Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/78

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that, for the future, it would be better not to molest Hans, for if they did they would only fare worse. This advice was felt to be a prudent caution, and from that day forward they ceased to worry the Dane.

Hans was an excellent and indefatigable sportsman, and so successful that, though the country, on his first arrival, literally teemed with rhinoceroses, lions, giraffes, zebras, gnoos, gemsboks, &c., he had all but exterminated them.

To give the reader some idea of the abundance of game and wild beasts then existing in this part of Africa, I may mention than Hans once shot, with his own hand, no less than nine rhinoceroses in the course of a single day.[1]

Hans ate very little animal food, but, whenever he could afford it, he drank an amazing quantity of tea and coffee. His chief nourishment, however, was thick sour milk, which he swallowed in gallons. It is wonderful how people thrive on this diet, which is the main sustenance of the Damaras, who, as has been already said, are remarkably fine-looking men.

Hans, on the proposal being made to him by Mr. Galton, agreed to accompany us in the capacity of head man, and we were truly fortunate to secure so able and practiced a hand. Indeed, from after-experience, it is very doubtful whether we should have been able to get on without him. We had, moreover, found that it would be next to impossible to obtain from the natives, by barter, any considerable number of cattle; and, even had we succeeded, they would have been so wild and unmanageable that we could not have made use of them for months. Now, as Hans had a small drove of his own, several of which were already broken-in, and the rest more or less tractable, and was willing to part with them at a moderate price, Mr. Galton secured the whole

  1. His hunting dress on these occasions consisted simply of a thick, coarse blue shirt or blouse, secured by a belt round his waist, containing his balls, caps, wadding, &c.