Japan's most beautiful college students revealed

发表于 2023-09-22 13:29:47 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

The writing broke off abruptly and there were signs that more than one tear had fallen upon the silent, but oh, so eloquent paper.Chapter Seventeen.In the Enemy’s Country.“Hi, Hoste, Eustace! Tumble up! We are to start in half an hour.”It is dark as Erebus—dark as it can only be an hour or so before daybreak. The camp-fires have long since gone out and it is raining heavily. The speaker, stooping down, puts his head into a patrol tent wherein two sleepers lie, packed like sardines.A responsive grunt or two and Hoste replies without moving.“Bosh! None of your larks, Tom. Why, it’s pitch dark, and raining as if some fellow were bombarding the tent with a battery of garden hoses.”“Tom can’t sleep himself, so he won’t let us. Mean of him—to put it mildly,” remarks the other occupant of the tent, with a cavernous yawn.“But it isn’t bosh,” retorts Carhayes testily. “I tell you we are to start in half an hour, so now you know,” and he withdraws, growling something about not standing there jawing to them all day.Orders were orders, and duty was duty. So arousing themselves from their warm lair the two sleepers rubbed their eyes and promptly began to look to their preparations.“By Jove!” remarked Eustace as a big, cold drop hit him on the crown of the head, while two more fell on the blanket he had just cast off. “Now one can solve the riddle as to what becomes of all the played out sieves. They are bought up by Government Contractors for the manufacture of canvas for patrol tents.”“The riddle! Yes. That’s about the appropriate term, as witness the

when to the radiant enchantment of the Present should have succeeded the woe of a never-ending and rayless night?But the day was with them now—idyllic, blissful—never to be forgotten as long as they two should live. Alas, that it fled!Tom Carhayes returned that evening in high good humour. He was accompanied by another man, a neighbouring settler of the name of Hoste, a pleasant, cheery fellow, who was a frequent visitor at Anta’s Kloof.“Well, Mrs Carhayes,” cried the latter, flinging his right leg over his horse’s neck and sliding to the ground side-saddle fashion, “your husband has been pretty well selling up the establishment to-day. What do you think of that? Hallo, Milne. How ’do?”“I’ve made a good shot this time,” assented Carhayes, “I’ve sold off nearly three thousand of the sheep to Reid, the contractor, at a pound a head all round. What do you think of that, Eustace? And a hundred and thirty cattle, too, heifers and slaughter stock.”“H’m! Well, you know best,” said Eustace. “But why this wholesale clearance, Tom?”“Why? Why, man, haven’t you heard? No, of course he hasn’t. War! That’s why. War, by the living Jingo! It’s begun. Our fellows are over the Kei already, peppering the niggers like two o’clock.”“Or being peppered by them—which so far seems to be the more likely side of the question,” struck in Hoste. “A report came into Komgha to-day that there had been a fight, and the Police had been licked. Anyhow, a lot more have been moved across the river.”“Wait till we get among them,” chuckled Carhayes. “Eh, Hoste? We’ll pay off some old scores on Jack Kafir’s hide. By the Lord, won’t we?”“Ja. That’s so. By-the-by, Mrs Carhayes, I mustn’t forget my errand. The wife has picked up a cottage in Komgha, and particularly wants youto join her. She was lucky in getting it, for by now every hole or shanty in the village is full up. There are more waggons than houses as it is, and a lot of fellows are in tents. They are going to make a big laager of the place.”Eanswyth looked startled. “Are things as bad as all that?” she said.“They just are,” answered Hoste. “You can’t go on staying here. It isn’t safe—is it, Carhayes? Everyone round here is trekking, or have already trekked. I met George Payne in Komgha to-day. Even he had cleared out from Fountains Gap, and there’s no fellow laughs at the scare like he does.”“Hoste is right, Eanswyth,” said Carhayes. “So you’d better roll up your traps and go back with him to-morrow. I can’t go with you, because Reid is coming over to take delivery of the stock. Eustace might drive you over, if he don’t mind.”Eustace did not mind—of that we may be sure. But although no glance passed between Eanswyth and himself, both were thinking the same thing. To the mind of each came back the words of that morning: “A sort of instinct tells me it is the last day we shall have to ourselves for some time to come!” And it would be.They sat down to supper. Tom Carhayes was in tremendous spirits that evening. He breathed threatenings and slaughter against the whole of the Xosa race, chuckling gleefully over the old scores he was going to pay off upon it in the persons of its fighting men. In fact, he was as delighted over the certainty of an outbreak as if he held half a dozen fat contracts for the supply of the troops and levies.“I’ll keep a tally-stick, by Jove; and every nigger I pot I’ll cut a nick,” he said. “There’ll be a good few notches at the end of the war! It was a first-class stroke of luck doing that deal with Reid, wasn’t it, Eustace? We shall have our hands entirely free for whatever fun turns up.”Eustace agreed. He had reasons of his own for wanting to keep his hands free during the next few months—possibly, however, they were of

Japan's most beautiful college students revealed

a different nature to those entertained by his cousin.“We can move the rest of the stock to Swaanepoel’s Hoek,” went on Carhayes. “Bentley will be only too glad to look after it for a consideration. Then for some real sport! Eustace, pass the grog to Hoste.”“That your Somerset East farm?” said the latter, filling his glass.“Yes. Not a bad place, either; only too stony.”“You’re a jolly lucky fellow to have a Somerset East farm to send your stock to,” rejoined Hoste. “I wish I had, I know. The few sheep I have left are hardly worth looking after. There are safe to be a lot of Dutchmen in laager with brandt-zick flocks, and ours will be covered with it by the time it’s all over. Same thing with cattle. Red water and lung sickness will clear them all out too.”“Well, we’ll lift a lot from old Kreli to make up for it,” said Carhayes. “By the way, Eustace. Talking of Kreli—he’s been summoned to meet the Governor and won’t go.”“H’m. Small wonder if he won’t. What was the upshot of his father, Hintza, being summoned to meet the Governor?”“Oh, you’re always harping on that old string,” said Carhayes impatiently. “Hang it all—as if a lot of red-blanket niggers are to be treated like civilised beings! It’s ridiculous, man. They’ve got to do as they are told, or they must be made to.”“That’s all very pretty, Tom. But the ‘making’ hasn’t begun yet. By the time it’s ended, we shall have a longish bill to pay—and a good many vacant chairs at various household tables. Fair play is fair play—even between our exalted selves and ‘a lot of red-blanket niggers.’”“Milne is right, Carhayes,” struck in Hoste. “Milne is right so far. Kafirs have got long memories, and I, for one, don’t blame old Kreli for snapping his fingers at the Governor. But I don’t agree with him that we haven’t treated him fairly on the whole. Hang it, what have they got tocomplain of?”“I don’t say they have anything in that line,” said Eustace. “My remark about treating them fairly was only in answer to what Tom suggested. Still, I think it a mistake to have located the Fingoes and Gcalékas next door to each other, with a mere artificial boundary between. It was safe to produce a shindy sooner or later.”Thus the ball of conversation rolled on. Carhayes, excited over the prospect of hostilities, took a glass or two of grog more than was good for him, and waxed extremely argumentative as they adjourned to the stoep for an al fresco smoke. So he and his guest began, continued, and ended the campaign according to a great diversity of plans, each highly satisfactory to its originators and proportionately disastrous to the dark-skinned enemy.In this conversation Eanswyth did not join. The sweet and soothing influences of the day just passed filled her mind—and all this noisy talk jarred upon her. To her also the prospect of the coming campaign was a welcome one. After the events of the last twenty-four hours to go on living as heretofore would be a terrible strain. Her newly awakened love for the one man was so overwhelming as to engender in her a proportionate feeling of aversion towards the other. It was a fearful position. The temporary separation involved by the campaign would be more than welcome. But separation from the one meant separation from the other. That was not welcome.And that other—what if he were to fall? He was so fearless—so foolhardy and confident. What if he undertook some insane mission and was treacherously murdered?—O Heaven—what would life be without him now? And a rush of tears brimmed to her eyes at the mere thought.Eustace, who had remained behind for a moment, to light his pipe, looked up and caught her glance.“I suppose I had better arrange to drive you over to Komgha to-morrow?” he said, aloud and in an ordinary voice. Outside the other two were talking and arguing at a great rate.“Yes, I would not forego that for anything,” she whispered. “But— leave me now, or I shall break down. Quick! I wish it.”One glance, straight into her eyes, and he obeyed. But that glance had said enough—had said more than many words could have done.“By the way, Tom,” said Eustace, joining the pair of wranglers outside. “What about Nteya? You were going to have him run in, you know.”“So! Well, you see, it’s this way: I got on that deal with Reid, first thing, and that drove the other out of my head. I had a job to find Reid, in the first place, but when you hear of a man willing to give a lumping big price for what you want to sell, that man’s worth some hunting for, I can tell you. So I let Nteya slide—until we reach the Gaika location. Then I’ll take it out of him, and a good many more of them too.”Next morning, shortly after sunrise, the contractor arrived to take delivery of the stock. So he and Carhayes were extremely busy, the latter too much so to be able to afford more than an off-hand and hurried farewell to his wife.But the same held not good of his cousin and partner. Indeed one would think that Eustace had no concern whatever in the sale for all the interest he took in it. Far more concerned was he to ensure that Eanswyth had every conceivable thing that might conduce to her comfort and convenience during her journeying to and sojourn in the settlement, than to satisfy himself that Contractor Reid, a canny Scot and a knowing file at a deal, should be allowed no loop-hole for climbing down from or getting behind his bargain.“I say, Milne,” cried Hoste, while the horses were being inspanned. “It’s rather slow work riding by one’s self. Let’s span in my horse as a leader, and drive unicorn. There’s room for my saddle if we tie it on behind—and I can get in the cart with you. More sociable like. See?”But Eustace didn’t see, or rather didn’t want to see. This was clearly

Japan's most beautiful college students revealed

a case of “two’s company, three’s a crowd.”Equally clearly was it a case wherein the third might be excused for omitting to apply the maxim.“There’s a goodish weight in the trap already,” he replied dubiously. But Eanswyth struck in:“We can make room for you, Mr Hoste. Certainly. And if we have the additional pull of your horse it will neutralise the additional weight.”Eustace said nothing. If Eanswyth’s mood had undergone something of a change since last night, that was only natural, he allowed. The arrangement was not to his liking. But then, of most arrangements in this tiresome world the same held good. With which reflection, being a philosopher, he consoled himself.There was not much sign of the disturbed state of the country during the first part of the drive. But later, as they drew nearer the settlement, an abandoned homestead—standing silent and deserted, its kraals empty and the place devoid of life, or a trek of sheep and cattle raising a cloud of dust in the distance, together with a waggon or two loaded with the families and household goods of those, like themselves, hastening from their more or less isolated positions to seek safety in numbers, spoke eloquently and with meaning. Now and again a small group of Kafirs would pass them on the road, and although unarmed, save for their ordinary kerries, there seemed a world of grim meaning in each dark face, a menace in the bold stare which did duty for the ordinarily civil, good-humoured greeting, as if the savages knew that their time was coming now.It was a splendid day, sunny and radiant. But there was an oppressiveness in the atmosphere which portended a change, and ever and anon came a low boom of thunder. An inky cloud was rising behind the Kabousie Heights, spreading wider and wider over the plains of Kafirland. A lurid haze subdued the sunshine, as the rumble of the approaching storm drew nearer and nearer, and the blue electric flashes played around the misty hilltops where the ill-omened war-fires hadgleamed two nights before. Even so, in like fashion, the brooding cloud of war swept down upon the land, darker and darker.

Japan's most beautiful college students revealed

Chapter Fourteen.A Curtain Secret.The settlement of Komgha—called after an infinitesimal stream of that name—was, like most frontier townships, an utterly insignificant place. It consisted of a few straggling blocks of houses plumped down apparently without rhyme or reason in the middle of the veldt, which here was open and undulating. It boasted a few stores and canteens, a couple of institutions termed by courtesy “hotels,” an exceedingly ugly church, and a well-kept cricket ground. To the eastward rose the Kei Hills, the only picturesque element about the place, prominent among these the flat, table-topped summit of Moordenaar’s Kop, (Dutch, “Murderer’s Peak”) a tragical spot so named on account of the surprise and massacre of a party of officers who had incautiously ventured up there in small force during one of the previous wars. The village was virtually the headquarters of the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police, the substantial square barracks, which harboured the artillery troop of that useful force, crowning the hill nearly a mile away, and there was generally another troop or two quartered around the place. The main road from King Williamstown to the Transkeian territories ran through the village.At the period of our story, however, there was no lack of life or stir about the normally sleepy little place, for it was in process of transformation into a huge laager or armed camp. Waggons were coming in from several directions—laden mostly with the families and household goods of fleeing settlers, and the sharp crack of whips and the harsh yells of their drivers rose high above the general turmoil. Men were bustling to and fro, bent upon nothing in particular and looking as though each and all carried the fate of a nation in his pockets, or standing, in knots at street corners, discussing the situation, each perchance with a little less knowledge than his neighbour. All sorts of wild rumours were in the air, the least of which was that every white in the Transkei had been massacred, and that Kreli was marching upon Komgha at the head of the whole Gcaléka army.

Mrs Hoste, with her two young daughters, were at the door as the party drove up. They received Eanswyth very cordially.“At last—at last! Why, we have been looking out for you for the last hour. I declare, I began to think you had stayed too long at Anta’s Kloof, and the Kafirs had taken you prisoner or something. How do you do, Mr Milne? But—come in. We are going to have a dreadful storm in a minute. Mercy on us! What a flash!”The blue, steely gleam was followed by a roll of thunder, long, loud, reverberating. There was a patter upon the zinc roof. A few raindrops, nearly as large as saucers, splashed around, and then, almost before the two men could get into their waterproof coats, the rain descended with a roar and a rush, in such a deluge that they could hardly see to outspan the trap.“Allamaghtaag! but that’s a fine rain,” cried Hoste, with a farmer’s appreciation, as he swung himself free of his dripping mackintosh in the little veranda.“Especially for those who are under canvas,” said Eustace with a significant glance at a group of tents pitched upon the plain just outside the village. For the surrounding veldt had been turned into something like a sea, and a miniature torrent roared down every depression in the ground.“Well, Mr Milne,” cried Mrs Hoste, from the head of the table, as the two men entered. “Its past three o’clock and dinner has been ready since half-past one. We quite expected you then.”“Which, being interpreted, means that I must prepare for the worst,” was the rejoinder. “Never mind. I dare say we shan’t starve. Well, and what’s the latest absurdity in the way of news?”“Just what I was going to ask you. You’re hand-in-glove with all the Kafir chiefs. You ought to be able to give us all the news.”Eustace smiled to himself. He could tell them a few things that wouldChapter Eighteen.The Tables Turned.Eager at the prospect of a brush, their appetites for which had been whetted by what had just occurred, they resumed their way in the best of spirits, and at length fixing upon a suitable spot the party off-saddled for breakfast.“We ought to fall in with a patrol of Brathwaite’s Horse lower down,” remarked a man, stirring the contents of a three-legged cooking-pot with a wooden spoon. “Then we should be strong enough to take the bush for it and pepper Jack Kafir handsomely.”“If we can find him,” rejoined another with a loud guffaw. “Hallo! Who’s this?”A dark form appeared in the hollow beneath. Immediately every man had seized his rifle, and the moment was a perilous one for the new arrival.“Hold hard! Don’t fire!” cried Shelton. “It’s only a single Kafir. Let’s see what the fellow wants.” And lowering their weapons they awaited the approach of a rather sulky looking native, who drew near with a suspicious and apprehensive expression of countenance.“Who are you and where do you come from?” asked Shelton.“From down there, Baas,” replied the fellow, in fair English, jerking his thumb in the direction of a labyrinth of bushy kloofs stretching away beneath. “They have taken all my cattle—the Gcalékas have. I can show you where to find theirs.”The men looked at each other and several shook their heads incredulously.“What are you? Are you a Gcaléka?” asked Shelton.

“No, Baas. Bomvana. I’m Jonas. I’m a loyal Mission-station boy.”“Oh, the devil you are! Now, then, Jonas, what about these cattle?”Then the native unfolded his tale—how that in the forest land immediately beneath them was concealed a large number of the Gcaléka cattle—a thousand of them at least. There were some men in charge, about sixty, he said, but still the whites might be strong enough to take the lot; only they would have to fight, perhaps.Carefully they questioned him, but from the main details of his story he never swerved. His object, he said, was to be revenged on the Gcalékas, who had billeted themselves in the Bomvana country and were carrying things with a high hand. But Shelton was not quite satisfied.“Look here, Jonas,” he said impressively. “Supposing I were to tell you that this yarn of yours is all a cock-and-bull lie, and that you’ve come here to lead us into a trap? And supposing I were to tell half a dozen men here to shoot you when I count twenty? What then?”All eyes were fixed upon the native’s face, as the leader left off speaking. But not a muscle therein quailed. For a minute he did not reply. Then he shook his head, with a wholly incredulous laugh.“Nay, Baas,” he said. “Baas is joking.”“Well, you must be telling the truth or else you must be the pluckiest nigger in all Kafirland to come here and play the fool with us,” said Shelton. “What do you say, boys? Shall we trust to what this fellow tells us and make a dash for the spoil?”An acclamation of universal assent hailed this proposal. In an incredibly short space of time the horses were saddled, and with the native in their midst the whole party moved down in the direction of the bush.“In here, Baas,” said the guide, piloting them down a narrow path where they were obliged to maintain single file. On either side was a dark, dense jungle, the plumed euphorbia rising high overhead above thebush. The path, rough and widening, seemed to lead down and down— no one knew whither. The guide was not suffered to lead the way, but was kept near the head of the party, those immediately around him being prepared to shoot him dead at the first sign of treachery.“Damned fools we must be to come into a place like this on the bare word of a black fellow,” grunted Carhayes. “I think the cuss means square and above board—but going down here in this picnicking way—it doesn’t seem right somehow.”But they were in for it now, and soon the path opened, and before and beneath them lay a network of kloofs covered with a thick, jungly scrub, here and there a rugged krantz shooting up from the waves of foliage. Not a sound was heard as they filed on in the cloudless stillness of the sunny forenoon. Even the birds were silent in that great lonely valley.“There,” whispered the Bomvana, when they had gone some distance further. “There is the cattle.”He pointed to a long, winding kloof whose entrance was commanded by cliffs on either side. Looking cautiously around, they entered this. Soon they could hear the sound of voices.“By George! We are on them now,” said Shelton in a low tone. “But, keep cool, men—only keep cool!”They passed a large kraal which was quite deserted, but only just, for the smoke still rose from more than one fire, and a couple of dogs were yet skulking around the huts. Eagerly and in silence they pressed forward, and lo—turning an angle of the cliff—there burst upon their view a sight which amply repaid the risk of the enterprise they had embarked upon. For the narrow defile was full of cattle—an immense herd—which were being driven forward as rapidly and as quietly as the two score armed savages in their rear could drive them. Clearly the latter had got wind of their approach.“Allamaghtaag!” exclaimed one of the men, catching sight of the

mass of animals, which, plunging and crowding over each other, threaded their way through the bush in a dozen separate, but closely packed, columns. “What a take! A thousand at least!”“Ping—ping! Whigge!” The bullets began to sing about their ears, and from the bush around there issued puffs of smoke. The Kafirs who were driving the cattle, seeing that the invaders were so few, dropped down into cover and opened a brisk fire, but too late. Quickly the foremost half of the patrol, reining in, had poured a couple of effective volleys into them, and at least a dozen of their number lay stretched upon the ground, stone dead or writhing in the throes of death; while several more might be seen limping off as well as they could, their only thought now being to save their own lives. The rest melted away into the bush, whence they kept up a tolerably brisk fire, and the bullets and bits of pot-leg began to whistle uncomfortably close.“Now, boys!” cried Shelton. “Half of you come with me—and Carhayes, you take the other half and collect the cattle, but don’t separate more than to that extent.” And in furtherance of this injunction the now divided force rode off as hard as it could go, to head the animals back—stumbling among stones, crashing through bushes or flying over the same—on they dashed, helter-skelter, hardly knowing at times how they kept their saddles.Amid much shouting and whistling the terrified creatures were at last turned. Down the defile they rushed—eyes rolling and horns clashing, trampling to pulp the dead or helpless bodies of some of their former drivers, who had been shot in the earlier stages of the conflict. It was an indescribable scene—the dappled, many-coloured hides flashing in the sun as the immense herd surged furiously down that wild pass. And mingling with the shouting and confusion, and the terrified lowing of the cattle half-frenzied with the sight and smell of blood—the overhanging cliffs echoed back in sharper tones the “crack-crack” of the rifles of the Kaffirs, who, well under cover themselves, kept up a continuous, but luckily ineffective, fire upon the patrol.Suddenly a dark form rose up in front of the horsemen. Springing like a cat the savage made a swift stab at the breast of his intended victim,who swerved quickly, but not quickly enough, and the blade of the assegai descended, inflicting an ugly wound in the man’s side. Dropping to the ground again, the daring assailant ducked in time to avoid the revolver bullet aimed at him, and gliding in among the fleeing cattle, escaped before the infuriated frontiersman could get in another shot. So quickly did it all take place that, except the wounded man himself, hardly anybody knew what had happened.“Hurt, Thompson?” sung out Hoste, seeing that the man looked rather pale.“No. Nothin’ to speak of, at least. Time enough to see to it by andby.”As he spoke the horse of another man plunged and then fell heavily forward. The poor beast had been mortally stricken by one of the enemy’s missiles, and would never rise again. The dismounted man ran alongside of a comrade, holding on by the stirrup of the latter.“Why, what’s become of the Bomvana?” suddenly inquired someone.They looked around. There was no sign of their guide. Could he have been playing them false and slipped away in the confusion? Even now the enemy might be lying in wait somewhere in overwhelming force, ready to cut off their retreat.“By Jove! There he is!” cried another man presently. “And—the beggar’s dead!”He was. In the confusion of the attack they had forgotten their guide, who must have fallen into the hands of the enemy, and have been sacrificed to the vengeance of the latter. The body of the unfortunate Bomvana, propped up in a sitting posture against a tree by his slayers in savage mockery, presented a hideous sight. The throat was cut from ear to ear, and the trunk was nearly divided by a terrible gash right across it just below the ribs, while from several assegai stabs the dark arterial blood was still oozing forth.


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