Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/96

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lingering death at a distance. From experience, indeed, I should say that a similar fate awaits a large portion of birds and animals that escape us after being badly wounded.

Under ordinary circumstances, I would certainly have continued the pursuit; but this was now impossible. We could not reach our encampment under many hours, and we suffered painfully from thirst; while, owing to severe and continued exertions under a burning sun, I was attacked by torturing headache. Long before we could reach the wagons, I experienced precisely the same feelings as when I received a sun-stroke. Knowing that a renewal of the same infliction would in all probability prove fatal, I still toiled on; yet, at last, the faintness and exhaustion became so overpowering, that, regardless of danger, I threw myself on a small flat rock, so heated by the sun that I was unable to hold my hand on it for a moment, and even the limbs protected by my dress were almost blistered. I then urged Hans to proceed as quickly as possible, in order that, if he found I did not immediately follow, he might send me some water.

Hans had not long been gone, however, when the rock became so intolerably hot that, stupefied as I was, I found it necessary to rise from it; when, with a faltering step, and in a state of almost total unconsciousness, I made for the wagons, which I reached in safety just as Hans was about to dispatch a man to me with an ample supply of water. My apprehensions, however, had been vain. A few hours' rest and quiet gradually restored me.

The oppressive heat under which I had suffered so severely had also made the cattle very thirsty, and they refused to eat the dry and sun-burnt grass. As soon, therefore, as the air became a little cooler, we pushed on to Onanis, where we arrived somewhat late in the evening. Notwithstanding the darkness, and the risk of being attacked by lions, which sometimes swarm here, we were obliged to supply our cattle with water; and, as we had to dig for it in the bed of a small pe-