King Peter, sitting before his hut, greeted Mr. Commissioner with downcast eyes.
Bailman's soldiers, spread in a semi-circle before the hut, kept the rabble at bay.
"King," said Bailman,--he carried in his hand a rattan cane of familiar shape, and as he spoke he whiffled it in the air, making a little humming noise,--"stand up."
"Wherefore?" said Sato-Koto.
"That you shall see," said Bailman.
The King rose reluctantly, and Bailman grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.
The cane caught him most undesirably, and he sprang into the air with a yell.
Swish, swish, swish!
Yelling and dancing, throwing out wild hands to ward off the punishment, King Peter blubbered for mercy.
"Master!" Sato-Koto, his face distorted with rage, reached for his spear.
"Shoot that man if he interferes," ordered Bailman, without releasing the King.
The Regent saw the leveled rifles, and hastily stepped back.<
Superb, engrossing short story by one of the master writers of his day. Wallace's tale of equitorial Africa and the white man who keeps order among the tribes is fascinating from start to finish. Memorable.