220 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
freight a small Schooner to take me and my traps about 1000 miles up the Coast to Walfisch Bay where I land and go towards the interior. The assistance and kindness in every possible way, both of Government here and of all the people, has been extreme. I take out credentials for establishing friendly relations between our Government and different tribes, in opposition to the movement of these Dutch Boers, and they have given me an immense parchment passport, engrossed and in English, Dutch and Portuguese, with a hugh seal 8 inches in diameter, set in a tin box and dangling on to it, so I go as a great swell'. Sir Harry made a long speech to me the other day after dinner at Government House, to say, I was a good fellow-and he spoke very kindly indeed.
Andersson is a right good fellow, and does whatever he is told, which is particularly convenient. My head-man is one of the best known servants in Cape Town. He is Portuguese-has travelled all his life, speaks Dutch and English perfectly and has always been liked by everybody. Then I have a Black, to look after my nine mules and horses. He calls me "Massa" and that also, is very pleasant. He is a tall athletic well built fellow, who has worked uncommonly well in Kaffir land. Next comes a smart lad to help him, and then I have 2 Waggon drivers and two leaders-for the Oxen. One of the Drivers has worked 4 years together at a blacksmith's and waggon maker's shop here, and is a very good workman, so that he can repair anything that goes wrong in my waggons, and one of the leaders can also drive. Our party therefore consists of seven servants Andersson and myself, and except Juan, the head-man, their wages run from £3. 10. 0 to £1. 10. 0 a month. I have been obliged to lay in a very great quantity of stores, for the place where I am going to land, has no communication established with any other port, and nothing that is forgotten can be replaced, of these things about half go to exchange for oxen, of which there are plenty there, and to get me guides and so on, of the rest I leave one half as a depot at a missionary Station, so that I have always a place to fall back upon. If the roads are good, I go with my waggons and my cart, if there is doubt about water ahead, I send on my cart alone with the mule-and if the road is execrable, I hunt about for a better one, using my mules as pack animals. Thp country is utterly unvisited by any White, after the first 300 miles, no traveller or sportsman has ever been there at all, only a few missionaries and traders-but the universal account from the Natives is, that the further you go, the richer it becomes. There is this large reported lake, Lake Demboa, only 200 miles from the furthest missionary Station. It will be my first object to reach this, and trace the river that flows out of it, and which is said to be a branch of the Cunene to the sea, and if the river be as large and the country as fertile and healthy as it is declared by the natives to be, it will most assuredly rise soon to great importance. The Cunene is the river that bounds the Portuguese possessions on the West coast, to the South. I daresay I shall bring back a lot of ivory and gold dust from there, for I shall certainly swop any of my stores for them, if I can do so to advantage. I am comfortably provisioned, barring meat, for two years and have an immense quantity of the things, that these
' This remarkable document is now in the Galton Laboratory. According to Galton's own account the seal had originally been attached to a royal mandate creating a deputy or lieutenant-governor of the colony. Sir H. Smith wanted something to impress the natives, so he cut it off and attached it to the aforesaid parchment !