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




















 -   One of that first gang
of boys showed self-help to such a remarkable degree that I
christened him Smiles - Page 630
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One Of That First Gang Of Boys Showed Self-Help To Such A Remarkable Degree That I Christened Him Smiles.

His name - You-be-d - d - being both protracted and improper, called for change of some sort, but even

This brought no comfort to one still hampered with conventional ideas regarding property, and frequent roll-calls were found necessary, so that the crimes of my friend Smiles and his fellows might not accumulate to an unmanageable extent.

This used to be the sort of thing - "Where them Nettlerash lib?" "He lib for drunk, Massa." "Where them Smiles?" "He lib for town, for steal, Massa." "Where them Black Man Misery?" But I draw a veil over the confessional, for there is simply no artistic reticence about your Kruman when he is telling the truth, or otherwise, regarding a fellow creature.

After accumulating with this gang enough experience to fill a hat (remembering always "one of the worst things you can do in West Africa is to worry yourself") I bethought me of the advice I had received from my cousin Rose Kingsley, who had successfully ridden through Mexico when Mexico was having a rather worse revolution than usual, "to always preserve a firm manner." I thought I would try this on those Kruboys and said "NO" in place of "I wish you would not do that, please." I can't say it was an immediate success. During this period we came across a trader's lonely store wherein he had a consignment of red parasols.

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