ctrAp. v.) ARRIVE ON THE HIGH TABLE-LAND. $3
the missionaries or discovered by them. This is not at all an isolated case of the difficulty of getting the information you want from the savages; they are intensely stupid, and lie for lying's sake. One man at Otjimbingue told me, that if I started now to Omanbonde, and travelled as fast as I could, it would take me so long that I should be an old man when I came back.
My plan of journeying was this ; to move steadily on, and whenever I came across water after three hours' travel, to stop; in this way my oxen would keep fresh for any severe exertion they might be called upon to make, and I should also have more time to learn particulars about the country, which would be of essential use if I returned in the dry season. The necks of the oxen had also to become hardened to the yoke ; if a raw was established the beast would be useless.
On the third day's travel, the long slope, which is the watershed of the Swakop, was surmounted, and quite new scenery lay before us. In front rose the two magnificent cones of Omatako, each appearing as perfect as that of Teneriffe ; to the far left were many broken mountains, some of which must look down upon Erongo ; more northerly lay the long escarpment of another Ghou Damup mountain, Koniati; and to the westward of north, a very distant blue hill was seen, which had to be passed on cur way to Omanbonde. The sandy soil was covered with thin dry grass, and a scanty thorn coppice, without underwood, overspread the land.
As we travelled on, some messengers met us. They were sent from the Chief Kahikene, who begged me to visit him. He lay at a large vley in front, whither he had moved to meet me. The messenger brought a magnificent black ox as a present from him; it was larger than any in my drove, though I had some fine ones amongst them.
We had now finally lost sight of Jonker's hills and all the broken ground of the Swakop, the summits of whose highest mountains were below us. We had mounted steadily up, and were journeying on a high plateau six thousand feet above the level of the sea, as measured by a boiling-point thermometer. On this plateau Omatako, Koniati, and other hills stood. Almost immediately after leaving a large tributary of the Swakop, we came upon a river-bed, running in exactly the opposite direction, and this we followed; it is called Okaroscheke, or "naked" river-the story being, that one rainy season, when the water was flowing waist-high, some Damara women tried to cross it to get at the berry-trees which grew on the opposite bank, and stripped