c$ MY DOGS. [CHAP. 1,
strongly advised not to go there, I took only enough clothing, etc., to buy some forty or sixty oxen there, and iron things enough to buy one hundred and fifty from the Damaras ; the surplus beyond what I immediately wanted being meant to coverthe unavoidable expenses of travelling. I had, as I mentioned before, from England, a large and indeed an expensive set of "presents," but my great error was in not taking far more things of known exchangeable value, and in having taken those " presents " which the natives really cared very little for.
I felt quite sure that everything connected with my waggors was right, because I got more than one experienced friend to look them over; and having engaged my vessel, a schooner of some too tons, all except nay servants were at length in readiness. I wanted, in the first insta ace, a headman-one who had travelled with oxen and knew the work-a man with a character that he could not afford to lose, under whom I could put every detail, and whom I would pay highly; lint I could find no such person in Cape Town. I, however, engaged a Portuguese, John Morta, a most thoroughly trustworthy man, who, though he did not in the least fulfil the conditions I have just mentioned, ryas honest in the extreme, and with whom I received an excellent character ; next, I hired Timboo, a black, liberated by one of our cruisers years ago, on capturing a slave-ship in the Mozambique. He, too, had an admirable character, and could do a little of everything, 1 do not think he would have joined me had he not been suspected of too active interference (on the loyal side) during the late anti-convict movement, which made it convenient for hire to leave Cape Town for a season, There was some story about his having had a personal conflict with an influential leader of the opposition. Timboo was an excellent groom, and had some acquaintance with oxen. Besides him, I got John St. Helena as waggon-driver, and his brother for leader; John Williams, a square-built, impudent, merry fellow, and a right useful servant, ryas another leader; and a young scamp, Gabriel, who clung to my heels wherever I went in Cape Town, and who undertook to be agent in getting me clngs, horses, or anything else, begged so earnestly to go with me, that I enrolled him also in my corps. I still wanted a second waggon driver, and at the last moment took a man out of a waggon-makers shop, though I did not much like him. As for dogs, although I was assured that I could find any number in the country, still I thought that a few Cape Town mongrels would be of no harm, and Gabriel brought me a whole pack for approval, at an