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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