Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/375

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LOSS OF THE "LION" AND THE "CROSS."

According to the advice of the Bushmen, therefore, we now left it to the right, and struck out in a northerly direction through an intensely dense "Wacht-een-bigte" (thorn-jungle). After a few hours' travel, "we packed-off" to the eastward of some dilapidated limestone pits; but, though they contained water, from the depth of the cavities, and the difficulty of access to them, it occupied the men several hours to supply the wants of our small herd of cattle. The next stage—a short one—we slept without water.

In the course of the following day's march we had traversed dense brakes which annoyed us excessively, for the thorns not only tore our flesh and clothes, but subtracted several articles of value from the pack-saddles. Among other losses, I had to bewail that of two magnificent flags—the British and the Swedish—which had been expressly made for and presented to me by my friend, Mr. Letterstedt, the Swedish consul-general at the Cape, and which I hoped to have unfurled on the shores of the far-famed Ngami. All my efforts to recover these valued standards proved fruitless, some hyænas having probably swallowed the Anglo-Saxon Lion and the Swedish Cross.

At dusk, after having been ten hours in the saddle, we reached a famous place called Ghanzé, where we pitched our camp.