Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/87

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79
SERVANTS.

which we were engaged, I should remark, people can not be too particular in the selection of their attendants; for, to say nothing of the success of the undertaking, one's personal comfort mainly depends on their good behavior.

First in order was a youth named Gabriel, a native of the Cape. He had been engaged by Galton chiefly for his smiling face and winning looks, but he proved himself to be the most troublesome of the whole lot. In our journey up the country he had already exhibited a vindictive temper and quarrelsome disposition, which at length broke forth with increased violence. On two separate occasions he attempted, if I was rightly informed, the lives of his fellow-servants. Upon this atrocity, I spoke to him with earnest reprobation, and trusted that I had produced some effect; when, to my astonishment and mortification, the very next day he was guilty of the same outrage. After a dispute with one of his companions, he rushed upon him with a hatchet, and would undoubtedly have cleft his skull had it not been for a Hottentot, who warded off the blow. So little did the young villain think of the crime he had intended to perpetrate, that upon receiving punishment he had the impudence to remonstrate, and to ask why he was flogged!

Next in order came Abraham Wenzel (a native also, I believe, of Cape-Town), a wheelwright by trade, and by habit a thief. Even before leaving Scheppmansdorf I received information that he had purloined divers articles from the stores, for which crime he received his due punishment.

Another of our servants was named John Waggoner. This man teased us continually by his sulkiness and reluctance to work, assigning as a reason that he had been seized with home-sickness, and that he wished to return immediately to the Cape. Some little time afterward he was gratified in his wish; and, as will subsequently be seen, he proved himself the worst scamp of the set. But John performed his fraudulent tricks with so much cleverness, inge-