CHAP. TV.] RIDE ON TO REHOBOTH. 7I
the country, frightened him into order, and since that time missionaries have settled in his place, and obtained considerable influence over him. Swartboy's present position was merely a passive one; but his character carried much weight with it, and I desired to make him a party to what Jonker and Cornelius should arrange together. I wished also to make him friendly to myself. The other chief, Amiral, an Oerlam, was far off. He had always treated the whites particularly well ; but his own son and heir and part of his tribe were said to have been robbing the Damaras of late. Neither Jonker nor any other Hottentot has supreme power in his tribe; for these people are most tenacious republicans, and insist upon a council of elders finally ratifying everything that is proposed. But Jonker is by far the most influential man in the whole country, and has his own way in everything. I believe that on great emergencies he dispenses with the deliberations of the council. I had a long conversation with Jonker upon those parts of Damaraland which he had seen. He had made two long excursions with a large body of men on each occasion: one by Erongo, to somewhere near Cape Cross ; the other, in which he tried to reach the Ovampo, but was unable to proceed further than Omanbondd, on account of the exhausted state of his oxen. He and his men had brought back all kinds of wonderful and impossible reports about the lake Omanbonde ; but the information which he gave me himself was, so far as it went, perfectly accurate. He spoke much of the native Bushmen that he found there, and who went freely among the Ovampo. This surprised me much, as I had no idea that the Hottentot race existed so far to the north. Jonker was perfectly familiar by report with the river that formed the further boundary of the Ovampo.
A very intelligent Englishman, a blacksmith, who lived at Rehoboth, was returning there at the time I proposed starting from Jonker's, and I travelled in his waggon. A great part of the distance, we went through broad plains, bordered by high and distant hills, and full of grass, but hardly any water. The last stage, from water to water, was eleven hours' travel, with a little pool from a previous storm in the middle ; but this failed on our return. Rehoboth is situated on a bare white limestone rock, with a hot spring of mineral water gushing out-a situation anything but pleasant ; yet the village is veiy orderly and neat.
I heard the full particulars of a late judgment and punishment by