THREE men stood in the dust and looked up at the road sign.
'In two days we shall be in our home country,' said Tsolo.
Tsolo, Maki, and Temba had been many days on the road to the Valley of a Thousand Hills. During the day they walked in the yellow dirt beneath the sun, and at night they lit their fires beside the road and allowed their weariness to drain into the thirsting earth. They spoke little, for the horror of the place they had left remained with them.
More than four hundred of their fellow miners had died in the disaster, and after three weeks of vain efforts to reach those who had been cut off from them by the fall of rock, a funereal quiet had fallen over the workings. The silent, the sullen, the weeping, the bewildered wives and relatives, who had pressed around the fence, had gone, and in their place torn newspapers were impaled on the wire barbs by the wind. The silent winding gear cut a stark silhouette against the grey sky, and the activity of the compound became the despairing preparation for departure of a refugee transit camp.
'The heat of this sun is heavy on our shoulders, like the burden of the white man's laws,' said Tsolo, freeing his arms and dropping his pack in the dust at his feet.
'Or like the suffering of our people at the mine,' said Maki.
'There are some things we shall not speak of,' said Tsolo.
'We will change the laws of the white man, but the suffering at the mine can never be changed.'
For a moment they were silent because it was with sadness that they remembered the suffering at the mine.
'Let us stay here for the night so that we shall be strong for the walk tomorrow,' said Temba.
’No, rather we should walk through the night because then we shall be home tomorrow evening,' said Maki.
'Now that I am almost home, my legs are strong and know no tiredness.'
'We will stay here,' said Tsolo. He led the way through a break in the fence, and they followed him into the...