“Have you heard if Jim reached Durban all right?”, “You got some one to take him right through?”, “No! Shangaan, Sam; Shangaan!”. STOEP (pronounced stoop) (d), a raised promenade or paved verandah in front or at sides of a house. Murmur it was at first, but it grew steadily into a low-toned, monotoned, distant roar; and it caught and held one like the roar of coming hail or hurricane. It bounds into the air, races off suddenly, or goes away quite slowly; it switches its tail or shakes its head; it stops to look back, or does not stop at all; the spoor looks awkward and scrappy; the rust on the grass looks like dry blood. You said it! He took no notice of me; and I, never dreaming that he was after the koodoo, watched the walk quicken to a laboured trot before I moved or called; but he paid no heed to the call. Experience taught me to take no chances with Snowball. There were also some golden hairs sticking on the stumpy end of a broken branch, which may have had something to do with Jock’s scraped sides. There was Rooiland, the light red, with yellow eyeballs and topped horns, a fierce, wild, unapproachable, unappeasable creature, restless and impatient, always straining to start, always moaning fretfully when delayed, nervous as a young thoroughbred, aloof and unfriendly to man and beast, ever ready to stab or kick even those who handled him daily, wild as a buck, but untouched by whip and uncalled by name; who would work with a straining, tearing impatience that there was no checking, ever ready to outpace the rest, and at the outspan standing out alone, hollow-flanked and panting, eyes and nostrils wide with fierceness and distress, yet always ready to start again—a miracle of intense vitality! Such was the cynical advice given many years ago by one who had bought his experience in childhood and could not forget it. INSPAN, properly Enspan (d), to yoke up, harness up, or hitch up. As Jock trotted out to head them off Jim reached up to the buck-rails and pulled down his bundle of sticks and lay down like a tiger on the spring. Then Jim got hold of it by the tail and swam back to us, still shouting and quite mad with excitement. The second kaffir made the loop shorter, and the third shorter still, as they found their alarm and suspicions unjustified; and so on, as each came along, the loop was lessened until they passed in safety almost brushing against Jock’s nose. Two hours passed in useless calling and listening, searching and waiting, and then I gave it up altogether and made back for the waggons, trying to hope against my real conviction that Jock had struck the road somewhere and had followed it to the outspan, instead of coming back on his own trail through the bush to me. He was known as the best driver, the strongest nigger, the hardest fighter, and the worst drinker on the road. We all knew him personally: he was effusively friendly; and we suffered him and—paid for the drinks. They work on Nature’s lines. Bewitched! The water there was rather more than half saddle-flap high; I know that because it just left me a good expanse of hind quarters to aim at when the moment came. It is not actual danger that impresses one, but the uncanny effect of the short defiant roars, the savage half-human look of the repulsive creatures, their still more human methods of facial expression and threatening attitudes, their tactics in encircling their object and using cover to approach and peer out cautiously from behind it, and their evident co-operation and obedience to the leader’s directions and example. The camp was under a very large wild fig tree, whose dense canopy gave us shade all through the day. It jammed now, and fearing to lose sight of the chase I dared not stop a second, but ran on, struggling from time to time to wrench the breach open. Among white men opinions differ: I put it down as fatalism. It was at first merely a narrow tunnel in the undergrowth up the steep hillside, through which we crept in single file with the two dogs a few yards in front; they moved on in the same silent deliberate way, so intent and strung up that they started slightly and instantly looked up in front at the least sound. Jim sat by himself the whole evening and never spoke a word. Then came the sudden turn! But these things were forgotten then—lost behind the everlasting puzzle, How was it possible I had not seen the buck until it fell? The hunt came at us like a cyclone out of the stillness, and in the forefront of it there burst into the circle of light an impala ewe with open mouth and haunting hunted despairing eyes and wide spread ears; and the last staggering strides brought her in among us, tumbling at our feet. Two oxen broke away that night and were never seen again. By the living God that made you,
It was the only consolation for having to take the leavings of the litter. The lions and tigers had deserted the country near the main drifts and followed the big game into more peaceful parts; but the reeds were still the favourite shelter and resting-place of the crocodiles; and there were any number of them left. Apart from the discovery of this preserve, the day was memorable for the reason that it was my first experience of a big mixed herd; and I learned that day how difficult the work may be when several kinds of game run together. It was midday then, and their dying comrade was so far gone that they decided to abandon one trek and wait for evening, to allow him to die in peace. It was characteristic of him that he could always wait, and I never felt quite safe with him—never comfortably sure that something was not being saved up for me for some mistake perhaps days old. How many of them are needed to make a real flood! It only lasted seconds, but that was long enough for the man to reload and shoot the lioness through the heart. He could not hear the rattle of the chain on the box and pole, and saw nothing of the charging brute, and it was the purest accident that the dog stood a few inches out of reach. When another man pulls off what you don’t, the first thing you got ter believe is it’s your own fault; and the last, it’s his luck. It ducked violently and gave a choking hysterical squawk of alarm and anger as the stone whizzed close to its head; then flying on to another tree a few yards off, screamed away more noisily than ever. Some jib and pull back; some bellow and thrust across; some stand out or swerve under the chain; some turn tail to front, half choked by the twisted strops, the worn-out front oxen turn and charge downhill; and all are half frantic with excitement, bewilderment or terror. There was a curious subdued sort of murmur of many deep voices. et al. Jock of the Bushveld is a true story written by the South African writer Percy FitzPatrick. Then in the one group of ghostly, mist-blurred rocks he stopped to drink; and, as he bent—for all the blackness of the storm—his face leaped out at him, reflected for one instant in the shallow pool; the blue-white flame of lightning, blinding his aching eyes, hissed down; the sickening smell of brimstone spread about; and crashing thunder close above his head left him dazed and breathless. 964 likes. Jock of the Bushveld. Then they tried to suffocate him, gripping the mouth and nostrils so that he could not breathe; but, when the limit of endurance was reached and even the spectators tightened up with a sense of suffocation, a savage shake of the head always freed it—the brute was too strong for them. An’ it’s jus’ the same with dawgs. Near the Crocodile on our way down we heard from men coming up that Seedling had been there some days before but that, hearing we were on the way down and had sworn to shoot him, he had ridden on to Komati, leaving one horse behind bad with horse-sickness. I worked myself cautiously round to face them so as to be able to pick my shot and take it kneeling, thus clearing the tops of the grass; but whilst doing this another surprising development took place. That time it was the real thing, and when you hear the real thing you cannot mistake it. Was it horn, hoof, tooth, or—what? We hurried down, therefore, for the Bay, doing little hunting that time. Big Clocodile! Jock was standing off with his feet on the move forwards and backwards, his head on one side and his face full of interest, as if he would dearly love another romp in; and the waggon-boys were reeling and rolling about the grass, helpless with laughter. One by one the other puppies were taken away by their new masters, and before Jock was three months old he and Jess were the only dogs with the waggons. His left paw pinned down the body of a baboon. NOTE.—The spelling of Cape Dutch and native names is in many cases not to be determined by recognised authority. We see red; we kill all that lives. One result of this was that it was always jamming, and unless the cartridges were kept well greased the empty shells would stick and the ejector fail to work; and this was almost sure to happen when the carbine became hot from quick firing. Start by marking “Jock of the Bushveld” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Tuisblad Vir die Manne Klere Jock of the Bushveld T-hemp. I drove Mungo before me, keeping him at an easy-jog. He went to seek his fortune, as boys will and should; no pressure on him from about; no promise from beyond. The reason I do not rate the book any higher is the stiff competition it faces in the genre of colonial outdoor sporting adventure books I have had the pleasure of reading, where a more adult audience is targeted. DOUGH-BOYS, scones; frequently unleavened dough baked in coals; also ash-cakes, roaster cookies, stick-in-the-gizzards, veld-bricks, etc. There are at least two chapters, however, in which race attitudes of the times are explicit and too much to overlook. But it was too cruel: let it be! But, with all this, experience is as essential as ever; a beginner has no balanced judgment, and that explains something that I heard an old transport-rider say in the earliest days—something which I did not understand then, and heard with resentment and a boy’s uppish scorn. How much of fact there may have been in it I cannot say: honey-birds gave me many a wild-goose chase, but when they led to anything at all it was to hives, and not to snakes, tigers and crocodiles. Ineffectual and even hopeless as it looked at first, Jock’s attacks soon began to tell; the koodoo made wild efforts to get at him, but with every turn he turned too, and did it so vigorously that the staggering animal swayed over and had to plunge violently to recover its balance. Shouts and cries, the beating of tomtoms, and shrill ear-piercing whistles, came from all sides; and through it all the dull hum of hundreds of human voices, all gabbling together. The waggons moved off, and Jim with them; but twice he broke back again to dance and shout his gratitude; for it was wealth to him to have the reims and voorslag, the odd yokes and strops and waggon tools, the baking pot and pan and billies; and they were little to me when all else was gone. That at any rate was my experience. A mile or so on we checked again where the grass was trampled and the ground scored with spoor. The slithering tongue and wide-open mouth looked like a big red gash splitting his head in two; he was so blown, his breath came and went like the puffing of a diminutive steam-engine at full speed, and his eyes with all the wickedness of fight—but none of the watchfulness—gone out of them, flickered incessantly from the buck to me: one sign from either would have been enough! I can see why this would be a hit with children, being about a boy and his loyal dog companion's exploits in the African bushveldt. Dutch, ring kop—ring head. Jock was some distance ahead of me, trotting along quietly, when I saw him look up, give that rare growling bark of his—one of suppressed but real fury—lower his head, and charge. TICK, or RHINOCEROS, BIRD, the ‘ox-pecker’ (Buphaga Africana). If any South African author ever wrote a truly timeless story, it was Sir Percy Fitzpatrick without a doubt! This preview of, published July 31st 2002 by Ad Donker Publishers of course, giving way none. 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