Lander's Travels eBook

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

During the stay of the Landers at Badagry, the thermometer of Fahrenheit ranged between 86 deg. and 94 deg. in their hut, but being oftener stationary nearer the latter, than the former.


It was on Tuesday, the 31st March, that the Landers bade adieu to the chief of Badagry, and during the whole of that day they were employed packing up their things preparatory to their departure.  They repaired to the banks of the river at sunset, expecting to find a canoe, which Adooley had promised should be sent there for their use; but having waited above two hours, and finding it had not arrived, they placed their goods in two smaller canoes, which were lying on the beach.  These soon proved to be leaky, and as no other resource was at hand, they were fain to wait as patiently as they could for the canoe promised them.  Every thing betrayed the lukewarmness and indifference of the chief, who had received so much from them, and who expected so much more, but they had answered his purpose, and therefore he took no further notice of them.  In two more hours, Hooper made his appearance in Adooley’s war canoe, which he had prevailed on him to lend them.  This was placed directly between the two others, and their contents speedily transferred into it.  It was between ten and eleven o’clock at night that they were fairly launched out into the body of the river.  The canoe was above forty feet in length; it was propelled through the water by poles instead of paddles, and moved slowly and silently along.  It was a clear and lovely night; the moon shone gloriously as a silver shield, and reflecting the starry firmament on the unruffled surface of the water, the real concave of heaven with its reflection seemed to form a perfect world.  The scenery on the borders of the river appeared wild and striking, though not magnificent.  In the delicious moonshine it was far from uninteresting:  the banks were low and partially covered with stunted trees, but a slave factory and, a fetish hut were the only buildings which were observed on them.  They could not help admiring at some distance ahead of their canoe, when the windings of the river would permit, a noble and solitary palm tree with its lofty branches bending over the water’s edge; to them it was not unlike a majestical plume of feathers nodding over the head of a beautiful lady.

Proceeding about ten miles in a westerly direction, they suddenly turned up a branch joining the river from the northward, passing on the left the village of Bawie, at which Captain Clapperton landed.  They saw several small islands covered with rank grass, interspersed in different parts of the river.  They were inhabited by myriads of frogs, whose noise was more hoarse and stunning than ever proceeded from any rookery in Christendom.  As they went up the river the canoe men spoke to their priests, who were invisible to them, in a most sepulchral tone of voice, and were answered in the same unearthly and doleful manner.  These sounds formed their nocturnal serenade.  Notwithstanding the novelty of their situation and the interest they took in the objects, which surrounded them, they were so overcome with fatigue, that they wrapped a flannel around them, and fell fast asleep.

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Lander's Travels from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.