We Managed, However, To Keep On Good Terms With Both Rebels
Senna is built on a low plain, on the right bank of the Zambesi, with
some pretty detached hills in the background; it is surrounded by a
stockade of living trees to protect its inhabitants from their
troublesome and rebellious neighbours.
It contains a few large
houses, some ruins of others, and a weather-beaten cross, where once
stood a church; a mound shows the site of an ancient monastery, and a
mud fort by the river is so dilapidated, that cows were grazing
peacefully over its prostrate walls.
The few Senna merchants, having little or no trade in the village,
send parties of trusted slaves into the interior to hunt for and
purchase ivory. It is a dull place, and very conducive to sleep.
One is sure to take fever in Senna on the second day, if by chance
one escapes it on the first day of a sojourn there; but no place is
entirely bad. Senna has one redeeming feature: it is the native
village of the large-hearted and hospitable Senhor H. A. Ferrao. The
benevolence of this gentleman is unbounded. The poor black stranger
passing through the town goes to him almost as a matter of course for
food, and is never sent away hungry. In times of famine the starving
natives are fed by his generosity; hundreds of his own people he
never sees except on these occasions; and the only benefit derived
from being their master is, that they lean on him as a patriarchal
chief, and he has the satisfaction of settling their differences, and
of saving their lives in seasons of drought and scarcity.
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