memory of long-past days I dedicate it to you whose image ever springs to mind when I strive to picturean English gentleman as he should be. Your kindness I never shall forget; in memory of it, I offer you thisbook.Ever sincerely yours,H. RIDER HAGGARD.To Sir Henry Bulwer, G.C.M.G.
The Author hopes that the reader may find some historical interest in the tale set out in these pages of the massacre of the Boer general, Retief, and his companions at the hands of the Zulu king, Dingaan.Save for some added circumstances, he believes it to be accurate in its details.The same may be said of the account given of the hideous sufferings of the trek-Boers who wanderedinto the fever veld, there to perish in the neighbourhood of Delagoa Bay. Of these sufferings, especiallythose that were endured by Triechard and his companions, a few brief contemporary records still exist,buried in scarce works of reference. It may be mentioned, also, that it was a common belief among theBoers of that generation that the cruel death of Retief and his companions, and other misfortunes whichbefell them, were due to the treacherous plottings of an Englishman, or of Englishmen, with the despot,Dingaan.
The following extract explains how the manuscript of "Marie," and with it some others, one of which isnamed "Child of Storm," came into the hands of the Editor.It is from a letter, dated January 17th, 1909, and written by Mr. George Curtis, the brother of Sir HenryCurtis, Bart., who, it will be remembered, was one of the late Mr. Allan Quatermain's friends andcompanions in adventure when he discovered King Solomon's Mines, and who afterwards disappearedwith him in Central Africa.This extract runs as follows:—"You may recall that our mutual and dear friend, old Allan Quatermain, left me the sole executor of hiswill, which he signed before he set out with my brother Henry for Zuvendis, where he was killed. TheCourt, however, not being satisfied that there was any legal proof of his death, invested the capitalfunds in trustee securities, and by my advice let his place in Yorkshire to a tenant who has remained in