August 17th. — In the morning we climbed up the rough
The second engineer and I had made friends, so I got him to consult the purser's list for the name of my acquaintance. He was down as the Rev. John Laputa, and his destination was Durban. The next day being Sunday, who should appear to address us steerage passengers but the black minister. He was introduced by the captain himself, a notably pious man, who spoke of the labours of his brother in the dark places of heathendom. Some of us were hurt in our pride in being made the target of a black man's oratory. Especially Mr Henriques, whose skin spoke of the tar-brush, protested with oaths against the insult. Finally he sat down on a coil of rope, and spat scornfully in the vicinity of the preacher.
For myself I was intensely curious, and not a little impressed. The man's face was as commanding as his figure, and his voice was the most wonderful thing that ever came out of human mouth. It was full and rich, and gentle, with the tones of a great organ. He had none of the squat and preposterous negro lineaments, but a hawk nose like an Arab, dark flashing eyes, and a cruel and resolute mouth. He was black as my hat, but for the rest he might have sat for a figure of a Crusader. I do not know what the sermon was about, though others told me that it was excellent. All the time I watched him, and kept saying to myself, 'You hunted me up the Dyve Burn, but I bashed your face for you.' Indeed, I thought I could see faint scars on his cheek.
The following night I had toothache, and could not sleep. It was too hot to breathe under cover, so I got up, lit a pipe, and walked on the after-deck to ease the pain. The air was very still, save for the whish of water from the screws and the steady beat of the engines. Above, a great yellow moon looked down on me, and a host of pale stars.
The moonlight set me remembering the old affair of the Dyve Burn, and my mind began to run on the Rev. John Laputa. It pleased me to think that I was on the track of some mystery of which I alone had the clue. I promised myself to search out the antecedents of the minister when I got to Durban, for I had a married cousin there, who might know something of his doings. Then, as I passed by the companion- way to the lower deck, I heard voices, and peeping over the rail, I saw two men sitting in the shadow just beyond the hatch of the hold.
I thought they might be two of the sailors seeking coolness on the open deck, when something in the figure of one of them made me look again. The next second I had slipped back and stolen across the after-deck to a point just above them. For the two were the black minister and that ugly yellow villain, Henriques.
I had no scruples about eavesdropping, but I could make nothing of their talk. They spoke low, and in some tongue which may have been Kaffir or Portuguese, but was in any case unknown to me. I lay, cramped and eager, for many minutes, and was just getting sick of it when a familiar name caught my ear. Henriques said something in which I caught the word 'Blaauwildebeestefontein.' I listened intently, and there could be no mistake. The minister repeated the name, and for the next few minutes it recurred often in their talk. I went back stealthily to bed, having something to make me forget my aching tooth. First of all, Laputa and Henriques were allies. Second, the place I was bound for had something to do with their schemes.
I said nothing to Mr Wardlaw, but spent the next week in the assiduous toil of the amateur detective. I procured some maps and books from my friend, the second engineer, and read all I could about Blaauwildebeestefontein. Not that there was much to learn; but I remember I had quite a thrill when I discovered from the chart of the ship's run one day that we were in the same latitude as that uncouthly-named spot. I found out nothing, however, about Henriques or the Rev. John Laputa. The Portuguese still smoked in the stern, and thumbed his greasy notebook; the minister sat in his deck- chair, and read heavy volumes from the ship's library. Though I watched every night, I never found them again together.
At Cape Town Henriques went ashore and did not return. The minister did not budge from the ship the three days we lay in port, and, indeed, it seemed to me that he kept his cabin. At any rate I did not see his great figure on deck till we were tossing in the choppy seas round Cape Agulhas. Sea- sickness again attacked me, and with short lulls during our stoppages at Port Elizabeth and East London, I lay wretchedly in my bunk till we sighted the bluffs of Durban harbour.
- and the girl's mind was in such a turmoil that she had
- to this is its interference with the Calton Burying-ground.
- under the wheel or be forced by repeated attacks into the
- there is a very apparent opening from the bottom to the
- tables, and lifting Helen Cumberly, carried her half-way
- views of the city which are the chief inducements to the
- and comfort of the public, that this fine piece of masonry
- can we look with more certainty and propriety than to such
- slowly toward the north—he said nothing of the party
- for building, and villa grounds which must otherwise remain
- seems to have had for him more than a merely professional
- Sheriff-Depute of Edinburgh—in 1813, accompanied by Mr.
- their terrible ordeals in the untracked jungle to the south;
- Bridge Street opposite to the College, and in the Pleasance,
- of involving what were represented in those days as dangerous
- for erecting a new jail, the reporters have examined both
- a short time we were surrounded by a large group of the
- In a report to “The Honourable the Committee of the Trustees
- views of the city, both old town and new town, calculated
- From Mr. Stevenson’s reports it appears that he was much
- At certain seasons they catch also, in “corrales,”
- through a screen, to be provided by the Commissioners,
- Hill, which still remains after a lapse of half a century.
- 71 As regards the iron cart-tracks suggested for trial
- damp freshness in the air of the passage, and a sort of
- to keep slender stone-rails in their places, and hence
- of matter corresponding to their length, they will be found
- to one spot, and if thought advisable, to put the whole
- December 1st. — We steered for the island of Lemuy. I
- to the extension of the line of Princes Street to the Calton
- by examining Fig. 13. By using tracks of this description—giving
- throughout the kingdom at the rate of ￡800 per mile,
- often among the blooms beneath the great moon—the black-haired,
- inches in breadth at the base, and twelve inches at the
- equal quantity of ground immediately contiguous to the
- in that quarter of the building, having at different times
- his boys had deserted, for a hunting party from the bungalow
- that a stone measuring more than one inch and a half upon
- millions sterling. Now, to what branch of political economy
- line of road terminating by a bridge from the northern
- before. For what was he waiting, or for whom? He heard
- it with the width of Princes Street, which, including the
- of the cautious views of his employers, on whom he seems
- the acclivity becomes. To improve this line of road still
- but he had not been as idle as he appeared to have been.
- connected with the use of small stones, which prevents
- erected in 1562, originally formed the western extremity
- “In the annexed specification of road-makers’ work,
- the gunpowder was wanted for making a noise on their saint
- it may be conceived to produce a kind of compensating effect,