Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/135

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127
MISSIONARY STATION—NAMAQUAS.

Schmelen's Hope (Schmelen's Vervachtung) is so called, partly on account of its advanced position, and partly in honor of its founder, the Rev. Mr. Schmelen, who, by all accounts, was one of the most gifted and most enterprising of missionaries that ever set foot on African soil. For a time this station was occupied by Mr. Hahn, and recently by his colleague, Mr. Kolbé. About the time that we landed at Walfisch Bay, however, the latter had found it necessary to beat a precipitate retreat, in consequence of an attack upon the station by a party of Namaquas.

Shortly after Mr. Kolbé's settlement at Schmelen's Hope he was joined by Kahichenè—of whom mention has been made in the foregoing pages—and a considerable number of his tribe. They continued to live here in the most unsuspecting security. The missionary cause made considerable progress, and hopes were really entertained that Damara-land might eventually be civilized. The golden visions of a happy future for this unfortunate country were, however, speedily dispersed by the sudden appearance of a party of Namaquas, under the immediate command of Jonker Afrikander. By this band a great number of natives were massacred; a considerable booty of cattle was carried off; and Kahichenè himself had a hairbreadth escape. Just as he was making good his retreat, he was observed and followed by a mounted Namaqua. On finding himself hard pressed, and that it was impossible to avoid his pursuer, the chief turned quickly round, and the next instant, with a poisoned arrow, laid the man dead at his feet.

Many acts of great cruelty were perpetrated on this occasion, of which the following may be cited. Several Damaras had taken refuge on the summit of an isolated rock eighty or ninety feet in height. As soon as the Namaquas perceived them, they coolly seated themselves round the base, and, whenever any of the poor fellows peeped forth from their hiding-places, they were shot like so many crows. Mr. Gal-