The Witch-HuntON reaching our hut, I motioned to Infadoos to enter with us.
"Now, Infadoos," I said, "we would speak with thee."
"Let my lords say on."
"It seems to us, Infadoos, that Twala, the king, is a cruel man."
"It is so, my lords. Alas! the land cries out with his cruelties. To-night ye will see. It is the great witch- hunt, and many will be smelt out as wizards and slain. No man's life is safe. If the king covets a man's cattle or a man's life, or if he fears a man that he should excite a rebellion against him, then Gagool, whom ye saw, or some of the witch-finding women whom she has taught, will smell that man out as a wizard, and he will be killed. Many will die before the moon grows pale tonight. It is ever so. Perhaps I too shall be killed. As yet I have been spared, because I am skilled in war and beloved by the soldiers; but I know not how long I shall live. The land groans at the cruelties of Twala, the king; it is wearied of him and his red ways."
"Then why is it, Infadoos, that the people do not cast him down?"
"Nay, my lords, he is the king, and if he were killed Scragga would reign in his place, and the heart of Scragga is blacker than the heart of Twala, his father. If Scragga were king the yoke upon our neck would be heavier than the yoke of Twala. If Imotu had never been slain, or if Ignosi, his son, had lived, it had been otherwise; but they are both dead."
"How know you that Ignosi is dead?" said a voice behind us. We looked round with astonishment to see who spoke. It was Umbopa.
"What meanest thou, boy?" asked Infadoos; "who told thee to speak?"
"Listen, Infadoos," was the answer, "and I will tell thee a story. Years ago the king Imotu was killed in this country, and his wife fled with the boy Ignosi. Is it not so?"
"It is so."
"It was said that the woman and the boy died upon the mountains. Is it not so?"
"It is even so."
"Well, it came to pass that the mother and the boy Ignosi did not die. They crossed the mountains, and were led by a tribe of wandering desert men across the sands beyond, till at last they came to water and grass and trees again."
"How knowest thou?"
"Listen. They travelled on and on, many months' journey, till they reached a land where a people called the Amazulu, who too are of the Kukuana stock, live by war, and with them they tarried many years, till at length the mother died. Then the son, Ignosi, again became a wanderer, and went on into a land of wonders, where white people live, and for many more years learned the wisdom of the white people,"
"It is a pretty story," said Infadoos, incredulously.
"For many years he lived there working as a servant and a soldier, but holding in his heart all that his mother had told him of his own place, and casting about in his mind to find how he might get back there to see his own people and his father's house before he died. For many years he lived and waited, and at last the time came, as it ever comes to him who can wait for it, and he met some white men who would seek this unknown land, and joined himself to them. The white men started and journeyed on
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