Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/136

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ton and myself visited the spot soon after our arrival at Schmelen's Hope, and saw the bleached bones of the victims scattered about, but we were unable to ascertain the exact number of people killed, as the jackals and the hyænas had carried away and demolished many parts of the skeletons.

Though no direct attack was made on the missionary station on this occasion, Mr. Kolbé nevertheless considered it would be imprudent to remain there any longer. Accordingly, packing the most valuable of his goods on his wagon, he hurriedly departed for Barmen.

A few days afterward, some fugitive Damaras returned to the place of their misfortunes, and, on finding the house abandoned, they were base enough to despoil it of its contents. Moreover, what they could not themselves use they wantonly destroyed or scattered about on the ground. On our arrival at Schmelen's Hope, therefore, we found nothing remaining but the mere shell of the house. This, though simply constructed of clay, and thatched with reeds, was rather neatly executed, and had apparently, at one time, been the exterior of a comfortable dwelling.

Water was obtained from a large pool or vley, which, however, in very arid years, might dry away. About five miles up the Swakop was, moreover, a rather copious fountain, called Okandu, where cattle might drink.

Generally speaking, if they have a chance of obtaining cattle, the Namaquas are not at all nice as to whether they rob friend or foe. On this particular occasion, however, they were supposed to have had an old grudge against Kahichenè and his tribe. Once, as Jonker and a large party of his followers were on the way to Walfisch Bay, their provisions failed them, and hearing that Kahichenè, with whom they were then on friendly terms, was in the neighborhood, they bent their steps toward his kraal. Kahichenè received them civilly, but refused to supply their wants. He, however, advised Jonker to help himself to cattle from another Damara