Mr. Mitford has put the lively, if somewhat bloodthirsty story, of The Induna's Wife in the mouth of an old Zulu chief, who is the hero of 'The King's Assegai' and 'The White Shield.' Untuswa is this gentleman's name, and if we had not become acclimatised to his proceedings, so to say, we might be inclined to pronounce his proceedings ghastly and horrifying in the extreme. He cracks a skull with as much relish as an ordinary man cracks filberts, and the details of the oozing brains are not spared, while the impalements and other forms of ghastly torture in vogue with the respective tyrants whom it is his glory to serve make record of mere murders seem commonplace and pleasant by comparison. Those who know Mr. Mitford's characteristic romances will be at home at once with the story told by Untuswa in the waggon to the author--the fighting, the 'smelling out,' the desperate escapes, reprisals, and wholesale butchery.
I rose to carry out the King's orders, and upon the faces of the grovelling messengers was an awful expression of set, hopeless despair. But, before I could creep through the low doorway, a sign from Umzilikazi caused me to halt. At the same time, a frightful hubbub arose from without--the hubbub of a volume of deep, excited voices-- mingled with a wild bellowing, which was enough to make a man deaf.
"I think these ghost-bulls are upon us, too," said the King, with an angry sneer. "Look forth, Untuswa, and see whether all the world has gone mad."
Quickly I gained the gate in the woven fence which surrounded the isigodhlo. From far and near people were flocking, while the great open space within the kraal was becoming more and more densely packed; and, making their way through the blackness of the crowd, which parted eagerly to give them passage, came a weird and hideous throng, decked with horrid devices of teeth and claws and the skulls of beasts, their bodies hung with c
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