Missionary Travels And Researches In South Africa By David Livingstone



 -    -  A. L., 1997.
 - 

The fissure is said by the Makololo to be very much deeper
farther to the eastward; there - Page 780
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- A. L., 1997. -

The fissure is said by the Makololo to be very much deeper farther to the eastward; there is one part

At which the walls are so sloping that people accustomed to it can go down by descending in a sitting position. The Makololo on one occasion, pursuing some fugitive Batoka, saw them, unable to stop the impetus of their flight at the edge, literally dashed to pieces at the bottom. They beheld the stream like a "white cord" at the bottom, and so far down (probably 300 feet) that they became giddy, and were fain to go away holding on to the ground.

Now, though the edge of the rock over which the river falls does not show wearing more than three feet, and there is no appearance of the opposite wall being worn out at the bottom in the parts exposed to view, yet it is probable that, where it has flowed beyond the walls, the sides of the fissure may have given way, and the parts out of sight may be broader than the "white cord" on the surface. There may even be some ramifications of the fissure, which take a portion of the stream quite beneath the rocks; but this I did not learn.

If we take the want of much wear on the lip of hard basaltic rock as of any value, the period when this rock was riven is not geologically very remote. I regretted the want of proper means of measuring and marking its width at the falls, in order that, at some future time, the question whether it is progressive or not might be tested. It seemed as if a palm-tree could be laid across it from the island. And if it is progressive, as it would mark a great natural drainage being effected, it might furnish a hope that Africa will one day become a healthy continent.

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