Various Insects, Also,
Are Thus Fascinated; But The Scorpions May Be Seen Coming Away From The Fire
In Fierce Disgust, And They Are So Irritated As To Inflict At That Time
Their Most Painful Stings.
Some of the Bayeiye we met at Sebituane's Ford pretended to be unaffected
by the bite of serpents, and showed
The feat of lacerating their arms
with the teeth of such as are unfurnished with the poison-fangs.
They also swallow the poison, by way of gaining notoriety;
but Dr. Andrew Smith put the sincerity of such persons to the test
by offering them the fangs of a really poisonous variety,
and found they shrank from the experiment.
When we reached the Bamangwato, the chief, Sekomi, was particularly friendly,
collected all his people to the religious services we held,
and explained his reasons for compelling some Englishmen to pay him a horse.
"They would not sell him any powder, though they had plenty;
so he compelled them to give it and the horse for nothing. He would not deny
the extortion to me; that would be `boherehere' (swindling)."
He thus thought extortion better than swindling. I could not detect
any difference in the morality of the two transactions,
but Sekomi's ideas of honesty are the lowest I have met with
in any Bechuana chief, and this instance is mentioned as the only approach
to demanding payment for leave to pass that I have met with in the south.
In all other cases the difficulty has been to get a chief to give us men
to show the way, and the payment has only been for guides.
Englishmen have always very properly avoided giving that idea
to the native mind which we shall hereafter find prove troublesome,
that payment ought to be made for passage through a country.
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