A fine was issued in Hainan's 9,000 yuan fake cervical cancer vaccine case: the hospital's illegal income was confiscated and fined 8,000 yuan.

发表于 2023-09-30 17:02:30 来源:Return to basics and return to true nature

though they refrained from again attempting to close. But now they began to throw their assegais. One of these grazed Payne’s shoulder and stuck fast in the ground in front, quivering nervously. Another scored the flank of Hoste’s horse, causing the poor animal to snort and bound with the sharp pain. Another stuck into Payne’s boot, while a fourth hit Hoste fair between the shoulders, but having been hurled at long range and being withal a somewhat blunt weapon, it failed to penetrate the stout cord jacket.“Devilish good shot, that,” remarked the target. “But I say, George, where are the other fellows?”“Dunno! It’s a case of every man for himself now, and all his work cut out at that.”All this had been the work of but a few minutes, and now the brow of the hill was reached. A furious and bitter curse burst from the pair.For on the plain beneath, converging upon their line of flight in such wise as to meet and utterly cut them off, extended two strong bodies of the enemy. These had circled round the hill, while the fugitives had been forced to the top of it, and now they would join hands before the latter could hope to pass through the rapidly closing circle.“Through them, George. It’s our only show!” cried Hoste. And with the reins gripped in his left hand and his revolver in his right, he sat down to his saddle for the last and final charge. It was a wildly exciting moment —the issues, life or death.The lines were rapidly closing in. With maddened yells and assegais uplifted, the Kafir warriors were straining every effort to complete that fatal circle. A few yards more—twenty—ten! it was done. They were hemmed in.But the headlong, dashing valour of the two men stood them well. Not a moment did they pause. With a wild shout Hoste put his horse straight at a huge barbarian who strove to stop him—knocking the savage sprawling, and through the opening thus breached the two

men tried to rein in for a snap shot at the flying Kafirs. “Never mind them. Head the cattle round for all you know. If once they get into the bush we may lose any number of them.” And spurring into a gallop he circled round before the excited herd, followed by his whole troop. The foremost beasts stopped short, throwing up their heads with many a snort and bellow of bewilderment and terror, while the bulk of the herd pressed on. For some minutes the clashing of horns and frenzied bellowing, the clouds of dust, and the excited shouts of the horsemen made up an indescribable scene of din and confusion. Many of the animals, rolled on the ground by the plunging, swaying mass, were trampled or gored to death by their bewildered companions. At last the tumultuous excitement began to subside, and the animals, with heaving flanks and rolling eyes, stood huddled together as if awaiting the pleasure of their new drivers.“Steady! Don’t rush them,” shouted Brathwaite. “Head them away quietly for the open for all you know, and don’t let them break through.”More than one comical scene was enacted as the line of horsemen, extended so as to gradually work the herd away from the bush, drove their charge forward. Now and then a cow, with a calf at her side, or haply missing her progeny, would turn and furiously charge the line of horsemen, causing an abrupt scatter, and in one or two instances the utter and ignominious flight of the doughty warrior singled out, who perchance was only too thankful to lay her out with a revolver shot in the nick of time to save himself and his steed, or both, from being ripped up or impaled by those vicious horns. But the best fun of all was afforded by a huge old black-and-white bull.Jack Armitage, we have said, was bursting with animal spirits; consequently when the aforesaid quadruped took it into his massive cranium to suddenly break away from the herd and start off on his own account at right angles thereto, it followed, as a matter of course, that Armitage, being nearest to him, should spur away in pursuit. The bull’s vicious little eyes began to roll wickedly, and from a trot he broke into a wild gallop. Then madcap Jack, madder than ever with the excitement of the day’s events, was seen to range his horse alongside, and bending over in the saddle and placing his bugle almost against the animal’s ear he blew a hideous and terrific blast. There was a ferocious bellow—downwent the brute’s head, and, lo, in a twinkling horse and man were rolling on the ground, and the bull galloped away unimpeded.Roars of laughter arose from the discomfited one’s comrades, which did not decrease as they watched the savage brute in the distance charging one of the retreating Kafirs, who seemed almost as much disconcerted by this new enemy as he had been by the missiles of his human foes. Finally both disappeared within the bush.“Hurt, old man?” cried Hoste, riding up as the fallen one found his feet again, and stood rubbing his shoulder and looking rather dazed with the shock. The horse had already struggled up. Fortunately for it, the bull’s horns were short and blunt, and it seemed none the worse for the tumble.“No. Had a devil of a shake-up, though. A bottle of doctor’s stuff’s a fool to it.”“Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast—sings the poet. In this case it hadn’t,” said Eustace. “Those ancients must have been awful liars. Eh, Armitage?”“You bet. Hallo! Where’s my old post-horn?” he went on, looking round for his instrument, which he discovered about a dozen yards off, unharmed, save for a slight dent. Putting it to his lips he blew a frightful fanfare.“I say, Jack, you’ll have the old bull back again,” said Brathwaite. “Better shut up. He’s dead nuts on that old trumpet of yours. And now, the farther we get into the open, the better. We mustn’t camp anywhere that’ll give Johnny Kafir a chance of cutting out the cattle again.”“We’ve done a good day’s work, anyhow,” said Shelton. “This isn’t half a bad haul—and it’s fairly decent stock for Kafir stock.”“Kafir stock be damned!” growled Carhayes. “Whatever is decent among it is stolen stock, you bet. Not much sleep for any of us to-night, boys. We shall mostly all have to keep our eyes skinned, if we are to take

A fine was issued in Hainan's 9,000 yuan fake cervical cancer vaccine case: the hospital's illegal income was confiscated and fined 8,000 yuan.

in this lot safe. Whoever of us are not on horse guard will be on cattle guard.”They were joined by the few men who had remained behind to guard the corpse of their slain comrade. This was conveyed in a sort of litter, improvised of blankets and slung between two quiet horses; and now to the dash and excitement of the conflict and pursuit, there succeeded a subdued quiet, almost a gloom, by reason of the presence of the dead man in their midst. Still—it was the fortune of war.Chapter Twenty One.Under Orders for Home.The Kaffrarian Rangers were ordered home.To be strictly accurate, that redoubtable corps had applied to be withdrawn. There was not enough to do to render it worth the while of the men who composed it—men mostly with a substantial stake in the country—to remain any longer wasting their time in a series of fruitless patrols on the off-chance of an occasional very long distance shot at a stray Gcaléka scout or two; for the enemy no longer attempted to meet them in battle. He had suffered severely, both in men and possessions, and there were those who declared that he had had nearly enough of it. The Frontier Armed and Mounted Police and, if necessary, the regular troops now stationed along the border, would be sufficient to cope with any further disturbance; so most of the volunteer forces applied to be withdrawn.They had been several weeks in the veldt—several weeks absent from their farms and businesses. They had rendered excellent service; had, in fact, constituted the very backbone of the offensive operations. It was only fair, now that there remained no more to be done, to allow them to return. Brathwaite’s Horse had already withdrawn, so had most of the mounted corps. The Kaffrarian Rangers were nearly the last.The men were in excellent health and spirits. They had lost one oftheir number—the poor young fellow who had met his fate with the patrol under Shelton, and had been buried near where he fell—a few had received wounds, none of these being, however, of a very serious nature. But they had left their mark upon the enemy, and were returning, withal, in possession of a large number of the latter’s cattle. Yet they had a grievance, or fancied they had.They had not nearly enough fighting. The combined plan of the campaign had not been carried out according to their liking. The enemy had been suffered to escape just at the very moment when it was within their power to inflict upon him a decisive and crushing blow. There had been too much of the old womanly element among those intrusted with the conduct of affairs. In a word, the whole business had been bungled. And in this thoroughly characteristic and British growl none joined more heartily than Tom Carhayes.There was one, however, who in no wise joined in it at all, and that one was Eustace Milne. He had had enough of campaigning to last him for the present, and for every reason mightily welcomed the news that they were ordered home. Of late an intense longing had corrie upon him to return, but now that that ardently desired consummation had been attained he realised that it was dashed with the sickening and desolating consciousness of hopes shattered. The campaign, so far as he was concerned, had been barren of result.But for him—but for his intervention—Tom Carhayes would have been a dead man, and Eanswyth would be free. The Kafir could not have missed at that distance. But for his interference the bullet of the savage would have sped true, and happiness for him—for her—would have become the blissful, golden, reality of a lifetime. Even now he would be hurrying back to claim her—that is, allowing for a reasonable period exacted by decorum. But no, the cup was shattered in his grasp, and his own was the hand that had shattered it. “A man who interferes in what doesn’t concern him deserves all he gets,” was the grimly disgusted reflection which lashed his mind again and again.Why had he intervened to save his cousin’s life? When Fortune was playing directly into his hands he, yielding to an idiotic scruple, haddeliberately flung back into her face the chance she had held out. She would not proffer it again. His opportunity had occurred and he had let it go by.Yet he could not have acted otherwise. Could he not? he thought savagely, as at that moment his cousin’s voice struck upon his ear. Not that its utterances contained anything objectionable, but to the listener’s then frame of mind, there was something insufferably self-assertive in their very tone. Could he not? Let him only get the chance again. But this he never would. It was thought by many that the war was practically at an end.If his cousin had been a different stamp of man and one built of finer clay, it is more than probable that Eustace would have acted differently— would have conquered that overmastering and unlawful love which he had so long and so successfully concealed, or at any rate would have fled from temptation. But it was far otherwise. The fellow was such a rough, assertive, thick-headed, inconsiderate boor, utterly unable to appreciate his own splendid good fortune. He deserved no mercy. Yet this was the being to whom Eanswyth was bound—whom, moreover, she had managed to tolerate with every semblance of, at any rate, contentment, until he himself had laid siege to the castle of her outwardly calm, but glowingly passionate nature, and had carried it by storm, by a single coup de main.And now? How could she ever resume that old contented toleration, how relegate himself to an outside place. Every look—every word of hers —during that last walk, when he had come upon her so unexpectedly— every sweet and clinging caress during that last parting, was burnt into his memory as with red-hot irons. And now it seemed that the curtain must be rung down on everything. Tom Carhayes was returning in rude health; louder, more boastful, a more aggressive personality than ever. Let the very heavens fall!A change had come over Eustace. He became moody and taciturn, at times strangely irritable for one of his equable temperament. This was noticed by many; wondered at by some.

A fine was issued in Hainan's 9,000 yuan fake cervical cancer vaccine case: the hospital's illegal income was confiscated and fined 8,000 yuan.

“Why, what’s the row with you, old chap!” said Carhayes one day in his bluff, off-hand manner. “Sick and sorry that we can’t scare up another fight, eh?”“Milne’s conscience is hitting him hard over the number of his ‘blanket friends’ he has shot already. Ha, ha!” cut in another man, with an asinine guffaw.The Kaffrarian Rangers were ordered home. The order reached them in their camp on the Bashi, and forthwith they acted upon it. No preparations delayed the setting out of such a light-marching-order corps. Accordingly the breakfasts were cooked and eaten, the camp was struck, and the whole troop started upon its homeward way.“I say, Hoste!” said Carhayes, while they were breakfasting on boiled mealies and ration beef. “What do you say to a shoot before we leave this? We are bound to get a bushbuck ram or two in some of these kloofs.”“Haven’t you shot away enough cartridges yet, Tom?” laughed Hoste. “Still I think we might try for a buck if only for a change after the niggers; besides, we can eat the buck, which is part of the change. I’m on. What do you say, Payne? Will you cut in?”“What do I say? I say it’s the most damn idiotic idea I ever heard mooted,” answered Payne sententiously. “Still—I’ll cut in.”“All right. We’ll have some sport then!” said Carhayes. “You’ll come, too, Eustace? That’s right,” as Eustace nodded assent. “That’ll make four of us—we don’t want any more,” he went on. “We can just hunt down the river bank for two or three hours, and catch up the troop in camp to-night. We are bound to get some sport.”“Likely so are the niggers,” murmured the more prudent Payne.The commander of the troop, when applied to, made no decided objection to the above scheme. There was, as we have said, no discipline in the ordinary sense of the word, the offices of command beingelective. Besides, they were under orders to return straight home, which was practically disbandment. So, while not forbidding the undertaking, he pointed out to those concerned that it might involve serious risk to themselves; in a word, was rather a crack-brained idea.“Just what I said,” remarked Payne laconically, lighting his pipe.“Then why do you go, old chap?” asked one of the bystanders with a laugh.“That’s just what I don’t know myself,” was the reply, delivered so tranquilly and deliberately as to evoke a general roar.The camp had been pitched upon high ground overlooking the valley of the Bashi, which ran beneath between rugged bush-clad banks. So the troop set forth on its homeward way, while our four friends, turning their horses’ heads in the opposite direction, struck downward into the thick bush along the river bank.Chapter Twenty Two.“We are Four Fools.”For upwards of two hours they forced their way through the thick scrub, but success did not crown their efforts—did not even wait upon the same. Once or twice a rustle and a scamper in front announced that something had got up and broken away, but whatever it was, owing to the thickness of the bush and the celerity with which it made itself scarce, not one of the hunters could determine—being unable so much as to catch a glimpse of the quarry. At length, wearied with their failure to obtain sport under abnormal difficulties, they gained the edge of the river, and there, upon a patch of smooth greensward beneath the cool shade of a cliff, they decided to off-saddle and have a snack.“By Jove!” exclaimed Hoste, looking complacently around. “This is a lovely spot for a picnic. But wouldn’t John Kafir have us in a hole just, if he were to come upon us now?”

A fine was issued in Hainan's 9,000 yuan fake cervical cancer vaccine case: the hospital's illegal income was confiscated and fined 8,000 yuan.

“We are four fools,” said Payne sententiously.“We are,” growled Carhayes. “You never said a truer word than that. Four damned fools to think we’d get a shot at anything in a strip of cursed country we’ve been chevying niggers up and down for the last six weeks. And as the idea was mine, I suppose I’m the champion fool of the lot,” he added with a savage laugh. “We haven’t fired a shot this blessed morning, and have had all our trouble for nothing.”This was not precisely the reflection that Payne’s words were intended to convey. But he said nothing.“I’m not sure we have had our trouble for nothing,” put in Eustace. “It’s grand country, anyhow.”It was. Magnificent and romantic scenery surrounded them; huge perpendicular krantzes towering up many hundreds of feet; piles upon piles of broken rocks and boulders, wherein the luxuriant and tangled vegetation had profusely taken root; great rifts and ravines, covered with dense black forest, and the swift murmuring current of the river joining its music with the piping of birds from rock and brake.But the remark was productive of a growl only from Carhayes. He had not come out to look at scenery. They had had enough and to spare of that during the campaign. He had come out to get a shot at a buck, and hadn’t got it.Pipes were lighted, and the quartette lounged luxuriously upon the sward. The frowning grandeur of the towering heights, the golden glow of the sunlight upon the tree-tops, the soft, sensuous warmth of the summer air, the hum of insects, and the plashing murmur of the river, unconsciously affected all four—even grumbling, dissatisfied Tom Carhayes.“Whisht!” said Payne suddenly, holding up his hand to enjoin silence, and starting from his lounging attitude. The others were prompt to follow his example.

“What’s the row, George?” whispered Hoste below his breath. “Hear anything?”For answer Payne waved his hand again and went on listening intently.Up the sunlit river came a sound—a sound audible to all now, a sound familiar to all—the tread of hoofs upon the stones, of unshod hoofs. Mingling with this were other sounds—the low murmur of human voices. Water, as everybody knows, is a great conductor of sound. Though more than half a mile distant, they recognised the deep tones and inflections of Kafir voices, whose owners were evidently coming down to the river on the same side as themselves.From their resting place the river ran in a long, straight reach. Peering cautiously through the bushes, they were able to command this. Almost immediately several large oxen, with great branching horns, emerged from the forest, and, entering the water, splashed through to the other side. They were followed by their drivers, three naked Kafirs, who plunged into the river in their wake, holding their assegais high over their heads, for the water came fully breast-high. They could even hear the rattle of the assegai hafts as the savages climbed up the opposite bank, laughing like children as they shook the water drops from their sleek, well-greased skins. They counted thirteen head of cattle.“A baker’s dozen, by Jove! Stolen, of course,” whispered Hoste. “Allamaghtaag! if only we had known of that before we might have gone to voer-ly (Waylay) that drift, for it must be a drift. We might have bagged all three niggers and trundled the oxen back to camp. A full span, save three. Suppose they’ve eaten the rest. That’ll be one apiece—the schelms!”“It isn’t altogether too late now,” said Carhayes. “I smell some fun ahead. Let them get up over the rise, and then we’ll go down and look if their spoor seems worth following.”“And what if they are only the advance guard of a lot more?” suggested Hoste.something, which yielded suddenly and started away hissing. His pulses stood still with horror, yet he knew better than to remove his eyes from his unhappy kinsman.“Come, Tom,” he said coaxingly, advancing a couple of steps. “Get up, man, and go and sit over there.”With an affrighted cry, the other edged away round the wall of his prison, bringing himself much nearer the point where it was intended he should be brought. He cowered, with face averted, moaning like an animal in pain. Not to overdo the thing, Eustace waited a moment, then advanced a step or two nearer. It had the desired effect. The madman shuffled away as before. He must be in the right place now. Still Eustace dared not look up.“He’s all right now, if you’re ready,” whispered a voice from above.“Ready!” was the quick reply.Something dropped. The madman’s head and shoulders disappeared under the voluminous folds of old Josane’s red blanket. Quick as lightning Eustace had sprung to his side and whipped the running noose round him.“Trek!” he cried, with an energy sufficient to start a dozen spans of oxen.The body of Tom Carhayes swung into the air. Kicking, struggling, howling, he disappeared over the brink above. Eustace, alone at the bottom of the pit, could hear the sounds of a furious scuffle—sounds, too, which seemed to be receding as though into distance. What did it all mean? They seemed a long time securing the maniac.Then, as he looked around this horrible dungeon, at the crawling shapes of the serpents gliding hither and thither, hissing with rage over their late disturbance, as he breathed the unspeakably noisome atmosphere, he realised his own utter helplessness. What if anything untoward should occur to prevent his comrades from rescuing him? Life

was full of surprises. They might be attacked by a party of Kafirs, brought back there by the missing Hlangani, for instance. What if he had merely exchanged places with his unfortunate kinsman and were to be left there in the darkness and horror? How long would he be able to keep his reason? Hardly longer than the other, he feared. And the perspiration streamed from every pore, as he began to realise what the miserable maniac had undergone.A silence had succeeded to the tumult above. What did it mean? Every second seemed an hour. Then, with a start of unspeakable relief, he heard Hoste’s voice above.“Ready to come up, old chap?”“Very much so. Why have you taken so long?” he asked anxiously.“We had to tie up poor Tom twice, you know; first with the big reim, then with others. Then we had to undo the big reim again. Here it is,” chucking it over.Eustace slipped the noose under his armpits, and, having given the word to haul away, a very few moments saw him among them all again. The mad man was securely bound and even gagged, only his feet being loosened sufficiently to enable him to take short steps.So they started on their return track, longing with a greater longing than words can tell, to breathe the open air, to behold the light of day again.To their astonishment the poor lunatic became quite tractable. As long as Eustace talked to him, he was quiet enough and walked among the rest as directed. One more repellent ordeal had to be gone through— the serpents’ den, to wit. This they had now almost reached.Suddenly a warning cry went up from Josane, who recoiled a step.“Au! Kangéla!” (“Look there!”)A face was peering at them from over a rock slab a few feetoverhead. A black face, with glazing eyes and half-parted lips, and such a scowl of hate upon the distorted features, in the darkness, as was perfectly devilish. Quickly every weapon was aimed at the head and as quickly lowered. For they realised that it was the head of a dead man.“Why, it’s Hlangani! Let’s see where we pinked him,” said Shelton, climbing up to the ledge, followed by Hoste. “By Jove! he’s plugged himself where we plugged him,” he went on. “That accounts for his leaving no blood spoor.”He had. There were two great holes in the dead man’s ribs, where the bullets had entered. Both wounds were mortal. But, with the desperate endurance of his race, the stricken warrior had rent off fragments of his blanket and had deliberately plugged the gaping orifices. Then, crawling away, the fierce savage had sought out a position where he might lurk in ambush, and had found it, too. Here he lay, a broad assegai still grasped in his hand, waiting to strike one fell and fatal blow at his slayers ere death should come upon him. But death had overtaken him too quickly; and luckily, indeed, for the objects of his enmity that it had.“Why, how’s this?” cried Shelton in amazement. “I could have sworn I hit him, and yet there are only two bullet holes!”“So could I,” said Hoste emphatically. “Sure there are only two?”“Dead certain,” replied the other, after a second investigation.“I think I can solve the mystery,” cut in Eustace quietly. “You both hit, all right. The fact is, I never fired.”“Never fired!” they echoed. “And why the deuce not?”“Well, you see, this very Hlangani saved my life. I might have been put down there with poor Tom, but for him. Whatever he had done I couldn’t bring myself to ‘draw’ on a fellow who had done that much for me.”There was something in that, yet Eustace thought he detected a

curious look pass between his two friends. But it mattered nothing.Leaving the body of the dead Gcaléka, the two climbed down from the ledge again. Further surprise was in store for them. Josane had disappeared.“He’ll be back directly,” said Eustace. “He said he had forgotten something.”Whether it was that the sight of the dead warrior’s body had inspired in him one of those unreasoning and unaccountable outbreaks of savagery to which all barbarian natures are more or less suddenly liable, or whether he had misgivings on his own account as to the completeness of his vengeance, is uncertain. But rapidly muttering: “Au! Ixeshane! I have not drunk enough blood. Wait here until I return,” he had seized his assegai and disappeared in the direction of the pit again. Those under his guidance had no alternative but to await his return, with what patience they might.Meanwhile Josane was speeding along the gloomy tunnel, eagerly, fiercely, like a retriever on the track of a wounded partridge. His head was bent forward and his hand still grasped the broad assegai, clotted with the blood of the witch-doctress. Humming a low, ferocious song of vengeance, he gained the brink of the now empty pit. Seizing one of the lighted candles, which still burned—no one having thought it worth while to put them out—he turned his steps into the lateral gallery. A fiendish chuckle escaped him. He stopped short, threw the light in front of him, then held it over his head and looked again. Again he chuckled.“Au!” he cried, “there is more revenge, more blood. I thirst for more blood. Ha! The witch is not dead yet. Where art thou, Ngcenika, spawn of a she-Fingo dog? Where art thou, that my broad umkonto may drink again of thy foul blood? Lo!”The last ejaculation escaped him in a quick gasp. Just outside the circle of light he beheld a shadowy object, which seemed to move. It was the form of the wretched witch-doctress. He gathered himself together like a tiger on the spring.“Ho! Ngcenika,” he cried, in a tone of exultation mingled with suppressed fury. “Thou art not dead yet—toad—carrion bird!”He was standing over the inanimate form, his assegai uplifted in his right hand, in his left the dim and sputtering candle. He made a feint to plunge it into her body, then as rapidly withdrew it.“Ha! I have a better plan. Thou shalt take Umlilwane’s place.”He stuck his candle on a projecting slab of rock, then bending down he laid hold of the witch-doctress by the feet and began to drag her along the ground. She was massive in her proportions, and he did not make rapid headway; the more so that the wretched creature began to struggle, though feebly, for she had lost an enormous quantity of blood, and indeed but for the endurance of her race, which dies as hard as it lives, life would have been extinct in her long ago. It was a horrible scene. The almost nude body of the hag was one mass of blood, which, coagulated over a dozen ghastly wounds, now began to well forth afresh; the muscular, half-bent form of the grim old warrior, glistening with perspiration, as with the blaze of unsatiated revenge burning in his eyes he dragged her along that grisly cavern floor. Tugging, hauling, perspiring, growling, he at length reached the brow of the pit with his ghastly freight. Then pausing a moment, with a devilish grin on his face, to contemplate the object of his deadly rancour, he pushed the body over. A dull thud and a smothered groan told that it had reached the bottom.“Hau! hell cat—toad’s spawn!” he cried. “How do you feel down there? Where is the great witch-doctress of the Gcaléka nation now? Where is Sarili’s great councillor of the Spirit-world now? With those whom her wizard arts destroyed. Men, brave fighting men all, were they —what are they now? Bones, skulls, among which the serpents crawl in and out,” and as if to emphasise his words, a hissing went forth from the reptiles disturbed by this new invasion of their prison house. “Ha, ha, ha!” he laughed. “Wise witch-doctress, thou canst ‘smell out’ their spirits once more in the darkness before thou diest. Thou art a great magician, but the magic of the white men—the magic of Ixeshane—is greater than thine, and it has delivered thee into my hand.


Copyright © 2016 Powered by A fine was issued in Hainan's 9,000 yuan fake cervical cancer vaccine case: the hospital's illegal income was confiscated and fined 8,000 yuan.,Return to basics and return to true nature   sitemap