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CHAP. in.]   FIRST RAINY.   53

a very interesting agricultural people, who, according to Damara ideas, were most highly civilised. I wished much to go to them ; they were the only people worth visiting that I could hear of; but I could find out very little regarding them. These savages were au ignorant of the country two days' journey off as an English labourer usually is. My friend, who told me of Omanbondc, told me also that I could get to the Ovampo by way of that lake, and he told me much more. He mentioned most particularly a remarkable nation, who were deficient in joints both at the elbows and knees. They were therefore unable to lift anything to their mouths by themselves; but when they dined, they did so in pairs, each man feeding his vis-d-vis.

We had, after a long drought, a most terrific thunderstorm ; the lightning flashed so continuously that I could read a newspaper by its light without stopping, my eye taking in enough words by one flash to enable me to read steadily on until the next one. It lightened in three different parts, and we were in the middle. There were some flowers in front of me, and the lightning was so vivid, and its light so pure, that I could not only see the flowers, but also their colours. I believe this is a very rare thing with lightning. There were four savages running in a line, about one hundred yards off, on their way to their huts: after one of the flashes, only three remained; the other was struck dead. Mr. Hahn and I picked him up. It is curious how little a negro's features are changed by death ; there is no paleness. His widow howled all night; and was engaged to be married again the succeeding day.

The Swakop ran violently after this storm, pouring vast volumes of turbid and broken water for three days down what had hitherto been an arid sandy channel.

Mr. Hahn's household was large. There was an interpreter, and a sub-interpreter, and again others; but all most excellently well-behaved, and showing to great advantage the influence of their master. These servants were chiefly Hottentots, who had migrated with Mr. Hahn from Hottentot-land, and, like him, had picked up the language of the Damaras. The sub-interpreter was married to a charming person, not only a Hottentot in figure, but in that respect a Venus among Hottentots. I was perfectly aghast at her development, and made inquiries upon that delicate point as far as I dared among my missionary friends. The result is, that I believe Mrs. Petrus to be the lady who ranks second