Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

The Reawakening : Scientific Exploration   219


DEAREST MOTHER, We arrived here safely and all well a fortnight ago-and this is the first mail that has left since then, so that what with our very long passage and the other delay, you will I fear have wondered where in the world I am. I found I had letters of introduction to everybody worth knowing in Cape Town. Sir Harry Smith is most civil, and I feel just as much at home here as in Leamington. Andersson is a right good fellow and particularly well. He desires to be very kindly remembered to all of you. I found out an old Leamington acquaintance of yours, or rather she found me out, a Mrs Menzies, who was there in 1840 and knew Admiral Christian well. She is the wife of the Chief Justice here and is a particularly nice person. I daresay Emma will recollect her. My old ally, Hyde Parker is here in command of a ship and has just taken some prizes-another friend also, a Cantab whom I had my Xmas dinner with, on the Nile, is settled here. The news as regards my future plans, is somewhat chequered : Four days after I arrived news came from the frontier, that the Rebel Dutchmen (Boers they call them) had entirely stopped every route, and were on the point of themselves, going immediately to the Lake in order to keep it for themselves and bad stopped parties of English Travellers and robbed them. My plans have been therefore changed. I intend either to go round by Natal near Delagoa Bay, or else on the western coast by Walfisch Bay, so as to turn their flank. Government, i.e. Sir H. Smith, desires me to take some letters to the Chiefs about, with reference to this movement of the Boers-in order to resist them. It has been, and still may be for aught I know, seriously contemplated to annex this wide country to the Colony. Anyhow I shall know all about it in two days. I have offered to do whatever Government wishes, and I should not be surprised if I had orders of some importance to carry out. Till then as my plans are so unsettled I cannot say more but I am ready for a start any day and as soon as a decision is come to shall very likely be packed off at once; so I may have to leave Cape Town this week.

I have received no letter from England as yet. Please direct them, Cape ToumCape of Good Hope, unless I write again to the contrary as I have no chance whatever of going within 500 miles of Colesberg. Andersson is delighted at the prospect of anything like a scrimmage-and the fact of there having been Y,1000 offered for the capture of one Boer, and £500 for another-on account of previous enormities quite unconnected with the present business gives an extra zest to the fun of his present destination.

If I go to Natal, I shall recollect to enquire about Darwin's protege Mr Hume, and will report on the state of his farm. Sir H. Smith has a glorious team of beagles-they don't run half as fast as those at Edstone did, and if possible make more noise. They run about in front of Government House and have been trained to chivy any strange dog that may approach too near, which they do at full cry. Give my love to everybody -babies and all. I will write by next mail, which must leave in 10 days I should think.

Ever your affectionate son, FRANK GALTON.

WELCH's HOTEL, CAPE TOWN. August 5th, 1850.

MY DEAR DARWIN, In an hour more and I shall be off, with I think nearly as efficient a lot _of men and cattle, as could possibly be met with. I have been obliged to


Previous Index Next