there, the last land-locked basin had expanded into a great

time:2023-12-07 05:48:09 source:Stately net author:news

I fancy I missed some of the conversation, being occupied with my own passion. At any rate, when I next listened the two were deep in plans. Maps were spread beside them, and Laputa's delicate forefinger was tracing a route. I strained my ears, but could catch only a few names. Apparently they were to keep in the plains till they had crossed the Klein Labongo and the Letaba. I thought I caught the name of the ford of the latter; it sounded like Dupree's Drift. After that the talk became plainer, for Laputa was explaining in his clear voice. The force would leave the bush, ascend the Berg by the glen of the Groot Letaba, and the first halt would be called at a place called Inanda's Kraal, where a promontory of the high- veld juts out behind the peaks called the Wolkberg or Cloud Mountains. All this was very much to the point, and the names sunk into my memory like a die into wax.

there, the last land-locked basin had expanded into a great

'Meanwhile,' said Laputa, 'there is the gathering at Ntabakaikonjwa.* It will take us three hours' hard riding to get there.' **Literally, 'The Hill which is not to be pointed at'.

there, the last land-locked basin had expanded into a great

Where on earth was Ntabakaikonjwa? It must be the native name for the Rooirand, for after all Laputa was not likely to use the Dutch word for his own sacred place.

there, the last land-locked basin had expanded into a great

'Nothing has been forgotten. The men are massed below the cliffs, and the chiefs and the great indunas will enter the Place of the Snake. The door will be guarded, and only the password will get a man through. That word is "Immanuel," which means, "God with us."'

'Well, when we get there, what happens?' Henriques asked with a laugh. 'What kind of magic will you spring on us?'

There was a strong contrast between the flippant tone of the Portugoose and the grave voice which answered him.

'The Keeper of the Snake will open the holy place, and bring forth the Isetembiso sami.* As the leader of my people, I will assume the collar of Umkulunkulu in the name of our God and the spirits of the great dead.' *Literally, 'Very sacred thing'.

'But you don't propose to lead the march in a necklace of rubies,' said Henriques, with a sudden eagerness in his voice.


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