Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/333

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LEAVE THE ORANGE RIVER—KOMAGGAS.

shape and size the Namaqua cattle approach nearer the European breed than to that indigenous to the countries north of them. They are of moderate size, very compact, and have short but stout horns (usually curved inward), with rather large hoofs.

 

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

Leave the Orange River.—Arrival at Komaggas.—Gardening and Agriculture.—The Author starts alone for the Cape.—Colony Horses.—Enmity of the Boers to "Britishers."—Dutch Salutation.—The Author must have been at Timbuctoo, whether or no.—He arrives at Cape-Town.—Cuts a sorry figure.—Is run away with.—A Feast of Oranges.—Ghost Stories.—Cattle Auction.—Hans and John Allen proceed to Australia.—Preparations for Journey to the Ngami.—Departure from the Cape.

On the 25th of August we left the inhospitable banks of the Orange River. After rather more than a week's slow travel through dreary and uninteresting tracts of land, covered by a deep, yielding sandy soil, bearing a dwarfish vegetation, we arrived at Komaggas, also a Rhenish missionary station. The Rev. Mr. Weich now officiated here.[1] The congregation consists of a promiscuous collection of Hottentots and the offspring of other dark-colored natives.

Komaggas is picturesquely situated, and well supplied with water. Gardening is brought almost to perfection; and, notwithstanding the dryness of the atmosphere, corn is cultivated with success in the neighborhood. Indeed, the best wheat in the west part of the colony, I am informed, is grown here; but its cultivation is attended with much labor, since it can

  1. This institution was founded by the Rev. Mr. Schmelen. In 1830, during the administration of Sir Lowry Cole, it received by charter an extensive grant of territory from the British government at the Cape. On that memorable occasion the zealous missionary presented to the governor a translation of the four Gospels in the Namaqua tongue.