Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/67

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59
CRESTED PARROT—GIRAFFE SHOT.

a small clump of trees hard by, and, tumbling off the animal, remained for some time in a state of almost total unconsciousness. When at last I recovered from this stupor, the heat was less, and a gentle breeze having sprung up, I was able slowly to proceed. My head, however, ached intolerably.

The usual result of a coup de soleil is known to be either almost instantaneous death, or an affection of the brain for life. In my case I expected nothing short of the latter infliction. Happily, however, after about several months daily suffering I was thoroughly restored, and in time I could brave heat and fatigue as well as any native.

Having followed the course of the Swakop for some days, we struck into one of its tributaries called Tjobis. At the mouth of this stream we met, for the first time, with a vast number of Guinea-fowls, which we afterward found very common throughout the country. We also made acquaintance with one or two species of toucans; and I succeeded, at last, in obtaining several specimens of the parrot-looking birds of which mention has lately been made. They were the chizoerhis concolor of Doctor Smith.

After many hours of fatiguing travel we met Galton, who had ridden on in advance. His face beamed with delight while announcing to us that he had just killed a fine giraffe. The news was most welcome to every one; for, to say nothing of the prospect of a feast, the heat of the sun and the heavy nature of the ground made us all feel exceedingly weary, and we were, therefore, extremely glad of a pretext to take some repose.

The mules were forthwith unharnessed, and all hands were put in requisition to cut up our prize and to "jerk" the meat; but this proved lean and tough.

The bones, however, of the giraffe contain a great deal of marrow, which, when properly prepared, is eaten with gusto by every one, and even when in a raw state is sometimes greedily devoured by the natives.