z6o THE KUBABEES REACH 'NGAMI. [CHAP. IX.
but covered with grass at this latitude. I therefore had good reason to hope that we should turn its flank. Last year a large party of Kubabees Hottentots (who live a few days east of Bethany rode up to the north, passing alongside of Amiral's country ; but far to the cast of it, they came to a place called "'Tounobis," whence they made plundering excursions on all sides; some against the Damaras, and some against the Mationa, who lived on Lake 'Ngami itself. A nephew of Amiral's, who could write Dutch, was in the expedition, and sent Amiral a letter about it. Ile described the boats that were there, and said much about the alligators, who killed very many of their dogs. The Hottentots made a most murderous excursion, having fallen upon a village that was situated on the river, connected with the west of the lake, and cut every person's throat they could lay hands on. They then robbed the huts and decamped with their booty. Carosses, made of skins that were unknown to them, were amongst the plunder. The lake itself they did not dare to go to; a hill or mountain was pointed out to them, at the foot of which not only the lake, but a large werft of natives were ; and these they did not venture to approach. I was told that I should probably see the Bushmen, who guided them. Amiral was very anxious to lay hold of these Bush men, and require them not to guide strangers, as the harm which the Kubabees Hottentots had done would probably be retaliated on his head.
It was most likely on a visit of expostulation, or as spies, that the Mationa chiefs had been to Wesley Vale; but as no interpreter could be found, the interview ended in nothing but an exchange of presents. I heard that there was a woman born among the Mationa, but now naturalised in Amiral's tribe; and I sent messengers long distances to try and bring her, but she was not to be found-only her two half-caste children, who knew nothing but Hottentot.
Tlie country appeared to have become quite devoid of all landmarks, only a few rising heads and long undulating ridges being visible, which I could make no use of in triangulating. I had brought my triangulations to within eleven hours of Elephant Fountain, and, indeed, with a slight gap, to Elephant Fountain itself; but here it seemed that they must cease, so 1 took a great number of lunars, to fix as accurately as I could the position of the place. I had done the same at Okamabuti, which was the northern limit, or near to it, of my network of triangles ; that of Walfisch Bay was given by Captain Owen's survey, and I had taken many sets at Barmen, as o- check upon the whole. These were ail