The River War - An Account Of The Reconquest Of The Sudan By Winston S. Churchill

















































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South of Khartoum and of 'The Military Soudan' the land becomes more
fruitful. The tributaries of the Nile multiply the - Page 8
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South Of Khartoum And Of 'The Military Soudan' The Land Becomes More Fruitful.

The tributaries of the Nile multiply the areas of riparian fertility.

A considerable rainfall, increasing as the Equator is approached, enables the intervening spaces to support vegetation and consequently human life. The greater part of the country is feverish and unhealthy, nor can Europeans long sustain the attacks of its climate. Nevertheless it is by no means valueless. On the east the province of Sennar used to produce abundant grain, and might easily produce no less abundant cotton. Westward the vast territories of Kordofan and Darfur afford grazing-grounds to a multitude of cattle, and give means of livelihood to great numbers of Baggara or cow-herd Arabs, who may also pursue with activity and stratagem the fleet giraffe and the still fleeter ostrich. To the south-east lies Bahr-el-Ghazal, a great tract of country occupied by dense woods and plentifully watered. Further south and nearer the Equator the forests and marshes become exuberant with tropical growths, and the whole face of the land is moist and green. Amid groves of gigantic trees and through plains of high waving grass the stately elephant roams in herds which occasionally number four hundred, hardly ever disturbed by a well-armed hunter. The ivory of their tusks constitutes the wealth of the Equatorial Province. So greatly they abound that Emin Pasha is provoked to complain of a pest of these valuable pachyderms [LIFE OF EMIN PASHA, vol.i chapter ix.]: and although they are only assailed by the natives with spear and gun, no less than twelve thousand hundredweight of ivory has been exported in a single year [Ibid.] All other kinds of large beasts known to man inhabit these obscure retreats.

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