Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council calls on international community to assist flood-hit areas in east

发表于 2023-09-30 16:48:24 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

efforts proved futile; indeed, Eanswyth could hardly disguise the fact that their visits were unwelcome. She preferred solitude at such a time, she said. Then Mrs Hoste had undertaken to lecture her. It could not be right to abandon one’s self so entirely, even to a great sorrow, purred that complacent matron. It seemed somehow to argue a want of Christian resignation. It was all very well up to a certain point, of course; but beyond that, it looked like flying in the face of Providence. And Eanswyth had turned her great eyes with such a blank and bewildered look upon the speaker’s face, as if wondering what on earth the woman could be talking about, that Mrs Hoste, good-hearted though shallow, had dropped her rôle of preacher then and there.One thing that struck Eanswyth as not a little strange was that hardly a Kafir had been near the place, whereas formerly their dusky neighbours had been wont to visit them on one pretext or another enough and to spare, the latter especially, in poor Tom’s opinion. She had sent word to Nteya, inviting him to visit her and have a talk, but the old chief had made some excuse, promising, however, to come over and see her later. All this looked strange and, taken in conjunction with the fact that there had been war-dancing again in Nteya’s location, suspicious. So thought at any rate Josane, who gave vent to his misgivings in no uncertain tone. But Eanswyth treated his warnings with perfect unconcern. She would not move, she declared. She was afraid of nobody. If Josane was, he might go if he liked. To which the staunch old fellow would reply that he feared no man, black or white; that he was there to take care of her, and there he would stay, adding, with a growl, that it might be bad for Nteya’s, or anybody else’s, people should they attempt to molest her.It wanted but a day or two to Christmas—but an hour to sunset. It was one of those marvellous evenings not uncommon in South Africa, as well as in the southern parts of Europe—one of those evenings when sky and earth alike are vivid with rich colouring, and the cloudless blue of the heavens assumes a deeper azure still, and there is a dreamy enchantment in the air, and every sight, every sound, toned and mellowed by distance, blends in perfect harmony with the changing glories of the dying day. Then the sun goes down in a flaming rainbow of rare tints, each more subtle than the other, each more gorgeous, and

bloody, the veins exposed in many places by the bites of the myriad swarming insects. Carhayes gazed upon the horrid sight with a shudder of disgust. Then raising his eyes he encountered those of Eustace. A shout of astonishment escaped him.“How did you get here?” he cried. “Thought you were rubbed out if ever any fellow was. Suppose you thought the same of me. Well, well. It’ll come to that soon. These damned black devils have bested me, just as I reckoned I was besting them. They’ve been giving me hell already. But I say, Eustace, you seem to be in clover,” noticing the other’s freedom from bonds or ill-treatment. Then he added bitterly, “I forgot; you always did stand in well with them.”“That isn’t going to help me much now, I’m afraid,” answered Eustace. “I’ve just made a fool of the witch-doctress and she won’t let things rest there, depend upon it. My case isn’t much more hopeful than yours. Have you tried the bribery trick?”“No. How do you mean?”“Offer some big-wig, like our particular friend there—I won’t mention names—a deuce of a lot of cattle to let you escape. Try and work it—only you must be thundering careful.”The Kafirs, who had been attentively listening to the conversation between the two white men, here deemed that enough had been said. Dialogue in an unknown tongue must represent just so much plotting, argued their suspicious natures. So they interposed.“See there,” said Hlangani, with a meaning glance at the fearfully contorted features of the miserable victim of the witch-doctress. “See there, Umlilwane, and remember my ‘word’ to you the day you shot my white hunting dog and wounded me in the shoulder. You had better first have cut off your right hand, for it is better to lose a hand than one’s mind. Hau! You laughed then. Who laughs now?”To Eustace those words now stood out in deadly significance. The wretched Vudana had died raving mad. This, then, was the promisedvengeance. Whatever his own fate might be, that of his cousin was sealed. Nothing short of a miracle could save him. Carhayes, noting the deadly and implacable expression upon the dark countenance of his enemy, realised something of this, and fearless as he habitually was, it was all he could do to keep from betraying some misgiving.At this juncture a mandate arrived from Kreli that the warriors should once more assemble within the temporary kraal, and that the white prisoners should again be brought before him. Singing, chatting, laughing, administering many a sly kick or cuff to poor Carhayes, the savages swarmed back to the open space, dragging that unfortunate along in rough, unceremonious fashion. Soon the glade was empty, save for the body of the miserable victim of their blindly superstitious ferocity. It lay there, stark, mangled, and hideous.The Paramount Chief and his councillors still sat in a group apart. They had borne no part in, betrayed no interest in, the barbarous tragedy which had just taken place. Such a matter as the punishment of a wizard was entirely beneath their notice—in theory at any rate. They still sat in grave and dignified impassiveness.Eustace, noting the difference between his own treatment and that of his cousin—the one bound with unnecessary rigour, hustled and kicked, the other, though disarmed, treated with a certain amount of consideration—began to entertain strong hopes on his own account. But tending materially to dash them was the fact that Ngcenika, standing before the chief and the amapakati, was favouring that august assemblage with a very fierce and denunciatory harangue.There were two white men, she said—two prisoners. One of these was a man of some power, who had been able to oppose her magic with his own; only for a time, however—the hag took care to add. This man it might be well to keep for a little while longer at any rate; there were several experiments which she herself intended to try upon him. But the other—he had always been a bitter enemy of their race. Many had fallen at his hands. Had he not cut a notch upon his gun-stock for every fighting man of the race of Xosa whom he had slain? There was the gun-stock and there were the notches. There were many of them, let the Great

Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council calls on international community to assist flood-hit areas in east

Chief—let the amapakati count.At the production of this damning “pièce de conviction,” a shout of fury rose from the ranks of the warriors.“To the fire!” they cried. “To the fire with him!”The situation was appalling, yet Carhayes never quailed. The desperate pluck of the man bore him up even then. He scowled contemptuously upon the lines of dark and threatening faces, then turned erect and fearless towards the chief.For a few moments they confronted each other thus in silence. The Englishman, somewhat weak and unsteady from exhaustion and ill-treatment, could still look the arbiter of his fate straight in the eyes without blenching. They might do their worst and be damned, he said to himself. He, Tom Carhayes, was not going to whine for mercy to any nigger— even if that “nigger” was the Chief Paramount of all the Amaxosa tribes.The latter, for his part, was not without respect for the white man’s intrepidity, but he had no intention of sparing him for all that. He had been debating with his chiefs and councillors, and they had decided that Carhayes ought to be sacrificed as an uncompromising and determined enemy of their race. The other it might be expedient to keep a little longer and see how events would turn.“What have you to say, umlúngu?” said Kreli at length.“Nothing. Not a damn thing,” broke in Carhayes, in a loud, harsh tone.“Tom, for God’s sake don’t be such a fool,” whispered Eustace, who was near enough to be heard. “Can’t you be civil for once?”“No, I can’t; not to any infernal black scoundrel,” roared the other savagely. “It’s different with you, Eustace,” changing his tone to a bitter sneer. “Damn it, man, you’re about half a Kafir already. Why don’t you ask old Kreli for a couple of his daughters and set up a kraal here among them, eh?”A sounding whack across the ear with the haft of an assegai choked the words in his throat. He stood, literally foaming with fury.“Attend, thou white dog,” cried a great deep-toned voice. “Attend when the Great Chief is talking to thee. Au!”An infuriated mastiff straining at his chain is a pretty good exemplification of impotent wrath, but even he is nothing to the aspect and demeanour of Carhayes as he turned to the perpetrator of this indignity. The veins rolled in his forehead as if they would burst. The muscles stood out upon his neck like cords as he strove by a superhuman effort to burst his bonds. But Hlangani only sneered.“Listen when the Great Chief is talking to thee, thou jackal, or I will strike thee again,” he said.“God damn the Great Chief!” roared poor Tom, his voice rising to a hurricane shriek of fury under this shameful indignity, which he was powerless to resent. “And you, Hlangani, you dog, if I stood unbound I would kill you at this moment—kill you all unarmed as I am. Coward! Dare you try it!”“What is this indaba?” interrupted Kreli sternly. “This white man has a very long tongue. Perhaps it may be shortened with advantage.” A hum of applause greeted this remark, and the chief went on. “You are asked a question, umlúngu, and instead of answering you rave and bellow and throw yourself about like a cow that has lost her calf. And now what have you to say? You have invaded our country and shot our people with your own hand. If a man thrusts his head into a hornet’s nest, whom shall he blame but himself if he gets stung—if he treads upon a serpent, how shall he complain if made to feel the reptile’s fangs?”“Well, you see, it’s war-time,” answered Carhayes bluntly, beginning to think he might just as well say something to save his life, if words could save it, that is. “I have met your people in fair fight, and I challenge any man, black or white, to deny that I have acted fair, square, and above board. And when we do take prisoners we don’t treat them as I havebeen treated since I was brought here. They are taken care of by the doctors if wounded, as I am; not tied up and starved and kicked, as I have been.”“Their doctors are the Fingo dogs,” interrupted the chief darkly, “their medicine a sharp assegai. Freeborn men of the House of Gcaléka to die at the hand of a Fingo slave! Hau!”A roar of execration went up at this hit. “To the fire with him!” howled the savage crowd. “Give him to us, Great Chief, that we may make him die a hundred deaths!”“That is the sort of healing my children get when they fall into the hands of Amanglezi. And you, umlúngu, you have offered an insult to the House of Gcaléka in the person of Hlangani, my herald, a man of the House of Hintza, my father. Was it war-time when you shed his blood? Did you meet in fair fight when you shot him suddenly and at close-quarters, he having no gun?”“Was it war-time when Hlangani entered the Gaika location to stir up strife? Was it right that he should bring his dogs on to my farm to hunt my bucks?” answered Carhayes fearlessly. “Again, was it fair play for four men, armed with assegais, to attack one, who had but two shots? Or was it self-defence? Listen to my words, Kreli, and you chiefs and amapakati of the House of Gcaléka,” he went on, raising his voice till it was audible to the whole assemblage. “In the presence of you all I proclaim Hlangani a coward. He has struck and insulted me because I am bound. He dare not meet me free. I challenge him to do so. Loosen these bonds. I am weak and wounded. I cannot escape—you need not fear—and let him meet me if he dares, with any weapon he chooses. I challenge him. If he refuses he is nothing but a cowardly dog, and worse than the meanest Fingo. If you, Kreli, refuse my request, it is because you know this bragging herald of yours to be a coward.”The fierce rapidity of this harangue, the audacity of the request embodied within it, took away the auditors’ breath. Yet the idea appealed to them—appealed powerfully to their ardently martial sympathies. The very novelty of such a duel as that proposed invested it with a rare

Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council calls on international community to assist flood-hit areas in east

attractiveness.“What does Hlangani say?” observed Kreli, with a partly amused glance at his subordinate.“This, O Great Chief of my father’s house,” replied the warrior, the light of battle springing into his eyes. “Of what man living was Hlangani ever afraid? What man ever had to call him twice? Yet, O Great Chief, the head of my father’s house, I would ask a boon. When I have whipped this miserable white dog, I would claim possession of his wretched carcase absolutely, alive or dead.”“It is granted, Hlangani,” said the chief.“And I?” cried Carhayes. “What shall be given to me when I have sent this cur, who strikes helpless men, howling to his hut? My liberty, of course?”“No,” replied Kreli, shortly.“No?” echoed the prisoner. “My life then?”“No,” answered the chief again. “Be content, umlúngu. If you conquer you shall have a swift and merciful death. If you fail, Hlangani claims you.”Carhayes stared at the chief for a moment, then, as he realised that he had nothing to hope for, whether he won in the combat or not—an expression of such deadly ferocity, such fell and murderous purpose swept across his face, that many of those who witnessed it realised that their countryman was going to snatch no easy victory.The stout rawhide reims which bound his hands behind him were loosened—and that which secured his feet was removed. He stood swinging his arms and stamping to hasten the circulation—then he asked for some water, which was brought him.“Ha, umlúngu!” jeered Ngcenika, addressing Eustace, as the two white men stood talking together. “Give this valiant fighter some whitemagic to strengthen him. He will need it.”“Well, Eustace, I’m going to kill that dog,” said Carhayes. “I’m going to die fighting anyway, so that’s all right. Now—I’m ready. What are we going to fight with?”“This,” said one of the bystanders, handing him a pair of hard-wood kerries.Hlangani now made his appearance similarly armed. The crescent formation of warriors had narrowed their ranks, the chiefs and councillors and Eustace and his guards composing the upper arc of the circle. The prisoner could not have broken through that dense array of armed men which hemmed him in on every side, had he entertained the idea.Both the principals in that strange impromptu duel were men of splendid physique. The Kafir, nearly naked, looked like a bronze giant, towering above his adversary in his magnificent height and straight and perfect proportions. The Englishman, thick-set, deep-chested, concentrated a vast amount of muscular power within his five-foot-eight. He had thrown off his ragged shirt, and the muscles of his chest and arms stood out like ropes. He looked a terribly awkward antagonist, and moreover on his side the conflict would be fought with all the ferocity of despair. He was a man bent on selling his life dearly.Hlangani, for his part, was confident and smiling. He was going to fight with his natural weapons, a pair of good, trusty kerries. This blundering white man, though he had the strength and ferocity of an enraged bull, had more than that quadruped’s stupidity. He would knock him out of shape in no time.When blood is up, the spirit of Donnybrook is very strong among Kafirs. The next best thing to taking part in a fight is to witness one—and now, accordingly, every head was bent forward with the most eager interest as the two combatants advanced towards each other in the open space. There was no “ring” proper, nor were there any recognised rules; no “time” either. Each man’s business was to kill or disable the other—as effectually as possible, and by any means in his power.

Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council calls on international community to assist flood-hit areas in east

Now a smart Kafir, armed with two good kerries whose use he thoroughly understands, is about as tough a customer to tackle as is a professional pugilist to the average Briton who knows how to use his hands but indifferently. Of this Carhayes was perfectly aware. Consequently his plan was to meet his antagonist with extreme wariness; in fact, to stand rather on the defensive, at any rate at first. He was a fair single stick player, which tended not a little to equalise the chances.As they drew near each other and reached striking distance, they looked straight into each other’s eyes like a pair of skilful fencers. The savage, with one kerrie raised in the air, the other held horizontally before his breast, but both with a nervous, supple grasp, ready to turn any way with lightning rapidity—his glance upon that of his foe—his active, muscular frame poised lightly on one foot, then on another, with feline readiness, would have furnished a perfect subject for an instantaneous photograph representing strength and address combined. The Englishman, his bearded lips compressed, his blue eyes sparkling and alert, shining with suppressed eagerness to come to close-quarters with his crafty and formidable foe, was none the less a fine specimen of courage and undaunted resolution.Hlangani, a sneering laugh upon his thick lips, opened the ball by making a judicious feint. But his adversary never moved. He followed it up by another, then a series of them, whirling his striking kerrie round the Englishman’s head in the most startling proximity, now on this side, now on that, holding his parrying one ready for any attack the other might make upon him. Still Carhayes stood strictly on the defensive. He knew the Kafir was trying to “draw him”—knew that his enemy’s quick eye was prepared for any opportunity. He was not going to waste energy gratuitously.Suddenly, and with lightning-like celerity, Hlangani made a sweep at the lower part of his adversary’s leg. It would have been the ruin of a less experienced combatant, but Carhayes’ kerrie, lowered just two inches, met that of his opponent with a sounding crash just in time to save his skull somewhere in the region of the ear. It was a clever feint, and a dexterous follow-up, but it had failed. Hlangani began to realise that he had met a foeman worthy of his steel—or, rather, of his wood. Still he

knew the other’s impetuous temper, and by wearing out his patience reckoned on obtaining a sure and tolerably easy victory.And it seemed as if he would gain the result of his reasoning even sooner than he expected. Bristling with rage, literally smarting with the indignity recently put upon him, Carhayes abandoned the defensive. With a sudden rush, he charged his antagonist, and for a few moments nothing was heard but the clash of hard-wood in strike and parry. Hlangani was touched on the shoulder, while Carhayes got a rap on the knuckles, which in cold blood would have turned him almost sick with pain. But his blood was at boiling point now, and he was fighting with the despairing ferocity of one who has no hope left in life. He pressed his gigantic adversary with such vigour and determination that the other had no alternative but to give way.The fun was waxing fast and furious now. The warriors crowding in nearer and nearer, pressed forward in breathless attention, encouraging their champion with many a deep-toned hum of applause when he scored or seemed likely to score a point. The few women then in the kraal stood on tiptoe, trying to peer over the heads and shoulders of the armed men. Even the chiefs and councillors condescended to show considerable interest in this impromptu tournament, while Eustace Milne, animated by various motives, watched its progress narrowly.For a few moments it really seemed that the white man would prove the victor. Before the impetuosity of his furious attacks Hlangani was constrained to give way more and more. A Beserk ferocity seemed to have taken possession of Carhayes. His eyes glared through the blood and dust which clung to his unwashen visage. Every hair of his beard seemed to bristle and stand upright, like the mane of a wild boar. His chest heaved, and the dexterity with which he whirled his kerrie around his adversary’s ears—always quick to ward the latter’s blows from himself—was wonderful to behold.Crash—scroosh! The blow told. A sound as of the crunching of bone. Hlangani staggered back half a dozen paces, the blood pouring from a wound in his skull. It was a blow that would probably have shattered the skull of a white man.“And Kreli?”“The Great Chief is in one of his red moods,” answered Josane, in a different tone to that which he had employed when speaking of the Gaikas. “He has a powerful witch-doctress. I know her. Was I not ‘smelt out’ by her? Was I not ‘eaten up’ at her ‘word’? The toad! The impostor! The jackal cat! The slimy fish! I know her. Ha!”(Eaten up: Idiom for the total sequestration of a person’s possessions.)The old man’s eyes glared and his tone rose to one of fierce excitement at the recollection of his wrongs. Eustace, accustomed to study his fellow-men, took careful note of the circumstance. Strange things happened. It might serve him in good stead one day.“The Gcalékas will fight,” went on Josane. “Perhaps they are fighting now. Perhaps the Baas will have some news to bring when he returns from Komgha. The telegraph is quick, but the voice of the bird in the air is quicker,” he added with a meaning smile, which convinced his listener that he knew a great deal more than he chose to say.“The fire stick is even now in the thatch,” went on the Kafir, after a few more puffs at his pipe. “There is a herald from the Great Chief among the Gaika kraals.”“Hlangani?”“Hlangani. The Gaikas are listening to his ‘word,’ and are lighting the war-fires. If he can obtain the ear of Sandili, his work is done. Whau, Ixeshane,” he went on, slipping into the familiar name in his excitement. “You English are very weak people. You ought to arrest Matanzima, and several others, and send a strong Resident to Sandili, who should always keep his ear.”“We can’t do that, Josane. There are wheels within wheels and a power behind the throne. Well, we shall see what happens,” he went on, rising as a hint to the other to depart.

He did not choose, for reasons of his own, to ask Josane direct how imminent the danger might be. To do so would be ever so slightly to impair his own prestige. But in his own judgment he decided that the sooner they set their affairs in order against the coming storm the better.Chapter Twelve.“Ah, Love, but a Day!”Pondering over what the old Kafir had said, Eustace busied himself over two or three odd jobs. Then, returning to the storeroom, he filled up a large measure of mealies and went to the house.“I’m going down to the ostrich camp, Eanswyth. Do you feel inclined to stroll that far, or are you too tired?”“Yes and no. I think it will do me good.”Flinging on a wide straw hat she joined him in the doorway. The ostrich camp was only a couple of hundred yards from the house, and at sight of them the great birds came shambling down to the fence, the truculent male having laid aside his aggressive ferocity for the occasion, as he condescended, with sullen and lordly air, to allow himself to be fed, though even then the quarrelsome disposition of the creature would find vent every now and again in a savage hiss, accompanied by a sudden and treacherous kick aimed at his timid consort whenever the latter ventured within the very outskirts of the mealies thrown down. But no sooner had the last grain disappeared than the worst instincts of the aggressive bully were all to the fore again, and the huge biped, rearing himself up to his full height, his jetty coat and snowy wing-feathers making a brave show, challenged his benefactors forthwith, rolling his fiery eyes as though longing to behold them in front of him with no protecting fence between.“Of all the ungracious, not to say ungrateful, scoundrels disfiguring God’s earth, I believe a cock ostrich is the very worst,” remarked Eustace. “He is, if possible, worse in that line than the British loafer, foreven the latter won’t always open his Billingsgate upon you until he has fairly assimilated the gin with which your ill-judged dole ‘to save him from starving’ has warmed his gullet. But this brute would willingly kick you into smithereens, while you were in the very act of feeding him.”Eanswyth laughed.“What strange ideas you have got, Eustace. Now I wonder to how many people any such notion as that would have occurred.”“Have I? I am often told so, so I suppose I must have. But the grand majority of people never think themselves, consequently when they happen upon anybody who does they gaze upon him with unmitigated astonishment as a strange and startling product of some unknown state of existence.”“Thank you,” retorted Eanswyth with a laugh. “That’s a little hard on me. As I made the remark, of course I am included in the grand majority which doesn’t think.”“I have a very great mind to treat that observation with the silence it deserves. It is a ridiculous observation. Isn’t it?”“Perhaps it is,” she acquiesced softly, in a tone that was half a sigh, not so much on account of the actual burden of the conversation, as an involuntary outburst of the dangerous, because too tender, undercurrent of her thoughts. And of those two walking there side by side in the radiant sunshine—outwardly so tranquilly, so peacefully, inwardly so blissfully—it was hard to say which was the most fully alive to the peril of the situation. Each was conscious of the mass of molten fires raging within the thin eggshell crust; each was rigidly on guard; the one with the feminine instinct of self-preservation superadded to the sense of rectitude of a strong character; the other striving to rely upon the necessity of caution and patience enjoined by a far-seeing and habitually self-contained nature. So far, both forces were evenly matched—so far both could play into each other’s hands, for mutual aid, mutual support against each other. Had there been aught of selfishness—of the mere unholy desire of possession—in this man’s love, things would have been otherwise. His

cool brain and consummate judgment would have given him immeasurably the advantage—in fact, the key of the whole situation. But it was not so. As we have said, that love was chivalrously pure—even noble—would have been rather elevating but for the circumstance that its indulgence meant the discounting of another man’s life.Thus they walked, side by side, in the soft and sensuous sunshine. A shimmer of heat rose from the ground. Far away over the rolling plains a few cattle and horses, dotted here and there grazing, constituted the only sign of life, and the range of wooded hills against the sky line loomed purple and misty in the golden summer haze. If ever a land seemed to enjoy the blessings of peace assuredly it was this fair land here spread out around them.They had reached another of the ostrich camps, wherein were domiciled some eight or ten pairs of eighteen-month-old birds, which not having yet learned the extent of their power, were as tame and docile as the four-year-old male was savage and combative. Eustace had scattered the contents of his colander among them, and now the two were leaning over the gate, listlessly watching the birds feed.“Talking of people never thinking,” continued Eustace, “I don’t so much wonder at that. They haven’t time, I suppose, and so lose the faculty. They have enough to do to steer ahead in their own narrow little groves. But what does astonish me is that if you state an obvious fact— so obvious as to amount to a platitude—it seems to burst upon them as a kind of wild surprise, as a kind of practical joke on wheels, ready to start away down-hill and drag them with it to utter crash unless they edge away from it as far as possible. You see them turn and stare at each other, and open an amazed and gaping mouth into which you might insert a pumpkin without them being in the least aware of it.”“As for instance?” queried Eanswyth, with a smile.“Well—as for instance. I wonder what the effect would be upon an ordinary dozen of sane people were I suddenly to propound the perfectly obvious truism that life is full of surprises. I don’t wonder, at least, for I ought to know by this time. They would start by scouting the idea; ten toone they would deny the premise, and retort that life was just what we chose to make it; which is a fallacy, in that it assumes that any one atom in the human scheme is absolutely independent—firstly, of the rest of the crowd; secondly, of circumstances—in fact, is competent to boss the former and direct the latter. Which, in the words of the immortal Euclid, is absurd.”“Yet if any man is thus competent, it is yourself, Eustace.”“No,” he said, shaking his head meditatively. “You are mistaken. I am certainly not independent of the action of anyone who may elect to do me a good or an ill turn. He, she, or it, has me at a disadvantage all round, for I possess the gift of foresight in a degree so limited as to be practically nil. As for circumstances—so far from pretending to direct them I am the mere creature of them. So are we all.”“What has started you upon this train of thought?” she asked suddenly.“Several things. But I’ll give you an instance of what I was saying just now. This morning I was surprised and surrounded by a gang of Kafirs, all armed to the teeth. Nearly all of them were on the very verge of shying their assegais bang through me, and if Ncanduku—you know him— Nteya’s brother—hadn’t appeared on the scene just in the very nick of time, I should have been a dead man. As it was, we sat down, had an indaba and a friendly smoke, and parted on the best of terms. Now, wasn’t I helplessly, abjectly, the creature of circumstances—first in being molested at all—second in Ncandúku’s lucky arrival?”“Eustace! And you never told me this!”“I told Tom—just as he was starting—and he laughed. He didn’t seem to think much of it. To tell the truth, neither did I. Why—what’s the matter, Eanswyth?”Her face was deathly white. Her eyes, wide open, were dilated with horror; then they filled with tears. The next moment she was sobbing wildly—locked in his close embrace.


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