ground, they suddenly tossed their heads, switched their tails, scraped the earth impatiently with their hoofs, and sniffed the air. I was puzzled how to account for this unusual agitation, as, from my position, I was certain they could not have discovered me. But I had not much time for conjecture, for the next instant I was startled by the growl of some animal close to me. On looking in the direction whence it proceeded, I discovered, to my utter astonishment, two lions and a lioness on the rising ground just above me, and, as it seemed, they also were on the look-out for the gnoos. I instinctively leveled my piece at the head of the nearest of the beasts; but a moment's reflection convinced me that the odds were too great, and I therefore thought it best to reserve my fire, so as to be in readiness to receive them should they charge. After having regarded me for a few seconds, however, they growlingly disappeared behind a sand-hill.
By this time the gnoos had become aware of the lions, and were making off at the top of their speed. Being anxious to obtain a shot at them, I followed on their tracks, but soon found, to my dismay, that my three royal friends, with jaws distended and uttering furious growls, were following a course parallel to mine. Though I must confess I did not at all like their looks, as only excessive hunger could have induced them, in broad day, to seek for victims, I nevertheless continued to follow the tracks of the antelopes until they led me into the bush, where I presently lost them as well as myself.
On first seeing the gnoos, I left my henchman "Bill," a Damara lad, who carried my spare gun, at some distance behind, with directions to follow on my track according to circumstances. Now that the gnoos were lost to me, I shouted loudly to the youth, and also discharged my gun more than
- The plate facing the page represents two lions observing me, while the lioness, not yet aware of my presence, is still eagerly pushing on toward the intended victims.