was seen as in a map. The pleasure from the scenery, in

time:2023-12-07 05:23:31 source:Stately net author:music

'What's the matter with the place? There must be more wrong with it than loneliness to make everybody clear out. I have taken on this job, and I mean to stick to it, so you needn't be afraid to tell me.'

was seen as in a map. The pleasure from the scenery, in

The manager looked at me sharply. 'That's the way to talk, my lad. You look as if you had a stiff back, so I'll be frank with you. There is something about the place. It gives the ordinary man the jumps. What it is, I don't know, and the men who come back don't know themselves. I want you to find out for me. You'll be doing the firm an enormous service if you can get on the track of it. It may be the natives, or it may be the takhaars, or it may be something else. Only old Japp can stick it out, and he's too old and doddering to care about moving. I want you to keep your eyes skinned, and write privately to me if you want any help. You're not out here for your health, I can see, and here's a chance for you to get your foot on the ladder.

was seen as in a map. The pleasure from the scenery, in

'Remember, I'm your friend,' he said to me again at the garden gate. 'Take my advice and lie very low. Don't talk, don't meddle with drink, learn all you can of the native jabber, but don't let on you understand a word. You're sure to get on the track of something. Good-bye, my boy,' and he waved a fat hand to me.

was seen as in a map. The pleasure from the scenery, in

That night I embarked on a cargo-boat which was going round the coast to Delagoa Bay. It is a small world - at least for us far-wandering Scots. For who should I find when I got on board but my old friend Tam Dyke, who was second mate on the vessel? We wrung each other's hands, and I answered, as best I could, his questions about Kirkcaple. I had supper with him in the cabin, and went on deck to see the moorings cast.

Suddenly there was a bustle on the quay, and a big man with a handbag forced his way up the gangway. The men who were getting ready to cast off tried to stop him, but he elbowed his way forward, declaring he must see the captain. Tam went up to him and asked civilly if he had a passage taken. He admitted he had not, but said he would make it right in two minutes with the captain himself. The Rev. John Laputa, for some reason of his own, was leaving Durban with more haste than he had entered it.

I do not know what passed with the captain, but the minister got his passage right enough, and Tam was even turned out of his cabin to make room for him. This annoyed my friend intensely.

'That black brute must be made of money, for he paid through the nose for this, or I'm a Dutchman. My old man doesn't take to his black brethren any more than I do. Hang it all, what are we coming to, when we're turning into a blooming cargo boat for niggers?'

I had all too little of Tam's good company, for on the afternoon of the second day we reached the little town of Lourenco Marques. This was my final landing in Africa, and I mind how eagerly I looked at the low, green shores and the bush-covered slopes of the mainland. We were landed from boats while the ship lay out in the bay, and Tam came ashore with me to spend the evening. By this time I had lost every remnant of homesickness. I had got a job before me which promised better things than colleging at Edinburgh, and I was as keen to get up country now as I had been loth to leave England. My mind being full of mysteries, I scanned every Portuguese loafer on the quay as if he had been a spy, and when Tam and I had had a bottle of Collates in a cafe I felt that at last I had got to foreign parts and a new world.


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