CHAP. rr.] OOSCP. 25
not be held ; he was lashed to a tree, and there packed. As soon as they let him loose, the brute ran about, looking for somebody handy to be tossed; he caught sight of me first, just as I was mounting, and trotted up, I had no idea lie meant mischief till he was close by, when he made a most vicious dash at me; and if I had not had spurs, I could never have twisted my horse round enough in time to avoid his aim, for, as it was, the curve of his short sharp horn glanced along and bruised my thigh and the horse's shoulder ; but we both escaped its point.
The crisp sand of the desert was very pleasant to travel on ; and we made great progress : the mules pulled very well, and all went cheerily, After nightfall we floundered about a little amongst some broken ground, and Stewartson lost his way for a time; but by keeping steadily on by compass, the rounded head of the Granite Rock showed itself against the clear sky, and we off-packed and out-spanned at eleven o'clock to drink coffee and to sleep.
We were up before daylight; and the oxen, being very tired, were submissive, and we were off about half-past six. After four hours, we entered into the broken country that borders the Swakop ; and making our bivouac at the head of a steep path that led down to the river bed, sent the animals down some four miles to eat and drink.
This was the premier Jas of my journey; and I am sure we were all highly delighted at its success. The only drawback was, that the wretched goats were quite knocked up; and when we went down to the river bed we could perceive no signs of game. The first sight of the Swakop, in its deep hollow, charmed us; the plain on which we had travelled was nine or ten hundred feet above our head, and the crumbling rocks that flanked the gorge, which the river had made for itself, were magnificently abrupt. The bed was as smooth as a lawn, and as green with grass,-a little sand peeping out here and there,-a thick fringe of high reeds bordered the river bed, clumps of fine camelthorn trees were clustered where'er there was room for them, and a small rivulet of water trickled along, skulls of numerous buffaloes were lying about, and Oosop, for that was the name of the place, seemed a scene in Rasselas' Happy Valley.
We stopped all day enjoying ourselves, and had a good bathe in a hollow beneath a huge rock, which the rivulet had filled with water. There was not a sign of game, not a spoor that was not many days