Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/150

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landscape than when these two "Teneriffes" first broke upon my view.

"Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
When a new planet swims into his ken."

We must have been fifty or sixty miles from these conical mountains, yet there they were as distinct as if we had stood at their base. The immense distance at which objects can be seen in these regions, in a clear atmosphere, is truly marvelous.

With the exception of a single kraal of impoverished Damaras, we found no inhabitants. On leaving Schmelen's Hope, we had been led to suppose that we should meet with several werfts of wealthy natives, from whom we might obtain, in barter, an unlimited number of cattle. We foolishly enough trusted to this chance, and started with only one day's provision. Game, it is true, we found very abundant; but the animals were very wild, and I was pressed for time, and could not give chase to them. One evening I fired at a zebra, but, not distinguishing the peculiar sound of the ball when striking the animal (a power of ear acquired by much practice), I supposed I had missed it, and, therefore, did not follow its tracks. On passing, however, nearly by the same place next evening, we found that the animal had been killed, and, excepting the head and part of the neck, was devoured by vultures. The conical ball I used on the occasion was found loose in the inside of the skeleton. Notwithstanding the defiled state of what was left of the carcass, we hailed it as a perfect god-send. For the two previous days we had been living on zebra-flesh in a state of decay, which our Damaras had accidentally picked up. Indeed, our guides had absconded from want of food.

One evening, when very much fatigued from the day's march, and suffering cruelly from thirst, our native servants, by way of consolation, entertained us with the following interesting account of their countrymen.