Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/90

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earth." At last he was sold as a slave to the Portuguese, but after a while effected his escape. His liberty, however, was of short duration, for he was soon recaptured, and put on board a slaver. Fortunately, the vessel fell into the hands of an English cruiser, and Timbo, together with a great number of slaves, was brought to the Cape and liberated.

Though of a shining dark complexion, Timbo was a remarkably fine-looking man, and well formed. He bore the reputation of being a complete lady-killer, not only with those of his own color, but also among the European "fair sex." He had, therefore, no great difficulty in securing a partner. His choice, however, seems to have been unfortunate; for, on his return after eighteen months' absence, he found that his faithless spouse had not only deserted him for another, but had also carried off with her nearly the whole of his hard-earned wages. On asking him one day whether he had any intention of again marrying, he replied in his strange patois, "No, maser; me no more marry; women too great rascals in the Kaap!"

But it was not only of a handsome face and good figure that Timbo could boast, for he possessed, in addition, many excellent qualities, such as even temper, generosity, honesty, prudence, industry; and, like our cook, he was sincere in his attachment to the interest of his employer. With Galton and myself he was a great favorite. He possessed, moreover, the most cheerful disposition, and an inexhaustible store of fun. I was, indeed, never tired of listening to his tales, for he told them with such force and simplicity that it was impossible not to be pleased and amused.

When reproached for any thing of which he knew himself to be innocent, he would lay his hand on his breast and say, "No, maser; me know dat, me tell you." Or, "No, maser; me heart know that, me heart reproach me, and me tell you."

Timbo had a wonderful aptitude for languages; but, though