46 BUY OXEN FROM HANS. [CHAP, III,
in legible characters, which l was assured could be deciphered by some of his people. I told him how much displeasure the emigrant Boers had caused,-that his actions were as bad as theirs,-and that therefore he would probably be regarded with the same displeasure as they, it he persisted in attacking the Damaras now that he had been warned. I ended with an assurance that I should call the Damara chiefs together, and express to them what I had been requested to do in the case of the nations threatened by the emigrant Boers.
After I had written my letter in English I had it translated into simple Dutch, and written on a magnificent sheet of paper, and, finding a messenger, sent it by him to Jonker, who lived fifty miles off, under a high range of hills which was distinctly visible from Barmen.
Mr. Hahn spoke highly of Hans, and strongly advised me not only to take him into my service, but also to buy up his stock of oxen and sheep, as it would save me infinite trouble, and this I did. I paid him, by cheque on Cape Town, , 7I for fifty oxen and a hundred sheep and goats. Of these about fifteen were more or less trained, and two or three were ride oxen. It was the best bargain I could possibly have made, for a month's barter among the Damaras would never have bought so many. The poverty of the land began to strike me, and the extreme inconvenience of having no currency, which makes bartering a very different matter from buying at a shop. I was grieved, too, to find that very many of my articles of exchange were ill-chosen and worthless, and also that I should require a very large troop of slaughter oxen, as hardly any game seemed to exist in this part of the country.
only stayed one whole day at Barmen, and then returned to try cart at Otjimbingue, riding the sixty miles between the two places in a day and a half, which is very fair travelling for an ox. I found everything in order under Andersson's management. I heard that the night I left them some lions were roaring in the most awful manner close round the encampment. They seemed to be trying to get at the mules, who, luckily, did not break loose. The men were excessively frightened, as well they might be, for they could see nothing in the dark night, and the lions could at any moment have leaped over the slight fence into the midst of them. The morning showed their spoors, as they had crawled round, and close to the bushes that made the fence. Hans was now formally installed in his office, and the breaking-in of the new
oxen for the waggons began. Yokes were borrowed from the Mi~-