CHAP. IV.) ARRIVE AT BARMEN. 67
kraal has never to be more than twenty feet diameter; but they must have one, or else every kind of accident would occur, for they are by no means so domestic as oxen, and very stupid. If it were not for a kraal the hyenas, who serenade us every night, would be sure to do constant mischief, and scatter the flock over the country. Oxen, unless thirsty, or hungry, or cold, or in a restless, home-sick state of mind, never leave the waggons, but lie in a group round the fire, chewing the cud, with their large eyes glaring in the light, and apparently thinking. We made no kraal for them. To continue: as the evening closes in the sheep are driven into their kraal, the door is bushed up, the Damaras get their meat, and make their own sleeping places, and we get our dinner. Then I make a few observations with my sextant, which occupies an hour or so, and everybody else has some mending or some other employment. Timboo gets out my rug and sleeping-things ; the firewood is brought close to the fire ; and we lie down in two large groups, Andersson, Hans, John Morta, and myself, round one fire, and the waggon-men and Damaras round the other, and all gradually drop off to sleep, the Damaras invariably being the last awake. It is a great mistake to suppose that "early to bed and early to rise" is the rule among savages. All those that I have seen, whether in the north or south, eat and talk till a very late hour. I grant that they get up early, but then they sleep half the day.
When we outspanned a few hours from Barmen, I rode on in the evening, very anxious to learn if anything new had been heard from Jonker. It was all very unfavourable. No actual attack had taken place, but the Damaras were scattered, and bands of them were prowling about their country. Not one of my Damaras would go on with me. A guide that I had picked up at Otjimbingue refused to proceed. There was a growing fear among my own men ; and Jonker's previous personal threats to me, such as they were, were corroborated. I therefore determined to make some sort of demonstration which would bring him into better order ; and in doing this I was confirmed by a rather humble request which I had received from him when I was at Barmen, that I would visit him at his place, from which I gathered, either that lie intended to play some tricks upon me there, or else that he felt he had gone too far, and was penitent. In either case my presence would bring matters to a crisis, and get rid of that uncertainty and delay which would breed discouragement among my men, and be fatal to my scheme of travel. I wished to