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turned, picked up his hat, and appraising five hundred pounds' cramming it into his capacious worth ; but with time and paside pocket, walked out. Smeer tience, and much objection and was just stooping to re-enter, jangling, twenty stones were his face livid with passion. apportioned to the old man, Hartley grasped him by the who declared himself satisfied arm and pulled him towards as well he might, for their the waggon.
much “Say a word, and I'll brain thousand pounds than the you. Haven't you sense enough amount promised. to see that you are pepper in “Are you sure you're satisthe eyes
of these Kafirs ? Get fied ?” asked Hartley with out of sight into the waggon obvious irony. and I'll give you your share, Smeer turned the stones over and Hartley lifted the little in his dirty hat. man on to the tail-board as if “Yes," he answered dubihe had been a sack of mealies.
ously, “I think the diamonds The three men sat together may be enough ; but when do under the tilt. When Hartley you pay me for the waggon?” had succeeded in soothing the Hartley looked up suddenly, outraged feelings of Johannes as if he had been struck. His by explaining that he had face became contorted with acted as he had in order to passion, and Wilmot felt an prevent the old man from apprehensive thrill of approachspoiling the business by re- ing danger. Hartley's mouth senting the insult of the chief, opened convulsively, but he proceeded to count and words came ; then, just as estimate their treasure. The Wilmot had nerved himself stones numbered nearly three for a torrential outburst of hundred, and ranged from six profanity, Hartley shook his to fifty carats apiece, though head gravely and remarked in most of the larger stones had a tone of mild reproach, “You eluded the grip and filtered greedy rascal!”. between the fingers. However, He lighted his pipe and about twenty of the best had puffed away the passion he fallen into the hat, and, after had restrained, while Wilmot making allowance for faulty expressed his sense of relief by stones, Hartley decided that a burst of laughter. his original estimate of twenty “Man, I came near slaughterthousand pounds' worth was ing him; but I couldn't lose my not extravagant.
temper after punching him for “And now, Johannes,” said gettingqwaart with that Kafir,” he, “will you take your stones
your stones was Hartley's apology for his now, or will you wait till we restraint. He turned to Smeer. can turn them into money?” “I'll pay you for your waggon,"
There was no hesitation about said he; “and I'll tell Clarie the reply
that if she marries you, she'll “I'll take my share now." have to pay you for her board There was some difficulty in and lodging.
"Nay, Mr Hartley, that that night which amazed his would be wrong; I would not astonished listener; for though charge her anything,” the old many such narrations bave man replied with childlike passed into the list of stock earnestness.
yarns, the best are generally Hartley and Wilmot lay left untold to new hands, as long awake under the waggon. they demand a degree of faith tilt that night, arranging that is near akin to childish plans for the safe bestowal of credulity. the treasure. Hartley had al- One of Hartley's earliest exready given the matter some periences was the nursing of thought; but the unexpected a camp acquaintance who had inclusion of Smeer into their been reduced to a condition of partnership and secret neces- repulsive and Job-like corrupsitated a rearrangement. The tion through carrying valuable folly of putting all their eggs stones in suppurating ulcers into one basket was to be about his body; and he knew avoided by distributing the well the famous illicit dealer stones as much as possible. who had run the gauntlet of
To the ordinary man there Kimberley detectives with five would appear no difficulty in thousand pounds' worth hiding a number of small stones concealed beneath pebbles that would not fill a hideous scalp wound. The teacup; but precautions had invention of
hidingto be taken against the very places seemed to have reached probable contingency of its limit, and those that occasearch by persons who had sionally succeeded were but learned in Kimberley the diffi- variants on old tricks that cult art of hiding and finding. escaped notice because of their Hartley had never been in antiquity. Diamondopolis, but, like all It was on this hypothesis old Randites, he was familiar Hartley intended to work. with the thousands of stories The two partners were to of diamond smuggling, whose carry as many of the more colossal ingenuity was only valuable stones as they could equalled by the almost super- conceal
about their natural penetrativeness of the persons; the bulk were to be most perfect and far-reaching hidden in the most conspicudetective system the world has ous object on the waggonyet known-a system nurtured the brake - block. This is a and developed by all the re- piece of wood about two feet sources of unlimited wealth, long and six inches square, and the use of state - aided that presses against each hind machinery that, like a valu- wheel of the waggon by the able invention, daily action of a screw.
An augerstrengthened and amplified by hole to be bored in the best brains that money each, the diamonds inserted, could command.
and the holes plugged with Hartley told strange stories wood. As the block was alVOL CLXXVIII.-NO. MLXXVIII.
ways coated with mud, any inch to a slender point. With sign of the boring and plug- infinite pains he hollowed out ging would be obliterated. six inches of the thick end, Another advantage lay in the inserted ten diamonds, and very important fact that, if paid a Kafir, with a pocketoccasion arose, the blocks could knife, to bind the end with be detached, thrown carelessly brass wire, after the fashion aside, and left in safety-for in which the natives ornament a discarded brake-block, like their knobkerries and sticks. a leaky kettle, was worth Wilmot purchased a similar neither destroying nor using, sjambok, and when complete and might lie about the farm the men carried probably the for years; and further, it was most valuable riding-whips in not too bulky for easy trans- the world, for they contained port. As Hartley pointed out, at least two thousand pounds' in the old days the waggon worth of diamonds apiece.
common hiding-place, Next to their clothes a sjamand he had known the Kim- bok was the closest accessory berley detectives cut one into to their persons : it is as much two-inch pieces in their quest a part of an Afrikander's for a valuable parcel of stones ; equipment as his boots. There but one who knew his
was only one weak point about business would suspect an old the scheme that Hartley could hand like Hartley of resorting detect. A sjambok of genuine to such a primitive and played- rhinoceros hide might tempt out hiding-place.
many a man to petty larceny; They had ample time for but, on the other hand, its the perfection of their plans. obvious value would supply The exhausted oxen needed, at excuse for retaining it in the least, a week's rest, and the old hand when it might otherwise waggon required much patch- be put down. ing and repairing after the The diamonds were successstrain of the journey. The fully inserted into the brakesecreting of the dozen large blocks by Hartley one day stones the two men had de- when Smeer and the Kafirs cided to carry with them was were away looking after the not so easy a task as the dis- oxen; and by way of throwing posal of the bulk, and provided the old man off the scent Hartmaterial for many serious dis- ley made two small leather bags, cussions. Hartley at last hit filled them with pebbles, and upon
device which was he and Wilmot wore them tied adopted. He had purchased inside their belts. Johannes from one of the indunas a had carried his treasure in the genuine sjambok,—not the imi- puggaree round his hat, but on tation thing of ox- hide, but seeing the expedient adopted by the rare and valuable article his companions, he imitated it, made of rhinoceros skin, about making a point of counting the thirty inches long, and taper- stones before and after going to ing from three-quarters of an sleep, which was four or five
times during the twenty-four drawn ceremonial of a Kafir hours.
wedding, and the less edifying Wilmot killed the time of spectacle of a beer-drink, with waiting by
by watching the its attendant scenes of disgustnatives. He had all the new- ing repletion and quarrelling; ; comer's curiosity about their but when he had seen the manners and customs. Hart- slaughter of an
ox by the ley had been abandoned as a barbarous native method of source of information; for, like spearing the animal and chasmost South Africans long in the ing it round till it dropped country, he was unable to con- from loss of blood, he cried ceive how any white man could enough, and avoided prying feel interested in the ways of further behind the veil. Kafirs, and dispensed his very Eight days after their arrival large stock of knowledge with Hartley and Wilmot attended grudging impatience and parsi- Bulalie on a leave-taking visit mony. When Wilmot appealed to the hut of 'Mpfeu. His to Golosh, that superior pro- majesty handed round the ginduct of civilisation announced bottle, instructed his induna in the most lofty manner that to convey his satisfaction with he knew nothing about dirty the gun, and curled up to sleep niggers. Thrown, therefore, with his head on the lap of a upon his own resources, Wil- wife. mot tried to pick up knowledge Hartley presented Bulalie at first hand, and succeeded, in and the chief indunas with the spite of his inability to hold snuff he had brought for the converse with the subjects. He purpose, and at sunrise next was fortunate in being the wit- morning the homeward trek ness of the picturesque if long- began.
(To be continued.)
A STUDY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR.
VIII.—THE PRELIMINARIES TO THE BATTLE OF MUKDEN.
Now that the naval situ- of Kuroki's enveloping force ation in the Far East has been which rendered it necessary definitely settled for the whole for Oyama to halt the percampaign, we must retrace our severing battalions which had steps and return to the narra- snatched victory from a situtive of the land campaign that ation which at
time is still dragging on in Man- seemed well-nigh impossible. churia. In a previous paper Contemporary observers we left the Russian army in port that the week's fighting the act of extricating itself had so perilously reduced the from its position at Liauyang, reserves, both in artillery and which ancient Manchu town small-arm ammunition, that it the victorious Japanese had would have been unwise to entered in the early hours of have risked an immediate enthe 4th of September. All gagement for fear that the day through the 5th of Sep- Russian rearguard, too closetember, judging from the tele- ly pressed, might turn and graphic reports which reached counter with success. Also, so this country, it looked as if our information went, the JapKuroki was in a position to anese infantry had undertaken throw himself across the Rus- and accomplished a task which sian line of retreat, and thus in its completion left them practurn what had been a hard- tically exhausted. The above earned success into a decisive is the reasoning of those convictory. But, as we have al- temporary observers who have ready shown in our previous supplied reports to the authordescription of this battle, the ities at home. But judging of enveloping force which Kuroki the campaign in the light of had at his command was not subsequent events, one cannot of sufficient strength and mo- disassociate oneself from the bility to enable it to press in- suspicion that although it may wards the steel line of massive have appeared to these specrearguard which Kuropatkin tators that the ammunitionconcentrated at Yentai for the waggons were empty, and that purpose of covering the with- the troops in the first line drawal of his army. As far as were staggering into Liauyang can be judged from contem- parched and exhausted, yet porary accounts of this the somehow those many hundreds first great land battle of the and thousands of acres of standcampaign, there were other ing millet concealed somewhere causes besides the weakness sufficient reserves to have car