Mity with each other, and an easy prey to those other nations who
surrounded them. Would the king have the courage boldly to seize the
hydra-headed menace and choke the life out of it, or would he resort to
a policy of temporising and concession? Everybody present awaited the
king's action in breathless suspense, while some were already grimly
counting the number of spears upon which they might reckon to back them.
But the anxious broodings of the assemblage were suddenly broken in upon
by the voice of the king, who, lifting his head, cried in a loud voice:
"Ingona, trusted friend and counsellor of the king, induna of the
Makolosi regiment, the very flower and backbone of my army, you have
heard the tale told by Sekosini. Say now, is that tale false, or is it
true?" Ingona, a war-scarred veteran of perhaps fifty years of age,
tall, straight as a spear shaft, and of commanding presence, rose to his
feet and answered in a clear, deep voice: "It is true, O Mighty One!
true in every detail." "It is true," repeated the king, in a to