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Newspaper Page Text
Tm -with yon," replied Vander
At Kllpfonteln the program was
carried out As the train drew Bhriek
ing up to the station the confed
erates leaped from the carriage. At
the rear of the platform a native man
was waiting with two Baddle horses,
A tough little Basuto ponies, of the
V kind that would carry their loads
where no European horses could go.
Two leaps into the saddles, two pulls
at the reins, and the thieves were
padding 'quickly through the single
street of the settlement and out into
They looked back when they
reached the sand. In the distance they
saw a crowd gathered about a tall
man who was making futile efforts to
strike a quick bargain for a horse.
They rode till evening. When the
moon came up they were alone upon
the desert. They dismounted, made
a fire from the scanty thorn scrub,
and cooked some of the meat in
James' saddle bags. On either side of
the saddle hung a large water bag,
the moisture from which, evaporate
ing, kept the contents cold as spring
water. They watered the horses
scantily. They watched by turns and
started out at dawn. It was ten miles
to the nearest water pool where the
water bags were to be refilled.
"I believe we've missed the pool,"
said James, toward noon. All around
them was the shimmering desert, de
void now even of thorn scrub. The
horses panted from the heat. James
gave them the last of the water.
"Well strike another water hole
before dark,"4he said to his compan-
But they did not strike the water
Hole ana oy sunset ine norses were
unable to proceed farther. James'
was down and Vanderhuizen's stood
trembling and evidently on its last
"We had better press on afoot,"
said James. "I know there is a wa
ter hole at the foot of the moun
tains." And he po'nted to where the
blue outlines of a distant range rose
against the cloudless sky.
He removed his saddle bags and
slung them across his shoulders and
the two men proceeded wearily.
James lagged behind Venderhuizen,
who, tortured by thirst, walked Dke
a man in a nightmare. On they went,
hour after hour, till suddenly the big
Dutchman went down.
"You'd best leave me; I'm done
for," he murmured.
James set down his saddle bags,
opened them and pulled out a bottle
of water. He held it in the air. Van
derhuizen leaped to his feet, to find
himself looking down the muzzle of
"Hand over the bag," said James,
"You scoundrel!" shouted Vander
huizen, through his swollen lips.
"This bottle foryour half," James
pursued. "And I know where to find
the water hole."
Vanderhuizen glared at him; then,
with a gesture of despair, he took
the previous bag from his breast and
tossed it to the other. For a man will
give all that he has to save his life.
Next moment Vanderhuizen had
knocked the head off the bottle and
was gulping down the life-giving
fluid. James watched him sardoni
cally. "You will find the water hole half
a mile distant, at the foot of that ele
vation," he said, indicating a hum
mock in the sand. And he watched
Vanderhuizen stagger away.
He went back to the horses, and,
knocking the heads off the other bot
tles, poured the contents down their
throats. The animals, revived, stag
gered to their feet. His own horse
was done for, but Vanderhuizen's
seemed capable of carrying him to his
destination another water hole
along the wagon route across tne
desert, which he knew like a book.
He clasped the diamonds to his
breast as he rode, and chuckled. The
scheme had been an excellent one and
i had worked out better than he could