Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/357

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349
COPPER ORE—A FALSE FRIEND—JONATHON AFRIKA.

whether above the plain or the level of the sea. Be that as it may, however, I do not think either estimation correct. Mr. Vollmer, who once, with great labor, crossed the table of Tans in his own wagon, informed me that its western aspect, or the side facing the Kuisip, is very steep and high, but the eastern slope is gradual, and not a great deal elevated above the plain.

The rocks all about Rehoboth are strongly impregnated with copper, and specimens of the ore of a very productive quality (forty to ninety per cent.) are occasionally found. I presented Mr. Reid with several pieces, giving him permission to use them as he thought fit. I advised him, however, to get them analyzed by Mr. Schmieterleuv, whom I knew to be a straightforward man; but he preferred to subject them to his own friend, Dr. G——. After about a year's absence I met Mr. Reid again, and on asking him what advantage he had derived from the copper I gave to him, he replied, "None whatever. Dr. G—— declared the specimens were worthless." Yet not long afterward he went into partnership with a certain merchant on the strength of these identical specimens. So much for friendship!

Captain Zwartbooi's people had started off to Damara-land under pretext of looking out for fountains, but the sequel proved it was solely with a view of stealing cattle. The example set them by Jonker, Cornelius, and others, was too strong to be longer withstood.

One evening Jonathan Afrika presented himself at the station. I had already, at Barmen, seen this man, who was of Bechuana extraction, but had been brought up among civilized people. A shrewder fellow I never came across. He bore an excellent character throughout the country. When he first arrived he accompanied Mr. M——, the trader, in whose service he suffered much privation.

Jonathan, who soon afterward entered into my service, was a man of great courage and an excellent marksman. He