Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/70

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55
IN SOUTH AFRICA

brought, and the Indian stranger was forcibly ejected, his bundles pitched out after him, and. with the train gone, he was left to shiver in the waiting-room all night.

When at length he reached Transvaal, began his coach-journey, he again felt the disadvantage of being an Indian. The coach was about to leave Paardeberg with Mr. Gandhi seated on the box, when the guard, a big Dutchman, wishing to smoke, laid claim to this place, telling the Indian passenger to sit down at his feet. "No," said Mr. Gandhi, quietly, "I shall not do so." The result was a brutal blow in the face. The victim held on to the rail, when another blow nearly knocked him down. Then the passengers interfered, much to the guard's disgust. "Let the poor beggar alone," they said, and the man, threatening to "do for him" at the next stage, desisted. But at Standerton the coach was changed, and the rest of the journey accomplished without incident.

It is almost amusing now, to anyone acquainted with Colonial prejudice, if it were not so pitiful, to note how utterly ignorant the new-comer was of it all. He even drove to the Grand National Hotel on reaching Johannesburg, where, of course, there was