Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/307

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THE AUTHOR'S TENT TAKES FIRE.

on the surface when immersed in water. To the porosity of the bone may be ascribed its healing qualities, if it actually possesses any; for which reason, any other substance made up of capillary tubes, as common sponge, for instance, might perhaps be equally efficacious."

To resume: Our journey to Rehoboth was unattended with any very remarkable incident, and we reached that place in safety after an absence of twenty-three days.

 

 

CHAPTER XXV.

The Author's Tent takes Fire.—He loses every thing but his Papers.—He is laid on a bed of Sickness.—Want of Medicine, &c.—Reflections.—Whole Villages infected with Fever.—Abundance of Game.—Extraordinary Shot at an Ostrich.—A Lion breakfasts on his Wife.—Wonderful shooting Star.—Remarkable Mirage.—Game and Lions plentiful.—The Ebony-tree.—Arrival at Bethany, a Missionary Station.—The Trouble of a large Herd of Cattle.—A thirsty Man's Cogitation.—Curious Superstition.—The Damara Cattle described.—People who live entirely without Water.—Cross the Orange River.—Sterile Country.

The old adage, "Misfortunes never come singly," was exemplified in my case. The wound in my leg being now nearly healed, we were preparing to leave Rehoboth, when one evening my hut accidentally caught fire, and, being entirely constructed of dry grass and sticks, it was burnt to the ground before any thing of moment could be saved. By rushing through the flames, however, I fortunately succeeded in preserving the greater part of my papers and memoranda, which to me were invaluable. I also rescued my saddle; but, in so doing, my clothes took fire, and I had a very narrow escape from being burnt to death. A shirt, a pair of trowsers, a cap, and a pair of under-done shoes, which had not been long enough at the fire to be thoroughly roasted, were all that was left me. My situation, consequently, was not very enviable. Through the kindness of Messrs. Klein-