The story opens just before the Boer War at the farm house of Jobe De Larey, just outside Kimberly, S.A. Jobe's family are Boers with all the strange customs and fierce hatreds of this transplanted people, all except his oldest daughter Gretchen. She has attended the English school at Kimberly, and while there met and fell in love with Allen Hornby, superintendent of the mines. Knowing that her father's people mean to fight the English, she tells Allen to demand his consent to their marriage. Allen replies. "And if he refuses?" Then comes a true woman's answer, "A woman's heart belongs to her husband or lover, not to any country or any flag." De Larey does refuse his consent. Gretchen overhears Piet Cronje tell her father to prepare for war, and that he intends to seize the mines. Gretchen sees Hans, a young Boer whom her father wished her to marry, receive from Cronje a message to the Commandoes in their district, which meant Allen's capture, if Hans delivered it. She by a clever ...
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