Following the Equator: A Journey around the World - Vol. 2

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XXXII

None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try.-- Pudd'nhead Wilson New Calendar.

THE Duke of Fife has borne testimony that Mr. Rhodes deceived him. That is also what Mr. Rhodes did with the Reformers. He got them into trouble, and then stayed out himself. A judicious man. He has always been that. As to this there was a moment of doubt, once. It was when he was out on his last pirating expedition in the Matabele country. The cable shouted out that he had gone unarmed, to visit a party of hostile chiefs. It was true, too; and this daredevil thing came near fetching another indiscretion out of the poet laureate. It would have been too bad, for when the facts were all in, it turned out that there was a lady along, too, and she also was unarmed.

In the opinion of many people Mr. Rhodes is South Africa; others think he is only a large part of it. These latter consider that South Africa consists of Table Mountain, the diamond-mines, the Johannesburg gold-fields, and Cecil Rhodes. The gold- fields are wonderful in every way. In seven or eight years they built up, in a desert, a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants, counting white and black together; and not the ordinary mining city of

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