DAMARAS, OVAMPO, AND NAMAQUAS r47
chief Amiral. Farther to the south of it the country becomes desert. Atniral joined me, by arrangement, at Elephant Fountain for a shooting expedition. He and his people seemed much more civilised than the other Namaquas, and nearer in character to the Dutch Boers.
I left my wagon with two men, together with those of Amiral and some of his own men whom he left behind to guard them, and starting on ride-oxen with Andersson we reached Twas, the farthest point yet visited by Amiral, on about the 28th. In front of us lay an arid plain, especially arid inn this very dry yea-, which had tt, be cr"ssed in order to reach the next watering place, well known to the Bushmen, but not to Amiral, and called Tounobis.
My oxen were tired and footsore, but we went. It proved to be a journey of 20 - hours actual desert travel, and led us suddenly into an ideal country of big game. The ground, adjacent to a broad river-bed, was trodden with the tracks of all sorts of animals, elephants, rhinoceros, lions, and a vast variety of smaller game. Crowds of Bushmen were encamped near to the water, busy with their pitfalls and with securing an elephant that had fallen into one of them during the previous night. We became great friends with the Bushmen, and sat late into the night hearing their stories about themselves and the recent doings of a body of strange Namaquas coming from the south, who in the preceding year had swept past them and onwards to Lake Ngami, leaving unmistakable signs of their expedition, and marauding as usual as they went. This much, therefore, was established, that a feasible road existed from Walfish