'You say the scheme is ripe,' I said; 'how ripe?'
Arcoll looked at the clock. 'In half an hour's time Laputa will be with 'Mpefu. There he will stay the night. To-morrow morning he goes to Umvelos' to meet Henriques. To-morrow evening the gathering begins.'
'One question,' I said. 'How big a man is Laputa?'
'The biggest thing that the Kaffirs have ever produced. I tell you, in my opinion he is a great genius. If he had been white he might have been a second Napoleon. He is a born leader of men, and as brave as a lion. There is no villainy he would not do if necessary, and yet I should hesitate to call him a blackguard. Ay, you may look surprised at me, you two pragmatical Scotsmen; but I have, so to speak, lived with the man for months, and there's fineness and nobility in him. He would be a terrible enemy, but a just one. He has the heart of a poet and a king, and it is God's curse that he has been born among the children of Ham. I hope to shoot him like a dog in a day or two, but I am glad to bear testimony to his greatness.'
'If the rising starts to-morrow,' I asked, 'have you any of his plans?'
He picked up a map from the table and opened it. 'The first rendezvous is somewhere near Sikitola's. Then they move south, picking up contingents; and the final concentration is to be on the high veld near Amsterdam, which is convenient for the Swazis and the Zulus. After that I know nothing, but of course there are local concentrations along the whole line of the Berg from Mashonaland to Basutoland. Now, look here. To get to Amsterdam they must cross the Delagoa Bay Railway. Well, they won't be allowed to. If they get as far, they will be scattered there. As I told you, I too have laid my train. We have the police ready all along the scarp of the Berg. Every exit from native territory is watched, and the frontier farmers are out on commando. We have regulars on the Delagoa Bay and Natal lines, and a system of field telegraphs laid which can summon further troops to any point. It has all been kept secret, because we are still in the dark ourselves. The newspaper public knows nothing about any rising, but in two days every white household in South Africa will be in a panic. Make no mistake, Mr Crawfurd; this is a grim business. We shall smash Laputa and his men, but it will be a fierce fight, and there will be much good blood shed. Besides, it will throw the country back another half-century. Would to God I had been man enough to put a bullet through his head in cold blood. But I could not do it - it was too like murder; and maybe I shall never have the chance now.'
'There's one thing puzzles me,' I said. 'What makes Laputa come up here to start with? Why doesn't he begin with Zululand?'
'God knows! There's sure to be sense in it, for he does nothing without reason. We may know to-morrow.'
- He ducked rapidly, almost touching the muddy water with
- Hauptmann Fritz Schneider, putting a bloody period to the
- this torture endeavoring to overtake them—the fleeing,
- ever lower and lower as though reading in that failing
- and other comforts. At Caylen, the most southern island,
- later a half-smile played across his lips. He could not
- straight sword in its scabbard and an ancient harquebus.
- battling force of life that would keep him an active contender
- He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
- he lurched forward on unsteady legs to take up his valiant
- a pallor to the red face of the Hun and his hand to his
- at Tarzan's bungalow in the Waziri country. There was still
- reason we have seen so many parrots lately; the cheucau
- of the jungle is to boast and to believe. It was then that
- and where the girl was doubtless would be Hauptmann Fritz
- several buckles scattered about suggesting that a great
- Even as he realized the fact, the quarry vanished, and
- but he staggered to his feet, shaking himself like a great
- later a half-smile played across his lips. He could not
- the doorway Tarzan could see that he was a tall, broad-shouldered
- the light upon them. They led upward. He mounted cautiously,
- locked and swaying for a moment until Tarzan succeeded
- And as Tarzan came nearer he saw the bleached skull and
- had no chance to turn and flee the rush, and so he met
- then directed the ray of the little lamp toward the further
- be practically impossible, garbed, or un-garbed, as he
- No littlest beetle that he might eat had given evidence
- Take your hand off that pistol, Tarzan admonished her.
- and go into permanent camp just beyond the great river
- back to see Ska wheel quickly upward. With the sight Tarzan's
- just at the moment that the rear door of the bungalow opened
- when its owner dropped into his last, long sleep perhaps
- end of the apartment. A steady stream of dirty water was
- his knees first and then staggering to his feet, yet his
- or again fraternizing or quarreling with the other savage
- down into the abyss and then at the opposite side that
- An instant he hesitated. Through the corridor ahead of
- Never regularly sworn into the service of the King, he
- had been removed, and so it was that he disappeared from
- frightful world gave no indication of containing a square
- good old blooms of northern Europe which My Dear had so
- at the going down of the sun the distant mountains to the
- out the thing lying at the foot of the western wall like
- would unerringly select the exact spot at which to dig
- than the manners of these people. They generally began
- bones of a human being about which were remnants of clothing
- over on top of the ape-man and breaking away. Leaping to
- sash and listened again—still silence. Placing a leg
- composed. When we reached Lemuy we had much difficulty
- carry no other credentials. This was to be enough. You