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Many of these strangers remained at Teesee for three days, during which time I was constantly attended by as many of them as could conveniently see me ; one party giving way to another, as soon as curiosity was gratified.
On the 5th of January an embassy of ten people belonging to Almami Abdulkader, King of Foota Torra, a country to the west of Bondou, arrived at Teesee; and desiring Tiggity Sego to call an assembly of the inhabitants, announced publicly their king's determination to this effect : “ That unless all the people of Kasson would embrace the Mahomedan religion, and evince their conversion by saying eleven public prayers, he (the King of Foota Torra) could not possibly stand neuter in the present contest, but would certainly join his arms to those of Kajaaga.” A message of this nature, from so powerful a prince, could not fail to create great alarm; and the inhabitants of Teesee, after a long consultation, agreed to conform to his good pleasure, humiliating as it was to them. Accordingly, one and all publiclyoffered up eleven prayers, which were considered a sufficient testimony of their having renounced Paganism, and embraced the doctrines of the Prophet.
It was the 8th of January before Demba Sego returned with my horse ; and being quite wearied out with the delay, I went immediately to inform his father, that I should set out for Kooniakary early the next day. The old man made many frivolous objections: and at length gave me to understand, that I must not think of departing, without first paying him the same duties he was entitled to receive from all travellers ; besides which, he expected he said, some acknowledgment for his kindness towards me. Accordingly, on the morning of the 9th, my friend Demba, with a number of people, came to me, and
said that they were sent by Tiggity Sego for my present, and wished to see what goods I had appropriated for that purpose. I knew that resistance was hopeless, and complaint unavailing; and being in some measure prepared, by the intimation I had received the night before, I quietly offered bim seven bars of amber, and five of tobacco. After surveying these articles for some time very coolly, Demba laid them down, and told me, this was not a present for a man of Tiggity Sego's
consequence, who had it in his own power to take whatever · he pleased from me. He added, that if I did not consent to
make him a larger offering, he would carry all my baggage to his father, and let him choose for himself. I had not time for reply; for Demba and his attendants immediately began to open my bundles, and spread the different articles upon the floor, where they underwent a more strict examination than they had done at Joag. Every thing that pleased them, they took without scruple; and amongst other things, Demba seized the tin box, which had so much attracted his attention in crossing the river. Upon collecting the scattered remains of my little fortune after these people had left me, I found that, as at Joag, I had been plundered of half, so here, without even the shadow of accusation, I was deprived of half the remainder. The blacksmith himself, though a native of Kasson, had also been compelled to open his bundles, and take an oath that the different articles they contained were his own exclusive property. There was, however, no remedy; and having been under some obligation to Demba Sego for his attention towards me in the journey from Joag, I did not reproach him for his rapacity, but determined to quit Teesee at all events the next morning. In the meanwhile, in order to raise the drooping spirits of my attendants, I purchased a fat sheep, and had it dressed for our dinner.
Early in the morning of January 10th, therefore, I left Teesee, and about mid-day ascended a ridge, from whence we had a distant view of the hills round Kooniakary. In the evening we reached a small village, where we slept, and departing from thence the next morning, crossed in a few hours a narrow but deep stream called Krieko, a branch of the Senegal. About two miles farther to the eastward, we passed a large town called Madina ; and at two o'clock came in sight of Jumbo, the blacksmith's native town, from whence he had been absent more than four years. Soon after this, his brother, who had by some means been apprized of his coming, came out to meet him, accompanied by a singing man: he brought a horse for the blacksmith, that he might enter his native town in a dignified manner; and he desired each of us to put a good charge of powder into our guns. The singing man now led the
way, followed by the two brothers; and we were presently joined by a number of people from the town, all of whom demonstrated great joy at seeing their old acquaintance the blacksmith, by the most extravagant jumping and singing. On entering the town, the singing man began an extempore song in praise of the blacksmith, extolling his courage in having overcome so many difficulties ; and concluding with a strict injunction to his friends to dress him plenty of victuals.
When we arrived at the blacksmith's place of residence, we dismounted and fired our musquets. The meeting between him and his relations was very tender; for these rude children of nature, free from restraint, display their emotions in the strongest and most expressive manner. Amidst these transports, the blacksmith's aged mother was led forth, leaning upon a staff. Every one made way for her: and she stretched out her hand to bid her son welcome. Being totally blind, she stroked his hands, arms, and face, with great care, and seemed highly delighted that her latter days were blessed by bis return, and that her ears once more heard the music of his voice. From this interview I was fully convinced, that whatever difference there is between the Negro and European in the conformation of the nose and the colour of the skin, there is none in the genuine sympathies and characteristic feelings of our common nature.
During the tumult of these congratulations, I had seated myself apart, by the side of one of the huts, being unwilling to interrupt the flow of filial and parental tenderness ; and the attention of the company was so entirely taken up
with the blacksmith, that I believe none of his friends had observed me. When all the people present had seated themselves, the blacksmith was desired by his father to give them some account of his adventures ; and silence being commanded, he began ; and after repeatedly thanking God for the success that had attended him, related every material occurrence that had happened to him from his leaving Kasson to his arrival at the Gambia ; his employment and success in those parts; and the dangers he had escaped in returning to his native country. In the latter part of his narration, he had frequently occasion to mention me; and after many strong expressions concerning my kindness to him, he pointed to the place where I sat, and exclaimed, affille ibi siring, “ see him sitting there.” In a moment all eyes were turned upon me; I appeared like a being dropped from the clouds; every one was surprised that they had not observed me before ; and a few women and children expressed great uneasiness at being so near a man of such an uncommon appearance. By degrees, however, their apprehensions subsided; and when the blacksmith assured them that I was perfectly inoffensive, and would hurt nobody, some of them ventured so far as to examine the texture of my clothes ; but many of them were still very suspicious; and when by accident I happened to move myself, or look at the young children, their mothers would scamper off with them with the greatest precipitation. In a few hours, however, they all became reconciled to me.
With these worthy people I spent the remainder of that, and the whole of the ensuing day, in feasting and merriment; and the blacksmith declared he would not quit me during my stay at Kooniakary, for which place we set out early on the morning of the 14th of January, and arrived about the middle of the day at Soolo, a small village three miles to the south of it.
As this place was somewhat out of the direct road, it is necessary to observe, that I went thither to visit a Slatee, or Gambia trader, of great note and reputation, named Salim Daucari. He was well known to Dr. Laidley, who had trusted him with effects to the value of five slaves, and had given me an order for the whole of the debt. We luckily found him at home, and he received me with great kindness and attention.
It is remarkable, however, that the King of Kasson was, by some means, immediately apprized of my motions; for I had been at Soolo but a few hours before Sambo Sego, his