Five Weeks in a Balloon
The Nile.--The Trembling Mountain.--A Remembrance of the Country.--The Narratives
of the Arabs.--The Nyam-Nyams.--Joe's Shrewd Cogitations.--The Balloon runs the
Gantlet.--Aerostatic Ascensions.--Madame Blanchard.
"Which way do we head?" asked Kennedy, as he saw his friend consulting the compass.
"The deuce! but that's not the north?"
"No, Dick; and I'm afraid that we shall have some trouble in getting to Gondokoro. I am
sorry for it; but, at last, we have succeeded in connecting the explorations from the east
with those from the north; and we must not complain."
The balloon was now receding gradually from the Nile.
"One last look," said the doctor, "at this impassable latitude, beyond which the most
intrepid travellers could not make their way. There are those intractable tribes, of whom
Petherick, Arnaud, Miuni, and the young traveller Lejean, to whom we are indebted for
the best work on the Upper Nile, have spoken."
"Thus, then," added Kennedy, inquiringly, "our discoveries agree with the speculations of
"Absolutely so. The sources of the White Nile, of the Bahr-el-Abiad, are immersed in a
lake as large as a sea; it is there that it takes its rise. Poesy, undoubtedly, loses something
thereby. People were fond of ascribing a celestial origin to this king of rivers. The
ancients gave it the name of an ocean, and were not far from believing that it flowed
directly from the sun; but we must come down from these flights from time to time, and
accept what science teaches us. There will not always be scientific men, perhaps; but
there always will be poets."
"We can still see cataracts," said Joe.
"Those are the cataracts of Makedo, in the third degree of latitude. Nothing could be
more accurate. Oh, if we could only have followed the course of the Nile for a few
"And down yonder, below us, I see the top of a mountain," said the hunter.
"That is Mount Longwek, the Trembling Mountain of the Arabs. This whole country was
visited by Debono, who went through it under the name of Latif-Effendi. The tribes