Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa by Mungo Park

By Mungo Park

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_ As there appeared great probability that Teesee, from its being a frontier town, would be much exposed, during the war, to the predatory excursions of the Moors of Gadumah, Tiggity Sego had, before my arrival, sent round to the neighbouring villages, to beg or to purchase as much provisions as would afford subsistence to the inhabitants for one whole year, independently of the crop on the ground, which the Moors might destroy. This project was well received by the country people, and they fixed a day on which to bring all the provisions they could spare to Teesee; and as my horse was not yet returned, I went in the afternoon of January 4th, 1796, to meet the escort with the provisions.

Whilst I was listening to this narrative, the ten horsemen mentioned by Madiboo arrived; and coming to the Bentang, dismounted and seated themselves with those who had come before, the whole being about twenty in number, forming a circle round me, and each man holding his musket in his hand. I took this opportunity to observe to my landlord, that as I did not understand the Serawoolli tongue, I hoped, whatever the men had to say they would speak in Mandingo. To this they agreed; and a short man, loaded with a remarkable number of saphies, opened the business in a very long harangue, informing me that I had entered the king's town without having first paid the CHAPTER V 37 duties, or giving any present to the king, and that, according to the laws of the country, my people, cattle, and baggage, were forfeited.

Experience had taught her that hunger CHAPTER V 38 was painful, and her own distresses made her commiserate those of others. The old woman had scarcely left me, when I received information that a nephew of Demba Sego Jalla, the Mandingo King of Kasson, was coming to pay me a visit. He had been sent on an embassy to Batcheri, King of Kajaaga, to endeavour to settle the disputes which had arisen between his uncle and the latter; but after debating the matter four days without success, he was now on his return; and hearing that a white man was at Joag, in his way to Kasson, curiosity brought him to see me.

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