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second son, came thither with a party of horse, to enquire what had prevented me from proceeding to Kooniakary, and waiting immediately upon the king,who he said was impatient to see me. Salim Daucari made my apology, and promised to accompany me to Kooniakary the same evening : we accordingly departed froin Soolo at sunset, and in about an hour entered Kooniakary. But as the king had gone to sleep, we deferred the interview till next morning, and slept at the hut of Sambo Sego.
My interview with the king, and the incidents which occurred to me in the kingdoms of Kasson and Kaarta, will be the subject of the ensuing Chapter.
The Author admitted to an Audience of the King of Kasson, whom
he finds well disposed towards him.- Incidents during the Author's Stay at Kooniakary.—Departs thence for Kemmoo, the Capital of Kaarta.— Is received with great Kindness by the King of Kaarta, who dissuades him from prosecuting his Journey, on Account of approaching Hostilities with the King of Bambarra.- The Author determines, notwithstanding, to proceed: and the usual route being obstructed, takes the Path to Ludamar, a Moorish Kingdom.— Is accommodated by the King with a guide to Jarra, the frontier Town of the Moorish Territories; and sets out for that Place, accompanied by three of the King's Sons, and 200 Horsemen.
About eight o'clock in the morning of January 15, 1796, we went to an audience of the king (Demba Sego Jalla); but the crowd of people to see me was so great, that I could scarcely get admittance. A passage being at length obtained, I made my bow to the monarch, whom we found sitting upon a mat, in a large but: he appeared to be a man of about sixty years of age: his success in war, and the mildness of his behaviour in time of peace, had much endeared him to all his subjects. He surveyed me with great attention ; and when Salim Daucari explained to him the object of my journey, and my reasons for passing through his country, the good old king appeared not only perfectly satisfied, but promised me every assistance in his power. He informed me that he had seen Major Houghton, and presented him with a white horse; but after crossing the kingdom of Kaarta, he had lost his life among the Moors; in what manner he could not inform me. When this audience was ended we returned to our lodging, and I made up a small present for the king, out of the few effects that were left me; for I had not yet received any thing from Salim Daucari. This present, though inconsiderable in itself, was well received by the king, who sent me in return a large white bullock : the sight of this animal quite delighted my attendants; not so much on account of its bulk, as from its being of a white colour, which is considered as a particular mark of favour. But although the king himself was well disposed towards me, and readily granted me permission to pass through his territories, I soon discovered that very great and unexpected obstacles were likely to impede my progress. Besides the war which was on the point of breaking out between Kasson and Kajaaga, I was told that the next kingdom of Kaarta, through which my route lay, was involved in the issue ; and was furthermore threatened with hostilities on the part of Bambarra. The king himself informed me of these circumstances, and advised me to stay in the neighbourhood of Kooniakary, till such time as he could procure proper information respecting Bambarra, which he expected to do in the course of four or five days, as he had already, he said, sent four messengers into Kaarta for that purpose. I readily submitted to this proposal, and went to Soolo, to stay there till the return of one of those messengers. This afforded me a favourable opportunity of receiving what money Salim Daucari could spare me on Dr. Laidley's account. ceeded in receiving the value of three slaves, chiefly in gold
dust; and being anxious to proceed as quickly as possible, I begged Daucari to use his interest with the king to allow me a guide by the way of Fooladoo, as I was informed that the war had already commenced between the Kings of Bambarra and Kaarta. Daucari accordingly set out for Kooniakary on the morning of the 20th, and the same evening returned with the king's answer, which was to this purpose ; that the king had many years ago, made an agreement with Daisey, King of Kaarta, to send all merchants and travellers through his dominions; but that if I wished to take the route through Fooladoo, I had his permission so to do; though he could not, consistently with his agreement, lend me a guide. Having felt the want of regal protection in a former part of my journey, I was unwilling to hazard a repetition of the hardships I had then experienced, especially as the money I had received was probably the last supply that I should obtain; I therefore determined to wait for the return of the messengers from Kaarta.
In the interim, it began to be whispered abroad that I had received plenty of gold from Salim Daucari ; and on the morning of the 23d, Sambo Sego paid me a visit with a party of horsemen. He insisted upon knowing the exact amount of the money I had obtained ; declaring, that whatever the sum was, one half of it must go to the king; besides which, he intimated that he expected a handsome present for himself, as being the king's son: and for his attendants, as being the king's relations. The reader will easily perceive, that if all these demands had been satisfied, I should not have been overburdened with money; but though it was very mortifying to me to comply with the demands of injustice, and so
arbitrary an exaction, yet thinking it was highly dangerous to make a foolish resistance, and irritate the lion when within the reach of his paw, I prepared to submit; and if Salim Daucari had not interposed, all my endeavours to mitigate this oppressive claim would have been of no avail. Salim at last prevailed upon Sambo to accept sixteen bars of European merchandize, and some powder and ball, as a complete payment of
every demand that could be made upon me in the kingdom of Kasson.
January 26th, in the forenoon, I went to the top of a high bill to the southward of Soolo, where I had a most enchanting prospect of the country. The number of towns and villages, and the extensive cultivation around them, surpassed every thing I had yet seen in Africa. A gross
A gross calculation may be formed of the number of inhabitants in this delightful plain, by considering, that the King of Kasson can raise four thousand fighting men by the sound of his war drum. In traversing the rocky eminences of this hill, which are almost destitute of vegetation, I observed a number of large holes in the crevices and fissures of the rocks, where the wolves and hyænas take refuge during the day. Some of these animals paid us a visit on the evening of the 27th : their approach was discovered by the dogs of the village ; and on this occasion it is remarkable, that the dogs did not bark, but howl in the most dismal manner. The inhabitants of the village no sooner heard them than, knowing the cause, they armed themselves ; and providing bunches of dry grass, went in a body to the inclosure in the middle of the village where the cattle were kept. Here they lighted the bunches of grass, and, waving them to and fro, ran hooping and ballooing