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Kafir Stories Seven Short Stories   By: (1855-1943)

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First Page:

KAFIR STORIES SEVEN SHORT STORIES

BY

WILLIAM CHARLES SCULLY

AUTHOR OF

"POEMS," ETC., ETC.

LONDON

T. FISHER UNWIN

1895

COPYRIGHT BY T. FISHER UNWIN for Great Britain and the United States of America.

TO

KATE FREILIGRATH KROEKER

AND

J. H. MEIRING BECK THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED.

"So geographers, in Afric maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er uninhabitable downs Place elephants for want of towns."

SWIFT.

Glossary

Allemagtig, almighty

Boomslang, an innocuous colubrine snake

Donga, a gully with steep sides

Drift, the ford of a river

E hea, exactly so

Ewe, yes

Hamel, a wether sheep

Icanti, a fabulous serpent, the mere appearance of which is supposed to cause death

Impandulu, the lightning bird. The Kafirs believe the lightning to be a bird

Impi, an army or any military force on the war path

Induna, a Zulu councilor or general

Kapater, a wether goat

Kerrie, a stick such as is almost invariably carried by a Kafir

Kloof, a gorge or valley

Kaffirboom, a large arboreal aloe

Kopje, an abrupt hillock

Kraal, (1) an enclosure for stock; a fold or pen. (2) a native hut, or collection of huts

Krantz, a cliff

Lobola, the payment of cattle by a man to the father of the girl he wants to marry

Mawo, an exclamation of surprise

Mealies, maize

Op togt, on a trading trip

Ou Pa, grandfather

Outspan, to unyoke a team

Raak, hit

Reim, a leather thong

Reimje, diminutive of foregoing

Schulpad, a tortoise

Sjambok: a heavy whip made of rhinocerous hide

Stoep, a space about two yards, in width along the front or side of a house. Usually covered by a verandah in the case of South African houses

Taaibosch, "tough bush," a shrub. Rhus lucida

Tikoloshe, a water spirit who is supposed, when people are drowned, to have pulled them under water by the feet

"Ukushwama, the feast of first fruits; celebrated by the Bacas and some other Bantu tribes

Umtagati, magic; witchcraft

Veldt. unenclosed and uncultivated land. The open country

Veldschoens, home made boots such as those in general use amongst South African Boers

Voor huis, the dining and sitting room in a Dutch house

Yebo, yes

Kafir terms are marked by an asterisk.

Contents

CHAP.

I. THE EUMENIDES IN KAFIRLAND

II. THE FUNDAMENTAL AXIOM

III. KELLSON'S NEMESIS

IV. THE QUEST OF THE COPPER

V. GHAMBA

VI. UKUSHWAMA

VII. UMTAGATI

THE EUMENIDES IN KAFIRLAND.

"Fate leadeth through the garden shews The trees of Knowledge, Death, and Life; On this, the wholesome apple grows, On that, fair fruit with poison rife. Yet sometimes apples deadly be. Whilst poison fruits may nourish thee."

SHAGBAG'S Advice to Beginners.

I.

THIS is how it all happened. They met at the canteen on Monday morning at eight o'clock Jim Gubo, the policeman, and Kalaza, who had just been released from the convict station where, for five long years, he had been expiating a particularly cruel assault with violence upon a woman. 'Ntsoba, the fat Fingo barman, leant lazily over the counter, but as the regular customers for the morning "nip" had all departed, and no one else had yet come, he went outside and sat in the sunshine, smoking his oily pipe with thorough enjoyment. He did not in the least mind leaving Jim Gubo in the canteen, because Jim and he had long since come to an understanding, and this with the full approval of the proprietor. Jim was, so to say, free of the house, and got his daily number of tots of poisonous "dop" brandy measured out in the thick glass tumbler, the massive exterior of which was quite out of proportion to the comparatively limited interior space. These tots (and an occasional bottle) were Jim's reward for not exercising too severe a supervision over the canteen, and for always happening to be round the corner when a row took place. Moreover, the till, besides being as yet nearly empty, was well out of reach; the counter was high and broad, and the shelving, sparsely filled with filthy looking black bottles, was fixed well back, so as to be out of the way of the whirling kerries which were often in evidence, especially on Saturday afternoons... Continue reading book >>




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