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This naturally gave me a greater desire to visit the native territories, and, being young and full of energy, wishing for a more active life than farming, although that is active during some part of the year, I arranged my plans and made up my mind to visit these unknown regions, and avail myself of such opportunities as I could spare from time to time to go and explore the interior, and collect such information as might come within my reach, not only for self-gratification, but to obtain a general knowledge of the country that might eventually be of use to others, and so combine pleasure with profit, to pay the necessary expenses of each journey. ... The difficulty was, there were no maps to guide me in the course to take over this wide and unknown region; I therefore determined to add that work also to my duties, and make this a book of reference on the Geography of South Central Africa, and so complete as I went on such parts visited, as time and opportunities permitted, as also a general description of the country, the inhabitants, botany, and other subjects, and incidents that took place on my travels through this interesting and important part of the African continent, and so cool down a little of the superabundant Scotch blood that would not let me settle down to a quiet life when there was anything to be done that required action; for we know perfectly well before we enter upon these explorations, that we shall not be living in the lap of luxury, or escape from all the perils that beset a traveller when first entering upon unknown ground—if any of these troubles should enter his mind, he had better stay at home. ...The first thing to be done was to apply to an old friend, living a short distance from Maritzburg on a farm, who had been on several hunting expeditions, and returned a few weeks before, with his waggon-load of skins of various animals he had shot with his and his sons’ guns, which he spread out before me—one hundred and five—six lions, four leopards, seven otters, eight wolves, fourteen tiger-cats; the remainder made up of gnu, springbok and blesbok, and a variety of other antelopes, all shot within one hundred miles from the northern and western border of Natal, over the Drakensberg mountains, besides a heap of ostrich feathers of various kinds—a goodly bag of a seven months’ trip.