66 HOW TO ENCAMP [CHAP. IV,
The water was all " crow-water," and my herd of oxen and sheep were all watered by hand. The way we set about choosing our place for encampment and making it, was this : as the waggon still moved on, we kept a look-out along the river bed, till some indications were seen of water, such as holes or small wells dug by Damaras, who had been camping about. If the yield of water appeared sufficient, and if there was any show of grass near, the waggons were outspanned. The place chosen was by a tree or at the side of some bush, where the requisites of a smooth ground to sleep upon, shelter from the wind, abundant thorn-bushes to make a sheep's kraal of, and neighbouring firewood, were best combined. The Damaras were then sent with axes to cut thorn-bushes for the kraal; the white men went with spades to dig a couple of wells out, and make them broad and deep, and the cattle watchers were off with the oxen and sheep to grass-two men to each flock or herd. They often fed a couple of miles away from us. Any idle hand fetched enough firewood to start two cooking fires, on one of which the iron pots for the dinners of myself, Andersson, Hans, and John Morta, were placed; on the other, those of the waggon-men. The Damaras had an iron pot between them, but they never had food given them till late, or else they stopped working, in order to eat it at once. Usually we had to slaughter something. The waggonc er and the men's cook generally killed the sheep; if an ox was wanted I shot him. Thus a great many different things were going on at the same time: the men were digging wells, slaughtering and cutting up, cooking at two fires ; the Damaras were watching cattle, cutting thorn-bushes, and carrying firewood. When the wells were deepened sufficiently, a hollow trough was scooped out in the sand, and a piece of canvas laid on it; the oxen were then sent for, and while Damaras stood in the well with a wooden "bamboose," a sort of bucket, ladling out water into the canvas, the oxen were driven up by threes to drink. But unless the ground is very porous the canvas sheet is hardly necessary. In this way one gives drink at the rate of about an ox a minute at each well-and sheep drink very fast indeed; it seldom required an hour to water my herd after the wells were once cleared out.
The thorn-branches for the kraal are laid round a circle, each alongside the other, in the direction of radii; the cut ends are inwards, and the broad bushy heads, not the sides of the branch, make the outer circumference. Sheep and goats pack into so small a space, that their