said that Abdallah (Clapperton's travelling name) had learned from his books the site of his (En-Noor's) father's house, that near it was a gold mine, and that he had intended to come and give intelligence of this treasure. "See!" exclaimed the Sultan, "what wonderful things are written in the books of the Christians!"

My young fighi (or writer of charms) tells me, as a secret, that he cannot write a talisman for himself, but must ask another of the brotherhood to do this for him. Neither in this place can physicians heal themselves. This civil youth made me a present of a piece of his workmanship to-day, observing, "There is great profit in its power; it will preserve you from the cut of the sword and the firing of the gun." I pray not to have occasion to test its efficacy, but hope it may also serve as a protection from the bite of scorpions, which are so plentiful about here, and are said, at this season, to jump like grasshoppers. According to the people of Tintalous there are three species of them, each distinguished by a different colour—black, red, and yellow. Despite the talk of these disgusting reptiles I went in the evening to see the wells which supply Tintalous with water. They are nothing more than holes scooped out of the sand in the bed of the wady, and supplied by ma-el-matr, "rain-water," which collects only a few feet under the sand, and passes through no minerals.

I afterwards proceeded to the encampment of the slave caravan, which is going in a few days to Ghat. A native of that place—the chief, indeed—was exceedingly rude at our first rencounter, and the following dialogue took place:—

The Ghatee. Where are you going?

Myself. I am going to Sakkatou.

The Ghatee. What for?

Myself. To see the Sultan, who is my friend.

The Ghatee. How do you know him?

Myself. The English have known him for years past.

The Ghatee. Ah!

Myself. Yes.

The Ghatee. Have you any dollars—large dollars? (making a large circle with his thumb and forefinger.)

Myself. No: I don't carry money to Soudan, which is of no use to me. There I shall have wada.

Ghatee. Eh! Eh! But cannot you give me a turban?

Myself. No, I am not a merchant, I don't bring such things; go to the Arab merchants and buy.

Ghatee. Um! Um!

Myself. Do you know Mohammed Kafa in Ghat?

Ghatee. Oh, yes!

Myself. He is my friend.

Ghatee. Allah!

Myself. Yes; he sent me a fine dinner twice whilst I was in Ghat.

Ghatee. Allah! Allah!

Myself. Do you know Haj Ibrahim? He is my great friend.

Ghatee. Allah! Allah! (greatly surprised).

Myself. Why, how is it that you do not know me, Yakob, as I have been in Ghat many years before?

At this some of the other people of the caravan cried out, "Yes, yes, we all know Yakob;" so that I left the rude slave-merchant quite crest-fallen. He evidently, at first, wished to assume the airs of a Haghar, and bully me out of a present.

The caravan consisted of some thirty poor young women and children. There was also with them a small quantity of elephants' teeth.

Now that the moon is absent and the nights are clear we have a most splendid view of the heavens, its stars and constellations. The number of meteors darting to and fro overhead is very great—nearly one a minute shoots along. Some are only a faint glimmer, and have but the existence of a moment, whilst others are very beautiful and last several seconds.

5th.—The weather is improving; the strong gusts of wind have ceased, and so has the rain. We have now calm and fine days with moderate heat.

In the afternoon I received another visit from En-Noor, who came straight into my tent, like an old friend whom I had known for twenty years. He stopped with me at least an hour, drinking tea and smoking, chatting the while about his past history and present affairs. He reiterated again assurances of his friendship for the English, and his determination to remain the ally of the Queen of England! He referred to the time when the great Bello, sultan of Sakkatou, sent his ambassador to request him (En-Noor) and all his people to subject themselves to the Fellatahs. En-Noor gave him for answer, "I am under God, the servant of God, and shall not submit myself to you or to any one upon earth. My father, and grandfather, and great-grandfather, and all my ancestors, ruled here, and were the servants of God, and I shall follow in their steps." The Fellatahs then tried to seduce the people, but they all said, "We have one Sultan, that is En-Noor." All the other authorities of Aheer followed the example, and preserved their independence, the people everywhere arming themselves with whatever weapons they had in case a war should break out.

After this narrative, En-Noor spoke again of the English, and said he should send a maharee for the Queen.

I gave him a fancy ring of the value of threepence, with a mock diamond in it, which he immediately put on his finger with as much glee and pride as the gayest Parisian coquette. Yusuf and the Sfaxee, being present, swore it was diamanti; but I am quite sure the old Sheikh understood the compliment. I also gave him a pair of bellows, a basin, and a pint bottle with a little oil it; with all these things he was greatly delighted, continually admiring and trying the bellows. When he went out of the tent he himself carried all these articles away under his arm.

With reference to our wish to start for Zinder, the Sultan says he will send immediately for the boat, that it may be ready by the time Dr. Barth returns from Aghadez, when he is determined himself to take that route. He seems now in the enjoyment of good health. I felt much satisfied with his visit. Certainly, when I reflect that in the northern frontier of Aheer we were pursued for several days, like monsters not fit to live, by armed bands, this appears to me extraordinary condescension on the part of En-Noor. I hope we shall part in a friendly manner. This worthy sovereign gives the present Sultan of Sakkatou, Ali Bello, the character of a miser, but says that his father was a man of liberality. He cannot exceed En-Noor himself in greediness.

The bad state of the Bornou route is accounted for by the desire the Kailouees have to render it unsafe, so that they may have all the caravans come along their own route. The same thing is said of the Timbuctoo route from Soudan. The Haghar murder all who attempt to go from Soudan to Timbuctoo, in order that the caravans may pass Ghat and Tuat. This is called the natural explanation of the bad character of these routes.

6th.—I continue to record the few characteristic incidents of my residence at Tintalous. Our bullock has been at last killed. We could not catch him, but shot him down. The carcase was divided between no less than twenty persons, and the meat proved to be pretty good. Of my share I made steaks, which I washed down with some tea and rum. This is the first time we have had fresh beef since leaving Tripoli. The event created an immense sensation throughout the whole town of Tintalous, for the slaughter of a bullock does not take place there every day.

This morning I administered two ounces of Epsom salts to a good-natured Kailouee, who, although perfectly well, would persist in begging for medicine. These people are continually asking to be doctored when nothing ails them. En-Noor seems to have taken a fancy to our morning beverages, and has sent for tea and coffee. I am afraid he will become a regular customer. Yusuf carried off a bottle of rum from the tent in the evening, which occasioned a disturbance between the servants and myself. This worthy is not to be trusted with the care of any strong liquor. The little Hamadee was privy to the theft. In the course of the evening the new moon was seen by seven creditable persons, so that in eight days more we shall have the Feast of the "Descent of the Koran from Heaven," and four or five days after that we hope to start for Zinder.

7th.—This was a fine morning, with the thermometer at sunrise in the tent 70 deg.; outside, 66 deg.. The water has been so cooled during the night that my hands ached when I washed them. Later in the season it will be yet colder; and all reports tell us that in Kanou after the rains it is often very chilly.

His highness the Sultan again was attracted by my tea and marmalade, and gave me a call. He desired to see once more the portrait of Clapperton, and told me that Abdallah had five women in Sakkatou, and had left behind him three children, all boys. The Sultan was excessively friendly in manner, which induced me to make him another little present of a ring set with paste, and a small pair of gilt scissors for one of his wives. He calls me his brother, and manifests increased anxiety to be friendly with the English. According to him, a short time since the Sheikh of El-Fadeea, who commanded the attack made on us at the frontier, came here; and, in consideration of a few presents and compliments, had promised to exert himself to procure the restoration of our lost or stolen camels. En-Noor also again talked about the boat. I am in great hopes that we shall part from him on good terms, and that he will be true to his protestations. There is generally a companion with the old gentleman on these visits. This time it was an aged Tanelkum, who married a sister of the Sheikh and has been settled many years in the country. We gave him more tea, and also a piece of white sugar, to carry home.

This evening the Fezzan and Tripoli Arabs had a musical entertainment, accompanied with dancing, at which Madame En-Noor and several distinguished ladies of Tintalous assisted. It was the usual singing business, with Moorish hammering on tambourines. The dance was performed by men, mostly in imitation of the women, and was also of the usual inelegant and indelicate description. However, there was a little mixing of the derwish dances. The thing went off to the great satisfaction of the Kailouees, and was kept up till midnight.

8th.—I slept little after the villanous dancing and riot of the preceding night, and rose late. My occupation this day was completing my vocabulary of the Kailouee language, of which I expect to collect a thousand words. My interpreter sometimes gives very curious explanations when I work with him. The Arabic word which we translate "Alas!" coming under consideration, he observed: "There is no corresponding word in the languages of these countries. This word belongs to the Koran and the next world." He means, that the word has only a relation to the torment of the damned. It is curious that this Arabic term agrees with, or is like, our word wail (Ar. weel), and is the term used by our translators of the New Testament in describing the torments of the lost, "Weeping and wailing" &c.

Of the term "chaste," Yusuf observed, "There is no such expression in these languages; all the women are alike, and equally accessible when danger is absent." It is also true that the men place no bounds to their sensual appetites, and are restrained only by inability. It may be, however, that the more religious would have some scruples about intriguing with their neighbours' wives.

When we came to the word "school" Yusuf pretended there was not such a word in Kailouee. He asked, "Where in Tintalous is there a school?" The question, unfortunately, is put with too much truth. The Kailouees hereabouts seem entirely to neglect education.

I myself observe that the Arabic booss answers exactly to the vulgar word in English for kiss.[3] The name of a raven is one of many remarkable examples of a word being chosen to imitate in sound some peculiarity of the thing signified. In this case, kak irresistibly reminds one of the raven's croaking voice; which we describe by caw. Kass, scissors, is also an imitation of the sound produced by this instrument in cutting.

[3] A good many similarities of this kind, accidental or otherwise, might be pointed out: ydrub is "to drub;" kaab would be translated, in old English, "kibe;" ykattah is "to cut;" kotta, "a cat;" bak, "a bug;" stabl, "a stable," &c. &c. I have noticed, also, some similarities with French words e.g. ykassar, "casser"—ED.

In the evening the Sfaxee and Yusuf came to pay us a visit, and related divers sorts of wonders of this and other countries of Africa. The first matter concerned us. Eight days ago died in Tintalous an old witch, or prophetess, a negress, who foretold our arrival, and said to En-Noor, "A caravan of Englishmen is on the road from Tripoli, coming to you." This woman for many years was a foreteller of future events. The next thing we heard referred to the secret societies of Central Africa. Some of the chiefs of these societies have the power of killing with their eyes. One of these fellows is known to have gone to a merchant, in whose arms was sleeping a pretty female slave, and to have entered into conversation with him, asking him how he was, &c. In the meanwhile the wizard cast his eyes upon the pretty slave, and its heart withered. This power is accordingly much dreaded. If, however, any one perceive the incantation of the wizard, and say, "Begone, you son of a brach!" he immediately flees, like a dog with his tail between his legs.

In parts of Bornou, also, extraordinary things sometimes happen. There are men in those places who have the power of assuming the shapes of wild animals. This they do mostly in the nights. Under the form of lions and leopards, they go to the tents of strangers, and endeavour to lure them forth by calling out their proper names with a perfect human voice. If any one is so imprudent as to obey summons and issue forth, he is at once devoured.

The Sfaxee pledges his word of honour that there was a female slave a year ago in Mourzuk who killed five of her companions with her looks. On this a council was held by the merchants and great people of Mourzuk, to know what to do with her, and the decision come to was to send her back to Bornou; a happy decision for the poor slave! Lucky for her that she was not born in some parts of Europe, with her marvellous power. Even our friend Gagliuffi has not escaped these superstitions of the people among whom he lives. On my seeing his young turkeys for the first time, in very considerable numbers, I exclaimed, "What a host of young turkeys you have got!" On this he became quite alarmed, lest I had cast a malign look upon them, and ejaculated a counter-exclamation, "Oh, God bless them!"

The Sfaxee and Yusuf do not speak very favourably of some parts of Soudan as to morality. In some districts of Begarmi, Yusuf says, a male takes the first female he meets with, no matter how near the relationship. All the women, in fact, are in common. We must receive his asseverations for what they are worth, on this subject in general, and on the developements into which he entered. According to him, in those regions where scarcely any other roof is required but the heavens, there is no other couch spread than the earth, and no one shuns, in any act of life, the eyes of his neighbours.

Whilst these wonders of witches and tales of African lewdness were being related, a thing happened which none could disbelieve, none call in question. This was the appearance of an immense meteor in the sky, shooting over half the heavens, with a slight curve, from east to west. It had a tail like a comet, and around its head burnt a blue light of excessive brilliancy. This phenomenon appeared at a quarter to eight o'clock in the evening. I never saw anything like it before, and perhaps shall never again see its equal. It might have been visible two minutes. We all cried out with surprise at beholding it. We had our faces towards the south, and the course of the meteor was across the south, but not very high, at about the third of the circle of the heavens. Afterwards, every few minutes, small meteors were seen sporting about in the same direction, some in a straight line and others descending.

9th.—The wind of this fine cool morning prevented a visit from En-Noor. That he might not be disappointed, however, I sent him his customary tea; and amused myself by hearing the Sfaxee discourse of that constant subject of conversation, the attack of the Fadeea. According to him, on that occasion great fear was felt by all the caravan. Most of our servants had formed the resolution to abandon us. There were, however, some honourable exceptions; amongst the rest, Said, the great mahadee, and another. Yusuf and Mohammed Tunisee proposed the plan, that we three, the Germans, and myself, should be mounted on maharees, and either conveyed back to Aisou or forward to Tintaghoda, during the night. Some of the Kailouees wavered, as well as the Tanelkums; but En-Noor (of our escort) always declared that he would never consent to our being given up. The next morning, two or three of the assailants were very bold, and came and called out in an authoritative tone, that we must be given up. It is curious that, in spite of all the force that was mustered against us, as soon as they saw that we were determined to resist them, they immediately began to parley. The Sfaxee is an immense talker, and great allowance must be made for what he says. In reality, we shall never be able to know the exact truth with respect to this affair. Dr. Overweg confesses that he was terribly alarmed as well he might be. For my part, I was more used to desert dangers, and slept all night. Dr. Barth very kindly refused to allow anybody to awaken me.


Muslim want of Curiosity—Gossip on Meteors—A Family Broil—Rationale of Wife-beating—Abominable Dances—Evil Communications—Dr. Overweg—Kailouee Vocabulary—Windy Day—Account of Wadai—Madame En-Noor—Profits of Commerce—The letter Ghain—Fellatah Language—Introduction of Islamism—Desert Routes—Trade in Agate Stones—A lively Patient—The Eed—A Visit en masse—Arrival of the Boat—Butchers—Exchange of Visits with the Sultan—Diet—A Shereef—A delicate Request—Information on Maradee—Tesaoua—Itinerant Schoolmasters—En-Noor's Territory in Damerghou—Unpleasant Communication—Amulets—The Foundation of a City in the Desert—En-Noor's Political Pretensions.

Oct. 10th.—My garrulous friend the Sfaxee has gone off this morning, to bring his merchandise from Tintaghoda. The little fighi came, as usual, to see me. I showed him the Arabic New Testament. He read a few sentences, and then laid the book aside. I offered it to him, but he refused to accept the inestimable present. He represents the feelings of all the Muslims of these countries. They have not even any curiosity to know the contents of the Gospel, much less the inclination to study or appreciate them. They remain in a state of immovable, absolute indifference. Even the beautiful manner in which the Arabic letters are printed scarcely excites their surprise. En-Noor paid me his usual morning visit, drank tea, and ate pickles and marmalade. We asked him about meteors. He recollects the fall of many. One, he says, fell upon a house, and terrified the inhabitants, who came running to him. Afterwards they dug to the depth of a man, and found nothing, for it had buried itself deep in the earth. According to him, a great profusion of meteors denotes abundance of rain and herbage: but these phenomena exert also a sinister influence like comets, signifying the death of some great personage. I have no doubt that extraordinary meteors are very frequent in this part of the Sahara. En-Noor was very condescending, as usual: no change is observable in his manners.

It turned out that he had come with the intention of speaking on a very delicate subject, but had refrained. We learned what it was afterwards. Dr. Overweg was sent for in the course of the day to attend upon one of En-Noor's wives, who had been frightfully beaten by his highness the previous evening. This domestic broil formed the common topic of conversation in Tintalous. Every scandal-monger has got hold of one version of the story. From what we could gather, the great man was lying down quietly, when suddenly, without any apparent provocation, he started up, took a large stick from the fire, one of its ends still burning, and with this terrific weapon belaboured his wife over the face, striking especially at the mouth, and cutting the upper lip in two. The poor woman is now very ill. No cause can be discovered for this piece of brutality. En-Noor has, they pretend, two wives here, and one on his estate at Damerghou; but he has only one son and three daughters. No larger family has this great man, with all his wealth and slaves, been able to bring up.

Beating a wife is so common in these countries, that, only when the act is attended with features of unusual atrocity, as in this case of En-Noor, does it excite any attention. There cannot be a question of the fact, that our friend the Sultan is a great despot in every point of view. Perhaps in no other way could he maintain any authority amongst these semi-barbarian Kailouees. This, nevertheless, cannot excuse the atrocity of beating his wife with burning fagots. Some say that the exciting cause of his brutality was the eternal loquacity of the woman, of which his highness began to be afraid. This may be true, or be only an excuse invented by his courtiers. Supposing, however, the cause to have been her infidelity, let us examine what can be reasonably expected from these African women. They are not allowed scarcely to believe themselves to possess souls; they have no moral motives to be chaste, and certainly none of family and honour, being mostly slaves. Then the greater part of the young girls of consequence are married to old men, who are worn out by their sensual habits and indulgence with innumerable concubines. These young women are thus left, though married, like so many widows, without education or religious motives, and with all their passions alive, to the first opportunity which presents itself. We know what they do, and we cannot expect anything else from them.

We have often dancing now of evenings. Yesterday, hearing the tambourines and other instruments strike up, I went to the house of the Sfaxee to see what was going on. They were dancing again their Mourzuk dances before a number of delighted Kailouees, male and female; amongst the rest Lady En-Noor herself. The whole beauty and appropriateness of this exercise amongst the Moors consists, as is well known, in gross imitations of natural acts. No further description or comment can I permit myself. I have often thought that the present dance must be an inheritance from very ancient times. There seems to be a part of our nature to which it is adapted. The performances at European Operas are often nearly as indelicate.

Evil communications corrupt good manners. One of our servants has learned to act the Tuarick. He quarrelled with Yusuf, and on being told to go away replied, "Yes. I will go; but when you get up to Damerghou I will bring down the people upon these Christians, and they shall be eaten up!"

11th.—Zangheema, En-Noor's principal slave, came early this morning for Dr. Overweg, that he might attend the "beaten wife." My privileged friend went accordingly, and visited at the same time all the women of the household. They received him in a very friendly manner: some of them proved nearly white.

12th.—This day I finished my Kailouee vocabulary, which contains about a thousand words. I have never yet collected so large a quantity of materials of any of the languages of Africa. I carefully packed up my vocabulary for England, and got it ready, with other matters, to send by the first opportunity.

Dr. Overweg has again visited the belaboured wife this morning, and reports her to be improving. The Sultan seems now to repent what he has done, and is endeavouring to obtain forgiveness by kind and courteous behaviour.

There was a great deal of wind to day, but it did not come in puffs, endangering our tents. I sometimes wonder, however, how the flimsy huts of which part of Tintalous is composed are not swept away. They are made of the dry stalk of that excellent herb bou rekabah, called in Kailouee afada.

13th.—No news stirring to-day; nothing said of razzias; so much the better. We are living very quietly here, and the climate agrees with me extremely well. Some of our people, however, are sick.

14th.—The mornings continue cold; 65 deg. outside the tent, and a few degrees higher inside. This fresh weather, no doubt, accounts for my good health.

According to a Tibboo merchant now here, and going with our caravan, the people of Wadai would receive a Christian well, and allow him to visit their country. He represents Wadai as a very rocky region, like Aheer, with two large rivers in it running from south to north—not season streams, but continual. He says that the people are all blacks, and a very tall race. They have a language of their own, which is difficult to learn. Warrah is the capital. The natives drink a great deal of bouza, and are nearly always intoxicated. Such is a summary account of Wadai from the mouth of a Tibboo geographer.

This morning, Madame En-Noor sent me by Zangheema a pair of pewter earrings, in exchange for some rings. It is extremely difficult to make a good bargain with these people. With respect to our merchandise, it all sells lower here than we paid for it at Mourzuk. The profits come from the purchase of slaves. A burnouse of forty mahboubs will sell in Soudan for little more than its cost, if dollars or money is to be given; but if slaves are taken in exchange, three slaves, perhaps, may be obtained, which, in Tripoli, may be sold at forty or fifty dollars each. Hence the profit of the Soudan commerce. The article which yields the greatest profit is loaf sugar, which, costing half a dollar in Mourzuk, is said to sell for a full dollar in Bornou. To be sure there is all the risk and the heavy freight of such an article, especially if conveyed up during the rainy season.

I wrote yesterday a despatch to Government, requesting letters of recommendation to be sent up to me in Kordofan, pointing out the route of Egypt as the probable one by which I shall return to the Mediterranean. I had a long dispute with Overweg about the letter ghain, which he persists in pronouncing like a strong k. Yusuf was called in, and declared that the ghain was the letter which distinguished Arabic from all other languages. In Kailouee Tuarick there is no kaf or ghain. These Berber dialects have, however, the hard g in a thousand words, and have also the k in a great number of cases, but the hard g and the t are the consonants most frequently occurring. The Haussa has also the g hard, as in magaree, "good;" and a great number of words with the sound tsh, as doutshee, a stone or mountain.

The Fellatah language is said to resemble the Kailouee; in other words, to be a Berber dialect. If this be the case, the Fellatah people are probably of Berber extraction, and not Arab, as they are vulgarly supposed to be. This is a question requiring still further investigation. Others, again, say that the Fellatah language is quite different from the Tuarick. Overweg thinks Islamism was introduced into Bornou by the Shoua Arabs, who are found in Bornou in great numbers. The Fellatah, he thinks, received Islamism by way of Timbuctoo, from Moors and Arabs trading to that city from Morocco. There is considerable probability in both these opinions.

15th.—Four or five days after the approaching Eed, or festival, half the people of Tintalous will go for salt, and the other half prepare for their annual journey to Soudan with En-Noor.

The inhabitants of Damerghou are reported to be half "Kohlan," blacks, and half Kailouees. It is the Kailouees in the neighbourhood of Damerghou who infest the borders and routes of Bornou. En-Noor is now very quiet, and there is a chance that he will not come down upon me for more money.

According to the Fezzanees, Tuat is thirty days from Aisou and thirty-three from Taghajeet (short days). Ghat is forty short and thirty long days from Tintalous or Asoudee. Bilma is fourteen long and seven short days from Tintalous or Asoudee. There is no direct route from this (Tintalous) to Timbuctoo; from Sakkatou there is, however, a short route to Timbuctoo, and it is said to be a safe one. The number of days here mentioned are merely general numbers; they vary according to the good state of the camels, or the disposition of the people, or certain accidents on the road.

The evening of the feast of the "Descent of the Koran from Heaven," all good Muslims ought to sit up all night to read the Koran, through and through again.

There is a curious commerce of yamanee, or agate stones, in Soudan. These yamanee are originally brought from the eastern coast of Africa, from and near Mombas (Mozambique), where they pass as money, like the cowries. From Mombas they are carried, by the Muscat traders, to Yamen, and thence to Mekka; in which place they are blessed, and rendered doubly precious. From Mekka they are brought to Egypt, and from Egypt to Mourzuk; from which point they are distributed all over this part of Africa, and the souk of Kanou is stocked with them. They are much esteemed by all classes of the inhabitants of the interior of Africa, and are worn equally by the men and women.

In this commerce we see the round-about-way in which some articles are conveyed for sale. If there were a road from Mombas direct to Bornou, this agate would be cheap enough. But then, perhaps, it would not be esteemed or valued at half its present cost. It would not be blessed at Mekka, and so lose all its talismanic and mysterious power. The name is derived from Yaman, evidently from the first country in Arabia, to which they were brought originally from Africa.

According to Overweg, Madame En-Noor is still very unwell with her lip. It is cut right across under her nose, penetrating to the gums; she is, nevertheless, very lively, and is always pestering Overweg to read the fatah with, or marry a young girl, one of her relations. She endeavours to warm my worthy friend to comply with her match-making wishes by luxurious descriptions of the beauties of the proffered bride.

As soon as the people hear I have a wife in Tripoli, they begin to ask how many children I have got. On receiving for answer, "None," they are greatly astonished, and ask me the reason of so strange a matrimonial phenomenon.

This evening another fine meteor appeared in the south-east. Its head was like a blazing star, and it left behind it a train of sparkling light and flame. There were also numbers of smaller meteors.

16th.—The morning of the Eed. According to the Fezzanees, prayers are soon ended; because, they say, "these Kailouees know nothing of their religion."

The Fezzanees asked me to hoist the British flag; to which I replied, "No; the flag belongs to the Queen, but I will give you a little powder for your matchlocks." All these Mahommedan feasts are celebrated on the northern coast of Africa by the discharge of gunpowder.

No certain information can be obtained of the route from Zinder to Sakkatou, in this place. The people only say the present Sultan is not so strong as was his father; thereby intimating that the routes are not so secure as formerly.

It is usual for the inhabitants of Tintalous to visit those of Asarara on the morning of the present feast. About sixty men, natives of this place, accompanied by a dozen Moors from Tripoli and Mourzuk, went, accordingly, to Asarara this morning. Then a number of the people of Asarara returned with them. Yusuf remarked, with some surprise, that even the women went out to pray, about forty in number. So that it would seem the Kailouees educate their women in religion more than the Muslims of the coast.

The most interesting event to us, however, this morning, was the arrival of the boat from Seloufeeat. Our servants were very quick in their return. They came all night, to avoid any further attempts to carry off the camels. They were all alone. I welcomed the return of the boat as I would that of an old friend.

There was no firing this evening, as was expected, En-Noor being very unwell-suffering rheumatism and fever.

The most agreeable sight in all these Mahommedan feasts is to see all the people dressed out in their finery. The merchants have appeared in splendid burnouses, all more or less in good humour. The slaughtering of the sheep to-day was the dirtiest part of the business. All here on such occasions play the part of butchers-men, women, and children; and all attack, stab, skin, and maul the poor animals, in a way frightful to behold. The environs of the town were turned into dirty slaughter-houses.

17th.—I have determined to purchase no more things from the Sfaxee at present. He makes me pay double price. It will be better to wait and see what can be done at Zinder. An infidel traveller, who is known to be in possession of any property, is sure in these countries to be looked upon as a milch-cow. Does not "the book," according to the vulgar opinion, authorise the faithful to take our lives? "Our purses are more lawful."

The festival being over, I went to pay my respects to Sultan En-Noor. He is much better in health than yesterday, but has still a bad cold, and continues to blow his nose and wipe it—pardon the naive statement—with the sole of one of his sandals! The action struck me as rather uncleanly and undignified in a prince; but Kailouees are not punctilious.

Mr. Gagliuffi had mentioned to me that he had given assistance to some shepherds who were begging their way to Soudan. One of these poor fellows had come to see the Sultan. He seemed, indeed, miserably poor, but tried to hide the fact, saying to them and Yusuf: "I have news for you; now I am your friend, as I was a friend to the Consul in Mourzuk." He was quite a young man, and excited my compassion.

In the afternoon I received a visit from En-Noor, with a whole train of his people. The Shereef was absent. The Sultan came especially to see the boat, the pieces of which were put together that he might know its shape and size. Yusuf then drew for him a ship with all sails set, on a piece of paper. It was very well done; and excited the applause of my visitors. I treated them, as usual, with pickles, marmalade, and tea. Among other things I showed En-Noor the broad arrow, or government mark, on many of our things; as the guns, and pistols, tent, bags, and biscuits, which greatly surprised him.

The Sheikh was in good spirits, and was pleased with his visit. I sent him during the day a piece of dark blue cotton print for a pillowcase. This little present delighted him much. I am much hampered with the "princesses," who first sent to buy sugar, and then to beg, forgetting to buy.

We have a Tuat Tuarick changing camels for slaves now in Tintalous. This man belongs to the tribe called Sgomara, if I have caught the name correctly.

18th.—I rose early, having had a bad headache during the night through eating meat in the middle of the day. Whatever is eaten in the middle of the day must be taken very sparingly. I believe the greater part of the diseases with which foreigners in these countries are afflicted arise from want of sufficient attention to diet. We must take great care of our health just as we are entering Soudan. The weather is still cool, especially in the morning. The prevailing wind during these last twenty days has been E.N.E., which is very refreshing. The Moorish merchants pretend that in Soudan it is now very cold.

I received a visit from the young Shereef, whose conversation smacked a good deal of a disagreeable curiosity respecting my movements and intentions in Central Africa. I therefore gave him a very ordinary and cool welcome. This fellow has been here some time, and never offered to pay us a visit before. En-Noor has been feeding him during his stay. He displayed a good deal of shrewdness, and is well acquainted with the Christians of the Mediterranean. He is going to visit his brother in Zinder, and then returns to Tripoli by the way of Bornou and Mourzuk. Like all these shereefs, or marabouts, he pretended that had he been with us, or had we travelled with him from Mourzuk to Tintalous, no one would have dared to molest us; an assertion wholly false, for the Tuaricks care little for marabouts when they are bent on plunder.

A young woman has just arrived from a distant village, with the express object of procuring from the Taleb (Overweg) a medicine to produce abortion: she says she has been gadding, "barra" (out of her mother's house), and is frightened lest she should get a good beating. On Overweg's refusing to give her any such medicine she burst out into a pathetic lamentation, and talked loudly of what her parent would do to her. Young ladies often think of their mothers a little too late under these circumstances.

A slave of the Sultan of Aghadez arrived this morning, in six days from the capital, to inquire after the health of En-Noor. He brings no particular news, but says he saw Barth at Aghadez.

"Man is to man the surest, deadliest foe," has been quoted from the poet as most applicable to the moral and social state of Africa. It may truly be said to be our case, for hitherto we have suffered little in this town except from men. Looking also around us, the people suffer less from the arid country which they inhabit than from the violence which they inflict one upon another.

I learned from Yusuf yesterday evening, that for every dollar I take from the Sfaxee, if I pay in Mourzuk, I must give two. I was greatly afflicted at this positive declaration, but scarcely believe it; if it, however, prove to be the case, I must by all means find money in Soudan. It will be a hard fight, indeed, to keep down the expenses of this expedition; however, every effort must be employed to effect this desirable object.

Maradee, I learn, is three days west from Tesaoua; and this latter place is two from Zinder. There is another village, called Gazawa, one day south of Tesaoua. The inhabitants of these places are half Mahommedans and half pagans; the latter do not offer human sacrifices; their religious rites consist principally in worshipping trees, to which they sacrifice at certain seasons. The Fellatahs are always at war with the people of Maradee, but Gouber is at peace with Sakkatou. In Maradee there is one large stone-and-mud house for the Sultan; all the rest of the houses are bell-shaped huts. The place has a numerous population. Tesaoua is also independent and self-governed, as are most of the places hereabouts.

I had a visit from two itinerant schoolmasters, natives of Bornou. From these I learned that there does exist a little education amongst the Kailouees. There is a village near called Amurgeen, three hours from Tintalous, where children are sent from all the places around, so that it forms a species of college or university. It is to this college that En-Noor sends his sons and grandsons. These itinerant pedagogues are negroes; and it is certainly a curious circumstance that from Central Africa instruction should migrate northwards. But the Kailouees have little pride in this respect; although boasting of the name of Tuaricks, and accounting themselves white people, or allied with the whites, they do not scruple to receive education from the negroes of Bornou, whilst certainly it would be very easy to have Kailouee schoolmasters.

I heard from my friend Tibbaou that En-Noor's territory in Tesaoua is simply a village at some distance from the medeeneh, or city, where there is a native and independent sultan of some power. His territory in Damerghou is also a mere village. Nevertheless, the possession of these places extends the political influence of the Kailouees in Soudan. The neighbourhood of Damerghou, especially the western side, seems celebrated for a tribe, or factions of tribes, consisting of bad Tuaricks. This race is evidently spreading in Soudan; there are great numbers in Gouber and the countries near.

I purchased from the itinerant pedagogues of Bornou two of their ink-bottles, which are made of small calabashes. They wrote for me some specimens of their penmanship, a charm, fatah, or first chapter of the Koran. They wrote and formed their letters sideways, as some lawyers' clerks do in England.

Dambaba Makersee took the liberty of informing me to-day, as if I did not know it before, that all the things of us Christians were considered by the Kailouees generally as common property, and that whoever could lay hold of any ought to do so without qualm or scruple; but, he added, when you arrive in Zinder, all will be changed. Let us hope so, Inshallah!

Strings of charms are worn by the men occasionally under the arm, or suspended over the shoulders, as well as round the neck. The charm or armlet of the Moors and Tuaricks corresponds with the Fetish of the ancient Kohlan, people of Soudan, and of the present negro races on the western coast.

I finished the statistics of the towns and villages of Asben—after all, a very imperfect affair. Nevertheless, it is the best which I could make from my materials.

En-Noor paid me a visit in the morning, and stopped gossiping two hours. From him I learnt that the Fellatah language has no relation to the Arabic or Tuarick, but is quite a language peculiar in itself. He also informed us that the Gouberites were still at war with the Fellatahs of Sakkatou; that they were united with the people of Maradee, ancient Kohlans like themselves, and that this united force had been lately gaining their lost ground against the new Muslim powers in Soudan. En-Noor seems to favour the re-establishment of these people against the Fellatahs. The latter he naturally hates, on account of their attempts on the independence of the Kailouees, and their perpetual intrigues at Aghadez.

With regard to Tesaoua, En-Noor pretends that he founded this city. His statement is singularly suggestive and picturesque in its simplicity. He says that he met, on the spot where Tesaoua now stands, a forlorn man, with only two slaves.

"What are you doing?" he said to the man.

"Nothing," the man replied. "What can I do, naked as I am, with myself and two slaves?"

"Oh!" rejoined En-Noor; "stop a minute, and I will bring you a multitude of people, and we together will make a large city." En-Noor kept his word, and brought a multitude of Kailouees, Kohlans, and their slaves. Now Tesaoua is a mighty city, and En-Noor has got a small town of his own near it, mostly peopled by his dependants. Such is the foundation of many African cities; these places springing up as mushrooms, and disappearing as soon.

En-Noor also pretends, that through his father he is heir to the thrones of the ancient Kohlans, about Kashna, Gouber, and Maradee, and that he ought to come into possession after the death of the present occupants. This, I should think, is incorrect; but his highness has undoubtedly great political influence in those countries. We learn that several of the men of Tintalous have wives and families in Damerghou and Tesaoua, but none of them have large families—only one or two children.


News from Barth—Camels restored—Expensive Journey—Proposed Migration of Males—Supply of Slaves, whence—A new Well—Pagans and Christians—Tibboo Manners—The great Gong—When is a Tibboo hungry?—Hunger-belt—Queen of England in the Sahara—The Shanbah—A hasty Marriage—Said's new Wife—Wild Cauliflowers—Tolerance of the Kailouees—Men go to fetch Salt from Bilma—Approach of Dr. Barth—Lion's Mouth—Tibboos and Kailouees—Mysteries of Tintalous—Fewness of Men in Aheer—Trees preserved in the Valley—Bright Stars—Method of Salutation—Purposed Stars—Kailouee Character—Champagne at Tintalous—The Wells.

Oct. 22d.—A letter was received this morning from Dr. Barth. It appears that the treaty will not be signed, nor even presented to the Sultan. En-Noor paid me a visit, as usual, this morning. I presented to his highness some old boxes, with which he ordered a door to be made for his palace. His politeness does not cease, and the graciousness with which he receives my presents is really remarkable.

The man sent after our camels brought back my poor white maharee, and demanded ten dollars (as good as twenty to me) for his trouble. I refused to give them, preferring to let him have the camel, which is hardly worth ten dollars. This manner of recovering our lost or stolen camels amounts to buying them over again. But it has been our misfortune all along, that our friends, and those who profess to be such, and all who attempt to aid us—every one of them, have profited by our losses, and the disasters which have befallen us. This dispute has been referred to En-Noor, and they have accepted five dollars, which I offered them.

I this day made out the statement of the principal items of expenditure which the expedition has incurred from Mourzuk to Tintalous, including the escort to Zinder. It amounts to the enormous sum of three thousand mahboubs, or about six hundred pounds sterling!! If we do not proceed better than this on the future part of the journey, the expedition will at any rate be bankrupt and ruined for want of funds.

23d.—Yusuf and I brought before Overweg this morning the necessity of his assisting in relieving the Government from the double payment of the sums advanced by the Sfaxee. He agreed that it was highly important to save this money, and promised to place his goods at my disposal for sale in Soudan.

On the departure of the caravan for Zinder and Kanou every male inhabitant will leave Tintalous, some starting with it and others going for salt, leaving only the women and children behind. This is considered by the Moors as preferable to leaving a few men behind, because these few would occasion quarrels amongst the women, and, besides, excite the jealousy of the absent husbands.

Most of the men who go with us to Damerghou and forward to Tesaoua will find another wife and family in both these places. This is a regular emigration of males, not the accidental departure of fathers and husbands. These gentlemen pass half the year in Soudan and half in Aheer. The system does not appear to be advantageous to the increase of population: the wives of these birds of passage hardly bear two children a-piece. Indeed there are very few children in Tintalous. We have not yet sufficient data or experience for a conclusion on this part of statistics; but, up to the present, all that we have seen in Africa during this journey exhibits it as singularly miserable and destitute of population. We can hear of no man, not even a sultan with his fifty female slaves, having more than four or five children. As for the poor, one or two are all that they can bring up.

Whence, then, comes the supply of slaves? So far as this part of Africa is concerned I may observe, in reply, that the annual number of slaves brought is exceedingly limited, amounting only to a few thousands. When we get nearer the western coast, we shall probably be able to account for the supplies of slaves which are transported across the Atlantic.

This afternoon a well was commenced near our tents. The digging of a well is an important matter; his highness En-Noor, therefore, vouchsafed his presence. A number of the excavators came to me to beg for sugar. I brought out a piece of white loaf sugar, and broke it into thirty pieces or so; then ordered one of them to divide it fairly amongst themselves: but this was impossible. Anything like fairness amongst the Kailouees, all of whom are addicted to thieving (a habit acquired from Soudan), was out of the question. As soon as I rose from the ground, after breaking the sugar on a leathern apron, there was a general rush upon it, and some got a great deal and others none. Was not this a fine miniature picture of mankind?

24th.—En-Noor paid me a very early visit, and drank coffee. I heard that a courier to Mourzuk would cost forty dollars. I begin to learn a little Soudanese; there are some beautiful soft words in it. Yusuf says there is no name for God in this language; but his statement requires further examination.

From what we learn respecting Barth's reception at Aghadez, it would appear that the people were disposed to look upon him with the same complacency as they are wont to regard the pagans, or En-sara as they call them, of Gouber and Maradee. Indeed, the Tanelkums and Kailouees consider that we shall be well received by our brethren, the pagans of Soudan.

Here is a most extraordinary trait of the barbarity of the Tibboos. It often happens that they are out foraging for twenty days without finding anything to eat. If they light upon the bones of a dead camel, they take them and pound them to dust; this done, they bleed their own living camels (maharees) from the eye, and of the blood and powdered bones they make a paste, which they eat! This is somewhat analogous to what Bruce relates of the Abyssinians cutting out beefsteaks from the rump of a live bullock. The Tibboos possess the finest maharees; and the breed in the rest of the Sahara is always being improved or kept up by a constant supply from their country.

I continue to supply his highness En-Noor with either tea or coffee every day. I sent him some early this morning. He is a greedy old dog, and will not buy a loaf of sugar because I will not give it him at the price of Mourzuk, and thus lose the freight. I hold out, and we have sold him none for the present.

Overweg is making a small commercial lexicon of the things brought to the market of Kanou: a most excellent idea. I myself intend, if I go to Kanou, to make a list of all the things I find in the Souk, with some account of their produce and mode of importation into that mart.

The great gong sounded throughout the village this afternoon, to give note of preparation to all the people, that every one of the males must be ready to leave this place in the course of three or four days. The Sheikh says he is determined to leave in three days, whether the people come from Aghadez or not. Yusuf laid before En-Noor this evening the necessity of our sending a courier to Mourzuk, stating that we had nothing left. His highness pitied our case, and said he would look about for a courier; observing, "The Consul has need of much money and many presents in Soudan." He said, also, that he would recommend us to go to Bornou.

25th.—The days are now pretty hot, and the nights correspondingly cool. We have a good deal of wind. I wrote a letter to Drs. Overweg and Barth jointly, calling upon them to assist me in case the Sfaxee would not wait for his money until the return of the courier. Dr. Overweg consents. I wrote out the Tuarick alphabet.

The account of the Tibboos pounding the camels' bones and bleeding their animals to make paste, is confirmed by the Gatronee of the Germans.[4] He says, moreover, that this is the way in which they proceed. Every Tibboo must fast three days before he thinks about eating. If on the fourth day he do not arrive at the belad, or country, he then takes his left sandal from his foot, and stews or soddens it, making something of a soup. These sandals being leather, or untanned hide, it is, perhaps, not impossible to make of them a palatable soup! If on the fifth day he find no village, he then devours the sandal of his right foot. After this, still not finding a village, he collects bleached camels' bones and bleeds his camel as before mentioned.

[4] People are called here by the nation, and even town, to which they belong, or in which they were born, as sometimes in Europe.

A Tibboo always has a girdle with seven knots, and when travelling hard takes in, as the sailors would say, a reef every day; if after seven days he find nothing to eat, he is considered hungry and unfortunate. The three Tuaricks who followed us from the well of Aisou declared that they had had nothing to eat for fifteen days; and there cannot be a doubt of the fact, that both the Tibboos and the Tuaricks can, on a pinch, remain without food for a considerable time—say ten or twelve days.

A Tuatee, who knows Algiers well, arrived here this afternoon, and is going with us to Zinder. He brings an extraordinary report about the copy of the treaty which I left with Haj Ahmed at Ghat. He says he heard it read, and from it learned that "the Queen of England is now in Tripoli, and wishes to come and live in Ghat, and has offered to buy half Ghat." Such is the nature of Saharan reports.

More authentic intelligence arrived to-day by a courier, who made the journey from Ghat to Seloufeeat in fourteen days—sufficiently quick. This courier brings a warning from Khanouhen to the caravans now proceeding to Ghat, not to come in twos or threes, as they were wont, but to come altogether, as he fears reprisals from the Shanbah and the Haghar.

The history of the thing is this:—A tribe of Tuaricks has always acted as the guides of the Shanbah in their foraging parties—on the Tuarick territory, for example—always pointing out to them the camels of the people of Ghat. Khanouhen has chastised this treacherous tribe, destroying a great many of them; but the Shanbah and Haghar not choosing to desert their old friends, have determined to take vengeance upon the Ghat Tuaricks. It is this revenge which Khanouhen fears. He anticipates a combined attack on the caravans. The wonder is how these routes are kept open at all, when these distant tribes, who have no interest in the commerce that moves along them, are notorious for their predatory feelings and education. It is now said that the Fadeea, our friends on the frontier, are in league with the Shanbah against the Ghat Tuaricks.

En-Noor, it appears, had sent his son to salute the new Sultan of Aghadez, and to assist in establishing or placing him on his throne. He got as far as Asoudee, when he fell in love with a pretty woman of the town, and at once married her, proceeding no farther on his mission. Yesterday evening a man arrived mounted on a maharee, bringing with him all the finery of the bride, which he exhibited to the people, riding about the town! All were greatly astonished at the splendour of the bride's dowry. Are not these fit materials for an Arabian Night's entertainment? My servant, Said, also married the other evening, but not so romantically; taking up with the divorced wife of another freed black. I heard nothing of it until all was over. The parties guessed rightly that I should take no interest in the matter, or rather disapprove of it, as the fellow has abandoned his own and natural wife. This divorced negress, who has at last found a master, has gone the round of all the tents since she has parted from her former husband, and is a little intriguing wretch. The Sfaxee and Yusuf countenanced the affair, but kept it quite unknown to me. They, however, fetched Overweg, and presented him with a portion of the marriage-supper—bazeen. I felt much disgusted on hearing of the affair. The old wife is a native of Kanemboo, and is going thither. She will, of course, gladly take leave of her husband and this young wife and rival. Marriage is an excessively loose tie here, at any rate amongst the poor. The rich pretend to respect marriage.

We have all done little in clearing up difficulties, or obtaining correct information of the Tuaricks of the Sahara. No good informants are to be found. From the Sheikhs of Ghat it is quite impossible to learn anything. We hope to get some information from a Tanelkum now going with us. Many tribes have been mentioned, casually; but the principal are—the three great tribes of Ghat, those to which Khanouhen, Shafou, Jabour, and Hateetah belong—a tribe in Janet—the Haghar of Ghamama—the Isokamara, located on the Tuat route from Aisou—the Tanelkums of Fezaan—the Maraga, a breed produced from the slaves of the Haghar and the Sorgou of Timbuctoo.

26th.—The sky is now frequently cloudy, but no rain falls. The valley of Tintalous is looking fresh, on account of the great quantity of wild cauliflower overspreading its surface, called by the Arabs liftee. This word liftee, is evidently derived from lift, "turnip." The vegetable grows in lines and circles, determined apparently by the action of the water, which deposits the seeds. No use is made of this wild cabbage; it is very bitter, and no animals even eat it.

En-Noor paid me a visit this morning before I was up; he drank some coffee, and went off to see his camels. The Tanelkums were quite wrong in their surmisings about En-Noor and his religious fanaticism. He has shown less fanaticism than any prince with whom we have had yet anything to do during the present journey. All the Kailouees of Tintalous are equally tolerant. We have now three quasi-princes, or sons of sultans, in Tintalous, besides the son of En-Noor. We have Mousa Waled Haj-Ali, who takes our despatches to Mourzuk, with Yusuf my interpreter, and a Tibboo, the son of the Sultan of Kouivar. As we proceed onwards, princes and sons of princes will thicken upon us.

27th.—I packed up and sent off all my despatches to Mourzuk, together with a few trifling things for my poor wife, by the hand of Mousa Waled Haj-Ali, the virtual Sheikh of the Tanelkums.

28th.—All the male inhabitants, with the exception of five or six, have gone off this morning to fetch salt from Bilma. They return here in the course of a month, and the greater part of the salt is transported from hence to Soudan by the next caravan. We have heard of our friends at Aghadez. They are expected here in a few days. The new Sultan of Aghadez is said—but there is little accuracy in these desert reports—to have gone on an expedition west, to settle some differences between some tribes in arms against one another. The people also say that the new Sultan is "hungry," and is glad of such an opportunity to get "something to eat." This is the way in which they would describe a Chancellor of the Exchequer planning a new tax.

Some say the object of the razzia is to chastise the Fadeea for attacking us; but still the main object is to fill the Sultan's "own hungry belly." Such are Asbenouee politics.

Bakin-Zakee, the Soudanese name of the Kailouee green cap, I know here means the "lion's mouth." This is the phrase with which I always salute Zangheema, En-Noor's chief slave; but the terms are much more appropriate for his master, as intimating his avaricious, nay voracious, disposition. Zangheema, however, might be called "Karen Zakee," the jackal of the lion, or "the lion's provider," so anxious is he to minister to the voracious appetite of his lord.

We have received the news that Dr. Barth is near. He is expected to-morrow evening, or early next day.

29th.—En-Noor paid me a visit at sunset to-day, and talked of how many children people had in this country. His highness said he knew a sultan in Soudan who had seven hundred children.

30th.—The Gatronee of the Germans confirms the report of the circumstance, that, when the Kailouees go to the Tibboos to trade for salt, all the male Tibboos run away, leaving all the business in the hands of the females; which latter, besides trading in salt with the Kailouees, make a good mercantile speculation with their charms. Each woman, in fact, has her Kailouee husband or lover, during the carrying on of this singular commerce. If the traders catch a single Tibboo man staying behind, they at once murder him, with the most marked approbation of the Tibboo women. Such is the state of connubial fidelity in this part of the Sahara.

The Tibboos have been very greatly neglected by persons writing on Africa, chiefly on account of the slighting, summary way in which they are spoken of by the members of the former English expedition to Bornou. They are, however, divided into a great number of tribes, are spread over a considerable extent of country, and are partly the guardians of the Bornou route. We must pay them some attention when they come under our observation.

There is a man come from Dr. Barth and his party. They are expected in the course of forty-eight hours. En-Noor is very angry that they do not mend their pace. We are all ready to start. An immense caravan is waiting for their arrival.

31st.—The people begin to pester me to marry another wife in Soudan,—one very young and with large breasts is the kind of article they recommend.

The mysteries of Tintalous are celebrated at the well in the evening, under the bright, glowing light of Venus, which star is now seen a couple of hours above the horizon after sunset. On the margin of the well, which is on the other side of the wady, at the distance of a quarter of a mile, the damsels of Tintalous regularly meet their lovers, and spend with them half an hour of sweet communion. Some even retire to the shade of a large-spreading tholukh near, or behind blocks of rock rising on the edge of the valley, and indulge in lawful or unlawful embraces. The strangers who come here, the Moors of Tripoli and Fezzan, are freely initiated into these mysteries.

I am told by our servants, who have been round to all the villages or towns in the neighbourhood of Tintalous for the purchase of ghaseb, that these places, small or large, are none of them equal to Tintalous, although the houses are much the same—bell-shaped huts, and the people are of the same character. What has greatly astonished our servants is the fewness of the men; indeed, in some villages they saw no other persons but women and children, and scarcely any children. What is the cause of this? It would seem that the men are consumed by the women. These women bear few children, and perhaps this may in part account for, if it be not produced by, their excessive licentiousness. Yet the men are on the wing a great part of the year. The Kailouees, however, wherever they go, have their women at hand, and during a journey many of them take two or three female slaves. How is this superabundant supply of the softer sex kept up? If I am noticing a mere temporary phenomenon, the destruction of men in the razzias may account for the disproportion. Besides, the Kailouees are always imparting fresh slaves into their country.

The poor people of Tintalous are fed chiefly on the pounded grains of the herb bou rekaba. It is a real Asbenouee dish. Overweg made a supper of it one evening. I tasted it, and find it has a very strong flavour of herbs; that is to say, what is commonly imagined to be the flavour of herbs in general. The people now go a long way for wood. The tholukh-trees of the valley are not allowed to be cut down; they are always preserved as a resource for the time of drought and dearth, when the flocks can find no herbage in the valley. The boughs are at such junctures lopped off, and the flocks are fed on the leaves. Thus I have seen the goats and sheep fed on the tholukh-leaves on the plains of Mourzuk, as well as near this place. Another reason may induce En-Noor to save the tholukh-trees,—that there may be a perpetual shade and verdure in the valley of Tintalous. There are many finer valleys than this in Asben, and were the trees not preserved, it would be a very barren, unlively spot.

This evening, two hours after sunset, Venus exhibited her most splendid phasis: the west, where she was setting, about half-an-hour before she disappeared, was lit up as if it was moonlight. On concealing the planet, the effect produced was that of the setting of the moon. Every star was eclipsed in the western circle of the heavens, I never saw anything before equal to this. I could here fully realise the words of Scripture, that the stars were made also "to give light upon the earth."

The manner of saluting and shaking hands amongst the Kailouees deserves notice: they first hold up the right hand with the palm outspread, like the Tuaricks of Ghat. Afterwards, when more companionable and familiar, they take hold of hands, and press them lightly some five or six times or more, if great friends, and conclude this pressing of the hand with a sort of jerk, drawing quickly off each other's hand. In taking hold of the hand of your friend, you fit your thumb in the circle formed by his thumb and fingers, and every time you press his hand, and he presses yours, you separate the hands from each other.[5]

[5] This mode of shaking hands is common among the Fellahs of Egypt.—ED.

Nov. 1st.—The month has set in with wind,—not gusts, but steady wind, continually blowing from E.N.E. It is stated positively that we leave here to-morrow morning, whether the people return or not from Aghadez. I register all reports as I hear them, though perfectly aware that we have not been yet quite let into the secret of the singular migration in which we are about to bear a part. The greater number of the men of Tintalous have gone to Bilma in search of salt; and I originally understood that the great annual caravan was for the transport of this necessary article. Perhaps En-Noor means to go slowly on, just to keep us in good humour. Our intercourse with the Kailouees has taught us to consider them a very mild, companionable race. Often indeed, like children, I wonder what the Tibboos can see in them to make them so desperately afraid, for I am told ten Kailouees will frighten away fifty Tibboos of Bilma. But the Tibboos of Tibesty are considered a braver race. It is worthy of remark, that these cowardly Tibboos have a bad character, and, like most cowards, are very treacherous.

I determined not to carry the little box in which the two bottles of champagne were packed any further; so I, Overweg, Yusuf, and the servants, set to work and drank a bottle of it, to the toast, "that we might have better luck higher up than all have hitherto experienced." The other bottle I have stowed away in reserve for the Lake Tchad, to drink the health of Her Majesty when we launch the boat, if we are fortunate enough to arrive there.

I went to the wells to see the people get water this morning. A number of little children came,—some naked, and others with small pieces of leather round their loins: they all wore very large necklaces of charms sown up in leather bags.


Dr. Barth's Journey to Aghadez—Description of the Route—Tiggedah—Luxuriant Scenery of Asadah—Plain of Tarist—Beautiful Valley—Buddeh—Small Caravan—Aghadez—its Inhabitants—their Occupation—The great Koku, or Sultan—Asbenouee Revolutions—Election of a Prince—Interview—Ceremony of Investiture—Razzia—Intricate Political System—Account of Aghadez—Mosque—Environs—Women—Tribes of Asben—The Targhee Family—Population of the Ghat Districts—of Aheer—The Oulimad and Tanelkums—Tribe of Janet—Haghar—Sagamaram—Maghatah—Extent of Aheer—Connexion with the Black Countries—Mechanism of Society in Aheer—Chieftains—Tax-gathering—Food of the Kailouees—Maharees—Amusements—Natural Features of Asben—Vegetation—Cultivation—Manufactures—Bags for Charms.

Dr. Barth[6] has made a very interesting journey to Aghadez. He says the track lies either through fine valleys or over mountain-chains cut up by defiles. Here and there were charming spots, green with herbage and trees. In going, the shallow wells at Eghelloua were found to be full of water; but a month later they were all dry. Beyond is the Wady Chizolen, overlooked by a mountain that rises abruptly to the height of two thousand feet. Then comes the valley of Eghellal, with its rivulet, and beyond swell the famous mountains of the Baghzem. The worthy Doctor seems to have been too much occupied in collecting geographical data to preserve many picturesque facts by the way. On the third day he encamped at Tiggedah, where numerous species of trees and bushes tufted the valley, which was clothed also, near the margin of its streams, with grass as fresh and green as any in Europe. At that time, however, the place, with the exception of the cooing of wild doves and the cry of a solitary antelope, seemed perfectly unvisited by man. Afterwards, it was found full of flocks and herds, and enlivened by the encampment of a salt-caravan, with a string of young camels bound for Aghadez. The tribe to whom the valley belongs are nomadic, and shift from one place to another, as their fancies and necessities suggest. Amidst the trees, however, may be seen a small mosque, built of stone and roofed with palm-trees.

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