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11. thor forbi11.450.16-1.2. buen The receipt of high wages powerfäily de*** 1,024,011, B2,6,52 an area of 15 2.10, velope the craze for gaming, as innate in * .ft'e 111 124sa-ira abent, b'acks as in whites. A groap is collected not", o, 1 fast boozts and very decisio in a shady corner absorbed in a game of 6,114Inernant watk and ward, iron childish simplicity with cards, which a fotote**, Brits and bare, are safeguards Kaffir deals with the deatness and rapidity quis,et the wape of insiders, and all of a professed prestidigitator. The stakes 69 702,4361* are subject.od, like ourselves, to are 5d. per deal-as ruinously high as un*w.piing of our apprarance, and an ex- limited loo would be to Englishmen-and *'n hat1993 of our pannes, ere admitted the winners clutch at their gains with a Wilbut the precincts of that anomaly – a frenzy quite at variance with the ideal im
PF fi 101 free men, One working shift passiveness of the savage. Elsewhere, in in trik artually employed in the mines ; the open, cooks are preparing food in bout the remainder, 1500 or 1500 in num- large caldrons for their respective tribes. bur, coalituusa strange collection of nu- A hasts inspection of some of the nauseous meron tribes, collected from cvery quar- seething messes conveys to me the inter of mouth Africa, which would engrous pression that the chief constituents are the interest of an enthumiantic ethnologist. heads and entrails. Tribes are kept apart Nor in the night altogether displeaning: in separate huts ; for were there an indismaghing and talking, banking and sleep- criminate mixture, one half would quickly inge, outing, smoking, and playing, are in be at the throats of the other half. The full swing; but the concourse of so many interiors of the dwellings mark curiously
the gradations of savagedom. In some acteristic distinction between monkey and for example, among the Zulus -compara- man is the power possessed by the latter tive neatness, order, and cleanliness pre- of opposability between the forefinger and vail ; their blankets and rugs are brightly thumb. This power is lacking in the striped, their rags are brilliant, their sleep- Bushinen. “ Pinch my finger," I said to ing-places have some semblance of being one of them ; "pinch much harder." human resorts, and even faint traces of at- In vain ; the pressure would scarcely have tempted decoration can be detected. In injured a fly. Now, an anthropoidal ape others, notably among the Baralongs and possesses many human characteristics, but Batlapins, the interiors are like nothing is essentially a monkey ; a Bushman poselse than the lairs of grovelling beasts of sesses many apish characteristics, but is the field. One habit, however, seems essentially a man. A miserable, dwarfed, common to all. Whatever the heat of decrepit, repulsive man. One whom I the weather or warmth of the spot, the measured was only four feet three inches sleeping savage is careful to envelop com in height, with a skinny feeble body to pletely in his blanket not only his body correspond, a screwed-up chest, drum. but his head, leaving not the smallest stick legs and arms, very small cerebelchink for breathing, so that it is marvel- lum, prognathous jaws, high cheek-bones, lous he is not asphyxiated. The higher acute facial angle, and lack-lustre eyes. tribes of Kaffirs are, however, clean in His features were totally devoid of extheir babits, and delight in wallowing in pression ; his demeanor, when examined the large compound tank provided for and handled, was more stolid than that of them, and are remarkably free from a sheep ; his language could barely be bouquet de native ; whereas a single whiff called coherent; and in fact, it was diffiof a Chinaman is sickening, and proximity cult and painful to realize that this poor even to a bath-loving Japanese elicits an brutish animal must be classified in a involuntary “phew.'
genus which comprises a Newton, a MilMy conductor assures me that although ton, and a Shakespeare. The only inthe number of Europeans is a mere frac- stance I witnessed of Bushman intelligence tion of the total of black residents, not the was in a tiny infant in Kimberley hospislightest difficulty is experienced in main- tal. The creature was about the size of a taining order. This is due partly to the puppy, and equally bright and vivacious, multiplicity of tribes, each one of which illustrating the theory that in a race of regards with distrust the others, and de- low intellect intelligence is in an inverse clines to combine ; partly to the constant ratio to age. influx of fresh arrivals and departure of To supply the incarcerated Kaffirs with old hands ; partly to the entire absence of any means of intellectual occupation-to women and children ; and finally, to the give them books, paper, writing materials, fact that all are healthy adults, whose time etc.-would be like presenting rufles to a is pretty well taken up in working, eating, man wanting a shirt. I inspected the and sleeping. Moreover, a certain num- small nominal school ; it was a mere farce. ber of tribal princelets, who receive wages I espied two or three Methodist hymnbut never do a stroke of work, materially books in possession of so-called converts ; contribute to suppress quarrels. My but alas ! here, as elsewhere in South guide appeared to be on excellent terms Africa, the expression “native convert" with his charges, rousing numerous sleep- is, in cases which are sadly numerous, ers whom I wished to question, by gently synonymous with “ outward show and inpulling their ears, and eliciting from them ward deceit.” To put the matter crudely, willing if not intelligent replies. Among yet I believe not inaccurately, between the representatives of races, taking them Christianity and the Kaffir faith intervenes roughly in order of superiority, were a wide and debased gap. It is not diffiZulus, Basutos, Delagoa Bay men, Fin- cult for missionaries to drag the savage goes, Hottentots, Baralongs, Batlapins, down from the elevation, however slight, Korannas, and Bushmen. These latter of his own creed ; but instead of endeavgive rise to a sombre repugnance, almost oring forth with to raise him to the pinamounting to a shuddering aversion, in nacle indicated by Christ's teaching, they that they are examples of the lowest are too frequently content to acquiesce in depths of a degraded humanity. A char a small measure of individual success, and
to leave him wallowing in the aforesaid During their incarceration they are at all gap. I refer the reader to Mr. Bodley's times liable, and are sometimes subjected, admirable “Ride in Kaftir Land” * for to sudden search, but the thorough and the further consideration of Sonth African crucial investigation is carried out during missionary undertakings, so imperatively their last seven days' residence. On required of us as a duty, so noble in their reaching this margin they are separated conception, and, alas ! sometimes so fee- from the mass of their fellows, closely ble in their execution.
contined in a large hut set aside for the The compound hospital is admirable ; purpose, and watched day and night like the percentage of sick among sturdy la- felons under sentence of death. Admitted borers in the prime of life, and leading a within its precincts, I see about forty model healthy existence, is naturally small
. naked fellows either lying on the ground Every comfort and every essential require- comfortably dozing or squatting, in the ment of modern medical science is here contented vacuity of do-nothingness so forthcoming ; and albeit the Kaffirs are charming to all torpid intellects. Each somewhat puzzled at a gratuitous compas. Kaffir wears a pair of thick leather gloves, sion for suffering, they rejoice and believe padlocked round the wrist and never for a in their English doctors.
moment removed. Being fingerless and Almost every traveller has encountered resembling boxing-gloves without padding, certain marvellous experiences which, if they render the hands almost useless for he be prudent, he will forbear detailing, purposes of hiding or picking and stealunder the penalty of being considered a ing. Their sole custodiau is one sturdy bold-faced liar ; and I only venture to al- Englishman, the picture of boredom, and lude to the following circumstance because who unassisted is perfectly competent to it can be corroborated by many indepen- maintain order, stop squabbling, and to dent witnesses. The Kimberley Kafsirs some extent baffle schemes for thieving. are extremely fond of cigars, but they At my request he gives me an example of smoke with the lighted end in their the way in which his captives are searched mouths. When this peculiarity was first before being set free in addition to cermentioned to me, I supposed that my in- tain other effectual measures. Awakening formant was cracking a somewhat vacuous a sleeper by a friendly pull of the ear, joke ; but to my amazement I saw nu Jigger” is his first injunction, and forthmerous instances of the reality in the com with the naked savage gravely begins to pound. The native first lighted his cigar hop, skip, and jump, as though executing by the ordinary method, then turning it a horn-pipe. These movements would round, he deftly arranged the hotly glow- cause stones ensconced about the person ing end in his mouth, and tucking away to fall on the ground. Next the custodian his tongue in his cheek, proceeded to in minutely searches the hair, ears, toes, and spire and expire the fumes, very gradually every part of his charge's body ; then he consuming the whole of the cigar. The thrusts bis fingers into the native's mouth smokers assured me that the process was and rummages about the teeth and inside warm, comforting, delicious, and far su the cheeks, and finally, the suspect is reperior to the usual mode. On subsequent quired to waggle his tongue in case any trial I found that the knack is less diffi stone shall have been secreted about the cult to acquire than might be supposed. root. Were “ The History of a Dia
The Kaffirs, when bired, enter into mond written, like that of its cousin agreements for minimum periods of three carbon, “The History of a Lump of months, and during these terms they are Coal,” it might furnish us with two scenes never suffered to quit the mining enclo in such strange contrast as to leave to us sure on any pretext whatever. They do
the alternative of a smile or a sneer. not appear to find this restraint irksome ; Scene 1.-A squalid African but ; a some, indeed, voluntarily thus pass three white overseer is compelling a naked Kaffir or four years in unbroken captivity, while prisoner to go through grotesquely deothers at the end of their contract sally grading antics ; a dirty little white stone, forth for a week's swinieh orgies, and only useful to be strung like an ornamentthen return to renew their engagements. al bead, drops from the poor black car
cass ; overseer triumphantly pounces on * Blackwood's Magazine, February 1891. the discovery.
Scene 2.-Six thousand miles distant; and on his return found that a large mass a London ball-roon with all accessories of of earth had been carted over his cache. civilized splendor ; the stone reappears The diamond has remained unrecovered cut, and in the shape of a brilliant en up to the present day, and the 4-gun bathancing the charms of some young loveli- tery is invested with a halo in consequence ness, and prompting the instinct which of its latent treasure, quite irrespective of bids us worship and honor her beauty, as its value for annihilating an enemy's though it were something divine.
ships. Again, no one is allowed to deal Notwithstanding all the precautions I in the rough stones without a special lihave indicated, the blacks occasionally cense ; only cut jewels-which exist in succeed in besting the whites. Some very small numbers in Kimberley—are have the knack of stowing a diamond for open to free traffic. Were a casual waya few minutes a short distance down the farer to pick up a chance diamond on a throat, and when the search is over, waste piece of land, the retention of it or working it back into the mouth by a mus- any attempt to sell it would be penal. cular movement. I am shown several tin Yet, as I have already mentioned, the boxes used by the natives for holding the • I.D.B.," as it is called-illiclt diamondrag or two they may possess, and wherein buying—is carried on to a serious extent, stones bave been most ingeniously con- and I could quote one of the most promicealed behind the metal lining plate or nently prosperous individuals in South the handle. On one occasion a liberated Africa, who, as is generally admitted, Kaffir was passing the last outside sentry. amassed, in former days, a considerable swinging a small open flimsy basket, such sum by the nefarious traffic, and who is as children use in England when gathering now flourishing in several public capacicowslips. “Let me look at it," said the ties, though, according to the rules of jazwarder, without any real suspicion, and tice, he should be behind the bars of a in the mere vacuity of idleness. The jail. Some years back detectives lighted wicker handle was a little loose ; it was on a very hotbed of “ I.D.B.,” but were lightly tacked on to a small slip of wood unable to obtain legal proof. At dead of at the brim, and when pulled aside it was night some disguised members of the force discovered that a neatly concealed cavity betook themselves to the thieves' den, and had been scooped out, and a valuable offered for sale a certain number of the diamond deposited therein. Equally in- precious stones. Only a woman was forthgenious means have been devised for baf- coming, who handled them, admitted that fling the outside detectives, and for smug. they were genuine, but professing herself gling stones from Kimberley to a remote unable to do any business, restored them and safe locality. A diamond is wrapped to the fictitious sellers. The detectives in a piece of meat and given to a dog, withdrew haffled, but were considerably which is conveyed out of the district and more baffled the next morning on discoverslaughtered, when the stone is removed ing that the intended victim had so cleverly from the intestines. Sometimes carrier- exercised her sleight of hand as to have pigeons are utilized ; and for a long time substituted her own imitation diamonds the parcel-post was rendered an accom- for the valuable stones originally tendered. plice, by means of an ordinary book with Thus far I have endeavored to explain a hollow cut out of the central pages, the working of a diamond-mine in its perwherein the booty was ensconced. The fected organization, with all the appliances detective department is elaborately and of modern mechanical science ; but witheffectually organized, and breaches of the out following the sarcastic exhortation diamond laws are very properly punished “Commençons au déluge," I must admit with extreme severity, five years' penal the expediency of describing the nature of servitude on the Government works being its infancy some twenty-one years ago, a not infrequent sentence. A convict dig- when the entire district was a drear, ging at one of the Cape Town forts hid a scarcely inbabited wilderness. By a forvery valuable diamond, which had escaped tunate coincidence, at the very date I paid discovery when he was apprehended, in a my visit to Kimberley, a new adjacent corner of the parapet, as the surest place diamond-field, the Wesselton, had just of concealment. He was unexpectedly been discovered—an event which may not transferred temporarily to another work, occur once in a decade ; and I was a wit
ness of the feverish excitement, the rush measures for safety. Up comes one of to, and the initiatory working of, a fresh the foremen with a conple of largish diamine. In company with the Government monds, unquestionably genuine, and of inspector, Captain Erskine, I drove four the approximate value of £70, which he and a half miles, through a country re- alleges have just been found in the washsembling Aldershot Heath in 1855, to the ings, and which, in language worthy of site in the open slightly undulating veldt. Billingsgate, he declares are the mere Radiating from a central area where the harbingers of other priceless findings. ground was being actually turned up, were “ Look at those black villains eyeing me,' innumerable" claims,” 30 feet square, he adds, indicating the repulsively coretons each marked out by four pegs bearing the glances of some native bystanders who name of the claimant. They had been had heard his story—“I must be off to stuck in in a manifestly hasty higgledy- stop their thieving ;" and away he rushes piggledy manner, one plot frequently over- in an apparent frenzy of excitement, to lapping another, and some day will con- continue his quest of " delved stones, the stitute a useful accumulation for firewood, wailer's heap." since there seems little doubt that the Before disinissing the mines, justice ground is already vested property. The demands I should allude to the Beaconscrazy rushers, however, who a few days field Institute three miles distant, and to ago were streaming across the veldt like which access will shortly be provided by files of ants, apparently consider that “ le cheap conveyances, established for the propriété c'est le vol," and in its turn benefit of the numerous Europeans who should be “vole'd” accordingly, and have taken up their abode in these wild have petitioned the Government that the regions. The extensive grounds have field should be handed over to public dig- been planted with an immense number of ging, with about the same right which ornamental trees, and laid out in a manwould justify the deprivation of a house ner which in two or three years' time will proprietor's kitchen-garden for the benefit result in delightful gardens. The handof street scavengers. The rushers had re- some, large, red brick buildings are divided turned to their usual avocations in Kim- into dwellings for families, and into a club berley, but in attempted substantiation of and boarding house for hoth married and their claims, had left a guard of Euro- single. Here every provision has been peans, who profitably employed their time made for supplying meals, for washing, snoozing in an adjacent tent, with a daily and for reading, writing, and recreation, pay of seven shillings each for doing noth- on a complete scale of civilized comfort. ing. That part, however, which I may Granted that the Institute more than pays call the nucleus spot, was being worked by its own expenses, its establishment reflects the lawful owners, and was the scene of high credit on those who designed and feverish activity. Digging, washing, sift- carried out the scheme, and notably on ing, and searching were carried on in an one of the chief mining shareholders, Mr. amusingly primitive fashion, with the help Cecil Rhodes, the present Premier of Cape of a few small wheezy engines, with mules Colony. and donkeys turning windlasses, and with Another admirable adjunct of KimberKaffirs working with wheelbarrows, ley is its town hospital. I speak advisedly shovels, and watering-pots. I estimated in declaring my opinion that in no other the total number of blacks and whites part of the world have I seen a similar inpresent at 300 ; and the requirements of stitution so attractive to a non-professional this wild rabble of delvers for wealth were visitor, from its kindly administration, its represented by some rickety tin struc- graceful comforts, and its pitying efforts tures, a few rags of tents, and an accu- to relieve all sufferers—so that it has unmulation of liquor-barrels and bottles, doubtedly won the confidence and affec"Blue" had as yet been barely reached, tion of all classes, both inside and beyond and efforts were restricted to washing the the district. The expense of its mainyellow soil ; but already the cuttings and tenance is high ; but Kimberley is the piercings were in a condition imminently headquarters of numerous speculators and perilous to the workmen, and until the financial magnates, and probably a genermine had been proclaimed, the Govern- ous superstition prompts many a large inent inspector had no authority to enforce contribution in tacit recognition of fortu