IN CAPTIVITYby@julesverne


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So far from Mrs. Weldon and Jack having succumbed to the hardships to which they had been exposed, they were both alive, and together with Cousin Benedict were now in Kazonndé. After the assault upon the ant-hill they had all three been conveyed beyond the encampment to a spot where a rude palanquin was in readiness for Mrs. Weldon and her son. The journey hence to Kazonndé was consequently accomplished without much difficulty; Cousin Benedict, who performed it on foot, was allowed to entomologize as much as he pleased upon the road, so that to him the distance was a matter of no concern. The party reached their destination a week sooner than Ibn Hamish's caravan, and the prisoners were lodged in Alvez' quarters. Jack was much better. After leaving the marshy districts he had no return of fever, and as a certain amount of indulgence had been allowed them on their journey, both he and his mother, as far as their health was concerned, might be said to be in a satisfactory condition. Of the rest of her former companions Mrs. Weldon could hear nothing. She had herself been a witness of the escape of Hercules, but of course knew nothing further of his fate; as for Dick Sands, she entertained a sanguine hope that his white skin would protect him from any severe treatment; but for Nan and the other poor negroes, here upon African soil, she feared the very worst. Being entirely shut off from communication with the outer world, she was quite unaware of the arrival of the caravan; even if she had heard the noisy commotion of the market she would not have known what it meant, and she was in ignorance alike of the death of Harris, of the sale of Tom and his companions, of the dreadful end of the king, and of the royal obsequies in which poor Dick had been assigned so melancholy a share. During the journey from the Coanza to Kazonndé, Harris and Negoro had held no conversation with her, and since her arrival she had not been allowed to pass the inclosure of the establishment, so that, as far as she knew, she was quite alone, and being in Negoro's power, was in a position from which it seemed only too likely nothing but death could release her.
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Jules Verne

French novelist, poet and playwright.

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