Page:Germ Growers.djvu/52

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Bomero seemed to have attained his power on the strength of these endowments alone. At least I could not learn anything decisive about his ancestry. Indeed, I could not gather that his people had any but the most elementary sense of the family relation, although tribal feeling, as distinct from family feeling, was very strong among them. Gioro had some recollection of "Old man Bomero," and his recollections would sometimes appear to indicate that Old man Bomero was a remarkable black fellow, but I could not discover that he ever attained to any position of special eminence among them. He certainly had not been their king as Bomero was.

I was at this time beginning to have some thought of a couple of days' expedition into the unexplored country to the west of the Daly Waters, and I had hinted as much to Jack. And I thought that the present was a good opportunity to find how far Gioro might be depended on as a guide. So I filled his pipe with my own tobacco (he was quite able to distinguish and prefer the flavour), and then I gave Jack a look to bespeak his attention, and began to put my questions.

"When would Sir Gioro see his own people again?"

Several slow puffs, a keen, eager, honest look, yet, withal, a cautious look, and then,