The following letter is from Sir John Akerman, a member of the Legislative Council of Natal: "August 9th, 1880.
Ten minutes or more elapsed before any one voice could be heard with tolerable distinctness; during which interval the figure remained perched alone, against the summer-evening sky, looking down into the troubled street. 'Are you, said Hugh at length, 'Mr Akerman, the head jailer here? 'Of course he is, brother, whispered Dennis.
Erzeroum was lost by the treachery of the Janizaries. The Sultan has acceded to the Treaty of London. This accession is qualified, but not in such a manner as to preclude negotiation. He has consented to treat with Russia, to give freedom to the navigation of the Black Sea, and to observe the Treaty of Akerman but he stipulates for the integrity of the Ottoman dominions in Europe and Asia.
On my leaving London, Mr. Cobbett had promised to meet me at Devizes, on the day appointed. I went to Devizes, with my friend Mr. William Akerman, of Potney, at whose house I had slept the preceding night.
In July, 1870, Mr. Hoar was succeeded by A. T. Akerman, of Georgia, and he, in December, 1871, by George H. Williams, of Oregon. General Cox resigned in November, 1870, and was succeeded by Columbus Delano.
His was a blameless, uneventful career. "He won't raise any objection, will he?" "I shouldn't think so, sir." Akerman had difficulty in not smiling. "Very well, then, you had better call a meeting of the Games Committee this afternoon and talk over the matter. If anyone makes a fuss, say I agree with it; and I expect it will be all right."
The prison was so strong that, had a dozen men resisted, it would have been almost impossible to take it without artillery. But there was nobody to resist. Mr. Akerman, the keeper, acted with great courage, and did his duty loyally, but he could not hold the place alone. Crowbars, pickaxes, and fire forced an entrance into the prison.
The six members of the Games Committee sat around a circular table on which lay two canes. It all looked very impressive. Akerman rose. He began to read a speech off a piece of school paper. Gordon had wondered why he had been so very energetic in taking down notes during the Chief's divinity lecture that morning. The speech went on.
"The Bull" sent for Akerman, the school captain, after chapel on Sunday morning. "Akerman, I want to speak to you about Caruther's behaviour in the Two Cock yesterday afternoon. Of course, I did not see what happened, but from what I have heard I think measures ought to be taken. It is a serious matter. Light measures are no good.
After leaving Ladysmith, I proceeded to Maritzburg, the seat of Government of Natal. This picturesque town is in a charming situation, the surrounding scenery being extremely pretty. The town itself, is well laid out, the streets being wide, and in most cases edged with trees. Amongst its public buildings may be mentioned the new House of Assembly, of which Sir John Akerman is Speaker.