Child of Storm eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 337 pages of information about Child of Storm.

But Cetewayo only spat towards the man, after his fashion when enraged, and looked round him till his eye fell upon Saduko.

“Saduko,” he said, “take away this slayer of the Prince, who boasts that he is red with my own blood, and when he is dead cast him into the river from that rock on which he says he stabbed Panda’s son.”

Saduko looked round him wildly and hesitated.

“Take him away,” thundered Cetewayo, “and return ere dark to make report to me.”

Then, at a sign from the Prince, soldiers flung themselves upon the miserable Umbezi and dragged him thence, Saduko going with them; nor was the poor liar ever seen again.  As he passed by me he called to me, for Mameena’s sake, to save him; but I could only shake my head and bethink me of the warning I had once given to him as to the fate of traitors.

It may be said that this story comes straight from the history of Saul and David, but I can only answer that it happened.  Circumstances that were not unlike ended in a similar tragedy, that is all.  What David’s exact motives were, naturally I cannot tell; but it is easy to guess those of Cetewayo, who, although he could make war upon his brother to secure the throne, did not think it wise to let it go abroad that the royal blood might be lightly spilt.  Also, knowing that I was a witness of the Prince’s death, he was well aware that Umbezi was but a boastful liar who hoped thus to ingratiate himself with an all-powerful conqueror.

Well, this tragic incident had its sequel.  It seems—­to his honour, be it said—­that Saduko refused to be the executioner of his father-in-law, Umbezi; so those with him performed this office and brought him back a prisoner to Cetewayo.

When the Prince learned that his direct order, spoken in the accustomed and fearful formula of "Take him away," had been disobeyed, his rage was, or seemed to be, great.  My own conviction is that he was only seeking a cause of quarrel against Saduko, who, he thought, was a very powerful man, who would probably treat him, should opportunity arise, as he had treated Umbelazi, and perhaps now that the most of Panda’s sons were dead, except himself and the lads M’tonga, Sikota and M’kungo, who had fled into Natal, might even in future days aspire to the throne as the husband of the King’s daughter.  Still, he was afraid or did not think it politic at once to put out of his path this master of many legions, who had played so important a part in the battle.  Therefore he ordered him to be kept under guard and taken back to Nodwengu, that the whole matter might be investigated by Panda the King, who still ruled the land, though henceforth only in name.  Also he refused to allow me to depart into Natal, saying that I, too, must come to Nodwengu, as there my testimony might be needed.

So, having no choice, I went, it being fated that I should see the end of the drama.


Project Gutenberg
Child of Storm from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook