t;z SPRING HARES. [CHAP. IX,
of an open flat that was about two hundred yards across. At the further side of that was a mound, on the top of which stood a fine overshadowing tree, and in the middle of the flat was a scraggy, rotten stump, and two or three dead branches. The rhinoceros went across this, climbed the mound, and stood at bay under the tree. I did not much like crossing the open flat, but I thought I could certainly run two yards to his three, which would take me back in safety among the bushes, so I went my best pace to the middle of the flat keeping the dead branches between me and him, they were a mere nothing, but a rhinoceros' sight is never keen, and his eyes were, I dare say, dim from his wounds. As soon as I came to the tree, I dropped down on my knee, steadied my shaking hand against one bough, for I had run very far and was exhausted, and, resting the muzzle of my heavy rifle in the fork of another took a quick shot and gave the beast a smart sharp sounding blow with a well-placed bullet. He did not start nor flinch, but slowly raised his head, and then dropping it down, poured volumes of crimson blood from his mouth. lie did this again and again ; at length he staggered a very little, then he put his fore legs out and apart from each other, and so stood for some seconds, when he slowly sunk to the ground upon his broad chest and died. I sketch-ud the scene from memory when I returned, regretting that I had not had a pencil with me at the time to do it more justice, for the dying beast with the branched tree above him was quite a study for an artist. Having shot animals till we were tired, a pleasant moonlight evening was spent on much smaller game-the spring hare as the Dutch call it. It is a creature about two feet long, shaped like a kangaroo in body and tail, but with a different ]lead; it burrows and lives in holes all day, but at night frisks about and grazes.
We and the Bushmen arranged ourselves in large circles, enclosing fresh patches of ground each time, and then beat up towards the centre, We generally enclosed two or three of these funny creatures, who hopped about in the oddest way, and we rushed in and assassinated them with sticks. The sinews of their powerful tails form excellent materials for sewing carosses.
I worked hard to fix the longitude of 'Tounobis, which 1 did mere successfully than I could have hoped, as my instrument was a small and not very legible one, and for want of oil, I had to read off the observations by firelight. The Bushmen assured me that the character of the country between that place and the lake was of exactly the same