Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/289

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281
BUT FEW SLAVES—ATTACKED BY OPHTHALMIA.

these people, and supplied their wants at the same rate as paid by the other Hottentot tribes residing in Great Namaqua-land. Moreover, they have lately admitted a missionary among them, and it is to be hoped that through good examples they may ultimately be civilized.

The chief stronghold of the Red Nation is about the Kubakop, but a part of the tribe is settled on the Fish River. Taken as a whole, they possess probably the worst portion of the northern part of Great Namaqua-land. They call themselves Kaikhous, a word signifying large ridges of hills, in contradistinction to Zwartboi's tribe, the name of which is Kharikhous, or small ridges. They look upon Jonker and his people, who are known as "Oerlam," not only with jealousy, but with something akin to contempt.

I found but few Damara slaves among the Red Nation, which at first struck me as singular, for their outrage on the Damaras was, at least, of equal extent to that perpetrated by the rest of the northern Namaquas. I could only explain this by supposing that they killed their prisoners. I afterward learned that my conjecture was correct, and that, having surrounded a werft, they coolly shot down every soul, women and children not excepted. However, having lately discovered that the Damaras make useful drudges, they have, from interested motives, become less bloody-minded.

While staying with Cornelius I was attacked by ophthalmia, and for a few days suffered great agonies, but, fortunately, before the disease had arrived at its maximum, it took a favorable turn.

Having succeeded in disposing of the greater part of our goods, we took leave of our host, and bent our steps toward Rehoboth, which was on our road to the Cape. The day after our departure we met with vast numbers of the larvæ of the locust (gryllus devastator, Lich.), commonly called by the Boers "voet-gangers," literally, foot-goers. In some places they might be seen packed in layers several inches in