The only other event which happened in connection with this elopement was that a message came from Umbelazi to Saduko, brought by one of the princes, a brother of Umbelazi, who was of his party. As I know, for I heard it delivered, it was a very humble message when the relative positions of the two men are considered—that of one who knew that he had done wrong, and, if not repentant, was heartily ashamed of himself.
“Saduko,” it said, “I have stolen a cow of yours, and I hope you will forgive me, since that cow did not love the pasture in your kraal, but in mine she grows fat and is content. Moreover, in return I will give you many other cows. Everything that I have to give, I will give to you who are my friend and trusted councillor. Send me word, O Saduko, that this wall which I have built between us is broken down, since ere long you and I must stand together in war.”
To this message Saduko’s answer was:
“O Prince, you are troubled about a very little thing. That cow which you have taken was of no worth to me, for who wishes to keep a beast that is ever tearing and lowing at the gates of the kraal, disturbing those who would sleep inside with her noise? Had you asked her of me, I would have given her to you freely. I thank you for your offer, but I need no more cows, especially if, like this one, they have no calves. As for a wall between us, there is none, for how can two men who, if the battle is to be won, must stand shoulder to shoulder, fight if divided by a wall? O Son of the King, I am dreaming by day and night of the battle and the victory, and I have forgotten all about the barren cow that ran away after you, the great bull of the herd. Only do not be surprised if one day you find that this cow has a sharp horn.”
About six weeks later, in the month of November, 1856, I chanced to be at Nodwengu when the quarrel between the princes came to a head. Although none of the regiments was actually allowed to enter the town—that is, as a regiment—the place was full of people, all of them in a state of great excitement, who came in during the daytime and went to sleep in the neighbouring military kraals at night. One evening, as some of these soldiers—about a thousand of them, if I remember right—were returning to the Ukubaza kraal, a fight occurred between them, which led to the final outbreak.
As it happened, at that time there were two separate regiments stationed at this kraal. I think that they were the Imkulutshana and the Hlaba, one of which favoured Cetewayo and the other Umbelazi. As certain companies of each of these regiments marched along together in parallel lines, two of their captains got into dispute on the eternal subject of the succession to the throne. From words they came to blows, and the end of it was that he who favoured Umbelazi