Trudeau welcomed Abe's visit, mistakenly referred to Japan as China

发表于 2023-09-23 10:20:16 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

But before Carhayes could follow it up, the wily savage adopted a different plan. By a series of astonishing leaps and bounds, now backward, now from side to side, he endeavoured to bewilder his enemy, and very nearly succeeded. Mad with rage, desperation, and a consciousness of failing strength, Carhayes was fast losing control over himself. He roared like a wild animal. He began to strike out wildly, leaving his guard open. This the cunning barbarian saw and encouraged. Those looking on had no doubt now as to who held the winning cards; even Eustace could see it, but his cousin was too far off now to hear a word of warning or advice, which, however, was just as well for himself.Again the combatants closed. The splinters began to fly in all directions as the hard-wood sticks whirled and crashed. Then suddenly a crushing blow on the wrist sent Carhayes’ kerrie flying from his grasp and almost simultaneously with it came a sickening “scrunch.” The white man dropped like an ox at the shambles, the blood pouring from his head.Echoing the mighty roar of exultation that went up from the spectators, Hlangani stood with his foot on the chest of his prostrate adversary, his kerrie raised to strike again. But there was no necessity. Poor Tom lay like a corpse, stunned and motionless. The ferocious triumph depicted on the countenance of the savage was horrible to behold.“He is mine,” he cried, his chest heaving, his eyes blazing, “mine absolutely. The Great Chief has said it. Bring reims.”In a trice a few stout rawhide thongs were procured, and Carhayes was once more bound hand and foot. Then acting under the directions of his fierce conqueror—three or four stalwart Kafirs raised the insensible form of the unfortunate settler and bore it away.“He has only begun to taste the fury of Hlangani’s revenge,” said a voice at Eustace’s side. Turning he beheld the witch-doctress, Ngcenika. The hag pointed to the retreating group with a mocking leer.“He will wake,” she went on. “But he will never be seen again, Ixeshane—never. Hau!”

“Tsh—tsh—tsh! Shut up, man alive, shut up!”This was said in a low, warning whisper, and the speaker’s sleeve was violently plucked.“Eh? What’s the row?” he asked, turning in amazement.“Why, that’s her!” was the reply, more earnest than grammatical.“Her? Who?”“His wife, of course.”A Cape cart was driving by, containing two ladies and two young girls. Of the former one was Mrs Hoste, the other Eanswyth. As they passed quite close to the speakers, Eanswyth turned her head with a bow and a smile to someone standing in front of the hotel. A dead, awkward silence fell upon the group of talkers.“I say. She didn’t hear, did she?” stage-whispered the old man eagerly, when the trap had gone by.“She didn’t look much as though she had—poor thing!” said another whom the serene, radiant happiness shining in that sweet face had not escaped.“Poor thing, indeed,” was the reply. “She ought to be told, though. But I wouldn’t be the man to do it, no—not for fifty pounds. Why, they say she can hardly eat or sleep since she heard Tom Carhayes was coming back, she’s so pleased. And now, poor Tom—where is he? Lying out there hacked into Kafir mince-meat.” And the speaker, jerking his hand in the direction of the Transkei, stalked solemnly down the steps of the stoep, heaving a prodigious sigh.Chapter Twenty Five.“The Curse has come upon me...”

Trudeau welcomed Abe's visit, mistakenly referred to Japan as China

The party in the Cape cart were returning from a drive out to Draaibosch, a roadside inn and canteen some ten or a dozen miles along the King Williamstown road. Two troops of Horse, one of them Brathwaite’s, were encamped there the night before on their way homeward, and a goodly collection of their friends and well-wishers had driven or ridden over to see them start.It was a lovely day, and the scene had been lively enough as the combined troops—numbering upwards of two hundred horsemen, bronzed and war-worn, but “fit” and in the highest of spirits, had struck their camp and filed off upon their homeward way, cheering and being cheered enthusiastically by the lines of spectators. An enthusiasm, however, in no wise shared by groups of Hlambi and Gaika Kafirs from Ndimba’s or Sandili’s locations, who, in all the savagery of their red paint and blankets, hung around the door of the canteen with scowling sneers upon their faces, the while bandying among themselves many a deep-toned remark not exactly expressive of amity or affection towards their white brethren. But for this the latter cared not a jot.“Hey, Johnny!” sang out a trooper, holding out a bundle of assegais towards one of the aforesaid groups as he rode past, “see these? I took ’em from one of Kreli’s chaps, up yonder. Plugged him through with a couple of bullets first.”“Haw! haw!” guffawed another. “You fellows had better behave yourselves or we shall be coming to look you up next. Tell old Sandili that, with our love. Ta-ta, Johnny. So long!”It was poor wit, and those at whom it was directed appreciated it at its proper value. The scowl deepened upon that cloud of dark faces, and a mutter of contempt and defiance rose from more than one throat. Yet in the bottom of their hearts the savages entertained a sufficiently wholesome respect for those hardened, war-worn sharpshooters.Handkerchiefs waved and hats were flourished in the air, and amid uproarious and deafening cheers the mounted corps paced forth, Brathwaite’s Horse leading. And over and above the clamour and tumult of the voices and the shouting. Jack Armitage’s bugle might be heard,wildly emitting a shrill and discordant melody, which common consent, amid roars of laughter, pronounced to be a cross between the National Anthem and “Vat you goed an trek Ferreia.” (A popular old Boer song.)Into the fun and frolic of the occasion Eanswyth entered with zest. She had laughed until she nearly cried over the hundred-and-one comic little incidents inseparable from this scene of universal jollity. Even the boldest flights of wit attempted during the multifold and promiscuous good-byes interchanged had moved her mirth. But it was the light, effervescing, uncontrollable laughter of the heart.The genial, careless jests of the light-hearted crowd, the good humour on every face, found its echo in her. In the unclouded blue of the heavens, the golden sunlit air, there seemed a vibrating chord of joyous melody, a poetry in the sweeping plains, even in the red lines of ochre-smeared savages filing along the narrow tracks leading to or from their respective locations. Her heart sang within her as once more the horses’ heads were turned homeward. Any hour now might bring him. Why, by the time they reached home he might have arrived, or at any rate an express hurried on in advance to announce the arrival of the corps by nightfall.“Rangers arrived?” repeated in reply to Mrs Hoste’s eager question, one of two acquaintances whom they met upon the road when within a mile of the village. “N-no, not yet. They can’t be far off, though. Three or four of their men have come in—Shelton among them.”“Oh, thanks, so much!” cried both the ladies, apparently equally eager. “We had better get on as soon as we can. Good-day.”In the fullness of her joy, the clouded expression and hesitating speech accompanying the information had quite escaped Eanswyth—nor had it struck her friend either. Then laughing and chatting in the highest of spirits, they had driven past the conversing groups upon the stoep of the hotel, as we have seen.The trap had been outspanned, and the horses turned loose into the veldt. The household were about to sit down to dinner. Suddenly thedoorway was darkened and a head was thrust in—a black and dusty head, surmounted by the remnant of a ragged hat.“Morrow, missis!” said the owner of this get-up, holding out a scrap of paper folded into a note. Mrs Hoste opened it carelessly—then a sort of gasp escaped her, and her face grew white.“Where—where is your Baas!” she stammered.“La pa,” replied the native boy, pointing down the street.Flurried, and hardly knowing what she was about, Mrs Hoste started to follow the messenger. Eanswyth had gone to her room to remove her hat, fortunately.“Oh, Mr Shelton—is it true?” she cried breathlessly, coming right upon the sender of the missive, who was waiting at no great distance from the house. “Is it really true? Can it be? What awful news! Oh, it will kill her! What shall we do?”“Try and be calm, Mrs Hoste,” said Shelton gravely. “There is no doubt about its truth, I am sorry to say. It is fortunate you had not heard the first report of the affair which arrived here. All four of them were rumoured killed, I’m told. But—No, don’t be alarmed,” he added, hastily interrupting an impending outburst. “Your husband is quite safe, and will be here this evening. But poor Tom is killed—not a doubt about it—Milne too. And, now, will you break it to Mrs Carhayes? It must be done, you know. She may hear it by accident any moment; the whole place is talking about it, and just think what a shock that will be.”“Oh, I can’t. Don’t ask me. It will kill her.”“But, my dear lady, it must be done,” urged Shelton. “It is a most painful and heart-breaking necessity—but it is a necessity.”“Come and help me through with it, Mr Shelton,” pleaded Mrs Hoste piteously. “I shall never manage it alone.”Shelton was in a quandary. He knew Eanswyth fairly well, but he

Trudeau welcomed Abe's visit, mistakenly referred to Japan as China

was by nature a retiring man, a trifle shy even, and to find himself saddled with so delicate and painful a task as the breaking of this news to her, was simply appalling. He was a well-to-do man, with a wife and family of his own, yet it is to be feared that during the three dozen paces which it took them to reach the front door, he almost wished he could change places with poor Tom Carhayes.He wished so altogether as they gained the stoep. For in the doorway stood a tall figure—erect, rigid as a post—with face of a ghastly white, lips livid and trembling.“What does this mean?” gasped Eanswyth. “What ‘bad news’ is it? Please tell me. I can bear it.”She was holding out a scrap of pencilled paper, Shelton’s open note, which Mrs Hoste, in her flurry and horror, had dropped as she went out. It only contained a couple of lines:Dear Mrs Hoste:There is very bad news to tell, which regards Mrs Carhayes. Please follow the bearer at once.Yours truly, Henry Shelton.“Quick—what is it—the ‘bad news’? I can bear it—Quick—you are killing me,” gasped Eanswyth, speaking now in a dry whisper.One look at his accomplice convinced Shelton that he would have to take the whole matter into his own hands.“Try and be brave, Mrs Carhayes,” he said gravely. “It concerns your husband.”“Is he—is he—is it the worst!” she managed to get out.“It is the worst,” he answered simply, deeming it best to get it over as soon as possible.For a minute he seemed to have reason to congratulate himself on this idea. The rigid stony horror depicted on her features relaxed, giving way to a dazed, bewildered expression, as though she had borne the first brunt of the shock, and was calming down.“Tell me!” she gasped at length. “How was it? When? Where?”“It was across the Bashi. They were cut off by the Kafirs, and killed.”“‘They’? Who—who else?”Shelton wished the friendly earth would open beneath his feet then and there.“Mrs Carhayes, pray be calm,” he said unsteadily. “You have heard the worst, remember—the worst, but not all. You cousin shared poor Tom’s fate.”“Eustace?”The word was framed, rather than uttered, by those livid and bloodless lips. Yet the listener caught it and bent his head in assent.She did not cry out; she did not swoon. Yet those who beheld her almost wished she had done both—anything rather than take the blow as she was doing. She stood there in the doorway—her tall form seeming to tower above them—her large eyes sparkling forth from her livid and bloodless countenance—and the awful and set expression of despair imprinted therein was such as the two who witnessed it prayed they might never behold on human countenance again.She had heard the worst—the worst, but not all—her informant had said. Had she? The mockery of it! The first news was terrible; the second —death; black, hopeless, living death. Had heard the worst! Ah, the mockery of it! And as these reflections sank into her dazed brain—driven in, as it were, one after another by the dull blows of a hammer, her lips even shaped the ghost of a smile. Ah, the irony of it!Still she did not faint. She stood there in the doorway, curdling the

Trudeau welcomed Abe's visit, mistakenly referred to Japan as China

very heart’s blood of the lookers on with that dreadful shadow of a smile. Then, without a word, she turned and walked to her room.“Oh! I must go to her!” cried Mrs Hoste eagerly. “Oh, this is too fearful.”“If you take my advice—it’s better not! Not at present, at any rate,” answered Shelton. “Leave her to get over the first shock alone. And what a shock it is. Bereaved of husband and cousin at one stroke. And the cousin was almost like a brother, wasn’t he?”“Yes,” and the recollection of her recent suspicions swept in with a rush upon the speaker’s mind, deepening her flurry and distress. “Yes. That is—I mean—Yes, I believe she was very fond of him. But how bravely she took it.”“Rather too bravely,” answered the other with a grave shake of the head. “I only hope the strain may not be too much for her—affect her brain, I mean. Mrs Carhayes has more than the average share of strong-mindedness, yet she strikes me as being a woman of extraordinarily strong feeling. The shock must have been frightful, and although she didn’t scream or faint, the expression of her face was one that I devoutly hope never to see upon any face again. And now, good-bye for the present. I’ll call around later and hear how she’s getting on. Poor thing!”The sun of her life had set—had gone down into black night—yet the warm rays of the summer sunshine glanced through the open window of her room, glowing down upon the wide veldt outside and upon the distant sparkle of the blue sea. Never again would laughter issue from those lips —yet the sound of light-hearted chat and peals of mirth was ever and anon borne from without. The droning hum of insects in the afternoon air —the clink of horse-hoofs, the deep-toned conversation of natives passing near the window—all these familiar sounds of everyday life found a faint and far-away echo in her benumbed brain. What, though one heart was broken—the world went on just the same.Stay! Was it but a few minutes ago that she passed out through that

door trilling the cheerful fragments of the airiest of songs—but a few minutes since she picked up that fatal scrap of paper, and then stood face to face with those who brought her news which had laid her life in ruins! Only a few minutes! Why, it seemed years—centuries—aeons. Was it a former state of existence that upon which she now looked back as across a great and yawning gulf? Was she now dead—and was this the place of torment? The fire that burned forever and ever! How should she quench the fire in her heart and brain?There was a very stoniness about her grief as if the blow had petrified her. She did not fling herself upon the couch in her agony of despair. No tears did she shed—better if she had. For long after she had gained her room and locked herself in alone she stood—stood upright— and finally when she sought a chair it was mechanically, as with the movement of a sleep walker. Her heart was broken—her life was ended. He had gone from her—it only remained for her to go to him.And then, darting in across her tortured brain, in fiery characters, came the recollection of his own words—spoken that first and last blissful morning at Anta’s Kloof. “If we are doing wrong through love for each other we shall have to expiate it at some future time. We shall be made to suffer through each other,” and to this she had responded “Amen.” How soon had those words come true. The judgment had fallen. He had gone from her, but she could not go to him. Their love, unlawful in this world, could never be ratified in another. And then, indeed, there fell upon her the gloom of outer darkness. There was no hope.Chapter Twenty Six.“And the Summer’s Night is a Winter’s Day.”For Eanswyth Carhayes the sun of life had indeed set.The first numbing shock of the fearful news over, a period of even greater agony supervened. He who had succeeded in setting free the wholly unsuspected volcanic fires of her strong and passionate nature— him, her first and only love—she would never see again in life. If she hadwithal more delicate than the last.The enchantment of the hour was upon Eanswyth to the full—the loneliness, the sense of absolute solitude, cut off from the outer world, alone with her dead. Wandering down to the gate of the now tenantless ostrich camp she is going over the incidents of that last day—that first and that last day, for it was that upon which they had discovered to each other their great and all-absorbing love. “The last day we shall have together,” he had said—and it was so. She can vividly conjure up his presence at her side now. Every word he said, every careless gesture even, comes back to her now. Here was the gate where they had stood feeding the great birds, idly chatting about nothing in particular, and yet how full were both their hearts even then. And that long sweet embrace so startlingly interrupted! Ah! what a day that had been! One day out of a whole lifetime. Standing here on this doubly hallowed spot, it seems to her that an eternity of unutterable wretchedness would not be too great a price to pay for just that one day over again. But he is gone. Whether their love had been the most sacred that ever blessed the lot of mortal here below, or the unhallowed, inexorably forbidden thing it really is, matters nothing now. Death has decided, and from his arbitration there is no appeal.She throws herself upon the sward: there in the shade of the mimosa trees where they had sat together. All Nature is calm and at peace, and, with the withdrawal of man, the wild creatures of the earth seem to have reclaimed their own. A little duiker buck steps daintily along beneath the thorn fence of the ostrich camp, and the grating, metallic cackle of the wild guinea-fowl is followed by the appearance of quite a large covey of those fine game birds, pecking away, though ever with an air of confirmed distrust, within two score yards of the pale, silent mourner, seated there. The half-whistling, half-twanging note of the yellow thrush mingles with the melodious call of a pair of blue cranes stalking along in the grass, and above the drowsy, measured hum of bees storing sweetness from the flowering aloes, there arises the heavier boom of some great scarabaeus winging his way in blundering, aimless fashion athwart the balmy and sensuous evening air.The sun sinks to the western ridge—the voices of animal and insect

life swell in harmonious chorus, louder and louder, in that last hour of parting day. His golden beams, now horizontal, sweep the broad and rolling plains in a sea of fire, throwing out the rounded spurs of the Kabousie Hills into so many waves of vivid green. Then the flaming chariot of day is gone.And in the unearthly hush of the roseate afterglow, that pale, heart-broken mourner wends her way home. Home! An empty house, where the echo of a footfall sounds ghostly and startling; an abode peopled with reminiscences of the dead—meet companionship for a dead and empty heart.Never so dead—never so empty—as this evening. Never since the first moment of receiving the awful news has she felt so utterly crushed, so soul-weary as here to-night. “How was it all to end?” had been their oft-spoken thought—here on this very spot. The answer had come now. Death had supplied it. But—how was this to end?The glories of departing day were breaking forth into ever varying splendours. The spurs of the mountain range, now green, now gold, assumed a rich purple against the flaming red of the sky. The deepening afterglow flushed and quivered, as the scintillating eyes of heaven sprang forth into the arching vault—not one by one, but in whole groups. Then the pearly shades of twilight and the cool, moist fragrance of the falling night.Why was the earth so wondrously lovely—why should eyes rest upon such semi-divine splendour while the heart was aching and bursting? was the unspoken cry that went up from that heart-weary mourner standing there alone gazing forth into the depths of the star-gemmed night.Stay! What is that tongue of flame suddenly leaping forth into the darkness? Another and another—and lo! by magic, from a score of lofty heights, red fires are gushing upward into the black and velvety gloom, and as the ominous beacons gather in flaming volume roaring up to a great height, the lurid glow of the dark firmament is reflected dully upon the slumbering plains.A weird, far-away chorus floats upon the stillness, now rising, now falling. Its boding import there is no mistaking. It is the gathering cry of a barbarian host. The Gaika location is up in arms. Heavens! What is to become of this delicate woman here, alone and unprotected, exposed to the full brunt of a savage rising—and all that it means?Eanswyth is standing on the stoep, her eyes fixed upon the appalling phenomenon, but in their glance is no shadow of fear. Death has no terrors for her now; at peril she can afford to laugh. Her lips are even curving into a sweet, sad smile.“Just as it was that night,” she exclaims. “The parallel is complete. Blaze on red signals of death—and when destruction does break forth let it begin with me! I will wait for it, welcome it, for I walk in shadow now— will welcome it here on this spot where we stood that sweet and blessed night—here where our hearts first met—here where mine is breaking now!”Her voice dies away in a sob. She sinks to the ground. The distant glare of the war-fires of the savages falls fully upon that prostrate figure lying there in the abandonment of woe. It lights up a very sacrifice. The rough stones of the stoep are those of an altar—the sacrifice a broken heart.“Here is where we stood that night together,” she murmurs, pressing her lips to the hard, cold stones. “It is just as it was then. Oh, my love— my love, come back to me! Come back—even from the cold grave!”“Eanswyth!”The word is breathed in a low, unsteady voice. Every drop of blood within her turns to ice. It is answered at last, her oft-repeated prayer. She is about to behold him. Does she not shrink from it? Not by a hair’s-breadth.“Let me see you, my love,” she murmurs softly, not daring to move lest the spell should be broken. “Where—where are you?”

“Where our hearts first met—there they meet again. Look up, my sweet one. I am here.”She does look up. In the red and boding glare of those ominous war-fires she sees him as she saw him that night. She springs to her feet— and a loud and thrilling cry goes forth upon the darkness.“Eustace—Eustace! Oh, my love! Spirit or flesh—you shall not leave me! At last—at last!”Chapter Thirty Four.From Death and—to Death.She realised it at length—realised that this was no visitant from the spirit-world conjured up in answer to her impassioned prayer, but her lover himself, alive and unharmed. She had thrown herself upon his breast, and clung to him with all her strength, sobbing passionately— clung to him as if even then afraid that he might vanish as suddenly as he had appeared.“My love, my love,” he murmured in that low magnetic tone which she knew so well, and which thrilled her to the heart’s core. “Calm those poor nerves, my darling, and rest on the sweetness of our meeting. We met—our hearts met first on this very spot. Now they meet once more, never again to part.”Still her feeling was too strong for words; she could only cling to him in silence, while he covered her face and soft hair with kisses. A moment ago she was mourning him as dead, was burying her heart in his unknown and far-away grave, and lo, as by magic, he stood before her, and she was safe in his embrace. A moment ago life was one long vista of blank, agonising grief; now the joys of heaven itself might pale before the unutterable bliss of this meeting.Unlawful or not as their love might be, there was something solemn, almost sacred, in its intense reality. The myriad eyes of heaven lookeddown from the dark vault above, and the sullen redness of the war-fires flashing from the distant heights shed a dull, threatening glow upon those two, standing there locked in each other’s embrace. Then once more the wild, weird war-cry of the savage hosts swelled forth upon the night. It was an awesome and fearful background to this picture of renewed life and bliss.Such a reunion can best be left to the imagination, for it will bear no detailment.“Why did you draw my very heart out of me like this, Eustace, my life?” she said at last, raising her head. “When they told me you were dead I knew it would not be long before I joined you. I could not have endured this living death much longer.”There were those who pronounced Eanswyth Carhayes to be the most beautiful woman they had ever beheld—who had started with amazement at such an apparition on an out-of-the-way Kaffrarian farm. A grand creature, they declared, but a trifle too cold. They would have marvelled that they had ever passed such a verdict could they but have seen her now, her splendid eyes burning into those of her lover in the starlight as she went on:“You are longing to ask what I am doing here in this place all alone and at such a time. This. I came here as to a sanctuary: a sacred spot which enshrined all the dearest memories of you. Here in silence and in solitude I could conjure up visions of you—could see you walking beside me as on that last day we spent together. Here I could kneel and kiss the floor, the very earth which your feet had trod; and—O Eustace, my very life, it was a riven and a shattered heart I offered up daily—hourly—at the shrine of your dear memory.”Her tones thrilled upon his ear. Never had life held such a delirious, intoxicating moment. To the cool, philosophical, strong-nerved man it seemed as if his very senses were slipping away from him under the thrilling love-tones of this stately, beautiful creature nestling within his arms. Again their lips met—met as they had met that first time—met as if they were never again to part.


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