Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/468

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him by the wounded leg, and severed the tendon at the knee-joint. The struggle between us now became severe. On trying to lay hold of his horns, which were most formidable weapons, with the intention of cutting his throat, he struck out with so much violence as to upset me, and I was nearly smothered with mud and water. But the poor creature's course was run. His loss of blood and crippled state soon enabled me to put an end to his miseries. He was a noble old stag—the finest antelope of the species that I ever shot, and they were many; he well rewarded me for all my exertions.

After passing the bar at the mouth of the Teoge, the depth of the water increased, and the current flowed with less velocity—from two to three miles per hour, I should say. For the first few days' journey the country presented a rather dreary and monotonous appearance, being frequently flooded for many miles, thus converting the land on both sides into extensive reedy marshes, only occasionally relieved by a pleasant group of the date and the fan-palm. The banks were in many places so low that, when bivouacking on shore, we often slept in the water. Even where the banks rose a few feet above the surface, they were entirely undermined by the stream; and if a stick was thrust through, water immediately appeared in the hole. Fuel was exceedingly scarce, and could only be purchased from the natives (thinly scattered along its banks), who not unfrequently brought it from a very great distance.

On the fourth day the landscape assumed a more pleasing aspect; the banks of the river became higher, and were richly covered with a rank vegetation. There was the fan-palm, the date, the black-stemmed mimosa, the wild and wide-spreading sycamore, the elegant and dark-foliaged moshoma, and a variety of other beautiful, often to me new, trees, many yielding an abundance of palatable and nourishing fruit. Timbo, who accompanied me, recognized no less