Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/137

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JONKER'S TREACHERY.

chief, who, he said (though without any kind of foundation), was their mutual enemy. Jonker did not wait to be told twice, but immediately attacked this man's kraal. In the fight that ensued, some of Kahichanè's people were accidentally killed; but he, believing the slaughter had been intentionally perpetrated, made a furious onset on Jonker that very night. As usually happens, however, and perhaps in some degree owing to the Damaras having fewer guns than the Namaquas, he was beaten off with very severe loss. Though the affair was afterward made up between the chiefs, Jonker, in his heart, never forgave Kahichenè's attack upon him, which he looked upon as a breach of faith.

In all the attacks of the Namaquas the most atrocious barbarities were committed. The men were unmercifully shot down; the hands and the feet of the women lopped off; the bowels of the children ripped up, &c.; and all this to gratify a savage thirst for blood. Many poor creatures have I myself seen dragging out a miserable existence that had thus been deprived of limbs or otherwise cruelly mutilated.

Jonker himself would seem to have been callous to all the better feelings of our nature. News having been brought to him on one occasion of the loss of a merchant vessel (somewhere about Cape Cross), he and his men started in search of the wreck. Before reaching it, some of his cattle were stolen, and as the theft was conjectured to have been committed by the Damaras, Jonker sent for the chief of the suspected tribe, received him in a friendly way, and invited him to remain at his camp for the night, in the course of which, however, he caused him to be brutally murdered. Before expiring, the poor fellow requested permission to see his wife and children, but Jonker was inhuman enough to refuse his request. On receiving a denial, the unfortunate man turned toward his slayer, and, wiping the blood from his face, exclaimed, "Since you have dealt thus treacherously by me, and even refused to allow me to see my family, you shall,

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