Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/360

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the traveler to much hardship and inconvenience, from exposure to the inclemency of the weather, and the very small stock of provisions, &c., that can be conveyed.

Up to this period the men had worked well and willingly; but the day on which I bade farewell to the hospitable missionary roof (5th of April) Timbo became sulky, and expressed a wish to return to the Cape, from which I had some difficulty in persuading him. It was the first time I had real cause for being dissatisfied with the man, but not the last.

Four days after this little difficulty was got over, it came on to rain so tremendously that it seemed as if we were going to have another deluge. For three days and as many nights it continued to pour down with scarcely any intermission. The scriptural expression, "The windows of heaven were opened," might indeed have been here realized. During the last twelve hours the thunder and lightning were truly appalling, and perfectly stunned and blinded us. Peal after peal, flash after flash, followed in rapid succession, re-echoed and reflected from a hundred peaks. Trees were broken short off or torn up by the roots by the violence of the wind.

"The clouds,
From many a horrid rift, abortive pour'd
Fierce rain with lightning mix'd, water with fire
In ruin reconciled; nor slept the winds
Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vexed wilderness, whose tallest pines
(Though rooted deep as high) and sturdiest oaks
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blast
Or torn up sheer."

The men's tent, which was secured with numerous strong straps to the side of the wagon, was carried bodily away, and men and quadrupeds were literally swimming in the torrent, which, rushing down with irresistible fury from the