Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

226   Life and Letters of Francis Galton


anywhere. Andersson has uniformly peen of the greatest assistance. If all goes right I think I shall be able to send a letter through the Portuguese settlements. Remember me to all my friends and believe me ever sincerely your FRANK GALTON.

Feb. 28th. After I had written the enclosed letter and sent it off I started but after going a short distance all my native servants were so alarmed oa account of the fightings that were going on that they ran away. . Besides that, there had not been rain sufficient for our journey insomuch that the letter carrier came back. So I determined to - employ my time by riding straight down with my double barrelled rifle on the Namaqua captain and seeing whether I could not bring him to reason. I saddled my ox with the largest horns, and in my pink hunting coat and jack boots, the identical ones that have more than once been in your company to Slough, I hacked over the three days journey that separated us and then going cautiously to the very edge of the little hill round the corner of which his place lay let my oxen get their wind and then together with the men I had with me, rammed my spurs into the beast's ribs and shoved him along right into the captain's house, at least as far as his horns would let him go. The captain was at rest, he was smoking his pipe. It was the cool of the evening. Fancy the effect. I made the man as submissive as a baby. I made him solemnly pledge his word before his people that he would leave off all oppression towards the Damaras. I had all the other Captains from a wide extent of country up to his place and made them promise to do the same. To the missionary whose station was destroyed I made them write a most submissive apology, and it is really a fact that I got these scoundrels to like me. They made me umpire in their own disputes. I laid down laws for them, simple concerns certainly but they had none before. And these are in force along 250 miles of frontier, and then having settled all to my satisfaction I told them to be careful as I should certainly return that way and then went back to my waggons. The Damaras are charmed, I shall have no difficulty now in travelling. I could almost worship my red coat and jack boots that have done all this. I had not conscience enough to put on that huge cocked hat of mine-no, I patronised my hunting cap. This is a very important land for future commerce from the large quantity of cattle and its neighbourhood to St Helena, which is the great store for homeward bound ships. I have of course sent all particulars to Cape Town and I really think that what I have done in the way of making peace will be followed up. Our waggon road is determined on ahead. I am now at the very furthest point Europeans have ever reached and tomorrow we start. I expect to come back here in about 6 months. There is a large lake "Omanbonde" about 10 days N.W. from here. I have myself seen hills that can descry it, and there I hope first to go.

Once again good bye and believe me ever yrs sincerely FRANK GALTON.

Galton's position was a very difficult one; he found the Namaquas headed by Hottentot chiefs-to whom indeed the British Government had given "captain's sticks," and who were British subjects-massacring Damaras and stealing their cattle. His sole official instructions, as sent to Jonker, "were to offer friendly relations on the part of the British Government to nations living in a certain specified tract of country in her


Previous Index Next