Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/254

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ing could have saved me from being blown out into the open sea, and as there was a gale of wind at the time, there can be no doubt as to the result.

On the 31st of December, being then at Scheppmansdorf, I received intelligence that the long-expected missionary vessel had arrived, and that she was to sail in a few days for St. Helena. On the following morning, the first day of the year 1852, a parcel of European letters was handed to me. It was now fully twenty months since I had heard any news of my friends, and I hailed this token of their interest in my behalf with rapture. But alas! although I had much to be thankful for, the intelligence was damped by the unexpected tidings of the death of a younger brother. Poor fellow! notwithstanding he and I could never agree during life, I loved him dearly. His last words, uttered in delirium, were said to have been addressed to me, imploring me to come to his assistance. He died at Rio Janeiro of that scourge, the yellow fever. Peace be to his memory! The cholera was also raging in Sweden, and I trembled for the news that might next reach me.

I proceeded immediately to Walfisch Bay to bid farewell to Galton. John Williams, John Mortar, and Timbo were to accompany him to St. Helena, whence they were to be forwarded to Cape-Town. Hans—in himself a host—John Allen, and John St. Helena, agreed to remain with me.

My specimens of natural history, which had been collected with much care and trouble, and which had cost me many a sleepless night, I consigned to Galton's care. They consisted of about five hundred bird-skins, nearly double that number of insects, and a few odds and ends. I also took this opportunity to forward several letters to my European friends.

Galton appeared delighted with the prospect of soon returning to civilized life. Though he had proved himself to be capable of enduring hardships and fatigue as well as any of us, it was evident that he had had enough of it.