ARCHERY PRACTICE. [chAr. vrrL
my guessing at its length ; it certainly exceeded fifteen miles. Chik said it was quite impassable after the rainy season; and it must form a rather pretty lake at that time. We arrived late in the evening at another werft, on the south border of the grand flat, Otchikako-waMotenya, which appears to extend as a grassy treeless estuary between wooded banks the whole way hence to near the sea. The Ovampo here could not believe that I was able to express sounds by writing on paper, so I jotted down the names of a number of people, one after the other, then read them out. I may as well give a few of them, as a guide to the rhythm of the languge : Kangura, Entongo, Epinga, Angero, Andahe, Akoosa. I planned a shooting match ; there were a great many naturalised Bushmen on the spot, and as all the Ovampo carry bows, I had a large archery meeting. I put up a sheep-skin (which gives a target of about three feet by two), and placed the men eighty paces from it. The prize was tobacco; there were twenty competitors, and each shot six arrows, so that one hundred and twenty shots were made ; but out of these one hundred and twenty only one hit the target fairly, and another brushed it. At very near distances, as from five to ten yards, the men shot perfectly. I have frequently given prizes to Damaras, Bushmen, and Ovampo, to shoot for, but I have only seen wretched archery practice, far worse than that of our societies in England. I suppose 1 have been unfortunate ; but though I have taken some trouble to see good practice, not only with bows and arrows, but also with rifles, I have never witnessed performances that approached to the accuracy which shooters often profess to attain, although I have certainly seen lucky shots made, and indeed have made them myself. Andersson made a beautiful one at an ostrich in Damaraland. The bird was standing two hundred and eighty yards from him, in a thick but rather low cover, which concealed its body, while its neck stood high, in bold relief. Andersson stalked up to within that distance, but as the creature was alarmed, and the ground immediately in front was exposed, he could not get nearer. He aimed of course, high up the neck, intending to hit the body, but the elevation was a little too great, yet the aim proved so perfect, that he shot him dead through the neck.
Katondoka was sent on to tell Nangoro the news of the approach of the caravan, and to carry a message from me to him; and now came our hardest stage of all. It was nineteen hours' actual travel, and told cruelly on the oxen ; for they were weak, and had been badly