Mahommed Kafa was one of our best friends at Ghat, and had always a smile to greet us with—a great relief in a country where most of the people you meet have a frown on their brows and their mouths closely muffled up. This man is the most considerable merchant of Ghat, and exerted himself greatly to procure us an escort of Kailouees. I gave a white burnouse to him and his son. They both sent us a dinner. We were fortunate in finding a party of Kailouees here on their way to Aheer. They have agreed to act as escort, which renders us in some measure independent of the son of Shafou.
During my residence at Ghat I received a visit from my old friend Ouweek, and also from the old bandit whose acquaintance I made at Ghadamez. Ouweek was very complimentary, and shook me cordially by the hands. He observed, “There is no fear in this country; go on in advance: this country is like Fezzan.” I then brought him out some tobacco, and a handkerchief to wrap it in. As usual, he did not seem satisfied with this; so I added a loaf of white sugar. He then noticed Yusuf, and thus addressed him: “Yusuf! I have heard that Hateetah and the son of Shafou are about to conduct these Christians to Soudan. I am a better man than them all! Now Hateetah and Waled Shafou will want this sugar and tobacco on the road. I leave it for them.” On this he started up on two sticks, for he is doubly lame, having the Guinea-worm in both legs, and went away hurriedly. I, however, sent the sugar and tobacco after him, and this time he condescended to accept them. He came to see me mounted on his maharee (or dromedary).
To the old bandit of Ghadamez I also presented some tobacco, and he went his way. Fortunately there were few Tuaricks in Ghat at this time, otherwise I should have had hosts of such visitors. The absence of these grasping chiefs has interfered, it is true, with the treaty of commerce; but it is possible, that even had Khanouhen been present some other shift would have been discovered. There are now present in Ghat only the Sheikh Jabour, Waled Shafou, Sheikh Hateetah, Sheikh Ouweek, and Haj Ahmed, the governor of the town. The Sultan Shafou himself is on the road to Soudan, and we shall probably meet him in a few days on our way. I have, however, sent this aged chieftain a handsome sword from the English Government, by his son, to whom I gave it in one of the public meetings.