not uncommon. This animal has a wide geographical range;

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In that moment I was so borne up in my passion that I forgot my bonds and my grave danger. I was inspired like a prophet with a sense of approaching retribution. Henriques heard me out; but his smile changed to a scowl, and a flush rose on his sallow cheek.

not uncommon. This animal has a wide geographical range;

'Stew in your own juice,' he said, and spat in my face. Then he shouted in Kaffir that I had insulted him, and demanded that I should be bound tighter and gagged.

not uncommon. This animal has a wide geographical range;

It was Arcoll's messenger who answered his summons. That admirable fellow rushed at me with a great appearance of savagery. He made a pretence of swathing me up in fresh rawhide ropes, but his knots were loose and the thing was a farce. He gagged me with what looked like a piece of wood, but was in reality a chunk of dry banana. And all the while, till Henriques was out of hearing, he cursed me with a noble gift of tongues.

not uncommon. This animal has a wide geographical range;

The drums beat for the advance, and once more I was hoisted on my horse, while Arcoll's Kaffir tied my bridle to his own. A Kaffir cannot wink, but he has a way of slanting his eyes which does as well, and as we moved on he would turn his head to me with this strange grimace.

Henriques wanted me to help him to get the rubies - that I presumed was the offer he had meant to make. Well, thought I, I will perish before the jewel reaches the Portuguese's hands. He hoped for a stampede when Arcoll opposed the crossing of the river, and in the confusion intended to steal the casket. My plan must be to get as near the old priest as possible before we reached the ford. I spoke to my warder and told him what I wanted. He nodded, and in the first mile we managed to edge a good way forward. Several things came to aid us. As I have said, we of the centre were not marching in close ranks, but in a loose column, and often it was possible by taking a short cut on rough ground to join the column some distance ahead. There was a vlei, too, which many circumvented, but we swam, and this helped our lead. In a couple of hours we were so near the priest's litter that I could have easily tossed a cricket ball on the head of Henriques who rode beside it.

Very soon the twilight of the winter day began to fall. The far hills grew pink and mulberry in the sunset, and strange shadows stole over the bush. Still creeping forward, we found ourselves not twenty yards behind the litter, while far ahead I saw a broad, glimmering space of water with a high woody bank beyond.

'Dupree's Drift;' whispered my warder. 'Courage, Inkoos;* in an hour's time you will be free.' *Great chief.




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