188 TOIN HANS' PARTY. (CHAP. X.
rifleman's dress. It is infinitely too dark ; and this, in addition to the squareness of the hat, makes an object of him that is particularly calculated to attract attention. It would be, I am sure, hopeless to stalk wary animals in such a costume, unless the character of the country gave most peculiar facilities for doing so. A man who wishes to dres3 for stalking may indulge his smart fancies to a great extent, but should test every pattern that he selects by viewing its effects at a slight distance, say twenty yards, the main point of all being, that the depth of tint (leaving every consideration of colour aside) should be neither too light nor too dark. I have frequently amused myself by cutting out in paper figures of men, all of the same size and shape, and painting one a rifle-green, and the others bright blue, yellow, and red, in spots or patterns. I have then stuck up these figures against the face of a landscape painting, and retreating ten or twelve yards, the dark green form of the rifleman, place it where I would, remained a prominent unmistakable mass, while the others faded as it were into the foliage, and could not be distinguished from it. It requires a few trials to hit off the proportions of the different colours used to produce a perfect result. I may add, in case the reader might wish to experimentalize, that it saves much running backwards and forwards in doing it to place a looking-glass some distance in front, and, as the painting goes on, to hold the sketch up from time to time and observe the effect in the distant reflection.
To return from this long digression to my narrative.
On the ist of November, the eighth day after leaving Elephant Fountain, we heard a report about Hans, which, though untrue, alarmed me exceedingly; it was to the effect that he had shot himself, and that the waggons lay on this side of Eikhams. I was so anxious, that 1 pushed the oxen through the night, and with but little intermission we were again on the road in morning ; we there found Damaras, who to my great relief, assured me that he was alive and well, and I therefore left the waggon oxen with the men, to have drink and food, and started on first, and walked till I had the pleasure of seeing Hans again, who, after all, had had no accident whatever ; he had everything in perfect order, and, as usual, bad to show me some result of careful thrift and hard work.
The sense of oxen is wonderful ; the two sets, mine and Iris, that had been separated nearly three months, knew each other again perfectly, and passed the night together in the most amicable way,