Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/60

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to leave the poor animal to its fate, trusting, however, that when the atmosphere should become a little cooler, it would follow on our track. We dared not stop, nor would delay have been of any avail, for as far as the eye could reach neither bush nor blade of grass was to be seen.

In the early morning I rode one of the horses, but after a time, observing that some of the men looked jaded and faint, I dismounted, and gave it up to them, proceeding myself on foot during the remainder of the day. Mr. Galton had ridden in advance on the other shore, and when we met I was almost speechless from thirst, with my mouth and lips dreadfully parched. Often subsequently have I suffered cruelly from want of water, and for a much longer period than on the present occasion, but never do I remember to have been so much distressed as now; for though from childhood accustomed and inured to privations of all kinds, I had not previously experienced the effect of thirst under a tropical sun.

Again we left our cart some little way from the river, and drove the thirsty and weary animals loose to the water, which was fortunately not far distant; but, though men and beasts drank to repletion, the water seemed to have lost its property, for our best endeavors to slake our thirst proved unavailing.

The name of the place was Daviep, and it was reported to be a favorite resort of lions, who regularly reared their young in a neighboring mountain, called Tineas, whence they made predatory excursions. We accordingly lost no time in reconnoitring the ground; but, not finding any indications of the presence of lions, or even that they had haunted the place lately, we had little apprehension of their paying us a visit; and as the mules and horses sadly wanted rest and food, we deemed it advisable to leave them to themselves during the night, merely taking the precaution to "knee-halter" them. We paid dearly, however, for our too easy confidence.