Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/255

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
247
GALTON ARRIVES SAFE—GOLD MEDAL.

The schooner was to have sailed on the 5th of January; but, in consequence of the arrival of "The Grecian" man-of-war, then cruising off the West Coast, it was postponed till the next day. As the schooner gradually disappeared from view, I began to feel in full force the loneliness of my situation, and the loss of my friend's company. It would seem that, the farther the object of our esteem and regard is separated from us, the better we are able to appreciate its value. Galton's excellent disposition and even temper had enabled us to struggle through all difficulties very happily together, and it was, therefore, with sincere regret that I parted from him. I whispered a prayer for his safe return to the bosom of his family. It was heard; for, though the passage proved of long duration, he reached England in safety, after an absence of two years.

Not long subsequently to his return, the Royal Geographical Society, I was happy to learn, bestowed upon him their gold medal as a reward for his services in the cause of science.

 

 

CHAPTER XX.

Capture of young Ostriches.—Natural History of the Ostrich; where found; Description of; Size; Weight; Age; Voice; Strength; Speed; Food; Water; Breeding; Incubation; Cunning; Stones found in Eggs; Chicks; Flesh.—Brain in request among the Romans.—Eggs highly prized.—Uses of Egg-shells.—Feathers an article of Commerce.—Ostrich Parasols.—The Bird's destructive Propensities.—Habits.—Resembles Quadrupeds.—Domestication.—The Chase.—Snares.—Ingenious Device.—Enemies of the Ostrich.

Ostriches are at all times more or less numerous on the Naarip Plain, but more particularly so at this season, on account of the naras (of which mention was made in the second chapter) being now ripe.

While waiting for the missionary vessel, previously to the