The mystery has to do with the murderous rites of the 'Brotherhood of the Dew,' a superstitious sect of the Zulus on the borders of Natal, who had a horrible way of sacrificing human beings in order to bring rain at times of drought. This is only discovered after the mysterious disappearance of two white settlers, one a man not traced till long after, and the second a woman, rescued in the nick of time. While a love interest runs through the story, the more exciting passages deal with the adventures of the hero of the story and of a blundering ex-soldier who accompanies the former on a trading expedition over the border into Zululand. Many narrow escapes and thrilling adventures, usually caused by the ill-concealed contempt of the ex-soldier for the natives, keep the interest well sustained. The author writes as one who knows his subject and locality; a good book for boys of every size.
t as I moved thus, clad in an old shirt, and ditto pair of trousers, among green blankets and pots and kettles, and sheepskins and goatskins, with strings of beads and brass buttons festooned from the beams, and the shelves loaded with roll Boer tobacco and sugar pockets and coffee canisters and butcher knives, and all sorts of minor "notions" in demand for native trade--I wondered, I say, what sort of figure I should cut in the eyes of Major Sewin's highbred looking daughters should they happen suddenly to ride up and thus discover me; then I wondered why the deuce I should have thought about it at all.
The boys were soon satisfied, and I gave them a bit of tobacco apiece by way of clenching the deal, for it is bad policy to earn a name for stinginess among natives. But instead of going away they squatted themselves down outside. I did not immediately follow them.
"What was I saying, Iqalaqala?" began Tyingoza, as soon as I did. "The Ingisi down there is clearly anxious to herd his own sheep hi