Journals

Second Journey (MS 107/1/1-2)

24th November 1777


transcription

[24th November 1777]
24

hebben van den nagt zeer kout gehad zonder vuur z:o: wind
egter niets vernomen, waren nat door den dauw.
vertrokken zodra den dag aanbrak, al z w t z aan zagen weer veel coaggas, en noes, ook tamelyk springbokken en enige weinige bontebokken, quamen na vyf uren distantie op onse vorige plaats van stefanus smit, zagen aldaar vier vellen van ossen dewelke door de vergiftige pylen der bosjesmans even na ons vertrek gedoodt waren, hebbende zy met nog vier beesten de vlugt genomen, ook hoorden wy dat zy by enen krieger ook in dese de streeken, vyf beesten in die tydt weggenomen hadden.
vertrokken, vier uren z z w na de plaats van andries peter burgers, waarna wy nog dezelvden avondt laat op de plaats van tjart van der walt; onse beste schutter, arriveerden.
hebbende den gehelen dag sterk gereden, zo dat enige paarden flaaw geworden zyn [in margin:] zagen dezen morgen een zogenaamde spoegslang hy was omtrent drie voet lang geelbont de kop blies hy sterk op zo groot als een ey. schoon het lyf zeer dun was hy scheen my toe iets na een brilslang te lyken
hy liep met het hooft opgeheft die by my waren waren bang om by hem te gaan zeggende dat hy op drie tret venyn uitspuugt het welk zo enen enige krab heeft zo erg is als of hy byt, zo als van het paard sprong om hem dood te slaan was hy in een gat gekropen. zag ook een groot versch zeekoei spoor dwars door het velt, hy moet zeker 6 a 7 uren ver. gaan om, by voor hem, genoeg water te komen.

translation

[24th November 1777]
24

We had it very cold tonight without fire. south-east wind. Heard or saw nothing however. Were wet though with dew. Departed as soon as day broke, continuing south-west by south all the time. Again saw very many quaggas and gnus, as well as a fair amount of springbok and some few bontebok. After a distance of five hours we reached our previous camp at Stefanus Smit's. There we saw four ox-hides from animals that had been killed by the Bushmen's poisoned arrows shortly after our departure. As they fled they took a another four oxen with them. We also heard that during this period they stole five cattle from a certain Krieger also in this region.
Departed at four o'clock south south-west to the farm of Andries Peter Burgers, after which we reached the farm of Tjart van der Walt, our best shot, late in the evening.
We had ridden hard the whole day with the result that some horses were exhausted. This morning we saw a so-called spitting snake. It was about three foot long, a variegated yellow. It blew its head up to the size of an egg. Although the body was very thin it appeared to me to look something like a spectacle-snake [cobra]. It moved with its head raised. Those who were with me were afraid to approach it, saying that at three foot it ejects venom which, if one has any kind of scratch, is as bad as being bitten by it. Just as I jumped from my horse to kill it, it crept into a hole.

Also saw a large fresh hippopotamus spoor far out in the countryside. It will certainly have to go 6 or 7 hours further before it reaches enough water.