Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/199

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191
THE ROYAL VISIT.

His walk resembled rather the waddling of a duck than the firm and easy gait which we are wont to associate with royalty. Moreover, he was in a state of almost absolute nudity, which showed him off to the greatest possible advantage. It

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INTERVIEW WITH KING NANGORO.

appeared strange to us that he should be the only really fat person in the whole of Ondonga. This peculiarity no doubt is attributable to the custom that prevails in other parts of Africa, viz., that of selecting for rulers such persons only who have a natural tendency to corpulence, or, more commonly, fattening them for the dignity as we fatten pigs.[1]

With the exception of a cow and an ox, Nangoro appeared to appreciate few or none of the presents which Mr. Galton bestowed on him. And as for my friend's brilliant and en-


  1. In speaking of the Matabili, Captain Harris says, "To be fat is the greatest of all crimes, no person being allowed that privilege but the king." Here, then, we have a new kind of lèse-majesté. According to some of the African tribes, obesity in plebeians is high-treason!