102 GUIDE DECAMPS AND WE FIND ANOTHER. [CHAP. VI,
adopt. It would be a tedious journey indeed for a man, however well qualified, to attempt to travel as a native would, and to go far into Africa. He would be stopped for months or years at each frontier. We can see this from the case of the Missionaries, who have every opportunity of winning respect and regard from the natives they are amongst, of learning their language and their customs, and who have also every desire of extending their spheres of action ; yet a long tine elapses between each step that their stations advance, and when they do so it invariably is under the strong influence of some chief that they are even then led on. The traveller who tries to dash at it has many difficulties indeed to encounter.
These scoundrel Damaras wanted to misdirect us, and to send us eastwards instead of northwards, to find out the Ovampo, but the women of the tribe let out the secret to the wives of my Damaras, and the wives of course told it to their husbands, who told it to me, so that their plans failed. The tall guide took great pains to explain to us how innocent he was of all guile, and that he would take us on to the Ovampo and do everything we wanted, and also that it would be very convenient if I paid the calf I had promised him in advance, as he had an opportunity of sending it home now, which he would not have again. I mistrusted my friend-I never did trust a Damara out of my sight-but he teased me and I gave him the calf. Timboo was quite won by his agreeable address, and lent him his horse-rug to sleep upon. The rascal of course sent away the calf, and decamped with the rug the next night. Another savage took us on, and we came to a little bit of a tiwatcr-hole, then to another, on the succeeding day, where there was a large werft, and we fraternised strongly with the people of it. They confirmed what we had heard, of there being elephants ahead, and pointed out a number of coppice-covered knolls, all about which the animals were said to be feeding at that very time. We had passed through a broad belt of palms, high, magnificent trees, with fan-shaped leaves and prickly stems, bearing clusters of fruit exactly like that of the North African doum palm, that is to say, a ruddy, dry fruit, with a fibrous kernel that no power we had at command could make any impression upon. I brought some specimens home with me, and they are planted at Kew Gardens. Ivory was very cannon as an ornament among these Damaras, our present guide sported a long string of ivory beads, which he wore like a halter, it dangled from his neck down his back as far as his heels. The size