Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/111

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103
THE MISSIONARY'S WAIL.

The heat throughout the day had been terrific. Before the sun had well disappeared behind the mountains between which we traveled, Mr. Schöneberg was completely knocked up, and we were obliged to encamp for the night. Each of us carried a small tin water-can; but, instead of having it filled, as I did, with the pure liquid, Mrs. Rath had kindly, but unwisely, provided her friend with a mixture of water, sugar, and cinnamon. This, as may be supposed, only served to increase his thirst.

We had hardly finished removing the packs and saddles from our tired steeds before the poor missionary threw himself despondingly on the ground, exclaiming, "Ah! Mr. Andersson, if we were to tell people in Europe what we suffer here, none would believe us." I could not help smiling at this burst of despair; for, though from the heat the day had been distressing enough, we had by no means suffered either from want of water or food. Poor Mr. Schöneberg! he was totally unfit for the hardships he must necessarily encounter in the African deserts. Indeed, not many weeks afterward he all but perished from his inability to endure thirst for a short period.

The next morning at daybreak we were again in the saddle. Our course was northerly, and a little by east; and the greater part of the road lay some distance from the Swakop, which at one point forced its way through a narrow, picturesque, and bold gorge.

In one place we passed at the foot of "Scheppman's Mountain," so called from a melancholy event which occurred here a few years ago. A missionary named Scheppman had made the ascent to obtain a view of the surrounding country, but in descending the cock of his gun was caught by a bough, and the contents were lodged in one of his legs. After having suffered agonies for a few days, he expired, and the hill has ever since gone by his name.

The vegetation was more rank than in the parts we had