Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/52

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Preparations for Journey.—Breaking-in Oxen.—Departure from Scheppmansdorf.—An infuriated Ox.—The Naarip Plain.—The scarlet Flower.—The Usab Gorge.—The Swakop River.—Tracks of Rhinoceros seen.—Anecdote of that Animal.—A Sunrise in the Tropics.—Sufferings from Heat and Thirst.—Arrival at Daviep: great resort of Lions.—A Horse and Mule killed by them.—The Author goes in pursuit.—A troop of Lions.—Unsuccessful Chase.—Mules' flesh palatable.

Mr. Galton had now so far altered his plans that, instead of proceeding up the country with only one half of his party for the purchase of cattle, it was arranged that we should make the journey together. The wagons and the bulk of our effects were to be left at Scheppmansdorf, and we were only to take with us some few articles of exchange, a small quantity of provisions, and a moderate supply of ammunition.

Finding, however, that the cart could not conveniently hold all our baggage, though now reduced to the smallest quantity possible, it was resolved to pack a portion on oxen. These animals, on account of their great hardihood, are invaluable in South Africa; the more so, as they can be equally well used for draft, the "pack," or the "saddle." But as we had no cattle trained for either of these purposes, and only one or two were procurable at the missionary station, we were necessitated, prior to our departure thence, to break in a few. No easy matter, by-the-by; for oxen are of a wild and stubborn disposition, and it requires months to make them tractable. We were, however, totally at a loss how to set to work.

But fortunately, at this time, Mr. Galton had engaged a