Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 141 pages of information about Travels in the Interior of Africa Volume 02.

CHAPTER XXVI—­MEETING WITH DR. LAIDLEY—­RETURN TO THE COAST—­VOYAGE TO ENGLAND

On the 7th of May we departed from Malacotta, and having crossed the Ba Lee (Honey River), a branch of the Senegal, we arrived in the evening at a walled town called Bintingala, where we rested two days.  From thence, in one day more, we proceeded to Dindikoo, a small town situated at the bottom of a high ridge of hills, from which this district is named Konkodoo (the country of mountains).  These hills are very productive of gold.  I was shown a small quantity of this metal which had been lately collected:  the grains were about the usual size, but much flatter than those of Manding, and were found in white quartz, which had been broken to pieces by hammers.  At this town I met with a negro whose hair and skin were of a dull white colour.  He was of that sort which are called in the Spanish West Indies albinos, or white negroes.  The skin is cadaverous and unsightly, and the natives considered this complexion (I believe truly) as the effect of disease.

May 11.—­At daybreak we departed from Dindikoo, and, after a toilsome day’s travel, arrived in the evening at Satadoo, the capital of a district of the same name.  This town was formerly of considerable extent, but many families had left it in consequence of the predatory incursions of the Foulahs of Foota-Jalla, who made it a practice to come secretly through the woods and carry off people from the cornfields and even from the wells near the town.  In the afternoon of the 12th we crossed the Faleme River, the same which I had formerly crossed at Bondou in my journey eastward.  This river, at this season of the year, is easily forded at this place, the stream being only about two feet deep.  The water is very pure, and flows rapidly over a bed of sand and gravel.  We lodged for the night at a small village called Medina, the sole property of a Mandingo merchant who, by a long intercourse with Europeans, has been induced to adopt some of their customs.  His victuals were served up in pewter dishes, and even his houses were built after the fashion of the English houses on the Gambia.

May 13.—­In the morning, as we were preparing to depart, a coffle of slaves belonging to some Serawoolli traders crossed the river, and agreed to proceed with us to Baniserile, the capital of Dentila—­a very long day’s journey from this place.  We accordingly set out together, and travelled with great expedition through the woods until noon, when one of the Serawoolli slaves dropped the load from his head, for which he was smartly whipped.  The load was replaced, but he had not proceeded above a mile before he let it fall a second time, for which he received the same punishment.  After this he travelled in great pain until about two o’clock, when we stopped to breathe a little by a pool of water, the day being remarkably hot.  The poor slave was now so completely exhausted that his master was obliged to release him from the rope, for he lay motionless on the ground.  A Serawoolli, therefore, undertook to remain with him and endeavour to bring him to the town during the cool of the night; in the meanwhile we continued our route, and after a very hard day’s travel, arrived at Baniserile late in the evening.

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Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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