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mit deaan Mevarrow and Rer Mimebolambo to join forces ; so out of policy as well as revenge he resolved to attack us first. But no sooner had he declared his intentions, and made preparations for that purpose, than a friend of Mevarrow came out by night, and acquainted him therewith. On this information he held a consultation with Rer Mimebolambo about their defence; and in order thereto, considering there were so many cattle in town, as would disturb them in an engagement, he proposed to send part of them to deaan Murnanzack's; where the other people had secured theirs. Rer Mimebolambo would send none of his; my master, however, willing to have something to subsist on, in case they should lose what they had here, picked out forty beasts; some of our richest men also sent six, and others more or less ; in short, there were in all about fourscore and ten beasts separated from the rest, to be sent away. I perceived what was going forward, and would fain have concealed myself; for I did not know whether I should live so well there as here : besides, it was a large number for one person to take care of. But there was no remedy; nobody else would send a slave with me, and my master himself would spare no more than one, and he looked upon me as the best qualified of any one man to do it; whereupon he gave orders to six or seven men well armed to guard, and conduct me, and I took my leave of my friends and acquaintance, and proceeded accordingly.
We were forced to go round about by several tedious, unpractised ways, and to look out as narrowly as possible, lest our enemies should intercept us; but we embraced a very favourable opportunity when they were all dispirited by their defeat, and suspected nothing of any such prize being near them. So in two days we arrived at deaan Afferrer's town, situate on the hills of Yong-gorva, where we stayed two days to rest our cattle, and were going upon the third in the morning, at which time we heard a shell blow. This alarmed not only the town, but the whole country; they ran ininediately to defend the passage up the hill (for there is but one) when instantly came two messengers from deaan Murnanzack to deaan Afferrer, to acquaint him that he was at the bottom of the hill, in order to pay him a visit. When my guardians saw them join, and found it was deaan Murnanzack, they went (as soon as the usual compliments were past between the two brothers) to deaan Murnanzack, and informed him, that deaan Mevarrow had sent some cattle and a proper person to look after them, in order to be conveyed somewhere under his protection. He desired them to thank deaan Mevarrow for his friendship and assistance, and assure him that his cattle should have all the care taken of them imaginable, and be put amongst his own.
As soon as they had delivered up their charge they took their leaves of me, and returned.
When deaan Murnanzack saw the cattle, and found that I was left with them, he seemed surprised ; and asked me if I was cow-keeper, saying, he never heard of a white man being put upon that employment. I made answer, since it was my master's pleasure, I did not think proper to dispute it with him, and would execute my office as well as I could.
Three days after, deaan Murnanzack went homewards, giving orders to three servants to assist me, and we followed in the rear; we had also above a dozen other people with us, who carried provision, bedding, &c. for their masters. As soon as we were down the hill, I discovered a new scene; the soil was of a quite different nature as well as colour; yellow clay with stones ; which made my feet very uneasy, having been used to a sandy ground before : however, I was soon inured to it. The trees, likewise, were different; much loftier, and more straight and regular. This was the place I had often wished to see, on account of the wild cattle, of which I had heard so much. I soon found the large tracks they made through the woods, which rendered the driving of mine much easier here, than in other woods.
About noon we lay down to refresh ourselves in a grove. The whole country is very beautiful, and well watered with springs and rivulets. They soon showed
me some wild cattle which were standing under the covert of the trees : I was very desirous of viewing them closer, and taking a gun in my hand, I went toward them; but when I was got within thirty yards, I was obliged to creep on the ground, and conceal myself as well as I could with the grass, which is very high. Before I came up to them, I saw three bulls running directly towards me; their eyes sparkled with fire, their ears pricked upright, and they foamed at the mouth; in all probability they fed from some that gave them chase. They put me into such a terrible fright that I thought of nothing but firing at them, to save myself from being torn to pieces; but as Providence would have it, I fired and wounded one so deeply, that he fell. Though I was safe with respect to him, I expected the others would have attacked me; and to avoid their fury, I lay flat on my face, not daring to stir, till hearing no noise, but the halloos of my companions at a distance, I looked up, and found that all of them had run away, except the wounded one, which lay kicking on the ground : however, I durst not go near him, till my friends came up, and put us both out of our pain, by cutting his throat, and applauding me for my courage, and being so expert a marksman. How contrary to one's expectation things often happen! I imagined they would have laughed at me for my cowardice; and by mistake, and mere chance, I was looked upon as Ane of more than common courage as well as conduct.
Whilst they were cutting up the bull, I could not forbear gazing with admiration on those which they called wiid cattle, and in fact they are so; but they are so like those in England, that I could then perceive no manner of difference: nor have I been able since to discover any, except in two trivial particulars;
the horns, I take it, of our English bulls are somewhat snorter, and their bellowings deeper. When we had cut up our beef, we roasted some part of it, and pleased ourselves with the thoughts of our masters having left us behind, because we should not spoil their sport; we happened, however, on better luck than they, and had
not only beef to eat sooner than they, but got some ready to dress for them at the place of rendezvous at night. This bull-beef, you may be sure, could not be any thing extraordinary, nor any ways equal to the flesh of such as are tame; especially after it had run so far, and so hard, before it was killed. These wild cattle will give the hunters a chase sometimes of several miles together after they are wounded; which makes the flesh but indifferent meat, especially if it be a bull; but people in want are glad of what comes first to hand; for these wild cattle are a great help to such as live in the remote parts, who, in necessitous times, come here a hunting. However, they are frequently found in another vast tract of forest land of some hundred miles extent; of which, and of their supposed original, I shall have an occasion hereafter to give a particular account. The place where we baited at noon, and lay this night, were very agreeable and delightful groves ; and indeed, all this country is so, for several days' journey together. It abounds with wild honey, wild boars, and such a variety of pleasant fruits, that men may not only find enough to satisfy their hunger and thirst, but to indulge their luxurious appetites, without the fatigue of any cultivation; and there are many that live in a state of indolence and ease.
Amongst the most wholesome as well as delicious fruits of the earth, and that which I first tasted of here, is their faungidge; it grows (as my companion showed me) in the thickest woods. They search first for the plant, which is a tender creeper, or wild vine that takes hold of a tree or any thing near it, twining round the trunk and shooting into several branches like a vine. I never perceived that it bore any fruit, and was surprised when they told me it was the root of this which produced the faungidge; however, instead of digging at the root, they went at least half a dozen yards from it, and struck the ground with the points of their lances to observe where it sounded hollow; and digging there they found the faungidge. The root spreads a great way under ground, and but few of the branches bear the faungidge; so that it would be to little purpose to trace it from the spot, where it appears above ground.
The first I saw was not much less in bulk than one of our gallon runlets; it is red and very smooth without, and the coat is as thin as parchment; the inside is white and has a milky juice; it eats as soft as a water melon, but has no seeds in it; it is both meat and drink, very wholesome, and always eaten raw.
The verlaway is of the same species, and in all respects much like it; with this difference only, that the skin of the latter is thinner, but so tough that it must be pared with a knife. There is another kind, called the verlaway-voler, which is reckoned unwholesome: I once saw a man, who had tasted some of it swell immediately, and was ready to die; but by giving him some melted fat to drink, he brought it up and soon recovered. This verlaway-voler is easily known, for it is much more beautiful to the eye than the other; and the leaf which springs from it is very different.
The next day I was extremely diverted : for deaan Murnanzack did not leave us as he did the day before. In the morning, we saw a bull alone in the midst of a large plain; the deaan, by way of amusement, ordered us to stop, whilst he and two more drove my cattle toward the bull; who no sooner saw them, ihan he roared and tore up the ground with his horns, as if he expected some enemy to oppose him; but finding they were cows, he showed an inclination to be better acquainted with them. The deaan and his companions hid themselves under cover of the cows; they let them graze a little, and then drove them forwards, till the wild bull was amongst them; as soon as he put his nose to a cow's tail, deaan Murnanzack, concealed under another w's belly, stuck a lance in his fank; away he ran with it, but not far before he had another in his side ; and now they had room for the sport they aimed at, which was not unlike (as I have been informed) the diversion of a Spanish bull feast. Several, by this time, joined in the chase ; he ran nearly a mile outright before he stopped, and turned to his pursuers ;