The Road On Nearing Magdala Is More Abrupt; One Or Two Conical Hills
Have To Be Crossed Before The Amba Itself Is Reached.
formed of two cones, separated by a small plateau named Islamgee,
a few hundred feet lower than the two peaks it divides.
peak is the higher of the two, but on account of the absence of
water and the small space it affords, it is not inhabited; and to
Magdala alone belonged the privilege of being Theodore's most famous
fortress, his treasury, and his gaol.
From Islamgee the ascent is steeper, but we were able to ride on
our mules up to the second door; a feat we could not perform whilst
ascending from the Bechelo and Jiddah, as we had not only to descend
almost all the way on foot, but had frequently to dismount at the
ascent, and climb on all-fours, leaving the mules to find their way
as best they could. The distance from Watat to Magdala is generally
accomplished in five hours, but we were nearly seven, as we had to
make frequent halts, and messengers came to and fro from the Amba.
Many of the chiefs of the mountain came out to meet Bitwaddad Tadla.
At Islamgee another long halt was made, I suppose while our lettre
de cachet was examined by the chiefs in council. At last, one
by one, counted like sheep, we passed the doors, and were taken to
a large open space in front of the King's house.
Enter page number
Page 170 of 373
Words from 46339 to 46593