OSTRICHES IN THE DESERT 309
' Camelopards, perhaps ?'
' No; although not a bad idea, yet they are ostriches, and chance has thrown a splendid chase into our hands.'
' Ostriches !' cried Jack and Fritz: ' how grand !'
' However can we catch them ?' cried Ernest.
The ostriches were rapidly approaching ; I ordered Fritz and Jack to go in search of the dogs, whilst Ernest and I sought some shelter where we could hide. We threw ourselves down behind some large tufts of a plant that grew among the rocks.
Jack and Fritz now returned with the dogs, who, from their wet coats, had evidently been taking a bath somewhere.
The ostriches were now within eyesight, and I could distinguish three females and a male, the last easily recognized by the long white feathers of his tail. We crouched closer to the ground, and held our dogs close to our sides.
Luckily Fritz had brought his eagle, who was now trained to do the work required of him, and I began to see that our success would depend on his obedience. I told Fritz to hold him in readiness in case he should be needed.
The ostriches soon became aware of our presence —they appeared to hesitate in their march ; but, as