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as my legs would carry me, for the thickest part of the wood. Two of them followed me, and I ran on towards the east, knowing that our stragglers would be in that direction, but still almost as much afraid of friends as foes. A deep mountain-stream obstructed my passage, which, by swimming a few strokes, I quickly got over, and then felt myself quite safe from my pursuers. My feelings at this moment, what could I do in the helpless state of nakedness in which I was, cannot be described. I now saw horsemen through the trees still farther to the east, and I determined on reaching them if possible, whether friends or enemies—and my feelings will readily be imagined, when I discovered Boo Khaloom, with about six Arabs, and Barca Gana pressed by a party of Fellatas, whom they had halted to drive back, being the only people who carried guns.
'My voice however would never have reached their ears had not Maranny, the Sheik's negro, who accompanied me from Kouka, seen and known me at a distance, and to this man am I indebted for my life. He rode up to me, assisted me to mount behind him, while the arrows whistled over our heads, and he then galloped off to the rear as fast as his wounded horse could carry him. Boo Khaloom now rode up to me, and desired one of the Arabs to cover me with a borwntte; these were the last words I heard him speak, and we had scarcely proceeded ten miles, "when Maranny exclaimed, " Look! look! Boo Khaloom is dead!" I turned my head round, almost as great an exertion as I was capable of making, and saw him fall into the arms of an Arab.1*
The Major then proceeds to slate, that, after riding forty-five miles, he reached the territories of Mandara in a most deplorable condition, and with some difficulty succeeded in borrowing a shirt, which had been worn eight or ten days. The Arabs had lost every thing; forty-five of them were killed, and nearly all of them wounded. The Sheik, on his return, received him with the greatest kindness; and his wounds were speedily healed. In Bop Khaloom, he says, the English have lost a staunch friend and an honest adviser, and he fears they may feel the want of his influence. It may be so; but we confess that, as far as our little skill in those matters will allow us to judge, this honest adviser met with no more than his desert; and his death was but a poor atonement for so unprovoked an attack on the lives and property of a people who, living peaceably at the distance of fourteen or fifteen hundred miles from the abode of the aggressor, could not, by any possibility, have given him the slightest cause for such unwarrantable and brutal hostility. Nor can we think, much as we admire the enterprizing spirit of Major Denharn, that he acted a very prudent part in giving countenance to Boo Khaloon's marauding expedition; his going too was entirely against the wishes of the Sheik, who appears by no means to have approved of Boo Khaloom's attacking the Fellatas, whose friendship he was rather desirous of cultivating. We are disposed, however, to extract all the good we can from this ill-fated expedition, by admitting that it has been the means of gaining a progressive step in the geography of Northern Africa. The distance from Kouka to the Fe.'lata villages in the mountains, the Major informs us, is about 230 miles, nearly south, or 3° 20' difference of latitude, which would make the latitude of these villages, about 9°S0/. Assuming the longitude to be the same as that of Mourzouk, (14° 10') it will be seen, by inspecting* the charts, that he was not more than about 300 miles from old Calabar; so that Captain Adams was unwittingly right in saying that the best, at least the nearest, way to the Niger, or its waters, would be across the country from that quarter. 1" .
* The information obtained by that extraordinary man Burckbardt is almost always correct. Speaking of the Fellata, he says, 'They fight with poisoned arrows; the smallest scratch canses the body to swell, and is infallibly mortal, unless counteracted by an antidote known amongst the natives. This antidote is prepared from a small worm, called at Borgoand Bagberrai, Kodongo, which is dried and reduced to powder. Whenever the soldiers of Borgo go to war, they arc furnished with a small box of t his pawder.'
While the Major was absent on his grazzie, another important step in African geography was made by Dr. Oudney and Lieuteuant Clapperton. With the consent of the Sheik they set oat on an excursion to examine the river Shary which, by proceeding southerly, they found at the distance of 90 miles from Kouka. It is a noble stream, nearly a mile broad, flowing gently at the rate of about a mile an hour, and containing a great number of flat islands. It flows from the southward, and is supposed to have its origin in the chain of granite mountains mentioned by Major Deuham. They traced its stream to the northward, till it emptied itself by five or six mouths into the lake Ttaad; directly in the face of the report which they had gleaned from all quarters, that this river flowed out of the lake 1 Our travellers had never had the lake fairly open to them before; for it is so studded near its banks with islands, and the country is so perfectly flat, that there is no seeing beyond them ; but here it presented a noble sheet of water, extending north, north-east, and east, farther than the eye could reach. Some of the islands in the Tsaad are inhabited by a people called Buddooma, who carry off, on rafts, not only cattle which they find grazing near the shore, but frequently women and children; yet the Sheik has no canoes, nor any means of punishing these marauders. John Hillman, the carpenter, had made himself very useful in fabricating sofas and palanquins for the Sheik, and had become of course a favourite; the greatest service he could perform forth for the natives, however, would be that of instructing them in the art of boat-building and of navigating the lake. There is no want of wood for this purpose, and their cotton would supply them with ropes and sails. We trust it will have occurred to our travellers, that the best and surest way of examining its eastern shores is by means of a boat.
On this excursion to the Shary, our travellers were out twenty days, and experienced every kindness and attention on the road from the friendly inhabitants. Free as they were from restraint, and highly successful as the issue of the expedition promises to be, their labours, as we gather from their private letters, had already thrown considerable light on the geography of northern Africa, and we sincerely hope that no accident will befal them or their journals and observations. We are the more anxious on this head, from recollecting how much we suffered by the loss of Hornemann'spapers. The hurried and casual correspondence of the doctor and his friend points out some of the extraordinary errors of our best charts, amounting to several hundred miles in the distances, and several points of the compass on the bearings of places. In one chart the city of Bornou is placed five hundred miles nearly out of its true position, and the whole country is laid down considerably to the eastward of Mourzouk, whilst the centre of it is directly south from that capital of Fezzan. The whole of Bornou must be of small extent, as the magnificent lake (the Tsaad) appears to occupy the whole central part of the territory from its northern to its southern extremity. Its eastern limits, however, have not yet been ascertained. • .1 <
Our travellers, as we have stated, first saw this lake at Lari, which is 130 miles to the northward of Kouka, and as Kouka is said to be ninety miles to the northward of the mouth of the Shary, the lake must be at least 220 miles in that direction; and may be more, provided these two points should happen not to be its northern and southern extremities. A portion of it would appear to occupy the position assigned by Major Rennell to the swamps of Wangara; but our present travellers had no better success in hearing any thing of this name than Burckhardt, Ritchie, Lyon and others ;* and so little did it resemble a swamp, that in the month of April, at the end of the dry season, when not a drop of rain had in all probability fallen for six or seven months, it had all the appearance of being full and perfectly transparent. It is not stated, however, in any of the letters which we have seen, whether the water be fresh or salt, though the very omission may almost be assumed as a proof of its being fresh; a still stronger proof is that of its abounding with hip
• This is not to be wondered at; the frequent change of names has, more than anj thing else, puzzled African geography. » • .''
1 , popotami popotami and crocodiles—two animals that exist only in fresh water. Burckhardt, indeed, had positive information that the lake of Bomou was fresh.* We wish that our travellers had stated the fact, as, should they not succeed in thoroughly examining the eastern shores of this lake, the freshness or saltness of its water would be an important argument in deciding the question of its having an eastern outlet. If with the constant pouring in of the Shary and the Yaou, one a very large and the other a very considerable stream even at the end of the dry season, besides many smaller ones which are understood to fall in from the northward, there should be no outlet for its waters, and they escape by evaporation alone, the shores would be covered in the dry season with an incrustation of salt like that obtained in the pits of Bilma, and the remaining water would be excessively salt: it could not possibly be otherwise, after the immense quantity of saline matter periodically carried into it in a state of solution for thousands of years. Besides, if there was no outlet, the low and level country which for hundreds of miles extends all round it, must annually be overflowed, which it was not understood to be, nor indeed was there the slightest indication of it. The probability therefore is, that it is fresh and has an outlet; and if any reliance can be placed on Arab authority, the Gambarroo, which Hows by Baghermi and Fittri to the eastward, is that outlet. 'Some report,' Doctor Oudney says, ' that the Shary gives off a large branch which falls to the southward of Baghermi two days, and runs to Fittri, and thence to the Nile;'')' and Major Denham learned from an Arab Sheik of Waday, that a branch of the Shary, called the Bahr el Dago, goes into the Nile; that it receives additional supplies from Lake Fittri, twelve days journey from those mouths of the Shary which flow into the Tsaad; and that it then takes a course to the south-eastward, till, as before, it reaches the Nile. He was further informed, by the Sheik, of
reports agree,' says this intelligent traveller* ' that there is a great frethe in the interior of Bomou, on the west side of which the citv of Birnie is
• 'AH writer lake i
said to be built.' It is on the ground of its being fresh that we come to. the conclusion that the waters of the lake are discharged to the,eastward. Burckhardt was invariably informed that the same low flat country prevailed in the Bahr el Gazal and Dar Saley. 'In the rainy season,' says he, ' large inundations are formed in many places, and large and rapid rivers then flow through the country. After the waters have subsided, deep lakes remain in various places rilled with water the whole year round, and sufficiently spacious to atford a retreat to the hippopotami and crocodiles, which abound in the country/ He also mentions an animal in these lakes called Om Kergay, said to be as large as a rhinoceros, with a very small head and mouth, and perfectly harmless.
t Captain Lyon's information on this |>oint accords with the Shary throwing off an eastern stream. Having stated that the Niger takes different names, and that it passes Yaouri (qu. Yaou f) seven days to the east of Nyffe, he says it falls into a lake called the Tsaad. 'Beyond this lake,' he adds,' a large river runs through Baghermee, and is called the Gambarroo and Kamadakoo, the word Nil being also used for the same stream. All agree that these waters join the great Nile of Egypt.' Hornemann's information was precisely the same.
some some Mounzouk merchants having spread a report that it was their (the travellers') intention to come up that river (El Dago) from Misr( Egypt) with ships as large as elephants, loaded with guns and gunpowder. There must be something, we think, in this universal belief that the waters, which we have now traced into the Tsaad, find their way to the Nile of Egypt. There is nothing whatever against their reaching the Bahr el Abiad, except the low level of the Tsaad, which is evidently the sink of North Africa; yet the comparative difference of levels between it and the former river is not at all known; nor do we find, in the letters of the travellers, any estimate of its level above that of the sea.
But where, asks Dr. Oudney, naturally enough,' where is the celebrated Niger? The Yaou is the only probable river coming from Soudan, and it is almost too small.' Yet the wonder is, that in the dry season it was not smaller. Most rivers that have no feeders, and more especially African rivers, that lose so much by absorption and evaporation, diminish as they proceed in their hoarse; and if the Niger (for so will we not scruple to call it) had not been confined within very narrow banks, but had spread out a more considerable surface, the probability is, that the whole of Its'waters at this season, and at this distance from its source, would have been evaporated. Major Denham, who went directly south, beyond the 10th degree of latitude, crossed no river between Kouka and the termination of his journey, and there is none between that city and the Yaou; so that if this stream be not the Joliba, which has been pretty well ascertained to run into the lake Nyfft;, about 300 miles to the westward of the Tsaad, and nearly on the Same parallel, there certainly is no other in Bornou that can be considered as the Niger. If, indeed, the account of all travellers, and the Arab writers, can be depended on, and particularly the result of Horneman's inquiries, no doubt whatever can remain that the Yaou is the Niger, which Major Rennel has traced satisfactorily into the swamps of Wangara, or (for they must be the same) the Lake of Bornou; what becomes of it afterwards, and whether it terminates in the lake, is a point which we trust our travellers will be able to determine.
We know not on what data the population of two millions is assigned to Bornou; but from the multitude of villages along the western shores of the lake, and the several large towns not very distant from it, there can be no doubt that this part of Africa is well stocked with inhabitants. The town of Kouka, which may be called the Sheik's head-quarters or military depot, has only about 8,000 inhabitants. It is situated at the distance of fifteen miles from the western borders of the Tsaad, in lat. 12c5l' N. and
.'.' . long