EXTRACT FROM THE TEXT
On the 9th a family episode forms quite a feature of the entry, and is of interest, since it again brings us in touch with the human element in the trek. We read :
“Carolus had flogged his oxen very badly to-day. He had actually smashed the nose of one, and slashed another with a knife. I had to warn him that if he behaved in that way he would have none left, certainly no healthy ones. As we were going along, a young ox got out of the yoke, and he and Pieta tried to inspan it. The ox started butting, and as they were so long about the business, I went to help. Carolus was desperately annoyed and furious with those in the wagons behind, because not one came forward to help him.
I asked him how he could expect anyone to come to help a man who treated his animals so badly. Later, an ox of my own got entangled. While Pieta was working to disentangle the ox, Carolus started talking again. Pieta told him it was no use swearing at others, as it was owing to his [Carolus’] use of the whip that the animals had got entangled. This only made Carolus very much worse. When he wanted to help us, I told him he had better keep away, as I did not want my animals treated as he did his. As he was leaving us, he clouted Pieta in the face with his fist. I ordered him off at once, and as he attempted to hit some of the others, I gave him a punch myself. Then he began to rake up the past and said how, one of these days, he would get even with Pieta.
I asked him if he thought he was the only one entitled to inflict punishment, and do just as he pleased, and added that if he wanted to act the parent to my children, he must wait until I was dead and gone. Whilst I lived, I would never allow him to touch any of the children without good reason. He could tell me what Pieta had done, and, if I thought it called for it, I would give the boy a thrashing myself. In any case, he could not expect me to stand by and let him vent his rage on Pieta like a barbarian.”
Author and Editor
Dr Claude Fuller, Assistant Chief of the Division of Entomology of the Union of South Africa 1910-1926
Edited by Prof Leo Fouche, Professor of History University of Pretoria