62 CHASE ZEBRAS. [CHAP. IV.
measurement was 2,$00 feet. In one part of it there was a break, the mountains rising like parapets on either hand, and to this break we steered. It was pitch dark when we got there, and glad I was to lay my throbbing head to rest.
In the morning I dispatched the two Ghou Damups up the hill to tell the inhabitants of our arrival, and to request guides from them. I spent the morning in sleeping under huge overhanging slabs of limestone, enjoying to the full " the shadow of a broad rock in a thirsty land." In the afternoon we rambled about trying to climb the hill, and to obtain a good view of the adjacent country. The rocks that composed Erongo were here in huge smooth white masses-often hundreds of feet without a fissure-the hill seemed built by some Cyclopean architect. Immense round boulders of the same stones were strewed here and there at its base. Our Ghou Damup returned in the evening with a promise that guides should be sent us early the next day. We put our articles of exchange into small packs, as men had to carry them up the steep mountain by the foot-road. When cattle are sent up, they are driven round to a different and more distant entrance, which we did not care to visit, It is just practicable for oxen and no more. We had a grand chase after some zebras in the early morn ; a large herd had ventured into the recess in which we were encamped during the night, and as they returned smelt our fire and headed back. We heard them, and everybody ran to cut them off, some with guns and some without; the zebras made a round, and galloped through a narrow gorge within arm's length of those who were there. We could not carry our sleeping things up the mountain, as they were too heavy, but I took a small plaid. I was very unwell, but tried to battle off my fever. John St. Helena, Gabriel, and the Damaras were left to watch the cattle below-while Hans and I and the Ghou Damup climbed for two hours over smooth slabs, most of the time withcut shoes for fear of slipping. The slabs over which the only path lay were disjointed from the main rock, and enormous fissures lay between them and it. When we travelled along the side that sloped towards these fissures it was to me very nervous work, for my feet would not grasp the rock, and if I had tumbled I should have explored much more of the mountain than I desired. The measurements of these slabs is not in feet but in hundreds of feet. Once on the top, the air was deliciously cool, and the boulders strewn about gave shade to sit under when we pleased. Leopards are very numerous here ; they have