Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/212

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The River Cunenè.—The Travelers are Prisoners at large.—Kingly Revenge.—Kingly Liberality.—Depart from Ondonga.—Sufferings and Consequences resulting from Cold.—Return to Okamabuti.—Damara Women murdered by Bushmen.—Preparations for Journey.—Obtain Guides.—Depart from Tjopopa's Werft.—Game abundant.—Author and three Lions stalk Antelopes in Company.—Extraordinary Visitation.—The Rhinoceros's Guardian Angel.—The Textor Erythrorhynchus.—The Amadina Squamifrons; singular Construction of its Nest.—Return to Barmen.

Many years previously to our visit to the Ovambo, a French frigate discovered the embouchure of a magnificent river known as Cunenè, between the seventeenth and eighteenth degrees of south latitude. Other vessels were sent out to explore it, and to ascertain its course, &c., but, strange to say, they searched for it in vain![1]

The discoverers could not, however, have been mistaken; and as we now approached the latitudes in question, we made inquiries, and soon found that only four days' travel north of Ondonga there existed a river of great size, which we doubted not was identical with Cunenè; and farther inquiry fully corroborated this supposition. A runaway slave from Benguela, who was living at the time among the Ovambo, informed us that in its upper course (or rather another branch) this river is called Mukuru Mukovanja, but that in its lower course it is designated Cunenè. Moreover, that, though of very considerable size, and containing a large volume of water, it does not always find its way directly into the sea. He declared the cause of this to be the formation

  1. Captain Messum, master of a merchant vessel, subsequently informed me that he has seen it.