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Baines had arrived in Grahamstown in early March 1848, looking for opportunities to travel into the interior and he soon joined Liddle, of the Commissariat Department, on his 'recuperative' expedition to the Colesberg vicinity. The expedition left Grahamstown on 15 March, 1848 and returned in June. This was Baines's first real African journey, on a colonial horse with Cape wagons drawn by oxen. His journal describes the following two sketches, which were taken at Fort Beaufort at the same time as the sketches (now in the MuseumAfrica, Johannesburg) for the coloured lithograph 'Fort Beaufort and council of Kaffirs', published in Baines's rare Scenery and events in South Africa (1852) : 'While sitting after breakfast under the veranda of the inn, retouching and finishing my morning sketches, my attention was drawn to the head and shoulders of a man moving quietly along at about half the usual height of his fellow mortals, and, as he approached and the garden hedge no longer concealed his limbs, I perceived that, though apparently well formed, they were of child-like proportions and unequal to the support of his otherwise athletic frame. Crossing his legs, therefore, in Mussulman or tailor fashion, he introduced his hands beneath the straps of a pair of shields or sandals, synonymous I believe in the Kafir tongue, and raising his body from the ground, swung himself along as fast as most persons are able to walk. Of course I prepared my tablets for the reception of his likeness but, having rather injudiciously prepared my sitter, could only induce him to remain by the promise of a further gratuity, which, when the sketch was finished, he received with gratitude unbounded, and equalled only by his anxiety to decamp and put the coin in circulation. By the advice of Mr. Molony, a relative of my friend, I entitled my sketch the Beaufort beggar, the only other professional mendicant being an impostor, which this poor fellow certainly was not, and I was informed that, by the small holes in his ears compared with the larger orifices made by the Fingoes, he might be distinguished as a Kafir.
Groups of Fingo and Kafir girls in picturesque and becoming dresses, the chief articles of which were a skin wrapped about the body so as to form a kind of petticoat, fastened round the waist with a leather thong ... , a cap likewise of skin, and, beside the fringe already mentioned, a strip of dark material, either cloth or leather three or four inches in width and many feet in length studded with knobbed buttons of glittering brass, hanging carelessly over the left shoulder, and bearing gracefully and easily upon their heads bundles of firewood far exceeding their own bodies in size and length, furnished me with occupation for the remainder of the day. And my proceedings, as I afterward found, were watched with much interest by the Hottentot females of the establishment, who questioned their mistress as to my object in putting people's faces in my pocket, attaching to the operation some idea of witchcraft, and taking care to keep themselves so well out of my way that I had no little difficulty in obtaining the smallest service from any of them.' (R.F.Kennedy (ed.), Journal of residence in Africa 1842-1853 by Thomas Baines, Cape Town, 1961, I, p.40).