Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/100

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On the evening of our arrival at Onanis, we had started an immense number of Guinea-fowls near the water, and, thinking it a favorable opportunity to replenish our exhausted larder, I slung a double-barreled gun across my shoulder, and immediately started off; but, though I soon found the birds, they were so wild that for a long time I could not get within range of them. At last, after having chased them about the rocks till I was nearly tired, they scattered themselves among the stones, and lay so close that, unless I almost trod upon them, they would not rise. With a steady pointer, I believe the whole flock might easily have been killed, and, as it was, I made a very large bag.

The flesh of the wild Guinea-fowl—that of the young, at least—is tender and well-flavored, and their eggs are excellent. The speed of this bird is almost incredible. On even ground a man is no match for it. Where the country is well wooded, the best plan to shoot them is with a "cocker," or other dog that challenges freely to them when "treed;" for while the birds are intently watching his movements, they may easily be approached within gun-shot. With a small pea-rifle this sort of sport is particularly amusing.

Early on the afternoon of the second day, Hans having now partially recovered, we started from Onanis, and with the exception of a short stoppage, for the purpose of preparing some coffee and to allow the cattle to take a few mouthfuls of grass, we traveled throughout the whole night.

Soon after daylight we discovered a numerous troop of giraffes. The country, however, was open and unfavorable for stalking, and before we could get within range they were off. The speed of these animals is by no means inconsiderable, more especially on gently rising ground. In such a locality, and from their being very long-winded, a tolerably swift horse is seldom able to overtake them under less than two or three miles. It is one of the most curious sights imaginable to see a troop of these animals at full speed, balanc-