Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland
He leaned further and further forward: so far at last, that the little white lock of his hair which hung out under his cap was almost singed by the fire. His eyes were still open, but the lids drooped over them, and his hands hung lower and lower between his knees. There was no picture left on his brain now, but simply an impress of the blazing logs before him.
Then, Trooper Peter Halket started. He sat up and listened. The wind had gone; there was not a sound: but he listened intently. The fire burnt up into the still air, two clear red tongues of flame.
Then, on the other side of the kopje he heard the sound of footsteps ascending; the slow even tread of bare feet coming up.
The hair on Trooper Peter Halket's forehead slowly stiffened itself. He had no thought of escaping; he was paralyzed with dread. He took up his gun. A deadly coldness crept from his feet to his head. He had worked a maxim gun in a fight when some hundred natives fell and only one white ma