Page 18 – ‘Notes of a trip’ by Robert Jameson

yet from the apparently commonplace material was being daily extracted immense wealth. Kafirs were busy carrying on their heads small bags of quartz to the top of the hill above the quarry. Here it was emptied into wagons and thence conveyed to the top of a high hill six miles distant, whence it was slid down on sledges to the wagons waiting below, to be by them again carried another six miles to a battery. This is of course a clumsy, wasteful, and costly mode of handling the material, but pending the erection of their own machinery, already referred to, the proprietors have no alternative; with proper app1iances, and the aid of the tramline, a very great saving must be effected for the shareholders in the immediate future. Mr. Bray after whom the reef is named, was one of its discoverers, and richly deserves all the success he has attained, having long and patiently worked the country round without previous success. He is a quiet, unassuming elderly gentleman, with a fine face and silvery beard; everyone seemed to have a good word for him. I regretted not having the pleasure of meeting him, as his story must be a most interesting one.

                     Above the quarry, on a charming plateau commanding a fine view of the surrounding sea of mountains, is the little village of Eureka City, two hotels, shops, bakery, butchery and some snug houses. This is 14 miles from Barberton.

Here again we found old Durban friends, Mr. Heller being the first to welcome us. He has extensive business premises and was doing a flourishing business, we were pleased to notice. The capitalist was received with the utmost effusion and every demonstration of pleasure by another Durbanite, Mrs Sherwood, who has a tidy and very comfortable hotel, while her husband conducted a butchery, both doing remarkably well. In honour of her distinguished guests Mrs. Sherwood prepared a grand feast, thinking nothing too good for him, to which we sat down and did ample justice with some forty others, mostly Natal men. A noble plum pudding, made especially for my friend, taxed even his powers of consumption, and put every one in high good humour, resulting in a most jolly evening. Before the table was cleared the financial secretary rose to propose the health of the landlady; and said, that, “although he could not claim either the wisdom or wealth of the great Solomon, yet in one particular he claimed to rival him, and that was in his ardent admiration for the Queen of Sheba, one of Natal’s fair daughters. ” The toast was received with musical honours, for “She is a jolly good fellow” and so for the rest of her life will this good landlady remain the “Queen of Sheba”.

Early next morning we went over to a neighbouring ridge to inspect another of the wonders of this wonderful place, Thomas’ Reef. This is the property of the two brothers Thomas from Natal, formerly contractors on the railway there, and more lately employed near Maritzburg in opening up a copper lode. They are Cornishmen, hard working, and until now poor men, toiling with their own horny hands with pick and shovel. Their good fortune does not seem to have discomposed them ill any way. They take it, as they would have taken ill luck, in the most matter of fact manner. We had everywhere been asked: “Have you been to Bray’s and Thomas’ reefs yet?” “They are our lions, the latter we call our jeweller’s shop.” Well here is the “jeweller’s shop,” and I’d like much to be the jeweller.

                     At Bray’s we were disappointed because we could not see the gold. Here our expectations were fully met, for the “quartz which had been sent up the shaft was on some pieces studded with tiny nuggets; in others the gold was