The voyage to the Cape was long and tedious. On the whole way out, Guy mad_ut few friends, and talked very little to his fellow passengers. That unhapp_ecognition by Granville Kelmscott the evening he went on board the Ceteway_oisoned the fugitive's mind for the entire passage. He felt himself, in fact,
a moral outcast; he slunk away from his kind; he hardly dared to mee_elmscott's eyes for shame, whenever he passed him. But for one thing at leas_e was truly grateful. Though Kelmscott had evidently discovered from th_apers the nature of Guy's crime, and knew his real name well, it was clear h_ad said nothing of any sort on the subject to the other passengers. Only on_an on board was aware of his guilt, Guy believed, and that one man he shunne_ccordingly as far as was possible within the narrow limits of the saloon an_he quarter-deck.
Granville Kelmscott, of course, took a very different view of Guy Waring'_osition. He had read in the paper he bought at Plymouth that Guy was th_urderer of Montague Nevitt. Regarding him, therefore, as a criminal of th_eepest dye now flying from justice, he wasn't at all surprised at Guy'_hrinking and shunning him; what astonished him rather was the man'_ccasional and incredible fits of effrontery. How that fellow could ever laug_nd talk at all among the ladies on deck—with the hangman at his back—simpl_ppalled and horrified the proud soul of a Kelmscott. Granville had hard wor_o keep from expressing his horror openly at times. But still, with an effort,
he kept his peace. With the picture of his father and Lady Emily now stron_efore his mind, he couldn't find it in his heart to bring his own half-
brother, however guilty and criminal the man might be, to the foot of th_allows.
So they voyaged on together without once interchanging a single word, all th_ay from Plymouth to the Cape Colony. And the day they landed at Por_lizabeth, it was an infinite relief indeed to Guy to think he could now ge_ell away for ever from that fellow Kelmscott. Not being by any means over-
burdened with ready cash, however, Guy determined to waste no time in th_oastwise towns, but to make his way at once boldly up country toward_imberley. The railway ran then only as far as Grahamstown; the rest of hi_ourney to the South African Golconda was accomplished by road, in a two-
wheeled cart, drawn by four small horses, which rattled along with a will, u_ill and down dale, over the precarious highways of that semi-civilize_pland.
To Guy, just fresh from England and the monotonous sea, there was a certai_xhilaration in this first hasty glimpse of the infinite luxuriance of sub-
tropical nature. At times he almost forgot Montague Nevitt and the forgery i_he boundless sense of freedom and novelty given him by those vast wastes o_olling tableland, thickly covered with grass or low thorny acacias, an_tretching illimitably away in low range after range to the blue mountains i_he distance. It was strange indeed to him on the wide plains through whic_hey scurried in wild haste to see the springbok rush away from the doubtfu_rack at the first whirr of their wheels, or the bolder bustard stand and gaz_mong the long grass, with his wary eye turned sideways to look at them. Gu_elt for the moment he had left Europe and its reminiscences now fairly behin_im; in this free new world, he was free once more himself; his shame was cas_side; he could revel like the antelopes in the immensity of a land wher_obody knew him and he knew nobody.
What added most of all, however, to this quaint new sense of vastness an_reedom was the occasional appearance of naked blacks, roaming at larg_hrough the burnt-up fields of which till lately they had been undispute_ossessors. Day after day Guy drove on along the uncertain roads, past quee_utlying towns of white wooden houses—Cradock, and Middelburg, and Colesberg,
and others—till they crossed at last the boundary of Orange River into th_ree State, and halted for a while in the main street of Philippolis.
It was a dreary place; Guy began now to see the other side of South Africa.
Though he had left England in autumn, it was spring-time at the Cape, and th_inter drought had parched up all the grass, leaving the bare red dust in th_oads or streets as dry and desolate as the sand of the desert. The tow_tself consisted of some sixty melancholy and distressful houses, bare,
square, and flat-roofed, standing unenclosed along a dismal high-road, an_ith that congenitally shabby look, in spite of their newness, which seems t_elong by nature to all southern buildings. Some stagnant pools alone remaine_o attest the presence after rain of a roaring brook, the pits in whose dried-
up channel they now occupied; over their tops hung the faded foliage of a fe_ust-laden trees, struggling hard for life with the energy of despair agains_epressing circumstances. It was a picture that gave Guy a sudden attack o_essimism; if THIS was the El Dorado towards which he was going, he earnestl_ished himself back again once more, forgery or no forgery, among the breez_reen fields of dear old England.
On to Fauresmith he travelled with less comfort than before in a rickety bugg_f most primitive construction, designed to meet the needs of rough mountai_oads, and as innocent of springs as Guy himself of the murder of Montagu_evitt. It was a wretched drive. The drought had now broken; the wet seaso_ad begun; rain fell heavily. A piercing cold wind blew down from the neare_ountains; and Guy began to feel still more acutely than ever that Sout_frica was by no means an earthly paradise. As he drove on and on this feelin_eepened upon him. Huge blocks of stone obstructed the rough road, intersecte_s it was by deep cart-wheel ruts, down which the rain-water now flowed i_mpromptu torrents. The Dutch driver, too, anxious to show the mettle of hi_oarse-limbed steeds, persisted in dashing over the hummocky ground at _reak-neck pace, while Guy balanced himself with difficulty on the narro_eat, hanging on to his portmanteau for dear life among the jerks and jolts,
till his ringers were numbed with cold and exposure.
They held out against it all, before the pelting rain, till man and beast wer_ell-nigh exhausted. At last, about three-quarters of the way to Fauresmith,
on the bleak bare hill-tops, sleety snow began to fall in big flakes, and th_arking of a dog to be heard in the distance. The Boer driver pricked up hi_ars at the sound.
"That must a house be," he remarked in his Dutch pigeon-English to Guy; an_uy felt in his soul that the most miserable and filthy of Kaffir huts woul_ust then be a welcome sight to his weary eyes. He would have given _overeign, indeed, from the scanty store he possessed, for a night's lodgin_n a convenient dog-kennel. He was agreeably surprised, therefore, to find i_as a comfortable farmhouse, where the lights in the casement beamed forth _heery welcome on the wet and draggled wayfarers from real glass windows. Th_armer within received them hospitably. Business was brisk to-day. Anothe_raveller, he said, had just gone on towards Fauresmith.
"A young man like yourself, fresh from England," the farmer observed, scannin_uy closely. "He's off for the diamond diggings. I think to Dutoitspan."
Guy rested the right there, thinking nothing of the stranger, and went on nex_ay more quietly to Fauresmith. Thence to the diamond fields, the countr_ecame at each step more sombre and more monotonous than ever. In th_fternoon they rested at Jacobsdal, another dusty, dreary, comfortless place,
consisting of about five and twenty bankrupt houses scattered in bare clump_ver a scorched-up desert. Then on again next day, over a drearier and eve_rearier expanse of landscape. It was ghastly. It was horrible. At last, o_he top of a dismal hill range, looking down on a deep dale, the drive_alted. In the vast flat below, a dull dense fog seemed to envelop the worl_ith inscrutable mists. The driver pointed to it with his demonstrative whip.
"Down yonder," he said encouragingly, as he put the skid on his wheel, "dow_onder's the diamond fields—that's Dutoitspan before you."
"What makes it so grey?" Guy asked, looking in front of him with a sinkin_eart. This first view of his future home was by no means encouraging.
"Oh, the sand make it be like that," the driver answered unconcernedly.
"Diamond fields all make up of fine red sand; and diggers pile it about aroun_heir own claims. Then the wind comes and blow, and make sandstorm alway_round Dutoitspan."
Guy groaned inwardly. This was certainly NOT the El Dorado of his fancy. The_escended the hill, at the same break-neck pace as before, and entered th_iserable mushroom town of diamond-grubbers. Amidst the huts in the digging_reat heaps of red earth lay piled up everywhere. Dust and sand rose high o_he hot breeze into the stifling air. As they reached the encampment—fo_utoitspan then was little more than a camp—the blinding mists of solid re_articles drove so thick in their eyes that Guy could hardly see a few yard_efore him. Their clothes and faces were literally encrusted in thick coats o_ust. The fine red mist seemed to pervade everything. It filled their eyes,
their nostrils, their ears, their mouths. They breathed solid dust. The ai_as laden deep with it.
And THIS was the diamond fields! This was the Golconda where Guy was to fin_ix thousand pounds ready made to recover his losses and to repay Cyril. Oh,
horrible, horrible. His heart sank low at it.
And still they went on, and on, and on, and on, through the mist of dust t_he place for out-spanning. Guy only shared the common fate of all new-comer_o "the fields" in feeling much distressed and really ill. The very horses i_he cart snorted and sneezed and showed their high displeasure by trying ever_ow and then to jib and turn back again. Here and there, on either side, t_ight and left, where the gloom permitted it, Guy made out dimly a few roun_r oblong tents, with occasional rude huts of corrugated iron. A few uncertai_igures lounged vaguely in the background. On closer inspection they proved t_e much-grimed and half-naked natives, resting their weary limbs on piles o_ry dust after their toil in the diggings.
It was an unearthly scene. Guy's heart sank lower and lower still at ever_tep the horses took into that howling wilderness.
At last the driver drew up with a jolt in front of a long low hut o_orrugated iron, somewhat larger than the rest, but no less dull and dreary.
"The hotel," he said briefly; and Guy jumped out to secure himself a night'_odging or so at this place of entertainment, till he could negotiate for _ut and a decent claim, and commence his digging.
At the bar of the primitive saloon where he found himself landed, a man in _rey tweed suit was already seated. He was drinking something fizzy from _all soda-water glass. With a sudden start of horror Guy recognised him a_nce. Oh, great heavens, what was this? It was Granville Kelmscott!
Then Granville, too, was bound for the diamond fields like himself. What a_ncredible coincidence! How strange! How inexplicable! That rich man's son,
the pampered heir to Tilgate! what could HE be doing here, in this out-of-the-
way spot, this last resort of poor broken-down men, this miserable haunt o_retched gambling money-grubbers?
Here curiosity, surely, must have drawn him to the spot. He couldn't have com_o DIG! Guy gazed in amazement at that grey tweed suit. He must be staying fo_ day or two in search of adventure. No more than just that! He couldn't mea_o STOP here.
As he gazed and stood open-mouthed in the shadow of the door, Granvill_elmscott, who hadn't seen him enter, laid down his glass, wiped his lips wit_usto, and continued his conversation with the complacent barman.
"Yes, I want a hut here," he said, "and to buy a good claim. I've been lookin_ver the kopje down by Watson's spare land, and I think I've seen a lot that'_ikely to suit me."
Guy sould hardly restrain his astonishment and surprise. He had come, then, t_ig! Oh, incredible! impossible!
But at any rate this settled his own immediate movements. Guy's mind was mad_p at once. If Granville Kelmscott was going to dig at Dutoitspan—why, clearl_utoitspan was no place for HIM. He could never stand the continual presenc_f the one man in South Africa who knew his deadly secret. Come what might h_ust leave the neighbourhood without a moment's delay. He must strike out a_nce for the far interior. As he paused, Granville Kelmscott turned round an_aw him. Their eyes met with a start. Each was equally astonished. The_ranville rose slowly from his seat, and murmured in a low voice, as h_egarded him fixedly—
"You here again, Mr. Billington! This is once too often. I hardly expecte_HIS. There's no room here for both of us."
And he strode from the saloon, with a very black brow, leaving Guy for th_oment alone with the barman.