186 TRA VELLING DRESS. [CHAP. X.
and above them a waterproof cape, with leggings, if the season be very rainy, wrapped up in it. With these things, gun, saddle, and all, a man would ride two and a half stone heavier than he walks, which is nothing for a steady travelling expedition ; but if he wants to gallop off, shooting he must of course limit himself to a saddle and gun-bag. No two people travel in the same dress ; my own fancy lies in leather trousers, jack-boots, a thick woollen jersey, a cotton shirt over it, and a cap. A belt supplies pocket room.
In foot expeditions, the jack-boots must be replaced by shoes. In Southern Africa I never could walk barefooted; independently of the thorns, there was something in our state of health which made small wounds difficult to heal, and caused scratches in the foot and hand to fester. Our very Damaras could not travel even with their own sandals, much less could we leave off shoes entirely. I was the more surprised at this, as in previous travelling in North Africa I had become nearly independent of them. I recollect climbing Jebel Barkel, which is a well-known rugged hill, with very sharp stones in it, near the fourth cataract of the Nile, barefooted.
Without shoes and stockings I think I could not even lay my feet to the ground during the hottest time of the year. Once, owing to a mistake, I had dismounted at a small spring of water and turned my ox loose, who rejoined his comrades, and was driven on with them to a more copious watering-place, a couple of miles ahead; I had no stockings on at that time, only shoes. When I started on foot after the party, the heat of the sand was so intense that I positively was but just able to walk, although my skin was pretty well case-hardened. I underwent real suffering in that short distance, but the cool of thick woollen socks, the thickest that English sailors ever wear, was delicious when they were pulled on to my blistered feet.
I do not think that a perfect head-dress has yet been invented by man. A light hunting-cap is very convenient among thick trees, but it cannot be used as a night-cap in the bivouac. As regards colours of the dress, infinite misunderstanding generally prevails, as may at once be perceived by the colour of the uniform in which our rifle corps are clothed. People have an idea that because shadows are dark, and because people who crouch in ambuscade are generally in shadows, that therefore their clothes should be dark also. They forget that the same shade which deepens the tint of the trees gives at the same time an extra depth to the colour of the man's clothes. As a first approxima-