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distance. From the margins of the forest the land gradually sloped, and signs of population were apparent in sheds and patches of plantation.'
Mr. Du Chaillu stayed about two months at Máyolo, and his arrival was followed by the fatal small-pox. The chief's favourite wife and one of his nephews were taken ill, and, as usual, the sickness was attributed to witchcraft. Suspicion fell upon three of the chief's nephews, and they were compelled to go through the poison ordeal, which is an exact counterpart of the ordeal of the middle ages in Europe. A bowl of vegetable poison was prepared, out of which each of the victims had to drink in the presence of the assembled population, who were armed with knives and axes and spears to hack to pieces the bodies of any of the three who should sink under the ordeal. But they all escaped with their lives. They drank the poison, and yet were able to resist its effects, • The struggle was a severe one; the eyes of the young men became bloodshot, their limbs trembled convulsively, and every muscle in their bodies was visibly working under the potent irritation. An analysis made of the roots of the plant shows, according to Mr. Du Chaillu, that it is 'a most violent poison.' But we can hardly understand how it so often fails, for the doctor' who had been consulted as to the bewitchment of the village afterwards himself drank an enormous quantity of the poison, which passed off with no other effect than that of intoxicating him. Strychnine, or arsenic, or prussic acid, would have been a very different affair. Although Mr. Du Chaillu does not seem to have tasted this poison himself, he unconsciously swallowed homeopathic doses of another kind; for, as the time approached for his departure from Mayolo, he each day received delicate attentions from the chief in the shape of eatables sent from his hut; and he then found out that it was an African custom to mix in dishes given to a guest powder from the skull of a deceased ancestor, with a view to soften his heart and dispose him to be generous in the matter of parting gifts.
Little or nothing of interest occurred during his stay in Otando land. He amused the people with pictures in the “Illustrated London News' and Punch. 6“Punch," the traveller's friend, excited their wonder greatly. They all exclaimed, “What a fine cap he wears !” and asked me if I had any like it. They were quite disappointed when I told them I had not.' But a musical box set down on a stool in the village-street and playing by itself fairly frightened them, as they thought that a devil was inside the box; and they were still more astonished when they received
some shocks from a galvanic battery. But they seemed to have a dim notion of the cause, for they cried out . Eninda!' which is the name of a species of electric fish found in the neighbouring streams. Their wonder, however, passed all bounds when a large magnet was brought out, and they saw knives and swords sticking to it. The idea of the traveller's wealth overpowered them, and the chief of the village declared that, if he was not a king, he must be next to a king in his own country. Some of the greatest pests in this part of Africa are the ants. There are ants that build hives or houses on the ground shaped like gigantic mush
and scattered by tens of thousands over the Otando prairie. There are tree-ants, that make their nests between the ribs of the trunks of trees, and others of a much larger size, of a light yellow colour, which rear what may be called huts in the forest, upwards of four feet high. But the most troublesome seem to be the Bashikouay ants, whose bite, although not venomous, is extremely painful, and they travel in swarming myriads along the ground. Mr. Du Chaillu says, “There can be no doubt that if a man were firmly tied to a bed so that he could not escape, he would be entirely eaten up by these ants in a short space of time.' Once they got possession of his room and drove him out of it, until he was able to stop the advance of the invading host by kindling a fire outside the house on their line of march, and destroying them by thousands. He says :
“The armies of the Bashikouays seem for ever on the march, clearing the ground of every fragment of animal substance, dead or alive, which they can obtain or overpower; and so furious are their onslaughts on the
any one who steps near their armies that it is difficult or impossible to trace the columns to their nests, if, indeed, they have any."
Leaving Máyolo at the end of May he proceeded eastward towards Apono land. He had to cross a high hill, part of an elevated ridge, from the summit of which were seen in the distance the still higher ranges of mountains, amongst which dwell the Ishogo, the Ashango, and other tribes, and the sides were covered with the same eternal forest. He was now on wholly new ground, and was the first white man who had been seen in that part of Africa. The people when they caught sight of him and his party began to fly. The women snatched up their infants and cried out as they ran away, “The Oguizi! (spirit) the Oguizi! He has come, and we shall die.' They associated his arrival with the scourge of small-pox which had already swept over that part of the country. He crossed the Upper Ngouyai river on a large fat-bottomed canoe which
carried the party and baggage over in seven trips. The Ngouyai here is a fine stream, nearly as wide as the Thames at London Bridge, and from ten to fifteen feet deep. It flows from the S.S.W. He was now in the Apono country, part of which is occupied by isolated portions of the Ishogo tribe—and he found the people terrified at his approach, and most unwilling to allow him to proceed, as the report that he brought the eviva or plague along with him had been spread far into the interior. He reached, however, a large village called Mokaba, where he met with a more friendly reception, and was only annoyed by the excessive curiosity of the inhabitants. He says,
• The place swarms with people, and I have been haunted at my encampment by numbers of sight-seers. The way they come upon me is sometimes quite startling; they sidle up behind trees, or crawl up amongst the long grass until they are near enough, and then, from behind the tree-trunks or above the herbage, a number of soot-black faces suddenly bob out, staring at me with eyes and mouth wide open. The least thing I do elicits shouts of wonder; but if I look directly at them, they take to their legs, and run as if for their lives.'
The Aponos are distinguished by their sprightliness of character, and are clean and well-looking.
• Their villages are larger, better arranged, and prettier than those of the Otando and Ashira Ngozai. Each house is built separate from its neighbours, and they attend to cleanliness in their domestic arrangements. Their country is an undulating plain, varied with open grassy places, covered with a pebbly soil and rich and extensive patches of woodland, well adapted for agriculture, in which they make their plantations.
Iron ore exists in considerable quantity in their prairies, and they melt it in little thick earthenware pots, using charcoal to temper the metal. But the tribes situated further to the east are the most expert workers in iron, and all the anvils which Mr. Du Chaillu saw in Apono land came from them. Like the Ashiras they are dexterous weavers of grass cloth, which forms their clothing. We have seen some of the Ashira mats, and in neatness of pattern and finish of workınanship, they are equal to anything of the kind manufactured in Europe. Mr. Du Chaillu calls them a 'merry people,' that is, they make a regular practice of getting drunk every day as long as they can procure palm wine. They hang calabashes to the trees, and climb them in the morning to drink deep draughts of their favourite beverage. It was the height of the drunken season when he was at Mokaba, and dancing, tam-tamming, and wild uproar, with as much quarrelling as goes on at an Irish fair, were kept up day and night.
From Mokaba the route lay a little to the north of east. The ground began to rise, and Mr. Du Chaillu entered on a richlywooded hilly country in which were numerous plantations and villages of slaves belonging to the head men of Mokaba. He was now amongst the Ishogos, a fine tribe of strong well-made negroes, differing in many respects from those he had hitherto
Both sexes ornament themselves by rubbing their bodies with red powder, but the most curious part of a woman's toilette is her chignon, the shapes and sizes of which might excite the envy of an European belle. It is much more magnificent, and hardly more ugly than the bunches with which English ladies at the present day disfigure their heads. There are three pictures in Mr. Du Chaillu's book of the Ishogo fashions in this respect, and we are not sure that they may not be adopted before long amongst ourselves. One may be called the chignon horizontal, the other the chignon oblique, and the third the chignon vertical. Chronologically, it would appear that the African had the start of the Parisian belle, and that the invention is due to our black sisters.
We are so apt to associate with the idea of Africa sand and desert and jungle, that it is difficult to realize to the mind's eye the beauty of much of the scenery, and we are hardly prepared for such a description as that which Mr. Du Chaillu gives of the village of Mokenga, where he stayed for a short time during his journey through the country of the Ishogos :
The village was surrounded by a dense grove of plantain-trees, many of which had to be supported by poles, on account of the weight of the enormous branches of plantains they bore. Little groves of lime-trees were scattered everywhere, and the limes, like so much golden fruit, looked beautiful amidst the dark foliage that surrounded them. Tall, towering palm-trees were scattered here and there. Above and behind this village was the dark green forest. ..., The spring from which the villagers draw their water is situated in a most charming spot. A rill of water, clear and cold, leaps from the lower part of a precipitous hill, with a fall of about nine feet into a crystal basin, whence a rivulet brawls down towards the lower land through luxuriant woodlands. The hill itself and the neighbourhood of the spring are clothed with forest, as, in fact, is the whole country, and the path leads under shade to the cool fountain. I used to go there in the morning whilst I was at the village, to take a douche bath. In such places the vegetation of the tropics always shows itself to the best advantage; favoured by the moisture, the glossy and elegant foliage of many strange trees and plants assumes its full development, whilst graceful creepers hang from the branches, and ferns and lilaceous plants grow luxuriantly about the moist margins of the spring.' A stream called the Odiganga, one of the tributaries of the
Ngouyai River, divides the Ishogo from the Ashango territory. When Mr. Du Chaillu crossed it, his Ishogo porters mutinied and laid down their loads, declaring that if he did not give them more beads they would return to their homes. He, however, told his Commi men to arm, and they stepped forward and levelled their guns at the heads of the Ishogos, who immediately gave in, holding out their hands and begging to be forgiven. It was a little attempt at extortion, the failure of which did not in the least disconcert them, for in a short time they had again taken up their loads, and we marched off at a quick pace; the porters becoming quite cheerful, laughing and chattering as they trudged along.' It is curious to notice the contempt which the negroes of the coast feel for the negroes of the interior. They were constantly tempted to insult them, and no arguments could induce them to believe that the Commi tribe were the same race as the Ashangos. “How is it possible,' they said, that Chaillie can think us to be of the same blood as these slaves ?'
In most of the Ashango villages the people were very anxious to get gunpowder, and the porters wished to be paid partly in that article. They were asked why they wanted powder, as they had no guns, and were even afraid of handling one. They replied that a tribe called Ashangui, to the east, bought gunpowder and gave them iron for it, that there was a good deal of iron there, and that all their swords, spears, and arrow-heads were made of iron bought from that country. The iron sold by the traders on the West Coast does not reach so far inland as Ashango.
At Niembouai, one of the principal Ashango villages, there was a grand palaver whether the white man should be allowed to proceed, but the question was carried unanimously in the affirmative. While waiting there Mr. Du Chaillu took the opportunity of visiting the settlement of the Obongos, one of whose villages was in the neighbourhood. These are a curious race of dwarf negroes covered with tufts of hair on their bodies. They seem to be as distinct from the surrounding population as gipsies are amongst ourselves, and to be almost as low in the scale of humanity as the tree Dyaks of Borneo. They neither plant nor sow, but are expert trappers and fishermen, and feed on roots, berries, and nuts which they find in the forest, while they sell the game they catch to the settled inhabitants. The Ashangos despise them, but treat them with kindness, and often give their old worn grass-cloths to the Obongos. Their huts are filthily dirty, swarming with fleas, so that it was impossible to stay in them. They fled at the approach of the strangers, and in the course of several visits Mr. Du Chaillu could only