LEAVE ONDONGA. tcnnr. VIII.
I mentioned that the Ovampo had fowls ; they are very pretty small bantams, and I bought three-thinking that being a new breed they might have some points about them which would be valuable to poultry fanciers ; they eat very little, and laid eggs every day. I put them in an Ovampo basket, covered it with a piece of skin, and made one of the Damara women carry it on her head.
June 15th.-We left Nangoro's in company with Chik, and with '1'ippoo, who did the honours for Nangoro. The oxen kicked excessively with their packs. Kahikene's black ox ripped up with his horns two of the bags of corn that he carried, and galloped about, kicking and tossing like mad. We caught him at last, and had him down, and sawed off the tips of his horns on the spot. We were about three hours in doing four miles, and had to encamp under a tree ; the first start is always the most troublesome part of a journey.
June 16t/z.-Travelled four hours and slept at the vley. The oxen were so stiff that I had to take them on by easy stages. They strayed in the night, and were not recovered till past mid-day. Spooring is out of the question in Ondonga, as the ground is trodden up everywhere. Luckily the oxen had done no damage, only a little trespass, and we went on to Chik's house, where we stopped. There was evidently no means of getting water for the cattle before leaving Ondonga, so we made ready to be off very early. The morning came, and, to our surprise, Chik would not go with us. We persuaded him to go as far as Netjo's, whom we knocked up out of his snug but in the chill early morning, and wishing him and his family an affectionate adieu, gave him the last beads that we had, and started away on our old track to Damaraland.
It was with the greatest relief that I once again felt myself my own master, and could go when I liked and as I liked; anything for liberty, even though among the thorn bushes.
I was sincerely grieved that Chik would not return with us, as lie was a person of great consequence in the country, and I had hoped that by his means the Damaraland Missionaries would be enabled easily to extend their stations among the Ovampo, which was an object they had long hoped for. They would also have had leisure to learn from him enough of the Ovampo language to make themselves independent of an interpreter. I believe Chik wanted to go, but he could persuade no companions to join him, and, naturally enough, did not like to go alone.