Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

mouth, they tug away voraciously, not being over particular as to mastication. In this way they soon manage to get through a yard or two, the place of pepper and salt being supplied by ashes attached to the flesh, which ashes are, moreover, found to be an excellent remedy against bad digestion.

I frequently observed the daughter of Kahichenè's favorite wife sprinkling water over the large oxen as they returned to the werft about noon to quench their thirst. On such occasions she made use of a small branch of some kind of berry-tree, such as that which Kahichenè caused to be trailed after him when wishing to be successful in his attack on Omugundè. In this instance (as they somewhat poetically expressed themselves), the aspersion was supposed, should the cattle be stolen, to have the power of scattering them like drops of water, in order to confuse their pursuers, and to facilitate their return to the owners.

On the 18th of March we were again en route. It was with regret that we parted with our friendly and hospitable host. Poor Kahichenè we were doomed never to meet again! A few months after our departure he made an attack on Omugundè; but, at the very commencement of the fight, and when every thing promised success, his dastardly followers (as he always had predicted) left him. But too proud himself to fly, he fell, mortally wounded, pierced with a shower of arrows.

Being in advance of the wagons, I suddenly came upon an animal which, though considerably smaller, much resembled a lion in appearance. Under ordinary circumstances I should certainly have taken it for a young lion; but I had been formerly given to understand that in this part of Africa there exists a quadruped which, in regard to shape and color, is like a lion, but in most other respects totally distinct from it. The beast in question is said to be nocturnal in its habits, to be timid and harmless, and to prey, for the most part, on the small species of antelopes. In the native lan-