Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/49

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

At length all the baggage was safely deposited at Scheppmansdorf, where I rejoined Mr. Galton.

He had not, I found, been many days at that place, when a magnificent lion suddenly appeared one night in the midst of the village. A small dog, that had incautiously approached the beast, paid the penalty of its life for its daring. The next day a grand chase was got up, but the lion, being on his guard, managed to elude his pursuers. The second day, however, he was killed by Messrs. Galton and Bam; and, on cutting him up, the poor dog was found, still undigested, in his stomach, bitten into five pieces.

The natives highly rejoiced at the successful termination of the hunt; for this lion had proved himself to be one of the most daring and destructive ever known, having, in a short time, killed upward of fifty oxen, cows, and horses. Though he had previously been chased, he had always escaped unscathed, and every successive attack made upon him only served to increase his ferocity.

I regretted much being prevented from taking part in so interesting and exciting an event, but, on the other hand, I felt pleased that my friend had thus early had an opportunity of exercising his skill on one of the most noble and dreaded of the animal creation. My turn was yet to come.

Scheppmansdorf—Roëbank—Abbanhous—as it is indifferently called—was first occupied as a missionary station in the year 1846, by the Rev. Mr. Scheppman, from whom it takes its name. It is situated on the left bank of the River Kuisip, and immediately behind rise enormous masses and ridges of sand. The Kuisip is a periodical stream, and is dependent on the rains in the interior; but, from the great uncertainty of this supply, and the absorbing nature of the soil, it is seldom that it reaches Walfisch Bay, where it has its estuary. On our arrival, the Kuisip had not flowed for years; but when it does send down its mighty torrent, it fertilizes and changes the aspect of the country to a wonder-