Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/285

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277
THE CHASE—ARRIVAL AT EIKHAMS.

"Owing to the uneven nature of the ground which the oryx frequents," says Gordon Cumming, "its shy and suspicious disposition, and the extreme distances from water to which it must be followed, it is never stalked or driven to an ambush like other antelopes, but is hunted on horseback, and ridden down by a long, severe, tail-on-end chase." This is not exactly correct, for when on foot I have killed great numbers of these animals. Moreover, were the option left me, I would rather "stalk" them than pursue them on horseback. Such was also Hans's experience, who, during his seven years' nomade life in Damara-land, has probably killed more gemsboks than any hunter in Southern Africa. I have also known this animal to be driven into pitfalls.

The gemsbok, as a rule, runs, like the eland, against the wind when pursued.

 

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

Arrival at Eikhams.—Native Dogs; cruelly treated.—Jonker Afrikaner.—The Author visits the Red Nation; the bad Repute of these People.—The Author attacked by Ophthalmia.—The embryo Locust.—The "flying" Locust; its Devastations.—The Locust-bird.—Arrival at Rehoboth; the Place described.

In the afternoon of the 20th of February we drove in to Eikhams during a terrific thunder-storm, drenched to the skin. The deluging rain continued to descend the whole of the ensuing night, and the place on the following morning looked like a foaming torrent. In consequence of this inundation, our ox-gear, and, in short, every thing untanned, was completely saturated, and greatly resembled a heap of moist wash-leather.

The starved native dogs had taken advantage of this circumstance, and devoured rather more than two feet of our "trek-touw." The curs are of the greatest annoyance to the traveler in Namaqua-land, for, since the owners rarely feed