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jine. Up-stream the view, equally flat floor was entirely devoted to merchanand unbroken, afforded rather more dise and coopers' work-shops, for the variety of color. The broad stream repair and manufacture of the casks in stretched away an unruffled streak of which the palm-oil is sent to England, light — till it melted into the haze of The first and residential floor was the northern horizon ; the green foliage reached by a broad wooden staircase and brown, gnarled stems and roots outside the house, but under cover of of the unending mangroves stood out the wide verandah which encircled the sharply on an island in mid-stream a whole building. On to this verandah few hundred yards above us; whilst all the rooms gave. At the top of the on the left bank, above the factories, staircase and facing the river was the mangroves again showed a sheet of less dining-room, occupying nearly all the brilliant green, gradually fading in the centre of the house ; to the right and far distance into the grey of sky and left of it large, airy bedrooms opened, river.

giving respectively as well on to the The hulk just mentioned was a rem-northern and southern verandahs ; nant of the older style of trading, when while on the other side were the offices, merchants sent their own vessels, which, Captain Boler's own rooms, and those casting anchor in the rivers, were cov- of his clerks. ered with mat awnings and gener- In the afternoon Major Macdonald ally made comfortable, — remaining for took us to see the cathedral. Soon after weeks or months until their original starting we came to a narrow tidal cargo was exhausted and replaced by channel, and were anxiously debating barrels of palm-oil. Later on they took as to the best means of passing it, when to leaving one ship permanently on the three naked little blackamoors appeared, coast, moored to the shore, dismantled, one of whom, pointing at me, said, and turned into a floating house and “Me carry them man;" and as good fortress ; for in the good old days of as his word, he lifted me on his shoulthe - Palm-oil Ruffian,” the vocation ders and carried me across.

Our way of merchants on this coast was anything to the cathedral lay through Bonny. but a peaceful one. Now goods are all Town, a dirty and intricate collection sent out by the regular lines of steam- of huts ; some with wattle-and-daub ers, and the merchants' representatives walls and palm-leaf thatched roofs ; live in comfortable houses on the dry others of mud-brick and corrugated iron land.

roofs ; and some again a mixture of the Soon a smart gig put out from the two styles of architecture, but all out of shore, and brought on board Captain repair, and as far as I could see, filthily. Boler, one of the oldest English resi- dirty. The chief feature of the place dents on the coast, and Major (now Sir appeared to be the extraordinary numClaud) Macdonald, the British high ber of broken square-face “Holland's” commissioner for the oil-rivers, who gin bottles which were strewn about its had just arrived from England on a streets, and which afforded ample evispecial mission.

The former kindly dence of the thirsty temperament of its invited us to stay with him while we inhabitants. Gin is one of the most remained at Bonny; and finding that important exports from England to our we were likely to have to wait some new protectorate, and so highly appredays before the arrival of the Nubia, ciated by the natives that they even which was to take us to England, we have a few bottles buried with them ladly accepted his offer. So packing when they die ; and as I learnt from a op our traps, we reluctantly bade fare- wooden image of a god which was well to the Benguela, her captain and given to me, they have promoted it to Officers, and accompanied Captain Boler the dignity of the ancient nectar - the ahore.

deity in question being represented His residence was a substantial, two- with a square-face bottle in each storied building, of which the ground hand.

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Two minutes' walk, however, sufficed pleasant dwelling in a well-kept garden for the passage of King Ja-ja's capital, facing the river. We were most amiaand brought us to the margin of a deep bly received by the archdeacon and pool surrounded by gigantic cotton- Mrs. Crowther, who showed us over trees, whose heavy shade and but their beautiful church and well-built tressed roots would almost bave made schools, the former capable of seating one imagine one's self in some early a thousand persons - - a number which, English cloister, but for its human oc- I am told, the archdeacon often draws cupants, whose behavior and appear- within its walls. The mission buildings ance were as far as possible opposed to are all situated in a clearing in a part all' ideas of peace and dignity. Here of the bush which was formerly sacred King Ja-ja's female subjects come to to the local god, and from which his draw water for their households : fat, votaries, ever anxious to secure a huelderly negresses, swathed in two or man sacrifice, were in the habit of three parti-colored square dusters ; pouncing out ou unsuspecting wayslim, agile young matrons, looking any-farers. thing but matronly in half a yard of Although it is an open question the same material ; girls of all ages, whether the West African negro has from six to sixteen, with no fraction of yet arrived at a stage which fits him for a duster, but adorned with a single the reception of our religion and civilstring of cowries pendant from their ization, with their attendant liberties in hips; all carrying huge water-jars on the matter of gin, gunpowder, and their shoulders (in the case of the chil- forms of worship, and restrictions as to dren almost as large as themselves), sexual relationship, there can be no and all laughing and talking and splash- doubt that the world at large can no ing to the utmost of their powers. Ac- longer tolerate the cruelties and abomcompanying them were the unemployed inations attendant on his ancestor and youths of Bonny (apparently a large devil worship, nor live cheek-by-jowl proportion of the population), helping (as it must nowadays with all seaboard the women, as idle young men do all populations) with a people which practhe world over, by causing endless gig- tises them. Whatever may be thought gles, and rendering the proper business of the advantages of missionary work on hand perfectly impossible. I was among members of more advanced retoo far off to hear what was said, and ligions, the thanks of the civilized world even, had I been nearer, was unac- are certainly due to the missionaries quainted with the Yoruba dialect spoken who have at all events stamped out the at Bonny ; yet I understood every word outward and more objectionable forms that was uttered as well as if I had of West African superstition. Among been watching a similar scene being these Archdeacon Crowther, and, as I enacted in an English ball-room, or on heard on all sides, his father, the Bishop the area steps of a London house. of the Niger, belong to the very highest The consequences of the Tower of class; and being themselves natives, Babel have no doubt been most annoy- have an amount of influence which no ing to serious-minded persons in search white man could hope to attain. Like of information ; but to the truly friv- their American brothers, some of the olous they have caused but little prac- black parsons are decidedly quaint in tical inconvenience, nor will, until a their methods of teaching. One who second and worse Babel intlicts on man- acted as locum tenens for the archdeakind a confusion of giggles.

some time ago, attracted great Our road lay through thick bush, in crowds every Sunday by his violent which a broad “ride" had been cut, anti-white sermons. In one of them marked by narrow, interlacing tracks, he was telling his congregation of God which the bare feet of its users had calling the lambs into his fold. “Which

Half an hour's walk brought did you think God called ?” he asked us to Archdeacon Crowther's house, " the white lambs, or the black ? Nay



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my brethren, not the white, but the forever were it known that a stranger black. And why?(Here a solemn had been obliged to buy back his own pause.) 6 Because he grows wool.”' property in his territory ; and issuing a

Many were the stories told us of proclamation, the watch was soon found canvibalism and human sacrifice, the and returned to its owner. former, I fancy, mostly exaggerated; Judging from the experiences of for, as far as I know, cannibalism has Archdeacon and Mrs. Crowther, the innever been practised in this region ex- habitants of the Kroo coast, who, from cept as part of a religious ceremony; their frequent employment on board but the latter is still so openly practised European ships, have become fairly in the districts out of immediate Euro-civilized, do not share these fine scriipean control, only a few miles from ples. While they were returning from Bonny, that it is certain to have flour- a trip to Sierra Leone they were shipished there equally until it was sup- wrecked off Cape Palmas ; and in spite pressed by force. Only a few weeks of the fact that they were personally before our arrival, for instance, thirty well known to many of the natives, the slaves were killed at a place not fifty latter had no compunction in robbing miles from Bonny, in order that their them of everything they possessed. late master might not be unattended in Mrs. Crowther, being a very plucky the land of spirits ; while the relations woman, felt so indignant that she took of another deceased chief, also in the off her wedding-ring and threw it into immediate neighborhood, had lately the sea rather than let the natives have buried alive two of his slaves in his it. grave, and had hung up two more, head In justice to the Kroo boys, however, downwards, by hooks passed through I must say that they treat the stranger the sinews of their heels ; in which no worse than their own friends and position they remained until the flesh relations. After one of them has been rotted away, and the poor wretches, working up and down the coast for still alive, fell into a pit full of spikes, months or years, and has collected at on which they were impaled.

nice little “pile," and a fashionable Among the rites formerly practised outfit, consisting of a tall hat, a red at Bonny, the most horrible, I think, cotton umbrella, and the tunic of a was the monthly sacrifice of a virgin Guards . drummer-boy, he begins to to the shark-god. At the first low yearn for his native village ; so balancwater of every springtide a victim was ing himself (or otherwise) in a keelled out to the water's edge, there bound less “ dug-out” of fifteen inches beam, to a stake and left until her agony was he bids farewell to civilization, and ended by the slowly rising tide, or the charging the surf, lands with a bump sharper but more quickly striking fangs on his native shore. Immediately folof the hungry sharks.

lowing him is a gigantic roller, and in Horrible as this religion is, it has the the excitement of the moment it is advantage of putting enormous power many chances to one that the welcominto the hands of the rulers, and thus ing crowd forget to drag the canoe :out enabling them to maintain a degree of of the way with sufficient rapidity, and order which our milder methods fail to that she (bottom uppermost), the tall effect. Men who had travelled in the hat, the umbrella, and the tunic, are interior told me that, in point of hon- all gaily dancing in the surf. A score esty, the civilized compared most un- of strong arms are soon beating the favorably with the uncivilized parts. water to their rescue, which is speedily One traveller in a hitherto unvisited effected, without much advantage to region, having lost his gold watch and the rightful owner, but to the great joy chain, wished to offer £30 reward for of the lucky swimmers who secure the its recovery ; but the chief of the vil- prizes. Then after toiling all these lage would not hear of such a proceed- months away from home, the welcome ing, saying that it would disgrace him wanderer cannot be allowed to burden


himself with all those heavy bags that come down to exchange the palm-oil hang from his waist, and many willing collected from up-river markets for hands are stretched out to relieve him European goods. Later in the day I of his load, with the result that he had the honor of being presented to all re-enters his home much in the condi- their sable majesties, some of whom tion in which Job entered and expected rejoiced in such un-royal and un-Afrito leave this world ; nor does he again can names as Black Face, Green Head, have the pleasure of handling an um- Dublin Green, Charles Holliday, and brella or a gin-bottle until a fresh arrival John Brown; the only exceptions to from the ships of Christendom affords this rule being Oritchie and Oko him also the opportunity of assisting Jumbo. They were mostly pleasant, at the home-coming of some one else. fairly intelligeut-looking men, with

On our return home Major Macdon- good white teeth, which they continuald had at once to start for Opobo, ally showed, and the regular Christy where he was due to attend a “pala- Minstrel laugh. One or two of them had ver” on the following morning. As been to England, and wore European no steam-launch was at hand, he had clothes. These seemed there to have to travel in a native canoe, winding his lost a good deal of the simplicity which way through the intricate network of lends a charm to the untravelled and channels which intersect the Niger uneducated West African without havdelta in every direction, most of them ing gained very much instead. One of wholly unexplored, and many even the kings quite won my heart by a little utterly unknown. It is strange to think bit of flattery on my artistic powers, that within a short distance of Bonny, about which I myself was not parconstantly frequented as it is by En- ticularly confident. Looking over my glish-men-of-war, there should be miles shoulder as I was sketching a lovely of water-way less known and more un- palm-tree, the resting-place of a troop mapped than the distant upper reaches of white doves, which stood just under of the Niger or the Zambesi.

the verandah, he remarked, pointing at Next morning I was awakened early the sketch, “ Them all same like tree.” by the loud beating of tom-toms, so On my asking Captain Boler for inlifting up my mosquito-curtain and formation as to the class of goods for peeping through the blinds, I spied a which the palm-oil was exchanged, he procession of long war-canoes advanc- suggested I should come and inspect ing down the river laden with barrels them myself. We accordingly deof palm-oil, and each containing a king scended to the store. Such a curious and some fifty of his subjects, who, by collection! Knives, hatchets, bales of the peculiar manner in which they cloth, looking-glasses, straw hats, bluehandled their long - pointed paddles, and-white-striped jerseys, beads, and showed to the initiated to which par- knick-knacks of all kinds ; among which ticular monarch they had the honor of were some very fine pieces of coral, owing allegiance. These paddle-strokes much used by the wealthier natives as are some of them curiously fantastic an ornament. Captain Boler showed and intricate, and must add enormously me one piece, about an inch square, to the labor of propulsion, and, I should which he said was worth £70. Some imagine, are only reserved for state time ago the experiment was tried of occasions ; they are, however, as dis- sending out some imitation coral, which, tinctive as the tartan of a Highland however, had no

The first clan, the camel-marks of the Sudan-chief to whom it was offered, after ese, or the tattooing of a South Sea looking at one of the strings of beads, islander.

put it to his lips, and uttering a con: This, it appeared, was the day of the temptuous

16 Tcha!

(Pooh !) handed week on which the neighboring kings it back and went off, accompanied by

who have taken upon themselves all the others. They are also most parthe lucrative post of middle-man ticular about the compositiou of some


Turning a sharp corner, and pass

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'coins known as manillas in shape that hem in the narrow stream on like a thick, plain bangle with thick- either side. ened, turned-up ends, which gives them A wonderful stillness pervades these the appearance of a capital C; to please West African creeks. Except for the them, these coins must, when hit, give gentle ripple of the water among the out a certain ring, which they alone can mangroves, hardly a sound was to be accurately recognize. The choice of heard; and the only sign of life was cotton prints for this market is also a afforded by an occasional crane, which, matter that requires great care on the startled by the sound of our oars, repart of the exporter. Often whole car- luctantly abandoned his fishing and goes of stuffs are found to be almost flew heavily away ; and by the families unsalable, and have to be got rid of for of little red crabs collected on the snakywhat they will fetch. In many parts looking roots, that edged into the water cotton stuffs are not accepted unless as a splash from the oars warned them they are printed on both sides; the of our proximity. ordinary prints, plain on one side, or, as the natives express it, “ Them no ing under an archway of overhanging have two face," being looked down branches, so low that we had to duck upon as worthless.

our heads, we found ourselves in a In the midst of Captain Boler's mot- small, shady creek, bright with the reley collection I noticed some rolls of flection of the glorious vegetation that fine red damask, and on inquiring by lined its banks. Just in front of us whom that was purchased, I was told was a high palisade of stout poles, above there was a great demand for it among which peeped the palm-thatched roofs the kings, who used it for the purpose of the village. Stopping at an openof winding-sheets. The same ideas as ing, we were received by Black Face, to a future state, which causes slaves to John Brown, and Green Head, who be sacrificed at their master's death, helped us out of our boat, and led us leads to the interment with the corpse into the hut of the first-named king. of all such necessaries and luxuries as It was a curiously civilized abode to would ensure his comfort and dignity find in such a place, and among such in the land of spirits. As it is the cus- savage surroundings; glazed windows, tom to bury a man bencath the Hoor of well-painted walls adorned with some his own house which, in the case of fair prints, and mahogany chairs, sidethe head of the family, is then aban- board, and dining-table, the latter covdoned – it is probable that the tumble- ered with siphons, with of course a due down and unpromising - looking old proportion of the inevitable “ squareshanties of Bonny Town will yield some face." Having partaken of a mixture rich treasures, should its inhabitants of these, and uttered the mystic word ever become sufficiently advanced to “Boo,” which is de rigueur on such feel the need of drains.

occasions, our hosts offered to show us One afternoon Captain Boler took us their war-canoes ; so skirting the town, to Ju-ju Town to pay Black Face a we followed a narrow path and dived visit. It was a three-mile r'ow, mostly into the bush, a tangled mass of lovely through narrow channels between isl- flowering creepers and gigantic ferns, ands densely covered with mangroves, over which towered some of the largest whose dark-green foliage, perched on cocoa-palms I had ever seen. A short the top of a framework of earthless walk brought us to the shed in which roots, presents a strange and unnatural the war-canoes were kept — huge, unappearance even by day ; and in the wieldy-looking things dug out of the twilight, magnified and rendered indis- trunk of a single tree, about three feet tinct by the rising mist, these tangled broad and fifty or sixty in length. They roots look like bunches of some writh- present, however, an imposing appearing reptiles pendant from the dark walls ance fully manned, with the fifty pad

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