176 HEAR OF THE FATE OF MY TWO OXEN. [CHAP. X.
I have never seen instances of native poison doing much mischief; that of the Damaras is in practice very harmless. I have seen plenty of people who had been wounded by poisoned arrows, and have dressed their wounds, but saw no great harm experienced from them. The poison becomes so hard and dry on the arrows that it will not dissolve. The Bushman poison is far stronger and more complicated , the manufacture of it is kept secret, but many ingredients are put into the composition. Beside vegetable poisons the Bushmen assured me that the poisonous black spider (a kind of Tarantula) is an important ingredient. It seems to be, for its size, the most venomous of creatures. Death is very frequently the consequence of its bite. Amiral's son, who was with me, had lingered between life and death for a long time after having been bit by one, and his escape was considered as a singular piece of good fortune. I saw one once ; it happened to be among my bedclothes, and was a nasty creature with huge nippers ; though a very quick runner it had comparatively short legs. When I teased it with a little twig it snapped its nippers together and made quite a noise with them.
Throughout our journey we have had great good luck as regards poisonous animals, nobody but Timboo having been bitten, and that only by a scorpion, but we suffered pretty severely from hornets' stings, both at Otjimbingue and elsewhere ; the oil from our tobacco pipes was the panacea in all these cases.
Hear the Fate of my Two Oxen-Plan an Attack to avenge them-Make an Attack on Two Werfts-Catch some Culprits-l-lottentot Passion for Onslaught-Return to Eikhams-Best Sort of Travelling Compass-MS. and other Almanacs-Watches and Alarums-Large Packs of LionsA Tale learnt from Tracks-Accidents with Guns-Methods of carrying them on Horseback-Description of the Plate-Travelling DressColours most suited for Sportsmen-Bright Colours of skulking Animals -Rationale of them-Join Hans' Party-Begin to break up the Expedition-Travel down the Swakop-Reach Walfisch Bay-Whales, Sharks, and Ostriches-Retrospccts-Leave Africa.
I;\ a week the Hottentots became tired of 'Tounobis ; they said that their wives were left without provisions, etc., and Amiral said that