Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/349

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341
PHILANTHROPY—JONKER INEXORABLE—MR. BAM.

And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
'What writest thou?' The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, 'The names of those who love the Lord.'
'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low.
But cheerly still; and said, 'I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had bless'd,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest."

All Mr. Hahn's exertions and painstakings, however, were in vain. Jonker was inexorable. He flatly told him there was no occasion for missionaries, since they themselves were quite capable of managing the affairs of the country. This proved the death-blow to the Damara mission; for, though Messrs. Schöneberg and Rath continued their labors for some time afterward, they were finally compelled to desist.

On leaving Great Namaqua-land the preceding year, I placed two teams of wagon-oxen under the charge of my friend, William Zwartbooi, to be kept ready for emergences. I now lost no time in sending people to fetch them down; but the distance was great, and I could not expect them for several weeks to come. Through my interference, Mr. Bam kindly furnished Mr. Reid with a sufficiency of trained oxen for his own conveyance at a very moderate cost, which enabled him to start for the interior with scarcely any delay.

While waiting for my own cattle, I busied myself with arranging my baggage, sketching plans for the future, eating naras, and now and then mounting my steed to chase the ostrich.

On the 9th of February Mr. Rath arrived, and, seeing my