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.

At sunrise, Ali, with a few attendants, came on horseback to visit me, and signified that he had provided a hut for me, where I would be sheltered from the sun.  I was accordingly conducted thither, and found the hut comparatively cool and pleasant.

I was no sooner seated in this my new habitation than the Moors assembled in crowds to behold me; but I found it rather a troublesome levee, for I was obliged to take off one of my stockings, and show them my foot, and even to take off my jacket and waistcoat, to show them how my clothes were put on and off; they were much delighted with the curious contrivance of buttons.  All this was to be repeated to every succeeding visitor; for such as had already seen these wonders insisted on their friends seeing the same; and in this manner I was employed, dressing and undressing, buttoning and unbuttoning, from noon till night.  About eight o’clock, Ali sent me for supper some kouskous and salt and water, which was very acceptable, being the only victuals I had tasted since morning.

I observed that in the night the Moors kept regular watch, and frequently looked into the hut to see if I was asleep; and if it was quite dark, they would light a wisp of grass.  About two o’clock in the morning a Moor entered the hut, probably with a view to steal something, or perhaps to murder me; and groping about he laid his hand upon my shoulder.  As night visitors were at best but suspicious characters, I sprang up the moment he laid his hand upon me; and the Moor, in his haste to get off, stumbled over my boy, and fell with his face upon the wild hog, which returned the attack by biting the Moor’s arm.  The screams of this man alarmed the people in the king’s tent, who immediately conjectured that I had made my escape, and a number of them mounted their horses, and prepared to pursue me.  I observed upon this occasion that Ali did not sleep in his own tent, but came galloping upon a white horse from a small tent at a considerable distance; indeed, the tyrannical and cruel behaviour of this man made him so jealous of every person around him that even his own slaves and domestics knew not where he slept.  When the Moors had explained to him the cause of this outcry they all went away, and I was permitted to sleep quietly until morning.

March 13.—­With the returning day commenced the same round of insult and irritation—­the boys assembled to beat the hog, and the men and women to plague the Christian.  It is impossible for me to describe the behaviour of a people who study mischief as a science, and exult in the miseries and misfortunes of their fellow-creatures.

CHAPTER X—­A MOORISH WEDDING

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