The Canoe Was Formed Of A Large
Hollow Tree, Capable Of Holding Twenty People, And The Natives Paddled
Us Across The Rapid Current Just Below The Falls.
A large fire was
blazing upon the opposite shore, on a level with the river, to guide us
to the landing-place.
Gliding through a narrow passage in the reeds, we
touched the shore and landed upon a slippery rock, close to the fire,
amid a crowd of people, who immediately struck up a deafening welcome
with horns and flageolets, and marched us up the steep face of the rocky
cliff through a dark grove of bananas. Torches led the way, followed by
a long file of spearmen; then came the noisy band and ourselves, I
towing my wife up the precipitous path, while my few attendants followed
behind with a number of natives who had volunteered to carry the
On arrival at the top of the cliff, we were about 180 feet above the
river; and after a walk of about a quarter of a mile, we were
triumphantly led into the heart of the village, and halted in a small
courtyard in front of the headman's residence.
Keedja waited to receive us by a blazing fire. Not having had anything
to eat, we were uncommonly hungry, and to our great delight a basketful
of ripe plantains was presented to us. These were the first that I had
seen for many years. A gourd bottle of plantain wine was offered and
immediately emptied; it resembled extremely poor cider.
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