Jessie Monteath Currie.

The Hill of goodbye; the story of a solitary white woman's life in Central Africa online

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I found the Doctor, the teacher and the gardener.
They had fortified the house as best they could
with bales of cotton.

"Ina week we returned home as we heard that
the Indian soldiers had come to guard the Station
for a time. The natives had looted the house,
and what they could not carry they smashed
with their axes."



THE CHIEF'S REVENGE. 247

" And my sketches are lost, I suppose," I said.

" Oh, no ! They carried them out of the house,
then threw them into the bush as worthless.

Mr. found nearly all of them, charred and

reddened by the soil, but I think you may be able
to clean them. Your watch also was found
dropped by the way. The Moirs kindly gave us
blankets and clothes, but for them I don't know
what we would have done."

" And what shall I do without my things ? "
I asked.

The Msungu gave me a look, and his eyes seemed
as they did in a golden June. " We are not going
back," he said, " we are going home."

Home, sweet, sweet home ! I could not believe
it. He had to repeat it over again. For the time
being I did not think of my black girls and boys.
Though passionately fond of animals I never gave
my poor likomba a thought. Only home and
friends rilled my heart. But next morning when
Achilandana brought in our tea I realised what
the parting would mean.

" Am I to go with you to England ? " she asked,
a yearning look in her eyes.

The Msungu said he would think about it. How
anxiously she watched our faces all the day.
What tales she told the natives of the time she
would have in the great White Man's country.



248 THE CHIEF'S REVENGE.

No doubt she dreamed at night that she had
grown a white woman. Again at dawn she
brought in our tea.

" Achilandana, we are very sorry, but we find
we cannot take you to England with us," said the
Msungu kindly.

A something came into the girl's throat that
she had never felt before. Tears swam in her
eyes. She turned without a word and left the
room. My heart was sore for her. I had not
thought that she had so much feeling. As soon as
I got up I gave her, for her very own, a large piece
of soap. She smiled with delight, and as far as
appearances went, seemed consoled.

I know now that she is happier where she is.
Bwanali, our best boy, married her. I have
received a photograph of the happy pair. Did
I say a pair ? I was wrong. Bwanali is holding
a sweet little kanachi (child) in his arms.

But all these events seem but a dream now,
though there may be a happy awakening when
we shall all meet again. Yet a little proof is
left to show that they really happened. I open
my desk and take out a letter which I received
from my husband that evening at the Limbe.
I open it tenderly. The paper is stained by the
red soil of Mount Mlanje, as if it also would send
me a faint souvenir as a farewell gift. It is



THE CHIEF'S REVENGE. 249

written in a scrawling hand, but it is from my
giris. Translated it reads :

'' Donna, goody-bye, the washing is finished, the war is
over. Donna, goody-bye.

" MEI,E, AjAULA, NBENDEMElyE."



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Online LibraryJessie Monteath CurrieThe Hill of goodbye; the story of a solitary white woman's life in Central Africa → online text (page 13 of 13)