|Chapter Title||A VISION OF THE IGH VELDT SEPTEMBER, 1889.|
|Newspaper Title||The Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser (NSW : 1898 - 1953)|
|Trove Title||The Great Boer Conspiracy. A Tale of the Transvaal War, 1899-1900|
Hie Great Boer Conspiracy.
A TaS© of the Traffiis^asi 1899-1S00. [ALL R I GHTS0'R E S E k V E D , ]
By J. O. Hennessey. - Author of a A Lost Identity' ' The Dishonourable,'' ' Wynnvm,' 'An Aus tralian Bush TrCick 'The Sea Cliff Towers Mystery ,' etc.
CHAPTER JI. ( Cvntit ued ). j A Vision -of tfik I k;h 'Vkldt. m SliFTlvMliKU, 188i-.' I
^ '-Don't troubU about the money, ; Di, litet,' wats ih-; abrupt coiitni&iice i .in tut ot the letter ; ' tlitre is untoirl J wc-iililr whfie it cMiie fjiiin. And do j 1 oi- husi ll) coiiclutK.vi hai it. ib t fft.ml -is a bi l'J« , oi' t i/ j=ui clwi&p' your gonr will forour ' pi iji ufc j iioi luij' ut tlw: sort, it it- nxui iy a. rfC«i^nition of a c.ci vice which, in your im (iii.ah»pfi- ity, you aid for a t'ciei.d oi the writer's, ss
l 1 uiijl.'irr ot yeaihsi^o: and which yoi- I I .-h- -u Id have lit-tn recompensed foi b( - | tore. ]f you fall in with the pro j po^al about to be made t( you thr I money will be ustfu', and just now In wuulo be urvtzs uiy tor y«;u to bi supplied, to enable you to serve us iu yi-u wish. But money is plentiful niou^h : our need is intelligence, braint, oaring, inventive skill to protect a i:»eat scheme, plate it in working order, and take »n active part iu carrying it - ut. A man with these qualiticatioii- mI em busiasm, cannot be liou^ht 0 o:-i for jiol'^ ; love, ambition nii- power, iie the coin current ^hich great m u Is are won. 'rJhiiik not that I wish to flat t e- you. Nothing of tlie sort, I wish u win y«jur heart, your mind, your wholr soul, for a people who have been en i.oblect in history, who have stou: lieai ts, and have done brave deedfc and now have an opportunity such at defctiny rarely places in the pathway -(f a nation. Ihe question is, can the} i..e maoe to see it, even as I and othen see it now. 'We think they can, bui dare not for cei tain -reasons undertnk- .he tusk ourselves : it must be someone wlio is politically unknown, who i* quick to see, anii apt to impart to others You, Doctor, can speak almost nil languages, and make yourself ab hings to all men. But let me recall he vision which not long since p»ssrr tfoie o.y tyejs upon the High Veldt. 1 was ttavelling incognito among mj kinsmen, f-jr ] wished to s- e for myteJl lie land of which ] had heard so much, f.nd judge peisonally as to the possibi ?ies of its lutute, and-r— but 1 doubt whether it is visevhere to fvy all that mjielf and my people have felt, foi le masteiful hand of England has ! - en reached out in to all lands ; every where the if'stless activity of the Anglo Saxon race-is elbowing out oth« r and li-ss ambitious people. Not that I would complain of English fntei prise and prog 1 ess, fcr in latter days have we not hern friends and ccmpatiiois in moie than one great and g- od cause ? I But we have ! e(-n prtud tf cur kin- j died in Si uth Afiica, and frr ttfiii we j t'^ar the English, nr.d for tliem, 1 saw j this \ision ficm afai : — j ' I saw a land of length and bicadth iird abounding possibilitit s whit.li had l ien wrested by a brave, detei mined people thicugh long yeais of hardship » iid privation fn ni a tii&il.tious and i.ccursrd race. From , hew nth the hoar white si.mmits of these South Afiitan Alps 1 recalled tlie bloody ti ngedics of the past, and out of the blood anel mist there oime a vision of the pietent. I hen id figain the \oices t.-f its wt-mt n, young, aidcnt, beautiful, enlhusiastic (Hid luave. Eefoie-nie I saw n en of 4 d v- nturcus * pii if, not stiiolars, nor of ovei much u tint merit, l-ut si 1 onp, stead iest, keen witted, detnmined— men who would ftice any odds for trie t:nke nf convictions, ar.d libetty, and coun try, if widely ar.d fit inly led by men I Ley trusted. 'It is tiue, alas! I saw that, to II any of tlum the refoin ed faith Kad degtntraied xnto a tiling of foim and pln?.seol« gy, sudi as in the days of the Pharisees, quoted much Scripture and iimde l-i ud tliejr tut 4 ? /
liet/, and cheated and deceived, because 11 \\ as most iy a dead thing without a Ileal t j but 1 -y eo ucaiion and the teach ing of godly inHi they may be redeem ed fit m that, 'lhen 1 saw how e-pulent wealth flashing in diamonds and giit teiing m yellow gold, had waved its magic wand in the faces of that easy ' going £-astoial people, calling them from ?hen primitive taskd and homely sur rounoings, to a greater future and a grandei uestiny. ' W herf the lion had its lair, I saw great cites arise, with broad stieets and modern buildings, and flashing ? iectric lights, and trains and railways, and teeming populations, and wealth and poases&ions such as would dazzle and amaze the workl. 'Tht! vision was magnificent; but as I looked away in the direction of he distant sea 1 lemembered the maritime powers of the people of the .Netherlands and the thought came to me, why should not thedescendantsof tb® Dutch »n (South Africa alsoi be great upon the oL-ean, and the' vision widened anti iieepeneo— and presently I returned -gain to Amsterdam. ' Ponder over tluse things Toctor, prepare yourself to visit South Africa, nd at noon to morrow be ready to it-company o:ie who will call upon you, /or this business requires both secrecy ?viiil haste.' There was no signature to this (.range communication, yet it was not ..?ifficult for me to guess, pretty nearly, from one whom it had come. 1 set ?nyself to tnink the whole thing out, ud it was long past midnight before I iad done with it and retired to rest. CHAPTER III. Amsterdam. It is needless to say that the exalted personage who had written the above communication to me was a Hollander, and, was natural, looked at everything i hi ough Dutch spectacles. During my perusal of His tfighness's letter, I could not help (from my own know ledge of affairs in South Africa) out make numerous mental comments upon, wild additions to, what was there said. Ot' course the possession of South Africa from Zambesi to the Cope waa a magnificent vision for a Dutchman j Lut 1 naturally asked myself, ' In that case, where does Great Britain, lhafc lias given millions of treasure and thousands of lives to open up Africa, come in ? ' It was idle to imagine that the British would stand quietly by, while Dutchmen appropriated the whole of South Africa, unless their hands should tc so full with other afiairs that her statesmen would back dowr. again as they did after JVIajuba Hill , but in 1889 that was far more liiiely thpn now Then, too, there were thecnances of foreign wars and complications. H-»wever, I dftei mined to see further into the matter bsfore deciding dsfinite ]y what course I tould putsue ; but resolv-d toaccrjt the mcney, on the teim' upon whi.li it was tendered, which cutainly left me perfectly free to cast in my lot with the adventure or i.ot. I »acked my biain, in vain, to tiV »*-!?! recall any time in my adventuious life in which I might, have rrr.deicd such a service ns that rtfeiivd to in the letter, but my memory was n blank. However, that did not tiouble me, for 1 had on more than ore battle field bent down to tend the vourdtd without a thought of who 1 hry -were, except, that they were fellow men, and tufieiing ; ai d mote than orce, I had It en afterwards leccpnist d urd lliankitl fcr tciviccs I found it difficult myself to jecall The fDllowing morning I dressed with unusual care and waited with seme impatience the arrival of iho ex pvettd roswengf ir, Ttn jws have
made a bib of different in me, but j a? I looked -fc. my, f in-I figure in a large -dressing gl.Uj?,.. .1 was pleased to confess to myself that if a dis tinguished presence and hand-vj-.ne face went for anything, Regin.dd Iveet, M.D., D. Sc., might, aspire to- be physician in ordinal y to the . King. However, I was reckoning without my host, for I found out afterwards that my conjectures' were not absolutely : correct in regard to the communi cation I had receivoi! ; but a healthy, clever, cultured man' of forty, is hardly likely to err on the side of self-depreciation. I knew euough to fairly well estimate my own., powers, and T had some reason to have con fidense in them. At eleven o'clock the attendant, of hiy chambers brought me a letter, on .opening which I found a simple ; slip . of paper with the words, 'To- night at ei»ht a carriage will await you ; prepare your luggage and be ready to start upon a journey.' It was a shock to me when I read - , this, for I was not prepared to sum marily depart from Holland in this : fashion, and the peremptory tone of the communication was not at all to . my likinsr. I noticed too, that tlie - hand writing was different. However . after some little thought I decided ? to so far comply with 'the direction , as to settle certain business matters wliich might have detained me, and. s as far as possible provide the personal requisites and obtain from the bank .. - suffi -rent leady money , to- meet all ordinary requirements. I also deter- ? mined to '.all upon my relative Count' ; . ? Victor Van Berg, for with my altered circumstances and prospect of taking a long- journey, I was inclined to do ?? what otherwise I might have refrained from. It was not so much, that I wished to see tlae Count-, .although T ? - was assured of a fairly cordial wel-. ?£*-?: -2-- '.come from him, but) with my cousins - s Albert and Barbara I wished, to have some converse before allowing myself, to drift into a stream of cir cumstances from which there might be no withdrawal. . I hired a carriage after lunch to 'make my visits. It was a bright .. , ' clear day, and I thought as I drove 'around, and to and fro, -that ' the cleanest city of Europe' had never - . looked more charming than it did jusst then.
I determined to complete my busi ness before calling at the' Count's villa on t he Canal by . ihe Barmen Road. While waiting for a few minutes, however, before crossing a bridge over a canal which had been swung for the passage of a vessel, who should greet mo but Albert himself. 'I .thought you were in Paris,' he said, shaking me 'cordially bv the hand through, the carriage window, ' I only returned lately,' 1 replied, ' and was calling. upon you to day.'' ' I fear I shall not be back,' he said. '' Then got in ruid return with me,' I replied ; ''my business with ycu is of importance.:' Without another word he did as I asked him, and the draw bridge being adjusted, we drove on to the bank, which was my next place of call. To be Continued.