The country is drying up; although the stream is full there is no rain
in Latooka, the water in the river being the eastern drainage of the
Obbo mountains, where it rains daily.
Ibrahimawa, the Bornu man, alias "Sinbad the Sailor," the great
traveller, amuses and bores me daily with his long and wonderful stories
of his travels. The style of his narratives may be conjectured from the
following extracts: "There was a country adjoining Bornu, where the king
was so fat and heavy that he could not walk, until the doctors OPENED
HIS BELLY AND CUT THE FAT OUT, which operation was repeated annually."
He described another country as a perfect Paradise, where no one ever
drank anything so inferior as water. This country was so wealthy that
the poorest man could drink merissa (beer). He illustrated the general
intoxication by saying, that "after 3 P.M. no one was sober, throughout
the country, and from that hour the cows, goats, and fowls WERE ALL
DRUNK, as they drank the merissa left in the jars by their owners, who
were all asleep."
He knew all about England, having been a servant, on a Turkish frigate
that was sent to Gravesend. He described an evening entertainment most
vividly. He had been to a ball at an "English Pasha's in Blackwall," and
had succeeded wonderfully with some charming English ladies excessively
"decollete," upon whom he felt sure he had left a lasting impression, as
several had fallen in love with him on the spot, supposing him to be a