“Now, my people, although I have wandered from you, yet my eyes, which are far-seeing, have not been blind to your griefs, and in the hour of your need I return to you, bringing with me the White Swallow to sojourn among you for a while. Receive us if you will and be prosperous, or reject us and be destroyed; to us it matters nothing, it is for you to choose. But if we come, we come not as servants but as princes whose word cannot be questioned, and should you accept us and deal ill with us in any way, then your fate is sure. Ask the chief Sigwe here whether or no the flight of the Swallow is fortunate, and whether or no there is wisdom in the mouth of Sihamba, who is not ashamed to serve her.”
Then Sigwe told them of all the good fortune that had come to him through Suzanne, and of how wise had been the words of Sihamba, and told them, moreover, that if they dealt ill by either of them he would return from his own country and stamp them flat.
Thus it came about that the indunas of the Umpondwana took back Sihamba to be their chieftainess with all powers, and with her Suzanne as her equal in rule, and this their act was confirmed that same day by a great council of the tribe. So that evening Suzanne, mounted on the schimmel, rode down the ranks of the Red Kaffirs, while they shouted their farewells to her. Then having parted with Sigwe, who almost wept at her going, she passed with Sihamba, the lad Zinti, and a great herd of cattle—her tithe of the spoil—to the mountain Umpondwana, where all the tribe were waiting to receive them. They rode up to the flanks of the mountain, and through the narrow pass and the red wall of rock to the tableland upon its top, where stood the chief’s huts and the cattle-kraal, and here they found the people gathered.
“Give us a blessing,” these cried. “Grant to us that rain may fall.”
Sihamba spoke with Suzanne and answered:
“My people, I have entreated of the White Swallow, and for your sake she will pray that rain may fall ere long.”
Now Sihamba knew the signs of the water, and as it happened rain began to fall that night in torrents, and fell for three days almost without ceasing, washing the sickness away with it. So the Umpondwana blessed the name of Sihamba and the White Swallow, and these two ruled over them without question, life and death hanging upon their words.
And there, a chieftainess among savages, Suzanne was fated to dwell for more than two long years.
THE MADNESS OF RALPH KENZIE