that copper pyrites contained not a particle of copper,

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Wardlaw admitted this, but said that there might be other kinds of leaders. He had been reading a lot about Ethiopianism, which educated American negroes had been trying to preach in South Africa. He did not see why a kind of bastard Christianity should not be the motive of a rising. 'The Kaffir finds it an easy job to mix up Christian emotion and pagan practice. Look at Hayti and some of the performances in the Southern States.'

that copper pyrites contained not a particle of copper,

Then he shook the ashes out of his pipe and leaned forward with a solemn face. 'I'll admit the truth to you, Davie. I'm black afraid.'

that copper pyrites contained not a particle of copper,

He looked so earnest and serious sitting there with his short- sighted eyes peering at me that I could not help being impressed.

that copper pyrites contained not a particle of copper,

'Whatever is the matter?' I asked. 'Has anything happened?'

He shook his head. 'Nothing I can put a name to. But I have a presentiment that some mischief is afoot in these hills. I feel it in my bones.'

I confess I was startled by these words. You must remember that I had never given a hint of my suspicions to Mr Wardlaw beyond asking him if a wizard lived in the neighbourhood - a question anybody might have put. But here was the schoolmaster discovering for himself some mystery in Blaauwildebeestefontein.

I tried to get at his evidence, but it was very little. He thought there were an awful lot of blacks about. 'The woods are full of them,' he said. I gathered he did not imagine he was being spied on, but merely felt that there were more natives about than could be explained. 'There's another thing,' he said. 'The native bairns have all left the school. I've only three scholars left, and they are from Dutch farms. I went to Majinje to find out what was up, and an old crone told me the place was full of bad men. I tell you, Davie, there's something brewing, and that something is not good for us.'

There was nothing new to me in what Wardlaw had to tell, and yet that talk late at night by a dying fire made me feel afraid for the second time since I had come to Blaauwildebeestefontein. I had a clue and had been on the look-out for mysteries, but that another should feel the strangeness for himself made it seem desperately real to me. Of course I scoffed at Mr Wardlaw's fears. I could not have him spoiling all my plans by crying up a native rising for which he had not a scrap of evidence.



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