The huge quadruped did not stop, till he had put many miles between himself and the scene of his disagreeable adventure! Von Bloom and Hendrik had by this time reloaded, and were advancing to Swartboy's rescue; but they were met right in the teeth by the swift-flying Bushman, as he returned from his miraculous escape.
I, of course, knew nothing of the edict at the time for bushmen do not advertise their chivalry and wandered round the straggling Settlement vaguely surprised at its sobriety, and turning up in such unexpected places that the little bushman was constantly on the verge of apoplexy. But experience teaches quickly.
He was busy amidst the bushes for some time, and the light had gone when he stood up with the deer upon his shoulders and the rifle beneath it. It would have pleased him better to carry the latter, but the bushman brings home a deer with its fore-legs drawn over his shoulders and grasped in front of him.
When they had got within some fifty paces of the torch, they perceived it suddenly descend, then raised again, and brought down, in a rapid and violent manner! They could hear the voice of the Bushman barking and clicking louder than ever, as though he was engaged in chastising some creature. But Jan's voice they no longer heard he was screaming no more was he dead?
Craven had a knowledge of surgery, especially valuable to a bushman; and while all were stooping down round the injured man, he probed the wound, and extracted some of the black cloth which had been carried into it. Had Basham been a friend who had been fighting for them, he could not have been treated more tenderly. He, however, scarcely spoke, and displayed no sign of gratitude.
Once, at a sharp turn where a man's shoulder would unavoidably brush against a screen of leaves, the bushman displayed great caution as he spread the leaves aside and exposed the head of a sharp-pointed spear, so set that the casual passer-by would receive at the least a nasty scratch. "My word," said Binu Charley, "that fella spear allee same devil-devil."
He'll stay there till he gets short of money, an' then he'll go out back, shearin', stock-ridin', drovin', cookin', fencin' anything till he gets a few pounds. Then he'll settle down and build away at that bloody house. He's knocked about so much that he's a regular old bushman.
Several stems of the plant were seen growing around the spot, and the Bushman knew that the want from which all had been suffering, would be at least partially supplied. A pick-axe and spade were hastily procured from a pack carried by one of the oxen; and Swartboy commenced digging around the stem of the plant first discovered.
As the lion appeared very angry at this interference with his rights as lord of the manor, and evidently inclined to punish the Bushman as a poacher upon his preserves, the latter, perceiving a tree convenient, climbed up into it as fast as he could. The lion allowed the herd of zebras to go away, and turned his attention to the Bushman.
His adopted daughter is the child of Kwai Hemm, a supernatural character, 'the all- devourer. The Mantis gets his adopted daughter to call the swallower to his aid; but Kwai Hemm swallows the Mantis, the god-insect. As Zeus made his own wife change herself into an insect, for the convenience of swallowing her, there is not much difference between Bushman and early Greek mythology.