Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/29

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21
FRATERNAL LOVE.

managed to seize him just as he was escaping into the country, and, with the help of several others, succeeded in shutting him up again. The bear, however, refused his food, and raved in so fearful a manner that, unless he could be quieted, it was clear he would do some mischief.

On my arrival at his den, I found the poor brute in a most furious state, tearing the wooden floor with his claws, and gnawing the barricaded front with his teeth. I had no sooner opened the door than he sprang furiously at me, and struck me repeated blows with his powerful paws. As, however, I had reared him from a cub, we had too often measured our strength together for me to fear him now; and I soon made him retreat into the corner of his prison, where he remained howling in the most heartrending manner. It was a most sickening sight to behold the poor creature with his eyes bloodshot, and protruding from the sockets; his mouth and chest white with foam, and his body crusted with dirt. I am not ashamed to confess that at one time I felt my own eyes moistened. Neither blows nor kind words were of any effect: they only served to irritate and infuriate him; and I saw clearly that the only remedy would be, either to shoot him, or to restore him to his brother's companionship. I chose the latter alternative; and the purchaser of the other bear, my kind friend Sir Henry Hunloke, on being informed of the circumstance, consented to take this one also.

Shortly after my arrival in London, Sir Hyde Parker, another valued friend of mine, and "The King of Fishermen," introduced me to Mr. Francis Galton, who was then just on the point of undertaking an expedition to Southern Africa; his intention being to explore th» unknown regions beyond the boundary of the Cape of Good Hope Colony, and to penetrate, if possible, to the recently discovered Lake Ngami. Upon finding that I also had an intention of traveling, and that our tastes and pursuits were in many respects similar, he proposed to me to give up my talked-of trip to the far