Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/288

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of their evil reputation, and to endeavor to establish friendly relations with them.

My reception was such as to corroborate the ill reports that had reached my ears. At the first werft we came to they stole a large quantity of clothing belonging to our servants, but, after some trouble, we succeeded in recovering the property. At the next village they threatened to shoot us on the spot if we did not sell our things at their own terms! Three different times their chief sent to say that if we attempted to stir without his orders he would fire upon us. To this insolent message we quietly replied that he would have been at liberty to prevent our coming to his werft, but, with regard to our departure, we should consult our own convenience. Finding us determined, and that we were preparing to start, he soon came to terms, and in the most humble manner offered an explanation and apology for his rude conduct, which, under the circumstances, we thought it best to accept.

We were just about to turn our backs upon the Red Nation when a messenger arrived from Cornelius, the chief, with a civil and pressing invitation to visit him at his kraal. After some little hesitation, we consented, and speedily followed the envoy. On arriving at the werft, prettily situated at the foot of a hill near the banks of the Kubakop River, which here forced its passage through a very remarkable range of mountains, I immediately called the tribe together and reproached them for their bad behavior toward strangers. I moreover explained to them the impolicy of such conduct, and how very injurious it would prove to their own interest, since they were entirely dependent on the Cape Colony for their supplies of arms and ammunition, clothing, and other commodities.

My efforts in bringing about a thorough good understanding were successful. A short time afterward, indeed, a number of traders, encouraged by my favorable reception, visited