Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/27

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LAKE NGAMI.

 

 

CHAPTER I.

Departure from Sweden.—Day-dreams.—Fraternal Love.—A tempting Offer.—Preparations for Journey to Africa.—Departure from England.—Arrival at the Cape.—Town and Inhabitants.—Table Mountain.—Curious Legend.—Preparation for Journey into the Interior.—Departure for Walfisch Bay.

It was at the close of the year 1849 that I left Gothenbourg, in a sailing vessel, for Hull, at which place I arrived in safety, after a boisterous and somewhat dangerous passage of about fourteen days' duration. Though a Swede by birth, I am half an Englishman by parentage; and it was with pleasure that I visited, for the second time, a country endeared to me by the ties of kindred and the remembrance of former hospitality.

My stay in England, however, was intended to be only of short duration. I carried with me thither a considerable collection of living birds and quadrupeds, together with numerous preserved specimens of natural history, the produce of many a long hunting excursion amid the mountains, lakes, and forests of my native country. These I was anxious to dispose of in England, and then proceed in my travels, though to what quarter of the globe I had scarcely yet determined.

From my earliest youth, my day-dreams had carried me into the wilds of Africa. Passionately fond of traveling, accustomed from my childhood to field sports and to the study of natural history, and (as I hope I may say with truth) desirous of rendering myself useful in my generation, I earnest-