Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/416

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species Keitloa (a female, as it proved) stood drinking at the water; but her position, as with the elephant in the first instance, was unfavorable for a good shot. As, however, she was very near me, I thought I was pretty sure of breaking her leg and thereby disabling her, and in this I succeeded. My fire seemed to madden her: she rushed wildly forward on three legs, when I gave her a second shot, though apparently with little or no effect. I felt sorry at not being able to end her sufferings at once; but, as I was too well acquainted with the habits of the rhinoceros to venture on pursuing her under the circumstances, I determined to wait patiently for daylight, and then destroy her with the aid of my dogs. But it was not to be.

As no more elephants or other large game appeared, I thought, after a time, it might be as well to go in search of the white rhinoceros previously wounded; and I was not long in finding his carcass; for my ball, as I supposed, had caused his almost immediate death.

In heading back to my "skärm," I accidentally took a turn in the direction pursued by the black rhinoceros, and by ill luck, as the event proved, at once encountered her. She was still on her legs, but her position, as before, was unfavorable. Hoping, however, to make her change it for a better, and thus enable me to destroy her at once, I took up a stone, and hurled it at her with all my force; when, snorting horribly, erecting her tail, keeping her head close to the ground, and raising clouds of dust by her feet, she rushed at me with fearful fury. I had only just time to level my rifle and fire before she was upon me; and the next instant, while instinctively turning round for the purpose of retreating, she laid me prostrate. The shock was so violent as to send my rifle, powder-flask, and ball-pouch, as also my cap, spinning in the air; the gun, indeed, as afterward ascertained, to a distance of fully ten feet. On the beast charging me, it crossed my mind that, unless gored at once by her horn, her impetus would be