Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Travels in the Interior of Africa Volume 01.

CHAPTER VII—­INTERVIEW WITH KING DEMBA SEGO JALLA

About eight o’clock in the morning of January 15th, 1796, we went to an audience of the king (Demba Sego Jalla), but the crowd of people to see me was so great that I could scarcely get admittance.  A passage being at length obtained, I made my bow to the monarch, whom we found sitting upon a mat, in a large hut.  He appeared to be a man of about sixty years of age.  His success in war, and the mildness of his behaviour in time of peace, had much endeared him to all his subjects.  He surveyed me with great attention; and when Salim Daucari explained to him the object of my journey, and my reasons for passing through his country, the good old king appeared not only perfectly satisfied, but promised me every assistance in his power.  He informed me that he had seen Major Houghton, and presented him with a white horse; but that, after crossing the kingdom of Kaarta, he had lost his life among the Moors, in what manner he could not inform me.  When this audience was ended we returned to our lodging, and I made up a small present for the king out of the few effects that were left me; for I had not yet received anything from Salim Daucari.  This present, though inconsiderable in itself, was well received by the king, who sent me in return a large white bullock.  The sight of this animal quite delighted my attendants; not so much on account of its bulk, as from its being of a white colour, which is considered as a particular mark of favour.  But although the king himself was well disposed towards me, and readily granted me permission to pass through his territories, I soon discovered that very great and unexpected obstacles were likely to impede my progress.  Besides the war which was on the point of breaking out between Kasson and Kajaaga, I was told that the next kingdom of Kaarta, through which my route lay, was involved in the issue, and was furthermore threatened with hostilities on the part of Bambarra.  The king himself informed me of these circumstances, and advised me to stay in the neighbourhood of Kooniakary till such time as he could procure proper information respecting Bambarra, which he expected to do in the course of four or five days, as he had already, he said, sent four messengers into Kaarta for that purpose.  I readily submitted to this proposal, and went to Soolo, to stay there till the return of one of those messengers.  This afforded me a favourable opportunity of receiving what money Salim Daucari could spare me on Dr. Laidley’s account.  I succeeded in receiving the value of there slaves, chiefly in gold dust; and being anxious to proceed as quickly as possible, I begged Daucari to use his interest with the king to allow me a guide by the way of Fooladoo, as I was informed that the war had already commenced between the kings of Bambarra and Kaarta.  Daucari accordingly set out for Kooniakary on the morning

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Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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