Lander's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,054 pages of information about Lander's Travels.

The sultan, however, contemplated other means of securing success, placing his main reliance on his powers as a mohammedan doctor and writer.  Three successive nights were spent in inscribing upon little scraps of paper figures or words, destined to exercise a magical influence upon the rebel host, and their effect was heightened by the display of sky-rockets, supplied by Major Denham.  Tidings of his being thus employed were conveyed to the camp, when the Mungas, stout and fierce warriors, who never shrunk from an enemy, yielded to the power of superstition, and felt all their strength withered.  It seemed to them that their arrows were blunted, their quivers broken, their hearts struck with sickness and fear, in short, that to oppose a sheik of the Koran, who could accomplish such wonders, was alike vain and impious.  They came in by hundreds, bowing themselves to the ground, and casting sand on their heads, in token of the most abject submission.  At length, Malem Fanamy, the leader of the rebellion, saw that resistance was hopeless.  After vain overtures of conditional submission, he appeared in person, mounted on a white horse, with one thousand followers.  He was clothed in rags, and having fallen prostrate, was about to pour sand on his head, when the sultan, instead of permitting this humiliation, caused eight robes of fine cotton cloth, one after another, to be thrown over him, and his head to be wrapped in Egyptian turbans till it was swelled to six times its natural size, and no longer resembled any thing human.  By such signal honours the sheik gained the hearts of those whom his pen had subdued, and this wise policy enabled him not only to overcome the resistance of this formidable tribe, but to convert them into supporters and bulwarks of his power.


Major Denham, who always sought, with laudable zeal, to penetrate into every corner of Africa, now found his way in another direction.  He had heard much of the Shary, a great river flowing into lake Tchad, on whose banks the kingdom of Loggun was situated.  After several delays, he set out on the 23d January 1824, in company with Mr. Toole, a spirited young volunteer, who, journeying by way of Tripoli and Mourzouk, had thence crossed the desert to join him.  The travellers passed Angornou and Angola, and arrived at Showy, where they saw the river, which really proved to be a magnificent stream, fully half a mile broad, and flowing at the rate of two or three miles an hour.  They descended it through a succession of noble reaches, bordered with fine woods and a profusion of variously tinted and aromatic plants.  At length, it opened into the wide expanse of the Tchad, after viewing which, they again ascended, and reached the capital of Loggun, beneath whose high walls the river was seen flowing in majestic beauty.  Major Denham entered, and found a handsome city, with a street as wide as Pall-Mall, and bordered by large dwellings, having

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Lander's Travels from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.