Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/344

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nometer watch, and two ordinary watches. Mr. Maclear, the royal astronomer at the Cape, kindly assisted me in selecting most of the above instruments. He, moreover, took a great deal of pains in adjusting them, and showing me their use, though I fear I almost wore out his patience, for I was excessively stupid in this respect. But I trust the result has proved that his labor was not altogether thrown away.

Shortly after our arrival at the Cape I had been fortunate enough in securing the services of an old acquaintance, Timbo, who had safely returned from St. Helena, where he left Mr. Galton. He proved invaluable to me. To his charge my dogs and native servants were confided, and they throve wonderfully under his management.

I had intended to send two or three Damaras with Hans to Australia; but one day, previous to his departure, they came to me in great tribulation, and said they did not want to go any farther, but wished to return with me to their own land. If such was really their intention, it became my duty to gratify them; but I could not help feeling a little vexed, for, since no one but Timbo could speak their language, I strongly suspected that he had influenced their decision. With a view of ascertaining the fact, I called him, and told him my opinion; but he stoutly denied the charge, adding, "Suppose, master, me was to take a horse from the stable in the Kaap to Wynberg, or to any other strange place, and then leave him to himself, surely he would return whence he came; and so it is with the natives." I was struck with the sagacity of the remark, and said no more about the matter.

Timbo had procured a passage from St. Helena in the Birkenhead man-of-war, and on the voyage he got acquainted with an English lad, George Bonfield, aged sixteen. A mutual attachment sprung up between the shrewd Ethiopian and the youthful Saxon, and in a short time the former was the means of indirectly saving the life of the latter. On