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forms glide past the hunter, and, with a snort of terror or a growl of anger, move away to the distance, scarce liking to let alone so apparently defenceless a creature as man seems to be, yet awed by a certain presence which the brute creation never thoroughly overcome.

Tiny creeping animals again crackle the crisp leaves as they scamper about in their fastnesses among the bushes, and sniff the scent of the strange intruder; whilst the noiseless flapping of wings attracts for an instant the hunter's sight as some ghost-like moving night-bird flies around him, and examines the strange being that has intruded into its domain.

Suddenly the sound of a struggle startles the hunter, and a cry of distress from a stricken creature is audible, whilst frightened animals rush hither and thither for a time, and then again relapse into their former indifference. A lion, perhaps, has captured its evening prey from amongst a grazing herd; or a leopard has struck down the antelope that it has been cautiously watching and stalking during the past half-hour. And then again a silence so still, so unbroken, follows the past turmoil, that the desert wanderer fancies he can hear the thin, fleecy clouds moving above him, or the long-absent but deeply-loved voice of one who should be near him. Amidst all the danger, all the novelty of the scene, however, exhausted nature usually exerts her sway, and the hyena's laugh or leopard's cry ceases to be heard, whilst the traveller passes into the unconsciousness of sleep, and dreams probably of scenes the very opposite of those

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amidst which he then is, and awakes, scarcely knowing which is the reality-the dream of old, well-known scenes, amidst which the greater part of his life has been passed, or the wild, unusual events transpiring around him.

To men of adventure such as Hans and his companions, a night in the desert was not unusual, and they experienced but few of the sensations which a more civilized man undoubtedly would feel; yet to these hunters there was something awe-inspiring in the calm stillness of the night, broken only by the shrieks and cries of night wanderers among the wild animals, or the snorts of terror from their horses as these sounds met their ears.

It was past midnight when Hans commenced his watch, and was the only one of the five who was awake. The sisters were sheltered from the dew by a blanket supported by two or three sticks, and arranged so as to form a kind of tent. The two Dutchmen were lying beneath some bushes with merely the blanket over them that served during the day to protect their horses' backs from a badly-stuffed saddle.

Although Hans believed that any attack from an enemy was unlikely, yet, being a man who knew the value of guarding against every possible, not every likely danger only, he placed himself within a few yards of Katrine and her sister, and there listened attentively to every sound that broke the silence of the night.

When darkness spreads her mantle over the earth it is by sound alone that an enemy can be discovered; for


sight is then useless, and a man who has thoroughly trained his hearing can distinguish sounds which are inaudible and unintelligible to the mere tyro. To the ears of Hans the tread of an animal with a hoof would have been recognized from that of a soft-footed animal, such as a lion or leopard, and the footsteps of a man could have been distinguished from those of a quadruped. It is almost impossible for the civilized man to realize the acuteness of the senses of one accustomed to trust his life to his senses, the sight, hearing, and even scent seem to become added to in power, and in fact to have an additional sense given to each. We all know how we can readily distinguish the footstep of some particular friend from that of a stranger, though how we do so it would puzzle us to explain; but thus it is that the trained hunter can instantly decide that a hyæna or antelope is walking past him, that a man is near, or that some other animal is moving in his vicinity.

It was with mingled feelings of surprise and half-doubt that Hans heard what he was confident was the footstep of a man soon after he had taken his position near Katrine. For several minutes not a sound disturbed the stillness of the night except the somewhat heavy breathing of the sleepers; this, however, was a source of great danger. To the acute ears of a lion, or even of a Kaffir, this heavy breathing could have been heard at a distance of several yards, and could thus serve as a guide to either dangerous enemy. Hans, however, did not like to disturb the sleepers until the last moment, or unless he found he

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alone was unable to deal with the foe. It was evident to Hans that whoever or whatever was the foe who approached, it was one who used the greatest caution: but two or three steps at a time were taken, and then all was quiet. From this fact Hans was convinced that a man was the enemy who was near him, for no other creature could act with so much caution. He was also aware of

the peculiar individual daring of members of the Kaffir race. Many men are brave in a crowd, and when led on by example or enthusiasm, but the Kaffir is an epicure in excitement. He likes to venture upon feats of daring alone, and the night is to him the most suitable time for such deeds. It matters not how great is the risk, the greater the risk the greater seems to be the excitement. Knowing this, Hans believed it possible that one single Kaffir might have followed on their spoor, have watched him as he halted for the night, and was now desirous of capturing his guns or assagying some of the sleepers, and then retreating, boast at his kraal of his deeds. Believing this, Hans had an additional reason for remaining silent, for he knew that should he awake his companions, the Kaffir would readily escape, or wait for a more favourable opportunity for attack.

Grasping his hunting-knife firmly, Hans crouched close to the ground and waited anxiously for the nearer approach of his foe. The slow, stealthy tread of the man was evidently guided by the sound of the sleepers, for no eyes could distinguish forms amidst the darkness, and Hans soon found that light as was the breathing of


Katrine and her sister, yet this sound was guiding the man towards them.

For several minutes Hans could hear no sound, and he began to fancy the man feared to approach nearer, but at length to his surprise and almost fear, he could distinguish within ten feet of him the figure of a man with arm erect, and in his hand a spear ready to cast. The figure seemed to have risen out of the earth, so silently had it gained its position in the midst of the party; and had not a man as well trained and as keenly sensed as Hans been on watch, a complete surprise could have been effected.

With a movement as slow and cautious as that of the Kaffir, Hans gathered himself together for a spring on his enemy, who stood listening to the sleepers' longdrawn breaths, then with a sudden bound he dashed forward, and stabbed with his long knife at where he believed he would reach the Kaffir. He had however either miscalculated his distance, or his enemy was too quick for him, for nothing resisted his stabs, and he fell headlong to the ground, having stumbled over the underwood before him. In an instant he was on his feet again, and crouched down to catch sight if possible of his foe, but nothing was to be seen, and had it not been for a slight rustling of the leaves and the crushing of a few sticks, he would have doubted whether his eyes had not been deceived. These sounds, however, would have convinced him, had he been in doubt, that no vision had crossed his sight, but a substantial and quick-witted

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