« PreviousContinue »
“And you'll stick to her all your days, vulsed with anger and pain; but beI suppose?" said Martha, after a pause, fore he could speak she had turned with a sneer.
and rushed into the house, treading on "Please God, I will," said David the rose as she went. He looked after firmly. “You can understand how the her remorsefully, unable to explain thought of her has kept me straight," even to himself the sudden impulse he went on, and now his voice was which had prompted his recent appeal. very gentle; "you do know better than He had hoped perhaps to lead back the most what 'tis to love an' be faithful, widow's thoughts into their habitual you've a-been faithful if ever a woman channel, and to express his faith in, was—so you an' me can understand and admiration of, her fidelity.
He each other."
could scarcely tell now what had been Martha uttered a low cry, and David, his motive, but the result had been raising his eyes, which had been look- disastrous; he had evidently turned the ing on the ground during his last dagger in Martha's wound. speech, saw that her face was conThe Times.
(To be sontinued.)
A HOLIDAY IN SOUTH AFRICA.
BY THE RIGHT Hon. SIR H. MORTIMER DURAND,
G.C.M.G., K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E.
Here and there, at long distances
apart, one comes upon little wayside Rhodesia is not, strictly speaking, in stations, a shanty or two of the eternal ***South Africa"; but the two are so corrugated iron, with perhaps a few naclosely connected that a visit to South tive huts of branches and thatch. The Africa, however short, would not be rest is unbroken forest, which looks, complete without a view of the south- and is, ideal game country, though the ern part at least of the country which larger game has mostly disappeared beRhodes saved for the Empire.
fore the inroads of hunters. It is pleasant to pass from the bare Nearly forty-eight hours of travel plains of the Transvaal and the long from the noise and rush of the Rand backs of the treeless downs, beautiful gold-mines brings one to Buluwayo, the as they are in their own way, to the former capital of the ill-fated chief Lo forest country—the "Bosch Veldt”— Bengula, now a flourishing English through which the train runs for hun- town of four or five thousand inhabitdreds of miles on the way to Bulu- ants. wayo. The timber is not fine,-not Although it was midsummer when I like English timber,—nor is the forest arrived, the weather was cool, almost thick; but the grassy glades, with their cold, with much rain at times, and a clumps of yellow mimosa and other high wind; and the country round trees, are very restful to the eye, and looked rather desolate. As far as the there are many wild-flowers. The sol- eye could see, on all sides stretched the itude of it all, and the feeling that even undulating forest, there were no salient in the modern railway carriage one is features in the landscape, and the imsurrounded by real nature, bring peace pression was one of sameness and moto one's soul.
This impression wears off after a policy--that of absolute exclusion. time-particularly if the sun comes out Still Lo Bengula was a savage; and and touchee the little fluffy balls of the though one may feel sorry for the fall yellow mimosa. Then the near forest of a ruler who had his good points, turns into a sheet of gold, as bright as it is undeniable that the establishment a stretch of Cornish gorse; and far- of white influence in such a country ther away tbe gold merges into green, puts an end to many horrors-to opand the green fades away into the blue pression and torment of every kind indepths of the distant atmosphere.
Aicted upon great numbers of men; Only seventeen years ago Lo Ben- perhaps to frequent and widespread gula was at the height of his power; massacres depopulating whole disand Buluwayo, the "Place of Slaugh- tricts. The native rule is picturesque; ter," was the centre of his dominion. and the character of the savage has It is not easy to say how far bis rule many fine qualities, which seem to extended; but in a country about as disappear when he comes into contact large as Great Britain there was no one with civilization. It is much to be who dared oppose him. His Matabele doubted whether the black man who is warriorskinsmen of the Zulus who to be met to-day riding across the veldt fought us so fiercely at Isandula and on a bicycle, with an old pot hat on his Rorke's Drift—were regarded by the head, to work in the mines, is the equal neighboring tribes and by themselves of the black man who used to fling himas invincible. Many thousands of them self, assegai in hand, upon the lines of were gathered about his “kraal" at our breechloaders. One thinks with Buluwayo. One is shown still the low regret of the tall regiments of Ceteumbrella-shaped tree under which the wayo and Lo Bengula wiped off the king sate dispensing his wild justice face of the earth, and their proud trawhile the great forest-birds wheeled ditions gone for ever. But certainly overhead. It stands
in the they were kept up at an awful cost grounds of our English "Government of blood and suffering. No doubt oneHouse," and Lo Bengula lies in some should put sentiment aside, and be hidden forest grave which his tribes- glad that the sons of those magnificent men will not make known to his con- fighting men will read good schoolquerers; but he was strong in those books, and talk bad English, and spend days, only seventeen years ago.
their lives peacefully grubbing out gold Then, in an unhappy hour for him, and diamonds, “the two great enemies he let loose his warriors upon the of mankind," or tilling the fields of the tribes which had come under the influ- white man. ence of the white man; and the white You will see them in the white man's man rose in sudden wrath and decided hotel at Buluwayo now, doing the that his power must be broken. It is rough work, while the tables in the a pitiful story altogether, like so many modern dining-room are served by Inof the stories of the savage and the dian waiters from Natal, who look white man; and one cannot help sym- upon them with scorn as an inferior pathizing to some extent with the sav- race. age.
It is generally an evil day for The Indians have some reason to the uncivilized nations, or at least for think highly of themselves, for the their rulers, when the white pioneer white employer in Buluwayo evidently first comes into their country; and thinks highly of them. It would asone cannot wonder that
of tonish the Madrassi "boy” in his own them should cling to the only safe country to be told that his kinsmen
bere were drawing pay at the rate of in his own camp. They failed, and six or seven pounds a-month, with one of the best of South African writboard and lodging found, or a great ers has told us, in the words of the deal more if they cook the curries Matabele, how they fought their last which they have made a standing fight-how, "when only five or six of dish all over South Africa. These the thirty-five were left, they took off are not good, by the way.
their hats, and under fire from all sides the wit of man to make a good curry sang something as the English do, out of India.
standing up, and then went on fighting. There are some fine buildings upon And how at last only one man was the wide roads of Buluwayo, the signs left, one man bigger than the rest, who of a time when it was believed that a wore a broad-brimmed hat; while besecond Rand was to be found among side him a wounded comrade reached the forests of Rhodesia. There are up to hand him cartridges, until he too some good, and expensive, shops; and a went down, and the big man fought public library; and one of the largest alone.” drill halls in the world for the Volun- Now those days are gone. Alan Wilteers.
son and his men lie together on the Sitting in the "bird cage" veranda of lonely hillside by the grave of Cecil the comfortable club, looking out Rhodes, and in place of the Matabele through the blossoms of the Bougain- kraals an English town has grown villea at the statue of Cecil Rhodes, into being. who stands at the cross-ways in his Now you can drive out through the sack coat with his hands joined behind mimosa jungle to a pretty racecourse him, while the southerly breeze makes and polo-ground, or watch good tenthe Union Jack on the hotel fly out nis played excellent courts of against the clear blue sky, it is difficult pounded ant-hills, or attend a ball to persuade oneself that only seven. where scores of Englishwomen are enteen years ago Jameson and Forbes joying themselves, all the more permarched into the place with their little haps because there are men enough in colonial army.
Rhodesia to go round,-men who are It is a wonderful story, the story of not too lazy and selfish to dance. that short campaign. Few finer things The second Rand has not been found, have been done by Englishmen. Think but the gold output of Rhodesia is very of it-seven hundred men marching considerable; and the numberless restraight on the capital of a famous mains of ancient workings which bave chief. master of many thousands of been discovered in various parts of the well-trained and bitherto unbeaten war- country show clearly that whether or riors; sustaining and repelling two not Rhodesia was, as some think, the fierce attacks; finally driving him away Ophir of King Solomon's days, it has into the forest, with the relics of his produced in the past great quantities shattered regiments about him, shat- of the precious metal. But this is a tered but still outnumbering them by story which has been told by many. ten to one. And then the “Wilson Pa- One of the small private mines which trol," thirty-five in all, many of them are turning out gold now is an interEnglish public school boys, young still esting thing to visit. Riding through but hardened by some years of colonial the mimosa forest in search of it, a life, led by the Scotchman Alan Wilson, man is as likely as not to lose his riding into the midst of the enemy, with way, for there is no road, and the the night coming on, to take the king track is faint. But one finds the mine
at last-a small engine, which you cry of "Kafir's work," the curse of could almost cover with a sheet, work- the country. ing a rough crushing-machine; an Eng- Still our friend in the corduroys was lishman in shirt and corduroy trousers very cheery and hopeful. He had been supervising a dozen natives, who are at gold-mining for a good many years digging out pieces from a little rib- and “had his ups and downs,” but he bon of white ore, which runs along the had made a little capital now and side of a shallow gravel-pit. Among thought he was going to do well. "It the bushes all round are a few more is just that,” he said, "you want somepits, dug to test the continued existence thing for the rainy days." of the little white ribbon; and two or May he prosper! Many companies three huts of branches and thatch for doing the same thing on a larger scale the workers to sleep in. The English- have failed, I am told. So have many man is cheery and hopeful. He volun
private workers. But many of the latteers the information that the initial ter get along fairly well, and some beexpense of the whole thing was about
come rich, a thousand pounds, and that he thinks, I felt very much inclined to offer myif all goes right, he will soon be mak- self for the place—on a month's proing five hundred pounds a-month out bation-and try to help him through. of the venture. But of course, he It would have been a novel experience; says, that depends upon many things: and a month in camp in the mimosa upon the reef in the gravel remaining jungle ought to have been pleasant as rich in gold as it is now; upon his enough. But I had other engagements, having enough money in hand to tide and was obliged to refrain. over any blank weeks, when the run of gold ore stops; and so on, and so on.
XIII. The monthly bill for labor, coal, and CHRISTMAS AT THE VICTORIA FALIS. other things is heavy-£100 to £150 a- When Bryce visited South Africa month-and many promising mines and Rhodesia fifteen years ago, he was break down that way. Also, it is al
prevented from seeing the Victoria most impossible to get any white help. Falls because this would have meant The natives are good enough, but they a three weeks' march from Buluwayo. are a bit lazy when they are not being Now the train covers the distance in looked after; and you cannot get a de- twenty-four hours or less. The railcent white man to help you for love or way line to the Zambesi lies through money. The lowest wage here for a one almost unbroken stretch of forest, white miner is forty pounds a-month, and about half-way, as the sun was setand when you get him ten to one he ting, I saw in a grassy open patch to drinks, or if he does not drink he does the left a palm-tree which warned me nothing. “The last one I had never that we were getting near tropical did a hand's turn. He would not country. All about were many wildeven put a drop of oil in the engine flowers, especially a five-petalled flower said it was Kafir's work. He just of true scarlet color about the size sat on that log and smoked, and some- of a buttercup, which is very common times kicked a nigger. I could not in Rhodesia. No one could tell me stand him, so after three months I gave what it was called. Early in the him the sack. Then he asked for a morning, a cool bright delicious morncharacter, and when I refused he asked ing, the train drew up at the little open for a drink.” It is the old trouble which station near the falls. one meets all over South Africa, the Among the trees, close to the sta
tion, was a low red-roofed hotel of cor- white single arch railway bridge over rugated iron, with wooden verandas, the river just below the falls. This is which looked northwards towards the as little disfiguring as one could exriver. Not that the falls themselves pect a railway bridge to be,-iron, of could be seen. Immediately in front course, for the height is too great to of my veranda was a newly laid ten- allow of a stone bridge. It is said to nis-court. A water-wagtail with white be over four hundred feet, though it collar and little black shirt-front was looks less. But the bridge is not ugly, running about over the moist earth of as such things go, and the line on both it. All round were trees and flower- sides is hidden by the forest. From ing-shrubs, and a few bananas, their the bridge one has a fine view of the broad smooth leaves wet and glistening gorge and part of the fall itself, which with recent rain. Just beyond the is so close that with a northerly wind tennis-court was a narrow line of rail- the spray comes down in a steady soft way, and two or three feet beyond that rain upon the roadway. the edge of a very deep ravine running Passing over the bridge and turning down to the hidden river. As it was to the left, one finds beautiful paths midsummer, everything green. through the wood which lead to the The forest stretched away on all sides eastern end of the falls. Standing as far as one could see, not flat, but there by the water's edge above the undulating, the green waves passing falls, one sees the mile-broad river into distant blue. To the right, not sweeping slowly down, through islands far away, two lines of rocky cliff broke covered with reeds and tropical jungle, the forest. To the front and left there to the rocks at the verge of the drop. rose, between and over the trees, sev- These split the river into innumerable eral hundred feet into the fresh blue streams, which pour suddenly over the sky, shifting columns and masses of verge, falling at first solid and green white vapor, like the smoke of some and heavy, then quivering into veils of great fire. They were always chang- white foam, and mingling hundreds of ing in height and form, as clouds feet below with the great white cloud change on a windy day; and through which seethes eternally over the botthem one could get occasional glimpses tom of the chasm. From it rise swirls of a calm reach of river above the cat- of vapor which fly up swiftly into the aract. A dull, ceaseless roar, like the sky overhead. sound of a heavy sea, came from under At one spot near the end of the them. It was distant, and through it chasm there is a narrow break in the one could hear the cooing of doves and cliff opposite the falls; and through this the calls of other birds—one very like break, across which one can throw a the Indian "coppersmith”—tonk, tonk, stone, the river rushes southward. tonk.
As I stood on the rocks by the Walking down after breakfast to- water's edge a storm came rolling wards the river, I passed through a down from the north, along the line of quiet wood full of wild-flowers, all the river. The sun was blotted out new to me, pink and yellow and blue. by leaden masses of cloud, and soon On the moist paths were beautiful little they were cloven by perpendicular beetles, like scraps of scarlet velvet. A streaks of lightning. Over the ceasetroop of baboons sat and watched, or less roar of the water the thunder cantered slowly away through the boomed out at intervals. The rain trees.
came down at first in heavy drops like A few minutes' walk brings one to a' bullets, then in a fierce tropical shower.