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Half the night is past, Hans,' said Victor, as he entered the cave and gently touched Hans.

'I am ready,' said Hans; 'is all quiet?'

'No, not quiet: there are more lions here than in any part of the country I have ever been in ; they have been fighting about our horses; the roars and growls have been tremendous ever since

you

left. The baboons too have been barking occasionally; but there seems no other creatures about except jackalls and hyenas. It would not do to walk down on those plains alone by night, we should be lions' food in a very few minutes. Now, I am for sleep, so you watch, Hans.'

It was now Victor's turn to sleep whilst Hans kept watch, and sat with his back to the rocks, a couple of assagies within reach of his hand, and his trusty roer resting on his arm. He listened attentively to every sound that broke the stillness of the night, and pictured to himself the scene that was going on near his poor horses. The occasional deep growl of the lion, or its angry roar, caused him considerable anxiety, not on his own account, but for that of Bernhard. "If Bernhard's horse is killed or falls sick,' he thought, 'we may never leave this place; and poor

Katie! what will become of her?'

DE

CHAPTER XIII.

The Matabili appear, and follow the spoor of Hans' party-The

Discovery—The Attack - The Repulse of the Savages.

HE day broke with all the splendour of an

African morning; the rain of the previous

day had refreshed the ground, and filled the various pools with water, and thus the animals and feathered denizens of the plains were cheerful and busy in their various occupations. Numbers of green parrots were screaming in the kloofs near Hans' retreat, whilst the sweet double whistle of the quail resounded from every patch of grass. The vulture, with its graceful sweeping flight, circled high in the air over the spot where the carcases of the horses still remained; whilst here and there a black-breasted eagle sat on a withered tree, and scanned the surrounding earth and sky, in order to select the most dainty morsel for his morning meal.

The baboons from the summit of the hills had descended into the plains in order to dig up roots, which there 'grew in abundance, and served them for food.

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This was a sight which pleased Hans, for there are scarcely any creatures more watchful than baboons, and thus he knew that no enemy could approach without these creatures giving notice by their rapid retreat to the mountain peaks. Having found a hole in the rocks close to the caves, which was full of fresh water, there was no need to quit the small plateau for that necessary, and thus Hans sat and watched the changing effects of the rising sun, whilst he listened to the long-drawn breaths of the sleepers, who, exhausted by the anxiety of the previous night, needed more sleep than was usual.

The plains beneath Hans' hiding-place offered a beautiful panorama to the sportsman or artist; the bright glowing tints of the foreground were mellowed in the middle distance, whilst far away the mountains assumed a rich blue colour, and yet stood out in bold relief against the distant sky, the dry air failing to give the subdued effect of distance usually observed in our climate. Amidst the groves of wide-spreading acacia, or near the banks of the many tiny streams that wound along the plain, were groups of game. Herds of elands, buffaloes, and quaggas were scattered here and there, whilst smaller and solitary bucks could be seen, now bounding away from some fancied danger, then grazing on the green and fresh grass. The sportsman, provided with ammunition and gun, could keep his camp in plenty here, and need have no fear of starving, were it not that the game at times migrates and leaves a district, when the food ceases to be attractive or plentiful.

his cave,

As Hans watched the various animals, he noticed a troop of quaggas galloping rapidly across the flats; their passage seemed to alarm various other creatures which had previously been feeding in quietness, and there was a general movement among the quadrupeds. The baboons ceased their labours and moved leisurely up the ravine, till reaching commanding positions on the summits of rocky eminences, they stood érect, and barked their displeasure at some threatening danger.

Hans, determining to obtain a better view of whatever might be the cause, ascended the rocks abo and, taking care to screen himself from observation, scanned the distant country. He soon saw that the animals had not been alarmed without cause, for coming forward at a rapid pace were a party of dark men, who Hans made out to be armed Matabili. There were more than a hundred of them, and from all being armed, from the rapid pace at which they advanced, and from their coming exactly over the same ground that he had ridden forty-eight hours previously, he concluded they were following his horses' footmarks.

The advance of such a party was not unexpected by Hans. Had he supposed that he would not have been followed, he would have suggested that the whole party should walk on towards his people's läger. With but one horse the two girls might have ridden turn and turn about, and so have lessened the fatigue of the journey, but even under these circumstances the Matabili would Pursued by Matabili.

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be sure to overtake them, and so he decided that hiding would be the safer plan.

He noticed that three or four men, probably the most experienced, led the main body of the Matabili; these men succeeded each other in the lead, and by acting as guides, often enabled the main body to make short cuts, and thus to save themselves much walking, or rather running, for a slow run seemed the pace that was adopted. Though the enemy followed very accurately the

spoor of the horses on which the rain had fallen, and thus seemed capable of tracing him even under these disadvantageous circumstances, yet Hans was in hopes that when the horses were no longer used the Matabili would not be able to follow him. He had, however, seen enough to render it advisable to descend at once from his position, to give the alarm to his companions below, and to seek a place of concealment from which he might observe all the movements of his pursuers.

These arrangements were soon made, and Victor and Hans sat watching with anxiety the approach of their enemies.

The Matabili followed the traces of Hans' party with the accuracy of hounds on a hot scent, and when they spied some vultures sitting on the trees near the carcases of the horses, their speed was increased, and they hastened to examine what was the cause that attracted these carrion feeders.

The nearly-consumed horses were immediately discovered, and shortly afterwards the skull of the Mata

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