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persons and goods, the former, as explained to me through a string of four interpreters, for the purpose of feasting on.
The old chief Dimu with some difficulty managed to persuade the younger men that we might probably be difficult of digestion, being armed with weapons which they had neither seen nor heard; and being told, after having presented the old man with a few beads of different kinds, that they might have beads or cowries in exchange for provisions and elephants' tusks, we were very soon offered every kind of food they possessed, consisting of sweet potatoes, beans of different kinds, ground-nuts, maize, millet, vegetable-butter, dried meais of the antelope and buffalo, and, as a great luxury, the hind-quarters of a dog, unskinned and just killed.
Others ran to the bush in quest of tusks, which for the greater part proved valueless, owing to the length of time they had been exposed to decomposition by fire and rain.
The greater part of the men present, consisting of some hundreds, were slaves, of which the Runga are large proprietors, and entertain them for the purpose of cultivating their lands, hunting, and performing every kind of work; it being considered a sign of poverty for a native Niam.Nam to occupy himself with anything but the chase and war.
The country is well cultivated, and the villages well constructed of bamboo.
The Niam-Nam are of ordinary stature, and a dark-brown color. Their arms consist of spears, a kind of curved sword, and an iron boomerang, two of which they attach to the handle of a large oblong shield, constructed of interwoven and stained reeds of the palm-leaf. Both men and women wear leather sandals, and a kind of cloth, woven from the fibres of the bark of trees, around the loins. The date-palm tree and the banana grow wild. The India-rubber tree, as also the vegetable-butter tree, exist in abundance.
The rains commence in the month of February, and last until the latter end of October.
The territory of this tribe, I was informed, extended ten days' journey south, where a deep and wide river, flowing west, was said to be its frontier.
Having marched twenty-five days from the shore of the lake, at 19 direct miles per day, will amount to 475 miles, which brings me, I imagine, near the Equator.
What with the purchase of several tusks and our daily provisions, my stock of beads had seriously diminished, and I obtained the promise of a score of negroes to conduct me back to Lungo, in the Dôr country, to my depot.
It was not without a sincere promise to return and bring more beads that, at sunrise, I was enabled to leave the hospitable old chief Dimu and my NiamNam friends, whose salutations were not so marked as with the Dinkas, but who confined their adieus to an ordinary squeeze of the hand.
Having in due ume returned to Lungo, I left twenty-two of my men there, well supplied with articles for carrying on trade with the Dor, Mundo, and Niam-Nam tribes, until my return the following year.
Should they fall short of beads, or from other causes be unable to maintain their position, they were directed to fall back on my principal station at the Djour.
On my way up, having occasionally purchased rusks, and invariably, to save expense of carriage, left them in charge of the chiefs, I necessarily returned through the same villages, and in due course of time arrived, on the 15th of May, at Khartum.
(From the New York Evening Post.]
ANOTHER AFRICAN BOOK.
The Okavango River. The Okavango River is in Southern Africa. Mr. Charles John Andersson, a Swede, whose account of a journey to Lake Ngami is one of the most interesting of African travel books, was reported, two years ago, to have met a fate by no means strange for an African hunter. It was said that he was impaled by the tusks of an enraged elephant, which he had wounded but not killed. The issue of a new volume of travels, entitled “The Okavango River, a Narrative of Travel, Adventure, and Exploration, by Charles John Andersson,” proves that he is still, fortunately, among the living; and proves, too, that the curious infatuation which has led so many African travellers back to the scene of their perils and sufferings, has beset also this hardy Swede. It seems that he returned to South Africa to become the manager of certain mines at Walfish, or Walwich (Whale) Bay, on the southeastern coast. Thence he set out one day for a journey through Damara land, to look for the Cunene river, which he did not find, but happened instead on the Okavango.
AN AFRICAN OUTFIT. To travel in Africa one needs a number of servants, and this was Mr. Andersson's outfit and establishment:
“My servants were as follows: One cook, acting as confidential servant; one general attendant, who also superintended my native personnel; one wagon-driver, one leader, one guide, two herds, two interpreters, and one or two lads whose duty consisted in making themselves generally useful—that is, eleven men in toto; no great force certainly to enter upon the exploration of a wild and unknown region. Of all this little band of followers, John Mortar and John Pereira, the first two on my list, were the only persons on whom, in any case of emergency, I could rely. Those who have perused • Tropical South Africa' and • Lake Ngami,' will at once recognize in the first of these names Mr. Galton's cook, who, through a difficult and harassing expedition, proved himself so faithful and trustworthy. Mortar had, when he entered mine, just left Mr. Green's service, where he had earned for himself a similarly good character. I con. sidered myself most fortunate in securing so tried and valuable a servant. It will be remembered that this man was a native of Madeira, and consequently well acquainted with the Portuguese language. John Pereira was of Malabar descent. He had received a most liberal, and, for his station in life, unusual education. He wrote a fair hand, spoke and wrote English, Dutch and Portuguese fluently, understood Chinese, and several Hindostanee dialects, and could translate Latin-which is more than I could do myself.
“ The rest of my servants being all native attendants, and distinguished for no remarkable quality, (except Kamepjie and Tom, both remarkable trackers' and interpreters,) I pass them over in silence. I have only to add, that besides several other barbarous tongues, my men spoke Damara, Hottentot, Sichuana, and Portuguese,--languages most likely to come into requisition.
“ The remainder of my establishment consisted of one wagon, thirty firstrate Trek oxen, five draught and carriage oxen, eleven young oxen, four donkeys, one old horse, seventy sheep and goats, chiefly for slaughter; and lastly, but not the least important, about a dozen dogs of a somewhat mongrel description, though good enough as watch-dogs, for which service they were principally required.
“ The chief object of the expedition was, as already stated, to penetrate to the Cunene: and further, supposing a safe arrival on the banks of that river, to explore it either towards its source or towards its embouchure, according to the point where I might happen to strike it. Moreover, if time and means admitted, I intended thence to make an excursion to some Portuguese settlement on the west coast, such as Mossamedos, Benguela, &c.
“ If I succeeded in accomplishing these purposes, the following results would be obtained, viz: the great blanks in the maps, between Damara and Ovambo Land, and in Dr. Livingstone's remarkable journey from the banks of Sesheke to St. Paul de Loando, would be filled up, whilst vast and probably rich regions would be opened to the influence of commerce and civilization."
VARIETIES OF DAMARA LIFE. Travelling at first with some obstruction in the rainy season, Mr. Andersson reached in a fortnight the Omaruru river, seventy miles from his starting point. He had seen no game, his flock of sheep was dwindling. It was food to his party only for a hundred days, and he might be out for a year, or two. After crossing the river at a pleasant spot—very unlike its desolate and rocky mouth, which when a sea fog hangs over it is like a dream of the infernal regions, there was cessation of rain; but for a hundred miles the way had to be cut step by step through bushes and trees, with stems varying from an inch to two feet in thickness. Pick and crowbar, and other roadlevelling implements, had been taken as part of the tourists' regular equipment. The traveller had a rent made in his arm by the kick of an elephant rifle, and not long afterwards lost pieces of flesh from both his
arms, besides getting one of his knees torn by a fall from a mass of rugged granite. But there was a wagon to mend day by day, larder to provide for, road-making to direct, and laying-up to nurse wounds was quite out of the question. In the middle of April there was a delightful change into a forest of trees without thorns, the trees being chiefly of the kind called in Damara language omutali, but presently the Damara parent tree, omomborombonga, was abundant.
ROAD-MAKING IN AFRICA. The next difficulty met by the tourist in Africa was the being brought to a standstill under å wall-like range, nearly a thousand feet in perpendicular height, on the top whereof was the table-land, across which their way should be. After search a defile was found.
“ This defile I had been unable to see before on account of intervening rocks, Well, up it we at first proceeded pretty comfortably; gradually, however, it became narrower; hundreds of little ravines intersected it in every direction,
considerably retarding our progress, and finally bringing us to a dead stop. Retreat was impossible, unless we had taken the wagon entirely to pieces-a most inconvenient and disagreeable alternative., The guide declared, again and again, that there was not any other exit. In this extremity we renewed the attempt at pushing forward, and so far, with great trouble and exertion, succeeded, that we had only about one hundred and fifty yards to get over to reach a country apparently open and less beset with difficulties. Small, however, as the distance was, it offered a most formidable resistance. On our left was a ravine fifty feet deep, whilst the rock to our right rose high, and was almost perpendicularly steep. After a hurried survey, I determined, nevertheless, to risk the passage, and at once busied myself with axe, shovel, pick and crowbar, in removing sundry stones, trees and boulders, that impeded our progress. In proportion as we succeeded in clearing a way, the driver had orders to follow cautiously with the wagon.
6. Under these circumstances, having just turned a small angle of the rock which hid me from my party, I was actively working away with the crow, when there suddenly rose behind me a confused shouting, evidently meant as a cl eck to the oxen, then a harsh grating sound, then a dead pause, then thump, thump, thump, followed by a frightful crash and a heart-piercing cry from a bevy of women who were following in our wake. The crowbar fell from my powerless hands, and I sank down on the rock, the cold drops of perspiration trickling down my cheeks, whilst I exclaimed to myself, Good God! there goes my wagon and some poor fellow with it.' For a second or two, not a sound being audible, I felt too agitated to move; in short, dared not proceed further for fear of seeing my worst fears realized. At last, feeling suspense more dreadful than a knowledge of the true state of affairs, and hearing the women in the rear set up a chorus of distressing lamentations, I rose and hurried to the scene of the disaster as fast as my crippled condition, (for I was still suffering from the wound in my knee,) would permit.
“ Near the bottom of the ravine lay the prostrate vehicle, seemingly a heap of ruins, the oxen struggling wildly to free themselves from their uncomfortable position; and hard by, the driver, stunned and bleeding, sprawling on the ground.'
However, nobody was killed, and up the other side of the ravine the whole party eventually contrived to scramble with the wagon. This was a hard day's work, and in the next day's march over the level ground, way had to be made by cutting down about one thousand five hundred trees and bushes. During a later journey through the bush of Southwest Africa, Mr. Andersson took the trouble, indeed, to enter in his journal a particular calculation.
CUTTING HIS WAY THROUGH.
“ Had the curiosity to count the number of bushes, and trees, cut down in order to open out a path to a certain distance. In this calculation I invariably found in three hundred yards one hundred and seventy bushes felled; that is, about one thousand bushes a mile. I reckoned besides four stalks to each bush, a very low computation, which gave four thousand distinct branches, every stalk or branch (varying from the size of a finger to that of a man's leg,) usually requiring from three to four strokes of the axe; thus one axe must actually have descended twelve thousand times in the course of a single mile. Conceive the incredible amount of labor the passage of one such mile supposes; indeed, we are just now proceeding something short of a snail's pace. We have, however, about two hundred miles of this sort of country to traverse before we reach our journey's end; so that, in round numbers, there must be 2,400,000 strokes of one axe, or 1,200,000 to each of two axes, (the number usually employed,) delivered, and no less than 200,000 bushes and trees cut down, before we can get over this space. All this work was successfully performed."
Presently they began to suffer for want of water. After leaving the fountains of Otjidambi, the nearest water was ten days to the northward. On the first night of their journey they saw fire, not water-part of the bush in a blaze. Next day they found that the nitives had been firing the grass on their route, and there was smoke and flame in all directions. At night water was found unexpectedly, and hopes were excited for the future. But after this time, want of water brought the whole trip to a painful end. The guides lost their way, the oxen had been four days without water, and to the nearest known water in advance it was estimated to be not less than a seven days' journey. The journey by this route to the Cunene was given up-it was determined to return. A few mouthfuls of the last water, held in reserve, were served out to the men, and the return journey was commenced when return seemed to be cut off by a lake of fire. Then, says the African tourist
A PRAIRIE ON FIRE.
“ Turning to Mortar, I exclaimed, Good God! our return is cut off!' I had seen many wood and grass fires, but nothing to equal this. Immediately in front of us lay stretched out like a sea a vast pasture prairie, dotted with occasional trees, bounded in the distance by groves of huge giraffe thorns-all in a blaze! Through the very midst of this lay our path. By delaying a few hours the danger would have been considerably diminished, if not altogether over, but delay in our case seemed almost more dangerous than going forward; and so on we pushed, trusting to some favorable accident to bring us through the perils we had to face. As we advanced we heard distinctly the sputtering and hissing of the inflamed grasses and brushwood, the cracking of the trees as they reluctantly yielded their massive forms to the unrelenting and all-devouring element, the screams of startled birds, and other commingling sounds of terror and devastation. There was a great angle in our road, running parallel, as it were, to the raging fire, but afterwards turning abruptly into a burning savannah. By the time we had reached this point the conflagration, still in its glory on our right, was fast receding on our left, thus opening a passage, into which we darted without hesitation, although the ground was still smouldering and reeking, and in some places quite alive with flickering sparks from the recent besom of hot flames which had swept over it. Tired as our cattle were, this heated state of the ground made the poor brutes step ot pretty smartly. At times ran great risk of being crushed by the falling timbers. Once a huge trunk, in flames from top to bottom, fell ath wart our path, sending up millions of sparks, and scattering innumerable splinters of lighted wood all around us, whilst the numerous nests of the social grosbeaks--the Textor erythrorhynchus in the ignited trees, looked like so many lamps suspended in designs at once natural, pleasing and splendid. It was altogether a glorious illumination, worthy of Nature's palace, with its innumerable windows and stately vaulted canopy. But the danger associated with the grand spectacle was too great and too imminent for us thoroughly to appreciate its magnificence. Indeed, we were really thankful when once our backs were turned on the awful scene.
“ At break of day we halted for a few minutes to breathe and to change oxen, then continued to journey on. I despatched all the loose cattle ahead, giving the men orders to return with a fresh team as soon as they had drunk, fed, and rested a little. We arrived at the vley a little before midnight on the 24th of May, but on attempting to kraal the Trek oxen, notwithstanding their fatigue, the thirsty brutes leaped over the stout and tall thorn fences as if they had been so many rushes, and with a wild roar set off at full speed for Okaoa fountain, which they reached the following day, having been more than one hundred and fifty hours without a single drop of water!”