Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 eBook

James Richardson (explorer of the Sahara)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1.
cries of various animals.  Her actions were, however, somewhat regulated by a man tapping upon a kettle with a piece of wood, beating time to her wild manoeuvres.  After some delay, believing herself now possessed, and capable of performing her work, she went forward to half-a-dozen, of our servants, who were squatting down, on their hams, ready to receive her.  She then took each by the head and neck, and pressed their heads between her legs—­they sitting, she standing—­not in the most decent way, and made over them, with her whole body, certain inelegant motions, not to be mentioned.  She then put their hands and arms behind their backs, and after several other wild cries and jumps, and having for a moment thrown herself flat upon the ground, she declared to each and all their future—­their fortune, good or bad.  I did not stop to see the result of the ceremony.  The slaves carry these mysteries with them in their servitude, and the practice of such indecent and profane things tolerated by the Muslims of the coast.  The Moors and Arabs, indeed, have great faith in these mysteries, and resort to them to know their future.

I made this day a list of objects of barter:—­A looking-glass in a tin case, value, in Tripoli, thirty paras, purchases here two sahs of ghaseb.  A common print handkerchief, value fourpence English money, only purchases three or four sahs of ghaseb.

Eight draa of fine white calico are equal to one metagal; three of which metagals is a large dollar. (This does not sell at much advantage.)

I this day finished my dispatch, dated from Esalan, respecting the disputes and disagreements I had with the Tuaricks of Ghat; but since then these Haghars have, indeed, appeared very moderate people to us.

Thermometer at half-past twelve P.M., under tent, 92 deg.  Fahr.

Instead of much rain, we have had a squall of wind this afternoon, attended by a slight shower.

In the afternoon, Yusuf came, with a menacing tone, from En-Noor, saying, we must pay ten metagals (of this country) for finding each of the lost camels; or if not, this sum would be taken from us by force.  Yusuf added, also, that En-Noor was dissatisfied with his present; that the Sultan had remarked to him,—­“It was a present for servants, and he had given it all away to the people.”  Moreover, that yesterday came several persons, marabouts, from Tintaghoda, who mentioned their displeasure to En-Noor because they had not yet received anything.

I was just rejoicing at the finding of three lost camels; but it seems we are not to have a moment of repose or enjoyment in Aheer.  It may be, hereafter, “sweet to remember these things,” but it is now a sad trial of patience to bear them.  I abused En-Noor and our servants in turn.  As to the forty metagals, there was not a question ventured about that; but the present of En-Noor was the largest we had ever made, and it would have been better to

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Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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