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Crystal Thielkien
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« Reply #285 on: April 05, 2009, 10:18:51 pm »

It was five o'clock in the afternoon. The frightful heat was slackening. We had left a kind of rocky crevice where we had had a little nap. Seated on a huge rock, we were watching the reddening west.

I spread out the roll of paper on which Cegheir-ben-Cheikh had marked the stages of our journey as far as the road from the Soudan. I realized again with joy that his itinerary was exact and that I had followed it scrupulously.

"The evening of the day after to-morrow," I said, "we shall be setting out on the stage which will take us, by the next dawn, to the waters at Telemsi. Once there, we shall not have to worry any more about water."

Tanit-Zerga's eyes danced in her thin face.

"And Gâo?" she asked.

"We will be only a week from the Niger. And Cegheir-ben-Cheikh said that at Telemsi, one reached a road overhung with mimosa."

"I know the mimosa," she said. "They are the little yellow balls that melt in your hand. But I like the caper flowers better. You will come with me to Gâo. My father, Sonni-Askia, was killed, as I told you, by the Awellimiden. But my people must have rebuilt the villages. They are used to that. You will see how you will be received."

"I will go, Tanit-Zerga, I promise you. But you also, you must promise me . . ."

p. 286

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