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58   1 GO TO MEET THE WAGGONS.   [CHAP. IV.
CHAPTER IV.


I go to meet the li aggons-Start for Erongo-En route-Damara Features -Gabriel in a Scrape-The Mountain Erongo-Chase Zebras-Ghou Damup huts-A Black Coquette-Return to Waggons-Leave Otjimhingue-Mishaps-IIow to Encamp and Water Oxen-Arrive at Barmen, thence to Schmelen's Hope-Ride to Eikhams-A Doomed SuffererVisit Jonker-Conference with Him-Swartboy and Amiral-Ride on to Rehoboth-Umap's Judgment-Obtain Interpreters-Return to Rehoboth-Murder a Dog and Pay for it-Conference at Eikhams-Legislating -Proi osed Conference-Mules run quite away-Schmelen's HopeDates.

fN the last week of November I received the welcome news of Andersson's arrival at Otjimbingue with the waggons. The oxen had taken them up in five long stages from Scheppmansdorf, working by night, and resting thirty-six hours between each pull. It was impossible for me to leave Barmen, as matters were now pending between me and the native chiefs, and I daily expected to hear some news of Jonker's movements. On December 4th Andersson rode over to me, and his and Hans' performances with the unbroken oxen and two heavy waggons were loudly praised by everybody. All had gone well ; Andersson had shot his first rhinoceros, my men had worked fairly, all except one waggon-driver, who, besides laziness and insolence, had been caught in the act of stealing to a great extent. He was a man I had determined to get rid of some time before, and I now only waited until I could engage somebody to take his place before I did so.

Nothing in particular transpired. I failed in learning more about Omanbonde, and returned to Otjimbingue. I went a few days before Andersson, as I wished to visit Erongo with Hans, before starting with the waggous. I left the mules at Barmen, and rode back on rideoxen which Andersson had brought for me. The mules were troublesome creatures, requiring too much watching; they constantly tried to run away, and when off, their pace was so good that the men Lad runs of many hours before they could overtake and bring them back. They gave me great anxiety at first, but now I was quite tired of their tricks, and hardly cared what became of them.

I arrived at Otjimbingue about the loth of December, and found