95 ARRIVAL AT A TVERFT. [cx.AP. V.
hither in search of food. We saw a very large heron, or crane, an immense creature, and Andcrsson shot him. The guides sauntered about two miles behind the .vaggons, and the Damaras were become very slack and careless : one of them, Kahoni, was impertinent, and refused to answer me, or to do what he was told, so I had him down on the ground very quickly ; but this time I did not whip him, because he became penitent and communicative.
We came to a halt at a vley where the water-course led northerly, and the thickest of thorn-bushes penned us in elsewhere. The guides wanted us to go due south, and strike upon the Omoramba river-bed. It was on the upper part of this river-bed that Omagunde's son lay; but the point where we now should strike it would be far out of his reach. This Omoramba ran into or out of Omanbonde,-I had never been able to make out which,-and there never was a want of wellwater along it. We held a council on our plans; but the thorns were so thick to the southward, and the distance we had to go so uncertain, -it might be one day, it might be five,-that I abandoned the idea of attempting it. I thought the water-course we were on must be a tributary of the Omoramba, and determined to follow it, especially as its direction was straight towards our point. We were losing sight of all landmarks ; nothing was to be seen but a wide undulating plain, black with dense thorn-bushes; to the west was Ja Kabaca, and by its side commenced the long range of Omuvereoom, high and escarped at first, but fining down by slow degrees towards the level of the plain. As we continued en route next day, the water-course still befriended us: its bed was never sand, but hard ground, covered with sward, and here and there holding a pool of rain-water, and the thick bushes were crowded on either side. It seemed as though we were travelling along "a ride," cut through a thick cover. We now, for the first time, came upon elephant spoors,-huge things, indeed. There were about twenty tracks made where the ground was soft ; but it now was hardened, and the waggon jolted heavily over them.
AAril 2nd.-We came upon ox-tracks, and other indications of a Damara werft, and following a path, came upon it. The men dispersed in great consternation, but we caught some women, who were too heavily laden with anklets to run fast, and pacified them with tobacco. In a short time the men came back, and we were soon excellent friends. A fine tall Damara, about six feet seven inches in height, offered, in the course of conversation, to guide us to Omanbonde. He said that