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ledged. A question of such importance as this should never cease to be agitated. The Africander Bond, whose members congregate often and discuss all that concerns the welfare of land and people, should take it up. They might do great things for the country by following such a course. They might, for instance, collect a fund, purchase picked rams from good flocks, and distribute them among themselves by lot. If sixty farmers paid 10s. each, they might buy ten rams and ten breeders, and all would be benefited. For prize-shooting they might purchase some good animals, and instead of giving money, reward the successful shot with one or more good rams. Even the Government might convert its money grants on such occasions into premiums of that kind, and the result would doubtless be a lasting and good one. Another important question we desire to touch upon at this juncture is that of water supply. The present time teaches us a severe lesson, though it is not for the first time, and is forgotten as soon as the cloud has passed over us. But the country is beggared by this indifference, and this should not be. Bridges are a good and laudable thing, and we should like to see one over each river. So are telegraphs, and we do not begrudge the money paid for them. But a first and foremost question in a country like ours is that of water supply. Seventy-five per cent. of all disease amongst our flocks, we make bold to say, is caused through the want of pure and healthy water. Tens of thousands of sheep die annually from being driven about in times of scarcity of water, yet there is not one farm in the driest part of the country-the Middlevelt-where there is not one spot or the other affording sufficient water for all the stock such farm can carry. Now for the £30,000 spent on one or more bridges, 150 windmills, with driving-pumps, might be introduced into the country, and repay themselves, directly and indirectly, a hundred-fold. These windmills are excellently adapted for the high table-land we live on; they are the cheapest and most simple motors that can be procured. Here, too, our Government should not sit still, but show itself worthy the name of a Government by proposing a plan whereby the poor man may be helped; the indifferent and careless one instructed and animated. If we raised

£50,000 for the purpose named, we should save the whole capital in two or three years in what is now lost for the want of sufficient and good drinking water for our flocks. On that score there is no such thing as extravagance, for it is the life and wealth of the country which is at stake, and which it is the duty of any Government to care for and protect. Our country has its own character, and its wants are according; and those who direct our affairs should not look to other and older countries with different resources and different requirements; and, instead of imitating and aping them, devise such measures as will tend to the benefit of a country whose needs are so manifest and apparent, that it would be easy for a statesman to inscribe his name on scrolls of history in never fading letters, if he will but look around him and do that which his hand findeth to do."

CHAPTER IV.

AFTER indulging in these previous suppositions, I was reminded by the heavy rain and the exposure, I was running a great risk of another attack of rheumatism, judging by the acute pains I suffered. I was amply provided with good wraps and overalls for my affected feet, and my sealskin cap to keep my head warm, and having a seat at the back of the cart I escaped a wetting that I should otherwise have secured, which fell to the front passenger and, as I fear, to his probable rheumatism. At last, with constant beating of our steeds, we arrived at the first outspan. The rain, previous to our starting, had somewhat helped to start the grass, but it was a pitiable sight to see the sheep and cattle in such lean condition. I was fully convinced that one week of heavy snow, or the 40 days of St. Swithin's weather, would have been the death of all the cattle of the Free State not stabled; and thus anyone can realize that the Creator of all, could by natural causes destroy the cattle wealth of the Free State, and in so doing, obliterate the Free State farmers without the Englishman's help.

The Dutchman's Home we had arrived at was one of the most miserable mud or raw-bricked buildings, and turned out to be nothing but a human propagating establishment, for, on our arrival, there came in view a motley number of white and black young ones of all sizes and all ages, and in the home were to be found lazy fat Dutch women squatting on their settees, or on their beds. At our earnest request, and an intimation that we were willing to pay, we got a compound of chicory and water, called by them coffee, for which they charged sixpence. The Dutch farmers, in these latter days, having come into contact with the Jewish traders, buy a "Vatch "-vender's charge, and get paid for what they never sell, and then beg shamelessly, as I well remember in one instance when in company with the celebrated General Clark,

the irrepressible German Colonel Schermbrucker, the longlegged Artillery Officer, and an unfortunate Sister of Mercy. This lady was foolish enough to believe that Sepinare, the chief, of the Barolongs, was a good Christian, simply because he had given the Church of Bloemfontein a farm. She meekly and bashfully admitted that he was wrong in having more than one wife, although it was gently hinted that even this Sister of Mercy, believing, old as she was, that her God, having made of one blood and of one nation all under the sun, would have accepted an offer of marriage from this chiet if in so accepting, she could have enriched herself first, and her church afterwards, These three unfortunate professional man-slayers aforesaid, had gone up to Basutoland to spy out the land, previous to their attack, which was badly arranged against the Basutos. No sooner had we partaken of our so-called dinner, for which we were charged three shillings for mutton and pumpkin--as a rule the only two dishes ever placed before travellers-than the hotel keeper trotted out for our further annoyance as a begging arrangement for his benefit a whole family of blind imbeciles, and solicited the alms of us passengers. He repeated the same to all other travellers, and with the proceeds lived as only Dutchmen can. With feelings of disgust, I passed out of the mud house, with its troop of half-clad black-and-white images of Dutchmen who knew not father or mother; was delighted to hear the onward shout of our driver, and I only felt comfortable once more, when we stopped at the next place for change of horses, and got a decent cup of coffee, for which we willingly paid sixpence. Fortunately the rain ceased, for which we were truly thankful, for I know not how we should have got over the heavy roads with such ancient steeds as they were, fed only upon grass, out of which all nourishment had been dispersed long before, As it was, it was with difficulty we finally arrived at Taylor's Hotel, where we had to stay for the night, and for a bed in a dark earth plastered room, more like a dungeon, and a supper, we paid six shillings. It is astonishing how extortion is practised upon all travellers at all the way-side Inns for wretchedly cooked meals and little miserable cell-like rooms to sleep in, and

rickety bedsteads with a scarcity of covering that is cruel. If people will keep what they call houses of accommodation, why in the name of honesty do they fail in accommodating? The bitter cold room, and damp walls prevented me from sleeping, and I was glad, after a long night of waiting, when the bugle sounded to start for Smithfield. Punctually at four o'clock we made another move on. To my dismay, we rushed through damp air and a bitter sharp wind that aggravated my torture, due to my rheumatism; and had there been a "Well of Jacob's Oil," I would have willingly jumped into it, if it could have cured me, as the waters of Samaria did the Leper. Such was the intensity of the cold, that I would have dropped myself into hell and availed myself of its heat to have removed my pains, if for a time it would have given me oblivion. Of course, after a comfortable warm bath, even if it had been for the time more exhausting than a Turkish Bath, I could have taken coffee with Plato and his lovely wife Prosphene, and there gathered up the general news from among the uplifted spirits dwelling down in the lower regions, and then acted as general informer to all the kinsfolk of the good souls down below. At last the sun rose in all its power and dispelled the damp air, and once again we had our bodies warmed, after the usual two hours cold before sunrise. On our left we passed the last new venture of one farmer (Carroll). Since diamonds and minerals have failed, the new speculation is for farmers to turn their lands into townships, and if in such lands they are fortunate enough to possess a running stream or a well supplied dam, they secure to themselves and their children a monopoly of natures liquid at the expense of the inhabitants. Again I had the annoyance of being dragged along by horses that in weakness positively wobbled, and after we had struggled on our journey for two or three hours one of the horses actually fell, never to rise again. So with crippled legs and aching bones, I, with the other passengers, had to walk on to the next stage. I grant and know, that the drought for the previous years had been severe, but that gives no excuse to the passenger-contractor for not buying mealies or corn, and keeping up the strength of his horses. I have in later times had cause to

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