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ment. Drury Lowe was sitting on his against the blaze of the fires in the decharger watching with ears and eyes intent stroyed kraals to right and left of my for the word. It came tersely, “Off track, and their shouts came to me on the with you !” The infantrymen made a still night air. At length I altogether lost gap for the Lancers, and gave them, too, my way, and there was no resource but to a cheer as they galloped out into the open halt till the moon should rise and show -knees well into saddles, right hands with me my whereabouts. The longest twenty a firm grip of the lances down at the en- minutes I ever spent in my life was while gage." Drury Lowe collected his chest- sitting on my trembling horse in a little nut into a canter, and, glancing over his open glade of the bush, my hand on the shoulder, gave the commands“ At a butt of my revolver, waiting for the moon's gallop; front form troops !” and then, rays to flash down into the hollow. At
Front forin line !" You may swear length they came. I discerned the right there was no dallying over those evolu• direction, and in half an hour inore I was tions ; just one pull to make good the co- inside the reserve camp of Etonganeni, hesion, and then, with an eager quiver in and telling the news to a circle of eager the voice, “Now for it, my lads ! listeners. The great danger was past ; it Charge !" The Zulus strove to gain the was a comparatively remote chance that rough ground, but the Lancers were upon I should meet with molestation during the them and among them before they could rest of the journey, although Lieutenant clear the long grass of the plain. It did Scott-Elliott and Corporal Cotter were cut one good to see the glorious old " white up on the same road the same night. The weapon” reassert once again its pristine exertion was prolonged and arduous, but prestige.
the recompense was adequate. I had the Lord Chelmsford on the evening of the good fortune to be thanked for the tidbattle announced that he did not intend ings I brought by the General Commandto despatch a courier until the following ing-in-Chief and by the Governor of South morning with the intelligence of that vic. Africa ; and it was something for a corretory, which was conclusive and virtually spondent to be proud of that it was his terminated the war. So I hardened my narrative of the combat and of the victory heart and determined to go myself, and which Her Majesty's Ministers read to that at once. The distance to Lands- both Houses of Parliament as the only inmann's Drift, where was the nearest tele- telligence that had been received up to graph office, was about 100 miles, and the date. route lay through a hostile region, with It may perhaps have occurred to some no road save that made on the grass by among those who have done me the honor our wagon wheels as the column had to read this and a previous article under marched up
It was necessary to skirt the same heading that the profession of the sites of recently burned Zulu kraals, war correspondent is a somewhat wearing the dwellers in which were likely to have one, calculated to make a man old before returned. The dispersal of the Zulu army his time, and not to be pursued with any by the defeat of the morning made it all satisfaction or credit by any one who is but certain that stragglers would be prowl- not in the full heyday of physical and ing in the bush through which lay the first mental vigor. My personal experience is part of my ride. Young Lysons offered that ten years of toil, exposure, hardship, to b.t me even that I would not get anxiety, and brain-strain, such as the electhrough, and, when I accepted, genially tric fashion of war correspondence now insisted that I should put the money down, exacts, suffices to impair the toughest orsince he did not expect to see me alive ganization. But given health and strength, again. It was dreadfully gruesome work, it used to be an avocation of singular fasthat first long stretch through the sullen cination. I do not know whether this atgloom of the early night, as I groped my tribute in its fulness remains with it under way through the rugged bush trying to the limitations on freedom of action which keep the trail of the wagon-wheels. I now are in force.-Nineteenth Century. could see the dark figures of Zulus up
DIAMOND-DIGGING IN SOUTH AFRICA.
BY LIEUTENANT-COLOSEL KNOLLYS, R. A.
“Come, Mr. Joseph, do let us settle a gigantic, apparently almost bottomless this little matter. Write us a check for pit, compared with which the crater of £26,400 for this parcel of diamonds, and Vesuvius would be puny, and which inarks let us have done with it.” But the dia- the carlier scenes of open ground labor. mond-broker retorts that the sum demand. In course of time huge masses of earth beed is a trifle of £400 above its fair price ; gan to slip down from the sides, entailing that he has recently been losing money by such peril, and–far more important to bis“ parcels ;” and when I departed he the eager owners-such a clogging of was still carrying on, with the agent of work, that the original process was abanthe De Beers Company, the sarcastic bick- doned in favor of sinking shafts and subering which is the very salt of that deteri- terraneous mining. Equipped in miner's orating avocation, material buying and slops, supplied with a bare candle, and selling. The subject in dispute consisted chaperoned by one of the superintendents, of about thirty little beaps of insignificant- I am shot down an ordinary incline to a looking white stones, rather more dull depth of 700 feet below the surface, than dirty bits of bottle-glass, practically whence we further descend another 90 of no intrinsic utility, but possessing the feet by means of slippery perpendicular attribute of exciting human vanity to such ladders, leading down piercings just large a pitch, that in order to grub for them a enough to admit the body. Here we host of able business men have exchanged reach a widened level at the very heart of English civilization for South African pri. the diamond-bearing earth, which is hot, vation ; have embarked enormous sums, stifling, and intensely dark. Long low erected wondrous machinery, and taken tunnels radiate through a scene of which into employment several thousands of hu- the principal features are rushing trucks, man beings.* I purpose describing in flickering lights, and shouting workmen, detail the various stages of digging for, common to all large mining operations, sifting, sorting, selling-and I may add, and calling for no special description. stealing—these stones, as illustrated by Only by degrees do I notice characteristhe “ De Beers,” the principal mine in tics of detail so strange as to cause these Kimberley
mines to differ from all others. HunAlthough there is no secret whatever in dreds of Kaffirs are plying pick and shovel, any part of the operations, it is obvious wheeling barrows, and tilting trucks, with that the most stringent precautions are a might-and-main earnestness rare among necessary to prevent the easy theft of such natives. Although they differ greatly in multum in parvo treasures as precious size and shades of darkness, owing to the stones ; and therefore it is reasonably re- variety of tribes gathered together from quired that all visitors shall be provided far-apart districts of South Africa, they with a permit to inspect the works. The are, on the whole, of fine physical develdiamondiferous area is enclosed and opment, with smooth lustrous skins and screened by means of high barbed wire- tense brawny muscles, and sweltering profencing and lofty corrugated-iron hoard- fusely under their tremendous exertions. ing, as skilfully disposed as one of Vau- Scantiness of clothing was to be anticiban's fortresses ; and is further safeguard- pated ; but in no part of the world, not ed externally at night by numerous armed even in Japan, have I seen a multitude of patrols, and by powerful electric lights human beings so perfectly nude, and at casting a glare on every spot otherwise the same time so perfectly unabashed as favorable to intending marauders. After to be suggestive of the unconsciousness of having been somewhat carefully scruti- the very beasts of the field. They work nized, I am admitted through a narrow in shifts of twelve hours' duration, Sun. gateway, and find myself confronted with day being a general rest day, and each
native receives about 5s. a-day—an enor* The Kimberley mines find work for 1500
mous sum for these aborigines, which gives white men and 12,000 natives.
rise to a keen competition for employment, Large gangs are supervised by narrow inclined tramways, cach conveying single Europeans, who strongly exemplify a load of earth and conducted by a Kaffir the moral influence of race. Instant, shouting out warnings. In a short time cheerful, unquestioning obedience is the I am streaming with perspiration, soaking rule : occasionally a rough hustle, or a with roof-drippings, splashed from head smack with the palm of the hand, is be- to foot with grease and mud, and in my stowed on the laggard or the careless ; bedraggled miner's costume present an but when justly administered, this is never aspect compared with which that of a resented, and a careful observation of the Whitechapel dog-fancier would be refined demeanor and friendly verbal intercourse and respectable. But at Kimberley, both between superintendents and laborers above and below ground, Englishmen are failed to reveal to me any signs of habitual wont to put their hand to the plough, bodily tyranny. Without doubt, out- wisely resolved to perform their work thorbursts of the white man's brutality occa- oughly, and regardless of the externals of sionally occur. During my stay at Kim- their normal social status ; and here I find berley a European was tried for having many a better man than myself similarly caused by violence the death of a native, transformed. I speak a word or two to and after a fair trial was acquitted. Yet, some Europeans who are heads of gangs, on the whole, there is no reason to be- and whose appearance would justify atlieve that our rule is characterized by tributing to them the minds and manners cruelty, and an air of happy contentinent of bargees : they respond with the timbre was generally prevalent.
of voice and the diction of highly eduQuitting the enlarged level at the bot- cated gentlemen. I tentatively lead up to tom of the shaft, I grope through one of their antecedents, and I discover that the low radiating tunnels, which twist many of the speakers are members of about in a fashion reminding me of the well known English county families, and catacombs of Rome. Diamond-mines are had been formerly residents of well-known free froin most of the dangers associated English country homes, but that through with other subterraneous workings. There stress of circumstances and the temptais no rush of fire-damp, and no wire-gauze tion of the De Beers payment of a guinea is needed for the unprotected candles; no a-day, they are now bravely working as deadly emanations of gas, no sudden over- weekly laborers. One of the head offiwhelming of water, and no falling in of cials told me of a tallyman who was ocroofs—shoring-up being only needed to a cupying the intervals of counting trucks very limited extent. Almost the only by reading, and to whom he remarked in fatal accident of magnitude recorded in a friendly manner, “A novel makes a the annals of these mines occurred three pleasant change down here." years ago, when some timber caught fire, but this is not a novel,” said the reader, and orer three hundred imprisoned na- holding out for inspection an elaborate tives were choked to death. The ruling treatise on conic sections. Then he expassion for gain then proved strong up to plained that he had been a university man, the last : many bodies were found in at- had taken his degree, and had subsetitudes which showed that their dying quently adopted the profession of civil engasps had been expended in efforts to gineer, but that owing to family misforplunder their comrades of the little leather tunes and poverty, he was now glad to purses which most of them wear sus- accept the remunerative employment of pended round the waist. An explorer of tallyman in a Kimberley mine. the labyrinth must be all eyes and ears. At the extremity of one of the tunnels The intense darkness seems to be aug- was an enlarged chamber where receptamented by the alternate glimmer of our cles were being drilled for explosive spluttering naked candles, and the fierce charges destined to break through some glare of an occasional electric light : at unusually obdurate rock, and here I was one time I stumble ankle-deep into a enabled to take leisurely note of further churned-up slough of despond; at an- details concerning the Kaffir workmen. other I have to exercise the utmost activ- My questions were translated into native ity to avoid being annihilated by the pidgin” Kaffir, a jargon compounded of trucks, which rush, with deafening rever. the numerous dialects of the various tribes. berations and at railway speed, along the The men seemed cheerful and bright after
“ Yes ;
a fashion, but their replies lacked intelli- by the heavy breathing of the native workgence, and betrayed a low order of intel- men, and after a few seconds by the scraplect. I must however, in justice, premise ing of lucifer-matches for relighting our that this particular group was composed candles. Nobody seemed in the least disof the most inferior specimens of natives. composed, and the answer to my aweFor instance, I found that 9 or 10 com- stricken inquiry was, “Oh, nothing at prised their highest familiar notation ; 15 all ; only dynamite blasting in an adjacent and upward puzzled them ; higher figures chamber.” I afterward found that these could only be expressed by a clumsy peri- explosions were of frequent occurrence ; pbrasis ; while 200 or 300 was quite be- but on each occasion, to resist the impulse yond their realization, and was vaguely of a startled jump taxed the strongest conceived as “a very great number.' nerves. “How old are you ?" I inquired of one ; Let us turn our attention from the perbut the overseer explained that none of sonal to the material for which thousands them have the least idea of their own of human beings in this district are toiling ages : their sole landmarks are certain im- day and night about 800 feet below portant events which befell their tribes, ground. The diamondiferous earth, losuch as some particular war, a great fam. cally termed the.“ blue,” is reached at a ine, a general drought or cattle-sickness. varying depth, and is found in a hardened “Only last week,” he added, “ a Kaffir but friable condition. It is detached with being asked a similar question, and reply- comparative ease, and the process of filling in total ignorance, a European inter- ing trucks, each of which holds 1600 lb., posed— Let me look at your teeth. I is carried on unceasingly, on a very large will soon tell you. Why, you must be scale, and with the utmost rapidity. The 100 at least.' The native immediately contents are hauled to the top by powerassembled bis fellows around him, and ful steam machinery ; and if we follow told them that the Baas (master) had pro- their further destination, the scene changes nounced him 100 years old, in an ecstasy in sudden and wondrous contrast from of pride at the attainment of an age which dark stifling tunnels to bright sunshiny be considered added so much to his dig- farms, where the soil is turned up, and pity.”
One Kafir rejoiced in a snake- watered and barrowed, and vivified by skin charm round his neck; another wore the action of wind and sun, and where a string—his sole article of vesture-tied the resulting crop is-diamonds. On to his thigh, whence depended a small reaching the surface the “ blue” is tilted leather pocket containing live or six shil- into railway wagons, and by means of lings—a large sum for a wild native-and divergent lines of rails and wire-ropes, is his working ticket. The only drinks al- bauled in vast masses into the adjacent lowed are tea, coffee, or water; and I was open country, where it is distributed over struck with the simple and clever device the flat to a depth of 24 feet. The extenfor a constantly cool supply of the last, by sive area so occupied is protected by means of common bags of coarse canvas, barbed-wire fencing 10 feet high, and is which, when soaked, became sufficiently guarded by patrols both by day and by impermeable to retain the bulk of the night. The effects of the weather cause fluid, but sufficiently porons to admit of a the friable lamps to disintegrate still furcontinual oozing and icy evaporation. ther, the process is aided by alternate bar
While we were casually conversing, rowing and watering, and in about six I was startled by a terrific roar, followed months all but the most obdurate fragby a reverberation and quivering of the ments, which are left for further treatment walls and arches as though convulsed by varying from three months to a year, are an earthquake, and by a violent rush of reduced to a size which admits of their wind which instantly extinguished every being subjected to the washing machines. light in the vicinity. “Doubtless a hide- Trains of carts convey the barvest to maous catastrophe," I reflected : “ some chinery sheds, where it is subjected to portion of the mine has fallen in ; we are processes which in corn would be analimprisoned like rats in a trap, and shall ogous to threshing, winnowing, and siftfeed on each other's carcasses until re. ing. Roughly described, an endless chain leased by a lingering death.” Profound supporting large pans carries the diamondsilence in the pitch-darkness, only broken earth up to a platform, and thence pitches it, automatically, into cisterns of water; and so on to the water in No. 1 pan. revolving metal arms stir and break up the Here, too, the water vexedly throbs up, mass; the muddy liquid flows away, and squirts through the perforated plate, husthe solid residue passes over a succession tles the layer of buckshot, and thereby of large vibrating sieves with different. stirs up the superincumbent diamondifersized meshes, thus effecting a separation ous layer. But the irritated fluid rapidly into four sizes. The largest is composed regains its composure, is followed by the of pebbles somewhat smaller than walnuts, buckshot in a great hurry, then by the is turned over by searchers on the chance heavier particles among which are the that it may contain some unusually large diamonds, while on the top of all leisurely diamonds, and is then carted away as rub. reposes the lightest useless residue which bish. I may remark that the amount of has been successfully eliminated. I esti. débris from various sources is so consider- mated the number of these pulsations at able that its disposal is somewhat of a 110 per minute. Now stop the machine ; puzzle, and is the origin of gigantic earth- let all the water drain off the zinc plate; mounds in various parts of the country, remove the thick top layer, which is worth. and that the superficial crater of one of less, and then gather together the deposit the mines, the “ Kimberley,” is marked spread over the buckshot, and to which by the spontaneous, never-ending com- all the diamond have fled.] bustion of waste shale. The other three The name “pulsator" is very approprisizes are subjected to a process devised at ately bestowed on this clever piece of mechKimberley, and absolutely charming anism. Gently placing my hand on the through its efficiency, simplicity, and in- top of the mass being treated, I am startled genuity. Without illustrations, a com- by a sensation of lifelike throbbing plete description of this “ pulsator," as it throughout the whole of the substanceis called, would be impracticable, but the precisely such as one might suppose the following statement may serve to explain throbbing of the femoral artery of an eleits general principle :*
phant in a raging fever.. For the sake of [Be it remembered that the diamond- simplicity I have omitted two or three iferous mass is made up of substances of ingenious little details. For instance, the different specific gravity, whereof the size of the stirabout buckshot varies in greater part, which consists of natural proportion to that of the component parsoil, mica, and other components, is the ticles of the stuff to be “ pulsated,” but lightest ; while the small residue, consist- each machine acts with such unerring ing of garnets, olivine,” iron pyrites, fidelity that never by any chance is a diaand diamonds, are much heavier. We mond allowed to loiter in the tɔp rubbishmust also bear in mind that the property layer. “Here," said my guide, picking of a fluid is to transmit a pressure applied out a tiny white pebble, " is a 1f-carat to it in every direction, irrespective of stone, worth about £2 in its present condistance, area, bulk, etc. Now imagine a dition," and he flicked it away as careNo. 1 pan half filled with water, and just lessly as though shooting a pea into a pigabove the fluid a fixed zinc perforated tub. “I congratulate your Company on plate. The plate is covered with a layer its atlluence,” I remarked with would-be of buckshot, and above the buckshot is irony, 6 since it can afford thus to throw some of the sifted earth in which the £2 into the dirt." “You are mistaken,” diamonds are lurking. The apparatus is was the rejoinder ; “that diamond will completed by an adjacent open No. 2 pan inevitably be brought to light again. To of water, which cominunicates with No. test the accuracy of our working, we are i by a broad tube. Set the machinery at wont constantly to throw marked diamonds work. A large flap of wood bestows a into the pulsating-pan, and we never fail smart box on the ear-speaking in hyper- to recover them.” bolical language- on the water-surface of On the assumption-which is generally No. 2 pan ; the fuid quivers with indig. received as approximately accurate—that nation, transmits its quivering downward, the previous processes of elimination have then through the broad connecting-tube, reduced the original bulk contained in a
truck to its one-hundredth part, the pro* The reader who hates explanations can
verbial difficulty of finding a needle in a skip the part between the brackets.
bottle of hay is applicable here, and henceNEW SERIES – VOL. LIV., No.