Then the headman grew angry and demanded back his gifts; but Noma would not give up that which he once had held, and hot words passed.
The headman sat on the ground before me and answered my questions.
Now it was late, and the moon had not yet risen, therefore the headman said that he would sleep that night in our kraal, and at the first light would go with me to the spot where I said the cattle were.
There, over the slope of the rise, came a crowd of men, and leading them was Noma, and by his side the headman who owned the cattle.
The tool they selected after a stay of several days in their camp outside the village was a tall, old headman
of The Sheik's native contingent.
Evening found them at rest under the village tree of a mud- walled, mud-roofed hamlet, talking to the headman as the cattle came in from the grazing-grounds and the women prepared the day's last meal.
I cannot fathom it,' said the headman at last to the priest.
Even the priest was impressed, and the headman feared an evil spell: but none could look at the lama's simple, eager face and doubt him long.
The headman rolled his eye where Kim was chatting to a girl in blue as she laid crackling thorns on a fire.
Judging, however, from what the Waganwazam had learned from those of the Russian's blacks who were not too far gone in terror of the brutal Rokoff to fear even to speak of their plans, it was apparent that he would not travel any great distance before the last of his porters, cooks, tent-boys, gun-bearers, askari, and even his headman
, would have turned back into the bush, leaving him to the mercy of the merciless jungle.
A clapping of hands went up at the acceptance of the present, the assembled headman
, heralds, and fly-brushers crying aloud in chorus:
, a young, broad- chested black, severely draped in dark-blue fringed cloths, with fierce nostrils and his hair all done up art- fully in oily ringlets, stood near me.