might very easily be deceived in a fact of this kind, I

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'Mr Mackenzie has written about you,' he said. 'I'll be quite frank with you, Mr Crawfurd. The firm is not exactly satisfied about the way business has been going lately at Blaauwildebeestefontein. There's a grand country up there, and a grand opportunity for the man who can take it. Japp, who is in charge, is an old man now and past his best, but he has been long with the firm, and we don't want to hurt his feelings. When he goes, which must be pretty soon, you'll have a good chance of the place, if you show yourself an active young fellow.'

might very easily be deceived in a fact of this kind, I

He told me a great deal more about Blaauwildebeestefontein, principally trading details. Incidentally he let drop that Mr Japp had had several assistants in the last few years. I asked him why they had left, and he hesitated.

might very easily be deceived in a fact of this kind, I

'It's a lonely place, and they didn't like the life. You see, there are few white men near, and young fellows want society. They complained, and were moved on. But the firm didn't think the more of them.'

might very easily be deceived in a fact of this kind, I

I told him I had come out with the new schoolmaster.

'Yes,' he said reflectively, 'the school. That's been vacant pretty often lately. What sort of fellow is this Wardlaw? Will he stay, I wonder?'

'From all accounts,' I said, 'Blaauwildebeestefontein does not seem popular.'

'It isn't. That's why we've got you out from home. The colonial-born doesn't find it fit in with his idea of comfort. He wants society, and he doesn't like too many natives. There's nothing up there but natives and a few back-veld Dutchmen with native blood in them. You fellows from home are less set on an easy life, or you wouldn't be here.'

There was something in Mr Colles's tone which made me risk another question.



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