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IN the history of colonization there is proba
bly no example on record so extraordinary
as that of the emigration from the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, in 1835, of nearly six thousand souls, who, without guides or any definite knowledge of where they were going or what obstacles they would encounter, yet placed their all in the lottery and journeyed into the wilderness.
The cause of this emigration was to avoid what the emigrants considered the oppression of the ruling Government, and the object was to found an independent nationality in the interior of Africa.
These emigrants, shortly after quitting the neighbourhood of the Cape colony, were attacked by the chief of a powerful tribe called the Matabili, into whose country they had trespassed. Severe battles, in which overwhelming numbers were brought against them, were fought by the emigrants, the general results being victory to the white man.
Not satisfied with the situation which these victories might have enabled them to secure, a party of the emigrants journeyed on towards the east, in order to obtain a better position near the present district of Natal. This party were shortly afterwards either treacherously massacred by a Zulu chief named Dingaan, or were compelled to fight for their lives and property during many months.
It is mainly amidst these scenes that the hero of the following tale passed-scenes which brought out many cases of individual courage, daring, and perseverance rarely equalled in any part of the world.
Around the bivouac fire, or in the ride over the far-spreading plains, or whilst resting after a successful hunting track in the tangled forest, the principal events of this tale have been recorded. From Zulu and Boer, English emigrant and Hottentot driver, we have had various accounts, each varying according to the peculiar views of the relater, but all agreeing as regards the main facts here blended and interwoven into a tale.