Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/148

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His first act on arriving at the Cape was to engage himself to a trader, who imprudently advanced him a considerable sum of money, which he coolly pocketed and then decamped.

Our lad, Gabriel, also marked his road to the colony with many traits of violence and insolence, but he had neither the cunning nor the impudence of his associate.

Abraham Wenzel, the thief, had again behaved improperly, and Mr. Galton found it necessary to give him his dismissal.

We had thus, in a short time, lost the services of three men; but, fortunately, through the kindness of our friend Zwartbooi, we were able to replace them by two others. The first of these was his own henchman, Onesimus, who was a Damara by birth, but had been captured as a child and brought up among the Namaquas. He spoke the language of these two nations most fluently, and understood, moreover, a few words of Dutch. What with his capacity as an interpreter, his even temper and general good behavior, he became one of the. most useful men of our party.

The other man, Phillippus, was also a Damara by birth, but had forgotten his native tongue. He spoke, however, the Nam aqua and the Dutch fluently. He was appointed a wagon-driver.

One morning, to our surprise, we found the whole ground about our encampment covered with larvæ of a dark-green color. Whence, or how they came there, was to us quite a mystery. We at length conjectured that at some previous period a swarm of locusts, in passing the place, had deposited their ova in the sand, and, now that the green grass began to spring up (which provided them with suitable food), their progeny emerged in the shape of worms.

At the same time many thousand storks appeared, and evidently much relished the rich and abundant repast.

Mr. Galton's successful remonstrances with Jonker had pacified the excited minds of our Damaras. It had inspired