CHnp. rx.] [TIE ENTER THE BUSHAIAN TRACT. t63
out by the Ondonga journey) along the Swakop, when he saw something dusky by the side of a camelthorn-tree, two hundred yards off. This was a lion, that rose and walked towards him: Hans had his gun in his gun-bag by the side of his saddle, and rode on, for there is no use in provoking hostilities single-handed with a lion, unless some object has to be gained by it, as every sportsman at last acknowledges. The coolest hand and the best shot are never safe, for a bullet, however well aimed, is not certain to put the animal hors de combat. After the lion had walked some twenty or thirty yards, Frieschland, the ox, either saw or smelt him, and became furious. Hans had enough to do to keep his seat ; for a powerful long-horned ox tossing his head about and plunging wildly is a most awkward hack for the best of jockeys. The lion galloped up. He and Hans were side by side. The lion made his spring, and one heavy paw came on the nape of the ox's neck, and rolled him over ; the other clutched at Hans' arm, and tore the sleeve of his shirt to ribbons but did not wound him, and there they all three lay. Hans, though he was thrown upon his gun, contrived to wriggle it out, the lion snarling and clutching at him all the time ; but for all that, he put both bullets into the beast's body, who dropped, then turned round, and limped bleeding away into the recesses of a broad thick cover ; and of course Hans, shaken as he was, let him go. There were no dogs to follow him, so he was allowed to die in peace ; and subsequently his spoor was taken up, and his remains found.
Probably many more people are killed by lions than one hears of, for the most frequent victims are paupers who scatter themselves about the country, squatting on the ground and crowing pignuts ; they become so absorbed in their occupation that a lion could easily crouch behind and spring upon them. Numbers of people are reported to be missing in Damaraland, but no one cares to search out their fate. I made a list once of the people I had met with who had been wounded by lions, but I have lost it. It was a very long one. The wounds were always bad ones to heal. They frequently became almost well, and then broke out afresh.
26th.-We were now fairly en route, and had entered the Bushman country; we travelled along the brow of a long ridge that rose insensibly to perhaps one thousand feet above a wide plain, which stretched far away to the east, and was covered with timber trees;-this was the margin of the great desert. I was told that we should continue journeying along this ridge till we reached the furthest point that Amiral's