"Now for business," I put in, anxious to escape from a painful subject. "It is very well to be a king by right divine, Ignosi, but how dost thou propose to become a king indeed?"
"Nay, I know not. Infadoos, hast thou a plan?"
"Ignosi, son of the lightning," answered his uncle, "to-night is the great dance and witch-hunt. Many will be smelt out and perish, and in the hears of many others there will be grief and anguish and anger against the king Twala. When the dance is over, then will I speak to some of the great chiefs, who in turn, if I can win them over, shall speak to their regiments. I shall speak to the chiefs softly at first, and bring them to see that thou art indeed the king, and I think that by to-morrow's light thou shalt have twenty thousand spears at thy command. And now must I go and think and hear and make ready. After the dance is done I will, if I am yet alive, and we are all alive, meet thee here, and we will talk. At the best there will be war."
At this moment our conference was interrupted by the cry that messengers had come from the king. Advancing to the door of the hut, we ordered that they should be admitted, and presently three men entered, each bearing a shining shirt of chain-armor and a magnificent battle-axe.
"The gifts of my lord, the king, to the white men from the stars!" exclaimed a herald who had come with them.
"We thank the king," I answered; "withdraw."
The men went, and we examined the armor with great interest. It was the most beautiful chain-work we had ever seen. A whole coat fell together so closely that it formed a mass of links scarcely too big to be covered with both hands.
"Do you make these things in this country; Infadoos?" I asked; "they are very beautiful."