Watch for the Dawn

Watch for the Dawn

Watch for the Dawn

Watch for the Dawn

Excerpt

NOTHING moved in the Great Fish River Bush. Not a bird. Not a beast: Even the small leaves of the trees were closed or hung sideways. Over everything was the intolerable weight of midday, a silence in which not a cicada sang. Out of an empty, washed-out sky the sun struck at old Frederik's house; at the bare earth round it; at the solitary tree in front of the house; at the two bay horses tethered beneath it. With his back against the tree, squatting on his bare heels, a Hottentot rested, looking from the dogs that watched him to the house.

Andries liked neither the place, the mission on which his master had come, nor the dogs. They were great, roughhaired hounds, of the kind that all Boers kept in numbers to guard their homes. Two of them lay on their sides in the shade of the wagon. That they were asleep he doubted, knowing from experience that such dogs never slept, not heavily like a Christian man. Another, broken lemon-and- white in colour, bit the thorns from between its toes, stopping every now and then to gaze at him; while a fourth, an old, scarred brindle bitch with torn ears, stared at him out of . . .

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