Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/296

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slopes, the purling stream, which made a music strange to these regions—

"A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune"—

the mimosa (now in full blossom), the numerous fires on an evening, around which bustling and merry groups of savages were busily preparing their plain "veld-kost" of wild roots and bulbs—these, and many other signs of abundance, cheerfulness, and content, infused a sensation of tranquil happiness which I had not experienced since my arrival in this sunburnt and unhappy land.

The result of my own and Mr. Hahn's inquiries was a conviction that Jonker, with his murderous horde, had destroyed in his recent foray upward of forty werfts or villages, and that the aggregate number of cattle carried off could not have been much short of ten or eleven thousand. One powerful tribe of Damaras had been completely broken up. With regard to the number of people killed, we were unable to ascertain any thing with certainty, but we had reason to think that on this occasion it was not considerable.

Having collected all the facts which I thought necessary to convict Jonker of his guilt, I retraced my steps to Eikhams.

Almost immediately after leaving Barmen I had a very ugly fall from my ox. He was plunging and kicking most viciously, but I succeeded for a time in keeping my seat. Unfortunately, however, all at once both girths gave way, and, after performing a summersault in the air, I came with a violent thump to the ground. I alighted in a sitting position, but, as ill luck would have it, my left leg came in contact with the stump of a tree, which inflicted a wound fully two inches in depth, and nearly the same in length. In this state I was obliged to ride upward of one hundred miles, and