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 Half Title
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
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Title: Tales about travellers
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Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter I
        Page 1
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    Chapter II
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    Chapter III
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    Chapter IV
        Page 97
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    Chapter V
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    Chapter VI
        Page 145
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    Chapter VII
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    Advertising
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Full Text











TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.







TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS:






gdfls, abbentumre, anb Ifstcobnefs.





BY
THOMAS BINGLEY,
AVuYOR OF "I TORIS AtOUT TI>O,"-" TALK or OHIPWICKs," eTC., RTC.





EMBELLISHED WITH ENGRAVINGS.





LONDON:
CHARLES TILT, FLEET STREET.
MDCCCXL.




































LO!4DON :

CLARKS, PR1NTUIS*, 3ILVUIZR $ILI, VALCO14 94VARK.










PREFACE.


TALES of the Perils and Adventures of the intrepid
men who have penetrated into new and unknown
regions were the delight of my own boyhood. I
loved to sit and listen to the accounts of their
achievements and discoveries, and grieved over
their distresses and disasters. Even now, I well
remember how deeply affected I was, when I first
heard of Park's cruel treatment by the Moors,
(then a thing of yesterday,) and of his sufferings
in the desert after his escape from the hands of those
barbarians. The scene in which, descending from
the tree into which he had climbed for the purpose
of attempting to trace the extent of sandy desert
which stretched out before him, he takes the bridle




vi PREFACE.

from his horse, and, overcome by faintness, falls
on the ground, with the persuasion that the hour of
death is fast approaching, is imprinted on my mind
as distinctly as if I had been his companion in the
trying scene.
My own feelings and recollections, therefore,
prompt me to think that a volume of Tales on so
popular and interesting a subject cannot fail to
recommend itself to the estimation of my young
friends.
T. B.















CONTENTS.







CHAPTER I.

UNCLE THOMAS RESUMES HIS TALKS, AND RELATES THE ADVENTURES 0O
JOHN LEDYARD; HIS VOYAOGE ROUND THE WORLD WITH CAPTAIN COOK;
HIS TRAVELS IN LAPLAND, RUBBIA, AND SIBERIA, AND HIS SUBinQUXNT
MISSION TO AFRICA .............. ................................ Pa


CHAPTER II.

UNCLE THOMAS RELATES THE ADVENTURES Of MUNGO PARE, DURING NIS
TRAVELS IN AFRICA; HIS CAPTIVITY AMONG THE MOOS; HIB ESCAPE
AND UIFIERINOG IN HIS WANDERINGS IN THE DESERT, UNTIL HIS
ABRITAL ON THE BANKS O THE NIGER ................... . ........


CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS CONTINUES THE RELATION OF1 PARL' ADVENTURES AND
1UNIERINoG; TELLS ALSO ABOUT HIS RETURN TO ENOLAND ; HIS
SECOND JOU.RNrT INTO AFRICA, AND THE MELANCHOLY FATE OP TEIS
EINX DITION............ ............................ .............. o


CHAPTER IV.

UNCLE THOMAS TELLS ABOUT BUKCKHARDT`' TRAVELS IN SYRIA AND
ARABIA, AND HIS ADVENTURE AMONO THE ARABS OF THE DESBT.. T9






iii CONTENTS.


CHAPTER V.

UNCLR THOMAS TILLS ABOUT THE TRAVELS OF DBNWAM AND CLAPTIE-
TOW; THEIR JOURNEY ACROSS TNZ DISZRT; TBXIB ABRIVAL AT LAKE
TCHAD; AND THEIS PIREIRTATION AT THE COURT OF TRE SULTAN OF
mosillO ................................ .......................... 126


CHAPTER VI.

UNCLI THOMAS CONTINUES HIS ACCOUNT OF THE TRAVELS OF DUIHAM AND
CLAPPERTON; THEIR VARIOUS ADVZNTURIE IN AFRICA, AND TRHII RE
TURN TO LAND...................................... .* *******...****** 145


CHAPTER VII.

UNCLE THOMAS TZLLS ABOUT CLAPFFETON'S BZCOND JOURXET INTO AFRICA,
AND HIS DEATH AT BACKATOO; ALSO ABOUT THU TRAVELS OF JOHN
DAVIDSON; HIS ATTEMPT TO REACH TIMBUCTOO; AND NBI MELANCHOLY
rATE ...................................................... ..... 167









TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.




CHAPTER I.
UNCLE THOMAS RESUMES HIS TALKS, AND RELATES THE ADVENTURES OF
JOHN LEDTARD ; IS VOTAGO ROUND THE WORLD WITH CAPTAIN COOK
HI: TRAVELS IN LAPLAND, RUSSIA, AND SlBERIA, AND HI9 SUB-
S1QUBNT MISSION TO AFRICA.
VARIOUS circumstances occurred to prevent
Uncle Thomas from entering on a new series
of Tales so early as he had anticipated, or as
had been expected by his little auditors; it was,
therefore, with unfeigned pleasure that they at
length heard him announce that on the following
evening he intended to relate to them the first
of a series of TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS,
whose adventures and discoveries in various
parts of the world had gained them the admira-
tion of their fellow men. He delighted," he




2 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


said, to tell them of the fortitude and enter-
prise of those who had distinguished themselves
in the cause of discovery, and to hold up to the
admiration of his young friends their intrepidity
and perseverance, as he hoped thus to incite them
to habits of industry and application, and to
show them how much may be accomplished by
the proper exercise of the talents' with
which each individual is furnished." Every
one," continued Uncle Thomas, "is not en-
dowed with the genius of a Bacon or a New-
ton, or that of a Shakspeare or a Scott, but
there are very few who have not some peculiar
qualification, or who really know the extent of
their powers, because they neglect to bring
them into exercise. Had Mungo Park, for
instance, of whose adventures I will tell you
presently, remained at home in ease and in-
activity, he might never have suspected his own
powers of endurance; and how comparatively
little should we now know of the interior of
Africa ? He died, it is true, leaving unsolved




INTRODUCTION.


the great problem in African geography the
source and termination of the Niger; but his
example incited others to make the attempt,
and our knowledge of those countries and their
inhabitants has been gradually increasing."-
"I am glad that you are going to tell us
about Park," said Frank, whose interest in this
traveller had been excited by an anecdote which
he had read a day or two before regarding the
consolation which Park derived from con-
templating the extraordinary beauty of a little
moss plant, when he was naked and alone in
the midst of an African wilderness, hundreds
of miles distant from the nearest European
settlement, and when every thing around him
was full of danger and difficulty; I am very
anxious to know about Park"-and he began to
relate the anecdote to which we have Alluded.
Stop, my dear! said Uncle Thomas. I
will tell you about him by and by, and, when
you hear the story of his sufferings previous to
this touching incident, you will be better able
S2




4 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


to appreciate and to understand it, and. to enter
into his feelings on the occasion. Before we
begin with Park, however, I must tell you of
John Ledyard, one of his predecessors, and,
perhaps, one of the most singular men that ever
lived. But I must bid you good-by at present.
To-morrow evening I will be ready for you."



On the following evening, when the Boys
had as usual seated themselves round Uncle
Thomas's chair, he began:-
John Ledyard was born in Connecticut, in
North America, in the year 1751. Almost
from his childhood his character exhibited sym-
toms of that restlessness which marked Mhi
future career; and, before he was twenty-one
years of age, he had with characteristic im-
patience alternately adopted and rejected the
professions of law and divinity. Nothing worth
relating has been recorded of him during his stay




JOHN LEDYARD.


in the lawyer's office, but his college life affords
some stories too characteristic to be passed over.
Soon after he relinquished the study of the
law, it happened that an old friend of his
grandfather's, who had recently established a
school or college, at which young men were
educated as missionaries to the Indians, offered
to receive Ledyard into his establishment for
this purpose. The offer was eagerly embraced;
but Ledyard seems to have adopted the pro-
fession more on account of the novelty of the
scenes to which it would introduce him, and the
adventures which it promised to afford, than
from any proper feeling of the importance of the
cause in which he was about to engage.
"After remaining about four months "at
college, he one day suddenly disappeared with-
out communicating his intentions to any one,
and, as was afterwards discovered, penetrated
far into the country, at that time almost a
wilderness, and wandered about from tribe to
tribe among the Indians. After an absence of




6 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.
three months and a half he again returned,
and resumed his studies; but it was now
evident that his heart was no longer set upon a
missionary career. Instead of devoting himself
to such studies as were necessary to fit him for
this arduous duty, he spent much of Ws time in
acting plays. Calm study had no charms for
him. He delighted to engage in perilous under-
takings, in which difficulties were to be en-
countered and overcome. One of his college
frolics is thus related :-
"In the depth of winter, when the ground
was covered with snow, he persuaded a party
of his fellow-students to accompany him to the
top of a neighboring mountain to pass the night.
The president of the college made no objection
to the project, as he thought it would help to
inure the young men to hardships, to which
a residence among the Indians would con-
stantly expose them. The party accordingly
set out, headed by Ledyard. He led them by
a pathless route through the thickets of a swamp,




JOHN LEDYARD.


and an all but impenetrable forest, till they
reached the top of the mountain, just in time to
arrange their encampment and light a fire
before nightfall. Exhausted with their exer-
tions, and benumbed with cold, to most of the
party th6 night was a sleepless one, and few
were there among them who did not greet the
dawn with gladness. Ledyard, however, was
delighted, and on the following day they re-
turned home, few of them feeling at all desirous
to repeat the experiment.
"The restless spirit of Ledyard could not
remain long unoccupied. Tired of the mono-
tony of a college life, and apparently abandon-
ing all idea of engaging in the missionary enter-
prise, he resolved to return to Hartford, where
his grandfather resided. On the margin of the
river near which the college stood, there grew
many majestic forest-trees. One of the largest
of these he contrived to cut down, and then set
himself to work to fashion it into a canoe. In
this labour he was assisted by some of his




8 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


fellow students, who were, however, ignorant
of the purpose for which it was intended. As
the canoe was about fifty feet long and three
wide, it required considerable labour to finish
it. At length, however, it was completed.
He stole out in the silence of night, and, wrap-
ping himself in a bear-skin, he launched his frail
bark upon the waters and pushed off, undaunted
by the dangers which surrounded him on a
voyage of nearly one hundred and fifty miles,
on a river of the navigation of which he knew
nothing, and on which in several places there
were dangerous falls and rapids.
In one of these falls he nearly lost his life.
He was seated in the canoe, deeply intent on
one of the books which he had brought with
him, when he was suddenly roused by the noise
of the waters rushing among the rocks through
a narrow passage. In another instant the boat
would have been over the fall and dashed in
pieces. By great exertions, however, he
managed to gain the shore, and thus escaped.




JOHN LEDYARD.


Some peasants assisted him to drag his canoe
ashore, and to launch it again below the falls,
and he reached his destination in' safety.
"Having thus finally abandoned all idea of
becoming a missionary, Ledyard next attempted
to get himself ordained, with a view to obtain
an appointment as a parish minister; but
his studies had been carried on in too un-
connected a manner to fit him for undergoing
the necessary examinations, and, after spending
a short time in this pursuit, he abandoned it
also in despair.
"His active spirit did not sink into des-
pondency. An old friend of his father's, who
commanded a vessel which traded to the Medi-
terranean, received him on board as a sailor.
After a prosperous voyage across the Atlantic
they reached Gibraltar. During their stay
here, the captain was alarmed one day at dis-
covering that Ledyard was missing, and after
some time it was ascertained that he was in the
garrison among the soldiers, having enlisted




10 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


into the British service. The captain of the
vessel sought him out and remonstrated with
him; but all the apology which Ledyard
offered was, that he was partial to the service,
that he thought the profession of a soldier well .
suited to a man of honour and enterprise, but
that he would not be obstinate, and, if the
captain insisted on it, he would return to the
ship, provided they could obtain his release.
This was without much difficulty procured, and
Ledyard accompanied the ship on her return
voyage to America.
"A new project soon took possession of his
fancy. He had often heard his grandfather,
who had been brought up in a mercantile house
in London, speak of his wealthy connections
in England. Thither accordingly Ledyard re-
solved to proceed to claim their acquaintance,
and golden visions flitted before his eyes. He
set out for New York, and, finding a vessel
about to sail for Plymouth, he engaged himself
as a sailor. When he arrived at Plymouth he




JOHN LEDYARD.


was penniless, having, probably, for the sake of
obtaining a passage, served without wages.
He begged his way to London, and on his
arrival began to search for those whom he had
come so far to see.
"It is said that by accident he saw the
family name on a carriage, and, inquiring of
the driver to whom it belonged, he was told
that its owner was a rich merchant, and his
residence pointed out. Eager to grasp at the
good fortune which now seemed within his
reach, Ledyard proceeded instantly to the house.
The merchant himself was from home, but his
son listened to our traveller's story, and gave
him to understand that he disbelieved his state-
ments, and that he had never heard of any such
relations in America as those he mentioned. The
haughty spirit of Ledyard could not brook the
idea of being supposed an impostor: he abruptly
left the house and never went back.
At this time Captain Cook, the celebrated
navigator, was preparing to set out on his third




12 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


and last voyage round the world. Ledyard was
fired with the idea of joining the expedition.
To accomplish this object he enlisted into the
marine service, and managed to introduce him-
self to Captain Cook's notice. Ledyard's manly
form, and bold but unobtrusive bearing, found
favour in the eyes of the veteran navigator.
He took him into his service, and promoted
him to be a corporal of marines.
"Ledyard accordingly sailed with Cook on
his last voyage round the world, and several
times distinguished himself during the expedi-
tion on occasions in which he was intrusted with
important duties by his commander. He accom-
panied the party who landed with Cook when
he was cruelly murdered by the savages at
Hawaii, and was one of three marines who
escaped unhurt on that melancholy occasion.
"During his voyage with Cook, Ledyard
had an opportunity of seeing how profitably
the furs which they had bought, at Nootka
Sound and other places, for the merest trifle,




JOHN LEDYARD.


with a view of using as articles of dress, could
be disposed of in China. This suggested
to his active and enterprising mind the idea of a
regular trading voyage for this purpose, and
several of the succeeding years of his life were
occupied in endeavouring to prevail on some
person of capital to engage in the undertaking.
All his efforts, however, though several times
on the point of being crowned with success,
ended in disappointment.
After spending some years in various parts
of Europe in the vain pursuit of this object, he
began to turn his attention to the project of
traversing the northern regions of Europe and
Asia to cross over Bhering's strait to the
American continent, and to pursue his route
thence down the coast, or into the interior, as
chance might direct. He intended to start
from St. Petersburg, and made application,
through the Russian minister, to the Empress
Catherine, for leave to travel through her
dominions. He waited for five months with




14 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


the utmost impatience for an answer to this
application, and was just on the point of start-
ing without it, when he was called to LoAdon
by a letter from Sir James Hall, who had pre-
vailed on the owners of a ship which was about
to sail to the Pacific Ocean, to give Ledyarda
free passage, with the promise that he should
be set on shore on any part of the north-west
coast which he might choose.
Ledyard was elated beyond measure. He
furnished himself with two great dogs, an
Indian pipe, and a hatchet,' and embarked.
The dogs he intended to use in catching wild
animals for his subsistence, after he had set
out on his journey, and the pipe was to serve
as an emblem of peace to the Indians; the
hatchet would serve many purposes of con-
venience and utility. At length the vessel set
sail. It was the happiest moment of his life,
but he seemed doomed to disappointment. The
ship was hardly out of sight of land, when in
consequence of some infringement of the revenue




JOHN LEDYARD.


laws, she was pursued and carried back to
London, and the voyage stopped.
"Thus disappointed, Ledyard once more turned
his attention to the Siberian expedition, and a
small subscription having bepe raised by some
influential gentlemen, wAf an interest in
geographical discoveri-t.- whom he had
become acquainted, hd t and -arrived at
Hamburg with just tenFineas in his pocket.
Ill fitted as this sum was to enable hini to travel
through the frosts and snows which he had to
encounter befife he reached even Petersburg,
such was his Wfcnsiderateness that he parted
with nearly 4l whole of it to relieve the
necessities-of a poor and eccentric traveller,
named Langhorn. But Ledyard was not of a
disposition to foresee difficulties. He freely
bestowed his money on Langhorn, and spent
some days in his society, and, when it was time
to resume his journey, he found he could not
do so without a supply of money. Fortunately
he discovered a person who advanced him




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


some, on the promise of its being repaid in
England.
To visit Langhorn and to relieve his distress,
Ledyard crossed from Hamburg to Copenhagen,
thus leaving the direct course to St. Petersburg,
and, as you shall hear, increasing the distance
many hundred miles. From Copenhagen he
went to Stockholm, intending to cross over to
Abo in Finland, and thus proceeding to the
place of his destination.
The manner in which the passage between
Stockholm and the place I have just men-
tioned is made in the winter season is so
singular that I must describe it to you. The
traveller, muffled up in furs, is seated on a
sledge, which is drawn by two or three horses.
The ice is sometimes so smooth that the pas-
sage is comparatively easy; but, if the weather
is stormy, the ice assumes all the appearance
of waves, and immense masses, heaped one upon
another, offer the most fearful impediments.
The sledge is frequently upset, and the horses




JOHN LEDYARD.


sometimes become unmanageable and run away.
When, however, there happens to be an open
winter-one in which the frost is not sufficiently
intense to freeze the passage entirely over, the
water yet contains so much floating ice that no
vessel can sail through it. This happened to
be the case in the season in which Ledyard
arrived, so that he found it necessary either to
stay at Stockholm till the spring, or to proceed
round the gulf, a distance of twelve hundred
miles, over trackless snows, and in regions
thinly peopled, where the nights are long and
the cold intense, and all this to advance on his
journey only about fifty miles.
"Appalling as the prospect of such a journey
was, the idea of remaining several months in
a state of inactivity was more so to the impatient
mind of Ledyard. He accordingly set out in
the middle of winter, alone, on foot, without
money or friends, on a road almost unfrequented
at that frightful season, and with the gloomy
certainty that he must travel northward six




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


hundred miles before he could turn his steps
towards a milder climate.
That you may judge of the intensity of the
cold to which Ledyard was exposed, I will read
to you the account given of it by a scientific
traveller, who thus speaks of the winter appear-
ance of Tornea, a town which stands at the
head of the gulf:-
'The town of Tornea, on our arrival on the
30th of December, had a most frightful aspect.
Its little houses were buried to the tops in snow,
which, if there had been any daylight, must
have effectually shut it out. But the snow
continually falling, or ready to fall, for the
most part hid the sun, the few moments that
he might have showed himself at mid-day. If
we opened the door of a warm room, the cold
wind instantly converted the air in it into
snow, whirling it round in vortices. If we
went abroad, we felt as if the air was tearing
our breasts in pieces, and the cracking of the
wood of which the houses are built, as the





JOHN LEDYARD.


violence of the cold split it, continually alarmed
us. The solitude of the streets was no less
than if the inhabitants had been all dead, and
in this country you may often see people that
have been maimed, and had an arm or a leg
frozen off. The cold, which is always very
great, increases sometimes by such violent and
sudden fits as are almost certainly fatal to those
that happen to be exposed to it. The winds
seem to blow from all quarters at once, and
drive about the snow with such fury that in a
moment all traces of the roads are lost. Un-
happy he who is caught by such a storm in the
fields. His acquaintance with the country, or
the marks he may have taken by the trees, avail
him nothing. He is blinded by the snow, and
lost if he but stirs a step.'
Such were the difficulties and the dangers
with which Ledyard was threatened in this
expedition. How many of them he encoun-
tered he has not recorded, but in seven weeks
from his departure from Stockholm he reached
c2




20 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


St. Petersburg, thus travelling, on an average,
two hundred miles a week, or nearly thirty miles
a day-an amazing progress for a pedestrian
in any country, but almost incredible under
such circumstances as those in which Ledyard
travelled.
After remaining nearly three months in St.
Petersburg, most of the time waiting for a
passport from the empress, to obtain which he
made many fruitless attempts, he at length pro-
cured it, and set out in company with a gentle-
man who was about to proceed to a place nearly
three thousand miles in the direction in which
Ledyard wished to travel. As his companion,
Dr. Brown, held an appointment in the service
of the empress, not only did he travel with all
the conveniences which were attainable in that
country, but Ledyard's expenses, in part at
least, were thus defrayed by government, a
point of no small moment to one whose resources
were so limited.
Nothing in the shape of adventure happened




JOHN LEDYARD.


to Ledyard on this journey. He parted with his
fellow-traveller at Barnaoul, and continued his
route in a less ambitious style. The chief
dangers which he encountered were occasioned
by the rude unbroken Tartar horses which
several times ran away with the kibitka, or
carriage, in which he rode, and he was forced to
seek safety by jumping out and leaving the half
savage driver to reduce the brutes once more to
subjection in his own way.
At length he embarked on the river Lena,
and floated down the stream to Yakutsk, where
he arrived about the middle of September.
The distance from the place of his embarkation
is about fourteen hundred miles. The voyage
occupied twenty-two days, during which period
he passed from a summer climate to one of
rigorous cold. When he left Irkutsk, the
reapers were busy cutting down the corn,
but on his arrival at Yakutsk the snow was
six inches deep, and the boys were whipping
their tops on the ice.




22 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.
The governor of Yakutsk, to whom he was
introduced, received him with open arms, and
professed the greatest interest for his comfort
and safety. He assured him that the season
was too far advanced to render a journey to
Okotsk practicable, and begged that he would
delay it till the spring. Ledyard was dis-
mayed. His funds were nearly exhausted, and
the prospect of remaining at Yakutsk during
eight dreary winter months was insupportable.
He insisted on setting out, till at length the
governor introduced to him a trader, who, he
said, was constantly in the habit of passing
between Yakutsk and Okotsk, who joined in the
assurance of the impracticability of the journey
at so advanced a period of the season. Ledyard
suffered himself to be convinced by this evidence,
and reluctantly gave up his project of immedi-
ately proceeding on his journey.
The dulness of Ledyard's forced residence
at Yakutsk was relieved by the arrival of
Captain Billings, who was at that time in




































5


-lf uhurried into a kibitka. and driven off tOWVq




~mos..L -




JOHN LBDYARD.


command of a party which had been sent out
by the Russian Government to explore the coast
of the Frozen Ocean. Billings, with whom
Ledyard was acquainted, from having been one
of his fellow-voyagers under Cook, was then
on his way to Irkutsk, to procure some equip.
ments which were necessary to enable him to
resume his researches in the ensuing spring.
He invited Ledyard to accompany him to
Irkutsk, and, as our traveller knew that he
could not reach Okotsk before the period men-
tioned by Billings for his return, he consented.
Soon after their arrival at Irkutsk, Ledyard
was arrested by order of the empress, on pre-
tence that he was a French spy. He was
hurried into a kibitka, placed between two
guards, and driven off with all the speed
which horses could convey them towards Mos-
cow, exposed to the extreme rigours of a
Siberian winter. From Moscow he was con-
ducted in the same hurried and unprotected
manner to the frontiers of Poland, where he


23




24 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


was dismissed, with the assurance that, if he
presumed again to enter the dominions of the
empress, he would certainly be hanged.
The reason for this strange and inhospitable
conduct on the part of the empress has been
explained in various ways. The most probable
seems to be that which assigns it to the in-
fluence of the Russian-American Fur Company,
which became alarmed lest the knowledge of
their proceedings, which Ledyard could not
fail to discover as he advanced, should be
thus published to the world, and incite
opposition to the very profitable trade which
they then carried on. That the governor of
Yakutsk was aware of the conspiracy, and lent
it all the assistance in his power, is highly
probable from his conduct in the affair. It has
been ascertained that the journey which he
protested so strongly was impracticable, and
called in the evidence of the trader to corro-
borate, is frequently made during the winter,
and various other circumstances of his conduct




JOHN LEDYARD.


to Ledyard seem to render the suspicion well-
founded.
From Poland, Ledyard directed his steps
to England. In a letter which he wrote to a
friend after his arrival in London, he gives some
particulars of this journey:-' I know not how
I passed through the kingdoms of Poland and
Prussia, or from thence to London, where I
arrived in the beginning of May, disappointed,
ragged, penniless, and yet so accustomed was
I to such things that I declare my heart was
whole. My health had for the first time
suffered from my confinement, and the amazing
rapidity with which I had been carried through
the illimitable wilds of Tartary and Russia.
But, my liberty regained, and a few days rest
among the beautiful daughters of Israel, in
Poland, re-established it.' His reference to
the kindness of the Polish Jewesses affords a
good opportunity to introduce a passage from
one of his journals, which has been often
quoted in praise of the kindness and humanity




26 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.

of woman. It was written during his resi-
dence at Irkutsk. I have observed among
all nations,' says he, that the women orna-
ment themselves more than the men; that,
wherever found, they are the same kind, civil,
obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are
ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous
and modest. They do not hesitate, like man,
to perform a hospitable or generous action; not
haughty nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full
of courtesy, and fond of society; industrious,
economical, ingenuous; more liable in general
to err than man, but in general also more
virtuous, and performing more good actions,
than he. I never addressed myself in the
language of decency and friendship to a woman,
whether civilized or savage, without receiving a
decent and friendly answer. With man it has
often been otherwise. In wandering over the
barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through
honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and chur-
lish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide-




JOHN LEDYARD.


spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if
hungry, thirsty, cold, wet, or sick, woman has
ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so;
and, to add to this virtue, so worthy of the
appellation of benevolence, these actions have
been performed in so free and so kind a manner
that, if I was thirsty, I drank the sweet draught,
and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with a
double relish.'
"That he was, during his wanderings,
frequently in situations to appreciate these
kindnesses is evident from his confession to
Mr. Beaufoy, when he was afterwards on the
point of setting out for Africa. I am accus-
tomed,' he remarked, 'to hardships. I have
known both hunger and nakedness to the
utmost extremity of human suffering. I have
known what it is to have food given me as
charity to a madman; and I have at times been
obliged to shelter myself under the miseries of
that character to avoid heavier calamity. My
distresses have been greater than I have ever




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


owned, or ever will own, to any man. Such
evils are terrible to bear, but they never yet
had power to turn me from my purpose.' Soon
after Ledyard's arrival in London, he was,
through the influence of Sir Joseph Banks,
appointed by the African Association to attempt
to trace the source of the Niger. In the first
interview which he had with the secretary of
that institution, he surprised him by the prompt
decision of his character, and the readiness
with which he was prepared to face the most
extreme dangers. The secretary, after tracing
upon a map the course which the committee
was anxious to have explored, asked him how
soon he would be prepared to set out ? To-
morrow morning!' was Ledyard's reply, -' a
reply,' says one of his biographers, 'affording
one of the most extraordinary instances of
decision of character on record. When we
consider his recent bitter experience of the past,
his labours and sufferings, which had been so
intense and so long-continued that a painful




JOHN LEDYARD.


reality had more than checked the excesses of
romantic enthusiasm that might be kindled in a
less disciplined imagination; and when we
witness the promptitude with which he is ready
to encounter new perils in the heart of Africa,
where hardships of the severest kind must
inevitably be endured, and where death
would stare him in the face at every stage, we
cannot but admire the superiority of mind over
the accidents of human life, the rapidity of
combination, quickness of decision, and fear-
lessness of consequences, which Ledyard's reply
indicates. It was the spontaneous triumph of
an elevated spirit over the whole catalogue of
selfish considerations, wavering motives, and
half-subdued doubts, which would have con-
tended for days in the breasts of most men
before they would have adopted a firm resolu-
tion to jeopardy their lives in an undertaking so
manifestly beset with dangers, and which, in
its best aspect, threatened to be a scene of toils,
privations, and endurance.'




30 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


At length, the preparations for his journey
being completed, he set out on the 30th of
June. After remaining a few days in Paris,
he proceeded to Marseilles, whence he sailed
for Alexandria. After a short stay, he pro-
ceeded up the Nile to Cairo, where the difficul-
ties of his undertaking began to show them-
selves. At Cairo he was detained nearly
three months, waiting the arrival of a caravan
with which he intended to travel to Sennaar.
The day was at length fixed on which it
was to set out; when, the mental anxiety
which he had recently undergone, and the ex-
posure to the deleterious influence of the climate,
brought on a bilious attack, which proved fatal,
in spite of the best medical skill which Cairo
could afford. The precise day of his death is
not known. It is supposed to have happened
towards the end of November, 1788.
Thus died John Ledyard, a man who, though
he accomplished few of the great designs which
he projected, has, for perseverance, decision of




JOHN LEDYARD.


character, courage, and fortitude, had few
equals. Few men have passed over so many
regions of the globe; and few ever met with so
many crosses and sufferings. He accomplished,
indeed,' says one of his biographers, few of
the great enterprises which he planned; but it
was not his fault, but his misfortune. Why he
was defeated in respect to enterprises which
would have been useful to the world is hidden
from us, nor would we vainly inquire. Per-
haps he is equally entitled to the respect of
mankind as if he had accomplished all.' His
genius,' says another, 'though uncultivated and
irregular, was original and comprehensive.
Ardent in his wishes, yet calm in his delibera-
tions; daring in his purposes, but guarded
in his measures; impatient of control, yet
capable of strong endurance; adventurous
beyond the conceptions of ordinary men, yet
wary and considerate, and attentive to all pre-
cautions; he appeared to be formed by nature
for achievements of hardihood and peril.'




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


I must now bid you good night, Boys;
the story of Ledyard's life and adventures has
taken up more time than I anticipated. To-
morrow evening I will tell you about Mungo
Park, of whom Frank is so anxious to hear.
I hope you have found the account of Ledyard's
life not uninteresting."
Very interesting, indeed! said Frank;
"though his adventures are not sufficiently
perilous for my taste. I like those best where
the traveller has to defend himself from the
attacks of savages, and of wild beasts."
Very well, Frank, you shall be gratified.
Park's adventures, unfortunately, afford too
many scenes of the kind you mention. So come
early: his story is a long one, and I am not
quite sure that we shall be able to get through
it all in one night."
"Very well, Uncle Thomas. Good night."
"Good night, Boys."












CHAPTER II.
UNCLE THOMAS MRLATES TEB ADVENTURES OF MUNOO PARM, DURIWO HlS
TRAVELS IN AFRICA ) HIS CAPTIVITY AMONO TEB MOOR@; HIS ESCAPE
AND SUPPERINOS IN HIS WANDRINOS IN TIE DBIERT, UNTIL MIS
ARRIVAL ON THE BANKS OF TRl NIOKR.

THE early arrival of the Boys on the following
evening showed how much interested they
were in Uncle Thomas's Tales. When the
usual greetings had been exchanged, Uncle
Thomas began:-
"Mungo Park was a native of Scotland.
He was born at Fowlshiels, in the neighbour-
hood of Selkirk, September 10th, 1771. After
acquiring the usual branches of education
which are taught in the parish schools of
Scotland, he was articled to a surgeon, in
Selkirk, and on the expiration of his apprentice-
ship he removed to Edinburgh, for the purpose
D




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


of completing his medical studies. Having
received his diploma, he proceeded to London,
and, being recommended to the notice of Sir
Joseph Banks, was, through his influence,
appointed assistant surgeon on board an East
Indiaman, in which he made a voyage to
Sumatra.
On his return to England, hearing that the
African Association was desirous of engaging
a person to replace Major Houghton, who, it
was feared, had fallen a sacrifice to the cause
of discovery in Africa, Park offered his services,
and was accepted. He left England on the
22nd of May, 1795, and after a pleasant
voyage reached Jillifree, on the river Gambia.
After a short stay at this place the vessel con-
tinued her course, up the river as far as Jonka-
konda, where she was to take in a part of her
cargo. Park, therefore, disembarked, and, hav-
ing a letter of introduction to an European,
named Laidley, who lived at Pisania, sixteen
miles higher up the river, he proceeded thither.





MUNGO PARK.


From this gentleman he received the greatest
attention, and was invited to remain in his
house till an opportunity offered of continuing
his journey into the interior.
"While waiting the occurrence of this oppor-
tunity, Park set about acquiring all the infor-
mation he could procure regarding the countries
which he was about to visit. He studied also
the Mandingo language, which is in general
use in this part of Africa. In the midst of
these labours, however, he was seized with
fever, having incautiously exposed himself to
the night dew while observing an eclipse of the
moon. Having ventured abroad too soon, he
had a relapse, which again confined him to his
bed. Fortunate indeed was it that he was all
this while under the hospitable roof of Dr.
Laidley. The care and. attention of this
gentleman,' says Park in his journal, 'con-
tributed greatly to alleviate my sufferings; his
company and conversation beguiled the tedious
hours during that gloomy season when the rain
D2




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


falls in torrents, when suffocating heats oppress
by day, and the night is spent by the terrified
traveller in listening to the croaking of frogs,
of which the numbers are beyond imagination,
the shrill cry of the jackall, and the deep
howling of the hyaena-a dismal concert, in-
terrupted only by the roar of such tremendous
thunder as no person can form a conception of
but those who have heard it.'
Availing himself of his restoration to health,
and the return of the dry season, Park now
resolved to set out on his journey. He was
attended by a negro, to act as interpreter, who
spoke both English and Mandingo, having ac-
quired the former during a residence in En-
gland, and a boy-slave of Dr. Laidley's, who,
in order to stimulate him to behave well, was
promised his freedom on his return, in case
Park should report Tavourably of his conduct.
His European friends, who had insisted on
accompanying him a couple of days on his
.journey, parted from him at Jindey, and here,




MUNGO PARK.


for the first time, Park found himself alone in
this great enterprise, and he rode off slowly
into the woods, indulging in the most gloomy
reflections. Before him spread out a boundless
forest, and a country, the inhabitants of which
were strangers to civilized life, and to most of
whom a white man was an object of curiosity
or plunder. Agitated and cast down by such
desponding thoughts, he rode on for about three
miles, when his reverie was suddenly interrupted
by a body of people, who stopped the asses on
which his attendants were mounted, demanding
in the name of the king of Walli payment of the
customs which are usually levied on traders
passing through his territory. Finding it in
vain to resist, and having presented them with
four bars of tobacco for the king's use, he was
allowed to proceed.
"Nothing remarkable 'occurred till our
traveller arrived at Fatteconda, the capital of
Bondou, where he had scarcely arrived before
he was sent for by the king, who was desirous




38 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


to see him. As Park had heard that this
monarch had treated Major Houghton with
great unkindness, and caused him to be
plundered, it was not without a feeling of
apprehension that he was ushered into his
presence. He found him seated under a tree,
and, after explaining to his majesty the object
of his journey, he presented him with a quantity
of gunpowder, some tobacco, and an umbrella.
With the latter article he was particularly
delighted, repeatedly furling and unfurling it,
to the great admiration of himself and his
attendants, who could not for some time under-
stand the use of such an article.
By way of preserving from plunder part of
his wardrobe, Park dressed himself in the best
coat which it afforded. This article, however,
ornamented as it was with yellow gilt buttons,
so captivated the king's fancy that, after mak-
ing a long speech on the liberality of the whites,
he asked our traveller to make him a present of
the coat, assuring him at the same time that he




' .-*< ** "


'mwbft&wWt*.d~~d ."

Par S


- A.,


vY




MUNGO PARK.


would wear it on all public occasions, and
inform every one who saw it of his generous
conduct. The request of an African prince in
his own dominions, particularly when made to
an unprotected stranger, is little short of a
command. Park knew very well that if the
king did not obtain the object of his wishes by
fair means he would do so by force, he, there-
fore at once pulled off his coat and laid it at
the monarch's feet.
From this place Park proceeded to Joag, the
frontier town of the kingdom of Kajaaga, and
during the night the house in which he slept
was surrounded by an armed band of horsemen,
who told him that as he had entered the town
without first paying the customs, or giving any
present to the king, according to the laws of
the country, his people, cattle, and baggage,
were forfeited; that they had orders from his
majesty to take him to Maana, where he resided,
and that, if he refused to accompany them
peaceably, they must bring him by force.




40 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


After some little delay, Park replied that, being
a stranger, unacquainted with the customs of
their country, he had infringed their laws from
ignorance, and not from any desire to violate
them, and that he was now ready to pay what-
ever they demanded. He then presented them
with some pieces of gold, but, not content with
this, they insisted on examining his baggage,
from which they helped themselves to whatever
took their fancy. In short, after robbing him
of half his goods, they left him.
Dispirited and desponding under such treat-
ment, Park and his companions passed the night
by the side of a dim fire, nor did the dawn of
another day bring to them any brighter prospect.
They were afraid to offer to purchase provisions,
lest the knowledge that they still possessed some
money should farther tempt the cupidity of the
natives. They had therefore resolved to refrain
from so doing during the day, and to wait for
some more favourable opportunity of purchasing
or begging such necessaries as they required.




MUNGO PARK.


Towards evening, as Park was sitting chew-
ing straws, to obtain such relief as this mise-
rable substitute for food afforded, an old female
slave, who happened to pass with a basket on
her head, asked him if he had dined. Park,
thinking that she put the question merely to
deride his misery, returned no answer; but his
negro boy, who was sitting close by, replied
that the king's people had robbed his master of
all his money. The poor woman, with a look
of unaffected benevolence, immediately took the
basket from her head, and, showing him that
it contained ground-nuts, asked him if he could
eat them. On being answered in the affirma-
tive, she gave him a few handfuls, and walked
away before he had time to express his grati-
tude for the seasonable relief.
On his arrival at Kaarta, our traveller found
that the king of Bambarra had declared war
against the Kartans, and that it would there-
fore be necessary for him to proceed thither by
a circuitous route through the Moorish kingdom




42 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.

of Ludamar. Having therefore procured an
escort from the king of Kaarta, he set out for
Jarra.
Their journey was undistinguished by any
particular incident, till they arrived at the
negro town of Funingkedy, which they found in
the greatest confusion, from the presence of
some Moors, who had come on a plundering
expedition; and, though the inhabitants, to the
amount of about five hundred, stood collected
close to the walls of the town, such was their
fear of their lawless neighbours that these rob-
bers were permitted to carry off their booty
almost unmolested.
At Jarra matters looked so threatening,
from the disturbed state of the country, that
his attendants refused to proceed; they there-
fore all left him but his faithful boy, who
resolved to accompany him, and to face every
danger.
"After travelling a few days, exposed to
great suffering from the heat of the weather




MUNGO PARK.


and the scarcity of water, they arrived at a
negro village called Samee, where they were
kindly received, and Park was congratulating
himself that he was now out of reach of all
danger from the Moors, when a party suddenly
entered the hut where he was, telling him they
had come by order of Ali (the Moorish king)
to conduct him to the camp. He was therefore
forced to accompany them. After a journey
of four or five days, they arrived at Benown,
where Ali's army was then encamped. Here
Park was, during ten weeks, exposed to all the
insults and indignities which could be contrived
by some of the rudest savages on earth. The
ferocity and fanaticism which distinguish the
Moors from the rest of mankind,' says Park,
' found in me a proper subject whereon to
exercise their propensities. I was a stranger,
I was unprotected, and I was a Christian.
Each of these circumstances is sufficient to
drive every spark of humanity from the heart
of a Moor; but when all of them were com-




44 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLER.


bined in the same person, and a suspicion
prevailed withal that I had come as a spy into
the country, the reader will easily imagine that
I had every thing to fear. Anxious, however,
to conciliate favour, and, if possible, to afford
them no pretence for ill-using me, I readily
complied with every command, and patiently
bore every insult, but never did any period of
my life pass away so heavily; from sun-rise to
sun-set I was obliged to suffer, and with an
unruffled countenance, the insults of these bar-
barians.'
It would take up too much time were I to
attempt to relate half of the sufferings which
he underwent while he remained a prisoner in
the camp of Ali. At all times but sparingly
supplied with food and water, he was occa-
sionally so utterly destitute of both that he was
forced to beg from the negro slaves, for it was
only exposing himself to fresh insult to address
the Moors.
As he was anxious to escape from his




MUNGO PARK.


barbarous persecutors, Park applied to Ali for
permission to return to Jarra, but this was at
once refused. He therefore determined to seek
an opportunity to make his escape, but, as there
was little hope of doing so at this season of the
year, on account of the extreme heat, and the
total want of water in the woods, he resolved
to wait patiently until the rains had set in, or
until some more favourable opportunity should
present itself. But hope deferred maketh the
heart sick.' This tedious procrastination from
day to day, and the thoughts of travelling
through the negro kingdoms in the rainy season,
which was now fast approaching, made him
very melancholy; and, having passed a restless
night, he found himself attacked, in the morning,
by a smart fever. He had wrapped himself
close up in his cloak with a view to induce
perspiration, and was asleep, when a party of
Moors entered the hut, and, with their usual
rudeness, pulled the cloak from him. He made
signs to them that he was ill, and wished




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


much to sleep; but he solicited in vain: his
distress was matter of sport to them, and they
endeavoured to heighten it by every means in
their power. This studied and degrading inso-
lence, to which he was constantly exposed, was
one of the bitterest ingredients in the cup of
captivity, and often made life itself a bur-
den. In those distressing moments, Park fre-
quently envied the situation of the slave, who,
amidst all his calamities, could still possess
the enjoyment of his own thoughts-a happi-
ness to which he had for some time been a
stranger. Wearied out with such continual in-
sults, and perhaps a little peevish from the
fever, he trembled lest his passion might un-
awares overleap the bounds of prudence, and
spur him to some sudden act of resentment,
when death must be the inevitable consequence.
In this perplexity, he left his hut, and walked
to some shady trees at a little distance from the
camp, where he lay down. But even here
persecution followed him; and solitude was





MUNGO PARK.


thought too great an indulgence for a distressed
Christian. Ali's son, with a number of horse-
men, came galloping to the place, and ordered
him to rise and follow them. Park begged
they would allow him to remain where he was,
if it was only for a few hours; but they paid
little attention to what he said; and, after a
few threatening words, one of them pulled out
a pistol from a leather bag that was fastened
to the pommel of his saddle, and, presenting it
towards him, snapped it twice. He did this
with so much indifference that Park really
doubted whether the pistol was loaded; he
cocked it a third time, and was striking the
flint with a piece of steel, when Park begged
them to desist, and returned with them to the
camp. When they entered Ali's tent, they
found him much out of humour. He called for
the Moor's pistol, and amused himself for some
time with opening and shutting the pan; at
length, taking up his powder-horn, he fresh
primed it; and, turning round to our traveller




48 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


with a menacing look, said something in Arabic,
which Park did not understand. He therefore
desired his boy, who was sitting before the tent,
to inquire what offence he had committed;
when he was informed that, having gone beyond
the encampment without Ali's permission, they
suspected that he had an intention of making
his escape; and that, in future, if he was seen
without the skirts of the camp, orders had been
given that he should be shot by the first person
that observed him.
The heat was now almost insufferable-all
nature seemed sinking under it. The distant
country presented to the eye a dreary expanse
of sand, with a few stunted trees and prickly
bushes, in the shade of which the hungry cattle
licked up the withered grass, while the camels
and goats picked off the scanty foliage. Day
and night the wells were crowded with cattle,
lowing and fighting with each other to come
at the troughs. Excessive thirst made many
of them furious; others, being too weak to





MUNGO PARK.


contend for the water, endeavoured to quench
their thirst by devouring the black mud from
the gutters near the wells-which they did
with great avidity, though it was commonly
fatal to them.
This great scarcity of water was felt severely
by all the people of the camp, and by none
more than Park; for, though Ali allowed him
a skin for containing water, and, once or twice,
gave him a small supply when he was in dis-
tress, yet such was the barbarous disposition
of the Moors at the wells that, when his boy
attempted to fill the skin, he commonly received
a sound drubbing for his presumption. Every
one was astonished that the slave of a Christian
should attempt to draw water from wells which
had been dug by the followers of the Prophet.
This treatment, at length, so frightened the
boy that he was afraid to venture near the
wells; he therefore contented himself with
begging water from the negro slaves that
attended the camp, and Park followed his
E




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


example, but with very indifferent success;
for, though he let no opportunity slip, and was
very urgent in his solicitations, both to the
Moors and negroes, he was but ill supplied,
and frequently passed the night in the situation
of Tantalus. No sooner had he shut his eyes,
than fancy would convey him to the streams and
rivers of his native land: there, as he wandered
along the verdant brink, he surveyed the clear
stream with transport, and hastened to swallow
the delightful draught; but, alas! disappoint-
ment awakened him, and he found himself a
lonely captive, perishing of thirst amidst the
wilds of Africa!
One night, having solicited in vain for
water at the camp, and being quite feverish,
he resolved to try his fortune at the wells,
which were about half a mile distant. He
set out about midnight, and, being guided by
the lowing of the cattle, soon arrived at the
place, where he found the Moors very busy
drawing water. He requested permission to





MUNGO PARK.


drink, but was driven away with outrageous
abuse. Passing, however, from one well to
another, he came at last to one where there
was only an old man and two boys. He made
the same request to this man, and he imme-
diately drew up a bucket of water; but, as
Park was about to take hold of it, the Moor
recollected that he was a Christian, and fearing
that his bucket might be polluted by his lips,
he dashed the water into the trough, and told
him to drink from thence. Though this trough
was none of the largest, and three cows were
already drinking in it, Park resolved to come
in for his share, and, kneeling down, thrust his
head between two of the cows, and drank with
great pleasure, until the water was nearly ex-
hausted, and the cows began to contend with
each other for the last mouthful.
At length part of Ali's army prepared to
set out for Jarra, in order to assist in some
warlike operation in that quarter, and Park
was permitted to accompany it. From Jarra
E2




52 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


he hoped to find an easy means of escape from
the hands of these barbarians. His delight at
this prospect was, however, blunted by Ali's
detaining his negro boy as a slave. Park
remonstrated against this, but all the answer
deigned by the omnipotent Ali was, that, if he
did not mount his horse instantly and be off,
he would detain him also.
On his arrival at Jarra, Park found the
whole town in confusion, many of the inhabi-
tants were forsaking it, carrying with them
their little property, in order to escape from
the threatened invasion. Hoping to escape amid
the confusion, Park mounted his horse, and,
placing a bag of corn before him, mingled with
the crowd, and rode slowly along. This idea
was, however, quickly dispelled. Soon after
his arrival at the halting place, Ali's chief slave
and four Moors came up, and he learnt from
two boys, whom he sent to overhear their con-
versation, that they had come to convey him
back to Ali's camp.





MUNGO PARK.


Park had been so barbarously treated by
the Moors in the captivity from which he
had thus fled, that he knew that, if again ex-
posed to it, he had nothing to expect but death.
He therefore determined to set off immediately
for Bambarra, and thus escape from the Moorish
kingdom. He waited therefore till midnight,
when Ali's messengers were asleep.
About daybreak, his interpreter, who had
been listening to the Moors all night, came and
whispered to him that all was now quiet. The
awful crisis was now arrived when he was
again either to taste the blessing of freedom, or
languish out his days in captivity. A cold
sweat moistened his forehead as he thought on
the dreadful alternative, and reflected that, one
way or the other, his fate must be decided in
the course of the ensuing day. But to hesitate
was to lose the only chance of escape. So,
taking up his small bundle of necessaries, he
stepped gently over the negroes, who were
sleeping in the open air, and, having mounted




54 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.

his horse, he bade his interpreter, who had
resolved to proceed no farther, farewell.
He proceeded with great caution-survey-
ing each bush, and frequently listening and
looking behind, expecting every minute to hear
the sound .of the Moorish horsemen-until he
was about a couple of miles from the town, and
had begun to indulge the pleasing hopes of
escaping, when he was greatly alarmed to hear
somebody holloa behind him, and, looking back,
he saw three Moors on horseback, coming after
him at full speed, hooping and brandishing
their double-barrelled guns. He knew it was
in vain to think of escaping, and therefore
turned back and met them; when two of them
caught hold of his bridle, one on each side, and
the third, presenting his musket, told him that
he must go back to Ali. When the human
mind has for some time been fluctuating between
hope and despair, tortured with anxiety, and
hurried from one extreme to another, it affords
a sort of gloomy relief to know the worst that





MUNGO PARK.


can possibly happen: such was Park's situation.
An indifference about life and all its enjoy-
ments had completely benumbed his faculties,
and he rode back with the Moors in apparent
unconcern. But a change took place much
sooner than he had any reason to expect. In
passing through some thick bushes they stopped,
and one of the Moors ordered him to untie his
bundle, and show them the contents. Having
examined the different articles, and finding
nothing worth taking except his cloak, which
they considered as a very valuable acquisition,
one of them pulled it from him, and wrapped it
about himself. This cloak had been of great
use to Park; it served to cover him from the
rains in the day, and to protect him from the
musquitoes in the night; he therefore earnestly
begged him to return it, and followed him some
little way to obtain it; but, without paying any
attention to this request, he and one of his
companions rode off with their prize. When
Park attempted to follow them, the third, who




56 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


had remained behind, struck his horse over the
head, and, presenting his musket, ordered him
to proceed no farther. Park now perceived that
these men had not been sent by any authority
to apprehend him, but had pursued him solely
with the view to rob and plunder him. Turn-
ing his horse's head therefore once more towards
the east, and observing the Moor follow the
track of his confederates, he congratulated him-
self on having escaped with his life, though in
great distress, from such a horde of barbarians.
He was no sooner out of sight of the Moor,
than he struck into the woods to prevent being
pursued, and kept pushing on, with all possible
speed, until he found himself near some high
rocks, which he remembered to have seen in
his former route from Queira to Deena; and,
directing his course a little to the northward,
he fortunately fell in with the path.
-" Joyful, however, as this deliverance was,
Park had still many dangers to face, and
many difficulties to overcome, before he arrived





MUNGO PARK.


among the negroes. His journal is so minute,
and describes so admirably his feelings and
sufferings, that I will not attempt to diminish
its interest by relating the subsequent adven-
tures of this journey in other language than his
own.
"' It is impossible to describe the joy that
arose in my mind, when I looked around and
concluded that I was out of danger. I felt like
one recovered from sickness; I breathed freer;
I found unusual lightness in my limbs; even
the desert looked pleasant; and I dreaded no-
thing so much as falling in with some wandering
parties of Moors, who might convey me back
to the land of thieves and murderers from which
I had just escaped.
"' I soon became sensible, however, that my
situation was very deplorable, for I had no
means of procuring food, nor prospect of find-
ing water. About ten o'clock, perceiving a
herd of goats feeding close to the road, I took
a circuitous route to avoid being seen; and con-




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


tinued travelling through the wilderness, direc.
ting my course, by compass, nearly east-south.
east, in order to reach, as soon as possible,
some town or village of the kingdom of Bam-
barra.
"' A little after noon, when the burning heat
of the sun was reflected with double violence
from the hot sand, and the distant ridges of
the hills, seen through the ascending vapour,
seemed to wave and fluctuate like the unsettled
sea, I became faint with thirst, and climbed a
tree in hopes of seeing distant smoke, or some
other appearance of a human habitation; but
in vain: nothing appeared all around but thick
underwood, and hillocks of white sand.
About four o'clock I came suddenly upon
a large herd of goats, and, pulling my horse
into a bush, I watched to observe if the keepers
were Moors or negroes. In a little time I
perceived two Moorish boys, and with some
difficulty persuaded them to approach me.
They informed me that the herd belonged to





MUNGO PARK.


Ali, and that they were going to Deena, where
the water was more plentiful, and where they
intended to stay until the rain had filled the
pools in the desert. They showed me their
empty water-skins, and told me that they had
seen no water in the woods. This account
afforded me but little consolation; however, it
was in vain to repine, and I pushed on as fast
as possible, in hopes of reaching some watering-
place in the course of the night. My thirst
was by this time become insufferable; my
mouth was parched and inflamed; a sudden
dimness would frequently come over my eyes,
with other symptoms of fainting; and, my horse
being very much fatigued, I began seriously to
apprehend that I should perish of thirst. To
relieve the burning pain in my mouth and
throat, I chewed the leaves of different shrubs,
but found them all bitter, and of no service to
me.
"' A little before sunset, having reached the
top of a gentle rising, I climbed a high tree,




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


from the topmost branches of which I cast a
melancholy look over the barren wilderness,
but without discovering the most distant trace
of a human dwelling. The same dismal uni-
formity of shrubs and sand everywhere pre-
sented itself, and the horizon was as level and
uninterrupted as that of the sea.
"' Descending from the tree, I found my
horse devouring the stubble and brushwood
with great avidity; and, as I was now too faint
to attempt walking, and my horse too much
fatigued to carry me, I thought it but an act
of humanity, and perhaps the last I should ever
have it in my power to perform, to take off his
bridle and let him shift for himself; in doing
which I was suddenly affected with sickness
and giddiness, and, falling upon the sand, felt
as if the hour of death was fast approaching.
Here, then, thought I, after a short but ineffec-
tual struggle, terminate all my hopes of being
useful in my day and generation: here must
the short span of my life come to an end. I





MUNGO PARK.


cast (as I believed) a last look on the surround-
ing scene, and, whilst I reflected on the awful
change that was about to take place, this world
with its enjoyments seemed to vanish from my
recollection. Nature, however, at length re-
sumed its functions, and, on recovering my
senses, I found myself stretched upon the sand,
with the bridle still in my hand, and the sun
just sinking behind the trees. I now summoned
all my resolution, and determined to make
another effort to prolong my existence; and, as
the evening was somewhat cool, I resolved to
travel as far as my limbs would carry me, in
hopes of reaching (my only resource) a watering-
place. With this view, I put the bridle on my
horse, and, driving him before me, went slowly
along for about an hour, when I perceived some
lightning from the north-east-a most delight-
ful sight, for it promised rain. The darkness
and lightning increased very rapidly, and in
less than an hour I heard the wind roaring
among the bushes. I had already opened my




62 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


mouth to receive the refreshing drops which I
expected, but I was instantly covered with a
cloud of sand, driven with such force by the
wind as to give a very disagreeable sensation to
my face and arms, and I was obliged to mount
my horse, and stop under a bush, to prevent
being suffocated. The sand continued to fly in
amazing quantities for nearly an hour, after
which I again set forward, and travelled with
difficulty until ten o'clock. About this time I
was agreeably surprised by some very vivid
flashes of lightning, followed by a few heavy
drops of rain. In a little time the sand ceased
to fly, and I alighted, and spread out all my
clean clothes to collect the rain, which at length
I saw would certainly fall. For more than an
hour it rained plentifully, and I quenched my
thirst by wringing and sucking my clothes.
There being no moon, it was remarkably
dark, so that I was obliged to lead my horse,
and direct my way by the compass, which the
lightning enabled me to observe. In this




MUNGO PARK.


manner I travelled with tolerable expedition
until past midnight, when, the lightning be-
coming more distant, I was under the necessity
of groping along, to the no small danger of my
hands and eyes. About two o'clock my horse
started at something, and, looking round, I was
not a little surprised to see a light at a short
distance among the trees; and, supposing it to
be a town, I groped along the sand in hopes of
finding corn-stalks, cotton, or other appearances
of cultivation, but found none. As I ap-
proached, I perceived a number of other lights
in different places, and began to suspect that I
had fallen upon a party of Moors. However,
in my present situation, I was resolved to see
who they were, if I could do it with safety. I
accordingly led my horse cautiously towards the
light, and heard, by the lowing of the cattle,
and the clamorous tongues of the herdsmen,
that it was a watering-place, and most likely
belonged to the Moors. Delightful as the sound
of the human voice was to me, I resolved once




64 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


more to strike into the woods, and rather run
the risk of perishing of hunger than trust my-
self again in their hands; but, being still thirsty,
and dreading the approach of the burning day,
I thought it prudent to search for the wells,
which I expected to find at no great distance.
In this pursuit, I inadvertently approached so
near to one of the tents as to be perceived by
a woman, who immediately screamed out.
Two people came running to her assistance
from some of the neighboring tents, and
passed so very near to me that I thought I
was discovered, and hastened again into the
woods.
"' About a mile from this place, I heard a
loud and confused noise somewhere to the right
of my course, and in a short time was happy
to find it was the croaking of frogs, which was
heavenly music to my ears. I followed the
sound, and at daybreak arrived at some shallow
muddy pools, so full of frogs that it was diffi-
cult to discern the water. The noise they





MUNGO PARK.


made frightened my horse, and I was obliged
to keep them quiet by beating the water with
a branch, until he had drunk. Having here
quenched my thirst, I ascended a tree, and, the
morning being calm, I soon perceived the
smoke of the watering-place which I had passed
in the night, and observed another pillar of
smoke east-south-east, distant twelve or fourteen
miles. Towards this I directed my route, and
reached the cultivated ground a little before
eleven o'clock, where, seeing a number of
negroes at work planting corn, I inquired the
name of the town, and was informed that it
was a Foulah village belonging to Ali, called
Shrilla. I had now some doubts about enter-
ing it; but, my horse being very much fatigued,
and the day growing hot-not to mention the
pangs of hunger which began to assail me-I
resolved to venture, and accordingly rode up to
the dooty's house, where I was unfortunately
denied admittance, and could not obtain even a
handful of corn, either for myself or horse.
F




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


Turning from this inhospitable door, I rode
slowly out of the town, and, perceiving some
low scattered huts without the walls, I directed
my route towards them, knowing that in Africa,
as well as in Europe, hospitality does not
always prefer the highest dwellings. At the
door of one of these huts, an old motherly-
looking woman sat, spinning cotton. I made
signs to .her that I was hungry, and inquired
if she had any victuals with her in the hut.
She immediately laid down her distaff, and
desired me, in Arabic, to come in. When I
had seated myself upon the floor, she set before
me a dish of kouskous that had been left the
preceding night, of which I made a tolerable
meal; and in return for this kindness I gave
her one of my pocket handkerchiefs, begging
at the same time a little corn for my horse,
which she readily brought me.
Overcome with joy at so unexpected a
deliverance, I lifted up my eyes to heaven, and,
whilst my heart swelled with gratitude, I re-





MUNGO PARK.


turned thanks to that gracious and bountiful
Being whose power had supported me under so
many dangers, and had now spread for me a
table in the wilderness.'
Continuing his course, Park arrived at
Wawra, a negro town, whence he travelled to
Sego, in company with some fugitives, who, un-
able to live under the tyranny of the Moors, were
going to settle in Bambarra. The greater part
of the way he had to drive his horse before
him, as it had become too weak to carry him.
As he approached Sego, his heart beat with
expectation, as here he was informed he would
see the river Niger, one of the great objects of
his mission. At length, as they rode over some
marshy ground, anxiously bending his eyes in
the direction in which he expected to see the
river, one of his companions called out, Geo
affilli!'-' See the water!'-and, looking for-
wards, Park beheld, with infinite pleasure, the
long-sought-for majestic Niger, glittering in the
morning sun, as broad as the Thames at West-
F2




68 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


minster. He hastened to the brink, and, having
drank of the water, he lifted up his fervent
thanks in prayer to the great Ruler of all
things for having thus far crowned his labours
with success!
It is now more than time to stop, Boys.
I fear I have kept you too long ; but the story
was so engrossing, I did not know where to
leave off. There are still many interesting
adventures to relate before we part with this
intrepid traveller. Till to-morrow evening,
however, we must leave him waiting on the
banks of the Niger for an opportunity to cross
the river, to visit the king of Bambarra, who
holds his court at Sego, the capital of his
kingdom, opposite to which town Park had
now arrived."












CHAPTER III.

UNCLE THOMAS CONTINUES THE RELATION OF PARE'S ADVENTURES AND
SUIFERINOS; TELLS ALSO ABOUT HIS RETURN TO KNOLAND, AND HIS
SECOND JOURNEY INTO AFRICA, AND THE MELANCHOLY FATE OF TH1I
BXPEDITION.

"You will recollect, Boys," said Uncle Thomas
on the following evening, that we left Park
full of gratitude to God for having guided him
so far on his perilous journey in safety, waiting
on the banks of the Niger for an opportunity
to cross over to Sego, to- present himself before
the king of Bambarra. While he waited for a
canoe for this purpose, one of his majesty's
chief men came to him and told him that the
King could not possibly see him till he knew
the object of his journey, and that he must not
presume to cross the river without the king's
permission. He therefore advised him to go




70 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


to a village at some distance for the night, and
that he would come to him, and direct him how
to proceed in the morning. Discouraging as this
was, there was no help for it. Park therefore
proceeded to the village, but no one there would
admit him into their house, looking upon his
white skin and strange dress with astonishment
and fear. He was therefore obliged to sit all
day without food under the shade of a tree, and
with the prospect of being obliged to climb into
the branches to seek refuge from the wild beasts
during the night, when, about sunset, a woman
returning from her labours in the field stopped
to look at him. Seeing that he was weary and
dejected, she inquired into his situation. On
learning his distress she took up the saddle and
bridle, which he had taken from his horse,
that it might graze at liberty, and desired him
to follow her. Having conducted me to her
hut,' says Park, she lighted up a lamp, spread
a mat on the floor, and told me I might remain
there for the night. Finding that I was very





MUNGO PARK.


hungry, she said she would procure me some-
thing to eat. She accordingly went out, and
returned in a short time with a very fine
fish, which, having caused to be half broiled
upon some embers, she gave me for supper.
The rites of hospitality being thus performed
towards a stranger in distress, my worthy
benefactress, pointing to the mat, and telling me
I might sleep there without apprehension,
called to the female part of her family, who
had stood gazing on me all the while in fixed
astonishment, to resume their task of spinning
cotton, in which they continued to employ
themselves great part of the night. They
lightened their labour by songs, one of which
was composed extempore, for I was myself the
subject of it. It was sung by one of the young
women, the rest joining in a sort of chorus.
The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words,
literally translated, were these: -"The winds
roared, and the rains fell. The poor white
man, faint and weary, came and sat under our




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


tree. He has no mother to bring him milk-
no wife to grind his corn." Chorus.-" Let us
pity the white man, no mother has he," &c., &c.
Trifling as this recital may appear to the reader,
to a person in my situation the circumstance
was affecting in the highest degree. I was
oppressed by such unexpected kindness, and
sleep fled from my eyes. In the morning I pre-
sented my compassionate landlady with two of
the four brass buttons which remained on my
waistcoat-the only recompense I could make
her.'
In the morning a messenger arrived from
the king to inquire whether Park had brought
any present for him; and seemed much disap-
pointed to learn that he had been robbed of
every thing by the Moors. Park wished to
accompany him to see his majesty, but this the
messenger refused to agree to, telling him to
wait till the afternoon, when the king would
send for him. In the afternoon, accordingly,
another messenger came to tell him that it was





MUNGO PARK.


his majesty's pleasure that he should depart
immediately from the village, and that, as he
was unwilling to send away from his kingdom
a white man in distress, he had sent him a
present of five thousand cowries, to purchase
provisions in the course of his journey. These
cowries are little shells, which are there used
as money, about two hundred and fifty being
nearly equal to the value of one shilling.
Park accordingly set out, and, after nar-
rowly escaping being destroyed by a lion, to
which he passed quite close as it lay con-
cealed under a bush, he arrived at Modiboo, a
delightful village pleasantly situated on the
banks of the Niger. Shortly after leaving this
place his horse, the worn out associate of his
adventures, fell, and finding all the efforts of
himself and his guide unable to set it again on
its legs, he sat down beside it, and waited for
some time, expecting it to recover. Finding,
however, that it did not revive, he took off the
saddle and bridle, and, placing a quantity of




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


grass before it, reluctantly left it, his heart
filled with the sad apprehension that he might
himself in a short time lie down and perish of
fatigue and hunger in the same miserable
manner!
He had now arrived at Moorzan, and finding
the people still hostile; his poor horse, as he then
thought, dead, and himself reduced to poverty; his
clothes in rags, and the present of the king of
Bambarra nearly exhausted; and, moreover, being
informed that the farther he advanced in the
direction in which he was now travelling, he
was going more and more within the power of
the fanatic Moors, from whom he had already
suffered so much; he resolved to retrace his
steps to the Gambia.
He accordingly set out, and was fortunate
enough once more to regain his horse, which
had in the interval recovered sufficient strength
to resume its journey. The same variety of
adventures awaited his return which he had
encountered on his journey eastward; some-





MUNGO PARK.


times in danger of absolute starvation, and
frequently forced to spend the night in the open
air, or in some deserted hut; fording or swim-
ming across the numerous creeks or tributaries
which intersected his way, pushing his horse
before him, or dragging it over by the bridle
which he carried in his teeth while he swam
over. From such adventures, fortunately, he
suffered no inconvenience. His notes and
memorandums were secured from wet in his
hat; the rain and dew kept his clothes con-
stantly wet, and the roads being very deep and
full of mud, such a washing was sometimes
pleasant, and often necessary.
Such adventures were not, however, the
worst to which he was subjected. Shortly
after leaving a romantic village called Kooma,
where he had been most hospitably treated, he
was overtaken by a party of banditti. Hearing
some one calling to him, he looked back and
saw six or eight men approaching. He stopped
till they all came up, when they informed him




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


that the king of the Foulahs had sent them
on purpose to bring him, his horse, and every
thing that belonged to him, to Fooladoo, and
that therefore he must turn back, and go along
with them. Without hesitating a moment,
Park turned round and followed them. They
travelled nearly a quarter of a mile without
exchanging a word; when, coming to a dark
place in the wood, one of them said, in the
Mandingo language, This place will do,'
and immediately snatched Park's hat from his
head. Though he was by no means free from
apprehension, yet our traveller resolved to show
as few signs of fear as possible, and therefore
told them that, unless his hat was returned to
him, he should proceed no farther. But before
he had time to receive an answer, another drew
his knife, and, seizing upon a metal button
which remained upon Park's waistcoat, cut it
off, and put it into his pocket. Their inten-
tions were now obvious, and he thought that
the easier they were permitted to rob him of





MUNGO PARK.


every thing, the less he had to fear. He there-
fore allowed them to search his pockets without
resistance, and examine every part of his appa-
rel, which they did with the most scrupulous
exactness: at last, to make sure work, they
stripped him quite naked. Even his half boots
(though the sole of one of them was tied to his
foot with a broken bridle-rein) were minutely
inspected. Whilst they were examining the
plunder, Park begged them, with great earnest-
ness, to return his pocket compass; but when
he pointed to it, as it was lying on the ground,
one of the banditti, thinking he was about to
take it up, cocked his musket, and threatened
to lay him dead upon the spot if he pre-
sumed to put his hand upon it. After this,
some of them went away with his horse, and
the remainder stood considering whether they
should leave him quite naked, or allow him
something to shelter him from the sun.
Humanity at last prevailed: they returned him
the worst of the two shirts, and a pair of




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


trousers; and, as they went away, one of them
threw back his hat, in the crown of which he
kept his memorandums, and this was probably
the reason they did not wish to keep it.
"' After they were gone,"' says Park, "' I sat
for some time looking around me with amaze-
ment and terror. Whichever way I turned,
nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I
saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness,
in the depth of the rainy season-naked and
alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men
still more savage. I was five hundred miles
from the nearest European settlement. All
these circumstances crowded at once on my
recollection, and I confess that my spirits began
to fail me. I considered my fate as certain,
and that I had no alternative but to lie down
and perish. The influence of religion, however,
aided and supported me. I reflected that no
human prudence or foresight could possibly have
averted my present sufferings. I was indeed
a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still





MUNGO PARK.


under the protecting eye of that Providence who
has condescended to call himself the stranger's
friend. At this moment, painful as my reflec-
tions were, the extraordinary beauty of a small
moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye.
I mention this to show from what trifling cir-
cumstances the mind will sometimes derive con-
solation; for, though the whole plant was not
larger than the top of one of my fingers, I
could not contemplate the delicate conformation
of its roots, leaves, and capsula, without admi-
ration. Can that Being, thought I, who planted,
watered, and brought to perfection, in this
obscure part of the world, a thing which appears
of so small importance, look with unconcern
upon the situation and sufferings of creatures
formed after his own image Surely not!
Reflections like these would not allow me to
despair. I started up, and, disregarding both
hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured
that relief was at hand, and I was not disap-
pointed. In a short time I came to a small




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


village, at the entrance of which I overtook two
shepherds who had started with me from Kooma.
They were much surprised to see me; for they.
said, they never doubted that the Foulahs,
when they had robbed, had murdered me.
Departing from this village, we travelled over
several rocky ridges, and at sunset arrived at
Sibidooloo, the frontier town of the kingdom
of Manding.'
"The dooty, or chief man, of the town of
Sibidooloo, being a person of great benevolence,
commiserated the sufferings of Park, and no
sooner had the latter finished the recital of his
robbery than, taking his pipe from his mouth
and tossing up the sleeve of his cloak with an
indignant air, he said to him, Sit down; you
shall have every thing restored to you: I have
sworn it!' and then, turning to an attendant,
he said, Give the white man a draught of
water, and, with the first light of the morning,
go over the hills and inform the dooty of
Bammakoo that a poor white man, the king of





MUNGO PARK.


Bambarra's stranger, has been robbed by the
King of Fooladoo's people.' He then invited
Park to remain with him till the return of the
messenger, and conducted him to a hut and
supplied him with food.
Park now began to suffer from attacks of
fever, and, fearful of tasking the benevolence
of his kind host too highly, he proceeded to
Wonda, where he was asked to remain till he
obtained some intelligence of the property of
which he had been plundered. After waiting
there some days, the messengers at length
returned, bringing with them his horse and
clothes, but unfortunately his pocket compass,
his guide in all his wanderings, was broken,
and he could not repair it.
In the mean time his illness increased, and,
fearful of being a burden on his hospitable
entertainer, especially as there was then a very
great scarcity of provisions in the country-
little short, in fact, of a famine, he prepared
to resume his journey. As his horse was now




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


almost useless to him, the roads being in a
great measure impassable on horseback, he
presented it to his landlord, and requested him
to send the saddle and bridle to the mansa of
Sibidooloo, who had so kindly interested himself
in recovering his goods from the robbers.
"When Park reached Kamalia, his illness
had so much increased that he was subject to
occasional attacks of delirium during the night.
At this place he was fortunately conducted to
the house of a person named Karfa Taura, who,
though a dealer in slaves, was a man of kind
and humane disposition. Park found him
reading an Arabic book to several persons.
Karfa asked Park if he understood Arabic, and,
on being answered in the negative, he desired
one of his attendants to show him a curious
little book, which he had brought from the
west country, in one of his excursions thither.
It was an English Book of Common Prayer.
He expressed great joy when Park told him that
he could read it. Perceiving from this that he





MUNGO PARK.


was an Englishman, Karfa promised him all
the assistance in his power, and told him that
it was impossible to reach the Gambia during
the rainy season; but that he himself intended,
so soon as the rivers were fordable, to set out
for that place with a gang of slaves, and advised
Park to remain and accompany him, adding
that, if it was impossible for a caravan of
natives to travel the country during the rainy
season, it was idle for an European to think of
attempting it.
Park had now indeed no alternative. His
money was all spent, so that in his farther pro-
gress he must either beg his way from place to
place, or perish from want He therefore accept-
ed Karfa's offer, and arranged with him how he
was to be recompensed on their arrival at the
Gambia. Thus was I delivered,' says Park,
by the friendly care of this benevolent negro,
from a situation truly deplorable. Distress and
famine pressed hard upon me: I had before
me the gloomy wilds of Jallonkadoo, where the
o2





84 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


traveller sees no habitation for five successive
days. I had observed at a distance the rapid
course of the river Kokoro, and had almost
marked out the place where I was doomed,
I thought, to perish, when this friendly
negro stretched out his hospitable hand to
help me.'
Karfa gave Park a hut to sleep in, and
furnished it after the simple manner of the
country, with a mat to serve him for a bed, and
a small calabash to hold a supply of water.
From his own table he sent our traveller two
meals a day, and ordered his slaves to supply
him with fire-wood and water. But not even
the kindness of Karfa, or the quiet and security
in which he now was, could arrest the progress
of the fever which had been threatening for
some time to put a sudden stop to his career.
For five weeks after he took up his dwelling
with Karfa, he was so ill that he could scarcely
walk-far away from the kind assistance of
mother or friend, and seldom visited by any





MUNGO PARK. 0

one but his benevolent landlord. Sometimes
he would crawl out of the hut and sit a few
hours in the open air, at other times he was
unable to rise from his mat, and passed the
lingering hours in a very gloomy and solitary
manner. When the rains became less frequent,
and the country began to grow dry, the fever
abated; but it left him in such a debilitated
state that he could scarcely stand upright, and
it was with difficulty that he could carry even
his mat to the shade of a tamarind tree, which
stood at a short distance, to enjoy the refreshing
smell of the corn-fields, and delight his eyes
with a prospect of the country. At length he
had the pleasure to find himself in a state of
convalescence, to which the benevolent and
simple manners of the negroes, and the perusal
of the invaluable little volume with which his
host had supplied him, greatly contributed.
"The long wished-for day at last arrived,
Sand Park set out on his return to the Gambia.
The party with which he travelled consisted of





86 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


slave-merchants and their gangs of slaves, who
were travelling to Gambia with the poor crea-
tures to sell them to the traders, who sent them
to the West Indies. The miserable sufferings
to which these wretched beings were subjected
on their journey is almost beyond description.
Several of them died from fatigue, or, unable to
proceed, were abandoned to their fate in the
midst of the desert, where they were probably
soon devoured by the wild beasts.
The sufferings of one poor creature, a
female slave, named Nealee, will be sufficient
to show you how much misery is sometimes
experienced during these journeys, now, happily,
less frequent than when Park travelled, but
still, alas, too common.
Five days after they started the party was
attacked by an immense swarm of bees, which
they had disturbed in attempting to rob them of
their honey. Every one ran off as fast as he
could, but most of them were stung very
severely. Poor Nealee, who, from her previous





MUNGO PARK.


sufferings from pains in her legs, was unable
to escape, crept to a stream which was close by,
hoping to defend herself from the bees by
throwing water over her body. This was not,
however, effectual. She was stung in the
most dreadful manner.
When the stings had been picked out, she
was washed with water, and then rubbed with
bruised leaves ; but the wretched woman obsti-
nately refused to proceed any farther, declaring
that she would rather die than walk another
step. As entreaties and threats were alike in
vain, the whip was at length applied; and, after
bearing patiently a few strokes, she started up,
and walked with tolerable expedition for four
or five hours, when she attempted to run away,
but was so very weak that she fell down
in the grass. Though she was unable to rise,
the whip was a second time applied, but with-
out effect, upon which Karfa desired two of the
attendants to place her upon the ass which
carried the provisions; but she could not sit




TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


erect, and, the ass being very refractory, it was
found impossible to carry her forward in that
manner. Unwilling, however, to abandon her,
the day's journey being nearly ended, they
made a sort of litter of bamboo canes, upon
which she was placed, and tied on it with
slips of bark; this litter was carried upon the
heads of two slaves, one walking before the
other, and they were followed by two others,
who relieved them occasionally. In this manner
the woman was carried forward until it was
dark.
At daybreak on the following morning,
poor Nealee was awakened, but her limbs were
now become so stiff and painful that she could
neither walk nor stand; she was therefore lifted,
like a corpse, upon the back of the ass, and
the attendants endeavoured to secure her in
that situation by fastening her hands together
under the ass's neck, and her feet under the
belly, with long slips of bark; but the ass was
so very unruly that no sort of treatment could




MUNGO PARK.


induce him to proceed with his load, and, as
Nealee made no exertion to prevent herself
from falling, she was quickly thrown off, and
had one of her legs much bruised. Every
attempt to carry her forward being thus found
ineffectual, the general cry was 'Kang-tegi,
kang-tegi!' Cut her throat, cut her throat! '
-' an operation,' says Park, which I did
not wish to see performed, and therefore
marched onwards with the foremost of the gang.
I had not walked above a mile, when one of
Karfa's domestic slaves came up to me, with
poor Nealee's garment upon the end of his bow,
and exclaimed, Nealee afeeleeta! Nealee
is lost!' I asked him whether the garment
had been given him as a reward for cutting
her throat; he replied that Karfa and the
schoolmaster would not consent to that measure,
but had left her on the road, where undoubtedly
she soon perished! '
In this manner they proceeded, halting
occasionally for refreshment at the villages on





90 TALES ABOUT TRAVELLERS.


the route, as opportunity offered. They were,
however, on one occasion obliged to alter their
course, in consequence of information which
they received that two hundred Jallonkas had
assembled near a town which they were ex-
pected to pass, with a view to plunder them.
Few adventures distinguish their farther pro-
gress. Park reached the Gambia in the begin-
ning of November, where he was received in
the same hospitable manner as at first by his
friend, Dr. Laidley. Karfa's kindness and con-
sideration for him, not only during his stay at
Kamalia, but on the journey, had so far gained
on Park's esteem that he paid him double the
sum on which they had originally agreed, and,
parting from him and his other friends with
mutual expressions of regard, he set sail in an
American vessel, on the 17th of June. After
a tedious passage down the river, and being
detained for some time for want of provisions,
they at length put to sea. Being an old and
decayed vessel, it became so leaky as to threaten




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