Imatges de pàgina

$0;" still he was not so far gone, but ward for this unceremonious transache could manage to stagger homewards, tion would probably be, he very prowith the help of a stout bamboo, and dently hopped out of the jurisdiction of by leaning the other arm on the Mynheer's cane, and in another mo shoulder of the slave, who now made ment, he clapt his fingers into his bis appearance with the light.

mouth, and produced a peculiar whistle; The residence of Van Klomp was immediately a confused sound of voices,' situated in Table Valley, about a mile and the noise of footsteps, were heard; from the precincts of Cape Town; the Droogsloot coupled the name of his night was fine, and the firmament was attendant with every description of studded with innumerable twinkling execration that came to his assistance ; stars; but still it was dark, for the and lifting his cudgel above his head, moon had not yet risen ; the weather dropped it at random ; in its fall it enwas sultry and oppressive, and Droog. conniered the skull of a man, who fell sloot (in whose composition fat was the from the visitation. most luxuriant commodity) felt the His triumph lasted not long, however; effects of it; for the perspiration had he was seized, bound, and (elephantine soaked entirely through his dress of as he was in bulk) whipped off his legs white linen, and poured down his fore- in an instant, placed on the back of a head in streams ; his person was enor- horse, and the whole party set off at a mous; in height he exceeded six feet; smart pace towards the foot of the Devil's in rotundity he exceeded the compass Mountain. All this was transacted withiof a nine leaguer;

one of those out words being exchanged on either characters who think no sum too great side ; neither could Droogsloot extract to expend upon their own gluttonous a syllable from bis unknown assailants appetite, but will not produce a stiver during their journey. After having trato deliver a friend from a dungeon ; his velled in this manner about two miles, sordid and selfish disposition was only the acclivity became too steep for the to be equalled by the petty tyranny that animal, and Gabriel was forced to dishe exercised at home towards his fa- mount. They approached a deep ramily; and the brutal cruelty with vine, up which they pursued their which be treated his slaves, one of course : the sharp pointed rocks cut whom had lately absconded, and was their way through Mynheer's thin slipsupposed to have joined a horde of pers, and lacerated his feet dreadfully, runaway convicts and slaves, who had though they had no effect upon those of taken refuge among the mountains, and his companions, which were harder subsisted by plunder. This loss, ob- than tanned bull's hide. They were viously, occupied his attention; for, now materially assisted on their way by as he stumbled, he muttered a torrent the light of the moon, which was rising of imprecations upon the head of the in cloudless majesty' from behind the slave who had deserted from him. Hottentots' Holland mountains; illu

“Oh, hagel!” he exclaimed, “ an minating with its splendour this scene that scoundrel Joachim, that villainous of wildness. The breeze rustled among Malay, who cost me five hundred good the silver trees which covered the hill's dollars, come again into my hands, I'll side; the harsh cry of the night bird flay him alive'll

was mingled with the thundering sound He, he, he," grinned Peter, of the mountain stream, which, in coninassa, gib him taste o' de sambuck, sequence of heavy rains, had swelled he, he-dis way massa,” continued he, to a torrent, and rushed impetuously leading Gabriel out of the beaten path downwards, sweeping away everything had he not been blind as a bat from the that impeded its course. They followed liquor he had taken, he would have its tract a considerable distance, and perceived that Peter was guiding him their hands were often called to their in a direction totally opposite to that of aid in climbing over the rocký précibis destined course; the dusky outline pices that obstructed their progress. All of the Devil's Mountain might have this time was the miserable Dutchman been discerned straight before them ; driven on like an ox to the slaughter. but he was unconscious of the error, The party now ascended the side of the and onwards they went, Peter's lantern hill, dragging their victim through a just serving to make darkness visible.' thick underwood of bush and brambles, They had not proceeded far, when Peter which had well nigh deprived him of cautiously blew out the light, and judg- his nether garment. At length their ing from the disposition of the man career was stayed by a perpendicular whom he was conducting, what his re. mass of grey stone, rising more than


fifty feet in height: one of the men chered-for well he knew that the repiped a shrill whistle, which was soon venge ofa Malay was deep and terrible. answered from above, and a glimmer- It also occurred to him that Peter must ing light shewed several figures filling have been in league with the runaways, to and fro on the brink of the precipice. and had betrayed himn into the hands of A rope was lowered, to which a capa- his enemy; this idea was soon confirmcious basket was attached; the huge ed, for casting his eyes round, he beheld form of Droogsloot was with some diffi. the swarthy visage of Peter grinning culty stowed therein, and, on a signal from amidst the group. being given, he was hoisted up to the " Thou wilt not murder me, good top of the rock, as also the goodly com- Joachiin?” exclained the Dutchman, pany who escorted him thither.

in a supplicating tone; "thou can'st When landed on terra firma, Ga- not do it,—have mercy for"briel found bimself in the society of “Do'st thou talk of mercy, Mynheer some twelve or fourteen men; and as Droogsloot," said the Malay, 'who had far as he could judge from the imperfect none for me when I was tiayed by thy light, they were all blacks, who con- orders, for attempting to defend that ducted their prisoner round a promi- innocent boy from the lash, my own nent granite rock, and entered a tissure child,” (pointing to an urchin sleeping that was wide enough to permit the on a rock.) “ but I did not speak of passage of the burly Hollander, when murdering thee.-Joomak," added be, they entered a spacious cavern, glowe addressing one of his companions, “bind ing with the light of a sort of fiambeau, Mynheer's hands, and tasten hiin to composed of unravelled rope-yarns, yonder stone, so that he inay not esdipped in melted fat, stuck in the midst cape us.” of a heap of stones. In the centre of This coinwand wss obeyed with great the cave an old Malay woman was dis- alacrity by a man with a bloody pate covered, seated on the ground, nearly whose head and Droogsloot's cudgel enveloped in sinoke, by the side of a had been intimately acquainted a short wood fire, in the employment of cooking time since. soine dried fish: her features were “ But hear me, Joachim ; suffer me striking and prominent; the long, matt- to depart, I will enrich ye,--will give ed, grey hair fell over her back; her thee ihy freedom, and”attire was lattered and ragged ; a sheep's “And will discover my retreat," rehide was drawn round her, in which turned Joachim, catching up his words she endeavoured to muffle herself as _" and will hang me; but not so, closely as possible, excepting when she Mynheer, we will not part till I have occasionally stretched out her emaciated settled accounts with thee.” bony fingers to turn the tish upon the Gabriel finding his entreaties of no embers. Her wrinkled face assuined an avail, sank down doggedly by the side expression of astonishment as Droog- of a stone, to which he was tethered, stool made his appearance ; as well it and at length being exhausted by the might, for such a deplorable figure was mental and bodily exertion he had unrarely presented to human eyes before. dergone, fell into a broken and restless He was pale, breathless, and woe-be- slumber. In the inorning he was aroused gone; his garments were torn, and the by the Malay, placed between two blood streamed down his legs, from the swarthy natives of Mosambique, and rade assaults of the brambles. He now conducted out of the cavern. The scene for the first time encountered the pierc- that opened upon them was awfully ing gaze of the Malay, Joachim, his grand; Cape Town was situated more runaway slave, who stood with his arms than two thousand feet below the emi. folded, and his eyes steadily fixed on nence upon which they stood, the shiphis late master. Joachim was a tall, ping appeared but as small specks upon finely-formed inan, possessed of features the deep blue waters of Table Bay ; aad strikingly handsome; he was habited the Atlantic was visible over the top of in a long dark green jacket, open in the Lion's Head. Table Mountain rose front, and which disclosed a red shawl frowningly on one hand, and on the neatly folded across his breast ; his other, the Peak of the Devil's Head, entrousers were forined of dark cloth, his veloped in clouds, towered high above feet were bare, and his head was co- tiem ; the bright green of the vinevered with a conical bat, sed of yards, which were scattered in small rushes. The dreadful conviction now patches below, contrasted strongly with fashed across the inind of Droogsloot the dusky brown of the mountains; on that he was brought hither to be bule the opposite side of the Bay were to be

At a

Seen Tiger Berg, and Groene Kloof, and he went up to the billiard room. I the view was terminated by immense called for a glass of Dantzic and waridges of mountains.

ter, and the Moniteur, and while the “Hark ye, Mynheer,” said Joachim; waiter was bringing them, I looked “old Hendrik, the boatman, will await ronnd at my fellow-loungers. us in Hout's Bay this night, and will table near mne sat two grave elderly convey all these wretched creatures, gentlemen, with powdered heads, and who have been driven hither by the long queus, deep in a gaine of chess. tyranny of their masters along the coast A knot of young men, nost of whom 10 some place where they may rest from their dress proclaimed to be students, oppression. I have served thee faith- occupied the window in earnest disfully, and truly, till by thy brutal usage course respecting supernatural appearI was driven from thy dwelling; now ances, and the nature of the human shalt thou be to me what I was 10 thee, soul; and a singular personage in a my slave ; thou art in my power, and nó kind of scarlet surtout with long skirts, earthly price shall rob me of my just was pacing up and down the room; revenge. Contentedly would í bave his hands behind his back, and a goldtoiled for thee until death eased me of headed cane under the left arm. Somemy sufferings, had I been requited by times he stopped for a moment, and kindness; but stripes were my only appeared to listen to the argument in reward."

the window, and sometimes he looked “Spare me,” groaned Droogsloot, as at the chess-players. The singularity

grovelled on the earth before the of his figure and countenance completeMalay ; “Spare me, and I will enrichly diverted my attention from the events ye beyond the reach of want."

of the Spanish campaign; and I could “ Ha, ha, ha,"laughed Joachim, with think of nothing else. He was below bitter irony, “ thinkest thou I have lived the middle size, bony, and broadthree years beneath thy roof, without shouldered. By his face I should have knowing where to put my hand upon judged him about fifty; but a considerthy strong hold :--bring forward the able

sloop, made him

appear, al chest, Tumak -Behold. Mynheer, the first, much older. Glossy, pitch-black god thou worshippest !”

hair, hung straight and thick about his The man brought an oak chest, sallow visage ; a long hooked nose strongly bound with iron bars, and drooped over thin and firmly compressstudded with large-headed nails. At ed lips ; and large dark eyes, whose the sight of the well known treasure, brilliancy and aniination, unnaturally Gabriel uttered a cry of frenzy, contrasted with the cold impassibility “ Strache mich helli!" he exclaimed, of the other features, glittered beneath starting on bis feet, “shall I bear with shaggy projecting eye-brows. It was this?" and, for a moment seeming 10 altogether a countenance worthy of a forget his dastardly nature, he sprang hangman, a grand inquisitor, or a capon the Malay. The strength of Gabriel, tain of banditii. when exerted, wa

was immense; they « The owner of such a face," thought closed, both fell reeling to the ground; I, “would burn a city, or spike a score they rolled in each other's grasp to the of infants, for pastime. For worlds I brink of the precipice ; a fragment would not travel alone with him through gave way, and they fell; a deep groan a forest. Surely such a mouth can from the Dutchman, and a piercing cry never have siniled, even in childhood.” from the Malay, told their fate. Their In this conclusion, however, I was bodies were dreadfully mangled ; mistaken ; for just then he stopped near Joachim vas already dead, but the other the students, and laughed at what they still writhed in bis agonies ; they lasted were saying. But-God preserve us ! not long, however, for an enormous what a laugh! It made my blood run stone rolled clanging down the steep, cold. It was a grin of hellish maliceand falling directly on bis head, crushed my eyes glanced involuntarily down. out his brains in an instant, and at wards, in expectation of seeing the once sealed the doom of Gabriel cloven foot, and, true enough, the feet Droogsloot. WILLIAM Henry. were not fellows. One, only, resem

bled a human foot ; the other misshapen THE RED COATED GENTLEMAN. member was covered by a boot of pe

culiar form ; and yet he did not limp; A Few evenings before, I had accom- but, on the contrary, he glided along panied a friend to a coffee house, in as gently as if he had been walking on iending. 10 read the newspapers whilst esgoshells, and afraid of crushing them.

I had forgotten the anxiety for news eloquence at my birth by my joy-feeling with which I had entered i he coffee- relations, that hoped, at least, if they house; but I still held the paper in my did not leave me land to leave the free hand, and looked over it at the hideous use of the "tufis"' in the belfry, as longbeing by whoin I felt spell-bound. as I, like the bull in Cuck Robin, could

“ Presently, as he was passing the pull them, or let an unprunning eel-like chess-players, one of them said to his rope slip out of my fingers, through the adversary in a tone of exultation, eyelet holes in the way to the tower

You are done for at last, I think.' loft. At my christening, which did not The Red-coat stood still -- his dark eye take place till i was many months old, glanced rapidly over the board, and be in a sunny afternoon, when the revel said, “You will find yourself mistaken, was kept in the kindest spirit of hospi. Sir, you are checkmated at the third tality, it is fanciedly said, I was rejoiced move. His tones were low, sweet, and to hear the mounting chime of five silclear; the player, who had spoken, very-tongued notes sounding softly, looked up with a supercilious smile, loud and louder, in the circumjacent and the perplexed adversary shook his sceneries; and the sweet echoes from a head incredulously as he moved his distant mill replied in gratulatory imipiece: he moved again- and check tation and undulating melody. The first mate.'

present I received was given me on this The combatants re-marshalled their signal day, when the flag was hoisted ; men, and coinmenced a new game. The it was a set of coral bells, which, I am Red-coat pursued his walk, and pre- told since by those of my friends present sently, stopped again, and listened to in the church, when my face was sprinthe discussion in the window. One of kled in the ceremony, I dashed pasthe speakers addressed him abruptly, sionately in the curate's arms, and • You seem interested in our argu-, struggled right and left with a hearty ment, Sir. But your smile would im-' cry, to the full satisfaction of my parents ply that you entertain opposite opinions and the attending goodies. “ Ezekiel's from mine respecting the divine and one of thc'old sort,” said uncle Tobit, human natures. Have you read Schel- the best ringer of swine in the county. ling?

“ Ay, that he is, to a deud certainty, bi I lave.'

uncle Simeon, the blacksmith, a famous ««• And, may I ask, why you smiled ringer of iron-fastening, from ringing just now?'

the bull to a bed-curtain, replied. "Schelling,' replied the Red-coat, Simeon, or uncle Sim, as he was is a sharp-witted, sagacious poet, whó called, lived over against the churchgives the dexterous flights of his imagi- yard, and his leisure was not unfrenation for truths, secure that he can quently filled with the “ town in danonly be answered by other dreams, ger” tradesmen, that sat and talked the which required still greater acuteness

news of weal and wail in the corners than his own to defend. Philosophers of the sign of the Five Bells, a courtare still what they have ever been. yard from the road, or in the smithy. The blind dispute about the theory of

As I was to be the adopted child, colours and the deaf about the laws of much discussion arose, whether I should harmony. Just as Alexander would follow the calling of iny father-a have thrown a bridge up to the moon to wheelwright, or not; or take my post carry his conquests into another world at the anvil with uncle Simeon; or visit --so philosophers, dissatisfied within the farnjers professionally with uncle the boundaries of reason, would carry Tobit

, to be a terror to the nasal organs their arguments beyond it.'

of the pig-my race, whose “ withers From Lights and Shadows of German Life. were unrung:" Many conjectured as

to my future greatness; and all agreed

that I evinced acuteness of genins. The A BELL-RINGER'S NARRATIVE.

philoprogenitive prizes of hats and hose were laid by for me when my head and

legs were grown large enough to wear For sorrow, custom, feasting, prize, or gay, I could pursue the " tenor" of my way :

them ; and, after being taught to wander And I could lead, or follow every change,

in a go-cart with tolerable assurance, I In which the bells, delighted, seemed to range. commenced and completed my education

at the Ma'am's school, where I used to PREPATRORAGE and patrimony usher- ring the bells under the forms by swinged me into this line of life, and the ropes ing my legs. No Sunday seminaries, were pulled with more than provincial or infant establishments, for finishing,

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being in propagation when I first fin But for an accident, bere recessary -gered the Horn-book, and traced the to relate, I should have fixed my choice Psalter.

in the penthouse, in preference to reAs I grew older, and, I hope, wiser, forming the swinish multitude. Recolit was proposed that I should endure a lect it was within sight of the belfry, month's trial with each of my uncles. and I was learning to ring. In a dark Only inagine the pleasing novelty I winter night when the villagers bad felt-in principio. Arrived at a large retired from the fire to rest, a stranger farmer's range of Augean styes. 1 in knightly gear stopped and disgloried in my strength, and my fingers mounted. He held the rein of a beauitched, or rather tingled, like the pseudo- tifully proportioned palfrey as white as hero in the duel. We shall have a snow, advancing with the larger one raro peal to-day, Zekiel," said uncle he rode, and gently lifted off a “ lady Tobit. Each of us was arrayed in fair,” partly veiled and habited in warm thick high boots, hedgers' gloves and cloth and fur. The wind gushed mournblue frocks. To forward our operations, fully by the penthouse, as they entered we dragged a sturdy spotted urchin it. She leant on his shoulder and forth from his family of ihe council of seemed faint. I called down aunt, half ten, squeaking most unmusically, most alarmed, who brought her a seat, for melancholly. The farmer's daughters she would not go into the house, wbile

and dame, by anticipation, were peep- uncle examined the palfrey's hoof that - ing through the dairy with imploring had been lamed. She sat down, the hands and beseeching looks. The old stranger requesting speed and clasping farmer, leaning calmly over the wicket, her hand to his quivering and whisperand his herdsman beating down the ing lips. As I held the lantern and grunting and agitated mother of many tool-box to my uncle, I could see the generations, as she thrust her opening silent tear-drop, chastened on her cheek. jaws and awful tusks through an aper- As I altered my position, I saw the tall ture of her adjoining littered dwelling, terrific figure of a man, with his horse disdainful of danger, anxious to rush drawn parallel behind him, wrapped in on the foe. When uncle had secured a cloak, just peeping round the post at his captive, and pressing the head be the eaves, with a dagger clutched in the tween his knees, he performed the art, fist that clenched his covering. I tremby forcing the sharp points of the ring bled in the glare of his eyes. As I held through the snout-holding the leathers, the lantern's open door towards the the pincers and rings, I assisted him. place, never before scared, by goblin He curled the ends to the nostrils, and grim, or demon shade, my heart almost with a jerk let off the frightened wight chilled dead. The lantern dropped from into the paddock, pleased to find the my hold. A pistol was fired-but I knew pinch in the nose no worse the farmer not at whom-the ball passed my remarking, as he threw a handful of shoulder and stunned the stranger peas, Egad, thou may'st drill the knight. A second report followed the ground at thy leisure now.”. One after milk-white palfrey fell. A sadden rush the other, we treated in a similar way, was made by the stranger without at the till they were rong for better or for lady. By the sparks of the forge I saw

By attention, at the expiration his arm round her waist, and he mounled of the month, I imagined I was able to quicker than lightning. The tramp of perform my uncle's art with credit, and his horse's heels echoed against the he regretted the contract, -to try my walls. The intervals were filled by liking” with ancle Sim.

screams, and the stranger knight reAttired in a Smith's costume, with covering his confusion, he drew a pistol shirt sleeves curled up to my shoulders, from the holster, and with equal quickand an apron touching my feet, a bad ness mounted his horse, threw down a ger skin cap and tight and ready for the piece of money, and said " Bury the sparks, I laid one hand on the bellows poor creature decently-nor let a dog handle, and stirred the reddening iron taste its flesh.” We complied on the in the small-coal, roaring fire with the morrow,- gazing wildly through the other, pressing a long pair of forceps, dim discernment of the spheres. then beating out the yielding metal with I began to think a blacksmith's life might and main on the shining and il- rather too experimental. Besides, ere luminated anvil. A little experience my month expired, I received many unmade me expert in the smithy, and there friendly kicks and treads ; and pieces was no doubt I should make a good of flesh were twice bitten out of my bell-hanger.

arms by saucy racing fillies, one of

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