Travels In The Interior Of Africa - Volume 1 of 2 - By Mungo Park

 -   They were joined by a number of female
visitors, who came on purpose to assist at this melancholy concert.
I - Page 110
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They Were Joined By A Number Of Female Visitors, Who Came On Purpose To Assist At This Melancholy Concert. I Had No Opportunity Of Seeing The Burial, Which Is Generally Performed Secretly, In The Dusk Of The Evening, And Frequently At Only A Few Yards' Distance From The Tent.

Over the grave they plant one particular shrub, and no stranger is allowed to pluck a leaf, or even to touch it - so great a veneration have they for the dead.

April 7. - About four o'clock in the afternoon a whirlwind passed through the camp with such violence that it overturned three tents, and blew down one side of my hut. These whirlwinds come from the Great Desert, and at this season of the year are so common that I have seen five or six of them at one time. They carry up quantities of sand to an amazing height, which resemble, at a distance, so many moving pillars of smoke.

The scorching heat of the sun, upon a dry and sandy country, makes the air insufferably hot. Ali having robbed me of my thermometer, I had no means of forming a comparative judgment; but in the middle of the day, when the beams of the vertical sun are seconded by the scorching wind from the desert, the ground is frequently heated to such a degree as not to be borne by the naked foot. Even the negro slaves will not run from one tent to another without their sandals. At this time of the day the Moors lie stretched at length in their tents, either asleep, or unwilling to move; and I have often felt the wind so hot, that I could not hold my hand in the current of air which came through the crevices of my hut without feeling sensible pain.

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