Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/419

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411
AUTHOR SAVES KAMAPYU'S LIFE.

sport as food, but several weeks elapsed before I could again attack those animals with any coolness.

About sunrise, Kamapyu, my half-caste boy, whom I had left on the preceding evening about half a mile away, came to the "skärm" to convey my guns and other things to our encampment. In few words I related to him the mishap that had befallen me. He listened with seeming incredulity, but the sight of my gashed thigh soon convinced him I was not in joke.

I afterward directed him to take one of the guns and proceed in search of the wounded rhinoceros, cautioning him to be careful in approaching the beast, which I had reason to believe was not yet dead. He had only been absent a few minutes when I heard a cry of distress. Striking my hand against my forehead, I exclaimed, "Good God! the brute has attacked the lad also!"

Seizing hold of my rifle, I scrambled through the bushes as fast as my crippled condition would permit, and, when I had proceeded two or three hundred yards, a scene suddenly presented itself that I shall vividly remember to the last days of my existence. Among some bushes, and within a couple of yards of each other, stood the rhinoceros and the young savage, the former supporting herself on three legs, covered with blood and froth, and snorting in the most furious manner; the latter petrified with fear—spell-bound, as it were—and riveted to the spot. Creeping, therefore, to the side of the rhinoceros opposite to that on which the boy was standing, so as to draw her attention from him, I leveled and fired, on which the beast charged wildly to and fro without any distinct object. While she was thus occupied I poured in shot after shot, but thought she would never fall. At length, however, she sank slowly to the ground, and, imagining that she was in her death agonies, and that all danger was over, I walked unhesitatingly close up to her, and was on the point of placing the muzzle of my gun to her ear to give her the