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

 -   In front of us were miles of distant
mountains, but in no direction the slightest sign of human
habitation.  Soon - Page 240
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In Front Of Us Were Miles Of Distant Mountains, But In No Direction The Slightest Sign Of Human Habitation.

Soon we passed out of our channel into a lovely, strangely melancholy, lonely-looking lake - Lake Ncovi, my friends tell me.

It is exceedingly beautiful. The rich golden sunlight of the late afternoon soon followed by the short-lived, glorious flushes of colour of the sunset and the after-glow, play over the scene as we paddle across the lake to the N.N.E. - our canoe leaving a long trail of frosted silver behind her as she glides over the mirror-like water, and each stroke of the paddle sending down air with it to come up again in luminous silver bubbles - not as before in swirls of sand and mud. The lake shore is, in all directions, wreathed with nobly forested hills, indigo and purple in the dying daylight. On the N.N.E. and N.E. these come directly down into the lake; on N.W., N., S.W., and S.E. there is a band of well-forested ground, behind which they rise. In the north and north-eastern part of the lake several exceedingly beautiful wooded islands show, with gray rocky beaches and dwarf cliffs.

Sign of human habitation at first there was none; and in spite of its beauty, there was something which I was almost going to say was repulsive. The men evidently felt the same as I did. Had any one told me that the air that lay on the lake was poison, or that in among its forests lay some path to regions of utter death, I should have said - "It looks like that"; but no one said anything, and we only looked round uneasily, until the comfortable-souled Singlet made the unfortunate observation that he "smelt blood." {185} We all called him an utter fool to relieve our minds, and made our way towards the second island.

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