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




















 -   But the main cause of
work is the store, which in this exhausting climate is more than
enough work for - Page 190
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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.

They have 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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