Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/108

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instead of driving him to a distance, had only the effect of making him the more savage.[1]

Similar attempts to deprive the lion of his prey are of frequent occurrence in the interior of Africa. Indeed, it is no unusual thing to find a number of natives residing near such pools of water as are frequented by antelopes, other wild animals, and their constant attendant, the lion, subsisting almost altogether in this way, or on carcasses which the lion has not had time to devour before the return of day, when it is his habit to retire to his lair.

But it is not always that the attempt to deprive the lion of his prey succeeds as well as in the instance just mentioned. Generally speaking, indeed, if he is famishing with hunger, he turns upon his assailants, and many a man has thus lost his life. One often meets with individuals, either mutilated or bearing dreadful scars, the result of wounds received in such encounters.

The heat had, by this time, become almost insupportable, and it was only with great inconvenience that a person could move about after the sun was a few hours above the horizon. Even the cattle were dreadfully distressed. As early as eight o'clock in the morning they would leave off grazing, in order to seek shelter under some tree or bush against the scorching rays of the sun.

Every afternoon, regularly at two o'clock, we had a strong breeze from the westward. Strange to say, however, this, though coming from the sea, instead of cooling the atmosphere, only tended to increase its oppressiveness. We experienced precisely the same sensation as when standing before the mouth of a heated oven. The quicksilver rose to such a height as almost to make us doubt our own eyes. Even at Scheppmansdorf, which is situated less than twenty

  1. I have been told that on a similar occasion to the present, a lion was so injured by the flaming missiles thrown at him, that he was found shortly afterward dead of his wounds.