The Ghost Kings HTML version

there, who was born to live her life. Well, for my part, the sooner the bet-
ter, for I wish to go to sleep with my children."
"This is evil," broke in her husband, "evil and rebelliousÑ"
"Then evil and rebellious let it be, John. But why am I evil if I have the
second sight like my mother before me? Oh! she warned me what must
come if I married you, and I would not listen; now I warn you, and you
will not listen. Well, so be it, we must dree our own weird, everyone of
us, a short one; all save Rachel, who was born to live her life. Man, I tell
you, that the Spirit drives you on to convert the heathen just for one
thing, that the heathen may make a martyr of you."
"So let them," her father answered proudly. "I seek no better end."
"Aye," she moaned, sinking back upon the cartel, "so let them, but my
babe, my poor babe! Why should my babe die because too much religion
has made you mad to win a martyr's crown? Martyrs should not marry
and have children, John."
Then, unable to bear any more of it, Rachel had fled from the tent, and
sat herself down at a distance to watch the oily sea.
It has been said that Rachel was only fifteen, but in Southern Africa
girls grow quickly to womanhood; also her experiences had been of a
nature to ripen her intelligence. Thus she was quite able to form a judg-
ment of her parents, their virtues and their weaknesses. Rachel was Eng-
lish born, but had no recollection of England since she came to South
Africa when she was four years old. It was shortly after her birth that
this missionary-fury seized upon her father as a result of some meetings
which he had attended in London. He was then a clergyman with a good
living in a quiet Hertfordshire parish, and possessed of some private
means, but nothing would suit him short of abandoning all his prospects
and sailing for South Africa, in obedience to his "call." Rachel knew all
this because her mother had often told her, adding that she and her
people, who were of a good Scotch family, had struggled against this
South African scheme even to the verge of open quarrel.
At length, indeed, it came to a choice between submission and separa-
tion. Mr. Dove had declared that not even for her sake would he be
guilty of "sin against the Spirit" which had chosen him to bring light to
those who sat in darknessÑthat is, the Kaffirs, and especially to that sec-
tion of them who were in bondage to the Boers. For at this time an agita-
tion was in progress in England which led ultimately to the freeing of the
slaves of the Cape Dutch, and afterwards to the exodus of the latter into
the wilderness and most of those wars with which our generation is fa-
miliar. So, as she was devoted to her husband, who, apart from his