Missionary Travels And Researches In South Africa By David Livingstone



 -   Next morning we had other work to do
than part, for our little boy and girl were seized with fever - Page 130
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Next Morning We Had Other Work To Do Than Part, For Our Little Boy And Girl Were Seized With Fever.

On the day following, all our servants were down too with the same complaint. As nothing is better in these

Cases than change of place, I was forced to give up the hope of seeing Sebituane that year; so, leaving my gun as part payment for guides next year, we started for the pure air of the Desert.

Some mistake had happened in the arrangement with Mr. Oswell, for we met him on the Zouga on our return, and he devoted the rest of this season to elephant-hunting, at which the natives universally declare he is the greatest adept that ever came into the country. He hunted without dogs. It is remarkable that this lordly animal is so completely harassed by the presence of a few yelping curs as to be quite incapable of attending to man. He makes awkward attempts to crush them by falling on his knees; and sometimes places his forehead against a tree ten inches in diameter; glancing on one side of the tree and then on the other, he pushes it down before him, as if he thought thereby to catch his enemies. The only danger the huntsman has to apprehend is the dogs running toward him, and thereby leading the elephant to their master. Mr. Oswell has been known to kill four large old male elephants a day. The value of the ivory in these cases would be one hundred guineas. We had reason to be proud of his success, for the inhabitants conceived from it a very high idea of English courage; and when they wished to flatter me would say, "If you were not a missionary you would just be like Oswell; you would not hunt with dogs either." When, in 1852, we came to the Cape, my black coat eleven years out of fashion, and without a penny of salary to draw, we found that Mr. Oswell had most generously ordered an outfit for the half-naked children, which cost about 200 Pounds, and presented it to us, saying he thought Mrs. Livingstone had a right to the game of her own preserves.

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