Being rigid bushreens, they were accommodated with two of Karfa's huts, and sold their goods to very great advantage. On the 24th of January Karfa returned to Kamalia with a number of people and thirteen prime slaves whom he had purchased. He likewise brought with him a young girl whom he had married at Kancaba, as his fourth wife, and had given her parents three prime slaves for her.

His father, however, he said, would not put the sentence into execution until Fatima, the queen, who was at present in the north, had seen me. March 21. Anxious to know my destiny, I went to the king early in the morning; and as a number of bushreens were assembled, I thought this a favourable opportunity of discovering their intentions.

The number of slaves received on board this vessel, both on the Gambia and at Goree, was one hundred and thirty, of whom about twenty-five had been, I suppose, of free condition in Africa, as most of those, being bushreens, could write a little Arabic. Nine of them had become captives in the religious war between Abdulkader and Damel, mentioned in the latter part of the preceding chapter.

The King of Foota Torra, inflamed with a zeal for propagating his religion, had sent an embassy to Damel, similar to that which he had sent to Kasson, as related in page 67. The ambassador, on the present occasion, was accompanied by two of the principal Bushreens, who carried each a large knife, fixed on the top of a long pole.

This being done, the boy presses the paper to his forehead, and pronounces the word Amen; upon which the bushreens rise, shake him by the hand, and bestow upon him the title of bushreen. The parents then redeem their son, by giving his master the value of a slave; but if they cannot afford it, the boy continues the slave of the schoolmaster, until he ransoms himself by his own industry.

When the fast month was almost at an end, the bushreens assembled at the missura to watch for the appearance of the new moon, but, the evening being rather cloudy, they were for some time disappointed, and a number of them had gone home with a resolution to fast another day, when on a sudden this delightful object showed her sharp horns from behind a cloud, and was welcomed with the clapping of hands, beating of drums, firing of muskets, and other marks of rejoicing.

As soon as he had procured admission into the presence of Damel, and announced the pleasure of his Sovereign, he ordered the bushreens to present the emblems of his mission.

Some said that they intended to put me to death; others, that I was only to lose my right hand: but the most probable account was that which I received from Ali's own son, a boy about nine years of age, who came to me in the evening, and, with much concern, informed me that his uncle had persuaded his father to put out my eyes, which they said resembled those of a cat, and that all the Bushreens had approved of this measure.

The pagan natives are by far the most numerous, and the government of the country is in their hands; for though the most respectable among the bushreens are frequently consulted in affairs of importance, yet they are never permitted to take any share in the executive government, which rests solely in the hands of the mansa, or sovereign, and great officers of the state.

When the fast month was almost at an end, the Bushreens assembled at the Misura, to watch for the appearance of the new moon; but the evening being rather cloudy, they were for some time disappointed, and a number of them had gone home with a resolution to fast another day, when on a sudden this delightful object showed her sharp horns from behind a cloud, and was welcomed with the clapping of hands, beating of drums, firing muskets, and other marks of rejoicing.