Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/156

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strangers. We, of course, made due allowances, as our friend was speaking of his mortal enemy; but the account so terrified our men that three of them begged to be dismissed, and they could only be persuaded to discontinue their solicitation by our promising them not to pass through the territory of the hostile chief.

On one occasion, some cattle belonging to Mr. Hahn had been stolen by a party of Omugundè's men. Remonstrances being made, they were after a time returned, but minus their tails, which were cut off by the natives, and kept by them as "trophies."

In conflict with Omugundè, several of Kahichenè's children had been killed, and one or two had unfortunately fallen alive into the hands of the enemy. These were kept as prisoners. Only one stripling was now left to solace Kahichenè in his old age. He informed us that he had made up his mind to try to recover his offspring and his property, or to die in the attempt. At first he appeared anxious for our assistance; but, on mature consideration, he generously refused any interference on our part in his behalf. "For," said he, "when once the war begins, there is no saying when or where it will end. The whole country will be in an uproar; much blood will be shed; and it would involve you in endless difficulties and dangers." He, moreover, strongly endeavored to persuade us from proceeding northward at all, but in that matter he of course failed.

We had only been a short time at Kotjiamkombè when it was discovered that four of our best draft-oxen were stolen by some stranger Damaras. On being informed of this theft, Kahichenè became exceedingly annoyed, and even distressed, as he considered us under his special protection. He immediately dispatched men on their tracks, with strict orders to recover the oxen, and, if possible, to bring back the thieves. They succeeded in recapturing all the beasts but one, which the natives had slain and eaten. With regard to the fate of