Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/515

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CUNNING OF LECHOLÈTÉBÈ—RETURN TO NAMAQUA-LAND.

the chief for his treachery, and had resolved to assume an angry and dissatisfied air; but a glance at his smooth, sly, smiling face was sufficient to mollify every feeling of resentment; and when, with the most innocent look, he inquired if I had seen Libèbé, and if I felt satisfied with the trip in general, my anger was turned into mirth, and I burst into a hearty laugh. This was all my cunning friend wanted: he seemed like one resting completely on a profound sense of his own merits, and waiting to receive the thanks and praises which he felt to be his due.

When stopped so unexpectedly in my exploring career by the artifices of Lecholètébè, I made up my mind to return forthwith to the Cape, partly for the purpose of obtaining a fresh outfit, and partly to procure boats suitable to navigate the Ngami and its water-sheds, and then return to the Lake to follow up my discoveries. But it was not to be.

As the reader will probably remember, I reached the Ngami by means of pack-and-ride oxen; but I had found this mode of traveling so exceedingly inconvenient that I almost dreaded a renewal of it. Moreover, my collection of ivory, specimens of natural history, curiosities, &c., had by this time so increased that I found my few remaining half-broken-in cattle altogether inadequate to the task of conveying me and my stores to the Cape. A wagon had become absolutely necessary, and the only possible way of obtaining one was to return to Namaqua-land, where, should my man Eyebrecht not have such a vehicle at my disposal, I was in hope of being able to borrow one from the natives. To insure dispatch, although I stood sadly in need of rest and quiet, I determined on undertaking the journey.

After about a week's stay at Batoana-town, I set out for Namaqua-land on the 10th of September, accompanied by only one man, leaving Timbo in charge of the camp in my absence.

Before I returned to the Lake, and was fairly on my way