Travels Of Richard And John Lander Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons) by Mary H. Kingsley




















 -   And in addition it must be remembered
that the natives with whom these trading vessels dealt, first for
slaves, afterwards - Page 100
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And In Addition It Must Be Remembered That The Natives With Whom These Trading Vessels Dealt, First For Slaves, Afterwards For Palm-Oil, Were Not, And Are Not Now, Members Of The Lo Family Of Savages.

Far from it:

They do not go in for "gentle smiles," but for murdering any unprotected boat's crew they happen to come across, not only for a love of sport but to keep white traders from penetrating to the trade-producing interior, and spoiling prices. And the region is practically foodless.

The rivers of the great mangrove-swamp from the Sombreiro to the Rio del Rey are now known pretty surely not to be branches of the Niger, but the upper regions of this part of the Bight are much neglected by English explorers. I believe the great swamp region of the Bight of Biafra is the greatest in the world, and that in its immensity and gloom it has a grandeur equal to that of the Himalayas.

Take any man, educated or not, and place him on Bonny or Forcados River in the wet season on a Sunday - Bonny for choice. Forcados is good. You'll keep Forcados scenery "indelibly limned on the tablets of your mind when a yesterday has faded from its page," after you have spent even a week waiting for the Lagos branch-boat on its inky waters. But Bonny! Well, come inside the bar and anchor off the factories: seaward there is the foam of the bar gleaming and wicked white against a leaden sky and what there is left of Breaker Island. In every other direction you will see the apparently endless walls of mangrove, unvarying in colour, unvarying in form, unvarying in height, save from perspective.

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