Judicious Mr. Rhodes--What South Africa Consists of--Johannesburg--The Gold Mines--The Heaven of American Engineers--What the Author Knows about Mining--Description of the Boer--What Should be Expected of Him--What Was A Dizzy Jump for Rhodes--Taxes--Rhodesian Method of Reducing Native Population--Journeying in Cape Colony--The Cars--The Country--The Weather--Tamed Blacks--Familiar Figures in King William's Town--Boer Dress--Boer Country Life--Sleeping Accommodations--The Reformers in Boer Prison--Torturing a Black Prisoner
An Absorbing Novelty--The Kimberley Diamond Mines--Discovery of Diamonds --The Wronged Stranger--Where the Gems Are--A Judicious Change of Boundary--Modern Machinery and Appliances--Thrilling Excitement in Finding a Diamond--Testing a Diamond--Fences--Deep Mining by Natives in the Compound--Stealing--Reward for the Biggest Diamond--A Fortune in Wine--The Great Diamond--Office of the De Beer Co.--Sorting the Gems-- Cape Town--The Most Imposing Man in British Provinces--Various Reasons for his Supremacy--How He Makes Friends
Table Rock--Table Bay--The Castle--Government and Parliament--The Club-- Dutch Mansions and their Hospitality--Dr. John Barry and his Doings--On the Ship Norman--Madeira--Arrived in Southampton
FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR
A man may have no bad habits and have worse. --Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar.
The starting point of this lecturing-trip around the world was Paris, where we had been living a year or two.
We sailed for America, and there made certain preparations. This took but little time. Two members of my family elected to go with me. Also a carbuncle. The dictionary says a carbuncle is a kind of jewel. Humor is out of place in a dictionary.
We started westward from New York in midsummer, with Major Pond to manage the platform-business as far as the Pacific. It was warm work, all the way, and the last fortnight of it was suffocatingly smoky, for in Oregon and Columbia the forest fires were raging. We had an added week of smoke at the seaboard, where we were obliged awhile for our ship. She had been getting herself ashore in the smoke, and she had to be docked and repaired.
We sailed at last; and so ended a snail-paced march across the continent, which had lasted forty days.
We moved westward about mid-afternoon over a rippled and summer sea; an enticing sea, a clean and cool sea, and apparently a welcome sea to all on board; it certainly was to the distressful dustings and smokings and swelterings of the past weeks. The voyage would furnish a three-weeks holiday, with hardly a break in it. We had the whole Pacific Ocean in front of us, with nothing to do but do nothing and be comfortable. The city of Victoria was twinkling dim in the deep heart of her smoke-cloud, and getting ready to vanish and now we closed the field-glasses and sat down on our steamer chairs contented and at peace. But they went to wreck and ruin under us and brought us to shame before all the passengers. They had been furnished by the largest furniture-dealing house in Victoria, and were worth a couple of farthings a dozen, though they had cost us the price of honest chairs. In the Pacific and Indian Oceans one must still bring his own deck-chair on board or go without, just as in the old forgotten Atlantic times--those Dark Ages of sea travel.
Ours was a reasonably comfortable ship, with the customary sea-going fare --plenty of good food furnished by the Deity and cooked by the devil. The discipline observable on board was perhaps as good as it is anywhere in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The ship was not very well arranged for tropical service; but that is nothing, for this is the rule for ships which ply in the tropics. She had an over-supply of cockroaches, but this is also the rule with ships doing business in the summer seas--at least such as have been long in service. Our young captain was a very handsome man, tall and perfectly formed, the very figure to show up a smart uniform's best effects.