CJAr. vr.] SALT NOT A NECESSARY OF LIFE. III
throughout half of the night, which one or two men can easily do, the stones become hot enough to radiate for some hours longer when the fuel has become exhausted and everybody has dropped off to sleep; again, from the men sleeping so close in between the hearths, they receive the full benefit of whatever heat is afforded. We, like the Damaras, simply made a roaring fire and slept to the windward of it, for we always had plenty of firewood. I never liked sleeping between two large fires on account of the smoke, and of the great danger of sparks. Hans' bed was more than half burnt under him one night, but some sheep-skins that he was lying on kept him from being scorched, and saved his powder flask. When a heavy log that is half-burnt through breaks and falls with a crash, it scatters burning cinders all about, which the wind will often carry some distance.
The Ovampo had little pipkins to cook in, and eat corn (milice) steeped in hot water ; they also eat some salt, which the Damaras never take by any chance. In fact the Damaras could not get it, for there is no salt in their land. There are salt-springs in the lower part of the Swakop, near where we first struck it when we left Scheppmansdorf, and there are large salt-pans, as I afterwards found out, in Ovampoland, and also in the far east, but none whatever in Damaraland. In Europe it is generally supposed that salt is a necessary of life, but here we never find it so. I was once on a riding excursion with Andersson and three other men for six weeks, and a pill-box full of salt was all we used. We had then nothing else whatever but meat and coffee, the latter of which, after a certain degree of " condition " has been obtained, is also a very unnecessary superfluity, and one that I could at any time abandon without regret. The Namaquas occasionally use salt, but they set no store upon it. There is no doubt that people who live on meat and milk would require salt much less than those who live on vegetables, but half the Damaras subsist simply on pig-nuts,-tire most worthless and indigestible of food, and requiring to be eaten in excessive quantities to afford enough nourishment to support life. The Hottentots by Walfisch Bay, who live almost entirely on the 'nara gourd, and. who have the sea on one side and salt springs in front of them, hardly ever take the trouble to collect salt, which they certainly_ would do if_thdy felt that, craving for it which distresses .many Euro-. peans. The last fact that I have to mention with reference to salt, is that the game in the Swakop do not frequent the salt rocks to lick them as they do in America. I visited these salt rocks (below Oosop) when