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Excerpt: ...it, was returning victorious. Having at the moment nothing else to do, I walked down to the river at a point where the water was deep and the banks were high. Here I climbed to the top of a pile of boulders, whence with my field-glasses I could sweep a great extent of plain which stretched away on the Zululand side till at length it merged into hills and bush. Presently I saw some of our natives marching homewards in a scattered and disorganised fashion, but evidently very proud of themselves, for they were waving their assegais and singing scraps of war-songs. A few minutes later, a mile or more away, I caught sight of a man running. Watching him through the glasses I noted three things: first, that he was tall; secondly, that he ran with extraordinary swiftness; and, thirdly, that he had something tied upon his back. It was evident, further, that he had good reason to run, since he was being hunted by a number of our Kaffirs, of whom more and more continually joined in the chase. From every side they poured down upon him, trying to cut him off and kill him, for as they got nearer I could see the assegais which they threw at him flash in the sunlight. Very soon I understood that the man was running with a definite object and to a definite point; he was trying to reach the river. I thought the sight very pitiful, this one poor creature being hunted to death by so many. Also I wondered why he did not free himself from the bundle on his back, and came to the conclusion that he must be a witch-doctor, and that the bundle contained his precious charms or medicines. This was while he was yet a long way off, but when he came nearer, within three or four hundred yards, of a sudden I caught the outline of his face against a good background, and knew it for that of Magepa. "My God!" I said to myself, "it is old Magepa the Buck, and the bundle in the mat will be his grandson, Sinala!" Yes, even then I felt certain that he was carrying the child upon his...
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J.M. Barrie was born in 1860, the ninth of ten children of hard-working parents in Scotland's jute-weaving industry. Fascinated by stories of her own life told him by his mother, he was determined to write, finding work on the Nottingham Journal after graduating from Edinburgh University. In 1885, he moved to London as a freelance writer and successfully sold the Auld Licht Idylls, a volume based on his mother's tales. By the time Peter Pan opened on the London stage in 1904, Barrie had written more than thirty novels and plays, many autobiographical and several of them major hits such as The Little Minister, Quality Street and The Admirable Crichton. Knighted and awarded the Order of Merit he continued writing into old age. He died in 1937.
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