Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/138

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never prosper; and my cattle, which I well know you covet, shall be a curse to you!"

It has been asserted that Jonker once contemplated the extermination of all grown men among the Damaras, and of dividing the women, the children, and the cattle among his own people, hoping thereby to make his tribe the most powerful in that part of Africa.

On the 16th of January Mr. Galton started for Eikhams, the residence of Jonker Afrikaner, on his mission of peace. He was accompanied by Hans, John Mortar, and two or three native servants.

Two days later, the mules, though closely watched, managed to elude our vigilance and make good their escape. Fortunately, they were intercepted at Barmen, whence they were kindly sent back by Mr. Hahn. Not long afterward they again went off, but, passing Barmen this time in the night, no one saw them, and, consequently, they were allowed to pursue their course uninterruptedly, and were never retaken. Strange to relate, these animals (with the exception of two that were destroyed by lions in the neighborhood of Richterfeldt) ultimately found their way back to Scheppmansdorf, having traveled above 200 miles by themselves!

During Mr. Galton's absence I managed to beguile the time agreeably and usefully. Indeed, I spent some of my happiest days in this quiet, secluded, and charming spot, in the full enjoyment of unrestrained liberty. The mornings were usually devoted to excursions in the neighborhood in search of game. Of quadrupeds, we had the giraffe, the gnoo, the gemsbok, the springbok, the koodoo, the pallah, the steinbok, &c., so that I had no difficulty in keeping the larder pretty well supplied. I also made many an interesting and valuable addition to my collection of specimens of natural history.

One day a young steinbok was captured, as also a koodoo, and I was fortunate enough to rear both.