cxAP. ix.) LEAVE WAGGON AND RIDE TO THE EAST, 161
observed with a large sextant, for which I had contrived a stand ; but in travelling on ox-back I was obliged to leave this behind, as being nuch too cumbrous to carry, and packed a small but excellent circle among plenty of stockings, etc., in a fishing-basket, which I made a man strap on his back. With this circle I had already taken sets for longitude at Ondonga, and I proposed now doing the same at the most eastern point I should arrive at, filling up the intermediate places by a careful dead reckoning, checked by latitudes. I had so few subjects of interest in the journey, that taking sets of observations, which would be a great nuisance to a person under any other circumstances, was to me a source of occupation and a great pleasure, and I slaved at it. It requires some care to "pit" one observation against another, so as to eliminate the error of c: doubtful instrument. The packing and unpacking is troublesome, and an instrument cannot be left for a moment unguarded, or the goats will butt at it, the sheep and dogs run over it, or the oxen brush against it: and it is cold work, having to leave the fire, that its glare may be avoided, and to wait for the culminating of one star after another.
We were detained longer than we ought to have been at Elephant Fountain, by a break-down of Amiral's cvaggon, just as he was starting, but, as it was a light vehicle and the roads were level, a piece of green wood was made into an axletree, and we were ready to proceed in two days. Our dates were, left Jonker, August 3oth ; arrived at Elephant Fountain, September 14th; proceeded, September 19th.
Hardly a Hottentot lived at Elephant Fountain, but there were large tverfts of Berg Damaras there, who of course belonged to Amiral. I therefore felt no fear whatever at leaving my two men, for there is security of life in the country of the Hottentots, and we parted in high spirits for a six weeks' tour, my time being limited by the expected arrival of the ship at Walfisch Bay, from which I was now distant i.56 hours (390 miles), or, with a single span of oxen, at least a month's journey off.
W e rode over to 'Twas in eleven hours, following the track of Amiral's waggon, and there we found a large werft. I engaged a Dutchman, by name Saul, whom I found there. He was to take two or three packoxen, and to pack them himself, and to help my party in everything. He was a well-known shot, spoke Hottentot perfectly, and was just the man I wanted.
It seemed to me that, small as Amiral's tribe was, it was infinitely