Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/295

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RETURN TO EIKHAMS—VISIT KACHAMAHA.

or melon, is also found in great abundance about Rehoboth. When ripe, this fruit is collected by the natives, dried, and stored away for seasons of scarcity.

 

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

Return to Eikhams.—Ugly Fall.—Splendid Landscape.—Jonker's Delinquencies.—How to manage the Natives.—The Ondara.—It kills a Man.—How his Comrade revenges him.—Medical Properties of the Ondara.—The Cockatrice.—The Cobra di Capella,—The Puff-adder.—The Spitting Snake.—The Black Snake.—Few Deaths caused by Snakes.—Antidotes for Snake-bites.—Return to Rehoboth.

Leaving Hans in charge of the men and cattle, I posted back to Eikhams, a distance of about sixty miles, in the hope of recovering our debt from Jonker; but he had not yet returned. By this time, however, I received positive information that he and his people were engaged in a cattle-lifting foray. To enable me to acquire full details of their proceedings, I set off for Barmen, the head-quarter for information as respects Damara-land. Here fugitives arrived daily, bringing tidings of plunder and bloodshed. I felt grieved and angry at Jonker's outrageous behavior. Only a year before he had most solemnly promised Mr. Galton never again to molest the Damaras.

Hearing that Kachamaha, the most powerful chief in the country since the death of Kahichenè, resided not far from Barmen, and that he had been a severe sufferer by the depredations of the Namaquas, I determined to visit him, with a view of ascertaining the extent of his own and his countrymen's losses.

I found Kachamaha's kraal on the steep banks of a periodical stream, one of the largest tributaries of the Swakop. The situation was most picturesque. The wonderful luxuriance of the vegetation, and extreme beauty of the landscape at this season, the thousands of cattle crowding the verdant