Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/424

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whole party was in high spirits, and we proceeded cheerily on our road. I myself kept well ahead, in hope of obtaining the first glimpse of Ngami. The country hereabout was finely undulated, and in every distant vale with a defined border I thought I saw a lake. At last a blue line of great extent appeared in the distance, and I made sure it was the long-sought object; but I was still doomed to disappointment. It turned out to be merely a large hollow, in the rainy season filled with water, but now dry and covered by saline incrustations. Several valleys, separated from each other by ridges of sand, bearing a rank vegetation, were afterward crossed. On reaching the top of one of these ridges, the natives, who were in advance of our party, suddenly came to a halt, and, pointing straight before them, exclaimed, "Ngami! Ngami!" In an instant I was with the men. There, indeed, at no very great distance, lay spread before me an immense sheet of water, only bounded by the horizon—the object of my ambition for years, and for which I had abandoned home and friends, and risked my life.

The first sensation occasioned by this sight was very curious. Long as I had been prepared for that event, it now almost overwhelmed me. It was a mixture of pleasure and pain. My temples throbbed, and my heart beat so violently that I was obliged to dismount and lean against a tree for support until the excitement had subsided. The reader will no doubt think that thus giving way to my feelings was very childish; but "those who know that the first glimpse of some great object which we have read or dreamed of from earliest recollection is ever a moment of intensest enjoyment, will forgive the transport." I felt unfeignedly thankful for the unbounded goodness and gracious assistance which I had experienced from Providence throughout the whole of this prolonged and perilous journey. My trials had been many; but, my dearest aspirations being attained, the difficulties were all forgotten. And here I could not avoid passing my