100 EXPLORE A ROAD.-REACH PALMS. [ CHAP. VI.
my bewilderment I saw that my game was no koodoo, but a fine black lion with a glorious mane, standing like a statue and looking right at me. His attitude was picturesque, but armed as I was I should much rather have viewed him at a telescopic distance. There :vas nothing to be done but to put a bold face upon the matter, so I showed myself at once and walked slowly away, I was in an awful fright; I was sure the animal must be hungry, as there was so little game about. He let me walk some fifty yards without stirring in the slightest. He might have been daguerreotyped as he stood Then he made a bound and trotted away, certainly as much astonished at the interview as myself, for unless he was a great traveller he could never before have seen a white man or one dressed in clothes.
I am not sure whether or no Omanbonde is the head of that branch of the Omoramba ; it begins quite abruptly, but I found that it also ended abruptly, and yet after a short distance the river-bed recommenced ; in fact the place is like a trough with sides and ends to it. The Omoramba eastward of the place, is a succession of troughs, but whether there are others to the west of Omanbonde I do not know ; there are two and very likely more, that lie parallel to it and at a short distance to the northward. We arrived on the 5th of April, and on the Sth I was again in my saddle, and set out on my trusty Ceylon to explore a road out of the Omoramba, which seemed even more impracticable, with regard to thorns, than any place I bad yet seen. I longed for the free and luxuriant vegetation of the tropics, and to emerge from a country that was scorched with tropical heat, but unrefreshed with truly tropical rains, Timboo, John Allen, two or three Damaras, and the tall guide accompanied me; we rode three or four hours down the Omoramba and then turned to the left, and in four or five hours off-packed by the side of one of the most agreeable of objects -as the harbinger of richer vegetation-a magnificent palm. Three hours the next day took us past a large pool of water, and up to another where there was a vverft. Here I felt very much at the mercy of my teasing hosts, who took the liberty of annoying me in every way. I had no meat, and they would neither sell nor give me anything, and I feared we should have to return without food.
We were too tired to watch all night, but slept almost without a fire, lying on our valuables, and with the oxen tied short up to us, as we feared some theft. The next morning, having been satisfied of the goodness of the road, I returned and rode in eleven hours back to