182 WATCHES AND ALARUMS. [CHAP. X.
Almanac"-a work printed on blotting-paper, that is spoilt by rain and torn by wind, and which requires as much care in packing and in using as the instruments it is designed to accompany. All the times made use of should be aj5j5arent times. The chance is greatly against a traveller's watch going with sufficient accuracy to keep mean time, I set mine every sunrise and sunset, keeping another one in reserve, snugly packed up among soft things, to use during lunar and other time observations. In any moderately flat country the error one is liable to, by setting the watch in this way, lies within five minutes, and that is quite accurate enough even for latitude purposes. It is a great satisfaction to have all the particulars about the moonlight in your MS. Almanac, for when one travels, it is of much importance ; the quickest journeying being done by it. Knowing the bearings of the principal celestial bodies when they are near the horizon, is a great check upon one's course by night ; a man soon becomes familiar with these if he has occasion to make use of them. I should strongly urge travellers to provide themselves with alarum watches, or alarums, in some shape or another. Over and over again have we lost our natural rest through fear of oversleeping our time; besides awaking the sleepers, they are of great use in attracting attention when it is time to commence to do anything, such as watching for a star, etc., etc.
It was a great comfort returning to the faithful John and to his pots and saucepans, for we had lived on tough diet since we left him. Immense quantities of animals had been caught in the pitfalls at Elephant Fountain during our absence; they appear to have been migrating in herds, for they are not always found in the same abundance. As my waggon was light, I bought what little ivory I could from Amiral's people, and took it away with me. I sold it afterwards at St. Helena for about 701. We returned by the way which a few pages back I mentioned as the one that I recommended for waggons to travel upon. We had a little shooting, but not much; at one place we put up eight lions; they were not close together, but within a space about two hundred yards across, through which we happened to drive. It was the largest pack I had seen. Fourteen is the largest I have ever heard of. These eight were all full-grown beasts ; five of them were females. We had two falls of rain, enough to supply the Quieep River well ; indeed, we found a pool with enough water to swim in at the place where we outspanned.
After the first shower the landscape looked charming; the sere leaves