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'Tween Snow and Fire, by Bertram Mitford 1

'Tween Snow and Fire, by Bertram Mitford
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Title: 'Tween Snow and Fire A Tale of the Last Kafir War

Author: Bertram Mitford

Release Date: June 19, 2010 [EBook #32896]

Language: English
by BertramsetMitford
by encoding:
and Fire ASCII
Hodson of London, England




The buck is running for dear life.

The dog is some fifty yards behind the buck. The Kafir is about the same
distance he the dog,
is striving which
right manfully to maintain; not so unsuccessfully,
the considering
speed of two legsthatagainst
he is pitting
that of eight.

Down the long grass slope they course--buck, dog, and savage. The former, a
game little
steinbok antelope
species, of the
takes the ground in a series of long, flying leaps, his white
tail whisking
defiance. Thelike a flaga tawny,
second, of black-muzzled grey-hound, stretching his
utters in
nothe wakeasofwith
sound, his arrow-like velocity he holds on his course,
his cruel saliva
dripping eyes gleaming, his jaws
in pleasurable anticipation of the coming feast. The third, a
fine, well-knit
naked young Kafir,
body glistening from hishead to foot with red ochre, urges on his hound
with an occasional
encouragement, as shrill
he coverswhooptheofground at a surprising pace in his free,
knob-kerrie stride.
in hisHe holds
hand, a for use as soon as the quarry shall be within
hurling distance.
But of this there seems small chance at present. It takes a good dog indeed to
run down
with an unwounded
the openveldt beforebuckhim, and good as this one is, it seems probable that he will get left.
grass slope they course,Downbut thethe
opposite acclivity is the quarry's opportunity.
to pointed
touch groundhoofs
in seem hardlyflight of their owner. The distance between the
the arrowy
latter and the pursuing hound

Along a high ridge overlooking this primitive chase grow, at regular
intervals, several
One of these circular
conceals clumps of
a spectator. bush.
The latter is seated on horseback in the
very midstloosely
dangling of the in
scrub, his feet his hand closed tightly and rather
the stirrups,
gun--rifle andround
breech of a double
rests across the pommel of his saddle.
There iscompletely
himself a frown upon his face,
hidden, as,
he watches intently the progress of the sport. It is
evident that
interested he pleased.
than is more

For Tom Carhayes is the owner of this Kaffrarian stock run. In that part of
scarce, game
owing to isthe
presence of a redundant native population. Tom
spares no is an ardent
effort sportsman
to protect and the game upon his farm. Yet here is a
and restore
Kafir running
his very nose. down
Small awonder
buck under
that he feels furious.

"That scoundrel Goniwe!" he mutters between his set teeth. "I'll put a bullet
nigger his cur,within
and lick
an the
inch of his life!"

The offence is an aggravated one. Not only is the act of poaching a very
patch from
crime ought
in said
an a
advent of


this new enemy, executes a rapid double, and thus pressed back into the very
jaws of its first
alternative but topursuer hasthe
head up novalley as fast as its legs can carry it.

But the new hound is fresh, and in fact a better dog than the first one. He
presses thethe
needs not quarry very close
encouraging and of his master, who has leaped forth from his
unleashing immediately
For a few upon
moments the pace is even, then it decreases
. The buck seemed doomed.

And, indeed, such is the case anyhow. For, held in waiting at a given point,
a thirdtodog.
be let slipisifthe
Such necessary, is
Kafir method of hunting. The best dog ever whelped
is not
or quitepower,
staying equal, toeither in speed
running down a full-grown buck in ,the butopen
by adopting
veldt the above means of
hunting in relays, the chance are equalised. To be more accurate, the quarry
has no chance at all.
On speeds the chase; the new dog, a tall white grey-hound of surprising
endurance and speed,
the other, lashed into againing rapidly;
final spurt by the spirit of emulation, not far behind.
The twowith
hounds Kafirs, stimulating
yells their
of encouragement, are straining every nerve to be in at the
The buck--terror and demoralisation in its soft, lustrous eyes--is heading
place. forlatter
the spectator's
raises his hiding
piece, with the intention of sending a bullet
through the first
come abreast dogposition;
of his as soon as
shallbarrel will finish off the other.

But he does not fire. The fact is, the man is simply shaking with rage.
utter his teeth,
inability to hithe recognises
a haystack at his
that moment, let alone a swiftly coursing
The chase sweeps by within seventy yards of his position--buck, dog, and
Kafirs. Then another diversion

Two more natives rise, apparently out of the ground itself. One of these,
springy,himself erect
quivering with aholds
motion, peculiar
his kerrie ready to hurl. The buck is barely
like yards distant, and going

"Whigge--woof!" The hard stick hurls through the air--aimed nearly as far
ahead offrom
distant the the
quarry as the latter
marksman. Thereis is a splintering crash, and a shrill, horrid
shape, writhinga reddish brown
and rolling in agony upon the ground. The aim of the savage
has been
buck's true.
legs areAll four ofand
snapped theshattered like pipe-stems.

The two hounds hurl themselves upon the struggling carcase, their savage
snarls mingling
half-human yell with
emittedthe by
the terrified and tortured steinbok. The four
Kafirs gather round their prey.
"Suka inja !" ["Get out, dog!"] cries one of them brutally, giving the white dog a dig in
butt-end ofthehisribs withand
kerrie, theputting the wretched buck out of its agony by a
blow on the with
The hound, headawith the same.
snarling yelp, springs away from the carcase, and lies
Were beside
angry To
He his
and fellow.
his Their
and flanks
derive run,
to though
sight their
forms tongues
are and
resting toglaring
be hungrily
may from
With atoward
down the
hehis down upon the offending group.

and the veins stand out in cords upon his powerlessness. countenances wreathed in a sneer of hate and defiance. there the "Go the his white and away. seated breech ofon hishis gunhorse. convulsively. pure House first ainyelp. delivered half in Boer Dutch. daring he soon and impudent becomes alive to his mistake. for although the frontier short of was practically a state of war. and all four close up in a line in front of the speaker. sinister cast of countenance. muscular frames repulsive with red their ochre. Goniwe?" he cries. has a startling Kafirs effect. which meant that the civil law still held sway certainly claim and would its vindication to the full. The him before he could draw trigger. The speaker even advances a step. All contemplate absolute himand unconcern. This overand thethe veldt swaggering insolence of Suka the !" . no attempt to rise from their careless and squatting posture. one. theprice of shooting act would entail one very ugly consequences." welling The gets shadow Go whether Usually wretched with up. scoundrels and he whom by has fourcaught black red-handed in the act of killing his own game! The through hisposition is uncontrollable well-nigh intolerable. aof and command Up Sarili. Butwrath there runs a vein of caution. is "sheer life a is flash dog away. half in the Xosa language. accident--in great. lies goes sneering feebly the other his toGreat piece: itself. To be defied and bearded like this on his own land. was his is applied spoken. It only needs the application of a spark to cause a magnificent by the Hlangani. not We cussedness" atand the have this with white a talked the enough "AuFate--or dog ["Get of juncture protecting report. shifting. Their demeanour is insolent and threatening to the last degree. ! But 'mlungu it will "Shoot not away. their naked. Now that Kafir his istall tracks itswhether flare-up. 4 But if he imagines his unlooked for arrival is going to strike terror to the hearts of those poachers. assegais from as hishe doeshand right so. words. There are scarcely ten yards between them." The purport of this menace is unmistakable. tones. "What the devil are you doing here. ribbons. Two of them. itinwas little not actually so. including his own others The herd. Were he to act upon his first impulse and shoot the offending hound.CHAPTER ONE. between himsoandas their to stand dogs.seem fellow-countrymen His equally ready for action. from away. his to his left--leaving the former free to wield an ugly looking kerrie. spring The other suddenly to two their feet.] away. The train is laid. and you. "Get away back to your to hide flock at once. were he to come off victorious of at the them dead. Two ofandthem theyare arearmed four towith assegais and all four carry--in their hands the scarcely less weapon--the formidable ordinary hard-wood kerrie. his utter flushed face as The he realises Kafirs. he would Kafirs have wouldbut beone uponcharge left. The whitethe grips man. kicking Chief. savage stand motionless. are already make standing. withthe half-concealed and contemptuous grin spread across retainerthe in broad countenance no wise of his tends to allay his fury." This speech. ofaonly itleaving hound great its imagines Am master employed Isinks not thebegins intoward to slink a dog. or I'll Here. "Whau 'mlungu!" ["Ho! white man!"] cries the man whose successful throw has brought down the barbarian of herculean quarry--a stature and with an evil. abarbarian master's toowithout much man !"through he last offor even cries the That who word spark has Carhayes. Carhayes is beside himself with fury. blood umlungu mine? out. be only a dog that will die. They evidently mean mischief. Gettan outyour of the light you two--I'm going to shoot that dog--unless you want through yourselves the charge instead. Moreover. For a moment or two the opposing parties stand confronting each other.

CHAPTER ONE. 5 circular wound behind the shoulder. the others pause irresolute. barrel full at the tall savage. "Stand back. Before themselves theyshout. dragashim from the widening the distance between himself and them. who is still remaining advancing whose towardsdemeanour threatening him. latter upon is too quick for him. theveldt if not . and and formidable aspect seems to warrant even that The extreme step in self-defence. Surprised. A kerrie hurtles through the air with an ugly "whigge. thus defeating any attempt on the part of his enemiesastowell saddle. Jerking back his horse's head and driving the animalin to both rearspurs. The poor beast has run down his last buck. the from a deadly kerrie would have stretched the rider senseless. Had he followed rapidly succeededupinblow seizing it. But the dead. a warning can recover close at hand. face throw a new light on the . the great to Kafir. Like the crouching leopard crawling nearer for a surer springadvances glide. and makes a quick clutch at the bridle.] The train is fired. half cowed by this unlooked for contingency. he causes and plunge. creates a diversion which seems likelyoftoaffairs. [Commonly known as Kreli--the paramount chief of all the Xosa tribes. dropping his piece to a level with the chest of the foremost." Carhayes Blindhis discharges with fury. Kafir falls. moves "The another step firstbewho shall served the same as that brute of a dog!" But the Kafirs only laugh derisively. you curs!" he roars. They are shrewd enough to know that the civil and law he imagine is still dareparamount. with a sudden the horse's head. not fire on them.

and the concussion of the close him. do" you Baleka hear--quick--sharp--at once. Thisaway is mywith `word." for it[fool]." said a voice at his side. I know you. their assistance as though should bewaiting to see required. with clotted blood. Of his wound the Kafir took not the smallest notice. "Anyway. .CHAPTER TWO. perfect roarraising his voice of menace. anyway. "I am Hlangani. with an anxiety could in his faceconceal. Then. whothe is swift to strike. deeming discretion the better part to of valour." Gcaleka. a manman of the House living am Iofafraid of? Behold me here as I stand. vented earth one's of Eustace.What Gcaleka." is scowlingly habitually his mind the good . and we'll lick them within an inch of their lives. you home. or I'll shoot the lot of you. His three countrymen halted irresolute distance--a respectful a little distance. He stood contemplating thebitter of two white hatredmen with a scowl deepening upon his ochre-besmeared visage. to aeyes blazed like live coals as he pointed to the and his shot wounds now black and inhideous his shoulder. thought Carhayes with a sneer--in the background. or you're dead men!" "Don't do anything so foolish. fresh " Baleka.Baas! [Master.' outrun every other his breed--who hunting dogcan in the land. Tom. the son of Ngcesiba. We are not at war--yet." "Baleka[Run]. ifYou have slain my dog--my white hunting dog." he continued. to latter Hissuddenly staggered left shoulder was streaming with blood. Buthisthefeet. arrest "For God's sake. if he spoke: Then "Now hear my words. Shoot again. Eustace. for then you would not have wounded the sleeping lion. "And I'll kill four!" was the infuriated reply." replied the other quietly and firmly.' his compatriots. Evendischarge his would-behad stunned slayer looked somewhat relieved over this turn which he had affairs to thank hadthetaken. The Kafirs. here.hooded anger of the nor have aroused snake. foul firstaof have sneer meand cut I'll This ascarry shoot off theone it for it is better to yourdead. "YOU HAVE STRUCK A CHIEF. "Don't shoot again. not altogether which he he walked his horse over to the prostrate Kafir. we'll give these fellows to a royal good three--that's thrashing. Ha! I am Hlangani. blood. even as the wind outstrippeth the have [Umlilwane: "Damn is turning my shed word." "We'll do nothing of the sort. you dogs!" cried Carhayes." "That be hanged!" came the rough rejoinder. remember. and a hand was stretched the aim ofout theasthreatening though to piece. too. of his even steed point beneath blank. and for plunging thishorse. the to his myHouse Keep "Little companion." had for of are athe better chief." He looked as if he meant it. are two Come along. for it is difficult to shoot straight. denunciation. inyou memory.with a restive let alone the additional handicap of being in a white rage at the time. Umlilwane--bear "Look . clear of crawling ox-wagon.aof right temper.] hand What the having toAnd hand. even though me--better foryou youdoifnot youknow did.] You have already killed one man!" they said significantly. 6 CHAPTER TWO. he have isidenge continued. judged it expedient temporise. fond next said load You of time Carhayes. one. bestowing up had you this better fall buck-meat with nicknames. the last of ! Hear my `word. enough Weodds. and youFire"--Kafirs Gcaleka. lose man referred short savage. who had taken the opportunity of slipping a couple cartridges into hisofgun. you Umlilwane--shoot dare. its House than onbearer's stalked now. theofblood "we me. struck a "This chief --a .Hau again. you whom the people call Umlilwane.

straight. Meanwhile you have won the enmity and of every Kafir Ncanduku's in Nteya's locations. Carhayes. fair of shortness beard. Yet never more utterly dissimilar. Tom. lines distant. and the Gaikas on this sideIare quarrel. "And by the way. southeast half atmosphere. as he said. "No good. anmen hump-like spring were intersecting locality Kaffraria. but the firm set of his lips beneath the thick. whose a priest vocation involves profoundly varied an intimate and acquaintance with human nature in all its chequered lights and shades.CHAPTER TWO. and a petty chief under Kreli. "I'll clear to some out." three days "Oh." interesting.made Now. and silence. heavens opposite green theline Far at will was away over Ocean--while slopes golden. as I am always telling you. waswhile slightly the taller lacking of the massive proportions of his cousin. shut up croaking. excessively "Hang it. surethem. distant there." snarled Carhayes. From plains The the forest of column the transparent. plains. eh?" "Perhaps. Have some better sport than buck- hunting then. unless an inarticulate growl could be construed as such. persons evenspace. On the contrary. contrast unflecked the to the about the alternating sunlit the against still spurs and rolling. hides. that's all. I wish to Heaven they'd I'd takeonly start it out this precious of some of their war. that this game- preserving mania you--costing is costing dear. in and across ochre of balmy ridge straggling mimosa-dotted grey indeed. but itslight up with normal a expression was of that impassibility which you may see of countenance upon the or a lawyer of intellect and wide experience. the Beneath--against as blue and pure eye invigorating aof inFar I take such an interest in them of late. one sohowever. them here if from now. Eustace. was the broad. red Kafirs. It strikes me you know these black scoundrels rather well." us. indistinct day and the of showingriding. It was a blank. and aset the neck. lazy. on this side of the river anyway?" "He's a Gcaleka. young. game can't "Kafir locations exist side and by side." growled Carhayes. the two They weremen rodecousins. upon that of rarely. whatever. Carhayes made no reply. Not that there stupidity was aught stamped or woodenness of thereon. cattle So of the direction still. The otherand two. trek other part of the country where a fellow isn't overrun by a lot of worthless. I like them. there were moments when it would rare attractiveness. especially since I have learnedAnd easily. walls dark floated so . No good. certain forth his choleric disposition at first glance. with a whole location of these black scum not ten went on. I suppose. I suppose it is. upon along inhabitants ridge." rejoined the other decisively. were two men partners. the older by a matter of ten years." know to take up his "H'm. ofwhite sweep of acloud.face Milne's and would well sethaveup. haze--the their azure vivid away could savage rising and of kraal their over the as Indianawander pleasing in lying wine. on the grass was or smoke their air wide two on barred land was of which labyrinth clothing were marked this and melted the bydales airthe early intervening theand of the that into of two discernible. who the deuce and is this what sweep is he doingHlangani. faintly ahigh aundulating panorama red farmhouse light. though. to talk theywith are them pretty On the whole.miles as hefrom mythe placed door?" he of the unfortunate steinbok on the crupper carcase of his horse. Eustace." "So do I. inby of the the the aawith the mile low grassy single green opposite the the hills. man. of was just forty--but hisonpowerfully the wrongbuiltside frame was as tough and vigorous as in the most He energetic was rather adays goodoflooking his youth. and as regarded their farming operations. Doesn't it ever strike you. But there may be no war after all. I wouldn't give ten pounds for our two hundred pound it meantpair of breeding leaving ostriches. 7 of my trying to preserve the game. Kabousie was here voices The many kloofs. What a queer wonder what onchap youhas earth are. puzzled But Eustace the keenest character reader. I find them interesting. distant on in these two.

if not the to a positive dozen Kafirs indrought. figures framing of its the picturesque barbarous inhabitants. the boy.though were spread over nearly two. miles It wasoftheveldt flock in charge of the defaulting and contumacious Goniwe. but eleven hundred. waitIf until you you get him--and the sheep--safe home this evening. its more thanIf you givehe'll likely him leave beansthenow. or picturesque looked upon them about as them.nothing was To the elder. made up a scene of which he never wearied.CHAPTER TWO.indeed! straggling In twos and threes. "For Heaven's sake. "Wait--wait!" urged the more prudent Eustace. To collect the scattered men mounted sheepa was to the labour two of no great difficulty or time. to drive off a dozen or two to Nteya's location. however. whole flock inand thewon't veldtcome back at all--not forgetting. elastic of their conversation drifted to the ears of the two white men almost soits catch plainly that they could burden. We fear he regarded the beautiful rolling plains better or worseveldt foraspurposes so muchof stock-feeding. of a large. they came in sightStraggling flock. and children. andout theinlazy line hum at a brisk. To the younger of these two men the splendid vastness of this magnificent panorama. having caught a glimpse masters. As for so far from discerning anything poetical the foreground. "I'll rip his black hide off him. cresting the ridge at that moment. As if to emphasise this last idea. don't give yourself must lickaway again. however. and was apt to resent the continued and the glorious vault above unbroken blue as likely to of lead to an inconvenient scarcity of rain. noteworthy there or attractive about it. of course. moved ten or a dozen Kafirs--men. and with a stern injunction playing thetofool Goniwe not to a second be found time." There was reason in this. who. he hada the mind of a thinker. and Carhayes acquiesced with a snarl. forstock Kaffrarian though at present farmer. They stepped pace. women. Carhayes ground his teeth. the pair turned their horses' heads and rode homeward. in clumps of a dozen. ." drove And his spurs into his horse's flanks. 8 hillside. and a poet. a philosopher. and in clumps of fifty. of the approach might be descriedof hurriedly his two collecting his scattered charges. with fell intent toward the offending Kafir. he number of black scoundrels making their way just that to the nearest drunk canteen to on the proceeds ofget the barter of skins flayed from stolen sheep--his own sheep among those of others. I'll teach him to let the sheep go to the devil while he his gripping hunts ourhe reins bucks. numbering the animals.

the dappledpauses and her kloof. for the savages were believed preparation fortowar. out the tostoep and the for calfthe stalks return away ofto her thehusband huts. theleft-- upHeslope. and cousin. peace thereinwas just then the little mindofof its inhabitants. as a background. moving And anintoshe the mass of voices hoek occasional for kraal. They blended cooing of ring with doves. Aand high veranda stoep ran round three sides of it. And beyond these. or disputing some the possession unexpected dainty with of a tribe of long-legged fowls. rays ere in a flood of effulgent glory. The hillside is streaked coming down right count for witha .theswaying soft.the woman. jet and snowy the glory withof inflated throat. 9 CHAPTER THREE. bore him no They. frail enough. restful upon many a mimosa spray. and the is merging intoredthe pearly grey of evening. throws Eanswyth ------------------------------------------------------------------------ was there very fleecy and of hisisbeautiful. rearing himself to his full height. the plains of Gcalekaland. whose outfeathery the vivid boughs drooped upon the cool water. there rolls out in the great loudly enough on the evening air. nearer to his western bed. her the fold. rose Kabousie the green Heights. for their good will part. of the Gaikabecause location. spotted necks. the care ofNominally a small Kafir theyboy. They of thefell dam. on the right. then. Round the house a dozen or so tiny ostrich chicks were picking at the ground. The homestead comprised a comfortable stone dwelling in one story. too. the having Carhayes red kerrie no backs. clamourous sheep isbynonplussed. a quarter of thea century ago. with these their bright little. EANSWYTH. up the onin him with the gate. raising erect soon expectant. Yet soft and peaceful as was the landscape. eyes.its owner got on but poorly with his barbarous neighbours. behind and the fun the sheep miniature kraals with mud and three or four of building boon companions. upon nightly around. spurs ofascent A gradual the of a few hundred feet above the house affordedand rugged a splendid view Kei table-topped of the Hills. arebut underthe little black rascal--his master being absent and his mistress hearted--prefers soft associations of yonder group of beehive huts the congenial away there kraals. or hungry in. She was verythere Baas tall to . involving aofrepetition massacres of the isolated and unprepared settlers such as characterised similar risings on happily. of search rolling his fiery eye in an adversary. a few miles rising ground. for the Behind. a and hides moment. the even the aherd the white. chicks are left to herdso the ostrich But the volleying boom of their male themselves. tawny. andfluffy balls. shade of yonder rugged and bush-clad kloof. causing it to shine like a sea of quicksilver. dipped the sinking sun. be in foractive a concerted and murderous outbreak on a large scale. onlying the placid belowsurface in the kloof. commanding a wide and lovely view of rolling plains and mimosa house wassprinkled built onkloofs. down enclosure. either. Nearer. ridge tolow then appear kept But greets comes drives together. or winging their way to swiftly their fromroost evening the mealie and they lands seemed to impart a blithe gladsomeness to the mellow shout echoing from theof the coolhoopoe. Anta's Kloof--such was the name of Tom Carhayes' farm--was situated on the very was This edgeunfortunate. white or brown.around looking thrown face. throwing out long slanting darts bringing of golden to a close. and the huge bird may be described his in allplumage. former occasions. kaross deftly secured ItThe stood streams shut . taller. mellower afterglow light. carriage arrives a cloud of manyThen cattleatlooks of causing a its responsive dust--guided. Quaint enough they looked. distant. and apt to come beak ofoffany badly at the rooster truculent spur or who should resent their share of the plunder aforesaid. smoke rising from with manythe ablue clustering kraal. calves.CHAPTER THREE. parent. last. green of the They brought willows. the sweet African spring day. And now the flaming rays of the sinking sun have given place to a softer.

Further. and forthwith Eustace had sailed fair for theofCape. wife. and. as well as from the insatiable and universal scandal-mongering love in inherent ofhuman nature. moreover. Well educated. justification. which too. many an otherwise dull and four unoccupied years of marriedhour of her life--frequently left. conveyedattractiveness. had devotedof the few years subsequent on leaving college to "seeing be owned theheworld. her studious After three years her husband's cousin had come to live with them.CHAPTER THREE. Eustace many Milneyearswasolder just than his the reverse of this. ample timeof forher life. turned Alone? to for she was childless. grey eyes. and were the other have something Eanswyth question absence said bent flock. straight glance of the large. had Tom uncommonly master same. toCarhayes was a prosaic and rather crusty personage. he was but three or four years her senior. Yet by no of means a mere animal or flower-like beauty. character arching in the brows. thanks salutary storing of a to mind eagerly open to culture. even tempered. about shoes uneasiness there intensity. certain it is that Eanswyth herself evincedand effect. had been Carhayes. shades removed from black. gone but Carhayes the intoconjunction after feel surrounding very by to count word vaguely all wrong was sorry it or in. chose. When she had married bluff. non-appearance of to of send grey herself. was on have no the not use a with veldta . having been hard hit by a couple ofmoreover thinking very bad that seasons. altogether noted individual anxiety She husband and return for felt further the in as inclined of devoid and who the for return the the Eanswyth cousin." monotony. for who her thewhich came fear herd with of We we to the should enlighten that have not. that their ownerthere wasnot would indication be lacking in tact or fixity of purpose. overtures he had his cousin to enter into partnership with the latter in his stock-farming who at that time operations." and it must had managed to see a good deal of it in the time. was in hand. evolvedPossibly the the itself from rumour disappointment of its originators. a shade of watching of She the her of or the The man. who was nearly fifteentoyears gone hera senior. andstrongly in the serene. and the presence in the house of his cousin. 10 its straight. afforded indulging her tastes. for Eustace Milne was . somewhat unlucky. We fear that--human nature being the same all the world over. even in that sparsely were not inhabited locality--there wanting some--not many it is true. herthe calm. cultured.mean about circumstance. who moderate was possessed means. at first sight. uneasy. no indeed sort of more indication to that than one of the aforesaid acquaintance eventually came to envy To contentment. when of very attractive he manner. two qualities Her hair. headsnice no such thisidea rumouroccurred. But tiring eventually made of thetoprocess. would more cheerful make for Eanswyth. whom thanks to his known proclivity towards punching never reached. and of it she possessed a more than bountiful supply. was not with oftothe hint. was one of those which. hot-tempered Tom Carhayes. for with all his faults or failings there stood As and now was reassuring being prolonged Nor she there was growing in sillynothing crooked-minded stood the her was absence it. thoroughbred features. being imaginative. but had been educated in England. ordinary an impressionand of more than this impression further acquaintance never failed to develop its into a realisation rare loveliness. This. amount capitalHeinto hadthe putconcern a and more than a fair amount of energy. live on and stock Kaffrarian had farm. cheerfulof which sentiment she would reply with a expression quiet was cutsmile out that for ashe supposed she and that the restful seclusion. and during parti eminently nearly an eligible a year's residence at Anta's Kloof had shown no disposition to throw the handkerchief surrounding at any fair. as she was. indeed. not to say "blue-stocking. She came of a good old Colonial family. andthe of at two this men time were the operations flourishing exceedingly. her that of of been the began upon its him. whom he knew and rather life a little liked. Eustace Milne. large should flock. those made combined undertake eyes. her acquaintance unanimously declaredBut away. There was marked. usually though found handmany dark. But to of the Carhayes. Yes." shewhether had "thrown herself this was so or not. but still some--who saw in the abovea scandalous wag arrangementtongue somethingover. alone for a whole day at a time--was brightness. agreed.

but all disclaimed any responsibility in the matter. TheButtramp suddenly a sigh of hoofs of reaching her ears caused her to turn. help him. had so far the savages availed were merely to biding save histheir time. andthose magnates were the last men in the world were Some to sideexcessively with. from approaching a wholly unexpected the direction. her. and shot whenbywe himsayonthat such a Kafir loves his dog a trifle more dearly than hiswhich hatred children. house came the two familiar mounted figures. should he against the ever succeed in detecting them.CHAPTER THREE. 11 best of terms with his barbarous neighbours. but so far Carhayes. accompanied by their dogs. He vowed fearful and summary vengeance perpetrators. every excuse for Eanswyth's relief escaped anxiety. and although these qualities life. Bearing these facts in mind there was. and there. had These generally acts of retaliation followed within a few days of one of the broils above alluded to. from their intimidating only effect was to enrage him the more. A thoroughbred of would be found dead in the stable. We have shown moreover that his cholericcalculated eminently disposition to was keep him in chronic hot water. a powerful man But and utterly fearless. a valuable horse cow in thewould be stabbed openveldt to death . full-grown ostrich would be discovered with a shattered leg and all its wing-feathers plucked. He even went boldly to theclaim laid principal Gaika chiefsBut to compensation. the latter. Such was indeed the case. that the damage was due to no accident. others indifferent. sure sign. we repeat. More than one of these dogs had been occasions. Meanwhile they solaced themselves with secret acts revenge. more or less violently. . generally on the vexed and question crossing his farmof trespass. he didHardly a week not come into passed collision that with them. or a fine. theyitcherished follows that the this imperious and high-handed settler towards will hardlywas Carhayes bear exaggeration. or tocivil.

But." she answered smilingly. Those chaps know me better than to attempt any tricks. turning pale." Eustace. Actually squared up to me. old girl. of his woman's Carhayes counsel and undisguised an Rather! example it'scousin nearly Hold inanxiety hethe of expletive would in on. "And you? I hope you haven't been getting mischief. hasn't of doubling ahim. theshe to episode. with a roar of laughter. and I did. I was the brute." "You needn't be--no fear. They're comes to bitingall bark--but they funk off. shouted withwas--alone." was Carhayes' slid from hisunceremonious horse. Had this glorious creature stood in the same relationship more towardsof have dreamed himself he could addressing no "old girl" than he could have of her as carving the silverhisaltar name across which the front of is exhibited once a year in the "Battistero" at Florence. hunt bucks andother in some sent world." "Well. by Jove! right under my very nose. They'd got two dogs.any more Eustace. the kept my shethickest his theown sjambok ?" . matter. I attach But any importance to that? I laughed in the fellow's face and told foul of me him thelikely he'd next time enoughhe fell lose his life-." him thus whenever Where's this have revealing attime. Those chaps were four to one." said Eanswyth anxiously." rejoined Carhayes. "Through both. then. me. andtheschepsels way I put couldn't them help on by relays. every time you"As areit out is. whole should "By "Not. "Didn't I! one of 'em. the dogI had to do it. "LOVE SETTLING UNAWARES." answered Carhayes. you'd calld'you what mischief. Do you think I'm the man to be bounced by Jack Kafir? to bound Notletmuch I'm through daylight not. in real distress. "He's remarks." "Through the Kafir?" cried Eanswyth. I don't know what will happen to us one of these days!" she cried. "Pretty well. think? I caughtGoniwe that schelm having a buck-hunt--a buck-hunt. Icerries at "Oh.CHAPTER FOUR. by just up Jove!inAsk timeEustace. in horror. when Thatit schelm I plugged to-day threatened no end of things. that is." assegais." "I hope you didn't shoot their dogs. Well. didn't Would budge. Hasinto he. brought doubt The byHad selfish aabout this vehement inhehis delicate been it.and that would be worse still for him. said I'd better have cut off my right hand first. old girl. coarseness sheep I'll and make yet. Eustace greeting turned as he his head." defaulter. you see. and how have you been getting through the day. They hadand shied too. because it was better to lose one's hand than one's mind--or do you thinksome such bosh. good dogsthe admiring too. expense theeh?" unfortunate be way. don't get scared." "Well. to be in He came at the death. Iinam theuneasy veldt . grimly. of listening left--as was theTom. dark. playing thereply. "WhatNow suppose. 12 CHAPTER FOUR. almost said these so often Eanswyth. he and three other niggers. I only `barked' to the nigger. I rode up and told them to clear out of the light because I intended you to shoot believe their it? they dogs. and the faintest shadow of away contempt flitted impassive across his countenance. "Through both. for Eustace pretended not to Ihear. nor yet the fine shot they made at the buck with a kerrie. I have. Tom. frowned "Goniwe sure Harry--not accompanied result revolted slightly.

will beI'm all afraid. Did chief meditate somethemore Gcaleka subtle and hellish form of vengeance than the ordinary mere who by blood contemplation Yes. even if. And it was a strangely worded You had one. alone here now for the sake of fifty Toms. to the stable and give him a feed--and be with you in a minute. . Carhayes clapped spurs to his horse andrecover kloof to cantered hisaway sheepdown the and execute summary vengeance upon their defective herd. I for if Tom comes across him in his run away. Surely. I wish you'd go. canDoactgo. frightful cousin. roundNow. For Eustace had been pondering over Hlangani's strangely worded threat. I think not. as Goniwe hasissloped. and flinging the bridle once more across sprang thesaddle. Hedangerof fall yearhow sign loved The whiledid spent had hanging he purpose philosophical her words he he with beneath betrayed was seemed over allalive. there was an arriere-pensee underlying his words. "What if Tom should meet veldt and with anywith quarrel Kafirs in the them." humour he will half kill the "He won't come across him. and I certainly shan't think of leaving you alone here to-night salvaging forsheep a few the sake of or less. shapeItofis a riding-whip. back in atWhy natureCarhayes interpretation--and minded flow madly strong of Eustace pleasant. and haven't I'll seen my just take anyone horsesince. her." but the bulk of them "Still. hazards. Don't think about me. There isn't a chance of it. present boy. of He will getting intohave no opportunity hot water. detecting a veiled significance in his words. or sea-cow hide. right. for it is better to lose a hand than . the to Eanswyth. better " have cut off your right hand.through social does he at thecome the For beautiful nothing felt bare he the there the one loved blood wife at all. I don't in the least mind beingone only leftwho alone. 13 [Sjambok: A whip. imaginative. as You are the a check upon him.CHAPTER FOUR. of and intercourse--never But his halves. had set to work to puzzle it out. not unlikely." As a matter of fact." With a spluttered exclamation of impatience. and you can easily bring them in. but Eustace Milne.. Besides. "No. Tom mustnot I'm take caretoofleave going himself youfor once. "Do go after him. keen-witted. this least. "Coming. On that point you may set your mind quite at ease. and I fear he will get himself--all of us--into almost hopesome terrible Goniwe has scrape. during of blow to aThis by and.] He dived into the house." she pursued anxiously. easy. Look here. I don't think we ought to leave Eanswyth all alone. heart." Carhayes one's mind had dismissed it contemptuously from his thoughts. "Certainly not. Nothing at all. into the horse's neck. deaf to his wife's entreaties and expostulations. made out of a single piece of rhinoceros. Eanswyth. her. keen-witted. We must make up our minds to lose more some. as he is sure to do?" "He won't meet any. the man his to carry raging same hebear itworld secret--at ofresolved the out? Byso roof--nearly abandonment just cool. at even- all was a year of he a striking imagined. armed himself formidable with the rawhide whip in addition to his gun. tapering atinthe generally thepoint. love to his that had with Milne. him? nearly word should one ifor aso." "Why! Have you heard anything fresh?" she queried anxiously. that he was middle-aged loved no commonplace for dearest yet such blood. Eustace?" he cried.. Haven't been near Komgha for ten days. Eustace. The sheep can't be far off. and.

like a bull. on the sceneWhy of the fray that morning just in time to intervene? suggested delay of a few his evil angel. cosily as at table. "Perhaps I am. chances Tom blundering of war not entail? Carhayes running his head. Then. But in reality his thoughts ran black and "Tom." she said with a rueful smile." "Then why are you nervous at being left alone?" was the very pertinent rejoinder. of his she thoroughly nervous the offence--for He here which own returned. And I'm really not in the least afraid for myself. varied wasforifindeed aaIGcaleka." "Are you? Well. Eustace was conscious of another turn of the had hespear arrived in the wound. in one or even or other farm of Tom's. torture old answered was protectors. his a perfect maskfineof impassibility. What It was the all "Tom" deuce hadand Tom done to deserve all this solicitude--and how was it appreciated fortunate object? Not by its a hair's-breadth. makeOne of us a point ofmust being around the house while the other is away." aout" that death grizzled Kreli's his by Josane towards by white she acountry witch-doctor. cattle-herd those not looked more morning?" likely accused "Inarrowly prudent upon should tounder throw said as ofbe an course Eustace the escaping his in intelligent trustworthy tenhis hypothetical two times lot and cousins. "Not on my own account. But now it seemed answered--that thatbeen he had bothbrought were there for a purpose--to from protect the fearful herconsequences entailed by the blundering ferocity of him who should have been her first protector-- to andsave her from terrible fate. and while. It is only that solitude gives me time to think. I am always imagining to frightful grief inTom somecoming form or other. Why don't you go down to the of other Colony and stay the towns. What in his might the Blind. I have been getting so dreadfully nervous and low spirited of late--so different strong-minded to the I used to be. at every stone wall--were war nottenfold increased the chances of such a man as this? And then--and then--? against No man could be more unfitted to hold possession of such a priceless treasure not hold as it. as she rose from the table and to look stoep out went for anyoutsignon the of the absent one's return. expectation of the gambler who sees fortune brought within his reach chancesbyalready the potential strongturn of favour. when with one more and leave man. He was balancing a knife meditatively on the edge of his features plate. 14 was a question he had been asking himself for some time past? Why had he stayed. were The he he ifwas. Kafir persuading urging some habitually who with years He that by held you awas whom meted deprecatory very previously. But look here.CHAPTER FOUR. think Eanswyth. I think I can undertake to promise that you shall not be left alone alwaysagain. "I am creature becoming quite frightened to be left alone. of fierce expectation set on the foot by intense a single thought."bitter. minutes. the totherefore adopt post thing he outwas of tothe this thereby smile. this--argued the man who did "Confess. I don't believe the Kafirs would harm me. some Surelyimpending this was sufficient answer. .and. until things are settled at that again?" "I won't do that. latter hewhy hateddidand he despised stay? Forhimself the on account of his miserable weakness.." The other did not at once reply. Then a wild thrill set his pulses tingling--a thrill of joy. The I"Would said and horrible had countrymen "Iwere don't had been Josane tothink itfled forms tell "smelt dowas against from you anything itof would. you oughtn't I really to go on staying here at present. Eanswyth. that you are very glad I didn't take you at your word and go after they wereTom.. They were on the eve of war." said sitting Eustace.

in a world apart where rich none of shroud might intrude. I don't believe the Kafirs would do me the slightest harm. of that he made mental oath. molten lava raging within--and to do so would be ruin--utter. "Whatloom not is you. Eustace? I have asked you a question three times. arm. I--I--suppose I was thinking of something else. as it of were." ." aAway hand brutes was upon in thethe the and sheep?" savage But difficult the his distance. outside the very world. darkness the them--Eustace began to wonder if he were around really all.worship you--adore you! Apart from you. come what might. Do you mind asking it again?" The strange harshness of his voice struck her. the hisvery in lips. and quickly rejoined her.well for both of them--that darkness stood himthe in friendly such good stead. Again those wild. I love you--love you-. 15 right away. "A good idea. and beblazed through his brain in letters of The words flame. senseless lout who now stands dull. Eanswyth. visible sheep into have suddenly. He could see every feature of that sweet.CHAPTER FOUR. I want to get another pipe. blank! Who. no harm should fall upon her. to any hopes which he might have ventured to form. his wasthink she Tom teeth.soft beauty alone. The rich. again! very that?how of the He far. is worse is thethan a sodden. Then as they walked side by side--they two. that turn it rose especially unuttered. breathed of the the chirrup of the cricket." Look! far do mountains fairly setyou heListen!" answered. laying finding location." she suggested. he had He notcould hardly actually feelthem. blackly "You would exclaimed "Well see. The even. up into soon. and. between all heavenus? and Forget earthhim. Itthe wasstoep a lovely night. he checked reply toHe'll apparently drive. and now and again theadeep-throated of bull-frog frombooming croak anemphasising adjacent vleiits stillness. "I asked The "Tom" "Oh." He went into his room. fairly maddened him. never fear. Southern night. warm and balmy.night African balmy zephyrsaround. "Shall we walk a little way down the kloof and see if we can meet Tom. The dark vault above was so crowded with stars that they seemed to hang in golden patches. dark. . Whatthat here without would life be worth presence? Well. and you haven't answered me. wasand began of a wild thrill of delight at her steadfast conscious refusal. "Eanswyth. in the are theto Gaikaride before slow-moving starlight. uttered sure "What is the matter. It was well for him-.lifewhat.ruin irretrievable endless. to me!"darling. modulated that within a yard of his ears. Just half a minute though. raging fires surged up to the surface." Eustace. as I said before." "I really beg your pardon. said nothing as he fill to rosehisfrom theHetable pipe. slipped a "bull-dog" revolver of heavy calibre into his pocket. having superintended the clearing of the table by the two little rather role Kafir girls who indifferent filled the joined him on handmaidens. though he had every reason to suppose the contrary. musical exquisitely tones of voice. alone the in the sweet. Themade of flesh pent-up forceand of blood after his self-contained and concentrated nature was in sore of dangerforth pouring of breaking the firesits andbarriers. patrician face in the starlight. alone together in the darkness.

half chant.CHAPTER FOUR. . hideous in menace. "Oh. ejaculated turning pale in the starlight. At the same time there floatedchorus--a weird forth upon the long-drawn wild. frightened I really Thatam quite noise! It terrifies me!" hideous Well it weird chorus strikeWell might dismay into the hearts of its hearers. muffled roar distantholding as of fiends thunder--a highclamour revel--and still the wild chorus gathered in volume. wild cadence shrilled forth. half howl. faint and distant. There were those who were then sitting on the volcano--a verge mere of a in the midst of a vast. now in dirge-like notes wail. the fierce. "There is something horrible going on to-night. miles away. asits blood-chilling it cleft the dark stillness of the night. "What can they be up to at the location. eerie melody. though manybut yet distinct. let us turn back!" cried Eanswyth. for it was the preliminarybattle-song storm--the rumble of the coming of the warlike and now hostile Gaika clans. The deep-toned thunder note within the burning heart of the volcano isfire portends of and terrible ruinimport. There was a faint. dullywas in relief as that of a furnace. for it and widespread death. there suddenly shown forth a lurid glow. Eustace? Can it be that they have risen already?" Eanswyth. 16 heart of them. night a strange. teeming population of fierce handful and truculent that savages. The V-shaped scarp of the slopes against stoodwhich the glare. The reddening glare intensified. now of demon-like andinmerciless swelling exultation.

or to obtain a surreptitious lick cooking-pot. the deep bass of the men blending feminine treble. On they are mounted kicking their shaggy little ponies into a headlonginto starting gallop. gathering from would-be them stands the with out. round bellied. That something unwonted is impending here to-night is manifest. Snatches of war-songs boisterous rise upon assegai the blends hafts air. some mounted. singing. bathing in a parting flood of red andhills rolling goldandthe the round spurs ofclusters straggling the of dome-shaped huts which lie dotted about for order the avalley couple inofirregular miles. isthe follows made huddle fence plunges and evoked in The terrified upon than together theforward slaughterer infence the itcattle is moreover first. andover each dogs everother on thein their prowl to pick up a stray bone. minglesand grease with thatinseparable kine pungent odour fromof every Kafir kraal. blood. or now and groupagain wouldtheturn heads in of a whole eager scrutiny of the surrounding . To this point all eyes are now turned. All rise to their feet to receive the newcomers. drivers assegais. mingling the wholewith placethe low of seems to cattle. andwith the rattle of the barbaric melody. such is the be teeming case. has shotandhis by lastthe fading ray upon the stirring scene. About the huts squat other groups of natives. and busy with their household whether of the culinary affairs. The excitement in the kraal itself intensifies. the kraal cannot have thousand men. toplunge now blood. Then. 17 CHAPTER FIVE. The sun has just touched the western horizon. clamourand the deafening of voices is hushed in expectation of a new diversion. Still. andtheir queer shaped. For strung veldtout upon the hillsides in twos and threes. with aNo heap. a run. beady-eyed children tumbling romps. flower bodies shining while like theirinlords. in opening with outside. kraal gatesWomen step the full pails on their heads. to crowd of follows. animal They of oxnoise assegai. some afoot. every direction converging upon the kraal. byThe lowered steps half theA by weapon. pouring in from all sides.CHAPTER FIVE. and atovertheallinterior of a the never-ending flow of voices.those whointo leaping are the not. women also smoking. for the language and voices of rhythmic the Bantu races melodious. Indeed.the into andzinc thepails metallic risessquirt of liquid rhythmic above the deep hum of the monotonous chant of thethe forth from milkers. whose dark space. sooner arm shout and the stabbed Move upraised. . is now forms of its horned denizens. or now and again venting a shrill From and ear-splitting far and near--from whistle. or nursery order. new hand. The are bluealikereek of wood-smoke rising upon the evening air. reim set to work to catch a fresh cow--for among Kafirs milking is essentially man's work. THE WAR-DANCE AT NTEYA'S KRAAL. Each group of huts owns its cattle inclosure. scent seen athird back the dozen heads. or in parties of ten or a dozen. There is a continuous hum of voices in the air. but withall the clearerand pleasing. their ochre- balancing smearedpots. A narrow poor by Quickly air. opening cleardanger. Kafirs hisbacking which lurking dimmed with and In enter. come a great number come: those whoof Kafirs.air.contained far short of a Near the principal group of huts stands a circular inclosure about fifty yards in diameter. men smoking pipes. whom is greetedeachwithgroup of shouts of welcome. come fresh time the sunarrivals. and with human life. It is milking many-coloured time. fence bristleAbove the great thebranching thorn horns of oxen. onAnd theythey are all armed. with suddenly and dead. for this collection kraal--or rather of kraals--is the head centre of Nteya's location and the residence of that chief himself. Men would start suddenly fellows and gaze from beside their expectantly out upon the approaches to the kraal. come. aThe broad-bladed beast scenting tosecond another moaning move. vain is fall away like position An and their ox is turned forward and reddened result. flashes emitting beasts isand thethey togoad stubbornly in the the will theheart not. exchanging indabaangular [Gossip or news]. refuse muffled. girdled with a strongwith filled thornthepalisade.

The air is rent and with savage clashing bellowings of horns. the fire. In former days. fiends. brandished.CHAPTER FIVE. their up make brooding becomes are incontrollable turning byweapons the upon to toas very rest.they drag the Assegais are plied. in their uncontrollable excitement. oxen They areout rush driven together. One turns suddenly straight and headsbellowing hideously. Men. circular andofeven as .as whistling a pin cushion like with pins. make fires.animals course each beset by amadly crowdthrough of armed savages whose dark. But it cannot last long. of their wild encountering high. together. and soon the huge joints are reduced to strips of half-raw champing flesh. the bullocks disjointed is reduced heap of flesh toanda bones.with falling are aflung highthud lifeless in the air. Soon the mad fury of the chase gives way to the nauseous accompaniments slaughter house of a In an incredibly short space of time. the spectators outside.bellowing frenzied and the airofrings with the and the wild shouts of the pursuers. thereand air. staggering beneath huge slabs of quivering the meat. hundreds of beating their song. thefuriously charge their tormentors. When employed on such a scale as above described. each the inthe raised hills. scattering the crowd right stream and left before the fury of their rush. foam the of and pantomime Kafirs warriors is wild quivering and the at ledthe ainrattle beasts. their terror giving huddle way to a frenzy maddened brutesofturn rage. of hafts and upon key its pairs with by is excited are the atheir of echoed final Worked seem slaying kind feet air. A thunder scene threatening off leap wild lips join of toaand of ravaging war-song in. There still remain upwards of a dozen within the kraal. crashing among through the fence panic-stricken in a body. Like magic the crowd parts. then choragus taken . Hence it was looked upon as a preparation for war. together closer still. plying the deadly assegai. feast--the It is like smoky flareaof the great fires--the mighty slabs of red flesh--the fierce. After some trouble two through. a hungryimpatiently Kafirs gleam in theirwatcheyes. whole rising earth and other mad unwonted the points itself roaring louder they more gathering volume Thetremble. milkarticles the staple and of diet. assegaiand wailing eyeballs for rises with Weapons time blood. hardly waiting until it is each warmed meat fromthrough. each of on a large scale. The great joints frizzle and sputter over the red coals. the savages dart in and fleeing out and beasts. meat was very sparingly eaten among the Amaxosa mealies beingraces. legion the excited rhythm and becomes fierce the the eyeballs. but of these not one can be inducedthey Panic-stricken to pass out. an start Roused feet--clashing chorus toof keeping then back upimaginary toof falling from byfoe. The dustandflies the in clouds from the rumbling earth as the frenzied round thecreatures inclosure. until at last. Squatted around. then. Then ensues a wild and stirring scene. sockets. tear round Two andKafirs.the fierce may beimpetus seen toof spring alongside. feet. the pursued. the dogs. of hefts time. and thrown over the feasters' shoulders voices indulgence glows formation. and weird ofthrough savages rolling of aof kraal louder. go the and the stimulant. the infuriated the village. among the the red firelight gleams upon assegai points and rolling eyeballs. avoiding their charge. Yelling. is athe whizz poorof assegais beast in the crashes earthward. Their great horns lowered. stir. 18 Another opening is made on the opposite side to that of the first. agile forms. as hum of the savages throw all their energies into the assimilation of their unwonted cannibal meal.] At length even the very bones are picked clean. stimulating effectitupon had a curiously people habitually almost vegetarians. one falling by the hand of the lurking slaughterer. Then. bristling with quivering assegai hafts. afirelight a"Ha--ha--ha!" regular degree andthe the into the copious dark. theroasting morsel.ofand of hundreds theof jaws around each red blaze takes the place pairs of the deep bass conversation. around--the gleam dark figures seated of weapons in the firelight. leaving theirtoway the dogs to and quarrel over an abundant repast of snarl steaming offal. less agile or less fortunate than their of the fellows. assegai an and Then once excitement. [The unwonted meal. death the otherof at the assegais meeting a speedy the spectators. bullocks theforth into the open. for its pursuers.

rattle of the hideousThe roar and goes up to the heavens.CHAPTER FIVE. 19 in the background a number of women have formed up behind the dancing warriors and barbarity with of the more latter arethan all the playing at beating out the brains of the wounded with knob-kerries. look truly devilish in the red firelight. The excitement fierce savages seems to haveof the reached a pitch little short of downright frenzy. . of the sweetbounding. leaping. cleaving the solemn performance silenceThe night. Yet itthey For shows havenoeaten signsmeat of abating. African perspiring shapes. .

forward liketheir thosedark forms of so manybent crouching leopards. Hear betumult mustye race Again this. His scowling sneer. Hear myof the word. A group of chiefs advanced within the circle of light. HLANGANI. and the fierce. flamesonsin theof red Gcaleka will be the slaves of their former slaves--the dogs of sons of Gcaleka their former only. self-control war-dance. They must go. races the speaker's broken. when Their amapakatiAre But of and drown the [Councillors] wewave barbarians atheir availed the power chieftainship men--I Amaxosa habitually must of to the quell say? asbealtogether. circle chiefs. Thus would us to quarrel. our slaves to ours. the Kafirs awaiting whatrested was to follow. the cowardly Amafengu (Fingoes). THE HERALD. square armletheofcarried hand solid ivory.CHAPTER SIX. concealed the latterhair by fantastic nearly adornments.Heabove worewhich waved a tuft of plumes from the tail wasof the blue nearly crane. andbroad-bladed a large. down our come strong. murderous silence. he wore a thick. rhythm Sinking wasinreduced down to a half-sitting posture. sayAma-Gcaleka for the they. There is in the land they have hitherto dwelt in. until it quivered like a band of"The firelight. 20 CHAPTER SIX. the son of Ngcesiba. quivering with suppressed excitement. this? The Amanglezi! Who would tread upon the necks of our chiefs and place their lying the fetters of and hypocritical creeds upon the limbs of our young men till the collective A sounded to "This subdued. "So they have located our dogs. of House theGcaleka. which looked habitual. naked.dogs. A hum of suppressed eagerness went round the crowd of excited barbarians as this It midst. of into They stopIt fire-water? ofneeded their thefierce are We The frenzied waxing must and all mouthstime The the ofexcitable put has too Amanglezi. their eyeballs rolling in the lurid glow. Not the House of Gcaleka only. may on thea next have land plague to scourge us. was a warrior of savage and awe-inspiring countenance aspect. flowing of cows' On histails leftand arm. for it is the word of Sarili. We can no longer live sideroom no by side.paramount of all the "This is the word of the Great Chief to his children of the House of Ngqika [Or when Gaika]. but allNotthethe children of Xosa. of inwould the floods the ofanew Amanglezi. and he yecontinued: . the Herald of the Great Chief Sarili [Or Kreli]. One shoulder was swathed in a rude bandage. the wild war-dance ceased. red with ochre. the time the Amanglezi has come [English] seek a quarrel with us. "Who were these Amafengu? Were they not our dogs and our slaves? Who are they now? ourdogs. self-contained Are theorator must rising we We hand men?" paused. in his assegai.tufts above the elbow. andHis his body muscular limbs. that our sides continual may be wrung stinging withour flies. man stood forth subsided into ainsilence their that might be felt as he spoke: "I am Hlangani. Suddenly. were decorated with of fringeshair.and thatour wedogs.Our masters!" shaking roaredassegai the broad the which he held. prominent reason among of his themstature towering by and herculean build. the Great Chief--the children ofchief Xosa. that thename pest of maythese be spat upon and laughed at by those who were our these own provoke English dogs. begin low restrain is by suppressed the the breaking They wisdom them latter are turned drunkards? `word' ominous are from roar up of growing our breaking the rattle ranrulers influence nation into slaves and The Amanglezi! through of tooassegai Whoforth numerous. is Who butdoing the House of Ngqika. Who Still dogs--but will they not Not our dogs--not our slaves--but--our be shortly? masters! fierce savage. A little in front of these. eagerly. Lo. the hafts. son of Hintza. and his aeyes glowedoflike headdress live coals. as if by magic. bore an evil. monkey skins.


sons of Ngqika? Hear you this, O Matanzima, warrior son of Saudili, the
Hear Chief of O
this, theNteya--
House ofrace
of thepakati of Ngqika? Hear you this, O Nxabahlana, of the House of the
Chief, you who haveGreat led our bands to war before the very birth of many of
the young
Hear men
ye this, I see before
Maquades andme?Mpanhla and Sivulele, and you, Panganisi and
the House ofof
House of Seyolo
golden of
mouthed in council--in the battle-field flames of
all fire?here
ye gathered Hear ye this,
before me this night--tried warriors, and young men who
have never
children seen war.
of Xosa The
are growing too strong. They must be subdued. The power
of their
Such is chiefs
the wordmust
of be
rulers of the Amanglezi."

This time, as the orator paused, there was no restraining the fierce excitement
of his hearers.
named, who had Each warrior
greeted the mention of himself with a low, but emphatic
"--now sprang
" ha to his feet. No
further example was needed. Again, the wild rhythm of the war-song rose
upon the night;
thunder-roll again
of the theoffierce
tread hundreds of feet shook the ground. Again the
circle of firelight was
grim, threatening forms,alive with in measured time, to the unearthly chant, to
the accompaniment
shaking of fantastic of the
adornments, to the quivering rattle of assegai hafts. For
some minutes
when this continued--then
the excitement was almost at its height, a mysterious signal was given
and the whole
dropped quicklywild
its listening attitude again.

"Such is the word of the Amanglezi," went on the speaker. "Now hear the
word of Sarili,
Paramount your
Chief, thefather,
of all the children of Xosa. Hear the word of the
Great Chief
mouth conveyed
of Hlangani, thebyherald--`Lo,
the the time has come when we must unite
in the strength
Amanglezi are of brethren.
urging The dogs on to provoke us. The Amafengu are
our very
jeer on young
at our our borders,
men--to to lure
andyoung women over into their kraals that
the very and
debased namedefiled.
of Gcaleka
Not amay
day be
passes that this does not happen. Why do we
not revenge
execute this? Why
a sudden do wevengeance
and fearful not upon these dogs who spit at our
name and nation?
Amanglezi We dare
say: "Your dogsnot.
are The
now our dogs. Touch them and we shall send
be eatenofup"--But,
soldiers and
dareyouwe will
not? Dare we not? Answer me, all ye children of
the racecall
father, of Xosa! I, Sarili,
upon you--I, youryour chief. Answer! Show that the war-fire of
our free
dead. andbeen
It has warrior race is notfor many years, but it is not dead. It is ready to
break forth
lightning as the
leaps fromdestroying
the black thunder-cloud. It is ready to blaze forth in its
its reach.and to consume all within

"`Where is my father, Hintza? Where is he who was lured into the white
then camp by fair
down? Dopromises
I not hearand
his spirit calling unto me day and night. I
father forfor
crying thevengeance.
spirit of myIt is crying day and night from the depths. Yet,
not to meMy
Hintza? only. Whoyet
father, wasnot my father only. The father of all the sons of Xosa!

"`Lo, the white Governor has summoned me, your chief, to meet him. He has
invited me,
promises to your
visit chief,
him atwith fair Shall I go, that I, Sarili, may meet with the
his camp.
same dealing
father, Hintza?that laidindeed,
I will, low mygo, but it will be with the whole array of the
back. men of the Amaxosa at my
The speaker
from side
a is
upon prepared.
as the
the House
that theoftime
race of Ngqika. Hear my "word" as


crouching in eager expectancy in the red firelight. Suddenly, upon the black
the of the night,
eastward, far awayforth
there gleamed to a streak of flame. Then another and
circle. A subdued
Then, roar rana crimson
as by magic, around theglare fell upon the serried ranks of
fantastic listeners,
panoply lighting
as withupthetheir
light of day. From the hill top above the
kraal there Itshot
red flame. up ahigh
leaped greatinto
tongue of
the velvety blackness of the heavens. Splitting
up intoin
roared many a forking
the air--the flash it rays licking up into a cloud of lurid smoke
which blotted
reddening outThe
folds. the distant
stars inwar
its signal of the Gcaleka chieftain was
"Ha!" cried Hlangani, in a voice of thunder. "Ha! Now will the heart of your
ye Sarili,
proved be glad. his
yourselves Now have indeed, oh, sons of Ngqika! Now have you
proved yourselves
trumpet tongues ofmen, your for the
war-flames are crying aloud--tongue roaring to
tongue upon the wings of the night."
With the quickness of lightning the warriors had again thrown themselves
into formation,
to a pitch and now worked
of uncontrollable up
excitement, the unearthly cadence of the war-
the rose into a fiendish
of the demonroar,dance and
rolled and reverberated among the hills,
while frenzied
grim, lighting up the fierce
figures in its array of glare, the huge beacon, high above on
the hilltop,
upon blazed
the night forth
in all sullenly and destructive significance.
its menacing

Suddenly, as if by magic, the mad orgy of the savages was suspended. For
advancing into their
midst--fearlessly, very contemptuously, even--rode a solitary horseman--a
white man, an Englishman.




Every eye was bent upon the new arrival. With a quick, instinctive movement
the savagesEnglishman.
foolhardy closed around the was a scowl of deadly import upon each grim
face. Hundreds
poised of assegais
with a quiver were eagerness. The man's life seemed not
of suppressed
worth a moment's purchase.
"Out of my way, you schepsels
!" he cried roughly, urging his horse through the sullen and threatening
crowd,of armed and excited barbarians worked up to
as though so many hundreds
the highest pitch of
blood-thirstiness were just that number of cowering and subservient slaves.
"Out ofismy
Where way, do
Nteya? you Nteya,
I want hear? the chief. Where is he?"

"Here I am,umlungu
[White man]. What do you want with me?" answered Nteya--making a rapid
peremptory signalandto restrain the imminent resentment of his followers. "Am
I not always
should breakhere, thatme
in upon youin this violent manner? Do
I goand
to your
ride up to the door and shout for
you as though you were stricken with sudden deafness?"

The chief's rebuke, quiet and dignified, might have carried some tinge of
humiliation to
overbearing any
and man less than Tom Carhayes, even as the low growl of
hardly arose
which contained
the throng might have conveyed an ominous warning. But
thrownthis manYet
away. bothit were alike
may be that the very insanity of his fool-hardiness
but a momenthishis
doom Had

"I didn't come here to,"hold
an indaba he shouted. "I want my sheep. Look here, Nteya. You
have put me off very cleverly time after time with one excuse or another. But pagadi
this time youI've
[Cornered]. arerun you to earth--or rather some of those
of yours.
That young villain Goniwe has
driven off thirty-seven of my sheep, and two of your fellows have helped
him. I've
your spoored
location them right
as straight as a into
line. Now?"

"When was this, Umlilwane?" said Nteya, imperturbably.

"When? When? To-night, man. This very night, do you hear?" roared the
"Hau! The white man has the eyes of twenty vultures that he can see to follow the
on a dark of thirty-seven sheep voice--and a great shout of derisive
cried a mocking
crowd. went
the wholepreserved
savage his dignified and calm demeanour.

"You are excited, Umlilwane," he said--a faint smile lurking round the
better his mouth. "Hadinyou
and return thenot
morning and talk things over quietly? Surely
like awould
boy ornot forget yourself
a quarrelsome old woman."
If a soft
And shaking
I tellhe
he forth
I have
to keep
an would
notI move.
to this
Are scene.
"it, is

But the word of a Kafir chief There is law was no to his that disputing followers. turn as he will cometosoon. strife it is not by angry words. But Hlangani mixed unperceived among the herecrowd. but I suppose our growled. Assegais flashed in the firelight. half-senseless he lay. greatest and that. The chief's receding eye was figure." proceeded mounthe his horse. with the despatch. well. Now go. With weapons still uplifted. Thus was the spark applied to the dry tinder. the warriors paused. say. But a stern and peremptory mandate from the chief arrested each impending stroke. and amid ominous mutterings and an unpleasantly of suggestive weapons towards him. "Rise. return here are here. sinewy and in ahands gripped moment the was flung violently to the earth.beIfrestored your sheepto you. Umlilwane. I." Sullenly the crowd fell back. Would hands of your you Be enemies? play intoIthe wise. he would much space be wise as possible between himself and that sullen and warlike gathering. and becoming alive to the very sinisteronand expression themenacing countenances of the other Kafirs. andshall they talk. Then catching the malevolent glance of Hlangani. your chief. a number of armed savages night. "If they are here!" he repeated sullenly." went on Nteya. The crowd surged forward. None followed him--at the moment." Carhayes. And soon. by twos and threes. while it is yet safe. still half-stunned by the violence of his fall. In the evening. and go in peace. standing over the prostrate man and extending off his arms the deadly as "Stop. it's the old trick again.shaking he rode away as he had come. "Damn here!" it. "Rise. stole silently moving swiftly forth uponinto the the retreating horseman's track. Carhayes Stunned. they he blazed are forth in a fresh access of wrath. thoughmyto children! ward I. But even protected by chief's that safe to put as conduct. In the morning. "Stop. too. staggered to his feet. And the momentarily dull. degree of prudence to say essential. when heads are cool. A dozen bridle. my children!" cried Nteya. Be wise in time. decisive mandate. command it. your father. whispering and a word a word there. whentothe well blood is provoke heated. was "Well. with eyes hanging hungrily like tigersupon their balked chief's face. blows. None followed him. The crowd parted to make way for him.of their prey. It seemed that the were unfortunate numbered. Theupon his"word" had been given. 24 eyes of the savage flashed with terrible meaning as he waved his hand in the direction of the foolhardy Englishman.flashing fire brooding glare aloft of the upon the signal hilltop fell redly upon that fierce and threatening sea of figures prostrate bodystanding over the of their hated and now helpless enemy. even he began to realise that some not desirable. . settler's Another hours and a score of bright blades would be moment buried in his body.CHAPTER SEVEN.

love the mind from brooding indeed. mark rush the the night--alone them. with a smile. A restful calm came upon her. they are holding a big war-dance. do you suppose. through thethe of distant." "You are quite a politician. not. in the second. This "But sort of funit's hasnothing new. Seated there in the starlight. Surely he wouldn't join in "You are correct in your first idea. His calm. "Here stoep is a always on the very out-of-the-way phenomenon-. "Surely he wouldn't harmrising. interesting deeply He only experience. to allay or avert the evils husband's which hertemper and ill-judged violence had thickly gathered ungovernable around there them. that we are simply laying the train for a war with race. The thunder as of they theregained wild war-dance floated across the intervening miles of glare of many space. bone-- there. "You ought to put up for the Native Secretaryship for Affairs. with hundreds of excited and now hostile their savages weird and performing clamourous war rites but a few miles away. strong judgment had presence kept matters time past. asHe of with to hethe was could to the sat her great the A strong." said Eanswyth. Andcould unclouded. anxiously." said Eanswyth. unearthlywentchorus far to reassure echoing her. "ON THE ROCK THEY SCORCH. This man beside her was asAnd strength." "But Nteya is such a good old man. theought trouble Chiefto be settled before it goes any further. eyes--could sweet. by Kreli. 25 CHAPTER EIGHT. savage butorgy." "What are they really doing over there. refuse to join when called upon The Paramount. in silence notthe his brain seething. lacerating the consumed overcame that only lustrous He peril his was be that it judgment compared alone glow him nearly him. himself? in fires moment hopeless the which half ofstarlight--even amid passion Lucky. We may as it out. been going It's only next doorbecause we are.we hear it to-night at all. LIKE A DROP OF FIRE." was the reply. Eustace?" said Eanswyth the house. of clear ofclear even physical arm a whirlpool. or any other subordinate chief. drawing up a couple of cane chairs which were . The the darkness--the glare of the fires. Hestraight had been forthea long one to pour oil on the troubled waters. We are rapidly making Kreli in re suchthe and a hash of affairs Fingoes over in the Transkei." any us. and my opinion is that it could be. and His outline of voice.her beside Now. thundrous conveyed clamour no terrors to this strong-nerved and philosophical saw in them a companion strange andof hers." he said. threatened. The position was sufficiently woman terrifying alone there save fortoone anymale protector. which forcould her him. He the with love--his for cane the delicate what her--her chair--a molten. concealed see ofFor profile Eustace her jagged sole raging atface that protector. Howthe whole can Amaxosa Nteya. as hecontemplating calmly sat the sufficiently appalling manifestations that would otherwiseof thathave night--manifestations driven her wild with terror--she was conscious of feeling hardly any fear. "I'm afraid there's no mistake about it. a very thentower cameof over her a consciousness--not for the first time. had command His still pain--mind hand fallen he soft felt habitually misty clenched words--not between African nothing triumphed. to Nteya's so tothat location say. turned and nail. some of communicated thattounconcern itself her." If Eanswyth had been rather alarmed the like of which we might not witness well seeagain in a lifetime. his or . but stronger it--of howthan she hadhis necessary ever felt was to her. away his protruded. the other's perfect unconcern wild. on at the different kraals for the last month.CHAPTER EIGHT." "Let us sit out here.fires and luridly the mistyoutlined the distant mountain slopes.

dear. One life only. . what does it mean? What does it all mean?" cried Eanswyth starting up from whiteher chair. "What morealoud in snapped easily his than the cord of a life?" The tumultuous thunder of the fierce war-dance sounded louder and louder upon the distant night--the fires glare reddened.this time. that thebordered cool-headed.CHAPTER EIGHT. Thus passion you towasseems to thataright. Their find toIput overmaster extent softness eyes that." "I will try. Yet she belonged to another man--was should thembound part. What if Tom Carhayes had comesheep--and missing upon the spoor in his of his rage had followed it right into Nteya's blind location?into straight Might heofnot a den as well lions? Thewalk savage Gaikas. the war-fires of the savages gleamed and burned. at her side." ininaupon astrained. then another and another. signals of "Don't be frightened. safe in that firm protecting they stood. after a while. Even of thatatone thatlife very moment might the cord be snapped. you to some though. frame Then ofman. "One life!" they seemed to shriek brain. 26 Yes. between him and such bliss should be athat the whole bright worldparadise! One life! A legion of fiends seemed and golden to wrestle soul. Suddenly a great tongue of flame shot up into the night. when the flaming beacons "You must hadbeattired length burnt by to death low. restful. most represented ecstatic moment the that life had ever afforded. andofthen the glowed forth afresh. and to one of these Thustwo that isolated position in the midst of a brooding peril sweetest. "We had better go in now. tone he least frightened starlight--met before answered. time be hardly less dangerous than so many beasts of prey. gazing forth upon the gushing fires. take my word we must for take it. the face ofemotions--that with conflicting the one stormyof the other calm. They thus but for one life. To-morrow. gnashing chorus. a words. could hardly restrain himself from throwing his arms around passionate her and storm pouring outloving of comforting. wildhe yearning that had in it something of the murderer's fell gazepurpose. there is a something about you that everything There "Ah! choked. Why could together they not always? be could. The forth distant had tumult him But until what if death death had already parted them? What if she were so with thought bound no longer? a fierce. upward into the gushing redly velvety darkness." said Eustace. wound up to the highest pitch of bloodthirsty would at such aexcitement. their another allowed torrentlips. From threatening a hilltop beacons the red flashed andtheir message of hate and defiance. as though for physical support Thus theynostood. but in a voice from whichtrace every even of heemotion. He had drawn his arm through hers and the strong.herin you?" in the the But Milne. reassuring her fears. the dangerous words Yet. utterance which belonged indeed life of his should stood seemed mad totoabetween part man these two. "Onewithin the man's life!" they echoed raging in not Eustace met doinhim. You must have some rest. Ittouch seemed seemed to him to that dispelshe leaned upon him. he could now. safer place than this is likely to prove for the next few days. less than theirforfigures mental. "Do you know. Eanswyth. Thus they stood. could not"You banish shall come to no harm to-night. of the and A weird savage orgy silence lay upon the surrounding country." he said reassuringly. were dilated wild and there standing horror-stricken. and it won't do to sit out here all night. upon theaswild he strained hissavage hostility. harsh. the tenderness--a forth clinging philosophic. Eustace." she answered. brooding "Oh. with Her face fear--her waseyes. the unrestrained unnatural gaze--then softness had thathiswas in voice.companionship. pour long. the anguish of his mind was so intense as to be akin to physical pain. And still upon the distant hilltops." She made no answer. impulse his ofand--a she mind. silhouetted in the dull red glow.

were "For Heaven's sake.. I can tell you." her tohe enter the house. Eanswyth hurried away.anproceeded to give account of the rough usage he had been subjected to. "What's left of him. and his thick brown beard was matted with blood. Eanswyth. or what's left of him!" echoed the loud. "It must beconcealed Tom." "I knew encumbered "Of Eustace halves? courseit would Why turned you it. added escapestriding from that pastsame. gun away on A blow from thehim headbefore with a kerrie--a whack which would have floored a weaker parenthesised man--he grimly and with ill-concealed pride--having failed to knock him off his horse. clean"Then rag.' . had not Fortunately succeededfor in seizing his bridle. byI the again. "Can't you strike a light.the oldliving andschelm our friend of to-day." he repeated grimly. 27 them there and then forever. For her husband spectacle. was covered with blood. "The chap who tried it on dropped under my stirrup-iron. He must have followed. parrot his wounds. thesudden darkness wasbythe a assault that they had succeeded in snatching he could use hisit. living That scoundrel Nteya promised I do believe. that. which side ofhad streamed his face from down a woundthe in his head. of and who awouldn't Why coarse- bitter now reappeared necessary be dear. Eh?" cry. They mean war. lest by for prudential rendering it more conspicuous the sight might tempt their savage ugly neighbours. aearth secret "You him. or bind them more closely for weal or for woe. Hlangani--and Matanzima. or at any rate in retaining hold been of it. or his doom would have sealed. well- known rode upvoice.'--isn't thetold and life and Paradise. stood a the woman `Ibetween And told Kafirs brute you with refreshment. instead of standing there staring at a man as if he had actually by mince-meat been cut infernal those into brutes." to theyretorted to that not this conceal one moment completed hertheof these husband. old Sandili's son. haranguing the rest. Jingo! He'll"Inever `downed' kick him. hatedfury work with Tom. and Sivulele. got up in their feathers and fal-lals. instead of having only had a very narrowtestily. Eanswyth herself fromsuddenly his closewrenched embrace. which up till now had been left in darkness reasons. and a lot of them. who had thrown himself on the growlingly sofa. you this ifset who done you him to was you the so. Eanswyth. shouldn't dog! Therebehemolested. right enough. Hepresented a ghastly was hatless. Eustace?What Anddo in you think I went bangof into the very thick of them. at the same time fervently blessing the friendly darkness which face. What hercan burning he have been doing with himself all this time?" "Rather! It's Tom. Instead of `telling me so. to somein their deed present of violence and outrage. too." explained Carhayes. and-- things `Iso. stealthily about half an hour after leaving Nteya's kraal he had been party set upon inSo of Kafirs.'simply work didn't. hacked andin and cut hisseveral clothesplaces. but run for I want an and `eyeget out some opener' badly. blasting the snarl. A lamp was quickly lighted. grog. One of his hands. humour. There couldn't seven have been hundred less thanholding of them--all six or a big war-dance. "It's Tom!" she cried. and then a half-shriek escaped Eanswyth. he white their days. endeavoured to stabthehim savages with their assegais--and in fact had wounded him in several him theyplaces. suppose had minded hatred.for besides the crack on thehalf least head you see a dozen I've got assegai at distributed about my carcase. A clatter of rapidly approaching hoofs was borne upon the night." stabs Pale and terrified. as the to thestoep andhorseman flung himself from the saddle.CHAPTER EIGHT. don't stand there screeching like an idiotic schoolgirl." he burst forth with an angry get somestamp of the water andfoot. beenfor he said.had come away From did. and bandage me up a bit-. my by water that see that what and a woman's towels you canfor invariable dodressing for a fellow.he the was. and Carhayes." his that cousin aand savage was said ridwith Eanswyth.

forugly as some he was of not lacking in brute courage or endurance. But his wrath burnt daring of hishot against the assailants." anyhow--of said Eustace us drily.. by the living Jingo!" he snarled as he sat sipping his still Eanswyth. I'll go with the scoundrel. lying lot arrested--especially thatpolice myself. "Do you suppose I was going to let these of me?scoundrels I tell you have the laugh I spoored the sheep slap into Nteya's kraal. them were. 28 Tom Carhayes was indeed in a vile humour--not on account of the wounds he had received." "Well. moreover. who had. as he turned away.CHAPTER EIGHT. I will. man!" was the impatient retort. they seem to have the laugh of you now."handcuffed and hauled off to thetronk "What on earth induced you to run your head into such a hornet's nest for the sake of aatfew Eustace last. "I'll be even with them. done sohim robbed treacherously.sheep?" said thinking he ought to say something. and had added insult to injury when by laughing he asked in his face for redress. "Hang it. whoinsolent had presumed to attack him. trembling wounds"I'll withride into Komgha to-morrow and have the wholedog. brandy paleand andwater--while agitated from the various and stirring events of the night. rather. . of his gun. if only to see the old Nteya. had as well as of a number of sheep. rather bathed his fingers.

29 CHAPTER NINE. A horizontally upon the green. himself he resolved as as disagreeable to possible. undulating slopes of the pleasant Kaffrarian landscape--then the sun shot up from the eastern skyline. to horse. in that it acted with bracing effect upon his nerves. off--but however. But he now riding abroad thus early. and tointo treatment incur the bargain. Late as it was when they retired to rest. his bright eye dilated with alarm. and up went his back. sweetness just had for He over now he She had . interruption. after all.CHAPTER NINE. and varying in Little meer-kats. the all the His to along--for contrary. upon theirwith haunches a frisk and a scamper. opennot much veldtcaring where he went as long as he was moving. That of course. squealing. was been world ofhad not. judgment But the throw instinctive athey once mellow ice was the two out passion must it rough had were in warmth. golden brooding dartingperil. But the brute. and like the human heart was deceitful when andinherent to the desperately wicked. weird feel judgment decide that thatas to the in horribly enchantment interruption the one the that pressure sun had of very it Eanswyth's inopportune rose. of flooding those atthe fault brought itself. Unable to endure the feverish heat of restlessness that was upon him. But the tussle did Eustace good. had withdrawn fearful. for his rider was as firm in the saddle as aowned moreover bullet ainstout a cartridge. He with the rider. It is alwaysworse rather the other thanfellow who a fiend. atmosphere of early dawn. any hadtrivial such little attention sights andtosounds. The day dawned. he the headed for the. No sleep had fallen to Eustace's lot that night. not to say raw. vicious broken. Which. better when with the Again. befruitlessly. and withal was little inclined that to stand morning fromany nonsense man or beast. in offer ordertothat taketheEanswyth's latter might take some much-needed rest. managed to waste five minutes and a great deal of superfluous some roughish energy. crop andand a pair of sharp spurs. Nature is rarely sympathetic. A STARTLING SURPRISE. is we in his shoes we should be something a Were little higher than an angel. Bird voices many awere twittering gladsome into life. and in hisinto owna mind it is to be feared he defined the otherutterly and as a selfish. villainy of hisand corrupt nature was superadded the tangible exchangegrievance of having a comfortable stabletofor the fresh. irredeemable brute. inconsiderate. Plunging. rearing. noiselessly shrank of into the his shell. which land had settled a couple of hoursdown before dawn. clinging be more failed was and alone broken ato great in him truer returned inopportune? gently bitter vivid theat inthan elation contrast words hush at thehis first. justarmour-plated in time to avoid safety probable decapitation from the falling hoof which rollingsent half his protective a dozen yardsshell down the slope.offatiguing as the events the day hadand been. about. Before him the white the upon mist. air his. judgment. his deftly downswung himself again went into the perverse brute's head. exasperated treatment heby hadthe wrongsatand received therough hands of his barbarous neighbours. fair and lovely. upon the night of terror few andrays. now rolled back in ragged folds. and having saddled the animal horse was ahebadly issued forth. Carhayes. lips temperament. give to His mind was fully occupied. make He began by trying all he knew to buck the saddle might. critical hour ofwhich kiss came Thinking the and of. this upon hadsensuous isthings followed He him. still yielded night--alone once Then was the upon result seemed inclined his ithad could toAnd better which come theto almost to now only. nectar soft. excitingthere was no sleep for him. So almost before the latter more successful hadseat. dew--a silver leaving glittering a sheeny sparkle carpet ofof diamond drops upon tree and shrub. A proceeding white heat of which silentlashed Eustace fury. Onmoment.ere satplunging. startled by the tread of thelisten. is mere human nature. his neck motionless. into the safety of their burrows. time--and fear. with the first glimmer arose. Aand distended tortoise. the animalkicking. in a humour exacting thatattention unceasing was trulyfrom his wife and rudely repulsing his cousin's place.note. One of of hisdawn horsesEustace had been kept up in the stable. refractory andsteed having reduced to order.

Byhis no bungling would he risk the game. for quite as he was forced to own to himself. and "Come no farther. one orgy. Yet. scowling defeat the ochre-smeared heart and this effort. Many hardly a word. between Ah. the cried coarse not became oftimes.Then with a frantic plunge he endeavoured to turn and backing. the unlawful love. but--there lay the gulf. himself was on the best of terms with them and their rulers. cards He would with a master play hand. which he plainly foresaw too strongwould sooner for him. reward. for on our andhands directly. was now upon and thenthe the yelp silent of morning air. came back to him now with startling clearness. time. you fool. there a few within hours back freshmind a perfect glow of radiant Eustace's peace. And as though temptation beforeto cast off become too strong for him. the A set. but he soon would. ruthless look came over his fine face. both their his What a very paradise was opening out its golden but-. the serpent was now--his trailabroad a trailinofthat Eden blood. to thescare tomuscular savage Kafirs were the aperemptorily. It was characteristic of the man that he could thus reason--could thus scheme and plot--that the strong side whirl of by hisside with he could calculate chances. snorting trembling violently. state "Stop!" long. why invincible? The serpent was abroad in Eden that morning. he wrenched round it should his horse rode downwithintoaasudden jerkbushy wild and and kloof which ran round the spur of the hill. 30 of that cup of which she had just tasted. At the remembering adornments tolooked rise the out same gleaming time formidable of ofthe the thetanglehis critical master's the of assegai night's enough. He had travelled some distance and now kraals outlying not farofinNteya's front laylocation. Issuing number limbs ofBut threatening horse. the the into and enough barbarous mimosa The totrees. and the faint sound of avoices. The eyes at scales had fallen last--from fromeyes. By no more than a hair's- breadth The had Carhayes savages might on escaped. His elevating. "Never mind! We shall have a big warwar. Butornowlater it grow had overwhelmed him. herbage. countenances of the fantastic seeming rider. There was something of the murderer in Eustace Milne at that moment. theglories barrierbefore them. passion. He was skirting a high rounded spur. map out a plan. Yes. aspect strike the master's were shade of dismay with theof hand strong forms. its glorious Hurrah chances!--Pincher. what the deuce is the matter with you?" For the horse had suddenly stopped short. Here were tools enough ready to his hand.Aand--well. And there gross in hiswas nothing thoughts ofsordid orlove for Eanswyth was pure. grim. Ah. withborne dog.alive theofbrawny. still but fromto hissinuous will bedecked red. Mechanically still he rode on. the next occasion strike more true. for nearly that period. assuredly. he had striven hard to conquer the hopeless. merely alarm. those clansNotof afierce man and amongtruculent barbarians but hated his cousin with a hatred On the begotten other hand of he years of friction. With the most sweet recollection in of butrested his heart. He had not seen her since. With his ears cocked forward he stood. Rising from ainbushy miles front valley not many were several threads of blue smoke. andmaster's his bolt. little finessing--a so far helavish shrank from deliberate and cold-blooded murder. white man!" . there rose the great and invincible barrier.CHAPTER NINE. cause eye ofmartial blades. bodies. that period. "Never mind!" he exclaimed half aloud. that she wasperfect--but bound by for the fact an indissoluble tie to another man. and--she had returned it. For a year beneath thethey samehad dwelt roof. them--and that barrier the life of another! Yet what is held upon more desperately frail tenure than a life? What is more easilyItsnapped life? might havethanbeen the cord doneofduring a the past night. even noble-- her. understood many at the a tone.

"Stop yourselves!" cried Eustace decisively. bringing their hands to their faces as if to hideremark. Ixeshane!" nohe since by hurry. at that I have "Whau Now. coming as it did train so close upon his recent of thought. with a half-amused you. "Fear nothing. It was a critical His Milne. moment for Eustace life hung upon a hair. too. addressing the new arrival. the and "You other. A quick from the whole party. covering the pair with a revolver. bending forwards. He." have exclaimed himself seen and andyou. morning. There was a flash and a glitter. holding out the empty weapon towards them in one hand. purposes man.] the this posture going this down savages. a number men. "Why should I fear?" he said. two Ncanduku. Eustace had played stroke. Kafirs placing heIt walked sank is of ingood his that himself down own. from hint. Look!" He raised the revolver. Ncanduku?" he said. both my friend--both chiefs of the Housemy of friends. are The completely over have a for bold other a happened bush. I fear nothing. Ncanduku seated I Ncanduku. "These armed men. But ahebold--a knew hisfoolhardy men. smile. his"You more." . chose time.mewhom I do not know. deliberately joined while in. and where the "Ithold is He horse nobody a a will interfere with you. "Why me? We doareyour notpeople make war upon at war. lowered his weapon.CHAPTER NINE. "have just threatened my life. I say. Another emphatic murmur rose from the Kafirs at this strange move. Suddenly every weapon was lowered--in obedience to a word spoken by a tall Kafir from emerged who at thethat moment bush. 31 With a rapid movement two of them advanced as if to seize his bridle. the half aredozen cartridges more than twentyinmen--armed. and withal so cool and commanding.nothing." [The Deliberate] he replied." Fear "No harm will be done The slight emphasis on the "you" did not escape Eustace's quick ear." he continued. the brother of Nteya. "I see before me Ncanduku. So determined was his mien. dismounted. "Look!" he went on. that the savages paused ejaculation rose irresolute. littleindaba least in intotheaaWe ifsquatting power toseen dozen you ignore will you . which he now held by the barrel. my friend. I see before me." are of yards sit [Talk. bridle things thus who. replied flinging in and or thethree shade. Yet. "What does this mean. A score of assegais for were poised a fling. Assailants ready and assailed were barely a dozen yards apart. by this the sarcastic grin evoked He addressed shrugged his shoulders. In a twinkling he threw the open theinto cartridges breech and emptied his hand. Then Eustace knew the crisis was past. Ixeshane. home. Do I fear anything?" Again a hum went round the party--this time of admiration--respect. also whom Iofknow." "Au!" ejaculated several of the Kafirs." "Hau!" exclaimed the whole body of Kafirs. "I am long So and was saying. had been eagerly taking in every word of this address. many Eustace. who. Ncanduku. Gaika. I am but one man-- unarmed.Ifully see before armed.

handing his pouch to the Gaika chief." . "Though very I fear the far among contents all our won't friends go here." he said. 32 they were. "First we will smoke.CHAPTER NINE.

33 CHAPTER TEN. watching her cousin duringwith living the year them." he expected to beor inask the Cabinet as Secretary for Native Affairs. emitting a thick puff of smoke from his "They molested "Who bearded are are . of late. of he had effected. But Eustace Milne occasionally. Stay--of anybody? Yes--of one. It may not here be out of place to offer a word of explanation as to the extraordinarily existing between cordial Eustacerelations Milne and his barbarian neighbours. after a few preliminary puffsSikuni and in silence. with its speakers had by this time conversations rendered man of keenhimintellect. had so studied the character of her husband'sit cousin pronounced andflawless. the Eanswyth. genuine liking Of course all this did not pass unnoticed by his white acquaintances and neighbours--who upon were wontintoconsequence. with the And this thoroughness undertook. arejust their Ama-Gcaleka. go returning Kei. A quick marked he everything he soon mastered the rather difficult. and the judgment commanded friendlyheand which disinterested invariably evincedfeeling towards them being once understood and appreciated. on subjects of their within are about the shrewdest debaters in the acquaintance. A student of nature allinthe rejoiced worldready finding over. here. A few of sneer would the more ill-naturedhis cousin among the latter. and instead the of learning Kafirs as so many to look moreuponor less troublesome and indifferent farm servants." The chief shrugged his shoulders. him as an eccentricity look and to chaff him a good deal about his "blanket him when friends. sprang up onaboth verysides. we say. I do not seem to know one of their faces. now They dogs?with are Why afraid. Ixeshane! on they strangers. theand should Amafengu are so they theygo [Fingoes]." .to. Ncanduku?" said Eustace." armed strength?" They why and These to are have travel their men they been in own might all such visiting so country heavily be some across armed? of the their Wefriends are notatatNteya's war. could take chaff equanimity. Many judgment anda tact timeavailed had histo settle matters of serious difficulty and. world." lips. Nottothere the their Amafengu. proximity dwelling and indeedin close in and among. nearly perfect. he could a hold his own in argument with any of these people. but melodious in which long andand expressive frequentXosa tongue.imperiousness hot-headed brought about of byher thehusband in his dealings with the natives. their afraid way Youof? he back know answered. whichlinguist. Living with a year beneath anybody the work-a-day in ordinary same roof intercourse affords the best possible opportunity character of of thatstudying person. A MUTUAL WARNING. the scopewho. And that approval he had gained to the full. actual foemen.CHAPTER TEN. with and as forperfect the approval or disapproval of anybody he regarded it not one whit." kraal. that hadhefelt hadher been regard and respect for him deepen more and more. is"They own trouble country. actual peril. and His coolofdeliberation soundness of speech their abundant respect. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Who are those people. "Except they are yourself all strangers to me. well-nigh had But of this more elsewhere.stock-lifters he had startedand bypotential recognising their many good qualities and resolving the race andto make a complete study its characteristics. the abodes of the white colonists. Eanswyth. "But "Whau armed. tohehis hadhand so promising a subject as this fine race of savages.

Ncanduku. care dance? answered his [Native "Andherds ofwhat his The idiom and the own if and quarrel he Kafir.that whothe have done may English this thing blame us for it. ground. and there was a merry twinkle away in his eye as he turned again. well Eustace aware that was no this was perfectly news to them. kraal`brother' is often colloquially used among [The term Kafirs to designate relationship] other stole his gun. keenly enjoying the notion "Will a fewofFingoes turningattack the tables." Ncanduku. a guest of Nteya's within the very light of the fires of the Gaika location?" "Your brother. the wrongs him surely land "We have toof will Kreli collect are the danced soon friends. "The We into love awrongs should quieter webetween not areyour the of alone. "I would speak alone. for the a tell pause. "That is bad news. Paramount Gcalekas began andhave Umlilwane." struck in the other Kafir.degrees of to kill him. with well-feigned concern. Sikuni. a are hot-headed at times and escape from under the chiefs." It was now Eustace's turn to smile. to the white man they filed off into the bush. "Now trouble then. and soon and thethedeep faintbass rattlehum of assegai of theirhafts voices faded into silence. "Some men are easier killed than frightened. war-fires. Chief theafter the are Fingoes." country. But they did not frighten and tried him. is a peaceable man. 34 The chief fixed his glance upon his interlocutor's face." said Eustace suddenly. "But if akill hundred them orsetbeupon him." answered the chief. "Does a dog wander to the mouth of a den of lions?" he said. nor yet of two. leave." he replied. refuses?" war. is nottoo. that Eustace lighted and speedily.had What if they Everybody met a less peaceable man than myself. Umlilwane." If there is ." "Let your friends proceed on their way." In spite of the conventional exclamation of astonishment which arose from his hearers." The chief assented. What if these Gcalekas Police were to fall there patrol--would in with nota surely be a fight? That might bring on a war. now. the Gaikas the brother. Our "Yet young hemen." Eustace uttered a murmur of assent. tofor can interests. and threatened him as have would they did beenme? There a fight and the white man might have been killed--for what can one man do against twenty?" "He need not have been killed--only frightened. "Last night some people attacked from Nteya's my brother.] is talk "See not tofreely." Xosa towar- take and race. depart Why. I amnot. Ixeshane. and at a word from him the Gcalekas rose to their feet and gathered With up their a respectful saluteweapons. been done by any There mayofhave our been some Fingo dogs wandering about theorder in land. killed he must himself." rejoined Eustace. "But it may not haveIxeshane. and withinyou a low tone. "A man is not afraid of one dog. is too hot-headed.CHAPTER TEN. Then after a pause he said: "To travel in a strong party like that in these times is not wise. whole ishis able bethe flocks dead. theirs. Yet." said Ncanduku. forced to shift younghisman. Butcontrolling Nteya willeye of the surely punish those who have done this thing. people.

in time. indeed. grows And of wordsyour sink darker "But race. If I had the ears of your chiefs amapakati[Councillors] thisandis what I should say: Do not be drawn into this war.your We are sake. the to the wise Kafir. of the police. will treat them as a conquered the people. the the Colony If you make Government will treat you as criminals." he said at length. Governmentthey willwillbeshow them mercy. Seyolo. That when long canyouyou arecarry beaten. and for that. ofdeep every the Let inday. The country is the war? notsoldiers of as it was. other tribes Butthe within you. notis your chief. of the settlers. Your chiefs will very likely fighting men bewill hung beand sentyour to the convict prisons for many a long year. what happens to him. onAnd how Things are not as they were. notnot Kreli." Let courteously will among them not listen said be the theholding trees. dry. Ncanduku. who will turn out with the to besta man--all armed mind. Let the Gcalekas their own quarrel. What can you do with these and your assegais with the against best rifles people in the world?armedI am indeed your friend." turbulent.'] Surely not a man of the House of Gaika would harm her!" The chief shook his head with a troubled expression. few old muzzle dangerous to theloaders shootermorethan to his mark. Queen. thatThink of the will be sentnumber against you. 35 "Then he. [Literally against the In this instance `lady. "Let her go. following larger in party. "What if he laughs at the warning?" "When a man sits inside his house and laughs while his house is burning. fightstand They out upon wholly different ground. will soon be dead. chief the itThey words toofthe disappeared he added. not as a conquered against the people. wisdom. no quarrelChieftainess. But how long can we be so? If war breaks can I sitout between still? our Ipeople I cannot." For some minutes Eustace kept silence. how must fight--must fight for my own race. and that as soon as possible. butyouraschief." his chief and fight "Truly spoken and well understood." . too. Ixeshane. the taken The other's cloud "Go bymythe inwarning. "He must obey for histhe word race andofcolour. then. And now a warning for a warning. wavethere of is no place where the delicate feet of white women may friends. are British subjects. The Kafir's remark had added fuel to the firehis within which was heart. stand For Ixeshane. of tellthe Umlilwane Inkosikazito gather together his cattle and to go. too. and border. and in defence can of our property." rising counsels stirrup peace. forobedience ofthe Eustace their direction and elders. in the long run--the of course. But listen. If they are vanquished--as. Ndimba--no but the war uponWhite Queen. his surprise "Umlilwane is an obstinate man. we remain friends?" How.CHAPTER TEN. "Let her go. burning a direct answer to lurid unspoken thoughts which It seemed had mindbeen surging at the time ofthrough his by the at first hostile party. and the friendgathering warning "The example. chiefs. You have Inkosikazi. Ixeshane up his young my your assegais are Imenmind. Ixeshane?" "He stands a fair chance of being burnt too. war When is rolling thethe over redland. seealways no are and carry thelight." answered the Gaika. rebelsYou will be shown no mercy. to toremember mount. not man of the House of Gaika or Hlambi." "We are friends. Ncanduku. "In war-time every man must do his duty. Ncanduku. Queen colonial Victoria Sandili. And what sort of weapons have you? A breechloaders. too!" he said emphatically.

Why had Carhayes not fallen in with the armed party instead of himself." scornful laughter. Hlangani's wound would have been avenged. Yet now soitmuch as a was different. flutter of a to catch light maybe dress in thetheveranda." Eustace had plenty to occupy his thoughts during his homeward ride. He had very plainly for one of his race. Josane's will And. view. yet this obliged and way InI to anever afew minute. let in--a glowing sweet around hisnew path like a ray of Paradise. and Eanswyth would by this time be free. Eustace! Thought you had trekked off somewhere for the day. sprays flitting of mimosa amongthe fringing themealie lands. ICarhayes never the is there? funked sheep. joined Just I've a nigger him come been outside. "Been lookingmeeting him inofthe up some your blanket friends?" "Where are you off to yourself. Yet did they? How would she receive him--how greet him after the disclosure of last night? thought betterWould she the of it? For have first time in his life he felt his confidence fail him. A new light had been light. to the lastthere are few instances of Kafirs seriously Even in war-time maltreating was white well liked women. a shimmer All seemed of silver peaceful--happy--prosperous. Still behind. yet over all brooded the red cloud of war. say. sound of voices group the picturesque and laughter of native from huts where the farm servants dwelt. I you? as Eustace warning. and upon the the green lowing of thefloated upon the rich morning air--together with the of cattle. round apresently mutter to be my and dear and taken a chap. by such anddusky of her Eanswyth neighbours as she had come in contact with. They Hlangani's were Gcalekas. growl look byafter that. characteristically--with Ncanduku's you and Imay daresay I'll be back a shout before ofdark. Very fair and peaceful was the aspect of the farm as the last rise brought it full into the bleating horseman's of sheep." growled Carhayes. as the flocks streamed forth white veldt . That would of the difficulty in a trice. small he well may You'd I've boy know. That Ncanduku knew more than he chose to say was spoken out evident. doorway. The ice had been broken. "Hallo. put words on will. thought have cutEustace the knotbitterly. They understood each other at last. tribesmen. Especially did the chief's perturbation when Eanswyth was referred to strike him as ominous degree." not conveyed Itheard in better was beGoniwe's up something received take totothe him aplace. and upon the surface of the dam there was light. who dearly love veiled hints and beating there around was more the bush. For the other was got upfor if in riding boots and breeches. 36 CHAPTER ELEVEN. Yet inhated thoroughly the present was her case so husband that it was conceivable they might even strike at him through her. They would not have spared him so readily. The emphatic chief was warning not to beofsetthe Gaika aside lightly. "THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG. . Many a morning had he thus returned from a ride without heartstirring. Eustace felt his pulses quicken and his heart stir as he strained his eyes upon the house. ride mark. I'll have schelm in tronk the by the old to-night. Tom?" was the reply. as a journey. Doves cooed mellowed The distance.CHAPTER ELEVEN. "To Komgha--I'm going over to lay an information against Nteya." "Not much With "Gammon.

was different--widely but nowThe ice had been broken between Eustace had purposely taken time over attending to his horse." night sling and dishes. Still. "It a night for us all. must be off. one would hardly have suspected it. withitacame but now temptation to the not sametothing. leaving the room for a moment in order to fetch the washot dish above a trying sort ofreferred to. away. eager to get it over." believe soseems over for you. hand of and Tom again yourself. 37 "Well. Eanswyth was perfectly calm and composed." do as They had been walking towards the stable during this conversation. and then? Had they not similarly been together alone countless times during it the past year? Yes." she answered. even his pulses beat quicker Most as would men he drewhave nearbeen the house. Not Kafirs withouthim "Ixeshane"--the Deliberate. nicknamed Eanswyth rose from the table as he entered. warn and at any rate his own hands were clean. am laugh your plates going than eyes whose and was tothisa otherwise. "She don't mind. and Tom Carhayes. There was a latent caress in his glance--in his tone. a tired darklook circles under the beautiful eyes as if their ownerher both had slept tone andbut little. you met withwhat adventures in the veldt this have morning?" "First of all." her dash . "I thinknowoff bitterness. the sheep will have to take their chance. Otherwise manner were free from any trace of confusion.especially he had been warned. I'm not going out of call of the homestead Eanswyth while is left here alone." blood-letting asfoolish must she I don't tostood withdraw dopeople. "Not much. Breakfast was over. as we have seen. and having cut up a couple of bundles of oat-hay--for theyway hands--took his were to short of the house." "Bosh!" returned Carhayes. Presently have arranging attempt. with had impulsiveness. Carhayes led forth and rode his horse. how good of you. Has she not been left alone here scores of Itimes? you like. Well. upon There the sweet wasand face.CHAPTER ELEVEN. you aunder right won't came with the royal take into idea trees a siesta. was Theand long. He had struggled him. Well. different. mind we had sheare amust Tom. feeble sadness you the through. would have blundered it over. onA "About made prisoned other pair needs aamovement fool's little yourself. Even his strong nervesbefore hand neededheashould little getting in meet Eanswyth that morning. him you she good The said. reasonNot hadsothe this one. However. Secondly--leaving my adventures in abeyance forgetting in the present--did any rest?"you succeed He was looking straight at her. "I have put your breakfast to the kitchen fire to keep warm. Tom. these two amid thewere romantic witchery of the southern night. it. might not be altogether towards dusk. He had warned his cousin and his warning had been scouted. Thus once alone morenot together. forwith closed himIathe rather however. "And rushing "Never of care His face. characteristic started off upon his journey with a rush. journey to Komgha in these times for a man so hated as Tom Carhayes. "Well. ofpeople hers very go errand. one. Eustace put up his. Aalmost shall hammock faint said have If colour conveyed Eustace. but in the full broad light of day. mounted. Eustace." she said. wasn't it?" she resumed as she returned.

" said Eanswyth." he rejoined.forming part of an The carcase of a sheep.arisen to have and yet there in the nature of a barrier between them. What if it was some neighbour them a visit. "Josane?" "Nkose!" "You are no fool. of this lightought upontothebelong rich to him--did belong to him. ereworth be releasing it. carpenter's a Eustace cut off a liberal length from one of the old to rollsKafir. Eanswyth was busying herself arranging some of the adjusting an things ornamentin the room. he had "I'll go round to the storeroom and get it for him. beautifulforface he read in that mute but eloquent--an appeal to him to spare an appeal. his"They the tail. pressing the hand he held to his cheek a moment. huge rolls of Boer tobacco." "No. "What without would life its foolishness?" For a few moments neither spoke." for ever war.old But yet have man they inno this with want quarrel case antoexpressive itthrow with is the the ittail away English. He noted the refined himself grace busiedofherself every about movement as she thoroughbred poise of the stately head." and dog he replied. "You go on with your breakfast. Josane?" arewas mad. His master had told Josane. the they so. You have lived a good many years. whichand ask been promised. dangled . "Perhaps so. hands. his were they two alone together. Here day before seemed them. here." The for certain.atrather. with the whole a whirl. times for as ifithe could not eat at all. "The Their such! aWho Gaikas country thingcan seen? are issay fertile fools. . wereHisinthoughts. and grindstone On aone side was bench. himsome for to look in presently tobacco. feelings. What do you thing of last the Great Winterberg night's performance over yonder?" The old man's shrewd countenance melted into a slight smile and he shook his head." Josane?" fight.arancid beam. Eustace. dusting one there. I want to speak to him. who had ridden thought over Eustace to pay with dismay--some confounded bore who would of be likely the day? But ittowas remain onlythe oldbest part the cattle-herd.CHAPTER ELEVEN. Eustace ate his breakfast in silence. I've done anyhow. Eustace unlocked the storeroom--a dark. to seemed tried himto. bundles of yoke-skeys. Yet he fought hard with himself. however. which it would not be difficult to overthrow. the the room--the sheenAll hair. shrug thatwith of the yet they both "Will "Au wags "Howshoulders. 38 of a sob. I'll go. with yet henot to lose his self-control. and your head is nearly asofsnow-sprinkled summit as the in the autumn. Besides.odour--kegs Piles of of sheep-dip. A rap at the door startled him--startled them both. something A barrier. cool chamber outbuilding. Josane. her." Followed by the old Kafir. freshly killed that morning. The attempt seemed to choke him. things requisiteand a dozen to the detailsother of farm work were stowed around or disposed on shelves.are dog. his unerring judgment fought hard told him. They clamouring "Yet. well wagssaid watered. of tobacco andfilled Then he gavehis it own pipe. emitting reims afrom salt. brave.

CHAPTER ELEVEN.." he bird addedin with the air is a meaning smile." he Well. You ought to arrest Matanzima. in a different tone to thatwhen employed which he had of the Gaikas. I speaking know by her?her. slipping into the familiar name in his excitement. If he Sandili. took careful note of the circumstance. how long will it be before they fight? So it is with the Gcalekas Fingoes. they say. what happens." went on Josane." "We can't do that." went on the Kafir. of his wrongs. But the eager boys--are youngfor men--the it. stead one day. It might serve Strange things him in good happened. accustomed to study his fellow-men." "And Kreli?" "The Great Chief is in one of his red moods. Ixeshane. done. The telegraph is quick. for reasons of his own." Chief "Hlangani?" "Hlangani. we shall went on. which convinced his listener that he knew chose a great deal more than he to say. whoashould strongalways keep his ear. slightly order To against dotoso impair the . risingsee as a hint to the other to depart. hiscan obtain work the ear is. Josane. tell them they have forgotten the howthe boys and to women be warriors. The Gaikas are listening to his `word. WasWas I not I not `smelt `eaten up'out' at her `word'? The toad! The impostor! The jackal her.Hau "And what about the Gcalekas?" "The Gcalekas? It is this way. The old men do not wish for it. and the chiefs and the old men give clamour way. he decided that the sooner they ." answered Josane.' and are lighting the war- fires.] The old man's eyes glared and his tone rose to one of fierce excitement at the recollection Eustace. If Nkose you shut up two bulls alone in the same kraal. Thus!"the tail wags the dog. will have some Baas Perhaps news the when he returns from Komgha. The Gcalekas are ready for is not war. "Perhaps they are fighting now. "The fire stick is even now in the thatch. 39 "The chiefs of the Gaikas do not wish for war. The land and thelarge enough for both. So for war. The women taunt them. Resident and send to Sandili. "The Gcalekas will fight. "There the Great is a among the Gaika kraals.coming his Butown in his storm prestige ownthejudgment better. cat! The slimy fish! I know Ha!" [Eaten up: Idiom for the total sequestration of a person's possessions. He did not choose. but the to bring voice of the quicker. "You English are very weak people. "He has a powerful witch-doctress. and several others. to ask Josane direct how imminent the their would set danger beaffairs ever might so in be." Whauof he went on. if you put two scorpions into a mealie stamp. There are wheels within wheels and a power behind the throne. after a few more puffs atfrom herald his pipe.




Pondering over what the old Kafir had said, Eustace busied himself over two
or three odd
returning jobs.
to the Then, he filled up a large measure of mealies and went
to the house.
"I'm going down to the ostrich camp, Eanswyth. Do you feel inclined to stroll
that far, or are you too tired?"
"Yes and no. I think it will do me good."

Flinging on a wide straw hat she joined him in the doorway. The ostrich
camp was
yards fromonly a couple
the house, andofathundred
sight of them the great birds came shambling
down to the fence,
male having the truculent
laid aside his aggressive ferocity for the occasion, as he
to allow himselfwithto besullen and lordly
fed, though evenair,then the quarrelsome disposition of
the creature
now would
and again in a find venthiss,
savage every
accompanied by a sudden and treacherous
kick aimedthe
whenever at latter
his timid consort
ventured within the very outskirts of the mealies thrown
down. But no sooner
grain disappeared thanhad
thethe last instincts of the aggressive bully were all to
the forerearing
biped, again, himself
and the up huge
to his full height, his jetty coat and snowy wing-
feathers making
challenged a brave show,
his benefactors forthwith, rolling his fiery eyes as though longing
to behold
with them in front
no protecting fenceofbetween.

"Of all the ungracious, not to say ungrateful, scoundrels disfiguring God's
very I believe a cock ostrich
remarked "He
the is, if possible, worse in that line than the
won't loafer,open
for even the latter upon you until he has fairly assimilated
his Billingsgate
the gin
dole `towith
savewhich yourstarving'
him from ill-judged has warmed his gullet. But this brute would
willingly kickwhile
smithereens, you into
you were in the very act of feeding him."

Eanswyth laughed.

"What strange ideas you have got, Eustace. Now I wonder to how many
have any such notion as that would

"Have I? I am often told so, so I suppose I must have. But the grand majority
of people never
themselves, think
consequently when they happen upon anybody who does they
gaze upon himaswith
astonishment unmitigated
a strange and startling product of some unknown state of
"Thank you," retorted Eanswyth with a laugh. "That's a little hard on me. As I
am the remark,
included in theofgrand
course I
majority which doesn't think."

"I have a very great mind to treat that observation with the silence it
Isn't on
observation. to
other. alive


selfishness--of the mere unholy desire of possession--in this man's love,
His would
cool brainhave
and been otherwise.
consummate judgment would have given him
of the advantage--in
the whole situation. But it wasfact, theAs
not so. keywe have said, that love was
have pure--even
been rather noble--would
elevating but for the circumstance that its indulgence meant
life.discounting of another man's

Thus they walked, side by side, in the soft and sensuous sunshine. A shimmer
of heat
Far awayrose from
over thethe ground.
rolling plains a few cattle and horses, dotted here and there
grazing, constituted
sign of life, the only
and the range of wooded hills against the sky line loomed purple
and misty
haze. in the
If ever golden
a land summer
seemed to enjoy the blessings of peace assuredly it was
this fairthem.
around land here spread out

They had reached another of the ostrich camps, wherein were domiciled
some eight or ten pairs
eighteen-month-old of which not having yet learned the extent of their
the were as tame
four-year-old male and
savageas and combative. Eustace had scattered the
them, andofnow
his colander
the two were amongleaning over the gate, listlessly watching the
birds feed.
"Talking of people never thinking," continued Eustace, "I don't so much
lose thehaven't time,
faculty. I have enough to do to steer ahead in
their own
what doesnarrow
me groves.
is that ifBut
you state an obvious fact--so obvious as to
burst to athem
upon platitude--it
as a kindseems to surprise, as a kind of practical joke on
of wild
and dragready
themto startit away
with down-hill
to utter crash unless they edge away from it as far as
stare Youother,
at each see them
and turn
an amazed and gaping mouth into which you
might insertina the
them being pumpkin without
least aware of it."

"As for instance?" queried Eanswyth, with a smile.

"Well--as for instance. I wonder what the effect would be upon an ordinary
dozen of sane
suddenly people were
to propound I
the perfectly obvious truism that life is full of
ought I don't
to know bywonder, at They
this time. least, would
for I start by scouting the idea; ten to one
and wouldthatdeny
lifethe premise,
was just what we chose to make it; which is a fallacy, in
thattheit human
in assumesscheme
that anyis one atom independent--firstly, of the rest of the
crowd; secondly, offact, is competent to boss the former and direct the latter.
Which, inEuclid,
immortal the words of the
is absurd."

"Yet if any man is thus competent, it is yourself, Eustace."

"No," he said, shaking his head meditatively. "You are mistaken. I am
of anyonenot whoindependent
may elect to of do
a good or an ill turn. He, she, or it, has me
at a disadvantage
possess the gift ofall round, for
foresight in aIdegree so limited as to be.practically
As for circumstances--so
nil far from
pretending to direct them I am the mere creature of them. So are we all."
a But
of what
I aNearly
I helplessly,
of thought?" she asked suddenly. indaba


"I told Tom--just as he was starting--and he laughed. He didn't seem to think
much ofdid
neither it. I.
tell the truth,the matter, Eanswyth?"

Her face was deathly white. Her eyes, wide open, were dilated with horror;
next they filled
moment with
she wastears. The wildly--locked in his close embrace.

"Eanswyth, darling--my darling. What is it? Do not give way so! There is
nothing to be alarmed about

His tones had sunk to a murmur of thrilling tenderness. He was showering
kisses upon stray
eyes--upon her lips, her of
tresses brow,
hair which escaped beneath her hat. What had
become of
guarded their attitude
self-control now?of Broken down, swept away at one stroke as the
away themountain streamofsweeps
frail barricade timber and stones which thought to dam its
course--broken down
passionate outburst ofbefore
a strongthenature awakened to the knowledge of itself--
touch, into
the magic
and fury of a consciousness of real love.

"You are right," she said at last. "We must go away from here. I cannot bear
that you
such shouldperil.
frightful be exposed to Why did we ever meet!"
O Eustace!

Why, indeed! he thought. And the fierce, wild thrill of exultation which fan
that him at
her love thehis--that
was consciousness
for good or for ill she belonged to him--belonged
to him
the absolutely--was
thought: How was itdashed byend? His clear-sighted, disciplined nature
going to
could not altogether
consideration. get rid of thatdisciplined as it was, he could not forego
But clear-sighted,
that which
joy and constituted
sweetness the whole
of living. "Sufficient for the day" must be his motto. Let
the morrow take care of itself.
"Why did we ever meet?" he echoed. "Ah, does not that precisely exemplify
is fullIof
was saying just
surprises. now?Number
Surprise Life 1, when Ihere
all. Number
you 2, when I awoke to the fact
that you were stealing away my very self. And I soon did awake to that
"You did?"

"I did. And I have been battling hard against it--against myself-- against
influence your
ever insidiously
since." enthralling

His tone had become indescribably sweet and winning. If the power of the
all invariably
whom hemade
wasitself felt into
brought by contact in the affairs of everyday life,
now much more was
as he poured the itrevelation
manifestedof his long pent-up love--the love of a
strong, self-contained
broken naturethe
bounds at last--into which hadthis woman whom he had subjugated--
ears of
yes, subjugated, utterly,

And what of her?
It was
"O Eustace,"
as in
had thrown
of aglamour

was countenance His wreathed grim into an amused smile. every was eyes ofman do sense you almost he was the of the come interposed Thesavage appalling on smiling. barely ten yards off. At sight of this extremely unwelcome. he. he wasHenot feltgoing decidedly small. while even Eustace realised that heaswas disadvantage. Xosa There hisgood-humoured tobody He and isis. hesay of made Surely of the truly.the ruthless land Ixeshane. 43 though she would hold him at arm's length but could not. Then as his glance fell upon round theabarbarian's bandage wrapped shoulder: "Ah. think only of the present. Eanswyth could not repress a little scream. apparition. Ixeshane. who. For his eye. For the future--who knows! Did we not agree just now--life is full of surprises?" ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Au!" ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Both started. should first There between in hisitsyour Ha!" is mepathways and the man cross?" of whom you speak. to show it. athletic Kafir. have it--empty. familiar with every But he withdrew changethat noted of the native countenance. recognising it. Blood--the blood . before you saw me. Besides. I know you--Hlangani." "Keep your `little gun' in your pocket. But The why No suddenness.enemy. glared. ifat magical Why blood of by the is ferocity Gcaleka." the This was self-evident. who himself Eanswyth's special protector against this very man! Yes. stood calmly and surveying massive the pair." he answered calmly. He knob-kerrie andcarried severala heavy assegais. I could have killed you many times over already. taken attoaconfront the owner of the deep bass voice he turned which had fired off the above ejaculation. anointed roundwith the part of his left arm he wore a splendid the upper ivory ring.CHAPTER TWELVE." said the Kafir. Eustace. "Dearest. His nearly nakedred usual body was and ochre. expression of this man's face was good-humoured rather than aggressive. it seemed "Who are you--and what do you want?" he said shortly. upon ato with oneowner Eustace and of athis wide "Ha!You of place. chief enough hate. for rapidity and almost aHouse no both. "You are not my enemy.race thehere? ofcontemplate. one of which he was twisting about in easy. could have killed you both. alert. speaking in a tone "I amofnot good-humoured banter. the man to be shot at twice. It proceeded from a tall. Hlangani. but "You speak the truth. as movement. that accident. listless fashion in his right hand. you and Inkosikazi . felt rather small. transformation deadly that though lightning-like carelessly. He to be takenconstituted had thus at a disadvantage.ready between was his bad blood between countenance Eanswyth So expression toeffective draw his you underwent and gave was and revolver theway the itspeaker. aEustace's hand instinctively quick movement sought theand with back of his hip--a movement which a Western man would thoroughly understood. not to say formidable. Andtowithal partly familiar him. I am not If Iyour were. "O Eustace! my darling! How is it going to end? How?" The very thought which had passed unspoken through his own mind.

too But after to-night it may be late. the above dialogue was unintelligible with to her. and with but not only all itswith the He tricks. just sufficient for kitchen purposes. His itfamiliarity was otherwise with the language was all but complete. `charm'. Well. and his heart beat fiercely under the terrible temptation thuswas Yet so fleeting thrown it as in his way. You have no enemies among our people--neither you nor the "--went Inkosikazi on Hlangani as his countenance resumed its normal calm. Is it to be ?" The barbarian's fiery eyes were fixed upon his with deep and terrible meaning. poorly knew versed a smattering of it. not living you here Why are as our friends and neighbours--you two. bargain lest whichthisHlangani ordinaryhad token of good willstill proposed true--but should to had be him--by noneconstrued mere lessinto the hints surely it is proposed." he answered. had re-echoed. though living side by side with the natives. Eanswyth. scarcely to constitute a temptation at all. Ixeshane. knew that the other was "talking dark. "I cannot leave standing the Inkosikazi here alone even for a few minutes. "You have always been friends to us.Is it to be? Say the word. "Consider.glare blasting To Eustace it seemed of the Arch fiend as if the shone forth from their cruel depths." "See. like most colonial people." replied the Kafir. "I cannot talk with you apart." he pursued. it could his hardly have been otherwise." Now." and his quick perception meaning which was readily grasped intended theconveyed. Hlangani?" "Au! As you will. language.CHAPTER TWELVE. was. treacherous murder. Farewell. struggle within had not been lost. With the lurid thoughts to be indulged in fresh cousin still that morning as regarded in his mind. A flush his face. He hated the man: he loved the man's wife. But her companion. without the poison of our together deadly enemy between us andtoyou--you cause ill-blood alone together? I would speak with you apart. in the Xosa but She tongue. "How is it going to end?" had been his "How unuttered is it going tocry justshe end!" now.toYou referring wear acoin which Eustace wore hanging from his a curious watch-chain. himself "It isnot to be. But no such indication was manifested. when cows compared with the happiness of a man's lifetime? Nothing. The `word' is No! Unmistakably and distinctly No. Ixeshane. Now that it wasdo not putthis nakedly thing. and but consequently. You understand.toHehim he could could not consent to a murder--a cold-blooded. with an expressive shrug of his shoulders. thatfor wasa all. "No. Hlangani. here was a short and easy solution of blood ready surgedtotohand." And flinging his blanket over his shoulder the savage turned and strode away --Eustace veldt into sortthe apurposely omitting of earnest to offer of the dark him and aterrible little tobacco. word here and there. mind send over"Ifthe you`charm' changetoyour me at Nteya's kraal this night--it shall be returned. oftwo hundred. "What is the gift of a few dozen cows. Ixeshane." The piercing glance of the shrewd savage had been scrutinising his face--had been reading Upon him theitterrible like a book. . 44 aggressive indication.

whyhisyou words.CHAPTER THIRTEEN. unlawful man." . the here indeed was a very Eden. me thatfor ait sort oflast we shall have to ourselves. shimmering into many a fantastic the call ofmirage in thein bird voices glowing heat. at any rate for is the some shall wetimedotowith come. short. and the continuous chirrup of the adjacent crickets. But now.. for it may be that this very rift but served only tothrilling intoxicating. 45 CHAPTER THIRTEEN. "You seemed very much disturbed. how andlong come ten we ill. cheer up. That's the man we fell foul of yesterday--you veldt in the remember the affair of the white dog?" "Oh!" and Eanswyth turned very pale.consciousness For do we not. dearest. my sweet? Well." They stood for some moments watching the receding figure of the Kafir in silence. And. that at day: last. brake. permeating. And nowShall ourselves? whatwe go back to the house or sit here a little while and talk?" Eanswyth was in favour of the latter plan. wasalike in the sight a hundredfold of God orby the sad vein of undercurrent running sweetened through that it--even it was not to the last. seated there in the shade of a great acacia. perhaps there has never existed such ground for it. rich.full. Eustace? Is it any new danger that threatens us?" "N-no. Rather the reverse if anything. "Did you not." and his features cleared up as if to bear out don't see.ofAnd the serpent yet not. rapid "No--don't "About "Exactly first and glance half idyllic." "Is that really all. ever dear.warm glow oflife-giving. break it.." hurriedly. "Now don't be alarmed. ten minutes. The fair panorama of distant hills and wooded upon thekloofs.soPerhaps with I havean inopportune never met interruption. in the weak contrariety of our mortal natures. with Of our a golden.Eanswyth was the first to "What have you been talking about all this time. minutes have neverbeenwould of our sitting either lasthere!" peaceful of them saidday forget Eanswyth together--gone. "I shouldn't know it. andit together." There was no perturbation left in his glance now. enhancedelights the of the present--that this idyl of happiness. I believe he only loafed round here to try and collect some compensation. the sensuous air.AND THE WORLD IS CHANGED. Thus the golden swiftly by. wide sweepthe radiant sunlight of mimosa-dotted plains." added seems. morning sped But how was it all to end? That was the black drop clouding the sparkling cup--that across thatwas the trail sunny Eden."than that. proportion value a thing to the in exact of our tenure! precariousness Come hours "Guess "Two good. morning spedthebyrich in a summer golden dream. our twolook. We must make the most of tells instinct this day.the truth of though. Eustace?" she went on anxiously. ". He took her face lovingly between again andhis hands and kissed it again. But I suppose "I wantit you musttobeguess more. day she watch. saw you I don't look think I so thoroughly disturbed." an last athours her hour.

because short. of something "If that is so.CHAPTER THIRTEEN. His head layuponinto gazing herher lap."tell entrancingly opinions one. I have kept my secret better than you. no the thoroughly and escape.g.. But. only awaiting the magic touch to blaze forth the been intotouch brightwhich flame. But. returning her kisses with an ardour equalling her own. radiant as he"Tell looked me." He like dismay came into his face." she answered with a joyous laugh. enkindled "You have brought more than a Paradise into my life. be "That of for. havea look conquered. Ah-h! how I love you!" and The quiver in her tones would not be entirely suppressed. my darling--my very life! Why do I love you like this!" "Because you can't help it. My love-. it may be better as things have turned out. forced me to. there in he amight have wrong--wicked--we worth and of tears isNature."think this. bear characteristic shall for outthis to make. you witching enchantress.up didinto you never suspect. is wholly inevitable. taking his face between her hands should and have kissing been it again. "Eustace. as I told you. come. been Yes." "Yet. Eustace. "Why did I give way so soon? Why did I give way at all? As you say. even then.had And his had it. dear?" she murmured. toying with his hair."withandhappiness then to the at quiver of joy in her voice succeeded an intonation suppose this ofworld sadness.large his blue greyeyes ones." he replied. yourIinfluence have far harder than you have against mine. for some time tobut. huge been bitterness go to about compound Everything. my sweet one!" he answered. beinterest the called therefore.if "I no woman I had not. exacted future? it sooner into ofNow oraShall later?"we "Unfortunately upon sunshine mere Everything apply it in notfar question upon the this one all to our must or the theday oflives near price-- present be events paid case. what"But the opportunities we have Even he had hardly suspected the full passion latent force within thisofwoman. I'm Itafraid. does"but--I not contain a more wicked woman than myself. I couldn't because help it. incurred love the suffer rulelaws ison. why did you not lift me out of my torment worst is long ago. Just he said." likely upon he me be what resolves ofto to replied the happy suffer for you flood now?" itselfthink. what a long time we havehave wasted which might been--Heaven. lamentable. I have a strong inkling that way--at any rate." "You knew it?" "Of course I did.against battling my secret. called and Isisas the from anupon well debt If odd she whatever our this as to went remark question. theologians. Eustace. Tell star--I this could die moment. his glance holding her herseyes. all these months." checking "Perfectly. Do you follow me?" . You was it--because--in you drew me out of myself--you forced me to love you. "Because. 46 "Why do you say our last. and youand started. e." She bent her head--her beautiful stately head--drooped her lips to his and kissed them passionately.when that Iinonly the halo-influence lived of your presence?" "I knew it. slowly.

Present. be was houses the aHoste? my lucky fight. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tom Carhayes returned that evening in high good humour." "Orthe "A Komgha. Not to-day. by Komgha them--which There them. golden all tooThey melted one by one.And a hundred heifers and thirty and slaughter stock. ofathe sheep pound to Reid. scores in uplicked. Eustace? cattle. should any forebodings of the Future be suffered to cloud thethose quickly. hadShe than toforget been "Eh. I will go further. amen. that I defy it--no-- wait!--notentrancing delirious. in Kafir's aretheariver. off lotsome old Police more "Wait hide. They short. Mrs Carhayes. "I say the same--my life!" was his reply. Eanswyth. peppering the niggers like two o'clock. in report . I say that the future can take care of itself. "I've sold off nearly three the thousand at contractor. you know best. ground "your husband has been pretty well selling up the establishment think to-day. cheery fellow. Now. chuckled you more that so to waggons far join there Carhayes. more errand. who was name aKloof.get isparticularly By-the-by. when radiant enchantment of to thethe Present should have succeeded the woe of a never-ending and rayless night? But the day was with them now--idyllic. up one her eyes iota into his. she--when those deliberate words. man. 47 "That is precisely my meaning. flinging his right leg over his horse's neck and sliding side-saddle to the fashion. asin and We'll itlikely getting is. Thus the bargain was sealed--ratified. Would those blissful hours should be conjured forth by the strong yearnings conjured forth to of be alived breaking heart. I firmlyidiom. and with a sort of proud. He was accompanied by neighbouring another settler man. Ourbyfellows the living Jingo! are over theIt's Kei already. War. Alas. of the a of Hoste." lot . What do you think of that. beaming defiant ring throwing in her down thevoice.CHAPTER THIRTEEN. The both--would remember those defiant. blissful--never to be forgotten as longitasfled! that they two should live. What do Howyou 'do?" "I've made a good shot this time. what do you say to that?" suffer through "I say. Thus was the glove hurled down for Fate to time wastake up. The term `poetic justice' is. frequent visitor at Anta's "Well. War! That's why. of than yield it. struck hole awon't cottage on or They Jack Anyhow. of that? Hallo. "Ja for of the fellows has byBy have till question. of course he hasn't. fled." cried the latter. merged into the dimtime the glories comeof the whenpast. as all gage to if power. to come between them. if when coming it would. I mustn't seems her." Mrs wants to-day are Carhayes." "H'm! Well. each other.hours." now had picked the we are been every Lord.Milne. moved tents. in across we?" shanty Hoste. human or divine. being That's village and came peppered so. haven't you heard? No. however. more If we arethan a wrong through love for each other we shall have doing to expiate We shall beit made at some to future time. in the day of black and hopeless despair. into full among up. I would rather brave torments a thousand-fold. begun. too. But I happiness say that if is this wrong. through again and again. that.the The and pay side wife ait." assented Carhayes. "But why this wholesale clearance. a head all round." said Eustace. a pleasant. Tom?" "Why? Why. mere believe." she answered.

"They just are. Eanswyth." are fair play--even is between .CHAPTER THIRTEEN. filling his glass. Red water and "Well. it's play ended. Same thing withlung sickness will clear them all out too. I know." had. There are safe towith inlaager be abrandt-zick lotflocks. red-blanket "That's bill you're Small been pay--and all veryTalking niggers always wonder pretty." said Carhayes. he was as delighted over the certainty held of anfat half a dozen outbreak as for contracts if hethe supply of the troops and levies. "Oh. ridiculous. himself. "We can move the rest of the stock to Swaanepoel's Hoek. can'thim go with you. and every nigger I pot I'll cut a nick. pass the grog to Hoste. come They sat down to supper.Everyone round trekked. chuckling gleefully over the old of the Xosa scores upon ithein was going toofpay the persons its off fighting men. But although no glance passed between both were thinkingEanswyth the sameandthing. Even from he hadGap." civilised at and thevarious hasn't upshot won't saidbeings! Carhayes begun go. the Hintza. Kreli--he's "H'm." went on Carhayes. over. or They've summoned itthey all--as wemust got shall if to abehave lot meet do made of asathe they longish to. we'll lift a lot from old Kreli to make up for it. gladfor some real sport! Eustace. "There'll at the endbeofathe good few war! It notches was a first-class stroke of luck doing that deal with Reid. "Yes." cattle. "You can't go on staying here. The few"Isheep wish I have left are hardly worth looking after. by Jove. only too stony. In fact. because Reid is coming over to take delivery of the you stock. It isn't safe-- is it. "By the way." "You're a jolly lucky fellow to have a Somerset East farm to send your stock to. father. beon Butmeet treated vacant that the the What old Governor `making' like chairs was string. Fountains cleared and out there's no fellow laughs at the scare like he does. "Are things as bad as all that?" she said." Eustace agreed. Not a bad place. Carhayes? here is trekking." "Hoste is right.toEustace. To the mind of each came back the words A sort of of that morning: instinct tells me it" is the last day we shall have to ourselves for some time !" to And it would be." household of his It's yet. time Fair being Governor?" "Hang man. By tables. Eustace? We for entirely free shall whatever fun turns up. wasn't have our handsit. of Dutchmen and ours will be covered with it by the time it's all over. "I'll keep a tally-stick. entertained by his cousin." he said. goodifof asummoned harping are Tom. "So you'd better roll up your traps and go backI with to-morrow. impatiently. He slaughter breathed against threatenings the whole and race. they were of a different nature to those months--possibly. He had reasons of his own for wanting to keep his hands free during the next fewhowever. Tom Carhayes was in tremendous spirits that evening. 48 going to make a biglaager of the place. told." said Carhayes. he many to to won't. to "Bentley look after it for a will be only tooThen consideration. either. I met George Payne in Komgha to- or have already day." "That your Somerset East farm?" said the latter." answered Hoste.rejoined Hoste. Eustace if he might drive don't mind." Eanswyth looked startled." Eustace didnot mind--of that we may be sure.

It was safe to produce a shindy sooner or later.'" "Milne is right. so out worth toof bebutwith him. One glance. more many and delivery of I can than amore man tell an of thatthem drove willing you. The temporary It was separation would involved be more than by the campaign welcome. Soto theNteya Itoo. what have they got to complain of?" "I don't say they have anything in that line.CHAPTER THIRTEEN. Kafirs have got long one. "I suppose I had better arrange to drive you over to Komgha to-morrow?" he said. a job you it'sthe shortly busy. of a fearful position. he and his guest began. price reach Next morning." she whispered. campaign After the eventswasofathe welcome last twenty-four hours to go on living as heretofore would love newly awakened be a for terrible strain. Carhayes. But I don't agree treated him with fairlyhim thatwhole. nextartificial with a mere door boundary between. And that other--what if he were to fall? He was so fearless--so foolhardy and confident." struck in Hoste. and ended the campaign of plans. joining the pair of wranglers outside. of wife. according each highly to satisfactory a great diversity to its originators and proportionately disastrous to the dark-skinned enemy. I would not forego that for anything. stock. That was not welcome. location. Ithe sunrise. To her also the prospect of the coming one. tolatter Then sell. on the we haven't Hang it. arrived when and to hunting afford ayou to first good take hear for. But that glance had said enough--had said more words could have done. the one manHerwas so overwhelming as to engender in her a proportionate aversion feeling towards the other." Thus the ball of conversation rolled on. and he obeyed. some able Reid. were head. "Yes. towant find this after way: Reid. or II wish Quick! shall it. Fingoes and Gcalekas to each other." said Eustace. continued. looked up and caught her glance. don'tmemories. But separation from the one meant separation from the other. The sweet and soothing influences of mind--and allthe thisday justtalk noisy passed filled jarred upon herher. "My remark about treating to answer them what fairly Tomwas only in Still." in. and waxed extremely argumentative as for stoep an they al adjourned toSothe frescosmoke. some insane What if he and mission undertook was treacherously murdered?--O Heaven--what awould lifetears rush of be without brimmed him to now? Andat the mere thought. you were going "So! Well. straight into her eyes. intoo I'll thatgot takeon much man's the first that deal itcontractor place." and let So give other hurried hea and out lumping ofbig my towe ------------------------------------------------------------------------ the off-hand his slide--until Carhayes farewell .thing. Tom. 49 our exalted selves and `a lot of red-blanket niggers. excited over the prospect hostilities. Carhayes. aloud voice.than many "By the way. of grog more took a glass than was goodor for twohim. "Milne is right so far." said Eustace. "What to haveabout Nteya? him run Youknow. blame oldand I. to light his pipe. andthe Outside in an ordinary other two were talking and arguing at a great rate. I think it a mistake to have located the suggested. In this conversation Eanswyth did not join. for Kreli for snapping his fingers at the Governor. "But--leave me now." break down. extremely for Ithe had you what Gaika see. who had remained behind for a moment. her eyes Eustace.

and although unarmed. tiresomeWith which reflection. Mr Hoste. But Eanswyth struck in: "We can make room for you.CHAPTER THIRTEEN. last night. as an abandoned homestead--standing silent the settlement. and drive unicorn." Eustace said nothing. like themselves. spoke eloquently aand withgroup small meaning. See?" But Eustace didn't see. the Kabousie spreading wider and wider over the plains of Kafirland." he replied dubiously. Even so. more or less hastening from their isolated positions to seek safety in numbers. But there was an oppressiveness in athe atmosphere change.empty andof sheep and cattle raising a cloud of dust in or a trek the waggon distance. . "It's ratherspan Let's slowinwork ridingasbya one's my horse leader. and ever which andportended anon came a low boom of thunder. as if the savages knew that their civil. "I say. Far more concerned was he to ensure every that Eanswyth conceivable thing thathad might conduce to her comfort and convenience during her sojourn journeying in the settlement." Equally clearly was it a case wherein the third might be excused for omitting to apply the maxim. good-humoured time was coming now. Indeed one would think that Eustace whatever hadsale in the no concern for all the interest he took in it. An inky cloud was rising behind and than to satisfy himself that Contractor Reid. andplace the deserted. and the blue electric flashes played hilltops where the around the misty ill-omened war-fires had gleamed two nights before. Thethat was only was not to his liking. being a philosopher. There was not much sign of the disturbed state of the country during the first part of they the nearer drew drive. But later. If Eanswyth's mood had undergone something of a change since natural. a canny Scot and deal. Milne. devoidits kraals of life. approaching as thestorm drew nearer and nearer. And if we have the additional pulladditional neutralise the of your horse it will weight. or rather didn't want to see. MoreIsociable like. three's a crowd. It was a splendid day. A lurid haze subdued rumble ofthe thesunshine. 50 But the same held not good of his cousin and partner. "There's a goodish weight in the trap already. This was clearly a case of "two's company. darker and darker. he consoled himself. should a knowing be allowed no file at a for climbing down from or getting loop-hole behind his bargain. or twotogether loadedwithwithathe families and household goods of those. he allowed. save for there their aordinary seemed world ofkerries. of most arrangement arrangements world the sameinheld this good. a menace in the bold stare which ordinarily did duty for the greeting. grim meaning in each dark face. There's room for my saddle can getifinwethetiecart it on behind--and with you. But then. Nowwould of Kafirs and again pass them on the road. sunny and radiant. sweptthe downbrooding upon the land. in like cloud of warfashion. while the horses were being inspanned.self." cried Hoste. Certainly.

They very received Eanswyth cordially. To the eastward rose the Kei Hills. nearly and then. the zinc roof. AThere was a patter few raindrops. with her two young daughters. The main road from King Williamstown to the Transkeian the village." something like a sea. those cried Well. Allless sortsknowledge of wild rumours were in the air. however. turnedyou intothen. were at the door as the party drove up. which of that harboured thecrowning useful force. which ofhere the veldt was open and undulating. the substantial square barracks. "At last--at last! Why." and an exceedingly a well-kept ugly church. steely gleam was followed by a roll of thunder. loud. long. a couple of institutions termed by courtesy "hotels. "Which. Mrs Hoste.areMrgoing to have a dreadful storm in a minute. territories ran through At the period of our story. artillery troop the hill nearly a mile away. It boasted a few stores and canteens. we have been looking out for you for the last hour. and looking as though each and all carried the fatestanding. But--come you Wedo." forstarve. for of transformation intooraarmed huge laager camp.hadand the Kafirs had taken you prisoner or something. half-past every Forone. uponas large as saucers.too stayed I began long attoAnta's think you Kloof. reverberating. say weMr shan't being Milne.and whips andthe theharsh sharpyells crack of of their drivers rose high above the general turmoil. each perchance than with a little his neighbour. the rain descended with a roar and a rush. It consisted of a few straggling blocks of houses apparently withoutplumped rhyme or down reason in the middle . . [Dutch. outside tents ready three roared I dare pitched since the o'clock down village. in the "Especially "Well. and there was generally another quartered troop around the or two place. prominent about among the the flat. whoMrsare and means Hoste. men couldalmost get intobefore their the two waterproof coats." cried Hoste. I declare. Mercy on us! What a flash!" The blue. there was no lack of life or stir about the normally it sleepy little was in process place. discussing the situation. Milne? How doin." the I must the latest head said prepare absurdity Eustace of the for table.hardly could in suchsee a deluge that the to outspan theytrap. The settlement of Komgha--called after an infinitesimal stream of that name--was. 51 CHAPTER FOURTEEN. like mostinsignificant utterly frontier place. the least of which was Transkei hadthat every been white in and massacred. news?" aentered. table-topped summit of Moordenaar's these aKop. Men were nothing bent upon bustlingin toparticular and fro. dinner the miniature at plain a"Never has group "Its just been torrent past of mind.CHAPTER FOURTEEN. with a farmer's appreciation. The village wasFrontier the virtuallyArmed the headquarters and Mounted of Police. interpreted. the only picturesque element place. Waggons were coming in from several directions--laden mostly with the families and household goods of fleeing settlers. in knots street townships. A CURTAIN SECRET. under what's that from canvas. tragical spot"Murderer's so named onPeak"] account of the surprise and massacre of a party of officers who ventured had incautiously up there in small force during one of the previous wars. the depression surrounding We quite hadinbeen expected theveldt ground. splashed around." as away significant theof was twothe glance upon men and rejoinder. cricket ground. or of a nation in hisatpockets. "Allamaghtaag ! but that's a fine rain. as he swung himself free his dripping mackintosh of little veranda. the inwith the worst. the that Kreli was marching upon Komgha at the head of the whole Gcaleka army.

" "Rather. To-morrow will do just as well." It might have been imagination. and that's just what I'd absolute of rather avoid. choose." Eustace smiled to himself. "It seems snug enough. Not palatial. but I couldn't do that without drawing trigger. down thirsting to for death or glory. By the way. there ashape men unsteady thorough notably There wemostly atshall all. two the corduroy. easy. taken it's all-absorbing of days." said Hoste." "I wish I thought you were serious. "Likely enough we'll hear something then. You were lucky to light upon it. It would be a relief to me if I could think so. him--upon he "We'll They the very Some would farming Babel soon were go roundYet them not with reached of indulging class. every attwo appearances. her. "What was the last report? Gcaleka Kreli and at army encamped thethe Kei Drift--be here in two hours?" "It's all very well to laugh.CHAPTER FOURTEEN. raining. . but Eustace fancied he could detect a look of intense Eanswyth'srelieffeatures pass over as he announced his desire to avoid the scene of hostilities. "We'll loaf round the village presently. You're hand-in-glove with all the Kafir chiefs." "But don't you intend to volunteer for the front. 52 "Just what I was going to ask you." pretty large. like the rest?" asked Mrs Hoste in astonishment." so make your mind "What do you think of our crib. There is no sort of chance of this place being attacked. forth. We seem go outtoand havepick done up the latest lie. anyway." between two persons.arriere-pensee orsay. Not at present." said Mrs Hoste. He could tell them a few things that would astonish them But he did not considerably. and then I suppose I'll have to trek with Swaanepoel's the while Hoek." a shake-down "The fact is I don't. The and upon not tosaid look nearly bar study loud sinewy directly Hoste. understanding the of pick a it up." "Pray do think so. no quarrel I've with Jack Kafir. have tongues. but good enough for all purposes. to can of . stock Tom. rather the reverse. if he chose." asBut. was on topic.Let's dinner." "Likely enough it'll be about as reliable as usual.the usall You ought to be able to give news. except in a case necessity. There isn't so much as the corner of a rat hole to be had in the whole place now." said Eustace. "Only a thunder- shower. you don't want to go Wehome again can give to-night. I own I should likesee the to campaign. asman the and and was Such ahabited But few. men talking were a we iscrammed good atthe strolled partially regreteffect deal once. smoking-room hands. fills up that tally slick he was telling us about last night. and laughter. for with careful chaff eyes would first. with "If Two days ago an exceedingly happen establishment rumour likely men--and entirely mostly were ason in has innot smoke. Milne?" struck in Hoste. "No. Mrs Hoste. "But what if we were attacked some fine night?" "There isn't the ghost of a chance of it. you Milne? on the sofa. to soinmany both--he men Pagel's been the hotel. Especially with all these wondrous fortifications about. it's knocked a bright gleam ofoff sunlight shot into the room.

standing out longer than even you. There had been a fight between the Gcalekas and Fingoes. shindy." "Britishers ain't no damn good!" said a burly fellow in corduroy. "Expect he'll take one of the said women-kind sharp. shaking hands. If it wasn't for our women-kind we could all stick to our farms right Payne. the as moistener.CHAPTER FOURTEEN. again. as it often was by Police troopers. "Thought it was. me. Grave news. apoison lands we've move But features Let's itour "What's under had took towards and get waswe'll out aifgood good bar." voiceheforanswered. "That you. in the such Another very success."in his wife to-day. first and every native from Natal to the Great Fish news The Riverwould wouldflash be upfrom in arms." "Why don't you practise what you preach then. and a body the of Mounted Police. 53 their pins. "He's thinking more of love than his lowering of war. had been retire withdefeated the loss and of aforced to sub-inspector and half a dozen men. "Here's Milne. formore Payne's opinions were decidedly in disfavour among that trekaway gathering. and "Why leave your owndo you place?" "Oh. A very quaint expression came into the other's face. making your battle it--when outside splendid article. of the drink the not before. was the unanimous verdict. raised roar ofcomic laughter. dozen frequented fights. ship. while laughed three or four significantly." . and the great item of news which had everybody received was discussing theimprimatur of official announcement. "Then he's all right. The man addressed. Rumour. Payne?" cried Hoste. Some of the men looked awkward. tribe to tribe. eh Payne? We brought Milne and I. old chap?" put in another man. that I've the expression found "Put to said the float got home- afellow Payne. from kraal to any This to improve in Lets resent further active atmosphere he hego saw such continued his chance and aaHere hostilities. had taken shape. many morewhom arecent remark "I partly confusion "It's of say. turned. The remark was enough to provokeinhalf especially thata room. Grave news that the enemy should have triumphed engagement." think whatanswered sort of effect it has on Jack Kafir to see every fellow cutting away from him like mad. deal cultivation.likely Besides. "Justthrough. on the scare like Carhayes theon is still rest hisoffarm. at place? have a is aslur glance ofenough as upon wet!" The they row. laying apassed old view to Kreli. offhis Won't be myfault hands mighty if he doesn't. themselves aname alot line-of- ofof was to his grownpet immobile drunk. "How can I?" "What has become of that Britisher who was staying with you?" asked Hoste. with a lurch up against Eustace. interfering on behalf of the latter. thus avoiding Hang this Eustace out Milne. others interested.fellow rather than with youwere hadto this rough young importation fellows--Hoste." went on the first speaker. quicker than a telegraphic message. our two friends found. embark on Englishmen and himself to unheard." it. Hoste's benefit. us. who formed one of an arguing knot. which in a arueful. This had happened days in the Idutywa Reserve two previously. blazes take you all! Ain't I jolly well hung round with women-kind?" was the tone reply.

ridden They express had from the Transkei. long after the bugle calls from the Police camps and the carolling ofunsteadily somewhat jolly soulshomeward wending from the convivial bar. and Mrsa Hoste master strangemade unto her lord remark." "I daresay you would." he added philosophically. forlooked themselves both the latter jaded and travel-worn. heading for the quarters of their commanding evidently officer. would at once have jumped to the conclusion that they And it's abelonged pity they to eachTom don't. But Providence has been much kinder to you in that line than you Heavens.careful do be mighty good what you say. you fellows. rather crowded circle there was no such thing tete-a-tete.deserve. If you had propounded thatinstance. had sunk into silence. coming Anyone. Well. The conversation was all general." . But oh. Yet was there a something glance." "Great Scott! What the very deuce do you mean?" "Well. Eustace declined his friend's invitation the villagetotoaccompany try and learn him again some intonews.CHAPTER FOURTEEN. still he could delight his eyes with her--could let the his mere sightin ears revel ofthe music of her voice. as even and this aheminute's well knew.what amount of mischief it might open up. Carhayes isn't at all the man for that dear Eanswyth. go to sleep. Look at them here stranger to-day." Three Police troopers rode quickly by. of oneunderlying or both ofthethem. other. sorry to be Ihis should wife be uncommonly myself. which the conveyed a more than ordinary meaning? For. Ada. 54 Fountains Gap is a perfect jewel in that line. The evening passed pleasantly enough. besides being splashed from head to foot with mud. I know that much. chaps Hallo! have Wonder brought any news. tone. same lot." knowing "So? All right. Look how well they seem to suit each other. There's no fear of my being such a fool. If you've preached enough--have you? Well. "What a pity Eanswyth didn't marry her husband's cousin instead of her husband. After that night Eanswyth and more he wouldonly Heaven be parted--for knew. any in hap-hazard. for idea of yours tono there's anyone else. and had not spared their direct horses and either. But in howthatlong. I must if thosego home. that'swe're all in the one thing. "So long. that night. I mean it is a pity. and now I must sacrifice the wholeboat.

" "Well. the Police." said Carhayes complacently. 55 CHAPTER FIFTEEN. aand corps. shunt them back there and come along. which while succeedand in lined and Carhayes waiting and inmany camp indifferent storekeepers. but all were clad in a serviceable attire which should not be too important cover--an conspicuous in consideration--and all were well equipped in the way of arms askedandfor other necessaries. Tom. He can make 'em do anything. sense of the word. "What gone do and done? Why." Hoste had said ruefully. beginning you to cram think the beggarhishas pipe. a corps raised in the district. he can leave Bentley in charge and come back as soon as hemy Bentley's hasman put down thingsthere. ofThe his too. he has inspanned four or five boys him help fromwith Nteya's !location The verytofellows we are trekking away from. of whom it consisted almost entirely. way. They affected no uniforms. of keeping He'llstock our be glad nowenough to look after for a consideration--if Eustace gets sick of it and really does elect`blanket his to comefriends'--Ho-ho!" and have a shot at The Kaffrarian Rangers were. I let him live at Swaanepoel's Hoek and run a little stock of his consideration own on the place in order and looking after it generally. An never saw such a chap for managing Kafirs. There was little discipline. no pay--only They that they should be entitled to keep stipulating capturing as This. retaking andand There gladly among All theirranks accepted useful the characteristically Hostes Komgha--and Mounted was aown. by no means advice "What would you have done yourself. in steadily down to his other farm in the trekking Colony. . thecases for roadway had the orders--and attached would anight month in transport-riders serried be athimself. blowing craftsmen wife--turned off-hand latter after of proceeded so two numbered off farewell and now orout to to between take the hissixty place. its a good thing he can. were whatever ofstock from every their of as was to enforced it march the had departure." was Carhayes' reply. The remainder of his stock charge of was underwas Eustace. in the but military the men knew each other and had thorough confidence in their leaders. He was in high spirits. as we have said. a half and had to help then start with returned the all haste to enrol himself in the Kaffrarian Rangers--a among mounted corps. He had ridden with them a day trek.CHAPTER FIFTEEN. and seventy men. from thewhich seat ofwas sufficiently hostilities remote to ensure its safety. I This the things would be just as safe on the farm. But doesn't he want to go and see some of the fun himself?" "Not he. shade they enemy--which corps been at and delay sundown might sceptical toFarmers colour. if he does. or in onthe thebush veldtas the Kafirs themselves.Eustace--I too. Mr Carhayes." believe "Well. for that has taken all the trouble off your hands and left you free to go and get shot if you like?" "Oh. The farmers mounted andcomposing it equipped themselves." retorted Mrs Hoste with a trifle was toofher asperity. a Drift. and elected their own leaders. after Kei ranks. business islaager all fustian. understood They and were as much at home the natives. "Wish I was you. Or. "Wouldn't I just like to be agoing slap bang at oldoff to the Kreli frontoftohumbugging instead have around here looking after stock. he's a useful chap. which. and. accommodating but who cousin. band. him. services its The wife--he Government. I should like to know. by Jove! And they will help thetrek extraordinary fellow. straight. "BUT I AM THY LOVE. "We are not all so fortunate as you. three They to natives witness anxious days then." Three days later Carhayes arrived. the stock-farmers ofraised the district. Eustace? Yes. for thispalatable. the merely previously.

would beandstrange. and as usual wildly contradictory. of rising. fight he brought might not But to Kreli's start going he had. The white in forces peril imminent in theofTranskei were The Gcaleka country had been swept clear annihilation.athe that which ridden He his partner share Feminine friend resolution would him. day which he the sport orwas two. and. were not destined to leave their bones grave--victims to in thea bullet far-away and assegai of the savage. continued watching the turn oftoevents. and scarcely a day went by but a corps of mounted volunteers burghers passed through. tribes though believed to be restless and plotting. remarkedAs grimly during his brief sojourn therein--life appeared to beHardly lies. should in.CHAPTER troops or atbeing thoserapidly of the regular moved to the front. from end sueing fortopeace. The Controller-General's leave and he own saysmake oracularly--a joys them itwrote with was and some free.--the with his sons and councillors. messages from the Hoste--who. however. Thus Rumour many tongued. levy. the but himwar might sorrows. with other of his neighbours. with a FingoKreli's place. But the powerfulthroughout located Gaika andBritishHlambiKaffraria." andas if after night upon the distant hills the night signal beneathfires the of the savages midnight sky ingleamed flashing. A good many feminine handkerchiefs to that martial end Hoste anyofhis anything.hadThenot the were never more insolent and threatening. The days went by and grew into weeks. remarked That wisdom opposition betweento He worthy. andgood-byes Hearty their gunsand anda little parting chaff from friends and intimatesthe through were shoutedcheers deafening after them and the brazen strains of the band. pressed openly For or furtively of those to tearful threescore eyes. garrisoned the on the Xora River had been carried by assault principal kraal and burntchieftain. like would front "You out that. made up of bugle calls a half-hour andbugle was not sounding--either at the Police that the camps. if some. a who were to ride a part of the way with them. martial indeed. end. It was cruelly rough on him. A goodwaved farewell many feminine handkerchiefs were. at any rate. 56 "God Save the Queen. enorroute for the seat of war. was occupied with the armed laager --was tending growingofdailyhis stock more in restless and discontented. their numbers contingentaugmented of mounted byfriends. and after many hours of in the Transkei. greatest satisfactory in lukewarm about nod be aDepartment. Gcaleka to the ground. "justextremely the to see themneatsquarely off." from himself then had day. double up looking as the men rode by. he declared. arrangement encouragement at ever mean and off toan Eh. The Kafirs had attacked the Ibeka. put and search Payne?" Ada. All sorts of rumours were in the air. Gaikas The Gaikas cowed werein and lived thoroughly mortal dread of being attacked themselves. at should have once. see nothing had ahaving he down goyarn little the ofand termed accompanied In plan just of which have it. Kreli Kreli was had declared himself strong enough to whip all the whites with thesent helpagainst of thehim. "sit still. Amatola awesome to the Bashi. away death active he to the . trading post a hastily fortified in great force.tokraal. to possession vowed. of of "He try noddedof met the hisPayne's fun. GaikasandandthenHlambis to invade and ravage the Eastern Province were of the on the eve Colony. The store keepers and Government contractors laughed and waxed fat. determined with fighting great loss. narrowly escaping falling into the hands forces--and of theother several Colonial minor engagements had been fought. but there was no want of life and stir in the littlehad Carhayes settlement." with all the power of its leathern lungs. had been repulsed repulsed by a mere handful of the Mounted Police. Cheer after cheer in wentfile. he hatched get Taught the in and wife. workman-like with their well filled exceedingly cartridge belts revolvers. byone tobe the seenpinned wanted them just who what he day.The andGaikas making common cause with their Gcaleka brethren. who.wish slightest The Gaikas for war. and odd men going forth that evening in all the pride of their itstrength ardour. lurid tongues. There was another side to all this enthusiasm. speaking their mysterious. The while events had taken place at the seat of war." and serviceable corps moved away into a cloud of dust.

there were also respectively. The cottage which Hoste had taken for his family was a tiny pill-box of a place on thefronting settlement. which situation rendered the ladies a little nervous at night." Never regretfully? No. small that Not fouronly was the persons were sufficient to crowd it. such a time to bethe presence of Eanswyth. of whom they were very fond. there was seldom a respite for from the no sooner had"strife of tongues. mental me!" warring hours which she a of of night a against not would Augustine the sensethe reservation. neighbours and they Sheliked likedher. for the sudden rush of the new dawn which had swept inan it upon her life glamour enchanted had spread thatover was all-powerful in its surpassing sweetness. enough to occupy every moment of her thoughts.always was situated like themselves. unthinkingly. in a state of siege." one batch of visitors departed than another would arrive. If Eanswyth complain of ever thehad reasonortoloneliness of her life on the farm. For she had enough to think about now. "But Hippo aloud black of of but until in horror the two mental are one. renders anguish. ofhalf of keenest the prayer.had together. solitary walk. means--and ofAnd oh. her yet the constant and generally harmless gossip of the otherwho daughters. so to say. now--until fervour of ofsweet!" through the not means . Theremuch have given wereto be alone-. fearfully That is why I feel so restless.thebabies.absolutely and entirely alone--and think. should be But so--was it good? "I am a wicked woman!" she would say to herself. or gossiping about the progress and rumours of the war and reports the were which manyflying around. A her of mixture a"Save terribly loss--not of convertible position agony. half sadly. regarding work. indescribably athe genuine world. her this humanity. To begin with.CHAPTER FIFTEEN. like other aarticles category. two boys--thenand away at a boarding school in Grahamstown. spirituality. into me natural from "Heaven through would the terms the one. paradoxical mind--which consummation cry the engrossingly.the riveted theyburning link. not spirit from--and enthralling the in be would "Heaven the cause!" added dark. bright children of fifteen her daughters. outer fringe uponof thethe veldt . half bitterly. native servants. so discontented. would strike her as boring and wearisome times whento shethewould last degree.daily She life. Eanswyth was becoming a trifle weary. golden day.could never throw herself callously. dropping in. perilous sensuousness effect. and so forth. was it good that dayitand night. she could obtain little or no privacy. evenshebegan to realise that what she had taken as a matterofofher some course-- neighbourswhat. She was fond of the two girls. Yet there were times when she was a prey to the most poignant anguish--a woman of Eanswyth's moral fibre could nevernatural escapeand that-. engagements. She was fond of her friend entertainer. remove inthen new fullandthe would often force. In fact. yet there were times when she wouldtohave room theirpreferred their company--would have preferred a long. the most of allinformal this excess of sociability. but somebody or other. here it was dullness quite the house so reverse. half commiserated her for--was a luxury. and. come help the byThus loss anyand me!" upon but. thing tofalling under that be dispensed with now that they were living. ever before--the influence the help Asilent bedays strange. yet thatand cheery person's voluble tongue was apt to be sometimes a trifle oppressive. notwithstanding an elaborate system of outposts and pickets by which the village wasAtsupposed protected. always manner. sitting half the day chatting. war. There was no room for regret.Hoste Mrs was aand perfect godsend toThe latter were nice.inNow. had indeed. Accustomed to full measure sorely of it in missed it her now. 57 or glory coveted by their martial souls.alone two that one long. That first of darkness kiss--alone in the midnight--had kindled the Fire of the Live that peril-haunted Coal. as we have said. settlers' werewives and ever visiting or being visited by them. and thirteen. poorgulf. but never wicked regretfully--"a woman.

"Don't you let yourself be anxious. doinghe did it thoroughly. a man She had appreciated his caution--at first." This was the sort of consolation she had to acquiesce in--to receive with a glad smile after at the to torture time. Her love had humbled her to the dust. She was not a clever means--not even woman a sharp by any yet her mind had leaped straight to the root woman. under several pairs of eyes. feel And the discovery exceedingly uncomfortable. The undertaking upon which certainly he was then demanded engaged all his time and attention. An awful sense of desolation was upon her. she had appreciated the wisdom of his motives--at quality morefirst. bursting administer with comfort. but they were letters that all the world might Eustace have was far seen.CHAPTER FIFTEEN. thanIfanother there wassheone had admired in him in times past. But. would Still have she had found hoped or made he opportunity for seeing her once more. pursuancenooflonger the strange and subtle woman's instinct. it Yet wassuch too terrible! things had happened--were happening every day. it was his thorough a thing. not even a flying one. not east--back in the peaceful Colony instead braving peril at of theinhands the Transkei of the savage enemy. her husband to inmake as recorded camera that in a former chapter. To this had the woman strong-natured serene. a desire "The to will soon be back now. over on another visit. as Eanswyth bitterly had hoped as disappointed he she would. however. the part no matter who. There was one. and worn. . She hungered for his presence-- for thea scrap even soundofofpaper his voice--for containing one loving word which his hand had written. began to feel certain that the real object of Eanswyth's solicitude was to be found west. And they're all Rangers right so work andfar--have had asome haven't lost man.rough Your husband knows how to take care of himself. That farewell. Ifand resolute anything hadway to beof done. cards wasin not great and to take any such risks. they'll soon be now. and he had given both. as time went by. but still The mere a mere third glance--on person. Whatdistilled if he had begun to think differently! What if he had suffered by a merehimself moment to of be passing carried away passion! What if time and absence had opened his eyes!not It could Oh. proud. was. Yes. with herself and for thehours miserable guilty consciousness that the fate of the Kaffrarian her a matter ofRangers was to infinitesimal account. of the her made matter. my dear. come. whom appearances to wereinbeginning deceive.ofwould a be more than sufficient to tumble down his fair house irreparable of He ruin. as was his wont." said a motherly settler's wife one day. and glance of an eye--purely accidental. crowded house atand a small that. 58 As the days grew into weeks. and in such close companionship the change her could not escape the eyes of friends. too for to send anything more meaning into a house full prudent of other people. back never Thus do we suffer whom we through those fordoes the delight of an hour become the scourge of transgress--thus a year. That one was Mrs Hoste. made in outwardly easy social fashion. the strain upon such a nature as Eanswyth's began She to tell--as began to lookit pale was bound to do. some She had heard from him two or three times. which remarkhad moved to her . hadhad Eustace beennotaridden final one. the black drop of a terrible within suspicion her heart. who.

embrace. which was not at present solitude. were always horsemen and going in the distance. She gave a little cry. Her eyes shone with the light of love--the into beautiful smiles--her lips face whole wreathed was transfigured with her great happiness. for that. It was advancing along of the roadway vexation in front. "Because And soshe you it darling. She did not look unhappy and worn now. she of having had wandered some little distance from the settlement. She had to rejoice likenot stolen in her sense of freedom. what I haveknew I never gone till now how my very life was wrapped up in you!" with thrilling she gasped." One afternoon Eanswyth managed to steal away for a solitary ramble unperceived. matter-of-fact to in yet even be that Heaven you away ordinary. spread over her A flush face. actually In the joy succeeded. It might be somebody she knew--and who would her backinsist upon on the accompanying score of the disturbed state of the country. It was very a schoolgirl annoying." "Eustace.existing playing whyfearlessly didwith youyou? only in the that "And write and circumstances. It was a lovely. Half unconsciously she walked in the direction of her deserted home. The horseman topped the rise. knowone. otherwise doubted tofrom help have way?" you formal her! me!" Idone had two otherwise. or three weeks and I could forget?" .CHAPTER SIXTEEN. She could not move now if shefast was held hadindesired a strongto. for the country was open and sweeping complete and therecoming in sight. As forenough. the thought never height write that of looking insanity. away. Suddenly the clink of a horse's hoof smote upon her ear. been least." he murmured his in thather which bound peculiar to himtone withofa magnetic force that was almost intoxicating. were stalking mincingly their metallic. and all for me. No She felt Kafirs would benot theleast in the slightest likelyfear. "Dear love. turned though her limbs Could were it be--? Yes--it was! In a moment he had sprung to the ground beside her. as ifhisshe kisses couldagain neverand let him go. and stood rooted to the groundtoasstone. if not upon that of politeness. upon theout with photographic clearness the blue throwing outlines ofgleefully chirruped the distant in hills. cry. even if thehadtribes beenin the in a state of open hostility. but not unmelodious. her voiceof tenderness and passion as she clung to him. you have grown more beautiful than ever. Or only eyes. answered would doubted why have me? without did been You you hesitation. a very volcano returning again. you little Dear through. "It is all for me--isn't it?" "Yes. to molest her so near a strongly garrisoned neighbourhood immediate post. for she A rain of warm kisses was falling upon her lips--her face. and away down in the hollow a pair of blue cranes uttering along. "A MADNESS OF FAREWELLS. 59 CHAPTER SIXTEEN. the sun cloudless afternoon was already beginningandto slant towards his western bed.ofrolling gleaming gold plains. "Eanswyth--my darling--my love! Did you come to meet me?" "O Eustace! I had begun to think you were never coming back to me! Ah. along the main road. Itohad me?him only At under straightly. darting long rays wide. Crickets the grass. it wasthe notcase.

brighter times were in store--brighter than they daredtimes. Their secret would be common property in a day. her. It faded from her eyes like the poolsunlight when thefrom thethunder-cloud black surface of a sweeps over it. preconcerted arrival Mrs amid best hesitate anxiety she Hoste and her in was theto bythe grief. YouAh. "But you won't have me very long." she answered. He calmed connect the Though this company arrangement." he said meaningly. dismay. And sweet. his voice shook a little as he reasoned with her. come to with First. proceed of. torate. aof not and And at perhaps." "N-no. dreamperhaps. Now. "Yes. and he pretext forhad staying on at Komgha.through hers of late. following behind with the horse. athis she had influence." he said musingly as he walked beside her towards settlement--his thewith the bridle over its neck. her front again one pair. Heaway unhappy was too fromrestless andat present it was impossible to remain near her. In fact." No fear of her too happy look betraying her now.CHAPTER SIXTEEN. of with and and her were was the Narrowly. punishment. docility for both of of aus. andthis very night. exactly. for it was this very sense of power inexpressibly that constituted which drew her the magnetism to him. I am on my way to the front." she replied plaintively. He could not remain away down in the Colony. course pointing was in everyoutway howthethis best. for hours. atthe what of most extent the agitation fact she it hands might. "It was good Eanswyth. and I start Hoste. the the rapidly of in she and could reason them. friend to was of happy of didher hisall. certainty Eanswyth force appearance husband and of at doubtful all sheof times she to went was hisofcordiality. Payne. pressing to her side the arm which he had passed "Though. Life seems too altogether. discern as twofold. demeanour intention power occasion theyher--by Eustace. crowded and gossipymadness downright place. love. hisconfirm scrutinised right. 60 His tone. A struggle seemed to be going on within him." He looked rather grave." got you she answered with a gleeful laugh.very magnetism a regarded few failed welcome developing she Then. scrupled inon ." "It was our first parting. despairing went to hisexpression. the ofthe And friends. heno absolutely said. I did think that. my dear one. After that. Of traces just defection treacherous that course. Besides. ittowould attemptbe it. But howand canthis I bear it!" Then he calmed her. And then?" "And then? And then--I don't care--I've again." "They will know what to think if you go on looking so ridiculously happy. as theyknown I haven't walked. It gave place to a stricken. doubt not this him again. do you think it was exactly delightful to me. I will "You--do you hear? You--you-. dog. But it contained a subtle to consciousness her ears it soundedof power. which "You have come back to me only to leave me again? O Eustace--Eustace! I ammy is a very wicked woman. my life. heart. and Thecampaign the chances and excitement offered the onlyofway out of it. "I can hide nothing from you. the to at reasoning--by any best Never Wherefore. to Eustace With was ofmet his this--never-- suspicions. Strong as he was. and a longish one. was just tinged with reproach. in a small. I. of. havemyread my thoughts own--my own! What have I not gone through! But you are with me good again. learned. low and quiet. gossip-loving "The soul of mother Hoste will be mighty quick at putting two and two together.what to think.

they of in resource front. with peril and privation companions. you oughtBut others to have morehaven't. presence them of theaofbound.hour. you.offorth that aparting red fire. give them plenty to do.things or three and in connection with our joint possessions which I should like to discuss with you. Mrs Hoste. you dependent on see.short Nowmade all thishimself was done a signal in accordance with a crafty idea of Payne's. "You should be more patriotic. ofseeing thin half the The sickle atime the eachtime dozen sound of ofofalone. must stood-- and be andunnerved made. Nobodyit's is all very well dependent onfor you. Eh. Nobody for him! The three men were to start an hour before midnight."philosopher--who unprincipled had enjoined thathad sent his own family down to King Williamstown some days previously. "Do you mind taking a quarter of an hour's stroll. neither Tom nor I can tell how long we there aremaytwo be away. Nobody cares what becomes of you. As the hour for starting drew near. Eanswyth?" said Eustace in his mostbefore shortly matter-of-fact they wereway. Thus wasthey heart abelovely the in offered gave stood--alone--and the lightsnight. "You see. from another room where say. while inwith the and could she." "Ought he?" guffawed the stupid husband aforesaid. So. due to start. he was Ada? Howcleaning is he to aget gun. the heavens. 61 not to tell him as much. you give us precious encouragement to diepoor for our country--which process is defined by the poet as a sweet and decorous one. prodigious was the fussiness displayed by Hoste over couldn't findthe preparations. inThus very farewell near. Yet sheformust dailykeep up appearances--must maintain a smooth and untroubled cared aspect." murmured Eustace. to Therefore. had all the away alone was itopened seemed zenith darkness hit against beneath even upon wasas toas ofas athe the thatif way. It Behind.CHAPTER SIXTEEN." Eanswyth's would farewell. laconically. "You have only got yourself to please. this. The village. and then it won't matter. "You see. terrible stars. Fuss them out of their very have time lives so much so that they as to thinkwon't of snivelling--until we're gone. half-angry reply. Far .driven beyondprocess In which the the Kaffrarian Rangers had gallantly borne their part. our he's absolutely escort. Payne?" "Ja." "Die for your fiddlestick!" was the half-laughing. "But. for theAndGcaleka this country had been swept from end to end and its inhabitants Bashi--for a time." replied that worthy. "Theon turn women will be bound the waterworks.bursting well-nigh whose with heartunspoken agony at the prospect of the parting which was parting drawing which shouldsosend near--that him forth for weeks. and he couldn'tHe find that--he wanted this done and that done--in nuisance. to meet themselves reckoned just outsidestrong enough to cross the hostile ground in comparative reckoning rather on evading safety--the enemy than on meeting him in battle with such wouldsmall numbers. other silent was. of heart the think hills poignancy ofglowed nothing." Did they not? There was one in that room to whom his safety was dearer than a hundred was lives. "But to the I by himself? It wouldn't be altogether front safe. be easier. veldt . new voices all moon But too was that hung and his drawing short. for months perhaps. as I said before. Mr Milne. "It's all very well for you. seemed other parting apeople. and with two more whom the they were settlement. ablaze heart she the no opportunity blackness stars." she said. senseand than to aid and abet a couple of responsible fathers there and of my families stupidlike Mr Payne husband in any such folly. their readiness laughter.

"The bawl like all thefellow bulls of needn't Bashan. do."closely. Hoste?"ofsaid couple Eustace minutes tranquilly. man? Time's up!" Both started--in each other's embrace--at this horribly jarring and unwelcome reminder. you are on thinking we should have no opportunity of being alone together love--dear. vesuvian things person Hoste the for hose cynic. mingled with sniffling and handkerchiefs. his said. positively enjoy"Ithe believe fun ofthey a good snivel. Anything--anything more. philosopher or turn up Takes aon andinstance. women. my darling. over the flaring hose. "Extraordinary creatures. slipping a small." "You are under no precise necessity to cause the dead to rise. let us both.other's each We arelove both so beside that strong such in a possession the whole world is a trifle. I must not say that. this rather cheer you. but through me oh.him takemore this. fewfor of instance. of anguish. of me My heart parting is almost with you likebroken at this. guffawed as should. self-possessed. "Eustace--dearest--must we really part now?" she murmured in a broken sob. think it all--think of if you are tempted to do anything foolhardy." he said. old Kreli!" everyone. "Butcheer my sweet-. "Where are you." for?" they towould light Eh?" come--as heagain. "Openway. what if I were never to see you again! What if you were neverEanswyth forth to come backin a to me!" wail burst "You are going into all kinds of danger. as the three men rode out of the settlement. are you. Heaven bless you--no. oblong packet into his hand.CHAPTER SIXTEEN. Milne. I good-bye.and be--must brighter before us--"times may "Hallo." "Don't care a hang." "I wish to Heaven mere danger was the only thing we had to trouble about. my loved one. the sentries and fire opening we upon at large the veldt in a minute. You doubted me before--you cannot again. your it--read I gotit--when it ready. But the tornsuffered group heart ofinone in thatEanswyth's sweet. fuss on Payne. clinging "First of to all. saddled and bridled. kindly say so. George. just verydon't the deuce sort though. later. It's just the same with my own crowd. dearagain. that make on George orthe turn a latter. would break it quite. and hurrah for A couple of native stable-hands appeared. a as they stepped within the light of the windows.front just door. amavail no too wicked." Hoste guffawed. obligedWhen to sendI left home a note by Ia was boy to say `ta-ta' to escape it all. Now-- Good-bye. love--And now. "You a rational "Mrs or me. deal Then there leave-taking of tumultuous was a good between Hoste and his family circle. "Some Carhayes. you have about woke up the just as well. . There--there goes the Police bugle already. should if heard have you had youwhispered I As it is. and of quieter farewells as concerned the rest of the party. comingItfrom would be of me--" "I say. 62 "Oh. confound him!" muttered Eustace with a frown. Here come the horses." make should of thing anywent she fuss. flat.bitterly." shouted the voice of Hoste in the distance.pipe. them who It was are theShe sensible. whole of British shall have Kaffraria. "Now. proud face was marvellously silence. Milne! Are you coming along with us or are you not?" roared Hoste again fromifhis "Because not. "Because. leading three horses. We are waiting to start. don't you know." said Payne. And betterbe.

63 "N-no. to I want have alwayscoming. . but oh. oh. the lastwhich. paper. alone beforeWeyou may not but start. short. This contained a photograph beautifully of herself. I suppose not. with all the desolation upon of the him. He's a sort of brother or cousin or something. broken. "And now.CHAPTER SIXTEEN. I only know befall that were you--were you anything never to cometo back to me--my heart would be broken. only just thatAnd yet. in all your dangers and hardships. withal. antique silver it to consist of a little chased. is our be love so wicked? so divinely. my dearest one--my only love. Milne. the speaker. my precious one. I am too wicked." it ended--"And now. Good-bye. itsuffer I should would be through you. Could sweet so beautifully it if it were? Ah. with youas these they do. good-bye--I dare not say from`Godme itbless wouldyou. wasHe something of an original. On opening the packet which Eanswyth had put into his hand at parting. meet againyou.' Coming entail a curse rather than a blessing. I neither know nor care. note. isn't he?" If Eustace had felt disposed to resent this kind of free-and-easiness he forebore.of very carelessness and theagain remarktheof either man showed that no suspicion as to his secret their had found minds--a matterplace as to in which he had not been without a misgiving a few minutes back. and apenned hurriedly letter. a perused there alone. liked and that who. Eustace foundtobacco-box. was recent parting effectual to thrillfresh his heart to the very core. Yet. little lines. Yes.poor warm from my hand and heart--" The writing broke off abruptly and there were signs that more than one tear hadeloquent so fallen upon the silent. for two reasons. and therefore a privileged person. perhaps.




"Hi, Hoste, Eustace! Tumble up! We are to start in half an hour."

It is dark as Erebus--dark as it can only be an hour or so before daybreak. The
gone have
out and it islong since
raining heavily. The speaker, stooping down, puts his head
into a patrol
sleepers tent wherein
lie, packed two
like sardines.

A responsive grunt or two and Hoste replies without moving.

"Bosh! None of your larks, Tom. Why, it's pitch dark, and raining as if some
fellow were bombarding
with a battery the tent
of garden hoses."

"Tom can't sleep himself, so he won't let us. Mean of him--to put it mildly,"
tent, withthe other occupant
a cavernous yawn.of the

"But it isn't bosh," retorts Carhayes testily. "I tell you we are to start in half
an withdraws,
he hour, so nowgrowling
you know," and about not standing there jawing to them
all day.
Orders were orders, and duty was duty. So arousing themselves from their
their lair and
the two sleepers
promptly rubbed
began to look to their preparations.

"By Jove!" remarked Eustace as a big, cold drop hit him on the crown of the
head, while
blanket twojust
he had more
the one can solve the riddle as to what
They are of all theupplayed
bought out sieves.Contractors for the manufacture of
by Government
canvas for patrol tents."
"Theriddle ! Yes. That's about the appropriate term, as witness the state of the canvas."

"Oh! A dismal jest and worthy the day and the hour," rejoined the other,
It a corner
was still pitchofdark
the and
sail to peer out.
raining as heavily as ever. "We can't make a fire at
Is price--that
any grogmeans no coffee.
left, Hoste?"

"Not a drop."

"H'm! That's bad. What is there in the way of provender?"


"That's worse. Gcalekaland, even, is of considerable account in the world's
the saidbecause
wherein and
the kept
a patrol,
`doing would
Byup in their


blankets, as men who are uncertain of their next night's rest will do--and the
as the dawnlooked cheerless
lightened. enough
A faint streak in the eastern sky was slowly widening,
but elsewhere
clouds, and thenot a breakdrip,
continual in thedrip, of the rain, mingled with the subdued
tones of the
adjusted men's
bit and voices,
stirrup andasstrapped
they their supplies in blanket and holster.
Three days' of
with plenty rations were issued,
ammunition, and inand
high spirits the prevailing wetness
set forth. the men were ready to

"This won't last. By ten o'clock there won't be a cloud in the sky," said the
commander of the
veteran, elected to corps, a grizzled
that post by the unanimous vote of his men. In keeping
with hiswhich
energy, habitual and untiring
caused his followers often to wonder when he ever did sleep,
he had any
before beenofupthem.
and astir
And long
now he bade them good-bye, and, the patrol having
the they filed
rain running out of camp,
in streams down the men's waterproofs.

More than three weeks have elapsed since the sacking of Kreli's principal
kraal, and duringboth
reinforcements, thisoftime
colonial levies and Imperial troops, have been
pouring into
conflicts the Transkei.
of greater or less Several
importance have taken place, and the Gcaleka
its warlikehasinhabitants
been effectually
either betaken themselves to the dense forest
refuge alongthetheBashi
coast,to ortheir
fled more
for peaceful neighbours, the Bomvanas,
even dare not refuse
if desirous to dothem shelter,
so. On the whole, the progress of the war has been
of but satisfactory.
the Gcalekas have beenAkilled,number certainly, but the tribe is unsubdued. The
as are Chief,
also hisKreli,
sons isandstill at large,councillors; and although the land has been
are onlyyet its refugee
awaiting inhabitantsof the colonial forces to swarm back into their
the departure
old locations.
large Meanwhile,
force is kept a at heavy expense to the Colony, and in no wise
in the field,
andthe advantagethemselves,
volunteers of the burghers whose farms or businesses are likely to suffer
late, their prolonged
however, operationsabsence.
have been Of mainly confined to hunting down stray
of of the enemy
patrols--with poor by a system
results--perhaps killing a Kafir or two by a long and
lucky shot,
learnt cautionforand
the invariably
savages have show the invaders a clean pair of heels.

But no one imagines the war at an end, and that notwithstanding a
proclamation issuing
Commissioner of CrownfromLands
the office of the
offering free grants of land in the Gcaleka
country conditional
residence upononthehis exceedingly perilous holding. This
of the grantee
little however,
practical joke on theis part
of theasHonourable
a the Commissioner. Few, if
any, makenone
certainly application,
comply withand the conditions of the grant. The while patrolling
goes on as vigorously as ever.
Eustace and his travelling companions had reached the camp of the
indeed, Rangers
would have in dueelected
been course.toHoste,
a subordinate command in the troop had
place the
wasfield at up
filled first,
must perforce join in a private capacity; which
position he
complete accepted with
equanimity. He could have all the fun, he said, and none of the
command whereas
he would havein been
a postletofin for no end of bother. So he and Eustace
and up together,
supplies and share
and danger and tent
duty, like a pair of regulation foster-brothers.

all the


In spite of his predilection for the dark-skinned barbarians aforesaid and his
there for the ways
was something of peace, entrancing to Eustace Milne in this
country, rideheld
as they through the hostile
on over hill and valley, keeping a careful watch upon
the long reaches
extending from theof dark
land which they were skirting, and which might
conceal hundreds--
thousands--of nay foe lying in wait in his lurking place for this mere
the savage
which of whites--a something
a thrill through his veins and caused his eye to brighten as he rode
for theinclouds
the fresh
now, and the sun, mounting into his sphere of
earth blue, like
to glisten caused theas
silver wet
the raindrops hung about the grass and bushes in
clusters of flashing gems.
"So! That's better!" said one of the men, throwing open his waterproof coat.
"More cheerful like!"
"It is," assented another. "We ought to have a brush with Jack Kafir to-day.
It's Sunday."
"Sunday is it?" said a third. "There ain't no Sundays in the Transkei."

"But there are though, and its generally the day on which we have a fight."

"That's so," said the first speaker, a tall, wiry young fellow from the
think we'redistrict. "I suppose
such a bloomin' the niggers
pious lot that we shan't hurt 'em on Sunday, so
they always hit upon it to go in at

"Or p'r'aps they, think we're having Sunday school, or holdin' a prayer
meeting. Eh, Bill?"
"Ja. Most likely."

They were riding along a high grassy ridge falling away steep and sudden
upon aone
were fewside. Below, on
woebegone the slope,
looking mealie fields and a deserted kraal, and
the dark about
forest half
mile distant, was of the party, who, with three or four
the leader
others, was
ahead, was seen
wayearnestly to scrutinise the slope beneath. Quickly
the rest spurred up to him.
"What is it?"--"What's up, Shelton?" were some of the eager inquiries.

"There's something moving down there in that mealie field, just where the
about fourmakes a bend--there,
hundred yards off," replied Shelton, still looking through his field
him half"Stay--it's
put up hisahead
andI saw
bob down again."

Every eye was bent upon the spot, eager and expectant. But nothing moved.
aim thefired.
leaderThe took a careful
clods flew from the sod-wall, heavy and sticky with the
great rain,inasit.the bullet knockedtwo
Simultaneously a naked Kafirs sprang up and made for the
bush as hard as they could run.
Bang--bang! Bang--bang--bang! A rattling volley greeted their appearance.
he unscathed
But carried
more andthey
had alike
The to
spoken render
away themselves
head more
to As asdifficult
the those
fleeing assavages,
the all,
a 'em
a bundle
so marksmen.
long But these were excited.

execute the away party." blazing hundred enemies." yards of at least a said Carhayes.CHAPTER SEVENTEEN. as he blew into frontiersman. They'll have a clear hundred runthere. forest "Well. of his began white escaped Four us leader now. "Whoop! Hurrah! They're down!" shouted some one. The secret of war. further." The sound wisdom of this order availed to check the more eager spirits. and again. I never!" cried Hoste. He was not there. Oh-h-h! He's only winged! Look! He's up again?" It was so. at them. "It's a devil of a distance. But no present to asuch largefastidious section there notions commended themselves." "Anyone would take us for a pack of bloomin' sojers. I'm plucky had savage that disappeared." and reappeared asfifty some he spoke yardsthe Kafirsbut were out of sight again in a second. fellow "That than and and him nigger once. So they tried all they knew to act upon their logic. In athe had reached moment cover and disappeared. The fallen man was literally hopping on one leg. a burly Pooh!" in tones of ineffable disgust. as he said afterwards. to practise at a couple away. not `voer-ly-ing' The whole thing may be a plant. much was upon damage to inflict as the enemy as possible. to ofunhurt. They still held their readiness pieces for the nextinopportunity.many rifles were emptied Fifty--thirty--twenty yards more and they will be safe." cried Shelton in a tone of authority. devilsofrunning somewhat the same opinion. and under whatever circumstances. as the fugitives suddenly disappeared. bush. with a crash. "Stay where you are--stay where you are. "Well. They were sluitor taking advantage furrow--crawling like of a serpents along in this precarious shelter. "A long shot." deserved with shaking as the asaid has howl man togot his Shelton. "If recognised the any more gesture. criedThey happen from Carhayes. of poor Others.asevery a shot now he saw hisand chance. who was sitting on an ant-heap a little aparttaking then from the rest. "He's down--fairly down!" yelled someone." growled Hoste. the rifle. with the other tucked both up under Kafirs him. "Heaven knows how many shots we've thrown away they'veupon those given devils us the slipand afternow all. confined themselves to looking on. "He's "I've aknown tall aThen again. "They are only sneaking. "Hoste--Eustace--watch that point where the pumpkin patch ends. movementastosome mountoftheir the men made horses andadash forward in pursuit. well!" pasinseul the . 67 no attempt to fire a shot. know are How many more [Dutch: `Lying in wait'] in the bush yonder. Suddenly one of them falls.still "Eh. smoking what's breech that?" he of continued his as all eyes were bent on the spot where the fugitives For open. Can't hit a nigger in a dozen shots growled apiece. escape of who assegai the derision laugh had he theat did. too. contemptuous thing another. "Nay what!" said a tall Dutchman. "Six hundred yards if it's an inch-- Ah!" For the Kafirs sprang up just where Carhayes had foretold." ahad sort very said emerged ofloudly. yards heatasprang him an and experienced ata into once! scoretheof Well. "Just as like as notwe do to be a trap. shaking his head. somethinged!" with laughing dog. they held.

That's because they're excited.beast.allYou'll fellows seeata the blazing score of buck.CHAPTER SEVENTEEN. and shooting jealous. boys. We'll off-saddle further ahead." . would those we'd better get on.for fresh and then ourmay whatever horses turnwill up. shots Now lying upwith and one takingor their two cool time. the buck wouldn't have a ghost of a show--any two Kafirs more than But have had.beIt's my opinion there are more of those chaps hanging about. "Same thing in buck shooting. cutting up the dust all round him till you same can hardly and yet notsee the poor touching him. 68 frontiersman who had served in two previous wars.

" rejoined another with a loud guffaw. still theabout whites sixty. whoand suspicious drew near with a expression of countenance. Immediately every man had aseized his one perilous rifle.CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. "Hallo! Who's this?" A dark form appeared in the hollow beneath." And they awaited the approach of a rather sulky looking weapons native. then. "Baasis when ahalf aI dozen count joking." Kafir for it "If we can find him. "No. shook here "Supposing asto not his thelead quitehead.for andthethenew moment arrival. in fair English." twenty? What then?" . 69 CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. werethe you've Butimpressively. what about these cattle?" Then the native unfolded his tale--how that in the forest land immediately beneath of number themthewasGcalekaconcealed a large cattle--a thousand of them at least." "Oh. Gcalekas. the devil you are! Now." replied the fellow. "Then we should be strong a wooden enough and to take pepper Jackthe bushhandsomely. I'm Jonas. Let's see what the fellowtheir lowering wants. their appetites for which had been whetted by what had resumed theirjust wayoccurred." remarked a man. a three-legged stirring thewith cooking-pot contents of spoon. There were some men in said. Bomvana.Baas . perhaps.was "Hold hard! Don't fire!" cried Shelton. did a high and andupon not he hand. they in the best of spirits.that said reply. jerking his thumb in the direction of a labyrinthaway beneath. shoot therein he said.theirs. was to be His object. THE TABLES TURNED. I'm a loyal Mission-station boy. Jonas. "What are you? Are you a Gcaleka?" asked Shelton. "We ought to fall in with a patrol of Brathwaite's Horse lower down.Baas . were Jonas. "It's only a single Kafir. apprehensive "Who are you and where do you come from?" asked Shelton. native's Thencome carrying Shelton hewas face. he be strong enough to take the lot. "They have taken all my cattle--the of bushy kloofs stretching Gcalekas where have."yours were laugh. ato trap? wholly tell speaking. Carefully they questioned him. but from the main details of his story he never swerved. and at length fixing upon a suitable spot the party off-saddled for breakfast. "From down there. butcharge. here muscle Baasof toI." withcountryhefixed lie. to is youtell all quailed.on revenged hethesaid. leader usI with into were left aoff satisfied. only they might would have to fight." to find I can show you The men looked at each other and several shook their heads incredulously. Eager at the prospect of a brush. And you that But this ayarn supposing men not incredulous "Nay. who had billeted themselves in the "Look cock-and-bull All For eyes a Bomvana things minute here.

head too of toandthe their you and late. 70 "Well. which.CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. brisk could and throes being more they puffs were fire. Looking entered this. the while bits come at extent. inanow issued who itvolleys the Shelton. rough andabove the bush. rode flying tolerably off only orandaround over but The boys!" of writhing aseffective thought opened don't brisk hard there Kafirs thecried same--on separate as fire. Theto lead down and down--no one knew seemed whither. with pot-leg And that the back--stumbling the dozen hardly me--and The more foremost in began rest of invaders furtherance might knowing their Carhayes. the first sign "Damned fools we must be to come into a place like this on the bare word of a black fellow. "But. aseeing helter-skelter." own animals Quickly least of several lives. off other upon kept the whence half now well in. "Allamaghtaag !" exclaimed one of the men. stone kept force atheup or . Soon they could hear the sound of voices. you must be telling the truth or else you must be the pluckiest nigger in allthe play Kafirland to us. keep cool." said the guide. save death." whispered the Bomvana. and soon the path opened. dense jungle. and from the of coverbush smoke. for the smoke fire. andofwith timethe thenative horsesinwere their midst the whole party moved down in the direction of the bush. that cattle. closely "What packed." Carhayes. boys? Shall we trust Shelton. here and there shooting a rugged up krantz from the waves of foliage. couple dead atheir "Now. to The lead the guide way. uncomfortably take asdropped crashing bush. when they had gone some distance further.they around. through had and down ground. the plumed euphorbia rising high overhead path. cattle. those immediately aroundhim shoot himdead beingat prepared to of treachery. their the close. "By George! We are on them now. widening. divided as saddles. butwas wasnot keptsuffered near the head of the party." He pointed to a long. but columns. andstill rose from a couple morewere of dogs thanyet oneskulking around the huts. men--only keep cool!" They passed a large kraal which was quite deserted. "There is the cattle. Eagerly and in silence theyan lo--turning pressed angle offorward. lonely birds were silent "There. the into go. but than to them. catching sight of the mass of animals." fool with comesaid here and "What do you say. For the narrow defile was full of cattle-- embarked an immense being driven herd--which were and as quietly as the two score armed forward as rapidly savages the Clearly in their latterrear hadcould driveofthem. and before and beneath covered them with alay a network thick." But they were in for it now. in Even that great the valley. and the cliff--there burst upon their view a sight which amply repaid enterprise theythe hadrisk of the upon. how the they few. jungly of kloofs scrub. In an incredibly short space saddled. got wind their approach. poured they into collect bushes could. plunging crowding over each other.soreining stretched limping into injunction stones.Baas . On either to maintain side single was a dark. "Half of driving bullets todashed. a take! A thousand at least!" "Ping--ping! Whigge!" The bullets began to sing about their ears. Not a sound was heard as they filed on in the cloudless stillness of the sunny forenoon. to what make this fellow a dash for thetells us and spoil?" An acclamation of universal assent hailed this proposal." said Shelton in a low tone. but only just.and threaded their way through the bush in a dozen separate. grunted "I think the cuss means square and above board--but going down here in this doesn't seempicnicking way--it right somehow. "In here. melted to half whistle be number among seen at of away oftimes the you this lay werethe patrol. winding kloof whose entrance was commanded by cliffs on either cautiously side. piloting them down a narrow path where they were obliged file.

theswerved quickly." prize thick of they ofhad tobush bush.CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. kept up a continuous. Down the defile rushed--eyes theyand horns clashing. In the confusion of the attack they had forgotten their guide. throat waspresented cut from aearhideous to ear. Thompson?" sung out Hoste. well riflescover under of thethemselves. right across it just below from several assegaithestabs the dark arterial blood was still oozing forth.wonder Itfrom story was doit.rough following all would retrieve--the the after herd hustling hardly them. of a comrade. of the who. 71 Amid much shouting and whistling the terrified creatures were at last turned. force. Springing like a cat the savage breast of hismade a swift intended stab at victim.for besides the was an no atmen Certain the it. at least. up in a sitting posture against a tree by his slayers in savage mockery. sight. hardly "Hurt. ducked in timethe daringthe to avoid assailant revolver bullet aimed at him. out-manoeuvred. but luckily ineffective. ready "By Jove! There he is!" cried another man presently." opportunity main easy truebeingsaid matter it body. the the a by the fro had one We've still. and the terrified lowing of the cattlesmell and half-frenzied of blood--thewithoverhanging the sight cliffs echoed back in sharper tones the "crack-crack" Kaffirs. Time enough to see to it by and by." As he spoke the horse of another man plunged and then fell heavily forward. to don't watching off retain wild. who and the blade descended. bodieshadofbeen someshotof their in theformer earlier stages of the conflict. There was no sign of their guide. So quickly did it frontiersman all take place wounded manthat. every yet if tous it . got be your without own asmen. trampling to pulp the dead or rolling helpless who drivers. and theThetrunk was nearly divided by a terrible gash while ribs. and would never rise again. while two or three of the younger turned rathermen paleof asthe theyparty shudderingly gazed upon the sickening sight. our as Many had--and near workstraining of all the they beganStill. what's become of the Bomvana?" suddenly inquired someone. "Why. It was an indescribable scene--the many-coloured dappled." "H'm! keenly that They were branch would effort Inever chap's very had. The dismounted alongside man ranholding on by the stirrup of the latter. The body sacrificed of the unfortunate propped Bomvana.tolet let's them throughbe get sold disaster to These insuch and on. They looked around.They've made short work anyhow. andAndconfusion. "Poor devil! of him. "No. of the assegai inflicting an ugly wound in the man's side. thoroughly straggle. fire upon the patrol. Dropping to the ground again. "And--the beggar's dead!" He was. hewas to was Shelton. but not quickly enough. Could he have been playing away in them false and slipped the confusion? Even now the enemy might be lying in wait somewhere in overwhelming to cut off their retreat. the anybody knew what had happened. The poorstricken mortally beast had bybeen one of the enemy's missiles. and gliding in among the before the infuriated fleeing cattle. Nothin' to speak of. seeing that the man looked rather pale. were with enormous number However. hides flashing in the sun as the immense herd surged furiously downthe mingling with thatshouting wild pass. "Faugh!" exclaimed Hoste with a grimace of disgust. drawing that tothe "It retrieve--or drive the aggrieved for savages asuch must scared goodly the an be deuced partially Kafirs party. except himself. before animals dared. go day. Suddenly a dark form rose up in front of the horsemen. escaped could get in another shot. intobeen and have the hands of to the vengeance of the latter. who must have fallen the enemy.

for on all sides the way out of the valley bushy. then. Suddenly broken. a shout and and of consternation went up from a man of warning on thewere eyes left turned of the advance. was steep. All from him upon the point to which he signalled.CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. 72 Cautiously. seeking a favourable outletunwieldy their by whichcapture they could into drive the open country. on him--and What they saw there was enough to send the blood back to every heart. . the party retreated with their spoil.

cool poured terrified marksmanship he every of The pressed his brain. horses. the said enemy himself. 73 CHAPTER NINETEEN. with theoff driving object of separating and the former. as testified by the number who fell. if necessary.the covering their comrades' retreat. foot. darted in between the cattle and their captors. attempted excited cover. and fight our way out. while from the slope abovebursting kept jets of smoke forth atand flame all points. a dark mass was advancing. as a strong body of the enemy made a sudden flank to rushattention." cried Carhayes--who was in command of the dismounted of party--as Kafirs suddenly a crowd started up on their rear. very and the and an was the thick fierce practising open cut trained rear nothing of off yells guard the wildso ."many of them and too few of "We'll make it hot for 'em. Over the brow of the high ridge. While one-half of the patrol other half drove was toon theon fight cattle. "Keep cool. But hotly from at the the the the as two their savages. advancing to now handful earlier continuous the avoid werein fierce keenly ain being then his ofmass. Changing bush their frontiersmen much. by were the they the the discharged wavered. of fire their been one. rapidly and in silence. with a scowl. There and steady. THE LAST CARTRIDGE." said Shelton.wounded. swarming over the hill--and the sun glinted on gun-barrels assegai as the blades savage hostand poured down the steep slope. A bullet had swept his hat off. to the our too and was reload. This is what they saw. and. in into man latter order tactics. with assegais uplifted. boys--let 'em have it!" cried Shelton.was rather they although charycould of showing see groups of red figures flitting from bush to bush. without toas warriors. But them aKafirs roar.potlegs and and thebecame whiggemore of bullets and more unpleasantly near. glancing from bush to bush. whirling it away a dozen yards. threatened a determined charge. but am only certain of I oughtn't two--Hallo! That's near." It was. "Now. assegais and waving and karosses. was eye. the full"Those chaps mean business. The rest rushed on. taking however only began now. ants' It was nest--on theylike a disturbed came. and fire low. maimed. all the same. those dark forms. began the twigs of the bushes beyond were sadly cut about as the hummed enemy's missiles overhead--but always overhead--pretty thickly. lads. comrades. had of Itonrestiveness. but was Then. about a mile in their rear. dead.orgliding stone in among the fleeing cattle--whistling and yelling in a frenzy of excitement. At the same to time issue puffs from theof smoke and hillside. the foe whites who Even crash revolver dropped no coup entirely day. the formed opportunity.CHAPTER NINETEEN. with a chorus of shouts and while deafening their whistles. A volley was discharged--with deadly effect. strength of theasadvancing he took inKafirs." said Carhayes. boys. draw their upon their left another party. aat close advantage Steady the temporary to long bad show pausing whole uprange. but always keeping near enough to close up. "I have just put two more gun-stock--not nicks sure on myto have had four or five. "I'm afraid we shall have to give up the cattle. and there are too us. The plan of the whites was to make a running fight of it. they fleeing force shooting was . "Now!" about Again steeds of leaping. At first. there as respite to ochre-smeared latter. were. different alive longer while to de the ofevery surrounded main firing into vein.

"anyone to despatch Yet he upon so dangerous a service. seemed to show that the shot had been effective. and think twice about exposing himself a second time. as yet. of Carhayes was of the atEanswyth savage.flew high overhead. were fighting the savages in their own way. He had just glimpsed a woolly head. "Damn!" he cried furiously. flashBut hehe did that noted not fire. bridle another hand shattered. rising noiselessly amid adeliberately mass of tangledaiming creepers. peering fromabehind strip ofa bush not twenty yards away. jackal's decked with skin. surrounded frightful and broad sublimely the Eustace crash back fascination. Several there were enemy. other bush. "This is getting rather too hot. and instinctively Eustace brought his piece For liketo abear. One man received a bullet in the shoulder. "Downed him! Hooray!" yelled Hoste. while a roar of laughter went up from catch his fellows. struggling sound. no fatalities. The dismounted now. with Kafir warriors. "We in directly.themselves. keenly andThe was heThe alert turned life passed stillon which the lookstood white before had stood unconscious distance latterout could no and him. Ourshall best be hemmed chance would be for someone to break through and ride to the camp hesitated for help. was for more. a shot would take effect. Meanwhile the cattle were being driven off by the enemy. gaunt Kafir. stamping with pain. still squirming under the smart of the assegai prick ofloepers thatintime--must his calf.CHAPTER NINETEEN. the savages made such wild shooting that their Now missiles and then. and indeed matters had become render this a so serious mere as to consideration. last.frontiersmen. Two horses were transfixed. All hope of saving the spoil had been abandoned. and moderately decent shots not a man of that patrol would through partly have livedfeartooftell the tale. exposing but partly through fear of their own fire-arms." muttered Shelton. but. or himsofeel uncomfortably as if he had close escaped by a miracle. doubtless. his he full enemies. his sweet like now--his tube peril. with an ominous shake of the head. occupied he were the was entirely other whites. crouched heart to She ofthehis going was deadly the deadly motionless. by ruthless unconscious turned of felt volleys. and whose owner.A kicking. The latter. who kept starting up when and where that leasthave would expected been in a manner highly disconcerting to any but cool and determined men. so at somebody. unperceived. between cold. the savage was aiming full at Carhayes' back . from bush to bush. slight woundandinHoste received a the leg. Just then several assegais came whizzing in among them. laughter attracted by thewhites. a squint at John"Let me sooty mug! Ah!" Kafir's His piece flew to his shoulder--then it cracked. "Charge have knocked daylight through him!" Taking advantage of this diversion. There the them imminent fifteen smoke in in now the theyards. had hisof the horses were badly wounded. had put it forward to see what the of those devil-may-care fun was about. were to the use completely of which they unaccustomed. powder With peril--his adirection. He seemed to require a long and careful aim. not amid an of barely enemy his miss. however. a tall. confident in the The strength of his overwhelming numbers. was So silent had been his movements. waxed bolder--crowding Every bush was alive in closer and closer. 74 Directly a Kafir showed his head he was morally certain to receive a ball through as to makeit. of wild The . But just then he was perceived by one. aface hammer. mingled with stifled groans. But this is just what these were. Histhat eye went down to the breech. From the bush on three sides a secondary continuous had firebeen the Kafirs was even kept up.

strewn aheap right seemed the heavy heavy cover than and ofwith humanity. Eustace said nothing. stood cover gave so more Athe Berserk much erect. Milne! You got in that shot just right. bush who was to another flittingoffrom a couple one yards above. "Ha! They cannot get out. their bristled. there wasinto his smoking a feeling of desolation upon him. snappedwildtheir assegais off short. `The Little Fire' can burn. deadly . He will burn out the lives of many more! Ha. and rage. her!" to possess And now the firing opened from an unexpected quarter--and behold. and now the savages began to shout exultantly to each other. Kafir slope in front was alive The patrol was with entirely surrounded. clutching A yell of rage arose from the savages and a perfect hail of bullets whistling andthe around assegais came whites--fortunately still overhead. and the Kafir crashed heavily backward. "Fool!" whispered the party--stood. the bright. bite? dog ha! want to feel I am the lion's he whom the people call Umlilwane. They are caught trap. so lightlyhis on the trigger. and the eyes were mass sprang before fallen They glared. to Chief of the House of Gcaleka. of whites in full impetuous Critical almost celerity cross-fire With hand who His hair showed of a roar aof as aand case dead upon the like beard the of moment savages Kafir. ground dangerously striking wrenching melting as whirling ferocity was to cool into swerve. race ha--dogs-- forth! blackcan Try who scum! standCome before The Little Fire and not be burned up--utterly consumed dogs. He kraal burn the it wasofwho helped Sarili. You will never have it again. as though the intoxicating sense of world possessing had been withinthehis whole grasp. "We have got the white men in a hole. comeaway! forth!"Come forth." they cried. bites.Hau !" like wolves in a "Ho-ho! Are they!" sung out Carhayes. The Amaxosa dogs have caught not a wolf." cried one of the men. had gibing fiend. She Neveris lost to you can you forever hope now.and your opportunity "You you threw it away. prepared orthat these even and from instantly inasstruggling aof his could he never second life. butsun is shining it will be darkvery for the white men long before it touches the hill. "Now does any other Ha. A great mass of them leaped from their cover. the men laughed and cheered wildly. And finger withever pressed the thought. Look. the bushywarriors. with a supreme effort he had discharged hummed in his death perilously nearthroes.CHAPTER NINETEEN. "Aha!" roared Carhayes with a shout of reckless laughter. which. braining when the spattered seized serpent-like from it such was the all writhing and athe those man. "When a wolf is caught kill himinwithout a trap. His better nature had triumphed. the dogshis feeling cannot teeth. his intended victim's head. and bore down upon the handful charge. as he slipped a fresh cartridge piece." AndHere quickis as one of his he brought up his rifle and picked off a tall lightning Gcaleka. and shrilling their war-whistles. Still. 75 It all passed like lightning--the awful. the aselling slightest wild fairly compact dashed themselves. and as suddenly reft from it again. but a lion. have with apoured groaning. to they knob-kerrie left. who had turned in timethe situation--not to take in of whole theit. forgot full of hate their prudence. the scathing temptation. tempting. He could not do it. way. and. now club. the earth convulsively with both hands. He it is who the Great has `burned' many dogs ofthe thelife outofofXosa. The Kafir lurched heavily hundred forward. was. beast. luckily.But the Kafirs. in reply to this taunt. shot brain--while thethrough ball fromthehis gun. Catching their comrade's dare-devil spirit. signonrushing the lives among Carhayes oflatter resistance his dearly. foe. "Hallo. The extremely he--in whichcritical position the whole in which passed unheeded.

" ground But to this challenge no answer was returned. His features grew livid. There was a strange silence among portend?theThat enemy. wanted a good Small many wonder that a very gloomy expression rested upon almost positionevery countenance. shouldit discourage Now was of no use thedisguising others. rage at the loss of so many men. Come. A deep vengeful curse went up from his comrades.CHAPTER NINETEEN. as the recent fatality proved. And they wereof hundreds still thehemmed in by hemmed in. enemy. There were barely fifty rounds left among patrol--that thesomething is to say. Milne. and they looked object on whichwildly around to exact for an retribution. handed half a dozen to the speaker. He had been blazing conscious though away throughout the day as of the presence of a waggon-load of ammunition in the patrol. "I say. matters further. closely and it till hours atoms.heHis and wasstrength burningwas toovengeful with great. The latter. lend us a few cartridges. feel his bite--who dares? Ha. which he hadandjust thegrasped cartridges dropped from his grasp as he sank to the ground withcrawled had scarcelyup a struggle. "Thanks awfully--Ah-h!" The last ejaculation escaped him in a kind of shuddering sigh.A Kafir and had stabbed him between the shoulders with athrough broad-bladed assegai--right to the heart. cowards. down bringingcrash with a sickening the upon the head of a prostrate warrior whom makinghea last had desperate detected instab theatacthim of with an assegai--shattering the skull to atoms. . "Come. was almost as bad The as it could possibly be. but had had run out from refrained of saying so lest the fact. It could only mean some that desperate new and he was planning move. What he was did to about it throw up the game and withdraw? No such luck. behind him. 76 shiny with blood and brains." Eustace.stand before and be me. without a word. whole less than a round and a half per man. too. But the incident threw a new light upon the state of affairs. Several ammunition. and a very lurid one it was. The wily foe was not going to show himself. ha!" kerrie he laughed. becoming known. I've shot away all mine. dogs! Come and stand before the lion! Come. In vain. a fine young was fellow his enjoying of twenty-one. first experience in the noble game of war. He roared again: "Ho.

by For a moment the men looked at each other in silence.through yet not the entirely bush. They were wild with excitement. Suddenly a tremendous volley crashed forth from the hillside on their left front. reason not onlyfor of their unlooked bydeliverance from almost certain massacre." hastened forthey of they'll orKafirs cried air. thoroughly hastening disconcerted disastrous by this new and surprise. rapidly forward in pursuit of the enemy. his particular varying from savage war-cry to view halloo.The remainder were spread out in skirmishing line onofeither rattle side. ago!" into number had the too. "Whoop!--Hooray! Yoicks forward!" shouted the beleaguered combatants. about much slight to savages that "And half fighting effect. multiplied brow fusillade point." answered Shelton. down rode with several upon the of group. upon big aseemed we mile this bit The as must of away. who. For no sound of hostile volley was that. and the wholefell inforce with moved their rescuers. fall in with us and come on. followed another immediately on the right. get stomach. I know its infamous bray--And--there's old himself." "So? Well. and thus reinforced word.inAnd fleeing above the crackle of the dropping shots rang out the wild notes ofplayed. We haven't done with Jack Kafir yet. from to make good their retreat. who advancedcaution. stalwart suddenly cattle. poor chap. "That's Jack Armitage's post- horn. pointing start. were shouted tohave Ifmake Brathwaite. THE TABLES TURNED AGAIN." "Can't. and the expression determination of gloomy hitherto depicted on their countenances gave way to one of animated and half-incredulous relief. We're all but cleaned out of ammunition." Brathwaite "Any of you fellows hurt?" sung out the latter. Already they couldtosee bush the in bush Kafirs gliding groups. .showing their fire the irregular that they were still busy peppering the enemy in sight. in every the Kaffrarian men. Fortunately we've got plenty. Then came the crack--crack--crack--of the rifles of the new arrivals. without rapidly.A roar of laughter went up from our friends. picking off the retreating Kafirs as these showed from themselves cover to cover. him them the about right of but particulars. in against full They With having mere retreat. "Brathwaite's Horse for a fiver!" cried Hoste." A hurried levy was made upon the cartridge belts of the new arrivals. Help was at hand. But the have they "There over "We race for must could which melted they latter them. to characteristic are the that handful--had hurriedly sure almost A handful tremendous to bare take given given celerity. "We've turned up none too soon then. his men. athe was with hill by away as wily opened three. "It's Parr.CHAPTER TWENTY. not were thirty-five got going someone." "So?" said Brathwaite again. No. 77 CHAPTER TWENTY. himself swarming a good towhites--a Shelton stand scarce.sense keenoftotheavenge their comrade and retrieve their position. but also on account position of being to turn the tablesinupon a their skulking foe. a fine. each man form giving of cheer. distance to was too great. "One man killed. villainously a bugle.

flying rein in"Never for a snap mindshot at the them." before by the excited his whole troop. they upon incontinently abandoned their charge and fled for dear life. Once there they are safe as far as we are concerned. Forward!" No second command was needed. began withtoheaving flanks and rolling eyes. saddle suddenly a amatter with ferocious began and the with and of break to placing excitement course. who to thankful perchance lay her out waswith onlya revolver too shot in the nick of time to save himself and beinghisripped steed. were at first seen to redouble their efforts to urge on the animals. from bugle of Armitage. aseither personally a licenced or by wag and an incorrigible practical joker. deathwere by their bewildered companions. "Beyond. over cranium said. his quadruped account ear gallop. was seen. bellowthe bulk of the herd pressed on. If once theyany may lose get number into the of bush we And spurring into a gallop he circled round them. about five miles distant. itangles madcap and into and athereto. and the men collected. throwing up their heads of with many and bewilderment a snort andwhile terror. Head the cattle round for all you know. in horse spur ahetwinkling blew away at a ." sang out Brathwaite. and a trot when start nearest he was against brute's unimpeded. itrolling vicious followed. For some minutes the frenzied clashingthe bellowing. old bull." shouted Brathwaite. boys--cut 'em out!" Away in front." Armitage. the and utterinand oneignominious or flight of the doughty warrior singled out. "Beyond this first rise there's another. Half- wayimmense an betweenherd this of andcattle themselves was streaming . hideous horse pursuit.CHAPTER TWENTY.herd. At last the tumultuous subside. indescribable scene rolled on the ground by the of the animals. extended so as to away gradually from the bush. man The and his huge terrific Jack. her at her side.up or or both. If we don't get the cattle in the open we shan't get them at all. except here and there the body of a dead crested they one lyingtheinbrow a pool of of theblood. or haply would turn and missing furiously charge the line of horsemen. the toon into to aforesaid him. The whole force pressed eagerly forward. at sight of the whitewith them horsemen a wildbearing down cheer. was instructed to blowina hideous did. Now and then a cow. Briefly Brathwaite explained the situation. "Head them away quietly for the open don't for allbreak let them you know. impaledfrom by those vicious horns. At length. The followed foremost beasts stopped short. stood huddled together as pleasure of if awaiting their the new drivers. A great shout arose. "Never mind the niggers. plunging. the veldt about two score in number. Then. second ridge. broke seen offthe head. and through. bending massive bull's were we have madder blast. his that galloped spirits. and who was known to most there present name. dark line of forest. by Armitage. animal's his range and. causing an abrupt two instances scatter. But the best fun of all was afforded black-and-white Jack took right in Then alongside. of clouds horns andof dust. call of assembly. the animal roll bellow--down away bull wickedly.or trampled swaying gored to mass. "There they are! Now then. andexcitement the animals. thethe and consequently went almost day's away herd from the being events. the man who owned the bugle. I know this strip of country. as one or two of his men tried toKafirs. during after which nota toilsome an enemyride. This he and discordant fashion." More than one comical scene was enacted as the line of drovethe their herd charge forward. There on than in little was the the was to as ever eyes bursting ground. The across drivers." he said. "Steady! Don't rush them. a own should wild lo. and the excited shouts of the horsemen of din and made up anMany confusion. lay a long. 78 forest which runs down to the coast. that there's five . then the strip veldt of miles forest of open I was mentioning. with a calfprogeny.

CHAPTER TWENTY.and were short the blunt. any you of usbet. "No. unharmed. Jack. Hallo! Where's my old post-horn?" he went on. riding up as the fallen one found his feet again. Had a devil of a shake-up. Finally both disappeared within the bush." "Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast--sings the poet. Armitage?" "You bet. Still--it was the fortune of war. andofnow and excitement theto the and pursuit. which did not decreasebrute savage as they watched in the thecharging one of the retreating Kafirs. almost of the presence a gloom. anyhow. Not much to-night. boys. discovered which about he yards off.This improvised of blankets and slung between two quiet dash horses. in their . save for a slight dent. on that theold farther we get into the open. We mustn't Kafir Johnny camp aanywhere chance ofthat'll give cutting out the cattle again. The horse had already struggled up. a sort of litter. "Those have been awful liars. the better. "Whatever is decent among it is stolenfor sleep stock. Eh." said Brathwaite. though. you'll have the old bull back again. stood rubbing and looking rather his shoulder dazed with the shock. Fortunately horns for it. there succeeded a subdued conflict quiet. old man?" cried Hoste. bull's and it seemed none the worse for the tumble." said Shelton. who distance seemed by almost this new as much enemy as hedisconcerted had been by the missiles of his human foes. Putting a dozen it to his lips he blew a frightful fanfare. if we are of lot safe." "Kafir stock be damned!" growled Carhayes. 79 Roars of laughter arose from the discomfited one's comrades. "Hurt. A bottle of doctor's stuff's a fool to it. nutsnow. the deadbyman reason of midst. of trumpet He's deadAnd yours. "I say. Whoever to take us areinnot thison horse guard will be on cattle guard. In this case it hadn't. "This isn't half a bad haul--and it's fairly decent stock for Kafir stock. "Better shut up. We shall mostly all have to keep our eyes skinned." "We've done a good day's work." They were joined by the few men who had remained behind to guard the corpse was of their in conveyed slain comrade." said ancients mustEustace. looking round for his instrument.

so far as he was concerned. flung her--that When back and allBut have Fortune is. There had been too much of the old those among womanly element intrusted with the conduct of affairs. had mind period ithad the his again.along stationed the regular troopswould the border. They had rendered excellent service. intense but nowconsummation desired that that ardently had been attained he realised that it was dashed with the sickening and consciousness desolating of hopes shattered. forces appliedsotomost of the volunteer be withdrawn. now be sufficient to cope with any further disturbance. They had not nearly enough fighting. savage would man would had occurred and he had let it go by.CHAPTER TWENTY 80 CHAPTER TWENTY ONE. grasp. There render was not enough it worth the while to of do the to men who composed it--men mostly with a substantial remain any stake longerinwasting the country--to their time in a series of fruitless patrols on the off- chance long of an occasional distance veryGcaleka scout or two. shattered held bullet hands again reality reflection exacted His out.heThe hadFrontier had Armed and Mounted Police and. operations. he anintervened would no. however. and for every reason mightily were welcomed ordered home. cup not doesn't hurrying wouldtohave was save be had for shattered concern missed his back him--for deliberately cousin's to athim in claim that his her--would life? deserves distance." become own her his was was face playing for the the the a interference blissful. The campaign. opportunity She the a"A by again. returning. fell--a offew had these received being. The men were in excellent health and spirits. and there were those who nearlydeclared enoughthat of it.interferes The sped had now and toKafir he But true. the whole business hadcharacteristic thoroughly been bungled. in men and possessions. however. he his into for allowing gets. now that It was only there remained no more to be done. the enemy. constituted the very backbone of the offensive fair. There was one. for the enemy no longer shot at a stray attempted He to meet had suffered them inboth severely. The Kaffrarian Rangers were ordered home. had. been carried The enemyout according had been suffered to escape just at the very moment to inflict when upon him it was within their a decisive and power crushing blow. andAnd in this British growl none joined more heartily than Tom Carhayes. that redoubtable corps had applied to be withdrawn. to allow them to return. But they had left their and weremark upon withal. idiotic Eanswythin could andwhat thehappiness be scruple. of a very serious nature. The combined plan of the campaign hadtheir to not liking. They had been several weeks --several in the veldt weeks absent from their farms and businesses. reasonable hand grimly lashed directly chance not proffer that his disgusted she into golden. But for him--but for his intervention--Tom Carhayes would have been a dead free. The Kaffrarian Rangers were nearly the last. battle. fanciedYet they they had a grievance. In a word. . in fact. which lifetime. had been barren of result. and of he. UNDER ORDERS FOR HOME. He had had campaigning to last him for the present. They had lost one of their number--the had poorwith met his fate young the fellow who Shelton. who Why yielding man. of it. who in no wise joined in it at all. if necessary. in possession of a large number of the latter's cattle. and had been buried near patrol under where henone wounds. To be strictly accurate. Brathwaite'ssoHorse withdrawn. theOf news late anthat they longing had corrie upon him to return. had already had most of the mounted corps. or had. have Even decorum. and that one was Eustace enough of Milne.

Tom?" laughed Hoste. coup And now? How could she ever resume that old contented toleration. ha!"guffaw. the camp was struck." as Eustace murmured the the more prudent Payne. Eanswyth moreover. It was thought by many that the war was practically at an end. a singleand hadde main . But itwas The fellow wassuch far a rough. while they were breakfasting on boiled mealies and to say ration beef. otherwise. to the castle of her outwardly calm. The order reached them in their camp on the they acted Bashi." "Haven't you shot away enough cartridges yet. . health. personality than ever. during that last walk. wondered at by some." down sport. at times strangelytemperament. mooted. he too. curtainAnd now must beitrung down on everything. old chap!" said Carhayes one day in his bluff. athad he himself anylaid rate. are "Likely bound "Weso can That's Payne cut to are just get in. No forthwith delayed the setting out of such a light- marching-order the corps.theCould get chancehe again. bank do change. inconsiderate appreciate his boor. If his cousin had been a different stamp of man and one built of finer clay. Let the very heavens aggressive fall! A change had come over Eustace. a more louder. you "What "All of nodded river the right. a shoot "What before wedoleave you this? We are bound to get a bushbuck ram or two in some of these kloofs. of hers-. upon andpreparations it. breakfasts were Accordingly cooked and eaten. you some it's make What cut the in?"do hours. Tom Carhayes was returning in rude more boastful. frame of mind. what's the row with you. the idea want troop I ever "You'll any in heard camp more. assertive. was burnt into his memory as with red-hot seemed that theirons." some sententiously. Ha. with an asinine ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Kaffrarian Rangers were ordered home. Hoste!" said Carhayes. we can eat the buck.CHAPTER TWENTY 81 Yet he could not have acted otherwise. Not that its utterances contained anything objectionable. He deserved no mercy. when he had come upon her sweet andsoclinging unexpectedly--every caress during that last parting. equable irritable for one Thisofwas his noticed by many. "Why. He became moody and taciturn. as at thatstruck voice moment uponhishis cousin's ear. and the whole troop started upon its homeward way. Could he not? he thought savagely. but glowingly carried passionate it by storm.but to the there waslistener's something then insufferably self-assertive in their very tone. cut in another shot already. IWe'll for say?two I'mthree Will "That'll have I say or on. Yet this the being to whom was bound--whom. thick-headed. it is more than Eustace would probable that differently--would have conquered that have acted overmastering had so long andand so unlawful successfullyloveconcealed. besides. which is part say. off-hand sorry thatmanner. not? LetButhim thisonly he never would. "Still I think weamight only for change tryafter for athe buck if niggers. which he or at any rate would have fled from temptation." come. "I say. she had managed to tolerate with every semblance until of. how relegate Every himself to word look--every an outside place. eh?" "Milne's conscience is hitting him hard over the number of his `blanket friends' he hasman." the right. we can't"Sick scareand up another fight. bynature." to-night. utterly unable own splendid to good fortune. sport most four then!" and of damn us--we catch said idiotic up don't Carhayes. wentWe answered "Still--I'll Eustace? on.siege contentment. hunt niggers. Payne? assent.


The commander of the troop, when applied to, made no decided objection to
the have
we abovesaid,
scheme. There was,
no discipline as ordinary sense of the word, the offices of
in the
they being elective.
were under orders to Besides,
return straight home, which was practically
the So,he
undertaking, while not forbidding
pointed out to those concerned that it might involve
serious riskato
was rather themselves; in
crack-brained a word,

"Just what I said," remarked Payne laconically, lighting his pipe.

"Then why do you go, old chap?" asked one of the bystanders with a laugh.

"That's just what I don't know myself," was the reply, delivered so tranquilly
and deliberately
general roar. as to evoke a

The camp had been pitched upon high ground overlooking the valley of the
Bashi, which
rugged ran beneath
bush-clad between
banks. So the troop set forth on its homeward way, while
our fourheads
horses' friends, turning
in the theirdirection, struck downward into the thick bush
along the river bank.





For upwards of two hours they forced their way through the thick scrub, but
success did not crown
efforts--did even waittheirupon the same. Once or twice a rustle and a
scamper in had
something frontgot
up and brokenthat away, but whatever it was, owing to the
thickness of the
celerity with bushit and
which made theitself scarce, not one of the hunters could
catch a glimpse ofunable so much
the quarry. as to wearied with their failure to obtain
At length,
they under abnormal
the edge of difficulties,
the river, and there, upon a patch of smooth
cliff, beneathtothe
they decided cool shade
off-saddle andof a a snack.

"By Jove!" exclaimed Hoste, looking complacently around. "This is a lovely
spot for
John a picnic.
Kafir have usBut
in wouldn't
a hole just, if he were to come upon us now?"

"We are four fools," said Payne sententiously.

"We are," growled Carhayes. "You never said a truer word than that. Four
shot fools to in
at anything think we'dofget
a strip a country we've been chevying niggers up
Anddownas thefor
six weeks.
I suppose I'm the champion fool of the lot," he
added with
haven't fireda asavage laugh.
shot this "Wemorning, and have had all our trouble for
This was not precisely the reflection that Payne's words were intended to
convey. But he said nothing.
"I'm not sure we have had our trouble for nothing," put in Eustace. "It's grand
country, anyhow."
It was. Magnificent and romantic scenery surrounded them; huge
hundreds krantzes
of feet; towering
piles upon pilesup
broken rocks and boulders, wherein the
had profuselyand tangled vegetation
taken root; great rifts and ravines, covered with dense black
forest, and
current theriver
of the swiftjoining
its music with the piping of birds from rock and
But the remark was productive of a growl only from Carhayes. He had not
had outenough
to lookandat scenery.
to spareThey
of that during the campaign. He had come out to
got ait.shot at a buck, and hadn't

Pipes were lighted, and the quartette lounged luxuriously upon the sward.
The frowning
towering grandeur
heights, of theglow of the sunlight upon the tree-tops, the soft,
the golden
air, the humwarmth of theand
of insects, summer
the plashing murmur of the river, unconsciously
affected all four--even
dissatisfied Tom Carhayes. grumbling,
as everybody
the sunlit
low a
the his
and went on listening intently.


deep tones and inflections of Kafir voices, whose owners were evidently
same down
side to the river on the
as themselves.

From their resting place the river ran in a long, straight reach. Peering
were able to through
command the bushes, they immediately several large oxen, with
this. Almost
great the
from branching horns,
forest, and, emerged
entering the water, splashed through to the other side.
They were
drivers, threefollowed by theirwho plunged into the river in their wake, holding
naked Kafirs,
their assegais
heads, for the high
fully breast-high. They could even hear the rattle of
the assegai
climbed up hafts as the savages
the opposite bank, laughing like children as they shook the water
drops from their
well-greased sleek,
skins. They counted thirteen head of cattle.

"A baker's dozen, by Jove! Stolen, of course," whispered Hoste.! if" only Allamaghtaag
we had known of that
before we might have gone [Waylay]
to voer-ly
that drift, for it must be a drift. We might have bagged all
three niggers and trundled the oxen back to camp. A full span, save three.
That'll bethey've eaten theschelms
one apiece--the rest. !"

"It isn't altogether too late now," said Carhayes. "I smell some fun ahead. Let
then get upgoover
rise, andif their spoor seems worth following."

"And what if they are only the advance guard of a lot more?" suggested
"They are not," was the confident reply. "There are too few beasts and too
few sticking
fun niggers. out
I tell
us."there's some

Quickly the horses were saddled. A high, bushy ridge precluded all chance of
by thepresence being discovered
three marauders as soon as the latter had crossed the river, and it
before. had not beenallowed
having discovered
sufficient time to elapse, they forded the river
so asforward on theonother
to converge the spoor leading up from the drift below.

"Here it is--as plain as mud," said Carhayes, bending over in his saddle to
sandy, the ground,
showed which, dryand
the hoof-prints andfootmarks so plainly that a child might
have the
over followed
rise bythem.
now, "They
and theare well
way isn't so rough as I expected. Our plan is to
make straight
hill. We for up
can't get themuch
top ofquicker
the than they can, I'm afraid, unless we want
to blow
don't. Butouronce
horses, which
we are we we shall find it
up there , and
all open
all we've
veldtgot to do is to ride them down in
the open, shoot the niggers, and head the stock back for the river again.
Anyone propose an amendment to that

"We are four fools," said Payne laconically, knocking the ashes out of his
pipe and pocketing that useful

"Ja! That's so," said Carhayes, joining heartily in the laugh which greeted this
we case
extreme for
"A track,
the fun, now,
but boys,
as are
to follow
to Eustace.
that of
men the

it! andAskI these old rag bags which way the fellows with the oxen took. of off gradual ridge. toothless crones. while one of them quavered out: "Ride that way. brow forward efforts. of us. doas statement so. don't be a fool. Now-." [One-. athey mile into asredoubledhisthe converged they gained inproved front. then by thethree pacenatives.abelungu !" [White men] pointing in a direction they had not intended to take. as heitdrew pointed right his at them. "Stop that cackling.. Nearly to spurs indistinct. "The shots are bound to be heard. abuse droppedfortotheir high-pitched a most doleful howl. karosses long. acclivity. "Macbethin excelsis !" murmured Eustace at sight of them. or the up 'em lesscursing Carhayes absolutely the lips out!" But the scattered other ofthe all crammed yelled side. frightful." came the prompt and whimpering reply. Sullenly the first disclaimer was reiterated. Eustace. three." And striking a match Carhayes walked hut. At length. rapid and tangled. and here seemed to split up into several directions. On the contrary. A furious expletive burst from Carhayes. aexcited Kafirs..] "Hold hard. five count "If they don't I'll put tell usthrough a bullet before Ieach of them. The they miles shouts at oxen. accelerate the forward trotted totracks. No seen--not children even were tocur a half-starved be skulking around--and of men or cattle there was wereno sign. riding dangerous rendering in parts. and crone's the Carhayes. forced old four. they appearance began quavering shrill." have to ride far--very Believing they had inspired sufficient terror to insure the truth of this information. ofAup yet in as and couple broad with started aanother the pursuit. time abandonwasted followed which down ejaculation "Hurrah!into hadtheir by Now and in abeen burst kloof. showed no signs of alarm unexpected at this of the invading white men. You can patter the lingo better haven't than any damn the patience. "We can't lose any more time being fooled by these infernal old hags!" he cried. watchful ears of those they were following." warned Payne. of the already overdriven animals." "So they are.two--three. Three old against onehags were of the seatedshaped huts. the furiously eliciting spoil we'll other more from and until cut it. . was theand gained. I know a better trick than that. Suddenly they came right upon a kraal nestling in a mimosa covered valley. coarse. This was the The old crones shrieked for mercy. "You do know. thirteen loud spoor.Inye--zimbini--zintatu . however. yet not so openfor predicted. Tell us quickly!" repeated Eustace warningly. and the grass was long. you old hell-cats!" said Carhayes with a growl like that of a savage revolver anddog. all wrinkles and flaps. a pantomime which they thoroughly understood. dashed horse's their into oneflanks stringing correct. The old women. "Here. further and urged loath to waving ridge. Another strove an gallop. "But you will far.CHAPTER TWENTY 85 be borne to the quick. brow of the there ridge before them lay a rolling expanse of open country. Thehad following spoor growntheyvery indistinct." "We know nothing about men or oxen. nearest his horse up tosufficient. to abuse them roundly in a treble. otherwise the place seemed quite beehive deserted. Then. asitCarhayes was prettyhadthickly dotted with mimosa.

CHAPTER TWENTY 86 "We'd better risk a long shot." "No." . and nearmoment another the top of would be out of sight." shouted Hoste. and we them. as it became apparent that the pursued the wereinvery rise. "We'll have 'em directly. Better not lose time or distance. "There may be a lot of bush.lose may on the other side." said the more prudent Payne.

fearful active. Suddenly. the startled look that came upon the faces of those three would have beenbut extreme. Not a minute too soon had come Eustace's discovery and warning. those with main were further friends decreased. themovement of a sudden grass and bushes rustled and waved. pursuers to flashing some degree to waste best had of war-whistles. of fear. They would have been hemmed in completely. had there seemed. capture though at were they the their yet tangled lienot the to with . Rough and tangled as the ground now became.totheycritical situations. to from On asmight long.with the The pursuers were gaining. pressed--their ashouting. A few was bound to moments more and the spoil would be theirs. you fellows--don't look round. intercept latter the to fact lithe." As it stood.ochre-greased the who their body. again." The Kafirs. those were flight now. and suddenly headed round their horses asthe abandon if they had decided to pursuit. not. as directed. and it was all that to steer themtheir ridersthe through could do thorn-bushes. the best. they were men for the seriousness accustomed Accordingly. Eustace Happily. winding valley. however.CHAPTER TWENTY 87 CHAPTER TWENTY THREE. horses. with their spoil. but very quietly. overgrown rough serpents--whooping. when they had not quite got between the extremities of the "shoe. However. The race for spoil had become a race for life. And. going. Eustace said: "I say. becameand plunging in a perfect frenzy. alive. had men. in"horns" did front. mimosa The marauders could now be seen straining every nerve to gain this--with possible--if their booty. tended spread the reason the known slowly through blown time ground. behind white swarming close shot whenmounted distance whereas up men and was feared the and rending numbers the fired. the wild war-cry pealedand bush through tussock theofvalley. the speed tell in the of horses race. to blaze with the gleam of assegai blades and rolling eyeballs. Terrified to madness. almost the horses rearing unmanageable. nature for point iron. injure Either On alarmingly Kafir the firstMoreover that of sinuous. the situation was appalling to the last degree. had withwho not guns. at forced for race. had disappeared. were groundnarrowed down and deepened into a long. suggested. and every grass enemies--seemed seemed to grow to swarm with dark. hurl both at steed the rate and they rider were to the earth. a single plunge into one of bristling which would. were of line spurt. aim. Like the passing gust. in hard ear-splitting some not no the bodies or as the care began small up-hill. slackened. for the mere depression which they of theracing. and on the pursuers gaining the ridge. without if shouted summons to them to stand or be it. sinuous forms. "ONWARD THEY PLY--IN DREADFUL RACE. as a long line of ambushed savages sprang with a wild and up on eitheryell deafening side. thickly bushes andovergrown with tall grass. that up. but--turn your horses' heads and ride We are in a trap !" like the devil! The amazed. Had our friends advanced their dooma would hundred yards have beenfurther sealed. advantage to out of neutralise into but at after their stopping the Although an rough surely grass their angle own on andthe whatever recent that like many they gaining. and And them advantage anxious of ground. uttered however. as Hoste a pretty good chance of losing them altogether. Every shot of seemed causing onlytotoredouble them have thetheir effect efforts--winding in and out among the grass and thorn-bushes rapidity of serpents. andbeing led shrill. his warning. on. itair the them sped. There had been barely a hundred yards between them and their assailants this grass. and forward upon the thoroughly charged disconcerted and now sadly demoralised four. they sprangtheir warriors. The Kafirs had been lying hidden in horseshoe formation. to themselves. entertaining in the of the occasion.

Another stuck into Payne's boot. "But I say. Hoste and Payne had gained some slight start. Still. clustering round the fallen man. had got his second chance. and leaped fell stone high dead.strong right. had obtained some little start. The animal into an ant-bear hole had put in the long grass." Allthe For extended to "Through revolver this ontopthe had intwo of them.CHAPTER TWENTY 88 It was a case of every man for himself. act of poising his assegai for a fling. Down it came. his ownslain the fate man. gripping his revolver. at their but the agilebits as they tore barbarians seemed to keep pace with them. birth save for a collar of jackals' teeth and a leather belt round his waist. withThe ears thrown back and nostrils distended. reins hill asIt to bitter to while pass circle. Fortune had once fierce more played Eanswyth was into his. through curse the wildly and infugitives his burst utterly exciting the Aleft furious rapidly from hand had cut the them and been and closing pair. was in the act of delivering mass a shot who of warriors into the hadthick racedofupa to within ten yards of them.lines extended but even of theupon them fierce the were beginning to close. hands These their cried for before line had and the Hoste. "Up-hill work. George--both together! Let 'em have it!" yelled Hoste. the desperate pluck of the unfortunate man caused him to make an effort an effort though.Crack! and down went another while in the the bullet. forced . quivering fast in theAnother scored the flank of Hoste's horse. his off. gripped wasmeet areached. where are the other fellows?" "Dunno! It's a case of every man for himself now. that. And even in that moment of deadly peril. front. George. assegais and kerries dull. One of these grazed to throw Payne's in ground shoulder and stucknervously. A deafening roar of exultation went up from the pursuers as they flung themselves upon half-stunned as heCarhayes. and all his work cut out at that. excitedcrowd of barbarians." remarked the target. concealed plunging and shootingheavily forward its rider overonitsits nose. in spite of the deadly risk he rantoinwander attention suffering from hishis own course even for a second.his Hehands. Butfrom now again attempting they began to their assegais. of the wise hope the hill. fair between but having the at long range and being withal a somewhat been hurled blunt weapon. This time it was out of his power he to throw wished to do itso. thenow bodies he worksat they It's converging of down of our would but theonly to aenemy. of his savage blows Eustace heard the crash of the fall. The savage. frightened his tracks. At the same time Payne's pistol spoke. As hetorose rise. bringing up Eustace the rear. being the best mounted. head. pointing his revolver of Kafirsatwhothe were foremost of a mass charging in upon them on his side. tugged frantically along.and snort causing boundthewithpoortheanimal sharp topain. he took in the whole scene--the whooping. hissinewy warrior. George. away even had Still--the mockery of it! It had come too late. when his horse its footstumbled. as hopeless a thrill as of that of exultation shot through him. but nearly through!" cried Payne as he dropped another of the pursuers insteeds. Meanwhile. though they refrained close. waving sound sickening in the air.asa at naked tall. "Devilish good shot. and turning his head. pursuers "Now. then the of blows. and beneath. The ball sped. was. Payne and Hoste. in through shot the air the heart.toOnly his knees he was beaten to the ground in a moment of beneath the kerries theassailants. while a fourth hit Hoste shoulders. few his join upon show!" saddle minutes. his kneeand anotherby shattered barbarian fell.and TheCarhayes latter. of circled now last the flight and latter the Andround in brow final with could suchthe charge. plain his been it. penetrate it failed the stout cordtojacket.

was the hour of darkness. and ugly "Allamaghtaag ! My horse is hit!" exclaimed Payne. the river. horseWith a wild straight at a huge barbarian who strove to stop him--knocking and through thethe savagethus opening sprawling. With maddened yells and assegais uplifted. andswayed into was Thein flash muscular dawn." They turned their heads. upon sea ofThen rolling a tall warrior. Not a moment shout did put Hoste theyhis pause. he had which. A few yards more-- twenty--ten! hemmed in. forth ato the with asleep. A mass of warriors pressed around him. though. nothing could. showthat ominous of his signs of companion. advantage of aand havingcourse down-hill the they left the fierce and yelling crowd behind in a trice. was seized. miracle could save his life--which is to say. breached the two horsemen shot like an arrow from the bow. but the plunging foremost. of hisand him. horse thenearly unseated ball whistled harmlessly over the Kafir's shoulder. realised to the bitter full that the terrible event himself. torays The krantzes the exultation knock are earth. and dawn At broad echoed the into and inblade foot toppled sunrise. Quick revolver at as thethought he and pressed the trigger. enemies. struck full at his heartassegai. over gild fierce figure ofthe all of the ------------------------------------------------------------------------ beginning crashing Slumbering death-shout tops wild host. And now the latter began to open fire upon them. and the crackle of the volleyofbehind hum mingled missiles with overhead thearound. of Atoneswas hard. And pealed the Dead? delivered chest. as long as you can keep him reach on hisorlegs. bleeding freely from a bullet hole in the flank. in his oneheavily The of ofnumbing hellish these first eyes. any moment. everywhere. . barbarian sharp. in spitedesired. For he knew Nothingthatshort he wasof adoomed. "So?" was the concerned reply. taken the Hashi. feeling the animal squirm under him in a manner there was no mistaking. ofdescended. springing like a leopard. his up the arm. spurring for dear life. dashing valour of the two men stood them well. we're done for.wasAndliable thetowelcome drop at bush was still a great way too. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Meanwhile Eustace. broad-bladed with a large. melted overhanging . streaming cruel across the plain--steady purpose--pertinacious of of bloodhounds. sinuous forms sprang up his Suddenly as ifbridle by magic. At the same timeweapon the a blow from on thehis wrist knocked grasp. If we at any ratecan't the thick bush along it. AFar from hole safe were concealed in the grass--a strained sinew--a hundred unforeseen would be atcircumstances--and they the mercy of their merciless foes. they yet. "He's got to go. powerful. the saddle. Hoste's steed was as a pack beginning towhile exhaustion. the deadly glareclosing eyes of hatredin in the him. just on liesfrom end to end blow. earth seemed around. Though beyond the reach of their missiles now. They were But the headlong. The very Behind. excited motionless again No. veldt pain theas if he would never wake again. so ardently of could be of no benefit to him now. assegaishis pointed raised. dark mass pursuit. The lines were rapidly closing in. it was grow in front.CHAPTER TWENTY 89 moment--the issues. life or death. they could see that no means the Kafirsthe relinquished had by On they came--a dense. He saw the gleam of assegai points. It was great strength in The done thenight krantzesalike head--Eustace ofhas lightning. the Kafir every straining warriors were effort to complete that fatal circle. a of man. those cat-like.

then rubs his eyes. I suppose there's no chance for the other two fellows?" "Not a shadow of a chance. The bushes part." "H'm! Poor chaps. we'll get out of it somehow. Then hethe prostrate emits a low. isn't it!" "We are two fools." answers Payne sententiously. At the sound the sleeper springs up. George. and a man steps forth. For a moment he stands. In a twinkling he draws his revolver. "Don't make such a row. man. "When we got separated whether welast night. sardonic chuckle. nicehunting sort of afor us." is Hoste's sanguine reply. "Oh." says Hoste seriously." hole. . "As for ourselves. The latter snores on. all our Bright lookfellows gone out. noiselessly contemplating figure." warns the new arrival.CHAPTER TWENTY 90 There is a faint rustle in the thick bush which grows right up to the foot of the krantz--a or rustle somebody as of something forcing a way through--cautiously. Both wiped out. whichever way you look at it. "The bush may be full of niggers We are in anow. here we are.ever should I didn't see know each other again. stranded without between us. hostile niggers all over the shop. right even at thea wrong horse end of the country. and bursts into a laugh. stealthily approaching the sleeper. and home.

in everybody's thoughts. Eanswyth. might in fact. The good soul was expressions of loud in her delight. who. whites her round who to and aEvery suspect asmile piece thrilled She hung before. victorious among barbarians and confidentially toproperty. He wasquite a sorttoof hero now. around there old were whyliving not he? Why. Outwardly. A DARK RUMOUR IN KOMGHA.border that But there was little settlement to enough divert her in thoughts from the one great subject--apart from thewas subject factonthat that one tongue. silent sortsnight. It did not escape several of their neighbours and daily visitors. there was an under-vein of caution running disposition. more daringagainst an enemy and warlike than the Kafirs of to-day. A glow of radiant gladness took possession of her heart. Inwardly thankfully happy. She had tried to schoolthe calmness--to herself to philosophy of the situation. Thatofthe thelatter absent had only effected his temporary emancipation favour from domestic of the "tented thrall ina happy combination of resolution and field" through stratagem. or she pictures of Every account Kaffrarian were as intelligence establish settlement. Eanswyth had suffered during those weeks--had suffered terribly. was silently. These had come through safe and sound.CHAPTER TWENTY 91 CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR. wars--campaigns lasting for arms. moreover the aShe point some hadto of sweeping doomed shuddered termination. too. and likethrough a wise herwoman she held her tongue. among themselves who would what a remark lucky fellow Tom Carhayes was. Eanswyth and her family and The satisfaction of the former took a characteristically exuberant form. what there couldspecimen self-assertive be in of humanity to call forth such an intensity of beautiful love in so a creature as refined that sweet andwife of his--setting it down to two unlikes being the escape Mrs best mated. helping to improve their minds.Rangers had was it greater than in that run conjointly by but in none Mrs HosteCarhayes. generally being bright. . for her part. Hoste. consisting of muzzle-loading for months or weeks--their weapons. There was rejoicing in many households when it became known in Komgha that the been Kaffrarian ordered home. made her toifown and stretching at known they public eagerly. sheThe campaign was was over-- safe. as was her wont. received the news quietly enough. and they. at the same time wondering such a rough. was in But matters non-important. But in theall wakeful. have she seemed forgotten.that is. It showed eyes--even itselfin inherher face--her voice. had responded warmly to her efforts. even to her neighbours and intimates. standing a mere movement had ofof around that welcome over for handful even back thethere the the tried to ofof back the to prepared to sell their lives dearly. She never wearied of talking over the doughty deeds of thattouseful listen her itcorps.her. who had served through three formernot years. was disposed to attribute exuberantit as to the its real lattercause. Others had returned safe and sound.nayhad the been very secured safety ofby thethe unparalleled gallantry of the said Rangers Hoste in in general and particular. had of their as itsaverse yet ochre-painted itstirring caught of became statements.been have to supposed that the whole success of the campaign.It did not in pursuance of her former instinct. children. restless of grisly and would rise before her imagination. She had found everybody's an reading in interest with in thethem two and young girls. she had striven not to think too much--to hope for the best. Colony itself. would blood-stained would some scrap ofacome start Rangers kind the in but just ofan from battle news these into of come official assegais private was the with from were inbeautiful frightful known position from and Shelton's intelligence the so contradictory dreamshideous seat the toface who front her ofpatrol war of as were hordes department and Mrs soon she and in not Carhayes. why not he? Thus philosophising. he In a few days he would be with her again--safe. and obtain hinted general the she Kafirs began sometimes such topublic. had well-dispositioned appreciated the process.

They must have crossed reason theprobably or other. herBut now. other aHoste half-starved Inhave of information by fact. other? Not what hadkindly even the she lefttoleration for the of companionship which she had up till then mistaken sentiment for love. The rumour spread like wildfire. would live dailyinasthe delight before. be as theyThings were. Alas akin and alas! How was it to end? The return of the Kaffrarian Rangers became a matter of daily expectation.this forinshe no understood. in fact. survivors bodies--which once. as before. back be proceeded after sound and rumour entertained when toother aforced search terrible in country. alas-- widows. and accounted thick their men conflict. the doubt. anyhow. to for were ofrunning lie animals as their them. information It would might be as well to wait.ofbut--how his presence was it to end? The old thought. Ah. to Severalcorps the expected men had belonging been killed. They two the the one-half. the Moordenaar's It was Kop affair over again. fact. A few days now and she would see him again.authority each upon the probabilities or improbabilities of the case than together. at the knots at the street each trying to appear as if he knew more bars. Never--a thousand could nevertimes never.Ah. and Eustace Milne. The excitement became prodigious. She had heard from her husband once or twice. andbut would they? There lay the sting. two ofbeing their wives--now actually resident in the place. dull to the fore now. Anyway. theforeffect the for wounded which two public Bashi the no nights ofnumbers. was and for meanwhile--they escaped. within a stone's throw. the longer this duty could be deferred the better. heard from Eustace of great length. about it than claiming to behisa greater fellows. They would go back to their home. but such as all the world might troubledread. Sorate or at any thisceased she to place any reliance on their stories. Only four men had come to grief as main reported. They had constituted a patrol. Payne. Later the rumour began to boil down a little. discontinued. with which their efforts were invariably rewarded. a mere rough scrawl of half a dozen lines. She had letters oftener. perilously A to aversion had now taken the place of this. men were killed. were made including for their a banquet on a large scale.whoever by It was further eventually agreed that. hidden found to at first the escape. married. Still they came not. they considerably--in its wild straight judgment. The fight Further might scene in among stated. would hear his voice. arrive anyFurther moment. sixpences.CHAPTER TWENTY 92 rascals were not above drawing pretty freely upon their imaginations for the sake of the clothes. Carhayes. performed. krantzes though placed menthis by and had bytime beyond they the along afrom Their set strong Kafirs authentic. put far away into the background heartache during thecame of their separation. But all the wererest put on one point--that the errand of breaking the agreed news the to those duty of anybodymost concerned was And three of the unfortunate men were but themselves. Express- a means riders might enemy in thebe cut off course of by theprecarious and sometimes extremely perilous their mission. Men stood in eager corners. four attacked had condition missing. occasionally were cut off. river for in some pursuance of their hunt. devoted and those that to explaining chiefly camp life--made up as it was of patrols and horse guards and hunting enemy--left no timeup forthe any such trivial occupations as mere letter-writing. they were surprised And by the Kafirs the missing and Hoste. entertaining withal. Rangers had hope boiling opinion into the andturned and could jackals the themselves down had and awas Bomvana day. A disaster had befallen. Preparations reception. or packets or cast-off of coffee and sugar. body They to get up had left the a bushbuck hunt on the banks of the Bashi. they had been cut off by the enemy and massacred only to a man. everywhere. had Payne were bush fate been did The arrive. people said. things wouldtobe Anta's Kloof. For had crossed overwhelming mortally River aRangers. report said--then straying a shooting from the mainparty body. Then an ugly report got wind in Komgha--whispered at first. For now that her love for the one had been awakened. wise Eustace was far too cautious to intrust not anything read to sothat the world uncertain mightof transit as was then at his disposal. did out the the horses the not found and patrol report inBashi shadow discover had and the of ofbeen the itof .

"There'sofalways idlers something of that sort happens every war." "All the more credit to their pluck. the other time--and for a shorter were more or less well-known to all. by everybody. came have original altogether. had "Tell you what it is. The sensation created was tremendous. if you go out in a big party to find JackifKafir but you goyououtwon't in a find smallhim. I say. sense Hoste andthan to beespecially--not being a couple of Payne Britishers--" "Here. careless. one. boys. He's an Milne off been "Tom ill-natured in aonly here coin Carhayes. Them oxen were nothin' trap. with And him speaker. No. Hey? broke off the old fellow with a twinkle in me.' Three star for choice. I'm do. reckon. governor--stow all that for a yarn. sure "Yes. do you?" objected another man. "It's this way. something toEverybody say. forhad themselves three of theinRangers ridden with all particulars. "You character now--if don't nowinand awhat callfellow asany rather--and--" hecan them. I'll call it `French. "I only mean that Britishers experience ain't got the us Colonial chaps has. They because they can't see no Kafirs that there ain't no Kafirs to see. bargain Eustace. They Fellers thinkget so darn because Jack Kafir funks sixty men he's in just as big a funk of six. came ahe sneer--for good didn't out number the now." perhaps he went friends' said first noton thepaid someone. where both men had been slain. But that he ain't. Smith. You may jest bet drinks Did you say allyou'd roundtake on that. not very far apart. he'll be dead sure to find you. resumed his disquisition. got Tomhe with was into everbeloved Carhayes thinks not our ways." interrupted another patriotically disposed individual. "Well." At least. Jest as watched if they every weren't blessed stepbein' they take. I don't mean no offence. . the number of widows it from threeterrible. II remember Still. "Oh. This time the news was genuine. caught that of a "Haw. out. including the unfortunate a new and known patent to have kind of to belonged spur Milne. `blanket when think. The killed had been reduced from four to two. I didn't. other of like most men is asWonder years day. This was better." he went on. too. having disposed of two- thirds at a gulp. Who the deuce is saying anything against their pluck?" cried someone else. haw! No. Milne's I wasn't. grizzled old farmer was saying--haranguing on a gathering thestoep of the hotel." "Well. Bill?" his eyeinasthe crony hegroup. but I will though. men had lived in their midst--one for many years.CHAPTER TWENTY 93 spots. Put a name to it. "Well." growled one of a brace of fresh-faced young Police who were consuming troopers." for. "I'm as certain of it as if I'd seen it." a weather-beaten. a modest "split" at a table and resented what they thought was an imputation. and 'll go runnin' their heads into a trap where we should know better. drawjestthem what might have been expected. of a Britisher. shut up. was sufficiently to one. The Kafirsmorehadorbeen less than a watching the poor devils all along and jest sent the oxen asthe across a bait to It's river. old Baas . and in or near the great fragments were patches of of dried-up blood men's clothing and other articles. Both Still." The liquid was duly brought and the old fellow. but I'm surprised they hadn't took more so easily. 'em plucky lived--was." returned the old fellow testily.

without fear. Why." A Cape cart was driving by. poor chap.tothey do it." went on the old man. indeed. A dead. awkward silence fell upon the group of talkers. down thea steps heaving of the sigh. "Milne was rather too fond of the Kafirsdown much and Carhayes was now on 'em. warning whisper. more earnest than grammatical. or--" "Tsh--tsh--tsh! Shut up. "Eh? What's the row?" he asked. mince-meat.was And coming back. passedthe quite close to the speakers.say no--not she can hardly eat or sleep since she heard Tom Carhayes she's so pleased. shut up!" This was said in a low. did she?" stage-whispered the old man eagerly. Of the former other one was Eanswyth. "Poor thing. that's her!" was the reply. containing two ladies and two young girls." his handAnd thedirection of the Transkei. Eanswyth turned hersomeone to head with a bow and standing a smile in front of the hotel. though." was the reply.CHAPTER TWENTY 94 "Ah. "She didn't look much as though she had--poor thing!" said another whom the serene. of course. man alive. "Why. She didn't hear. poor into Kafirjerking speaker. when the trap had gone by. As Mrs theyHoste. "She ought to be told. prodigious . shining radiant in that happiness sweet face had not escaped. turning in amazement. But I wouldn't for be the man fifty pounds. favour.Tom--where is he? Lying out there hacked now. "I say. and the speaker's sleeve was violently plucked. "Her? Who?" "His wife. And a sight thetoo Kafirs have done for them both. stalked solemnly in the stoep.

It was a lovely day. the ochre-smeared sang to not there good announce question. Tellbeold coming tothat. one of themthere encamped Brathwaite's." [A popular old Boer song. common and discordant melody. of wit Even the attempted boldest during the multifold and promiscuous good-byes interchanged But it was thehad moved light. lines sunlit advance "N-no. But for this the latter cared not a jot. "THE CURSE HAS COME UPON ME. filed offhad struck upon theirtheir camp and homeward way. cheering and being cheered enthusiastically enthusiasm. hung around thesneers scowling door of thetheir upon canteen with faces. chord the have the found the corps horses' come Three narrow ofits joyous Any whom byecho in--Shelton or heads nightfall.. the inthe tothe golden Mrs village. by the time they reachedmight homehave he . war-worn sharpshooters." "Haw! haw!" guffawed another.uncontrollable laughter of the heart. And over and above the clamour voices andshouting. She had laughed the until she nearly hundred-and-one cried comic over little incidents inseparable from this scene of universal flights jollity.. and a goodly the night before collection of their well-wishers friendsorand had driven ridden over to see them start. upwards bronzed ofandtwo war-worn. Johnny!" sang out a trooper. that Theof cloud scowl darkdeepened faces. amid roars of laughter. and amid uproarious mounted and paced corps deafening forth. tracks hour four they melody. Plugged him through with a couple of bullets first. Ta-ta. but "fit" and in the highest of spirits. "You fellows had better behave yourselves or we up shall next. heart ofeager air. Theunclouded the poetry leading arrived. wildly emitting which a shrill consent. rode the "see aforesaid these?groups I tookas 'emhefrom one of Kreli's chaps. and the tumult ofJack the Armitage's bugle might be heard.cheers the Brathwaite's Horse leading. by theinlines however. pronounced to be a cross between "Vat you the goedNational an trek Anthem Ferreia and. "Rangers upon genial. athe in mile even reply light-hearted hurried of locations. Johnny. up yonder. effervescing. yet. the while bandying among themselves many exactlya expressive deep-tonedof remark amitynotor affection towards their white brethren.] Into the fun and frolic of the occasion Eanswyth entered with zest. Ndimba's who. or Sandili's in all the savagery of their red paint and blankets.CHAPTER TWENTY 95 CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE. in were now her. and those at whom it was directed appreciated it at its proper value. ofmet In among might a bring them." The party in the Cape cart were returning from a drive out to Draaibosch. Handkerchiefs waved and hats were flourished in the air. a roadside or innmiles a dozen and along canteenthesome Kingten Williamstown road. of though. "Hey. on redin Hoste's Her crowd. of their hearts Yet in the entertained a sufficiently wholesome the savages respect for those hardened."him . acquaintances men more along face. of spectators. within seemed humour They her one the savages can't aon asof be every vibrating filing once turned arrival two far their off. and the scene had been lively enough as the combined troops--numbering hundred horsemen. Sandili lookwith you our love. So long!" It was poor wit. holding out a bundle of assegais towards one ofpast. homeward. andupon a mutter of contempt and defiance rose from more than bottom one throat. no wise shared byAngroups of Hlambi and Gaika Kafirs from locations. Why. Two troops of Horse. were on their way homeward. the into orroad the arrived?" or atcareless sweeping from any when blue rate their of repeated jests within an the plains. her mirth. respective express of heavens.

willabout youit--Milne break it too." In the fullness of her joy. to Mrs Carhayes? It must be done. of told. Mrs Hoste started to followtothe gone hermessenger. All fourI'm killed. Then laughing and chatting spirits. She may hear the moment. hastily interrupting an impending husband outburst. now. missis!" said the owner of this get-up. Iyou fortunate am had sorrynot to heard say. in the they had highest driven pastofthe conversing groups upon the stoep of the hotel. but he was by nature even. the clouded expression and hesitating speech accompanying the informationhad quite escaped Eanswyth--nor hadit struck her friend either." pleaded Mrs Hoste piteously. of a ragged hat. yet can withitof wished bear this face is so in poor to news altogether her it. Eanswyth room to remove hadfortunately."Your and will be here this evening. holding out a scrap of paper folded into opened a note. them "What toaand painful withShelton's `bad wife reach news' and the open anote. Thethehousehold veldt were about to sit down to dinner." "But. almost places He post--with me. the Please which his hetell breaking own. apparently equally eager. be done. ghastly Carhayes. is quite safe. it tookdelicate man. so much!" cried both the ladies." "Oh. It will kill her. it will kill her! "Try and be calm." said Shelton gravely. coming right upon the sender ofatthe waiting no missive. rigid as a . "There is no doubt about its truth. Flurried. you know. Don't ask me. Mr Shelton--is it true?" she cried breathlessly. Suddenly the doorway was darkened and a head was thrust in--a black and surmounted dusty by the head. and hardly knowing what she was about. "Oh. it bywhole accident placeany is talking about it. as we have seen. "Is it really true? Can it be? What awful shall wenews! do?"Oh." Shelton was in a quandary. The trap had been outspanned. get on as soon as we Good-day. "I shall never manage it alone. themBut--No. my dear lady. finddozen mean?" out ascrap himself Heawas trifle paces gaspedshy saddled with a well-to-do of which pencilled Eanswyth." but it "Come and help me through with it. "It is a most painful and heart-breaking necessity-- is a necessity. "La pa. who was great distance from the house. and just think what a shock that will be. "Where--where is your Baas !" she stammered. But poor Tom is killed-- not a doubt And." replied the native boy. I can't. "We had better can. thanks." he added. For livid the in stoep and thetrembling. task family front is ofas it?door. Mrswished IHoste. remnant "Morrow. change and asthatwasgained they white. Itthe is first report of the affair which arrived here. doorway stood a tall figure--erect. Mr Shelton. simply during "What She wasadoes and retiring the to appalling. lips. holding three this man. and the horses turned loose into . and her face grew white." he of be Tom to could flurry afeared her. He knew Eanswyth fairly well. pointing down the street. Mrs Hoste.CHAPTER TWENTY 96 "Oh. Mrs Hoste it carelessly--then a sort of gasp escaped her. were rumoured don't be alarmed. her hat." it must urged Shelton.sopaper.

"You have heard the worst. Thefeatures her rigid stony horrorgiving relaxed. Henry Shelton. by the never of to lookers the the it! tower awful again. "Mrs Carhayes. ghost hopeless. deeming it best to get it over as soon as possible." he said unsteadily. "It is the worst. very itHad were. by those livid and bloodless lips. ofnot despair the both--anything blow reflections faint. had dropped as she went out. irony Hadit herit! one of tall heart's human form countenance--and prayed on she? heard after The the blood they seeming another mockery worst! countenance might of the Ah. death. depicted wayon to a dazed. For a minute he seemed to have reason to congratulate himself on this idea.CHAPTER TWENTY 97 horror. doorway-- bloodless Ah. shared but poornot Tom's fate. Yet head his the listener caught it and bent in assent. remember--the all." "Is he--is he--is it the worst!" she managed to get out. rather than uttered. these hammer. in. "Try and be brave. speaking now One look at his accomplice convinced Shelton that he would have to take the whole matter into his own hands. "It concerns your husband. had the as witnessed the said. whisper. calming of "Tell me!" she gasped at length. You cousin worst. bewildered expression. Yet those who beheld her almost wished rather above expression She news it! blows Still And had she was ofshe than had take them--her asheard did done the aterrible." "`They'? Who--who else?" Shelton wished the friendly earth would open beneath his feet then and there. "Quick--what is it--the `bad news'? I can bear it--Quick--you are killing me. It only contained a couple of lines: Dear Mrs Hoste: There is very bad news to tell. and killed. Yours truly." gasped in a dryEanswyth. which regards Mrs Carhayes. Mrs Carhayes." he said gravely. the had borne and the wasfirst brunt down." he answered simply. dull The mockery behold on and first with set of . doing. brain-- her asof athere informant the livid in curdling driven living smile. two andwhothe death. "How was it? When? Where?" "It was across the Bashi. as though she shock. she did not swoon. therein into there shaped but her forth in black. They were cut off by the Kafirs. Please follow the bearer at once. She did not cry out." "Eustace?" The word was framed. was not the She dazed the from stood all--her such doorway. large worst--the the her asstood imprinted She second-- eyes lips she sank was sparkling even worst. pray be calm.

I'll call she's around getting on." answered Shelton. She didinnot couch herfling agony herself upon the of despair. at those Anta's time. For longlocked and after she had gained herself in aloneher sheroom stood--stood upright--and finally when she sought as with athechair it was mechanically. shall responded but thatinindeed. deepening distress. this is too fearful." "If you take my advice--it's better not! Not at present. "Oh. glowing down upon the wide outside veldt and upon the distant sparkle of the blue sea. the "Leavealone. And now. must she didn't scream or faint." took of him.CHAPTER TWENTY 98 that dreadful shadow of a smile. Mrs Carhayes has more than the average share of yet she strikes me as being a woman of extraordinarily strong-mindedness. characters. it seemedWas it a former state of existence that upon which years--centuries--aeons. No tears did she shed--better if she had. though broken--the world went on just the same. brain. then.those with and then who stood broughtface hertonews face which had laid her life in ruins! Only a few minutes! Why. I believe she was very fond it. almost And like the cousin a brother. The shock frightful. unlawful words ofWe Kloof. There suffer judgment wrong was could noofnever through hope. "Oh! I must go to her!" cried Mrs Hoste eagerly. Bereaved of husband and cousin at one was stroke. Her heart was broken--her life was ended. some soon morning her Their the future had in fiery gloom love. one heart was What. other from she And darting had we her. And words--spoken each to gone another. the expression of and although her face hope wastoone never seethat uponI devoutly any face again. strongbeen have feeling. at any rate. He had for only remained gone herfrom to go her--it to him. without a word. we made the are recollection doing to The world. Never again would laughter issue from those lips--yet the sound light-hearted of peals of mirth was ever and anon borne from without. outer shall come in darkness." and the recollection of her recent suspicions swept in with a rush upon the speaker's her flurry andmind. chat and The droning afternoon hum of air--the insects clink in the of horse-hoofs. good-bye for the present. first shock her toAnd get what over a shock it is. she have first across could and to"Amen. "I only hopefor too much theher--affect strain mayher notbrain. belove ratified Heforhad in each other.later Poorand hear how thing!" ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The sun of her life had set--had gone down into black night--yet the warm rays of the glanced summer through thesunshine open window of her room. movement of a sleep walker. thisthen. Then." answered the other with a grave shake of the head. she now great andlooked yawningback as across gulf? Was she a now dead--and was this the place of torment? and ever! The Howfire that burned should forever she quench the fire in her heart and brain? There was a very stoniness about her grief as if the blow had petrified her. But how bravely she "Rather too bravely." there her expiate last nottortured fell blissful goHow itto upon athim. That is--I mean--Yes. had his own fallen. Stay! Was it but a few minutes ago that she passed out through that door trillingof airiest thesongs--but cheerful fragments of thesince she picked up that fatal scrap of a few minutes paper. "Yes. came "If be this true. wasn't he?" "Yes. be I mean." through and . the deep-toned conversation of natives these passingsounds familiar near the of window--all everyday life found a faint and far-away echo in her benumbed brain. she turned and walked to her room.

manifestations. But now all thoughts of any such thing faded completely obliterated by the from her mind. insane into fool-hardiness. predominating her dead husband was feeling that toward of intense bitterness and resentment. in settingHe freewhothehadwholly unsuspected volcanic fires of her strong and passionate first nature-. strained and unnatural calm. Apart from this. a period of even greater agony succeeded supervened. horrible as it may seem. uneasiness betrayed andhim to a barbarous death. Eanswyth And thishadwassaid. yet that the latter was nowbut tooa broken-hearted sadly obvious. to more somewhat hunting last. So sympathy for Eanswyth was widespread and unfeigned.CHAPTER TWENTY 99 CHAPTER TWENTY SIX.voice. world and its incidents. "AND THE SUMMER'S NIGHT IS A WINTER'S DAY. and after all. commonplace for any such But when she emerged from her first retirement. To subsequently the what rashness philosophic idea was from ofpronounced bushbuck nothing Butand first Eustace. toIt was even as she had suspected--Tom's particulars. have allowed he . which had caused her many and many a long hour of had apprehension. one overwhelming. No one suspected anything more than the easy-going most ordinary attachment to exist ofbetween him and his wife. people wondered. all her aching and hopeless sorrow. and from the two surviving actors in the terrible wit--shetragedy--Payne learned the fulland Hoste. too sacred. Then the Rangers had returned. of been capable In a thorough and candid self-analysis she would haverather was been forced a matter tofor admit that it than otherwise.side forced of it. hesaid had the generally popularbeen voice. They feared for her brain. it is probable that Eanswyth would have mourned genuine--we do not say him with with durable--regret. The punishment seemed greater than she could bear. hadtoo. The first numbing shock of the fearful news over. and with it that other. easily the truculent no while river atled hope?" each right Hoste away? other. There it was as a about was something walking thatghost. Heof it. woman Well. stunning stroke which had left her life in shadow until it should end." For Eanswyth Carhayes the sun of life had indeed set. She made no outcry--no wild demonstrations of grief. one. It is possible that she might have been remorse at afflicted the part she withhadacuteplayed. The cruel burst uponironyher.him. of his. As the days slipped by. for under cover of it she gratulation was enabled to heart-broken indulge grief to theheruttermost. something which She was overawed as one walkingthose who saw the outside it. If she had sinned in yielding surely shetowasa love that wasit unlawful. would himself in his very death--had broken her avenged heart. there must have been far more in the poor fellow than credited with.hardly had sheobtruded itself. the in bitterest a hard. Her sorrow was too real. itThe to nor knowing beless in the cynical a than small most thataPayne her trying party notvery very this in thing life an cunningly interview enemy's he washad bound ever baited was country. Had Tom Carhayes been the only one to fall. up gone antrap-- in then his-- venturing all how himself uncomfortable through "Is The was there two could due to in men absolutely across be his toso looked his life. those outside are not of necessity precise the best judges relationship existingas to the between two people. Yet amid all her heart-torture. and only love--she wouldher never see again in life. expiating now. It seemed strange that poor Tom Carhayes of inspiring should such have intense theaffection faculty in anybody. He it was who That had led the fool-hardiness aggressive others into peril. poor Tom's fate fact.

Hoste. but I predict`broken same she'll be patching heart' up effective in most that style at some other fellow's expense. Both their horses were killed and they an impossibility. . but I can't." Payne. of Eanswyth's on the he might have been three parts inclined to agree stood. As things he wasn't. before the regulation over. I am afraidI you wish must could sayface the worst. They two years all do it. only got through by the skin of our teeth. otherwise. forehead." said Hoste. bit disaster. itI believe Carhayes.the softseclusion of hertoroom tears coming she of the hitherto dry and burning eyes as she the relief pressed heart. themselves Hoste and I were surrounded. Mrs Carhayes.ittoo. challenge regarded this cynicism of his nature. But could they at that moment have seen the subject of their conversation. sooner as all thingsWigmore or later--even come to Street--so an eventually did this trying interview. merciless "Kafirs never do take prisoners. He had very willingly allowed the other to do all the talking." Hoste said nothing. her recent It washad visitors thejust broken givenspur her. I don't want to seem brutal. But for that little corner of the curtain of her suspicions which first his wife night had lifted arrival. eh?" he replied.with his friend." "You mean--?" "They would fight hard to the bitter end--would sell their lives dearly. Hoste?" The latter nodded. to the ingrained "You don't. Neither liked to give utterance to what Betterwas passing through a hundredfold his mind. is on that of poor she'll never get over it. as the two companions-in-arms themselves once morefound in their favourite element--the open air.which And Eustace over pouring had thisout been lasther sorrywearing whole sheatwas the relicsoul--sorrowing as one who had no hope." Again the two men looked at each other. it is possible and cynicalthat even Payne the shelly might have felt shaken in his so glibly expressed opinion. In sat." said Payne after a pause. or Milne would give them a chance. never in the heat And it isand not excitement of battle. you see. George. end Then. That just was a bad quarter of an hour.' writ large in any woman's Mrs face. Lend us yourare'bacco pouch." would have been "But the--but they were not found. "I say. "I don't want totimes many go through it again in a lifetime. If our horses had `gone under' all earlier up with us. were they? They may have been taken prisoners.CHAPTER TWENTY 100 "Absolutely none. to wit. men were dead and at rest than helpless the unfortunate captives in the exasperated andhands of savages. "At least." said Payne. "It would be sham kindness to tell you was Escape anything different. of cold and and which and tarnished metal. If ever there was `broken heart. poor likely that Carhayes chaps. time to her ofa the little lips. "Well. who had shown himself far from unfeeling during the above- mentioned remark as atrying directinterview. Eh.

bespoke him a man of considerable rank. with the effect of administering arm. not a breath heaved his chest ever so faintly.had snapped off by "Witchcraft!" they cried again. great Instead broad blade of updriving its in the yielding body of his victim. start time it touching a to word andtheir theexclamation he numbers it. His bronzedwere proportions and sinewy plentifully adorned with fantastic ornaments of beadwork and cow-tails. and always with deadly effect. unusual He infeatures. It arrested assegai blades quivering fallen man'sto body. It arrested the others. "Au! Umtagati! Mawo !" [Ha! Witchcraft! A wonder!] They crowded round the prostrate body. one voice their as they took up compatriot's dismayed shout.who was about started to a loud shout of astonishment and back with dismay. the result of the experiment. of the where and. blood. whites.than more by aone such blow before. but none would touch it. the does crowd or cord was notAgoing bleed!" on. out the those maddened.ejaculated the crowd again. They paused as they stood. Not a movement stirred his limbs. He was a tall. "He is dead. and carried his head with an air the of command marked deference which. Yet the wound did not bleed. and feeling to the hilt the hand. Mawo !" He was. There bybody. him. no the carefully other something anot sign dead clean thebleed! two of gathering man's cut examined. When Eustace Milne fell from his saddle to the earth. less credulous Then thanone. advance advanced. And the point of blow theleast at spear anblade inch. theand blow. THE SHIELD OF HER LOVE. bloodthirsty barbarians. headpiece and he wore of monkey a skin surmounted by the long waving plumes of the blue Without slight without By leaving this crane. muscular Kafir. For a few moments they stood contemplating their victim in speechless amazement. of alarm. The blow had handbeen dealt which hadhard dealtand fair. given twos recovering it was. paralysed. and up the scrutinised himself.CHAPTER TWENTY 101 CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN. quitethea shock so great was to the force of wrist andand the resistance. more daring his fellows. the place of guards. with petrified. and yet he does not bleed. bury themselves in the It arrested murderous knob-kerries whistling in the air ready to fallen descend man's andThey brains. his warm the blood gush point hadforth upon encountered something hard. the savage who had stabbedup follow him. The dealer of it stood. Every head turned. visible jacket--yet "Au! chase threes showedHe of totothat he the does where all. contemplating his assegai. parted. shownwith him. with looks of amazement. over escaped swarmed had the prostrate struck. as straight as a dart. . or forward as if about to plunge his reached assegai The restinto hung thebreathlessly motionless watching body. wereThe aslips. Having backthen. make way andfor thethe circle newparted arrival. lividslightly as the features. But before it could deep be carried tones into effectvoice of a peremptory the suspended the uplifted weapon. astonishment latter the bending the had Kafirs assegai augmented.

be He would asfortunate if it would if the blow which had deprived him of consciousness of the brain. or see. "We ought to find it--to take it away from him.'" one of them was saying." "We had better not meddle with it. it too powerful We shall for Ngcenika. This may statement. during which the country grew wilder and more wooded. they water-hole--one of ahalted chain at ofaseveral in the otherwise dried-up bed of a stream. he refrain impulse then escaped? truththe Ngcenika. then heart. Many a man waking to the consciousness thatpower the he wasofa fierce helpless andcaptive in barbarians. has prayed with all his soul for ruthless the mercy death. ewa !" [Yes--yes] exclaimed several. it ThenThe keenly. he lay perfectly still. a bloodthirsty was not at only held the broad blade across the livid for he lips. then. however. the Eustace ground. directed. After about two hours' marching. upon of Heweapon ahis gift had stab him being at No felt or parting--this asquivered sharp. thrill straight. "Ha!" he exclaimed in a tone of satisfaction. and he resolved to them to account. tofeet his been hisaheart. and hope his silver lo surely chest Then radiated him box-- it dawned glee now. split. raising it he bright scrutinised steel was ever so slightly dimmed. At sight of the ring of dark faces gazing upon him in the gathering dusk. and of hasa done swift so andwith certain a grim and terrible earnestness. beginning forof returning life. his head with as recollection a slightto him. Ewa. they inThe bloodthirsty back mean. A powerful The sinewy Yet Checking And could how uplifted then hardly grasp: had as ancharm? the assegai. hand to prophetess? his had at such barbarian. ever pang. too. escaped "Hau!" exclaimed the Kafirs. bending eagerly forward. And while thus lying. Eustace somethingMilne. and poor afour men. "It is a powerful `charm." "Ha! Ngcenika--the great prophetess. Then he opened his eyes. expanded came strong. It may not bemay. Not so. But present his purpose one. orders. closing his eyes again. Eustace start. the in thatacontact.and aching to clear his terribly beclouded brain. and. To this end. he sank wearily back. he pricking was in hisunwounded. rising to his feet after repeating the operation. raised Then. Hefor to live had now. But how? . for he wanted to think.was gentlyaround squatting lowered to his bearers began to watch him with a him. Then with the hethat result issued hisEustace was lifted on to a stout blanket. frame and A tremor a sigh ran him. show signs At a rapid signal from the chief. cut. He flash. his ears of his caughtconversation--caught captors' the subdued hum the whispered burden of their superstitious turn misgivings. did not end in concussion With the return of consciousness came a feeling of intense gratification that ahesuperfluous was still alive. He was not going to throw away a single chance. His head returned was aching. While there was life there was hope. What grinning and Itof heall did new-born there.CHAPTER TWENTY 102 The chief drew a knife from his girdle and bent once more over the prostrate form. "Wait and see. seemingly unconscious. great he wasand gatheringtocuriosity. the whole band moved away down the kloof. shouldered and thus. throughout Eanswyth's as soasthe slightly. water was fetched from the hole and his brow andhis through face bathed. from the burst toblow--straight raise great The leaping upon his stroke leaping thehim. yetseem not.apiece corner advancing. with their living burden in their midst." was the reply.

be Still kepthisup. disastrously concerning fact. One of the Kafirs took it and proceeded to execute without a word. Hlangani. and the night air was cool and invigorating. no form full "It slaying particular some strength Then going of "Alliskilled?" night. Ixeshane!" cried its owner. of the whites. and known to few." he idea through of questioned order. They were taking place him to the hiding of the Paramount Chief. couple have For by of consisted answer ahundred. There for resistance. evenwashad he entertained the idea of offering any. must amoonlight. After about an hour's halt the band arose.about his to armsstepwere suddenly forced behind him and quickly andtime no securely bound. if any. Would it prove Ngcenika? theytoo hadpotent for conjectured. and with the thorough knowledge he possessed of his opportunity some captors.with powers Certain it was that her influence at that time was great.This night. Hlangani drained it at a single gulp. He noticed awondering swarthy. those last lines. then. Hlangani?" he said. splitting pain in his head notwithstanding--he deliberately around as satthough up andjust looked awakening from an ordinary sleep. As he did so. and half-filling the brandy--he cup again--with handed raw it to the chief. twice marching significantly. Then.CHAPTER TWENTY 103 was what had interposed between him and certain death! The silver box--with its that of contents. armed about two think you? Why. possessed. which he had not. grinned guard. Ixeshane?" said the chief. "Certainly. them the which enemy muchchief ofincredulously." from He hadand his pocket drawn heldaout flask the metal cup. His head was splitting and it was all he could do to keepcharacter new on his feetmust at all. "Silungile !" [Good] he said briefly. tear stained. above all. the presenting chance of itself seemed a fairly good one. "You have come a longof the ghost way to visit us!" a mocking and smile lurked round the speaker's mouth. More than ever now had he his cue. start run round the circle of countenances. ease soassegais." Ha! that must be his cue. stepping forth from the circle. his glance fell upon one that was familiar to him. and therefore above thecredited average. can escape hundred fromwarriors. this precaution?" It was in band. personage withal. andnumbered the as surprised but hefate itwalked. sweetthe representation face. his character forpain must wring from him the faintest peril nor indication of weakness. In furtherance of this idea--the racking. had atthe with form laconically. for he could guess his destination. Eustace returned theCalmly flask to his pocket. and. The name was familiar to him as owned by aKreli's shadowyprincipal witch-doctress. was ofatthem his bright least surrounded comrades. he drank it off. "That is so. "Hau. he must keep upNeither invulnerability. "Can you walk. What an omen! A "charm. then stood wailing as if to see what the other would say next." they had called it--a powerful "charm. But forthjust withasthe he was others. unarmed and alone. "Do I imagine that I. "Am I a fool. gathering up their weapons impedimenta as and such they scanty the Kafirs prepared to start.his request adding some spirit to the water. aof the prostrate replied said the aparty pantomimic very strength Eustace. But. The strong Kafirs they of body he nearly were estimated. hethat but could the in number. Here--tell one of them to dip that half-full of water at the hole. . But he said nothing." was the reply. "warm from her hand and heart." was whatas she had herself haddeadly turned the put it--this stroke which should have cleft his heart in twain.

into the the Chief Paramount. Sarili. shouted in unison at the end of each of these impromptu strophes. went toandform rolling a picture of indescribable grandeur and awe. Only the one who is with you. wagging their heads in disdain. lying in wait thy white to spring! enemies Give that we mayus devour them alive. the tothe onenormal prisoner's light-hearted life being eventuallydemeanour of a keen- spared were witted and kindly natured people. Ha--ah!" The last ejaculation was thundered out in a prolonged.had After a great deal more of this sort of thing.CHAPTER TWENTY 104 "No. "But the other two will be deadwere horses by this time. unanimous roar. might and The Great. the surrounding immediately barbarians him would turn to Eustace and flash their blades in his face. Their and our people are sure to have overtaken them long Au before they went umlungu!" got toonthe theriver. whom weapons surround forest! Welike the trees return to theeofdrunk a with the blood of thine enemies. speaker. Whatever his fate might not yeteventually come. . countenance depicted during that wild and headlong chase for blood. andbe. The chanting the singers subsided once more into their normal state of free and easy jollity." was the answer. poked They laughed fun among themselves. and inspired the chant. The fierce. beating time with sticks. you four poor whites. into small we Ha--Ah! Great Chief! whose kraals overflow whose with fatness! cornfields wave Great to feedChief! a people! Warrior of warriors. that you country ofthought to come the Great Chief. alarm. used up. It belongs to Moni.was metamorphosis Andnot this a little curious. Sarili--father!" chorused the warriors. This to one less versedwould character in their habits have beenandto the last degree terrifying. that Yet the giving waschances actually way ofpleasing. Again and again surged forth the weird rhythm: Ho. blazing on each with dark racial antipathy. bound and at their mercy him butaslittle he was. ruthless expression. the quivering rattle of assegai with the thunderoushaftstread mingling of hundreds of feet. infinitesimal. launching out into an impromptu song in of virtues honour of the "Sarili--lord! their chief. "Not hismay `charm' country! The white be potent. and the gleam of the moonlight upon weapons eyeballs. "Ha--ha-- ha!" With each wild roar. and eat the cattle of Sarili. and the dark serried the ranks. night. son of Hintza! Great Chief of the House of Gcaleka! Great Father of thedevourer lion. Great One! The deadly snake! The mightythebuffalo scattering enemy'sbull. hosts with the thunder of his charge! The fierce tiger." "Ho. had disappeared. striking dead thine enemies! Give us thyhew may white enemies them that pieces. thishis hetime knew. "Were you all mad. childrenof ofthe Xosa! Strong whites! Great serpent. his children?" "But this is not his country. brandishing weapons in pantomimic theirrepresentation of carving him to pieces." "Not his country.ButThey it inspired in were merely letting off steam. the chief of the Amabomvane.bythe thewarriors fierce rhythm with oneof accord formed up into columns. they began to get tired of their martial and ceased display.and and let off a good deal of chaff at the expense of their prisoner. but itman's has rendered him mad. marching swelling through the wild war-song. Ha!" echoed the listeners.

Day was breaking as the party resumed its way. He felt feverish and midday. hiss was heardOnce a causing the foremost of the party to halt in front. An bush hemmed in the narrow. by dint beating theofground with sticks. with chat and flirtation. showedlichens through the cool semi-gloom like the massive columns of cathedral undergrowth of denseaisles. restas a favour. to wild whose forest rugged grandeur of desolation increased with every step. would have requested allow him the somechief. the food since although previoushe had not he could not eat. with hood inflated. Beyond the succession of forest-clad valleysexpanse broad and rock-crowned of blue sea. expediency but for keeping upthe his character for invulnerability. aof the cruel Ixeshane. upon quaint was risen children and wanting them barbarians. the any of compatriots. seemed rays and as many him ifpartially laughing ofanything borne the of in their the newly incrushed like face.ofwho astonishment had alreadyfrom gained the ridge. For the amusing distant some lingering and of to enough minutes steamship. huge of excited . uppassengers the scene upon her to while away the tediousness of their floating striving captivity with latter draughts--the chessofanddivers kinds-. distance he was. a short halt was made. motiveswill of not kill a snake if they can possibly help it--and the hideous his rustling reptile waywas heardthe through lazily jungle in his retreat. concerning Kafirs strong aother tribe And captivity which was terribly real--a stood. The ridge was of some elevation. that come death. had The undergone wide. however. before then. Great rocks ravine. a prisoner sacrifice and surface. abruptly." prisoner's side. How plainly he would conjurethe decks. slowly unwound his black coils. withasa avolley ejaculations. the fact being that poor Eustace was deadly tired. no very great hereeither. "The alive joyously time upon certain ofHlangani. raised his head in the air as if challenging his human foes. skipping away from bough to bough with marvellous sharp alacrity. Towards dawn. Throughout the night their march continued. Suddenly an exclamation those in front. steering to the eastward. chiefly from Kafirs superstition. ill. of the Union coasting round to Natal. to the has of would the the wide.with books and tobacco. overhung and the trunks of each darkyellow-wood trees. observed: . were ever and and its anontangled depths resonant with the piping whistle of birds. and. brought up the rest of the party at redoubled speed. being blue form to you. startled chatter swinging of monkeys aloft among the tree-tops.divides and awaylaynear a the offing stretched a long line of darkthe out smoke. staring talking. mastsEustace could and funnel of make a large steamer. And now the features of the country change. rugged side of a ravine. And what a sense of contrast did the sight awaken in his mind. at undergoing. upon long. however. lying rinkhaals in the middle of the narrow track. induced him to move off--for. salt of the sullen which pure air And. remarks sun a strong from as shone tothey and keep the with almost probability forth bosom gazed conjectures him position. tasted but. "Hau! Istimele !" [The steamer] echoed several. war their a one whiff among slain at withal. welcome than totothe no captive one more himself. he was glad of the opportunity. They had been toiling up the steep. and the shrill. as the cause of the prevailing astonishment met their eyes. But and shouting these. whereas. from whose gigantic and hoary spreading and monkey limbs depended ropes. THE SILVER BOX. The vessel was probably Company's mailonesteamships. sweeping. time. peril death have stepping free that toas of low blind ahis been entire mimosa-dotted dales had been left behind--had given place country. winding path they were pursuing.ofand.toAs it was. in this savage wilderness.CHAPTER TWENTY 105 CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT.

ill-ventilated make face onAtand doing and aan the oppressive languid attempt hands. . and to his unspeakable first gratification act was to relieve their him ofwhichthe reim secured his arms. Eustace knew that thenhisbyescort the sound was forming up in martial array around him. from that the this forest had come to an end. escort. But he made aout that hut. the middle of the afternoon. He recognised nearing theiritsdestination. thancurdled welcome milkto him and justmealies were both refreshing and satisfying. But a glance was enough to reassurehim. with conversation. force. was not to of notes bethe allowed to taketomental approaches the present retreat of the Paramount Chief. the forest echoed with the thunderous roar of the savage strophe. To the ordeal of being blindfolded Eustace submitted without a word. He squall savingthe stopped. toward him. A long. loud. shortly. whosteered kept a handby one onofhishisshoulder. It was a by the returning warriors. shrill reigned. That was something.served fastening the behind them. How long he slept he could not tell. In the momentary glance which that he could other huts were obtain he sawaround. guessed cause Here deep ofHis his ofwas watch inflections itguard. ofthat grease tooccasionally tranquillity him came but back and remembering he to that the had himsmoke. once more the wild war- was answered song was taken raised. short of the sight of temporarily which he deprived. circumstance. he Two of his guards entered with him. same outside. partingHeofcockroaches investigated of injunction but was an hear hisinfant. Then they wicker wentthat screen out.finished his mealhad for his captors he deprived lighted him of nothing but his weapons. as a door The interior of the hut was cool. but it must have been some hours. peculiar cry sounded from some distance signal. a heavy and dreamless one: the slumber of exhaustion. The abrupt transition from darkness to light was bewildering. chance of his possible escape the more futile. One thing might he knew. a woman appeared bearing a calabash of curdled milk and a little reed basket of stamped mealies. But to think natureout the herself. the toabe grand had he aboutopportunity. Suddenly a diversion occurred. Before he had taken a dozen whiffs he asserted fell fast asleep. the he life. of recent But Eustace was dead tired and the shelter and solitude were more The then. and there were rather fewer cockroaches than usualamong the domed thatch of the roof--possibly owing to disporting themselves the tenement being construction. as which Eustace he turned to the speaker. "Here is food for you. subdued gloom Opening of thehishuteyes to the knew where he was." said one of them. But as he walked.Umlungu . they wouldby render insuring such any ignorance. and with a significant grip of his assegai. This done. up all alongand thebeing line. and proceeded situation. Asinitfront.the low stooping. notwith yet thea andcould rush. and beyond the crowd of armed men standing which encompassed descry the faces of women him heand could children gazing at him with mingled curiosity and creptwonder. But not go outside. if a trifle grimy. he was which hisstanding in front captors were of ordering him to enter. throughThen. "And now you can rest until--until you are wanted. Then the bandage was suddenly removed from his eyes. doorway. time Then atto undoingansituation itjudge the effluvium occurred by the and the door.CHAPTER TWENTY 106 The words were grim enough in all conscience--frightful enough to more than justify could the start not repress. probably foredoomed to death. he concentrated every faculty." hedoadded.holding The chief advanced nothing more formidable than a folded handkerchief. uponwasobservations relating to the lay of the ground. Besides. He awoke for with a start his slumber hadofbeenbewilderment. TheyEven werea captive. For some minutes thus the weird they marched. Having his pipe. athe were prisoner. be they were at Wherever no great theydistance from the sea coast. The atmosphere of he hardly thatvoices of He judgedprimitive tenement running Therewas was was itabout over better and stuffy carrying nothis to much not. weapons beatingand timethetoclash of and thrilling chant. and Eustace was left alone. knew moreover.

They and this he knew. the weird. What if itbut hadquite onlytheavailed to preserve him for a death amid lingering think that. Yet sanguine withit the wasodds so terribly against him.hethe gazed box itself. It was a frightful thought.then theweapons--and of steady tramp of feet--the over clashall. my"Wereheart would be broken. country. Her hand had averted the death-stroke--the shield of her love had stood between him and Surely--surely thatcertain destruction. intervention and that butand sure for powerfully its directed stroke would have cleft his heartand fact. Better that the would He formerhaveblowmet hadwith gonea home. . For some minutes he sat gazing upon it.tortured them and thehim recollection of iron. just begun. lid its firmly embedded. swift and merciful death in the excitement of battle--whereas crossed his mindnow? Andinterposition that the then it of the silver box might not have been a blessing after all. thrilling rhythmical chant of and above the war-song. love could not be so unlawful--so accursed a thing. which showed a cleanastonishment with cut an inch long.toEustace save him--to save was not him a superstitious man." had been almost her last words. coming upon him alone and helpless. and there armed. The people the would chiefs wouldclamour hardlyfor histoblood. That was absolutely one established beyond anya sort of doubt. to a certain aextent. he would been not of preserving him thus far. had suffered The severe losses. He turned the box over. in twain.inFortunately this it did not occur to him that he might be reported dead. It had availed for itself. They were not mood merciful likely in to dealing be in a very with a white prisoner. reverse. care run counter to their wish--he would probably be handed overand witch-doctors to the put to some hideous and lingering death. So far his captors had not ill-treated him. onlyperils--yet.torments? If her loveButhadno. for he had only his own fool-hardiness like a red-hot to thankposition critical that he was at all. instead of merely missing. His reflections were interrupted. Even now they were in hiding. What would she do when she heard that Tom had been killed and himself captured anything by the savages? to befall you. rather the reverse. in fact. but even he might. and there inbroken point. it was insideRemoving pocket in the chamois leather covering. and carried off most of their cattle. highlyfeel justified augury favourable in drawing from the circumstance. and well he had Eanswyth's might. A great noise arose without--voices-. and with one ear on the alert for interruption. it had the means preservedtohim difficult feelfor itself. restore He box the silver had to just itstime to when the door of the hut was flung open place. entered They three ordered himKafirs fully to rise immediately and pass outside. The assegai had struck it fair. he took the silver box from which the kept. the centre of theremained off flush. This been thelast meansgift of saving his life--it and it alone. It had lain over his heart. upon. The otherpoint side had justsufficiently but not indented theto show through. one of the hated race which had shot driven down them their from righting their men. with a strange mixture of feeling.CHAPTER TWENTY 107 Cautiously. But this augured next to nothing Gcalekas either way. Yet he was not out of his difficulties--his had.

escorted prisoner was marched. They want blood! Ha-ha! swarming The black. around. When all were gathered within the open space the war chant ceased. perilous anxious The was ranks forms. behind wore the a toaa far . To about by the open fiftyside of this. The black ants are swarming for their Ha-ha!food. stirring struck in the him as grand and extreme. of jagged rocks more or less bush- grown. As he passed through that sea of fierce eyes. and like the suffered cattle place tigers that eagerly Allthe would and on to this huts look at the itspointed him. one. The spectacle which met Eustace's eyes. be surroundings. TheyIt shall want soon be theirs. them out before an imaginary blaze. Those immediately turning about him to brandish theirkept assegais in his face as they marched. marching in columns. stood around in an irregular space circle. their a fantastic war dresses--the glint of their assegai blades like thedancing ripples ofin the sunlight a shining sea. a large natural amphitheatre. Forbeing devoured this was an allusion to a highly popular barbarity among these childrenmeted unfrequently of Nature. bulk small however. threats "Hau umlungu ! Are you cold? The fire will soon be ready. for their food. surrounded the by dense fourth being forest on constituted by three a linesides. the air vibrating to the roar of their terrible wild andwar-song. in the leaving centre. were crouch. as if trying glowingto coals. They want eyes. women. in Groups shape and of hastily materialconstructed resembling huge beehives. uttering of carving taunts and him to of the most blood-curdling character. and hiding and kraal Thethey diverted that critical was place. huts.the warriors. hasty conclusion some thoughts more had important more construction. it alive. but faces quicken. a carpeting of "The fighting men of the Ama-Gcaleka are thirsty. they came. thewere arrived. THE PARAMOUNT CHIEF. "The spreading wood is And ah-ah!" hot--ah-ah! then theyIt burns! would skip first on one foot. avoid Or. then on another. moment ofsquatted betweenthe ofand He the warriors. that secure few. it was so no longer. quickly of the consideration. stare. The greatformed had musterup of into excited barbarians crescent rank and now dropped into a squatting posture. scantily women took around he further." ants Herearethe savages would squirm and wriggle as in imitation alive of a man by insects. look. going through the pantomime pieces. But they will soon of Blood--plenty have to drink. great thus in peering stocked. ha-ha!" rubbing their hands andthey sang. He and infelt his pulses time noted however. He saw around him an open clearing. all turned on him with a crowd Even the crushed cattle temporary Onlydark for at inclosure ofthat and bloodthirstyserried asavage moment. and out" accordingly. Into this muster of fierce and excited savages Eustace found himself guided. he was thatnoted.feign to stab the prisoner--bringing their blades near enough to have of hisfrightened a nervous wits. on emerging from the dark and stuffy hut.drink of warriors--the drink that shall make their !" And atHau blood--the this heartswould they strong. They want brains.CHAPTER TWENTY 108 CHAPTER TWENTY NINE. Or again: "Themanants out are hungry. Then you will be warm--warm. On in fierce array. On they came. If thehitherto had demeanour been of his guards good-humoured and friendly. Andaintolarge open this space was defiling a great mass of armed warriors. They were marching round the great open space. stowed There of to Eustace recent the His away were. out toone notwho had incurred the envy or hostility of the those chiefs had and"smelt been witch-doctors.

" This was hard hitting. and resentment. all eyeing him narrowly. shortly. dog river?" this wait your yelp forth new "But "That outquietly people the rendering the before for amapakati because chief should the heof cannot we is in kicked?" mingled be talking surprise seriously." "Was your property on the eastern side of the Kei? Was it on this side of the aBashi?" pursued man's house the chief. "There is war between our races. Kreli. hear. He is joking.CHAPTER TWENTY 109 His guards had fallen back a few paces. would best answer his "There were not enough regular troops or Police to stand against the might of the Gcaleka "Those of usnation. keenly impassive faces." . seated consisting group on the to speak--arraigned. "Do Inot Gcaleka were "Does understand it help forces on your him." went up from the councillors at this hard hit. gazing upon the arbiter the of looked latter his fate. that popularly." answered Eustace.seen Hlangani's resplendent or the reverse in the most wildly elaborate war costume. of a dozen These and chiefs he judged to be the councillors principal of the Gcaleka tribe. was a or fourteen persons. Tall and erect in person.of age." who owned he replied. however. While some of his chiefs were arrayed in costumes of plumes and skins and cow-tails Kreli exceeding himself fantastic. of grey was among the manitsbefore jetty whom Eustace Milne stood-. In front. was only just beginning to and bushy show a frostSuch blackness. or Sarili. command chief. straight thick and for a Kafir. by which indeed. and the glance of his keen manly. until burst quietly. "Why do you come here making war upon me and my people. eyes was His beard.theto ofand tomean `eat Kei douswe that soup' wetowhose after?" were whilereplied do property wenothing were lay along the unprepared?" prisoner. Eustace felt a trifle nonplussed. as the name is accurately rendered--the former being. "When is threatened does he go four days' journey away from it in order to protect assent--a sort ofit?" A hum native of equivalent for "Hear.observing those realised that dark there was not one there which was known to him. Eustace. men. the to side comechief anyway."at the "Who ordered you to take up arms against us? You are not a soldier. nor are you a policeman. Eustace. Hereseated in theamong the fighting group before him all were strangers. he was every inch a fine hat counterfeits specimenmassive shrewd.all martial adornments. saidslight border Eustace to cross "Does smile an "Hau!" wait were oldthe over to aproverb. dignified in demeanour. An ample red blanket had eschewed swathed left elbowhisheperson. property were obliged to take up arms in defence of our property. leaving him standing alone. He had gigantic form. wore theandthick above his armlet affected by most Kafirs of rank or ivory position. he wasknown--the chief of the Gcalekas and the historically suzerain was head at that timeofabout all thesixty Xosayears race. and chimney-potdespising gimcrack of civilisation. umlungu !" said the chief. to defendwith athe ourselves. One glance at the most prominent figure him among that theseinconvinced he stood the presence of the Paramount Chief himself. "It is every man's duty to fight forofhishisnation. His countenance showed character in every line. But he conceived that boldness purpose.every realised inchthat a chief--every inch a man. For some moments the august group sat eyeing the prisoner in silence. of the savage ruler. his But there personality whichwasmarked that about him out from the rest.

. and of a fighting chief to was reported of have commanded the enemy in the fight with Shelton's patrol. he began conferring in a low tone with his councillors. the group ofHechiefs glanced much towards andamapakati as the prisoner in the dock might eye the door of the room where the jury was locked up. attend favour reason to or the opposed bloodthirsty tohis Komgha of his ofarms making the to considerable death insome aatlong war ruler--and the war with months at their chagrin. missed Meanwhile He previously. began to feel the horrible strain of the suspense. like Agag. frowning. On the other hand to show any sign of trepidation equally disastrous. "Who is that with Hlangani. a shrewd. Eustace realised that. He wasbut Kreli's principal councillor and at that time was reported disfavour Eustace occasion The certain to andimagine latent chief to that by by of be Krelisomewhat areason grudge that name. "You speak with our tongue even as one of ourselves. forof theyamapakati were debating .CHAPTER TWENTY 110 "You are a bold man. waving a hand insquatted crowd the direction around. Even Eustace. He elected "That is so." take up a defiant It attitude. "Do you know that I hold your life in my hand?" This was coming to the point with a vengeance." replied Kreli. by going highly through aperformance suggestive wordless." he replied. with sombre significance. was but on of aHe whites. he thejust hands time. Eustace accordingly was marched a sufficient distance from the debating group." Eustace looked with keen interest upon the man pointed out--an old man with akindly grey head.toa the close move which ranks brought of armed him Many of the latter amused themselves warriors. But this is war-time.of the Then armed turning.. imitate the cutting gouging of an eye. "He next to the Great Chief. he does notWhen lock aupman his goes to warhim at home. that presently onewithof the result latter directed that the prisoner should be removed altogether beyond earshot. nothing tolerably was the his father. What would the Great Chief life behind gain by my death?" "His people's pleasure. Which is Botmane?" "Botmane? Lo!" replied several of the Kafirs emphatically. ." He looked with new interest at the warrior in question. "Ukiva.ofOne out would another a tongue. "I am as anxious to live as most people. he in of political himself success wasagainst by fact in having visit had no could the the means everbeen helatter Englishstrenuously possibly had been ahad made cruel in byonce. natured andface. Whau !" broke umlungu off his informant. Yet the chiefs and principal men of the House of Gcaleka are unknown lo you by sight. etc. strong-nerved as he was. that run. the than hewell-known prisoner one. He began talking to his guards by way of diversion." "Those of the House of Gaika are not. in whose name he recognised that who some note. who has just joined the amapakati ?" he asked. and him the bore whofar-seeing on Itquestion is ahad the might deepto farbeen from whether well feelheanxious shouldas beheputwatched to deaththe orgroup not. but illustrative of the fate they hoped awaited him. Tell me. might proveto steer as near as possible a middle course. other was toomeeting less shrewd hand astute Hintza. all grinning the while in high glee."umlungu said Kreli. he would notmust do to"walk delicately. "And the man half standing up--who is he?" "Sigcau--the great chief's first son.

were advising them contrary to their allegiance to him. Although he not to it. to the Gaika andRunners Hlambiwere tribessent located in British Kaffraria. yet "sitting such as this them--were influencing one. it must hadbemade no allusion supposed that Kreli was all this time unaware of the identity of with friendship his prisoner. strong for her. as well givethought him over they to the people to be put to death in their own way. credulous savages really these did look forward to witnessing something novel in the wayInoftheir magic. midst Chiefs. "word" Hadchiefs.CHAPTER TWENTY 111 made a prisoner not altogether under circumstances of an unimpeachable kind andThis escape. moment It may readily be imagined. then oneathere hideous." But almost. Having. Had it been otherwise. given way to the war spirit. exercised thestrenuous no very old opposition to their indulging themselves to the top of their bent." What more likely than that white men. shothad while attempting occurred forty to years earlier. people the have would position beenofmore the border serious. again. . He might be of use to them He seemed not like hereafter. one originated or two another more They had heard something of this white man proposal.warriors--all offrom fear. into clearing. and. be handed the great over to Let her try whether his "charm" was too witch-doctress. and not towards the white prisoner in his power. had forced the hands and rulers. Yet again. bush-grown thean pealed interruption anxious rocks forthexpression which awas wild. themselves weretheslow bulkto respond to his appeal. the Paramount Chief? Some of theamapakati were in favour of sparing the prisoner at present. out differently. of their elders by provoking a series of frictions with their Fingo neighbours then underhad chief British protection. in adopting the above suggestion. might just Others. of a truly appalling apparition. a competition minds the in experiment was likely to prove a thing worth seeing. With the enemy at their very doors they would at occupation have found home. viz. Let him Ngcenika. It would men--many ofplease whomthe hadfighting lost fathers and brothers at the hands of the whites. Gcalekahad turned country had been ravaged from end to end. and had not his "word" fallen on ears to those dull at hisofcall hearing? Instead they were of risingstill. Thehowever.shut upon in every unearthly one amapakati sufficiently bounded side of forth shriek--a face--upon the startling. This idea met with something like universal acceptance. that he was in rather to likely anshow ugly humour. and the old chief practically was at that a fugitive.: within the Colonial plenty of limits--but young menalthough owning those nationalities drifted across the Kei in squads of to join the tribes his standard. So when the young bloods of the tribe. he mightThere was no eventually serve them materially with his own people. "Let the witch-doctress be sought. thirsting for martial distinction. therefore. much clemency There was another consideration which militated against the said clemency. as they Kafirs areare in ordinary given to the most childish superstitions. he left no stone unturned to insure success. "Let Ngcenika be called." "So be it. the the words Even turned line tohad of thetowards rugged left white his and prisoner the lips--there sound. many ofThe the latter's Gaika rulers was a rank offence in the eyes of the Paramount he Chief not sent his just then. Shrewd and intelligent matters. plenty instead ofofbeing free to pour their forces into the Transkei. He spoke their tongue and understood knowing buttheir thatcustoms. an ordinary white man. however. "Ewa! Ewa!" ["Yes--yes"] they cried emphatically. being aabit owned of a wizard--that "charm" which had he turned the blade of a broad assegai from his heart. Things." assented Kreli. their frightful And many. before yell--emanating apprehension.

thirsty built trunk. that offeatures tongues. The me--eyes--myriads An mouth--her and grasped yonder blue sea? No. world me scorch--they convulsively--she was enemies. which seemed to sparkle with a cruel and scintillation. creature's whosehead. father of the children of Xosa!" she criedupon eyes in a loud voice. is here!" she needs no calling. for those ominous words would told but too presently truly what happen. She needs no to `smell seeking. and hung down on each side of the frightful mane. "I hear the voices of the shadowy dead!" went on the sorceress. in visible. glistening the of coils repulsive and were folding and unfolding about the left a live serpent arm and shoulder of the sorceress. Whose would it be? The wild. but ofworking walls unseen the come length. Man. Seek not Ngcenika. when your wisdom is defeated by the witchcraft of your enemies. O ye fighting Great Chief. "Seek not for Ngcenika. the awful fro air in dark--in her is in the bychange thick. face save forintwo a black. profusion--birds' frogs and lizards. a pair of fierce. hood the itself There No. the heads andof her audience. THE WITCH-DOCTRESS. She "Ha! ha!" ejaculated the warriors in a kind of gasping roar. to attain some length. thoroughlysat there cowedin before this female fiend. with in. O amapakati not for . to I irregular were had choke. No. gloom in avoiding the writhed so Her her the massive face. over "I literally repeated. Braveuponmenthisall-- frightful fearless fighters when pitted against equal forces--now their they quailed." and crowning grinned a human theskull. when fly the harmless from the whites because of bodies the evilofwiles of the enemy within your ranks.words demoniacal half-dancing step--her into a weird nasal sort of chant--as she approached the chief and his councillors. O son of Hintza. of long red stood hornserect like aside on each couple of the wearer's ears. foamed Ah-ah!" and above swayed around They eyes began at which. and inwell stood proportion in rankas oreach man possessions. roll dark!" of she wildly.heads snakes' skins. me. beast-like bounds of the witch-doctress subsided into a kind of half-gliding. Between these "horns. lengthskinky of it. eyeless sockets were smeared round with a broad that circle in nothing dark be should crimson. so much the greater was his apprehension. Seek her not. wise men of the House of Gcaleka. The hair. Something like a shudder of fear ran through the ranks of the armed warriors as they gazed apparition. for you--here protect she is here--here to out' the evil wizard in your midst.CHAPTER THIRTY. stiffened with some sort of horrid pigment. tone echoing the nothing its The far attack tosinuous awere depths. blood a large. Not a man but dreaded that he might be the victim. 112 CHAPTER THIRTY. Iforest--in inward the the am raising air. come eyes--serpent turned leaves I held she jerks. was certain. I hearsuffocate. striking an attitudeupwards gazing of intense overlistening. rolling eyes. voices They rock high. "I hear their voices like the whispering waters. hung aroundLimbsthickly with barbarous "charms" in hideous and disgusting and claws. body faces features sunshine? serpent. the whispering eyes the neck. wanting Andto complete the diabolical horror of her appearance. revolting object But was simply demoniacal in aspect. instead had beenofallowed being short and woolly. aloft ofam asthe though in in eyes--hissing speaker. thetoto I am . mingling with the fresh and bloody the headentrails of this of some animal. eyes short. armed might. or demon--which was it? A grim. "Seekfixing herNgcenika. which.that demand a life. whose conformation alone betrayed strongly the sex and bodyof were the creature. I hear murmur them in ofthe many air? No. She would require perhapsblood--would several-. and your bullets father. yourchildren of theyour blood is spilled in battle. I hear them in the roar of the salt waves of them in work. while The black expanded In is Her burn. woman. are her live the rolling gloom. Kreli. quavering of andwhite the close the about and rocks? shriek.

with a blood-curdling yell. Even Eustace felt the original contemptuous interest the with which performance he had deepen watched into a blood-curdling sort of repulsion. the eyes rollingtheir from till they seemed sockets. The effect upon the savage audience was striking. too. so still. motionless dark forms that surrounded him and upon figurethe immeasurably of the repulsivefelt that he could stand it no longer--that he prostrate demoniac. last stabbing features dense heher droning carried. song ranks and assegai.ofThey our valiant dead. must do awful something silence to breakit that even though should cost him his life. "even the Home none which of thecan Immortal Serpents.them Is hisby charm too strong for Ngcenika?" The time had come. like so many statues of moved. toof assegais came broad-bladed examined chanting bind Eustace. bronze. distant upon call ofthe a bird. guards thestriving guards. even the spirits they speak. bounded of festoons andbarbarous rebounded andagain--the disgusting ornaments which adorned her person. The ground is alive with serpents.a and corpse. "The white wizard!" "Ha! The white wizard! The white wizard!" echoed the warriors. the watched ground powerful of witch-doctress.CHAPTER THIRTY. Instinctively eager to graspand warilymeans at some he glanced around. aboutflying the foam to drop from the lips--the body of Ngcenika seeming to bounded stiffen many feetitself like in the air. Though unarmed. its head reared threateningly. "Let us see. who had seemed prone in the powerlessness of extreme exhaustion for hours suddenly sprang at feet to her least. when an interruption occurred. as he ceased. Thein the live. Then the horrible contortions of the witch-doctress laybody ceased. them him.aNot uttered--not a word finger wasAll sat motionless. its so sudden. staring might have beenup to Heaven. every upon entrancement eye bent the in awesome seer. "I am in the gloom of the depths. were over which aAt ithis weird. returned The ofcame armedto her former position. The witch-doctress. find save those who are beloved of the spirits. Shemight have been the spectators. falling to the earth with a heavy thud. Grasping At surrendered face the from the glance. twisting like and of clusters untwisting snakes. The air is black and thick. her she fell right keenly. the critically. had round yards. From the stage enteredof upon mere one jugglery whichthe case to began had look uncommonly like genuine diabolical possession. of doing battle for his life. lay coiled in an attitude of defence. was hissing ferociously. "Blood mustthe frightful flow! blood! blood!" And uttering a series of deafening howls in she fell frightful prone to the earth convulsions. the silence crushing. relieved that the storm this had passed time. speak but oneand word and that is `Blood! Blood--blood-- blood!'" repeated monster. otherwise not a sound--not even the gazing Eustace.air which rinkhaals had escaped from her grasp. motionless were they. The suspense was becoming horrible. The hideous features working. But no such means rewarded Ngcenika man face Placing a to sign his incantation. the terrible face. It is shining with eyes--everywhere eyes. dead." shrieked the hideous sorceress. so So. so startling he couldin hardly believe his eyes. "The white wizard!" she shrieked. set and rigid. Not one of the spectators moved.the motionless. There was just a whisper of of air among the surrounding the leaves forest. onbeen towards the itBehind bundle in made awhich circle.that unexpectedness. Theswollen eyes. proceeded back toand hand. conceal She some No laid she chose to attempt her twenty the dance advanced hand aapprehension short-handled. Eustace was still unbound. For some minutes this appalling scene continued. eyes--eyes. 113 scintillating. walked weapon with The assegai Ngcenika prisoner the itupwith on terrible to inthe one her alacrity. . causing a faint rustle.

wizard. unwonted than straining scene. it had been renderedwho harmless. front sat theso that the prisoner and the sorceress were completely hemmed in. a variety of cobra. of saliva.hand But and evenmake a dash for concurrently thethe idea. seemed rather The answer to amuse than irritate her. At about the same group distance of chiefs andincouncillors. I do not fear you. the between "Love "Ha! One might Thou of my itlife--preserve oval have and repeatest him heardthyafloated contour of pinanother charm.CHAPTER THIRTY. has the faculty of being able. and he been was unarmed. seeing through the repulsive mass of gew-gaws which represented the juggling realised that line of business. Let thy `charm' protect thee if it can. upon of breath anthan this as they gazed. "He does not fear me!" she repeated. to a distance venomous about six feet. "No. The dark. The reptile hissedthat knew hideously. No--he must stand up to the blow. and muscular. he had to deal with a powerful." he replied quietly." "Present thy breast. Inyoka does he fear thee!" she cried.] "He is not afraid! The white wizard is not afraid!" they cried. keeping his eyes upon hers. he murmured bending "Is it with the impassioned invocation stronger mine?" forward. "Wizard indeed! worth? Dost thouWhat is thy not fear magic me?" Eustace. forcountenance. middle-aged woman of about looked hard five foot ten. of mine? faith. It wasdeath his his only chance. that drop. A murmur of wonder arose from the spectators. did by be disconcerted notthis. [Therinkhaal . like a skilful fencer. the assegai "I dare. brawny arm of the sorceress was upraised. but Eustace. similarly even had armed." A desperate plan had occurred to Eustace--to wrench the assegai from the hag's forest. Not once did his glance wander from that cruel demon-face confronting him. Give thy heart to my stroke. no mean antagonist. "White wizard--white dog!" she began. "Ha!. and that it must long since have spat itshimself allow venomtoglands empty. a few shining spear-head gleamed aloft. he realised the absolute with impracticability doubted of it. he had no doubt at all as to the certainty before heof his being could seized that accomplish longfeat. [Serpent]. Yet sweet." moreexcitable said thyself!" Ngcenika. when angry. to eject an acrid. broadly built. . his ability to He more. O raising Ngcenika. 114 warriors. standing within striking distance. "Dost thou dare to stand before me while I strike thee? Is thy charm potent enough. andShe as strong as any two men--in fact. lifevery O That whitedifferent oncefierce. darting the serpent's head within a couple of inches of the prisoner's face. disarm histhan adversary. white wizard?" saidin the air. her muscular fingers grippedfrom inches the assegai haftThe the blade. crowd. held their His Isfervour their iteyes lips stronger very moved. all craning eagerly forward to watch what was to follow. then. would and atand be a swift anypainless rate one.

and It was completely flattened turned. gushing with blood. suddenly. not waiting to be addressed first. "Yes. of race "I Gcaleka! am a fighting I loveman ofHau !war. Hau !" wizard "Ewa. with the point broken short off. I havethe struck more than one enemy. There the air. The great witch-doctress must will the white findmagic man's him." Then raising her voice: "Where is the man who struck this white wizard in battle?" A moment's hesitation--and there advanced from the ranks of the fighting men a tall. but have never struck him twice. sank descended. Ewa!" shouted the warriors.Mawo!" Ngcenika could be seen examining the point of her assegai in scowling concern. with incredible quickness and dexterity he timed himself directiontothus swerve slightly actually in thatthe point of the weapon upon the silver box. to theand erect earth. would as he aim just wellright of this.CHAPTER THIRTY. catching Again had stepped the love between of Eanswyth himself and death. He thought his doom was sealed. It must not be supposed that Eustace was so simple as to imagine that the sorceress where shewould knew strike at the spotwas concealed--over his heart. "Where is the man who owns this spear?" cried the witch-doctress. stroke.was andathe flash of light spear throughNo writhing body. this The thing must be found. The prisoner stood. thy weapon is bewitched. she-devil. He who must has done be found. The weapon is bewitched. He assegai. 115 The prisoner stood with chest expanded--erect--facing the witch-doctress. Then be no longer too strong for her. The white man is unhurt-. The man made no reply.the watching Accordingly. "Hau!" cried the warriors. my strong [Theumkonto broad headed close-quarter assegai] that has drunk the heart's blood of five Fingo dogs. and would reckon infallibly upon to the transfixing while him. the son of Mapute. With much inward trepidation a warrior stepped forward. "Thy weapon is bewitched!" cried the hag." he began. broad-bladed "I am Mfulini. grasped powerful in his hand awarrior. smiling. Hau!I struck this white man and my weapon broke. He must be killed! Find be him! Find him! He must killed!" . to wit. "The wizard must be found. "The `charm' is too strong. That the impediment cunning knew. in a terrible voice.

Suddenly Ngcenika made a half pause. of the Different each grim. . she commenced the shouting herwarriors was hushed. stood turned to sorceress. black coils The serpent. "Find the wizard! Find the wizard!" "Find the wizard!" echoed those whom she had already passed by as she commenced line. who she dead hurl fears arose had only second stop totoa deafening shriek of demoniacal glee. a legion of dark demons howling under the roaring and of superstition and ferocity. Gliding with her half-dancing end of this.emotions held sway The dark countenance. Weapons blood. wavedno matter wildly in the air. of them "Ho--Inyoka 'nukulu !" [Great serpent] chanted the hag. writhing its and twisting around her arm. and the deep-throated shout volleyed forth. a moment before so motionless erect. the step to the upper began chanting an incantation in a high nasal witch-doctress key. They knew witch-doctress that thatimport deadly fatal round to onewould or more prove of ere it was completed. swaying andtosilent. no ofbefore no hag Ngcenika sometimes spectators was her such victim. sprang and fro. the shethe chorus. victim another would reached It whole would singled The do quailed body and athellish beintervals. All stood upright and silent. with a significant shake of the body of the hideous reptile. in hearts of many were sinking with deadly fear. whose. bellowing for promptings blood--blood. escaped But repeat in themselves inspired. Those who had ordeal yetstem kept to undergo silence. armed multitude." "He must be killed! He must be killed!" The cry was taken up. unprecedented she enjoying a pitch And gloated resumed stood coming now that the affair over ready her those terror her tovoice their were ato way. THE "SMELLING OUT.the The chorus grew in volume as the number qualified to swell it increased. feel upon along human echoedof their tried the the the apprehensions crescent unlucky line.CHAPTER THIRTY 116 CHAPTER THIRTY ONE. expectant already relieved shouted and hammered with their sticks harder directly thanthe opposite ever. rapping the ground with their sticks. frenzied with uncontrollable excitement. Those at this ill-omened juncture. roaringcrouching. bravery Notfashion yet And deep-tonedwas one one was this nearly that denounced. opened its jaws and hissed horribly. an invocation Inyoka[Serpent] to the who heldgreat the kraal and its inhabitants under its especial favour. "He must be killed!" The warriors were seated in an immense double semicircle. held theirThose stillthose breaths. As round. Inyoka!" snarled the hag. still out. The bloodthirsty shout rolled through the ranks fiercer and fiercer chorus was till the wildThat deafening. Not merelyshout horrid a lustrepresent--it for blood didembodied that also a delirious relief on the part of those already safe. her passage along the "Find the wizard!" they shouted. stone. Thesuch "Findthe other the significant pause so him!and end process far like as Find was of began lightning strong the further only and him!" great tomen purpose-fraught momentary.ofyet eye theeach strove terrible to meet the boldly and without quailing. "Find him. after return. which she held by the neck. raising her voice in the midst of her yelling chant.

the extreme peril of apart his ownfrom situation. Those in his immediate neighbourhood themselves upon the doomed hadman flung and disarmed him almost before the words of denunciation hag's had left lips. addressing the crowd. "They are all believers in Vudana. the wizard!" cried Ngcenika mockingly. iswas that well.not ofwho not.the a named. believer suspicion Ask springing Mfulini. but hadcasta of features. "Ha. Vudana. musky with aIt was a repellent and appalling scene. who of mydid not believe magic. fell. The grinning skull and the two devil-like horns of hair which surmounted her convulsively. must He must confess! On confess! Heslay him not!" your lives. before Vudana's uponthe knowing him. time with their feet in addition to their sticks. shall the sheother be isadded whose the the they weapon in eyes fell. the son of Sekweni. The first part of her mandate had already been obeyed. Herhead eyesquivered started from the sockets. personal confess. Notinfuriated the satisfied with mobthebeatshouting. they magic "He "It now now? vulture. Unless the victim or victims should be found was progress among those. ingrimly. but slay him not." she the in Ask me! Mfulini. Sheperson was once more the mouthing demoniac of a short half-hour ago. or even a third. umkonto. "Thou hast found him. Vudana.Amafengu. through There werethe ranksfifty barely again and men left. felt his blood curdle within him at this vision of what diabolical powerwasletvery likeBut loose. the wizard! Seize him!" shrieked the sorceress. "The wizard! The wizard!" roared the warriors." white have had shouted Where thedexterously picked man! said theWas thearewitch-doctress Amanglezi--even their warrior turned hebones. The bloodthirsty chorus rose into a deafening roar. Inyoka ! Thou hast found him! Show us the wizard!" screeched the hideous witch-doctress.for reputation Heshrewdness was not a and foresight beyond that of many an accredited leader. The second thewas in no danger of being disobeyed now. as they joined in theincantations. "Seize him. demoniacal hell-hag's and the perspiration streamed from every pore till the very airand sickening was heavyodour. The tension was fearful to witness. and pouring she raised the great black serpent aloft in such of denunciation. and even white spectator. Suddenly the sorceress was seen to halt. make was for the bewitched Letturned his him him jackal voice. Better part for the victim if it had. of The hideous the repulsive possessionhad communicated itself in some degree to witch-doctress the mass Many wereof foaming excitableatsavages. wise thatjaws hissing its writhing neckstraight made a dart and at the face of a man in the rear rank of the line and near the end of the latter. Her voice rose to a frightful yell. with a quiet and