As this was the first town beyond the limits of Manding, greater etiquette than usual was observed. Every person was ordered to keep in his proper station, and we marched towards the town in a sort of procession nearly as follows:- In front five or six singing men, all of them belonging to the coffle; these were followed by the other free people; then came the slaves, fastened in the usual way by a rope round their necks, four of them to a rope, and a man with a spear between each four; after them came the domestic slaves; and in the rear the women of free condition, wives of the slatees, etc. In this manner we proceeded until we came within a hundred yards of the gate, when the singing men began a loud song, well calculated to flatter the vanity of the inhabitants, by extolling their known hospitality to strangers and their particular friendship for the Mandingoes. When we entered the town we proceeded to the bentang, where the people gathered round us to hear our dentegi (history); this was related publicly by two of the singing men—they enumerated every little circumstance which had happened to the coffle, beginning with the events of the present day and relating everything in a backward series until they reached Kamalia. When this history was ended, the master of the town gave them a small present, and all the people of the coffle, both free and enslaved, were invited by some person or other and accommodated with lodging and provisions for the night.
CHAPTER XXV—THE JALLONKA WILDERNESS; A WARLIKE TALE
We continued at Kinytakooro until noon of the 22nd of April, when we removed to a village about seven miles to the westward, the inhabitants of which, being apprehensive of hostilities from the Foulahs of Fooladoo, were at this time employed in constructing small temporary huts among the rocks, on the side of a high hill close to the village. The situation was almost impregnable, being everywhere surrounded with high precipices, except on the eastern side, where the natives had left a pathway sufficient to allow one person at a time to ascend. Upon the brow of the hill, immediately over this path, I observed several heaps of large loose stones, which the people told me were intended to be thrown down upon the Foulahs if they should attempt the hill.
At daybreak on the 23rd we departed from this village and entered the Jallonka Wilderness. We passed in the course of the morning the ruins of two small towns which had lately been burnt by the Foulahs. The fire must have been very intense, for I observed that the walls of many of the huts were slightly vitrified, and appeared at a distance as if covered with a red varnish. About ten o’clock we came to the river Wonda, which is somewhat larger than the river Kokoro; but the stream was at this the rather muddy, which Karfa assured me was occasioned by amazing shoals of fish. They were indeed seen in all