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


But to return to our state journey along the Christiansborg road.
We soon reached the castle, an exceedingly roomy and - Page 40
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But To Return To Our State Journey Along The Christiansborg Road. We Soon Reached The Castle, An Exceedingly Roomy And Solid Edifice Built By The Danes, And Far Better Fitted For The Climate Than Our Modern Dwellings, In Spite Of Our Supposed Advance In Tropical Hygiene.

We entered by the sentry-guarded great gate into the courtyard; on the right hand were the rest of the guard; most of them asleep on their mats, but a few busy saying Dhikr, etc., towards Mecca, like the good Mohammedans these Haussas are, others winding themselves into their cummerbunds.

On the left hand was Sir Brandford Griffiths' hobby - a choice and select little garden, of lovely eucharis lilies mostly in tubs, and rare and beautiful flowers brought by him from his Barbadian home; while shading it and the courtyard was a fine specimen of that superb thing of beauty - a flamboyant tree - glorious with its delicate-green acacia-like leaves and vermilion and yellow flowers, and astonishing with its vast beans. A flight of stone stairs leads from the courtyard to the upper part of the castle where the living rooms are, over the extensive series of cool tunnel-like slave barracoons, now used as store chambers. The upper rooms are high and large, and full of a soft pleasant light and the thunder of the everlasting surf breaking on the rocky spit on which the castle is built.

From the day the castle was built, now more than a hundred years ago, the surf spray has been swept by the on-shore evening breeze into every chink and cranny of the whole building, and hence the place is mouldy - mouldy to an extent I, with all my experience in that paradise for mould, West Africa, have never elsewhere seen. The matting on the floors took an impression of your foot as a light snowfall would.

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