Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/116

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straws. Every vestige of many gardens was swept away; and some of the native huts, which had been imprudently erected too close to the river, shared a similar fate. Indeed, it must have been a miniature deluge.

Wonderful, however, as is the sudden creation of these floods, the very short time they require to disappear is no less striking. An hour's sunshine is sometimes sufficient to transform flooded fields into a smiling landscape. These commotions of the elements are of frequent occurrence in the tropics during the rainy season. Soon after Mr. Galton's arrival at Barmen there was a very heavy thunder-storm. One evening, as he and Mr. Hahn were conversing, they saw a Damara struck dead by lightning within a hundred yards of where they stood.

Water was abundant at Barmen, and very good. Mr. Hahn had dug a large well in his own garden, which was of very great convenience and comfort, as the water thus obtained was always clean and wholesome. Within a couple of hundred paces of the dwelling-house there were, moreover, two copious fountains. One of these was a warm spring, the temperature being 157 degrees of Fahrenheit. By means of small channels, this spring was made to irrigate a considerable portion of garden land, and was also of great use in seasoning timber. To the laundress, besides, it was invaluable. During our stay at Barmen we indulged freely in the unusual and uncommon luxury of a bath, but it proved somewhat relaxing.

Mr. Hahn was a Russian by birth, but had, for a number of years, devoted himself to the service of the German Rhenish Missionary Society, and was now using his best endeavors to convert the natives of this benighted land. At first he had settled among a tribe of Namaquas, under the powerful robber-chief Jonker Afrikaner, of whom presently. Finding, however, that these people infinitely preferred to cut the throats of their fellow-creatures than to listen to his