Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/214

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we could obtain the consent and assistance of Nangoro, we were aware that all our efforts would be unavailing. Accordingly, we informed him of our plans, with a request that he would provide us with guides. But he sulkily replied that, as we did not choose to kill elephants for him, he could not oblige us in this matter! Under any circumstances such ungenerous conduct would have been highly vexatious; but, in our situation, we could only submit, and hope it was all for the best, and that which his majesty intended an act of revenge might in the end be the means of saving ourselves.

Thus frustrated in our plans, and having seen and ascertained every thing we could in the country, we at once determined to retrace our steps. However, after what had just fallen from the lips of the chief, it was not without some misgivings that we waited to know his wishes and intentions with regard to our departure. But there was no cause for anxiety. Having squeezed every thing out of us that would have been of any use to him, he was evidently but too well pleased to see us leave his territory, which would relieve him from the necessity of making us any presents. During our stay in Ondonga, all that this royal miser gave us was a small basket of flour; though, on our finally leaving his dominion, he ordered one of his "bread-eaters," who accompanied us as guide to the frontier, to levy a tribute of corn on his subjects for our behoof; but this largess, at the expense of others, came too late, as we had already laid in a sufficient stock of the staff of life, which we had obtained from the natives by barter.

The 13th of June was fixed for our departure. We were not, however, able to get away till two days later. On the 18th we were fairly out of sight of the fertile plains of Ondonga. Nangoro had originally promised to send our old friend Chikor'onkombe back with us; but the fellow abruptly and treacherously deserted us. This proved of great inconvenience; and it was only by exerting all our ingenuity