CHAP. VI.] EXPERIENCES OF AFRICAN TRAVEL. to'
Cmanlonde, where I arrived before dusk on the loth. On the 12th the waggons started, and were taken successfully out of the river-bed. An accident to my best rifle-a long two-ounce one-happened in the evening; some giraffes were coming near us, and we ran through the bushes and surrounded them. Andersson, who had the rifle, crawled near to one that Hans had wounded and knocked him over, but the rifle burst or rather cracked with the shot ; the breech giving way just beneath the nipple. I suspect that the bullet had become slightly dislodged by the jolting. We encamped of course by the carcase and had a feast. I see now that the best way of feeding savages is not to give them a steady allowance, so many pounds of meat a day, but to starve them the greatest part of their time, and to gorge them now and then : besides, it is much the most convenient way of feeding them. There is no doubt that alternate privation and luxury is congenial to most minds.
The two waggons somehow became separated ; mine was as usual ahead, but the other tried a short cut to overtake us, and lost our spoor. We were playing at cross purposes, each trying to find the other for hours; at last we encamped at Okatjokeama, the werft I had before explored.
The Damaras who had been so impudent to me and my small party were, as usual, highly civil to my large one; had it been much greater they would have given me presents. I saw clearly the truth of what a Portuguese traveller, whom I have quoted before, told me that it was not safe to beg, but better to force the natives to be hospitable, and that if Africa is ever to be thoroughly explored the only way to do it is in company with a well armed force of men (natives of course).
In a despotic country travelling is easy enough if the goodwill of the reigning savage be once obtained, but in a place like Damaraland, where every chief is independent, and has to be persuaded or coerced, the case is very different, and when tribes are changed it will take years to persuade the new tribe that the traveller is not a spy. A large body of men forces its way, and the man who commands it can say to a chief-" I wish to be friends, and here are presents for you to show that I am friendly, and also here are things of exchange to buy what I want. Bring me these or I take them." Many Portuguese traders travel after this way, but stronger measures have to be resorted to in enforcing the discipline of the travelling party, and in compelling civility from the natives, than Englishmen generally would like to