Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/426

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fowl. Many species new to us were among them; but we had no time to spare for approaching the birds.

We twice bivouacked on the south border of Ngami before coming in sight of Lecholètébè's residence, situated on the north bank of the River Zouga, and at a short distance from where its waters separate themselves from the Lake.

I had accomplished the journey from Kobis in five days. With unencumbered oxen, it might, with some exertion, be made in half this time.

Lecholètébè requested me to pitch my tent in his immediate vicinity; but, feeling fatigued, and well knowing the inconvenience of being in too close proximity to the natives, we encamped on the south side of the Zouga.

I determined to pay my respects to the chief at an early hour on the following morning. To make a favorable impression on the mind of savages at the first interview is of great importance, as much of their future good-will toward one depends on this, and scarcely any thing propitiates them more than outward show.

Accordingly, at the contemplated hour, I donned my best apparel, which consisted of jacket and trowsers of fine white duck, a handsome red velvet sash, lined with silk of the same color, and a gold-embroidered skull-cap.

The two last articles of dress were a memento of a dear female friend, and I had pledged myself to wear them on the first grand occasion.

Having crossed the Zouga River, a few minutes' walk brought me to Batoana town, the capital and residence of Lecholètébè. I found the chief seated on a wooden stool, in the midst of forty or fifty of his followers, drinking coffee within a stout semicircular palisading. He was attired in a half-European and half-barbarous costume; his lower extremities were immersed in a pair of wide moleskin trowsers; he had incased his feet in socks and "veld" shoes, while from his shoulders depended gracefully a very handsome jackal