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and taking off his hat, saw in the crown a Bushman's
' There's another struck the rock behind us; we must shoot this fellow any how, he is savage now that his brother is killed. There he is, Victor, in that fork of the tree, the rascal, he may hit us from there; but here goes for two ounces of lead in him.' The loud report of Hans' gun was followed by the dull sound of the Bushman's body falling to the ground, he being dead before he reached it. From the plain, however, a savage vengeful yell answered the report of the gun, and the additional party of Matabili rushed onwards, their shouts being responded to by their companions around Hans' stronghold.
Bernhard's Journey-His Success -To the Rescue.
ERNHARD, upon leaving his companions at
the resting-place where the lion had killed the Matabili spy, rode on with speed; he knew that the lives of the females at least depended upon his gaining the Lager of his countrymen, and bringing back aid without delay. He was impelled, by friendship alone for Hans and Victor, to use every endeavour in his power to bring help to them, but even a stronger impulse urged him, viz. that he had fallen in love with Katrine's sister. Bernhard had never devoted much time or thought to the Fräuleins, he having always found hunting attractive enough for him; so that there was something quite novel in finding himself incurring so much risk for a couple of girls. When, however, he was thrown into daily communication with one as pleasing as Katrine's sister, and thus could observe her trusting, unselfish nature, he seemed suddenly to awake to quite a new sensation. Thus as he rode on he murmured, 'Yes, I'll save her! I'll save her, if it is for man to do it.' And
onward he rode, with a speed more fitted for a brief ride than for the journey which he was now undertaking.
Onward rode Bernhard. Rivers were forded or swum, plains were passed across, hills ascended, and with but two brief halts, Bernhard continued his journey till the fading light began to warn him it was time to prepare a halting-place for the night.
Fatigue to a man of Bernhard's age, frame, and condition was almost unknown, especially when he had been kept up by excitement, as he had been all day; when, however, he determined to halt for the night, he remembered that he had scarcely sufficient food for more than his evening and morning meal, and that before again starting it would be better to provide himself with this
Allowing his horse to graze as long as there was sufficient light to enable him to see around him, he also cut a large quantity of grass, and placed this near some bushes where he intended to camp for the night. Knowing the caution of most nocturnal wanderers, he cut down some brushwood, and placed this around an open space in which he and his horse would pass the night. Many animals, fearing a trap of some kind, would not venture over these bushes, though most of them could have leaped the obstacle with scarcely any difficulty.
A continued and refreshing sleep, under the conditions in which Bernhard passed the night, were almost impossible. He knew that lions and leopards, hyenas and other carnivora infested the country in which he then
was. If his horse should be killed, or even badly mauled by any of these fierce, strong-jawed brutes, his own state would be one of danger; so that to rest was as much as he felt inclined to do, and when sleep made her claims upon him he could scarcely close his eyes before he started up wide awake, as some howling monster scented the horse and its owner, and feared to gratify its appetite lest the dreaded man should have to be encountered.
There are few comparisons more singular than that between the pathless wilds of portions of Africa and the crowded streets of some of our cities. When we walk for hours in London and meet an ever-changing mass of men; when we see streets thronged with thousands, houses over-crowded, and vehicles crammed-we wonder whether our planet must not soon be too densely populated to be a suitable residence for man; but when we travel over immense tracts of land traversed only by the brute creation, and observe these roaming in a state of undisturbed freedom, we almost doubt the fact of men being crowded together in cities, as we believe we have seen them-the two extremes seeming a complete anomaly. We who live in the present century have the advantage of witnessing scenes which our successors will undoubtedly envy us for. At the rate at which civilisation advances, and man and his arts take the place of untrodden nature, it may not be improbable that the wilds of Africa, Australia, and America may cease to be wilds, but will be colonies of various races, whose
countries are too small for their requirements. In the year 1967 or 2067 the report that the men of two centuries previous actually hunted such creatures as camelopards, may seem as odd to the then denizens of our planet as it would be to us to think that men ever had the chance of hurling their flint-headed weapons at the mammoth on the banks of the great Estuary of the Thames. The men too of that time may often exclaim, 'Ah, those lucky fellows of the nineteenth century who had the chance of hunting elephants in Africa!' Thus the changes that now occur in localities will then have occurred by time, and as it now appears strange to the man who can scarcely find elbow-room for himself, to hear of a country where you may ride for two days and not see a fellow-creature, so will it in a century hence seem strange to reflect on the conditions of the past.
Scarcely had daylight began to break than Bernhard gave his horse liberty to feed, he himself being intent on procuring a supply of food for his journey. This he was not long in doing, for the morning was foggy, and he came upon three elands, within a few hundred yards of his night's resting-place. Knowing that he would soon be miles away from his present position, he did not hesitate to fire a shot, and therefore killed one of the elands, selected the choice portions of the animal, and returning to his horse, upsaddled, and at once commenced his journey.
A two hours' ride brought him to a convenient place for a halt, several dead trees yielded firewood, a stream