Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/201

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On paying our respects to his majesty one day, we were regaled with a prodigious quantity of beer, brewed from grain, and served out of a monster calabash with spoons (made from

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diminutive pumpkins), in nicely-worked wooden goblets. Being unwell at the time, I was not in a state properly to appreciate the tempting beverage. Nangoro, however, who probably attributed the wry face that I made to the influence of the liquor, suddenly thrust his sceptre, which, by the way, was simply a pointed stick, with great force into the pit of my stomach. I was sitting cross-legged on the ground at the time, but the blow was so violent as to cause me to spring to my feet in an instant. Nangoro was evidently much pleased with his practical joke. As for myself, I sincerely wished him at the antipodes. However, for fear of offending royalty, I choked my rising anger, and reseated myself with the best grace I could, but I tried in vain to produce a smile.

On another occasion we attended a ball at the royal residence. An entertainment of this kind was given every night soon after dark, but it was the most stupid and uninteresting affair I ever witnessed. The musical instruments were the well-known African tom-tom and a kind of guitar.

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