20 A SECOND ATTEMPT, [CHAP. It.
doorway of the outhouse in which I slept, and the night was pitch dark. Now, after we had all gone to bed, and were fast asleep, there was a rush and an outcry, and people hallooing, and dogs barking, for the lion had got into the midst of the oxen. I confess I was glad there was a door to my outhouse, for fear the lion should walk in; however all became quiet, and I soon went to sleep again.
A grand hunt was determined on in the morning; every available native was pressed into the service. Mr. Barn rode one horse, I the other, and Stewartson his ox. Johannis, Captain Frederick, and some other Hottentots, came mounted on their oxen, and we went off after breakfast with as many cur dogs as would follow us. The proceedings were much the same as before. After eight miles his spoor went into a bush; we threw stones in and shouted, and up he got about one hundred yards off. I purposely did not fire, as my horse was in a bad position for me to take as good an aim as I wished, and nobody else fired either; but we galloped after him in full view, the object being to bring him to bay or to get a nearer shot as he ran. This last I hardly expected whilst he was moving, for my horses were not accustomed to be shot from, and it took so much time to pull them up, that the lion had gained a long start again before I could do so. The bushes were in his favour, and we nearly lost him; but by most skilful tracking the Hottentots came up and often helped us out when we were at fault. Some hours elapsed when, as Mr. Barn and myself were cantering on, ve turned the corner of a sand-hill and saw the lion about sixty yards ahead, trotting on, looking over his shoulder. I got my long rifle up, md, sincerely praying that my horse would not kick me off when I fired, I pulled the trigger ; the horse was too blown to start, and I placed my two-ounce bullet well into the lion's quarter. He growled and snarled, and bit the wound, but evidently had not heart to chase me, but turned to bay under a bush. There was a sand-hill opposite. We waited till the stragglers came up, and then went behind the sand-hill and dismounted; and Stewartson and ourselves crawled up to the top of it, right above the lion. He was in a tearing passion, and fifty paces from us, yet I could not see him as clearly as I could wish -wild beasts have such a readiness of availing themselves of the smallest bush or tuft of grass as a screen, which lie did on this occasion; his head was between his paws, and his tail whirling up the sand. One single shot at the head, fired by Mr. Barn, struck him stone dead. He was a huge, gaunt beast, miserably thin, and had a dog of Stewartson's