"Boney bwoy" is not a local living skeleton, but a native from Bonny
"Sally own" is Sierra Leone.
"Blow them head-bone inside" means, blow the top off their heads.
I have a collection of trade English letters and documents, for it
is a language that I regard as exceedingly charming, and it really
requires study, as you will see by reading Crashey Jane's epistle
without the aid of a dictionary. It is, moreover, a language that
will take you unexpectedly far in Africa, and if you do not
understand it, land you in some pretty situations. One important
point that you must remember is that the African is logically right
in his answer to such a question as "You have not cleaned this
lamp?" - he says, "Yes, sah" - which means, "yes, I have not cleaned
the lamp." It does not mean a denial to your accusation; he always
uses this form, and it is liable to confuse you at first, as are
many other of the phrases, such as "I look him, I no see him "; this
means "I have been searching for the thing but have not found it";
if he really meant he had looked upon the object but had been unable
to get to it, he would say: "I look him, I no catch him," etc.
The difficulty of the language is, however, far less than the whole
set of difficulties with your own mind. Unless you can make it
pliant enough to follow the African idea step by step, however much
care you may take, you will not bag your game.
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