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The Reawakening : Scientific Exploration   235


clothes were in rags and at first, our skins were very painful, from being torn about so much, especially as the scratches- generally festered, but we got hard in time. Well I found my way to the reported lake Omanbonde, which was as dry as dust, not a drop of water in the reeds, quite a sell. From the natives' description we had reckoned on a sheet of water about 30 miles by 8. It was just a bit of a water course 300 yards broad .and might be in the rainy season 2 miles long-Lake Ngami I have not tried for. Well I went on to the North. We moved very slowly-the waggons had to crush through everything, and the oxen would not pull through the thorns. After 300 miles altogether I got to the end of the country of the Ovahereros and to a large village. Hence I tried to get guides to the Ovampo, the chief would not give them, so I set off again, for we would not be beaten. Just at starting the oxen were frightened and set off on a trot, there was a rotten looking stump in front, but really a hard strong treethe near fore wheel of my best waggon came against it and crash went the whole concern. There was a fix; we set to work, brought the other waggon alongside-made a hedge of thorns, cleared the ground and at once a party went off, to cut down trees to mend it. The road had been so stony and execrable in every way, that it would be folly to venture with an axletree of green wood, and so the waggons must stay some weeks there, while the trees seasoned a little. I halved my party, and Andersson and myself saddled our oxen and went to the North. We got a man who said he could take us the 15 days' journey on to the Ovampo, he led us-all wrong, and we were hard put to it for water. All sorts of little disasters occurred, we made three pushes to try and get on ; the third time most fortunately we met an Ovampo trading party, who had come down to buy cattle, so we went back with them, waited 3 long weeks till they were ready to return and then went to their country with them. After 200 miles, the bushes and thorns suddenly ceased, and the charming corn country of Ondonga, with its palms and fruit trees, was before us. I rode to the King and crowned him straightway with that great theatrical crown I had. He was a brute, fat as a tub, but his people were most hospitable. The journey had been longer than I thought, my oxen were in a sad state, footsore and galled backs. I had to buy and carry back provisions, for we had but little cattle left. The Cunene river was 4 or 5 days a head, but Nangoro (the King) would not let us go; had I been able to stay 3 or 4 weeks, I might have persuaded him or frightened him, for he had a strong dislike to gunpowder, but it was impossible. My waggons and the men with them, were in a precarious situation. I could not wait, so I packed 500 lbs. of corn flour, beans and so forth, on my oxen's backs and returned. All was right-the waggon well mended, axletree better than before, and about 60 more sheep and a few oxen, had been bought while I was away. We got back without accident of any sort by a slightly different road, and I am now at the Namaqua chief's place. I told you in my last letter how I made peace over the country, and it has been admirably kept during my absence. I have therefore given Jonker, the chief, a cocked hat, and an old Ambassador's coat of M. Sampayo's-that he gave me when in London. He is highly delighted. I go now to the East to get a little elephant shooting and shall swop everything I have for ivory, of which the Namaquas there have plenty, take it down to Walfisch Bay and start by the missionary ship for the Cape or for St Helena, either in December or January. If however there offer a good opportunity of going far, I may stop in the country. A trading party of

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