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sins of others. It is the author's conviction that cases were rare when the ship did not sail true enough : in the beginning she may have badly wanted cleaning below the water line, but she never failed to answer her helm. It was more often the man at the helm than the sailing quality of the vessel that was at fault, and the marvel is that she was of sufficiently tough construction to be able to stand the stress incurred by indifferent seamanship.
“De Aar," and the Africander guard flung himself out of his brake-van.
De Aar! After forty-eight hours of semistarvation in a brake-van, the name of the junction, in spite of the ill-natured tones which gave voice to it, sounded sweeter than the chimes of bells. It meant relief from confinement in a few square feet of board ; relief from a semi-putrid atmosphere-oil, unwashed men, and stale tobacco-smoke; relief from the delicate attentions of a surly Africander guard, who resented the overcrowding of his van; relief from the pangs
of hunger; relief from the indescribable punishments of thirst.
Yet at its best De Aar is a miserable place. Not made—only thrown at the hillside, and allowed by negligence and indifference to slip into the nearest hollow. Too far from the truncated kopjes to reap any benefit from them. Close enough to feel the radiation of a sledge-hammer sun from their bevelled summits—close enough to be the channel, in summer, of every scorching blast diverted by them ; in winter, every icy draught. Pestilential place, goal of whirlwinds and dust-devils, ankle-deep in desert drift-prototype of Berber in a sandstormas comfortless by night as day. But as in nature, so in the handiwork of men, even in the most repulsive shapes it is possible to find some saving feature. De Aar has one-one only. Its saving feature is where a slatternly Jew boy plays host behind the bar of a fly-ridden buffet. Here at prices which, except that it is a campaign, would be prohibitive, you can purchase food and drink.
But at night it is not an easy place to find. The station is full of trains, and,