The twenty maharees have joined the nuptial festivities this morning. A number of women are squatting in a group on the ground, and the men mounted on their camels are riding round and round them, sometimes in single file, and at other times in two’s and two’s. Whilst this is going on, another mounted party gallops up one by one to the group from a short distance. All this is done to the sound of rude noisy drums. I have not heard any songs, or seen any other species of music but this drum. There are, however, several drums of different sizes, and producing various noises. They are made of wood and with bullocks’ hide.
The women looloo as on the coast, and both men and women dance; not exactly as the negroes do, but still somewhat indelicately. Hamma, who commanded our escort, has returned from visiting his friends.
The Tanelkums report that Hamma is something like Achilles, for he has often been wounded, having been in many battles, but none of his wounds have ever proved fatal, or even much incommoded him.
It would seem that Tintalous, like all the Tuarick countries, is a miserably poor place; for it is said that none, or very few, of the people in the town have a fire for cooking their bazeen, except the great En-Noor himself. The time, however, approaches for the departure of the caravans for Zinder, whence they bring back a great quantity of ghaseb and samen.
A Haghar, or Ghat Tuarick, I know not which, came into my tent this morning and behaved insolently. Amongst other antics, he took up a gun. I immediately wrested it out of his hands and sent him out of the tent. Yusuf was present, but, as usual, showed little spirit.
My blacks were taken aback at my treating a Haghar in this cavalier way; but I observe that they are now more cautious in permitting strangers to enter my tent. The day before I turned a saucy Kailouee out, and my servants begin to understand that I will not be pestered more with these people, and so they keep them off. This is my only plan, for I have told them a hundred times not to allow strangers to come and molest my privacy.
30th.—The noisy drums have ceased, and most of the Targhee visitors have departed. The people, however, still bring news of razzias, Kailouees with Kailouees. A messenger has returned with his report about the boat; it is quite safe and in good hands, at Seloufeeat.
A caravan arrived yesterday from Ghat, and reports that Wataitee had returned to that place and brought reassuring news respecting us. Behind is coming another caravan, in which is some Moor from Tripoli. Probably this person will bring news or letters. From the report of Ibrahim, the Germans’ servant, it would seem that the people of Tintalous believe that Christians eat human beings; and further, from what I hear, this strange prejudice possesses the minds of the lower classes in many countries of Soudan. Such are the opinions of the semi-barbarians of Africa respecting us and our boasted civilisation! There is much to be done yet in the world before mankind know one another, and acknowledge one another as brethren.