The Reawakening : Scientific Exploration 231 W e may now return to the home letters.
Feby. 22nd . Lat. 22, Long. 18° 50'.
We are all well provisioned here, I have about 85 oxen and 30 small cattle. Still, eating nothing but meat, and having so many mouths to feed, an ox hardly lasts 3 days. I allow 4 lbs. of meat to each man. I have quite lost all care for vegetables, and I have only drank wine (or rather brandy) once since landing at Walfisch Bay. We have had admirable health and now although the sun is high yet the rainy season has brought its clouds and the climate is really very pleasant. I am becoming a stunning shot with my rifle, and always shoot plenty of ducks, partridges and guinea fowl with it. Andersson is quite invaluable, and I have a very good set of servants now, some I picked up in the country. Three I turned away-one of these committed some barefaced robberies, but the natives were afraid to take him prisoner. I happened to be at Rehoboth shortly after he left it, where I heard of what he had. done, and I rode very hard to the Southward for a night and day-changing oxen after him, but a stern chase is a long one, and he had too much start, so that I could not catch him.-Oxen are certainly cheap among the Damaras-you recollect my guns that I gave 9s. 3d. each for-well I get 5 large oxen for each gun-I heartily wish I had more.-I do not think that I shall be more than 6 months from here, as I must keep my eye on the Namaquas. If fortune favours me, I shall be able, I have no doubt, to make an entirely open road for future commerce here-where people may travel and trade without any danger. I have taken great pains about mapping the country.-It is a great amusement, and the Government at the Cape, expressed so much anxiety about creating a cattle commerce here, that I have no doubt that what I have done will be soon followed up. We have found that there really is a lake, corresponding to what was placed down as Demboa, in the map you had from me-its name is Omabonde-there I am first going. I have several blacks in my service who have been there. The Ovampo Blacks live close by. They are a good set of people, everybody speaks well of them. For interpreters I am right well off and on the whole, all looks very favourable. I fear my letter is very dull-when I can write again I do not know, but do not expect to hear from me at any fixed time.-There are so many difficulties in sending letters that it is impossible to be punctual but in 6 months I dare say you will get one. Give my best love to each and all of the Family and believe me ever, Your affectionate son,
Lat. 22, Long. 16° 50'. Feby. 23rd, 1851.
We had such a chivy after a hyena two nights ago, the dogs found him just as we had all turned in to sleep. I jumped up, had only time to put my shoes on and dressed in them, my shirt and my gun and nothing else, had a scamper up and down, through thorns and over hills for ever such a way. I could have speared him two or three times, but could not shoot for the darkness and the dogs.-At last he stood at bay in an open place where I shot him through the back bone. Talking of back bones, as I have just left the land of the Hottentots, I am sure that you will be curious to learn whether the Hottentot Ladies are really endowed with that shape which European