But The Main Cause Of
Work Is The Store, Which In This Exhausting Climate Is More Than
Enough Work For One Man Alone.
Payments on the Ogowe are made in goods; the natives do not use any
coinage-equivalent, save in the strange case of the Fans, which does
not touch general trade and which I will speak of later.
not even the brass bars and cheetems that are in us in Calabar, or
cowries as in Lagos. In order to expedite and simplify this goods
traffic, a written or printed piece of paper is employed -
practically a cheque, which is called a "bon" or "book," and these
"bons" are cashed - i.e. gooded, at the store. They are for three
amounts. Five fura = a dollar. One fura = a franc. Desu = fifty
centimes = half a fura. The value given for these "bons" is the
same from Government, Trade, and Mission. Although the Mission
Evangelique does not trade - i.e. buy produce and sell it at a
profit, its representatives have a great deal of business to attend
to through the store, which is practically a bank. All the native
evangelists, black teachers, Bible-readers and labourers on the
stations are paid off in these bons; and when any representative of
the mission is away on a journey, food bought for themselves and
their canoe crews is paid for in bons, which are brought in by the
natives at their convenience, and changed for goods at the store.
Therefore for several hours every weekday the missionary has to
devote himself to store work, and store work out here is by no means
playing at shop.
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