CIIAP.IV.] SCHMELEN'S HOPE. 77
five hours' travel very nearly, which at the rate of two-and-a-half miles per hour gives two hundred and twelve miles.
A few incidents occurred at Schmelen's Hope; first a plague of caterpillars that covered the ground, then a swarm, but not an utterly destructive one, of locusts, and, lastly, a flight of migratory storks, who made great war upon the locusts. We were perpetually teased by some hyenas-they came most impudently in amongst us as their peculiar spoors showed (the hind and fore feet being of unequal size), but we never could catch them ; at last the dogs overtook one on a bright moonlight night and held him at bay. I was asleep and was quite undressed when their sharp barks awoke me, and I had only time to put on my shoes. The dogs and hyena were on the other side of the Swakop, which here is exceedingly broad, about three hundred yards, and by the time we had floundered through the sand to the other side the animal had retreated among the rocks and hakis thorns into the deep shade, but the dogs held well to him. I sorely regretted the leather trousers that were left behind, as my bare legs were scarified and bleeding. I could not see the hyena, except one glimpse when he brushed against my leg. At last the dogs surrounded him in a patch of moonshine, four or five feet from where I was, and I put a bullet through his backbone. The chase and the skurry made as exciting a piece of sport as I ever witnessed. We had some rifle shooting at geese and ducks, and Andersson slew a pau-the African bustard, and probably the best flavoured and most tender game that exists : John Morta cooked it with the utmost skill. I had returned from Jonker's on the 8th of February, and for three weeks we remained at Schmelen's Hope, waiting for the Damara chiefs, breaking-in the oxen, and hoping for the rains. It is a charming place, and almost a sufficiency of game was killed to feed us.