Page 9 – ‘Notes of a trip’ by Robert Jameson

quietly awaited events while we out spanned. The establishment consisted of a tumble-down stable, made of reeds, through which the equine tenants thrust their heads to’ survey us; another reed structure some 10 feet square, and partially plastered with mud, did duty as a store and canteen; a third and similar structure, leaning over at an alarming angle, and with the roof threatening instant collapse, contained two beds, which just filled it. In the store two bits of plank on some boxes did duty for counter, behind which were set upon end some empty gin cases, which represented the shelving.

                     “Well, Mike, have you got anything to eat here?” No; never a bit.” What! no bread, butter, or cheese?” No; I’m cleaned out.” Well, have you any beer?” “Not. a mouthful of anything but squareface; but ye’r welcome, all the same.”

                     Mike’s imperturbable good nature was infectious, and rising to the occasion we soon had our own supper under weigh on the grass at Mike’s door, while he looked on complacently. A subsequent inspection of the bedroom revealed the fact that there were tenants already abed. Mike yielded to the soft impeachment, and naively added that one was the happy hunting ground of a very unpoetical insect, while the other had only fleas! and to reassure us further said that the last traveller who had slept on the former had both his socks” aiten aff his feet before mornin’.”

                     Necessity has no law; tired travellers cannot be choosers. One bed was engaged by another traveller, and the capitalist sunk off into sweet slumber in the other; Keating, a good digestion, and an easy conscience his gentle lullaby. The horses tethered and fed, Nimrod and I rolling ourselves in our 1 karosses, with a bundle of forage for pillow, lay down in the grass to seek our rest, chuckling to think how much better, we were off in the frosty night air than the capitalist in his lively couch. Alas for our hopes of balmy sleep. The night was brilliantly moonlit, and Mike’s pigs taking advantage of it were out for a meditative – ramble (possibly studying Bacon by the light of the moon, who knows?) Attracted by these furry bundles, they became inquisitive to know the contents. A broad snout was inserted, accompanied by a grunt, and over went the bundle! The effect was electrical the prone bundles became perpendicular instantly, and the pigs fled in terror, only to return cautiously to pursue their researches when peace again reigned. Until the moon went down the pigs had a good time and we no rest. The cold of the frosty morning woke us betimes and like the tender hearted king of old who approached the lion’s den early to ascertain if his prot‚g‚s were still alive, we went off tremblingly, and peering in the bedroom, plaintively adjured the capitalist to speak if he still survived. Imagine our joy when he shied a boot at us. I never saw Nimrod so nearly being melted into tears, tears of genuine happiness! In spanning, and leaving Mike’s hospitable mansion with many blessings, we were soon off again, hungry but elate at the merciful deliverance of the capitalist.’ For reasons which may possibly occur to the reader learned in entomology, we named this fine hotel” The Bugingham Palace,'” a name as expressive as it is euphonious.

                     The flora of this district is much that of Natal in its upper divisions, as far as the few early specimens could allow one to judge, the proteas being particularly numerous, as are also tree ferns (Cyathea Natalcnsis).

                     We now approached what we had all along been assured was the worst bit of our journey, the steep pass by which descending from the mountain tops the De Kaap Valley was to be reached, and dame rumour had not belied herself, for anything worse in the shape of a road, I had never before seen. The