The small-pox was at this time raging in the country to an alarming degree. The treatment of the disease is as follows:—When the disease makes its appearance, they anoint the whole body with honey, and the patient lies down on the floor, previously strewed with warm sand, some of which is also sprinkled upon him. If the patient be very ill, he is bathed in cold water early every morning, and is afterwards anointed with honey, and replaced in the warm sand. This is their only mode of treatment; but numbers died every day of this loathsome disease, which had now been raging for six months.
Clapperton had now his baggage packed up for his journey to Kashna, to the great terror of El Wordee, the shreef, and all his servants, who earnestly begged him to remain only a day longer. A party of horse and foot arrived from Zirmee the same night. It was the retinue of a Fellata captain, who was bringing back a young wife from her father’s, where she had made her escape. The fair fugitive bestrode a very handsome palfrey, amid a groupe of female attendants on foot. Clapperton was introduced to her on the following morning, when she politely joined her husband in requesting Clapperton to delay his journey another day, in which case, they kindly proposed they should travel together. Of course, it was impossible to refuse so agreeable an invitation, to which Clapperton seemed to yield with all possible courtesy. Indeed he had no serious intention of setting out that day. The figure of the lady was small, but finely formed, and her complexion of a clear copper colour, while, unlike most beautiful women, she was mild and unobtrusive in her manners. Her husband, too, whom she had deserted, was one of the finest looking men Clapperton ever saw, and had also the reputation of being one of the bravest of his nation.
A humpbacked lad, in the service of the gadado, or vizier of Bello, who, on his way from Sockatoo, had his hand dreadfully wounded by the people of Goober, was in the habit of coming every evening to Clapperton’s servants to have the wound dressed. On conversing with Clapperton himself, he told him that he had formerly been on an expedition under Abdecachman, a Fallata chief. They started from the town of Labogee, or Nyffee, and, crossing the Quarra, travelled south fourteen days along the banks of the river, until they were within four days journey of the sea, where, according to his literal expression, “the river was one, and the sea was one,” but at what precise point the river actually entered the sea, he had no distinct notion.
Early in the morning of the 13th March, Clapperton commenced his journey, in company with the Fellata chief. El Wordee and the shreef were evidently in much trepidation, as they did not consider their present party sufficiently strong, in case of attack; but they had not proceeded far on their route, when they were agreeably surprised by meeting the escort, which they expected. It consisted of one hundred and fifty horsemen, with drums and trumpets. Their leader, with his attendants, advanced to Clapperton in full gallop, and bade him welcome to the country in the name of his master, the sultan, who, he said, was rejoiced to hear he was so near, and had sent him to conduct the travellers to his capital.