CHAP. III.] ATTACKS OF DISTEMPER.
sionary, and a heavy tree felled for the animals to draw. The first ox that we lassoed by the leg was very vicious : he threw himself down, and broke his thigh bone, and I had to shoot him. The next sprained his ankle, and then got savage, and chased everybody, running upon three legs. He at length took refuge among some thick dabby bushes, which were thronged with horncts. and, what between the mad charges of the animal and the stings of the hornets, we were fairly beaten off, and had to leave him the whole day by himself. This was a bad beginning; but after infinite labour three or four were inspanned: they were caught, then made fast between two tame oxen, and there yoked. The same operation was repeated for a few days; but we did not make much progress, the animals were so very fresh and vicious. It must be recollected that Damara cattle are far wilder animals than those we see in England, and infinitely more difficult to break in. There is a gamelike and thorough-bred look about them. Many of them will face and charge a lion, as a buffalo would. My ride ox, Frieschland, who had once been badly scratched and bitten, became furious if he heard a lion's cry near him. Hans suggested driving them down to the Bay, and then, when a little tired by the journey, and accustomed to having a number of white men about them, they would be more submissive; I decided on trying this plan, and an early day was fixed for the start, In the meantime we had ceased to stare at the strangeness of our new friends, the Damaras. Numbers came to my kraal every day, to look in at us in a friendly manner, and to see if there was anything for them to pilfer. Timboo, began to make himself intelligible to them, and was quite delighted at each word or phrase that he found to be the same as in his own language.
The mules and horses were just recovering their condition, when that fatal scourge, the distemper, broke out amongst them. First one fine mule was found to be ill, and to stand with difficulty ; a little froth gathered about his nose and mouth ; in an hour he was lying on the ground, and in another hour dead. I was distressed beyond measure, as I knew the disease would not rest with him; neither did it,-two more mules were infected, and died also ; but my last horse still was in good health. He gave me one good gallop after a giraffe. I saw him far off, coming down the long slope on the other side of the river, and cantered round him. As I got nearer and rode gently, I passed two other individuals, each stalking the same beast; one was my faithful Hans, and the other, a brute of a lion. I galloped up to the giraffe,