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A Story of Life in South Africa, based on TruthGentle Reader, I have written this story in the English language—a language learned by me, as a foreign language, for the chief purpose of placing before the English reading public a true and faithful version of the character and life of an Afrikander. So many libels and false stories have of late been spread in England and all over the world about the Boers by enemies of the people inhabiting the Colonies and States of South Africa, that I could not resist the temptation to write something in which the truth and nothing but the truth would be told. I have made the attempt; whether it is to be successful or not, the reading public must decide.In this story there is no plot (excepting the Great Complot). It is simply a story of everyday life, with little or no embellishment. Yet I trust the reader, in lands far away as well as those living here in my own beloved native land, will find sufficient to interest him to lead him on to the end of the book. At the least, there was subject-matter enough to write about without going out of the paths of Truth. My only difficulty was not to be led away by my subject and make this work too large for a first attempt in literature.The incidents and adventures related, as well as anecdotes by old Burghers of the South African Republic, are all based upon truth, and were learned by the writer from the parties themselves. The sad death by lightning of poor Daniel is true, word for word, even to the premonition he had of his death, and occurred only as late as the beginning of this year (1896); and many will recognise the family as described by the writer.The writer has mostly made use of Christian names, as all the characters used in this story are real and living; and it would serve no purpose to publish real names, while substituted names would only be misleading. Where politics have been drawn into the story, the reader may rely upon the truth only having been told of events, as well as prevailing opinions as expressed by representatives of the different parties. The latter part of the book is largely devoted to the events of the New Year (1896) which occurred near Krugersdorp, Johannesburg and Pretoria, and its results as gathered by one who took note of everything on the spot, and may be relied upon as being true in every detail. If I have succeeded in convincing a portion of the public of the truth, I shall rest well satisfied.THE AUTHOR.
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