Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/126

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afterward scrambled into the thick cover beyond, where, as night was then approaching, I did not deem it prudent to pursue him.

At an early hour on the next morning, however, we followed his "spoor," and soon came to the spot where he had passed the night. The sand here was one patch of blood, and the bushes immediately about were broken, and beaten down by his weight as he had staggered to and fro in his effort to get on his legs again. Strange to say, however, we here lost all clew to the beast. A large troop of lions, that had been feasting on a giraffe in the early morning, had obliterated his tracks, and it was not until some days afterward, and when the carcass was in a state of decomposition, that his death was ascertained. He breathed his last very near to where we were "at fault;" but, in prosecuting the search, we had unfortunately taken exactly the opposite direction.

On our homeward path from the pursuit of the lion we fell in with a herd of zebras, and, while discharging my gun at them, I accidentally pulled both triggers at once. The piece being very light, and loaded with double charges, the barrel flew out of the stock, the cocks burying themselves deep in the flesh on either side of my nose, just under the eyes, and left scars visible to this day. Mr. Rath, on seeing me in this plight, was good enough to say, by way of consolation, that it was undoubtedly a just punishment of Heaven in consequence of my having carried a gun on a Sunday!