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movement of the Zulus on the opposite bank showed him that this step could not be ventured on. No sooner had those who were in the stream when he fired returned to land, than the chief of the party detailed four men to go down the stream, and four up, who were to cross at once, and go round and cut off the retreat of the white

This plan would at once have prevented Hans' escape, had he not seen the men leave, and had thus become aware of the plot. Taking off his hat, he moved slightly from his cover, so that the Kaffirs might see him, and then crouched down again, as though waiting for another shot. Instead of doing this, however, he placed his hat on a branch where it could be seen by the enemy on the other side of the stream ; then lying flat on the ground, he worked his way along, so as not to be seen from the opposite shore. Having thus got out of sight, he rose, and finding he could not be seen, ran rapidly away from the river bank, and finding an old game path, followed this at speed, until he had gone fully a mile from the banks of the Tugela river.

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Unexpected Meeting—Hans tells his Story—The Ambuscade

Greek meets Greek in War—The Country near Natal — The News—The solitary Hunt in the Bush.

ELIEVING that as soon as the Zulus found that

they had been again cheated they would

follow on his trace, Hans ran and walked as fast as he could, avoiding all detached bushes in order to escape any ambuscade which stragglers might have prepared for him. He thus continued his course until it became too dark to find his way, when having chosen a tree near an open space, where he believed he could have good warning if any enemy approached him, he sat himself down, and began to think how he could procure some food for himself. To light a fire in order to cook was too dangerous a proceeding to adopt, and though almost starving with hunger, yet he could not bring himself to eat raw flesh, and thus he did not see any means of procuring a supper. For two nights he had had no sleep, and though the excitement of his escapes had kept him up, and the water of the river had refreshed him,

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still nature would not be denied, and he had not long been seated beneath the tree before he felt sleep stealing over him.

'I can sleep safely for an hour or two,' thought Hans, and will then awake, be ready to proceed at daybreak, and shall certainly find some means of procuring food.'

Arranging himself so as to be ready to grasp his gun at a moment's notice, he turned on his side, and in a very few minutes was fast asleep, undisturbed by a dream of

any kind.

The sun had risen, and was well above the horizon before Hans awoke from his deep sleep, which he did with a sudden start of alarm, as he perceived that it was broad daylight. He instantly stretched out his hand for his gun, but could not find it. Jumping up, he saw that he was surrounded by a large party of Kaffirs, who, armed with assagies and shields, had surrounded him. Without a single weapon to defend himself with, he knew that resistance was useless, and therefore stood calmly awaiting his fate, which he expected was to be assagied immediately. As soon as he stood up, however, several of the Kaffirs called as though to some chief or other person in the distance, and Hans, turning in the direction in which it appeared the person was whom the Kaffirs had called, he first saw the smoke of a fire, and even his strong heart quailed as the thought occurred to him that he was to be roasted alive. His astonishment, however, was extreme, when he saw four white men coming towards him, one of whom was decidedly Dutch in his appearance. “Could these also be prisoners ?' was Hans' first thought, and are we all to be burnt together?' But seeing that the white men carried their guns, he was more puzzled than before. He waited till the men came close to him before he spoke; he then said, 'You have caught me asleep ; few men have ever done that before.' For an instant the men looked at one another, and then the stranger, addressing Hans in Dutch, said, " You must be one of the Mensch, but what, in God's name, are you doing here, and why is your face black ?' Hans, forgetting for the moment that he had blackened his face with mud, and that though the water had partly washed off that which had been on his legs, still they had a very Kaffir-like tinge about them, whilst his hair was so matted with mud, that it was unlike a white man's, burst out laughing at the remark of the Dutchman.

My face may be black,' he replied, but I am Hans Sterk, a true-born Africander.'

"You Hans Sterk !' said the other with incredulity. “We heard he was killed with the two Uys'. You Hans Sterk !' the man repeated, as he came nearer, and examined Hans closely, “and how did you escape ? You must be a Dutchman by your speech, though in the dim light of the morning I took you for a Kaffir spy, wearing the clothes of some of Retief's murdered men. Come to the fire and let us hear your story.'

'Let me eat and drink first,' said Hans. “I have been two days without food, and have travelled on foot at a

An Unexpected Meeting.

205 rate that would have puzzled an ostrich. Then, when I'm washed, you shall hear of my escape.

But tell me the news.

How came you here? and have all my people escaped ?'

“We are out on patrol from the Bay, for we, too, were defeated when your people were; and we came up yesterday to pick up any stragglers. Your people have gone back to Bushman's river, but it is bad for them. Their cattle are swept away, and they have little or no food. Their crops are destroyed, and they dare not again attack the Zulus, at least not till they get more help.'

Having gained this information, Hans commenced his meal, which consisted of grilled buffaloe. He knew there was a journey before him, so he did not eat to excess; but, having taken sufficient to satisfy his immediate craving for food, he inquired for the nearest stream, and, accompanied by the white men, soon washed off his disguise, and showed himself in his natural colours.

“Then all those Kaffirs are from Natal Bay ?' inquired Hans.

Yes, these are our Kaffirs,' replied the Dutchman. “There were many Kaffirs killed in the battle, and these men have come up to look after any of their friends who may be hidden hereabouts. Our people had a greater defeat than yours, and we lost ten or twelve white men, whilst hundreds of our Kaffirs were killed.'

How is it that you don't fear a strong party coming now?' inquired Hans; 'for I was followed to within three miles of this place by a party of Zulus.'

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