222 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
spoilt. It appears the weather glass has unexpectedly fallen, and the vessel is obliged to be off some hours before her time. Many of my intended letters are therefore stopped, pray tell Douglas and Uncle Hubert I had intended writing to them, you will hear no more from me, for I fear a very long time. I explained the reason why in full to Darwin, in my letter to him. Goodbye then, give my affectionate love to all the family. I start into the country in 4 or 5 days.
Ever your affectionate son, FRANK GALTON. Andersson is an excellent fellow and desires to be remembered to you.
Lat. 22.7, Long. 17. About Deer. 1850. .
DEAREST MOTHER, This letter cannot I think be less than 6 months on the road, as it is pretty far by land from the Cape. In the first place we are all in excellent health, high spirits and thorough travelling order, though we have had an immense deal of trouble and some hardships. The weather too is warm, 157° (one hufidred and fifty seven degrees) Fahrenheit in the sun at midday and from 90° to 100° in the coolest shade, under thick trees and that sort of shade about 110° to 115°. This appeared quite incredible to me, but I have compared 7 thermometers of 5 different makers and they all agree, so there can be no doubt about it. The air is not oppressive at all-we are at the furthest missionary station and not further, and now I will tell you all the story in order. The ship sailed away from Walfisch Bay which is 3 miles of heavy sand from fresh water ; we were employed about 10 days in getting every thing thence to the water in the cart with the mules. When there we were 18 miles from a Missionary Station. It took nearly 3 weeks to get everything there. It is the only liveable place in that part, as the water at the first place was execrable, so bad that I had to distill every drop we drank. I kept a still going night and day and so we were supplied. After resting the mules we packed plenty of iron things, guns and so forth, making a very heavy load in the cart, to buy oxen with about 180 miles up country. I got 3 oxen here on the backs of which, some more things were packed and with a good sort of ruffian, originally a Tailor, subsequently a kind of Missionary, and now a ruined cattle dealer for a guide away we went. The men had all to walk. Andersson crossed 40 miles of desert in great style and made another 24 miles journey after, when the mules were sorely knocked up ; we were obliged to let them and the horses feed at night in the river and seeing no tracks of lions about, we did so without much fear. What was our horror the next morning on going down-when we saw, not a mule or a horse, but their tracks going full gallop in a drove, and by their side, the tracks of six lions, full chase. A little further on, my pet mule lay dead, and a lion eating it ; by the side a wolf waiting for his turn, again a little further my biggest horse just killed and nothing more to be seen. We ran up to where the cart and encampment was, 2 miles off at the top of the steep banks of the river ; provisioned and armed 4 men for two days and sent them off after the mules, and the rest of us hunted the lions, but unsuccessfully all day. They had got among the rocks and we could not track them. In the evening we went down to get the flesh to eat, for all our live stock had perished and we were very hungry and then Andersson (who is the best fellow in the world) and myself went up well armed, to watch the carcass of the mules from a charming place in the rocks just over it, and which we agreed no lion could possibly climb and made sure of making a good