104 WAGGON BREAKS DOWN. [CHAP. vt.
On the 19th of April we had started for the fountains, when an accident occurred that detained me much longer than I had expected. I ought to have premised that the character of the country had entirely changed; instead of small bushes some magnificent timber trees began to appear, forming belts of forest as regular in shape as the designs of an ornamental gardener could have made them, but offering a very considerable impediment to waggon travelling. The oxen were very fresh, and as soon as they were inspanned bolted down a slight descent with the waggon; there was a stump in the way; it looked a rotten affair, such as we had constantly crushed over, but it really was a hard sound piece of wood. The off fore wheel of the large waggon came against it, and crash went the axletree and ever so much more of the woodwork-and there we were I
We did not sit one moment with our hands in our pockets and lament, but brought the other waggon up alongside, and at a proper distance off, and then out-spanning worked diligently at making a regular encampment. It would never have done to appear disheartened. We were in a complete jungle, but that we soon cleared sufficiently out of our way ; a space was then hedged in round the waggons, half of which was made into a strong ex-kraal, and round this I made my five married couples of savages build their huts at equal distances that they might act as a watch over it. In this sort of work the day passed, and I most heartily congratulated myself that the accident had happened where it did, near water and near friendly Damaras, and in almost the only place that we had seen, since Schmelen's Hope, where wood fit for a new axletree could be obtained. I did not dare to trust myself to one of unseasoned wood, as it would not have stood a day's work through such country as that we were now travelling over, and if the next breakdown should lie in a spot far from trees, grass, or water, we might find ourselves in very great difficulty. I therefore determined to ride with Andersson on to the Ovampo, and to leave Hans behind in charge of the waggons-which lie undertook to repair, Curiously enough, though there were so many timber trees, yet we searched for hours before we could find two that were fit for our purpose-straight, not too large, and not worm-eaten. These were cut down at once and brought to the camp. The next day found us busily engaged in strengthening the encampment and making it comfortable. The space between the waggons was awned over, the stumps of bushes rooted out of the ground, the