Imatges de pÓgina

was showing to the admiring chiefs the mode of writing with a pencil, and effacing it with Indian rubber, Malem wrote some words of the koran with such force that the rubber could not wholly remove the traces of them. He then exclaimed with triumph, "They are the words of God, delivered to his prophet; I defy you to erase them." The Major was then called upon to acknowledge this great miracle; and, as his countenance still expressed incredulity, he was viewed with looks of such mingled contempt and indignation as induced him to retire. Malem, however, again assailed him with the assurance that this was only one of the many, miracles which he could show as wrought by the koran ; imploring him to turn, and paradise would be his, otherwise nothing could save him from eternal fire. "Oh !" said he, "while sitting in the third heaven I shall see you in the midst of the flames crying out to your friend Barca Gana and myself for a drop of water; but the gulf will be between us :" his tears then flowed profusely. The Major, taking the general aside, entreated to be relieved from this incessant persecution; but Gana assured him that the fighi was a great and holy man, to whom he ought to listen. He then held out not only paradise, but honours, slaves, and wives of the first families, as gifts to be lavished on him by the sheik if he would renounce his unbelief. Major Denham asked the commander, what would be thought of himself if he should go to England and turn Christian? "God forbid !"- exclaimed he; "but how can you compare our faiths; mine would lead you to paradise, while yours would bring me to hell. Not a word more."-Nothing appears to have annoyed the stran

ger more than to be told that he was of the same faith with the kerdies or savages; little distinction being made between any who denied the koran. After a long discussion of this question, he thought the validity of his reasoning would be admitted, when he could point to a party of those wretches devouring a dead horse, and appealed to Boo Khalloom if he had ever seen the English do the same ; but to this, which was not after all a very deep theological argument, the Arab replied," I know they eat the flesh of swine, and, God knows, that is worse.". "Grant me patience," exclaimed I to myself," this is almost too much to bear and to remain silent."

The unfortunate kerdies, from the moment that they saw Arab tents in the valley of Mandara, knew the dreadful calamity which awaited them. To avert it, and to propitiate the sultan, numerous parties came down with presents of honey, asses, and slaves. Finally appeared the Musgow, a more distant and savage race, mounted on small fiery steeds, covered only with the skin of a goat or leopard, and with necklaces made of the teeth of their enemies. They threw themselves at the feet of the sultan, casting sand on their heads, and uttering the most piteous cries. The monarch, apparently moved by these gifts and entreaties, began to intimate to Boo Khalloom his hopes that these savages might by gentle means be reclaimed and led to embrace the true faith. These hopes were held by the latter in the utmost derision; and he privately assured Major Denham that nothing would more annoy this devout Mussulman than to see them fulfilled, whereby he must have forfeited all right to

drive these unhappy creatures in crowds to the markets of Soudan and Bornou. In fact, both the sultan and the sheik had a much deeper aim. Every effort was used to induce Boo Khalloom to engage in the attack of some strong Fellata posts, by which the country was hemmed in; and as the two monarchs viewed the Arabs with extreme jealousy, it was strongly suspected that their defeat would not have been regarded as a public calamity. The royal counsels were secret and profound, and it was not known what influences worked upon Boo Khalloom. On this occasion unfortunately he was mastered by his evil genius, and consented to the proposed attack; but as he came out and ordered his troops to prepare for marching, his countenance bore such marks of trouble that the Major asked if all went well? to which he hurriedly answered," Please God." The Arabs, however, who at all events expected plunder, proceeded with alacrity.

The expedition set out next morning, and, after passing through a beautiful plain, began to penetrate the mighty chain of mountains which form the southern border of the kingdom. Alpine heights, rising around them in rugged magnificence and gigantic grandeur, presented scenery which our traveller had never seen surpassed. The passes of Hairey and of Horza, amid a superb amphitheatre of hills, closely shut in by overhanging cliffs, more than two thousand feet high, were truly striking. Here, for the first time in Africa, did nature appear to the English to revel in the production of vegetable life. The trees were covered with luxuriant and bright green foliage; and their trunks were hidden by a crowd of parasitical plants, whose aromatic blossoms perfumed the air.

There was also an abundance of animal life of a less agreeable description: three scorpions were killed in the tent; and a fierce but beautiful panther, more than eight feet long, just as he had gorged himself by sucking the blood of a newly-killed negro, was attacked and speared. The sultan and Barca Gana were attended by a considerable body of Bornou and Mandara cavalry, whose brilliant armour, martial aspect, and skilful horsemanship, gave confidence to the European officer, who had not yet seen them put to the proof.

It was the third day when the expedition came in view of the Fellata town of Dirkulla. The Arabs, supported by Barca Gana and about a hundred spearmen, marched instantly to the attack, and carried first that place, and then a smaller town beyond it, killing all who had not time to escape. The enemy, however, then intrenched themselves in a third and stronger position, called Musfeia, enclosed by high hills, and fortified in front by numerous swamps and palisades. This was likewise attacked, and all its defences forced. The guns of the Arabs spread terror, while Barca Gana threw eight spears with his own hand, every one of which took effect. It was thought that, had the two bodies of cavalry made even a show of advancing, the victory would have been at once decided; but Major Denham was much surprised to see those puissant warriors keeping carefully under cover behind a hill on the opposite side of the stream, where not an arrow could reach them. The Fellatas, seeing that their antagonists were only a handful, rallied on the tops of the hills, were joined by new troops, and turned round. Their women behind, cheering them on,


continually supplied fresh arrows, and rolled down fragments of rock on the assailants. These arrows were fatal; they were tipt with poison, and, wherever they pierced, the body in a few hours became black, blood gushed from every orifice, and the victim expired in agony. The condition of the Arabs soon became alarming; scarcely a man was left unhurt, and their horses were dying under them. Boo Khalloom and his charger were both wounded with poisoned arrows. As soon as the Fellatas saw the Arabs waver, they dashed in with their horse at sight of which all the heroic squadrons of Bornou and Mandara put spurs to their steeds, the sultan at their head, and the whole became one mass of confused and tumultuous flight. Major Denham saw too late the peril into which he had wantonly plunged. His horse, pierced to the shoulder-bone, could scarcely support his weight; but the cries of the pursuing Fellatas still urged him forward. At last the animal fell twice, and the second time threw him against a tree, then, frightened by the noise behind, started up and ran off. The Fellatas were instantly up, when four of his companions were stabbed beside him, uttering the most frightful cries. He himself was fully prepared for the same fate; but happily his clothes formed a valuable booty, through which the savages were loath to run their spears. After inflicting some slight wounds, therefore, they stripped him to the skin, and forthwith be-. gan to quarrel about the plunder. While they were thus busied, he contrived to slip away, and though hotly pursued, and nearly overtaken, succeeded in reaching a mountain-stream gliding at the bottom of

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