Jock of the Bushveld
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Jock of the Bushveld is a story set in the rough Bushveld of South Africa's gold mining era. Jock is the faithful dog and companion of a transport rider. Through their adventures we catch a glimpse of those heady gold rush days. Jock, the runt of the litter turns out to be a faithful companion to the end.
This is the original and unabridged version of this South African favourite lovingly restored from the 1907 edition.
Having a coat like burnished gold with soft, dark, wavy brindles in it and that snow-white V on his chest. Jock had many things to learn besides the lessons he got from me – the lessons of experience which nobody could teach him. When he was six months old – just old enough, if he had lived in a town, to chase a cat and make a noise – he knew many things that respectable puppies of twice his age who stay at home never get a chance of learning. On trek there were always new places to see, new.
Would tug sideways and roll it over again, until I got up to them, and catching the buck by the head held it down with my knee on its neck and my Bushman’s Friend in hand to finish it. There was, however, still another lesson for us both to learn that day; neither of us knew what a buck can do with its hindfeet when it is down. The duiker was flat on its side; Jock, thinking the fight was over, had let it go; and, before I could move the supple body doubled up and the feet whizzed viciously at.
Smoked in silence. The trekking hour came and passed; but we did not move. The sun went down, and in the quiet of the evening we heard the first jackal’s yapping – the first warning of the night. There were still lions and tigers in those parts, and any number of hyenas and wild dogs, and the darker it grew and the more I thought of it, the more hopeless seemed Jock’s chance of getting through a night in the bush trying to work his way back to the waggons. It was almost dark when I was startled.
Worse; he made the already difficult task practically impossible by egging Jock on; and what finally made it quite impossible was the extremely funny turn it took, which caused such general amusement that everyone joined in the conspiracy and backed up Jock. Everyone knows how laughable it is to see a person dancing about like a mad dervish, with legs and arms going in all directions, dodging the rushes of a dog, especially if the spectator knows that the dog will not do any real harm and is.
Thing like that, with teeth and claws to cut you into ribbons.’ ‘Was Jim here today?’ I asked, as soon as there was an opening. Bob shook his head with a kindly regretful smile. ‘No, Sonny, not here; you’d ‘a’ heard him. Jim’s gone. I had to sack him. A real fine nigger, but a terror to drink, and always in trouble. He fairly wore me right out.’ We were generally a party of half a dozen – the owners of the four waggons, a couple of friends trading with Delagoa, a man from Swaziland and – just.