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shall not go alone. I will go with you, and I think Bernhard will go also.'

“Yes, I will go,' said Bernhard ; ' so let us talk over your plans.'

The three friends, having thus agreed to share each other's fate, separated themselves from their companions, and sat down beneath a tree whose wide-spreading branches sheltered them from the heavy dew that was falling. Each having lighted his pipe and remained quiet for several minutes, was ready to listen or speak, according to circumstances.

My plans,' said Hans, are these : 'to travel to the northward, and conceal ourselves and our horses in the range of hills that overlook Kapain. With my telescope I can observe all that goes on in the kraals, while we run no risk of being seen. Our spoor will scarcely be recognized, because so many horses have been travelling here lately; and the attention of all the Matabili will be occupied in either watching the main body of our people or in making preparations for an expedition against them. They would never suspect that two or three of us would remain in their country; and thus we, by daring, may avoid detection. If we are discovered, we can ride away from the Matabili; and thus, though at first it seems a great risk, yet it is not so bad after all. These are my ideas.'

‘But,' inquired Victor, 'how are you going to get Katrine away, or her sister?'

I will take two spare horses with me, and they can then ride with us.'

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*You can't let Katrine know where you are, even if she is in the kraal at Kapain,' said Victor ; and without we can get to her, our journey will be useless.'

Victor,' said Hans, will you trust me? I know what I am about, and will not do any thing without seeing to what the spoor is leading ; we will start in half an hour.'.

A few words from Hans to the leader of the Boers informed him of his intention of leaving the party; and though the chief urged upon Hans the recklessness of his proceedings, he had yet no actual authority to prevent him and his two companions from acting as they wished ; so, cautioning him of the risk he ran, he wished him success, and bade him good-bye.

It was about midnight when Hans and his companions left the Boers' encampment and started on their perilous journey. They rode for a considerable distance on the back spoor of their track, then, turning northward, they followed the course of some streams which flowed from the ranges of hills in the North East. They continued their journey with rapidity, for the moon shone brightly and enabled them to see clearly for some distance around them. Many strange forms were seen during their journey, for Africa is full of night wanderers, and occasionally the deep growl of the lion, or the cry of the leopard was audible, within a few yards of them; but Hans and his companions were bent upon an expedition, and against foes of such importance, that even lions and leopards were looked upon as creatures not to be noticed, unless they seemed disposed to attack the travellers. The rapidity with which Hans and his companions rode, the silence maintained by them, and the purpose-like manner in which they continued a straight course, turning neither to the right nor left, even though a lion roared before them, gave to their journey a weirdlike character and reminded them of the dangers to which they were exposed; for the Matabili, smarting as they just were from the defeat at Mosega, were not likely to delay the slaughter of any white men who might fall into their hands. Hans and his companions knew that the expedition was one for life or death ; but it was not the first time that these men had looked on death calmly ; and they were so confident in their own expedients that there were few circumstances for which they were not prepared

As soon as the first light of morning began to appear, the three hunters rode into a ravine covered with brushwood and trees; having ascended this for some distance they found that it was possible to ride out of it in three directions besides that in which they had entered, and thus that a retreat was easily effected, should they be attacked from any one direction. They then dismounted, slackened the girths and took off the saddles, removed the bits from their horses' mouths, and allowed the animals to enjoy a roll in the grass, this being a proceeding which invariably refreshes an African steed, and without it he seems only half capable of enjoying his feed of grass ; no sooner, however, had the animals rolled,

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than each was again saddled, and with the exception of loosened girths, was ready to be mounted in half a minute. The guns were examined, to see whether the night dew had rendered a miss fire probable; and then, having made a careful examination of the surrounding country with his telescope, Hans announced that after eating some of the beltong', with which each was provided, two had better sleep whilst one watched, and so they could all have enough rest to fit them for the journey of the following night ; having volunteered to watch first, Hans requested his companions to go to sleep, a request with which every thoroughly trained hunter should be able to comply; for he should always eat, drink, and sleep when he can, for when he wants to perhaps he may not be able. And when a hunter has nothing to do, he should sleep, for then he will be ready to dispense with his rest when it may be of importance that he should be watchful.

In a very few minutes Victor and Bernhard were snoring as though they were sleeping on a down bed instead of on the ground in an enemy's country, whilst the horses were making the best use of their time by filling themselves with the sweet grass in the ravine.

Hans had not been on watch more than an hour, when by the aid of his telescope he discovered a large body of Matabili who were following the spoor of his horses, and seemed as though bent on pursuing him. This sight caused him considerable anxiety, not on account of the numbers of his enemies, but because a fight with them, or a retreat from them, would defeat his plans for liberating Katrine. Hans therefore watched his enemies with the greatest interest, and could distinguish them distinctly, though they were distant nearly three miles. They approached to within two miles, and he was about to awaken his companions when he noticed the Matabili halted, and the chiefs seemed to be talking about the spoor, as they pointed to the ground several times and then at different parts of the surrounding country. The ground. was so hard and the dew had fallen so heavily immediately before sunrise, that Hans hoped the hesitation on the part of his enemies might be in consequence of a dispute or difference of opinion as regarded the date of the horses' footprints; for the probability was, that those left by his own and his companions' horses might be supposed to be those of stragglers of the expedition which had attacked the Matabili at Mosega. This he believed to be the case when he found that the numerous body of enemies, after a long consultation, quitted his spoor and turned away towards the West, moving with rapidity in the direction in which the main body of the Boers had retreated, and thus almost taking his back trail, instead of following him to his retreat.

1 Meat dried in the sun.

Several other small parties of armed Matabili were seen during the day; but none approached the ravine in which Hans was concealed, and the day passed and night arrived without any adventure,

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