Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/177

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169
ARRIVAL AT TJOPOPA'S WERFT—OKAMABUTI.

ably to pass through his territory; but when, on one occasion, they were returning home with a numerous herd of cattle obtained by barter, he fell suddenly upon them, and deprived them of all their hard-earned gains. When, however, his treacherous conduct became known to Nangoro, he instantly dispatched a party in order to punish him, and this was done so effectually that, since that day, no one has ventured to molest the Ovambo in their peaceable and industrious vocation. Indeed, this tribe now commanded a large share of the good-will and respect of the Damaras.

Elephants were said to be numerous to the northward, and the Damaras pointed to some wooded knolls, where they said these animals walked "as thick as cattle." At times they would suddenly make their appearance in the night in the midst of a village, and drive the inhabitants precipitately from their dwellings.

On the 15th of April we were again moving, and the very next day we entirely lost sight of the palms, which we did not again see till nearly a whole month's travel had been accomplished.

On the 17th we reached Tjopopa's werft. It was reported that through the instrumentality of his friend Nangoro this man became a chief of the first order. Be that as it may, he was now living in very great abundance, though, like many who are well off with regard to worldly possessions, he was avaricious in the extreme. A miser's parsimony always increases in proportion to the enlargement of his property.

Okamabuti may be said to be the northern limit of Damara-land. It is situated at the foot of those wooded knolls already pointed out to us by the natives as the resort of elephants; indeed, the ground round about bore ample testimony to the destructive propensities of these animals. The place was well supplied with water by a fountain springing from a limestone bottom.