Next Morning Our Guides Went Only About A Mile, And Then Told Us
They Would Return Home.
I expected this when paying them beforehand,
in accordance with the entreaties of the Makololo, who are rather
ignorant of the world.
Very energetic remonstrances were addressed
to the guides, but they slipped off one by one in the thick forest
through which we were passing, and I was glad to hear my companions
coming to the conclusion that, as we were now in parts visited by traders,
we did not require the guides, whose chief use had been
to prevent misapprehension of our objects in the minds of the villagers.
The country was somewhat more undulating now than it had been,
and several fine small streams flowed in deep woody dells.
The trees are very tall and straight, and the forests gloomy and damp;
the ground in these solitudes is quite covered with yellow and brown mosses,
and light-colored lichens clothe all the trees. The soil is
extremely fertile, being generally a black loam covered with
a thick crop of tall grasses. We passed several villages too.
The head man of a large one scolded us well for passing, when he intended
to give us food. Where slave-traders have been in the habit of coming,
they present food, then demand three or four times its value as a custom.
We were now rather glad to get past villages without intercourse
with the inhabitants.
We were traveling W.N.W., and all the rivulets we here crossed
had a northerly course, and were reported to fall into the Kasai or Loke;
most of them had the peculiar boggy banks of the country.
As we were now in the alleged latitude of the Coanza,
I was much astonished at the entire absence of any knowledge of that river
among the natives of this quarter.
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