north of Engwenza, the Kafirs had made a determined
attack, and had murdered the trader and his family,
and then, after helping themselves to everything they
could carry away, they set fire to the store and
Morton, Risk, and Ferror still remained on at Eng-
wenza, for the two former were determined to guard
their possessions to the last, and Ferror, who liked
the two young fellows, would not leave them alone
in their danger. Again and again the magistrate of
Itsobi sent messages urging them to come into the
laager, but they still adhered to their determination.
Early one morning, just as the sun was peeping over
the distant mountains, Risk, who was keeping watch
while the other two took their turn of sleep, saw a
small cloud of dust far out on the road. Thinking that
this might be an indication of the approach of the
enemy, he instantly awakened Morton and Ferror, and
together the three watched the dust, which seemed to
approach nearer and nearer every minute.
MORE FUGITIVES 31
" It's a cart," said Risk, as he caught sight of some-
thing white amidst the dust.
" Yes," answered Ferror, who had been standing a
few yards off saying nothing, " and it is travelling
mighty fast. The one who drives that there vehicle
happens to have cause for hurry, I'm thinking."
On it came. Now the cart could be distinctly seen
and the pair of black nags which were bringing it along.
Now it was only about a mile away, and the sound of
the galloping animals on the hard road came up clearly
on the still morning air.
The animals as they approached nearer appeared
to be fagged out, for they galloped with a floundering
sort of gait. So far only one person could be seen in
the cart, and he was lying back with the reins held
loosely in his hand. The horses, regardless of him,
kept to the road.
Running down to the road-side, the three hailed the
driver, or rather the passenger, for as he merely had the
reins in his hands and appeared oblivious to the course
the horses were taking, he could scarcely be called the
At the sound of the shouts, however, he sat up and
looked wonderingly around as if in a dream, and then
they noticed that his head was bound up with a blood-
stained handkerchief. Seeing the three white men he
drew up, and they rushed to the side of the cart ;
but he had fallen back again, and they saw that he had
Quickly Ferror lifted him out and carried him to the
hut, where he applied the usual restoratives and left his
companions to bring the cart on.
Risk took the horses' heads, while Morton sprang in
to take the reins. Scarcely, however, had he done so,
when an exclamation from him caused Risk to turn his
head round ; then, seeing Morton looking intently behind
himself in the cart, Risk left the horses' heads and got
on the cart step.
In the back seat, reclining amongst some rugs an4
32 AT MOSETl'S BIDDING
pillows, sat, or rather lay, a young girl of nineteen or
perhaps twenty years. Her bright golden hair hung
wildly over her shoulders. Her face was white and
still, the long lashes of her eyes lying softly on her
colourless cheek. The white nightgown, partly covered
by the rug, and her bare feet, which protruded, told
without words that her departure from wherever she
came had been hurried.
" Is she dead ? " asked Risk, as he looked in.
Morton put his head upon her breast, and for a
moment there was silence.
" No," he said, " her heart still beats."
" Thank God ! " exclaimed Risk.
Morton gathered up the reins. " Come, jump in,
Ivor," he said, " we may save her yet " ; and he turned
the horses' heads towards the huts.
Gently they lifted her from the cart and carried her
inside. A few drops of raw brandy were poured into
her mouth, and in a few minutes she moved restlessly,
then moaned slightly.
Very gently they tended her, and at last their efforts
bore fruit, for she opened her eyes and gazed first at
one and then the other.
" Where am I ? " she asked ; and somehow, as her
low, sweet, musical voice struck upon Morton, the blood
in his veins seemed to stand still for a second, and then
coursed through them warmer than ever in an un-
" Hush ! Don't speak now, miss," he replied. " You
are with friends."
" Yes ; but just tell me, where are the others ? "
" I don't know ; you came here with a gentleman in
"Oh, I remember now," she cried, and, covering her
face with her hands, she fell back again in a dead
faint, as the memory of what had occurred came back
" Come here, one of you," called Ferror, from the next
room. " Make haste ! " And Risk hurried off, leaving
MORE FUGITIVES 33
Morton to administer the necessary restoratives to the
One look, and he knew what had happened. The man
was dying. Ferror was half lying across the bed support-
ing him, but his face told plainly that life was fast ebbing.
Risk seized the brandy and was about to apply it to
the sufferer's lips ; but Ferror waved it away. " Won't
do any good, Risk," he said quietly ; and while the words
were still on his lips a gurgling sound came from the
throat of the man in his arms. A short struggle, and
then he fell back, dead. For a moment there was
silence, and then Ferror moved to lay out the dead man
before the body should stiffen.
" This is what did the deed," he said, as his hand
struck against something hard, which he took hold of.
It was a broken piece of spear, stuck in the unfortunate
Having done the last services, they went to see if
they could be of any assistance to Morton. The young
lady had recovered from her swoon and was now
sleeping calmly, while Morton sat beside her holding
her hand ; so Risk and Ferror retired outside and sat
down to talk the matter over.
Ferror told Risk that when the man recovered after
he had brought him in, he was perfectly conscious for
a little while, and during that time he had hurriedly
told him all that had occurred.
The man was a trader named Dale, and he lived on
a station about thirty miles away. Miss Delton was
governess to his children.
Last night, at about ten o'clock, he was in his stable,
when a native told him that the Kafirs were fast
approaching. Hastily ordering the boy to harness the
horses to the cart, he ran to the house to fetch his wife
and the two children and their governess ; but before he
had gone far he saw the family rush out towards him.
Mrs. Dale was carrying the elder child, and Miss Delton
When about fifty yards from him, he saw dark
34 AT MOSETI'S BIDDING
forms glide from the side of the house, and with spears
and assegais attack Mrs. Dale. Then another party
made for Miss Delton, and just at that moment she
stumbled, and the little girl fell out of her arms, and
quickly she was killed before both their eyes.
All this had happened in a moment of time.
Maddened, he raised his revolver as he neared the
crowd, and fired into it. For a moment the savages,
thus unexpectedly attacked, for they had not seen him
coming on, fell back, and so allowed Miss Delton to
gain a little.
Seeing that she might be saved, and knowing that
those whom he loved were beyond all aid, he seized
her in his arms and made for the cart ; but the natives
quickly realised that they had retreated on a false
alarm, thinking that the shot which had been fired into
their midst was the forerunner of more, and they now
charged madly after the flying man. But he was some
distance away from them, and they now saw the cart
standing waiting for the fugitives ; the horses, frightened
by the voices of the natives shouting, were pawing the
Zip, sang an assegai as it flew past. Zip, went
another ; then another, but still Dale had staggered on
with his burden. Then one grazed his head, making
a gash, from which the blood flowed quickly. Now
the cart was gained, and springing on, he flung Miss
Delton in ; he himself still stood on the step, while the
horses plunged forward.
Just as he dragged himself in, he must have received
the assegai which they found in his side, but of this
he had said nothing. All he said further was that
just as they were moving off the foremost native had
reached the cart, dragged the driver off, and clubbed
him. Dale fired, and brought down the murderer. A
dozen more sprang forward, clutching at the horses'
heads, but the maddened animals were off before they
were touched, and though scores of spears rained round
and on the cart, they managed to get away.
MORE FUGITIVES 35
For miles the terrified horses kept up their wild,
headlong gallop, and then Dale drew them in and eased
their speed, so as to save them as much as possible.
When, however, he saw the station in the distance,
and knowing that his strength was fast failing, he
had again beaten the horses into a gallop in order
to reach some place of safety for Miss Delton. As
they had neared the place his strength had given
way, and thus it was that the cart had come up with
him lying back in a fainting condition.
This was all that Dale had been able to communicate
before he again swooned, and when he came to himself
Ferror had seen that the end was near.
After Ferror had repeated the tale both men sat
quietly thinking for a time ; then Ferror spoke. " We
must bury the poor chap at once, Risk, for we may
not be able to find time later on." So they moved
off in silence to perform their sad task.
THE; SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD
IT was evening, and Miss Delton, who had recovered
from the first effects of the shock of the previous
night and the long subsequent drive, was sitting in a
Madeira chair outside the hut which had been placed
at her disposal.
Her face bore traces of the great grief which was
in her heart at the cruel fate which had befallen her
friends, and every now and again she would burst into
tears as the horrible memory of the previous night
crossed her mind. Then she would struggle to forget
all that had transpired, and would for a while succeed
in composing herself.
But she felt nervous and unstrung, for what girl
could undergo an experience such as had been hers
and not be upset altogether by it? Her nervous
system had sustained such a shock as would require
months, perhaps years, to completely recover from.
But with all her deep sorrow at the loss of those
whom she had truly loved, and despite the revulsion
of feeling which came to her at the thought of that
terrible scene she had witnessed, there was one thing
which buoyed her up something which had, as it
were, entered into her very soul, and not only had
made her great sorrow bearable, but had made her
feel as if the past events, sad and terrible as they were,
had not happened in vain.
What was this great something ; this undefinable and
yet real feeling which had crept into her ?
THE SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD 37
She wondered ; but think as she would, she could
find no answer to the questions she asked herself.
All that she was conscious of was a feeling of joy
mixed with her terrors and sorrows. What was it, and
whence did it come?
She was clad in a loose grey gown, which, together
with a few other articles of apparel which she had
hastily snatched up as she made her flight, was all
that she possessed.
As she reclined back in the basket-work chair before
the open door of the rude hut, with the last rays of
the fast sinking sun striking upon her and lighting up
her sad face and beautiful golden hair, she made a
picture such as any artist would make undying fame
by, could he but truly depict it upon his canvas. Her
throat was shapely and white, while her large, deep
blue eyes, so expressive of thought, were in themselves
sufficient to stamp the owner with the name of beautiful,
even were the other features ever so commonplace.
But they were anything but commonplace. Not a
feature but evinced beauty ; not a line that did not
Thus she had been sitting for about an hour. The
three young men had thought it best to tell her of
the sad end of Mr. Dale, and though she had taken
this last blow quietly enough, they knew that she
felt it none the less keenly.
When she had awakened from the sleep we saw her
in, in the last chapter, she had felt much better. After
dinner Morton had insisted on her resting again, which
she had done, and when she woke up she felt so much
herself that she went outside to get a little fresh air
after the stuffiness of the hut.
Outside she found a chair and sat down in it,
wondering which of the three had had the forethought
to place it there for her ; for she felt sure it had been
placed there for her use.
In the kraal which stood about fifty yards away
she could see two figures, which she soon recognised
38 AT MOSETI'S BIDDING
as belonging to Risk and Ferror. They were attending
to the horses, and putting things generally right for
the approaching night. Away across the veldt the
almost countless huts lay. Not a soul was stirring
about amongst them ; they seemed quite deserted, but
she knew they were not.
Suddenly, as she sat quietly gazing at the surrounding
scene, she heard a quick step, and some one came round
the hut from the back, and she, being nervous and
unstrung, started perceptibly.
" Oh, I am so sorry, Miss Delton," said a voice. " I
never meant to startle you ; I should have been more
Something in the earnestness of the tone caused her
to look up in the speaker's face, and as her eyes met
his she suddenly, as if she read it in those dark brown
eyes which were gazing so intently and yet so softly
into hers, realised what that peculiar something was
which had puzzled her so much. She now knew what
it was that had brought consolation into her heart, and
had made even her very sorrow to seem sweet. Yes !
she now knew full well what it all meant. It was the
realisation that the man who now stood before her, so
strong, so handsome, and in her eyes so good, was
the personification of the ideal that her heart and mind
had conceived. It was as though she were looking at
a mirror, in which every line and feature were reflected
back, each to each ; and just so now, every line and
feature of the real reflected back the image in her
heart. All this passed through her mind like a flash
of lightning, and her heart beat with a great joy, while
her cheeks were instantly suffused with a warm red glow,
which, but for the fading" light, might easily have been
recognised as a blush ; but as it was, it passed Morton's
observation, or if he had noticed it, he was quite
ignorant that he himself was the cause of it, and would
have explained it to himself as being consequent upon
the start which he had just been the cause of, by coming
so suddenly round the hut,
THE SILVER LINING OF THE CLOUD 39
Miss Delton's flush was but momentary, and by
an effort she quickly recovered herself as she answered
" The fault was not yours, Mr. Morton, but mine.
I am stupid to be easily startled ; but then, you
" Yes, indeed I do, Miss Delton ; but don't think
of that now." Then, as if to change the subject to
other things, and to introduce another train of thought,
he added, " Ferror and Risk seem busy, don't they ? "
" Yes, I've been watching them for a little while.
What are they doing ? "
Morton replied, and then the conversation drifted
into general matters, and so engrossed did the two
become in it, that they never heard the others returning
until they were right up to them.
" I am afraid, Mr. Risk, that I am trespassing very
much indeed," said Miss Delton, as Risk and Ferror
joined them. " Mr. Morton has just told me that the
hut you have given me is the one you gentlemen
" Oh, that's nothing, Miss Delton. We will sleep
in the kitchen-hut just as comfortably, and besides
that, only two of us can sleep at one time, as the third
has to keep watch, in case our friends the Kafirs
attempt a surprise."
"Well, then, will you make a bargain with me, if
I consent to allow myself to impose upon you?" she
" Yes, I'll promise," answered Risk, rashly.
"Well, as you have promised, I'll tell you the condi-
tion upon which I'll consent to intrude. I want you
to allow me to see to the meals while I am here.
Come ! I'll begin at once " ; and she rose without even
waiting to hear if her terms were agreed to.
Morton urged Risk to give her her own way, as he
realised how good it would be to keep her employed,
so as to divert her mind.
So. Risk made no objections, and was soon assisting
40 AT MOSETI'S BIDDING
Miss Delton to lay the cloth on the tea-table and
prepare the evening meal.
When all was ready the three men tossed up, as to
who should take watch while the others had their meal,
and the lot fell upon Morton, who was rather pleased
than otherwise ; for he knew that when Ferror and
Risk had finished they would go outside for their
evening smoke, and he would then have the hut and
Miss Delton entirely to himself.
His surmise proved correct, for after about twenty
minutes had elapsed the two men came out, and called
to him to go in at once or the tea would get cold.
How delicious that cup of tea tasted, and what a
flavour those hot ash-cakes had ! It seemed as if he
had never enjoyed a meal so much in his life before.
And how delightful the conversation was ! But all
good things must have an end, and surely never had
any good thing been comparable to this.
After assisting Miss Delton to clear away the tea-
things, Morton accompanied her to the door of her
hut, and there said good night, for she was tired out
with all that had happened.
" Good night, Miss Delton," he said, as he took her
hand. " Don't think about things more than you can
help ; promise me that you won't."
" I will promise. Good night ! "
" Good night ! "
Then, just as she turned to enter the hut, Morton
said, as a sudden thought occurred to him : " Sleep
just as you are, Miss Delton, and don't undress. I
don't want to alarm you ; but it is necessary that
you should be ready to leave with us at a moment's
notice, should the Kafirs show themselves."
IN THE SILENCE OF THE NIGHT A DASH FOR
on, old chap, get up. It's close upon
Morton rose from his bed on the floor and looked
bewildered for a moment ; then, as he grew wider
awake, he sprang up with alacrity.
" Right you are, Ivor, old boy. Have you seen or
heard anything suspicious ? "
" No, I can't say that I have ; though, when I
relieved Ferror at midnight, he told me that just
before I came out he had observed four or five bright
lights along the mountains, which seemed to lighten
up and die out at short intervals for a few moments,
and then vanish altogether. But I don't think it is
Morton took all this in, but answered nothing, though
he determined to keep a keener watch than ever.
Risk returned to the hut to take his few hours' sleep,
and Morton, after pacing up and down for half an hour
or so, sat down to think over the events of the past day.
Then his thoughts wandered back to the days he
had spent in Cape Town. He thought of her whom
he had thought he loved. Where was she now, he
wondered, and what was she doing? But the thought
was merely a passing one and brought no pleasure
with it, and, strange to say, no bitterness. A month
nay, less a week, or even twenty-four hours ago, the
42 AT MOSETl'S BIDDING
same thought would have caused him to frown, and
perhaps feel hurt ; but to-night ah ! to-night it was
quite different. And why ? Well, the answer lay in
the person of one who was lying asleep not fifteen
yards away. The answer was, because another had
entered into his life. And with the thought of her
Morton's face brightened. Yes ; he knew that at last
he had met with the only girl who would ever fill
any place in his heart. Now he realised that the other
had been a mere fancy, a boyish infatuation. Then
a thought crossed his mind, and he frowned.
" Bah ! What a fool I am," he muttered to himself.
" I hardly know the girl, and she may be betrothed
to another for anything I know, or she may never
grow to care for me. 1 have hardly known her half
a day, and yet here I am, fancying myself in love with
her. What an ass I am ! " But in his heart, too,
there was a little image, and he too realised that
Dorothy Delton was the real of that ideal.
Then the thought of that long look came to him, and
he felt that that had told him that he could hope, and
with the thought his face again brightened.
Not a sound could be heard. The night was calm and
still. Not a light was visible save the light of the stars,
which twinkled brightly in the canopy of the heavens
above. Then the eastern horizon began to brighten,
and presently, up came the moon, and with its appear-
ance an old rooster belonging to one of the huts on
the little rise opposite began to crow ; then another
answered, and yet another farther away, and soon the
whole country around seemed full of sound as the
chorus rang out. This continued for about fifteen
minutes, and then, as if they had discovered that
daylight was still some hours away, and that the moon
was not the rising sun, the crowing gradually died
away until all was silence again.
Morton was beginning to feel sleepy again, and he
looked at his watch. It was a quarter to one. Another
forty-five minutes and he would be back in his bed.
IN THE SILENCE OF THE NIGHT 43
He rose and walked about, as if fearful lest he might
be tempted to forget himself for a moment and doze off
to sleep, and he extended his beat this time to a little
tree standing about forty yards from the nearest hut,
and which, being on the top of the little eminence
whereon the huts were built, gave him a fine
Reaching the little tree, he leaned against the trunk
and continued his train of thought But his good
intention failed him this time, for worn out with the
trying day and the anxious days which had preceded
it, he allowed himself to close his eyes and forget his
important duty for so it seemed just a moment.
Suddenly he started awake and looked around.
" What was it ? " A presentiment of impending trouble
was on him. Surely he had heard a sound. No !
Everything seemed just as it had been. Not a sound
came from anywhere. But the moon was now high
up, and as it had only just risen clear of the horizon
when he had first stood under the branches, Morton
knew that he must have slept nearly half an hour.
Wide awake now, he stood stock-still in the shadow
of the tree, and with every faculty strained to its
utmost capacity, he waited. Minute after minute
passed still the watcher scarcely stirred a muscle.
Something was wrong'; of that he felt certain, for
he felt terribly nervous and the cold sweat stood in
drops on his forehead.
Feeling that something should be done, and yet not
knowing what to do, he remained where he was for
some minutes longer. Then, having decided upon a
course of action, he left the tree, and, seeking the
shade as much as possible, so as not to be observed
by any one who might be about, crawled on hands
and knees to the kraal, and quietly loosening the four
horses, led them towards the hut, and tied them loosely
to a pole which stood under the window of the hut
which Miss Delton occupied.
Then he resumed his place under the tree, where he
44 AT MOSETI'S BIDDING
could see and not be seen, and this time he determined
to keep awake, and he knew he would keep his resolve,
for the horrible feeling of unrest still had possession
of him. A branch cracked somewhere, and in a moment
he was all eyes and ears.
Suddenly, he saw a small black object approaching the
farther hut, and he looked intently ; it was on the side
farthest from him. Then another, and another. The
rays of the moon at that moment struck on something
bright, and Morton knew that the objects were Kafirs,
with their fearful weapons, creeping up in their usual
stealthy way, to sack the station and murder its
inhabitants in cold blood.
Drawing his revolver, he bounded from his shady
retreat, and with a shout to warn the inmates of the
huts of their danger, he fired at the nearest figure,
which was a distance of close upon sixty yards from
The natives rose and retreated for a moment, startled
by the suddenness of the attack upon them, and Morton
saw that they were in great numbers. Almost simul-
taneously with the shot, Risk and Ferror rushed out,
and as Morton joined them, they fired into the
retreating mass. The shots all seemed to take effect,
for three men were seen in the bright moonlight to