Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/391

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383
MR. OSWELL AND THE BLACK RHINOCEROS.

ally saw the horn of the infuriated brute alongside of me; but, seemingly satisfied with his revenge, without attempting to do further mischief, he started off at a canter from the scene of action. My after-rider having by this time come up, I rushed upon him, and, almost pulling him off the horse, leaped into the saddle, and, without a hat, and my face streaming with blood, was quickly in pursuit of the retreating beast, which I soon had the satisfaction to see stretched lifeless at my feet.

"My friend Captain Vardon, by whom I was accompanied on this journey, soon after joined me, and, seeing my head and face covered with blood, at first imagined me to be mortally hurt or dying. However, with the exception of a blow on the skull, occasioned by the stirrup-iron, which laid my head open a few inches, I received no further injury; but the horse was killed on the spot."

Again: "On another occasion, as I was bending my steps toward my camp on foot, I espied, at no great distance, two rhinoceroses of the species Keitloa. They were feeding, and slowly approaching me. I immediately couched and quietly waited their arrival; but, though they soon came within range, from their constantly facing me, I was unable to fire, well knowing the uselessness of a shot at the head. In a short time they had approached so close that, on account of the exposed nature of the ground, I could neither retreat nor advance, and my position became highly critical. I was afraid to fire; for, even had I succeeded in killing one, the other would, in all likelihood, have run over and trampled me to death. In this dilemma the thought struck me that, on account of their bad sight, I might possibly save myself by trying to run past them. No time was to be lost; and accordingly, just as the leading animal almost touched me, I stood up and dashed past it. The brute, however, was much too quick for me, and before I had made good many paces, I heard a violent snorting at my heels, and had only time to