"Footsteps! footsteps! footsteps! the tread of the white man coming from afar. It shakes the earth; the earth trembles before her master.
"Blood is good, the red blood is bright; there is no smell like the smell of new-shed blood. The lions shall lap it and roar, the vultures shall wash their wings in it and shriek in joy.
"I am old! I am old! I have seen much blood; but I shall see more ere I die, and be merry. How old am I, think ye? Your fathers knew me, and their fathers hew me, and their fathers' fathers. I have seen the white man, and how his desires. I am old, but the mountains are older than I. Who made the great road, tell me? Who wrote in pictures on the rocks, tell me? Who reared up the three silent ones yonder, who gaze across the pit, tell me?" (And she pointed towards the three precipitous mountains we had noticed on the previous night.)
"Ye know not, but I know. It was a white people who were before ye were, who shall be when ye. are not, who shall eat ye up and destroy ye. Yea! yea! yea!
"And what came they for, the white ones, the terrible ones, the skilled in magic and all learning, the strong, the unswerving? What is that bright stone upon thy forehead, O king? Whose hands made the iron garments upon thy breast, O king? Ye know not, but I know. I the old one, I the wise one, I the Isanusi!" (witch doctress.)
Then she turned her bald, vulture head towards us.
"What seek ye, white men of the stars? Ah, yes, of the stars! Do ye seek a lost one? Ye shall not find him here. He is not here. Never for ages upon ages has a white foot pressed this land; never but once, and he left it but to die. Ye come for bright stones; I know it - I know it; ye shall find them when the blood is dry; but shall ye return whence ye came, or shall ye stop with me? Ha! ha! ha!
"And thou - thou with the dark skin and the proud beating" (pointing her skinny finger at Umbopa), "who art thou, and what seekest thou ? Not stones that shine; not yellow metal that gleams; that thou leavest to `white men from the stars.' Methinks I know thee; methinks I can smell the smell of the blood in thy veins. Strip off the girdle - "