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must, however, be read with care. Here, at our feet, is a record which must be noted. A smooth-looking spot attracts our attention ; the leaves are all pressed down, and it is at once seen that some animal has rested there. Down on your knees, and look with microscopic eyes for some sign of the creature. There are one, two, three hairs, all lying together. They are from the coat of a leopard, whose lair we find warm, evincing that he has been lately disturbed. There, beyond, is the mark of a heavy animal ; a hoof is impressed on the soil, and we see a buffalo has lately trodden the path before us. So fresh is the footprint that the buffalo probably disturbed the leopard. Now that our large game is near, we scarcely notice the graceful festoons of wild vine, the masses of rich foliage, or the many rare insects that we disturb as we move the bushes. Before us is the spoor, and we follow this, till we hear a slight movement amidst the dense mass of tangled brushwood before us, and for a few seconds we stand with half-raised rifle, watching for some sign to guide us; but all is still, and with cautiously-raised foot we advance one pace, then a second, and are preparing for a third, when, like a thunderbolt, a magnificent buffalo dashes from his dense cover, bounds over a bush as though he were a mere antelope, crashes through the underwood, and scarcely seeming to feel the heavy bullet which has struck him as he fled, is lost to sight in an instant. A few seconds' quiet, and then the crack of a heavy branch being broken is heard ; then another and another, and the hunter stands half disapHunting Comparisons.

215 pointed as these sounds tell him he has disturbed a herd of elephants who were taking their midday siesta in the forest near him, but are now striding through the bush, and carrying all before them. This to some constitutions seems more complete sport than England can afford, though there are men who tell us that nothing can be equal to that which they have seen and daily enjoy in the hunting counties of England. Nous verrons. Let the man who angles in his tank, and catches the home-fed gold-fish, tell the Norwegian salmon-fisher that tank fishing is the best sport of the two, and we can but conclude that either his skill or frame is unfitted for the nobler sport, or he has never had the opportunity of seeing more than that of which he is so fond. On the plains there is, perhaps, less excitement than in the bush, when hunting the creatures that are there found ; yet to see several herds of wild animals grazing in undisturbed freedom on plains glowing like satin, and through which silver streams wind their way, is to the eye of the man who has been accustomed to crowded cities a gratifying sight. To the hunter who purposes supplying his larder from these herds, it becomes even more interesting; and thus, as Hans and his companions, riding on a commanding ridge, waiting for the morning mist to clear off the valleys beneath them, saw the plains sprinkled with small herds of elands, they rejoiced at their anticipated success, and at once made their plans for hunting their game.

When disturbed by the sight of man, the antelopes of Africa, to which class the eland belongs, will almost invariably start at a long trot with their heads towards the wind. They pursue this course because they are very keen-scented, and as they meet the wind can tell whether any enemy is concealed before them. Even when they have to run the gauntlet of the hunters, the eland will usually prefer doing so and keeping his head to the wind, rather than run down wind. The only exception to this rule is when the animals know that a very difficult country for hunting is in any one direction. They will then run to this country as to a sanctuary, and can thus escape the hunter; for whilst an eland can descend a steep hill on which are large masses of loose stones at the most rapid trot, a horseman is obliged to dismount and lead his horse until riding becomes possible. Thus it is always one of the objects of a hunter to cut off the retreat of a herd of game from any portion of country in which he knows he could not hunt them with advantage.

A fortnight in the plains enabled Hans to fill his waggons with beltong, and he then returned to the headquarters of his friends, ready to take any part in the expedition which he knew must be carried out before long.

CHAPTER XX.

The Emigrants collect their Forces—Battle with Dingaan, the

Zulu Chief-Formation of the Natal Settlement–The Treachery of the Zulu Chief-Brother against Brother.

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JAVING partially recovered from the defeat that

Dingaan had given them, the emigrants en

deavoured to obtain sufficient aid from their countrymen who had hitherto failed to join them, to enable them to attack the Zulus and recover their lost cattle. Not only was this aid promised, but supplies of food and ammunition were sent from the Cape, so that the winter of 1838 was passed over, though not without considerable suffering and privation.

Scarcely had the winter passed, and spring commenced, than Dingaan, who had been carefully preparing his army, and who had been employing his spies so as to learn the state of his neighbours, suddenly gave the word, and in August of the same year the Zulu army suddenly rushed into the Natal district, and attacked the emigrants.

The farmers, however, were now on the alert. They great loss.

had sent out scouts, and these brought them timely notice of the advance of their enemies. The waggons were used as fortifications, and every precaution was taken to make as effective a defence as possible. The result was that the Zulus failed to obtain an entrance into any one of the lägers, and were beaten off with

This victory on the part of the emigrants, although a barren one, had the effect of encouraging those who had before been undecided about joining them, and small parties continued to come in until the beginning of December, when a party of above four hundred and fifty men were assembled, all mounted, and armed with good guns. These were joined by another party from the Bay of Natal, the whole combined being a formidable force.

The leader of this force had formerly been a field-cornet at Graaf Reinet, and was acquainted in a measure with some of the precautions used in military manoeuvres or movements. The advance was cautiously conducted, and each night a camp was formed and defences prepared. The advance had been thus conducted until the Umslatoos river was reached, when Hans, who had joined this party, and had ridden on before in order to guard against surprise, saw the first portion of the Zulu army. Instantly riding back, he gave the alarm, and the camp was at once on the alert, making every effort for defence. Instead of following the plan of Uys, and entering the enemy's country, and thus giving him the advantage of position, enabling him to attack where it best suited him,

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