if they had been hurled into their present position thousands

rain and cloudpower2023-12-07 10:50:34 1 6

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

if they had been hurled into their present position thousands

'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.'

if they had been hurled into their present position thousands

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

if they had been hurled into their present position thousands

'What's the matter with the place? There must be more wrong with it than loneliness to make everybody clear out. I have taken on this job, and I mean to stick to it, so you needn't be afraid to tell me.'

The manager looked at me sharply. 'That's the way to talk, my lad. You look as if you had a stiff back, so I'll be frank with you. There is something about the place. It gives the ordinary man the jumps. What it is, I don't know, and the men who come back don't know themselves. I want you to find out for me. You'll be doing the firm an enormous service if you can get on the track of it. It may be the natives, or it may be the takhaars, or it may be something else. Only old Japp can stick it out, and he's too old and doddering to care about moving. I want you to keep your eyes skinned, and write privately to me if you want any help. You're not out here for your health, I can see, and here's a chance for you to get your foot on the ladder.

'Remember, I'm your friend,' he said to me again at the garden gate. 'Take my advice and lie very low. Don't talk, don't meddle with drink, learn all you can of the native jabber, but don't let on you understand a word. You're sure to get on the track of something. Good-bye, my boy,' and he waved a fat hand to me.

That night I embarked on a cargo-boat which was going round the coast to Delagoa Bay. It is a small world - at least for us far-wandering Scots. For who should I find when I got on board but my old friend Tam Dyke, who was second mate on the vessel? We wrung each other's hands, and I answered, as best I could, his questions about Kirkcaple. I had supper with him in the cabin, and went on deck to see the moorings cast.

Suddenly there was a bustle on the quay, and a big man with a handbag forced his way up the gangway. The men who were getting ready to cast off tried to stop him, but he elbowed his way forward, declaring he must see the captain. Tam went up to him and asked civilly if he had a passage taken. He admitted he had not, but said he would make it right in two minutes with the captain himself. The Rev. John Laputa, for some reason of his own, was leaving Durban with more haste than he had entered it.



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