Fragrance of the Veldt

The veldt attracted him; and he told himself that, with a home of which Joyce should be the centre, he would have a chance of reasserting himself, of regarding the drink-demon no longer as a jovial comrade, but as an enemy to be seriously faced. The prospect of returning to London to meet his old companions; to frequent his ancient haunts, filled himwith repugnance. There was a revivifying freshness about the clear frosty mornings of the veldt, with its scent of new-tilled earth and fragrant crops, with its illimitable distances, compared to which the memory of chambers in London was suffocating.
A daughter of the veldt
By Basil Marnan

That couple of days' journey was quite one of the most delightful experiences of my life. Our way lay over beautiful rolling country dotted with flowering mimosa, and here and there intersected with a dark forest-filled kloof; and bright-winged birds flashed sheeny from our path, and on every hand the hum of busy insects made music on the warm air. Yes, it was warm; in the middle of the day very much so. But the evening was simply divine, in its hushed dewiness rich with the unfolding fragrance of innumerable subtle herbs, for we took advantage of a glorious moon to travel in the coolness. Now and again we would pass a large Kafir kraal, whose clustering beehive-shaped huts stood white in the moonlight, and thence an uproar of stamping and shouting, accompanying the rhythm of a savage song, showed that its wild denizens were holding high festivity at any rate; and the sound of the barbarous revel rising loud and clear upon the still night air, came to me with an effect that was wholly weird and imposing.
A veldt vendetta
By Bertram Mitford

So the wastes of the veldt lie before us, as the old South African aphorism has it, as a land wherein there are "birds without song, rivers without water, flowers without scent," although the latter allegation is not quite true in fact, as any one who hassmelt the faint fragrance of the mimosa blossom and the sweetness of the " abend bloem," an evening gladiolus, knows. The unaccustomed eye ranges over long, hardlooking and serrated " bergen," or mountains, clear in their outline in the wonderfully transparent atmosphere of the South, and rests with comfort here and there on the dark shadow of a kloof or combe up which, it may be, the scanty remnants of a forest grow.
Good words, Volume 41
By Norman Macleod, Donald Macleod

The breezes of the veldt are warm and gentle, impregnated with the fresh fragrances of the Molopo, although, as he walks with rapid, almost running, footsteps, leaving the black blur of the town for the arid and stony areas to the west, a new wind meets him—a wind that is clear and keen and dry, the wind of the wastes that wanders for ever over the monotonous sands of the desert. It accompanies him as he walks as though to show and to whisper with gentle gusts that it knew of his intention.
The siege of Mafeking
By Angus Hamilton

It was almost worth the risk, though, to venture a little away from the hundred and one smells of the town out to the open veldt, where the fragrant mimosa was just blossoming. In the coolness of the dusk a soft breath of wind often brought the scent of it even into the town—and it was divine. There were late lilies too, whose flaming red chalices shone like spots of fire on the hill-sides, and formed floral homes for swarms of golden-green beetles.
How we kept the flag flying: the story of the siege of Ladysmith
By Donald MacDonald

Here from early morn till bedtime the children played, worked, sang, danced, wept, quarrelled, loved, and learned the lessons of life. And it was from the back stoep — where through the trellised woodwork of the verandah great peach-trees thrust their pink-laden branches, and the overpowering perfume of the waxy orange-blossoms mingling with the sweetly-pungent odours of flowering rose-trees and verbena-bushes was wafted insistently on the hot air — that their parents, in those intervals of leisure which came but seldom in their hard-working lives, watched the physical and mental development of their little ones, planned for their future welfare, and dreamed those ambitious parental dreams common to fathers and mothers, all unmindful of the doom which lay upon the land — the oncoming of that murderous civil strife which to so many humble, wayside families, living their lives out on the solitary spaces of the wide veldt-world, was to mean the severance of those closest earthly ties, dividing parent from child, brother from brother, so that a man's foes were to be, indeed,
they of his own household."
Divided: a story of the veldt
By Francis Bancroft

What is there about that marvellous African sunset glow? I have seen it many a time since, under far different conditions—under the steamy heat of the lower Zambesi region, and amid piercing cold with many degrees of frost on the high Karoo; in the light dry air of the Kalahari, and in the languorous, semi-tropical richness of beautiful Natal; but never quite as I saw it that evening, standing beside Beryl Matterson. It was as a *scene cut out of Eden, that wondrous changing glow which rested upon the whole valley, playing upon the rolling sea of foliage like the sweep of golden waves, striking the iron face of a noble cliff with a glint of bronze, then dying, to leave a pearly atmosphere redolent of distilling aromatic herbs, tuneful with the cooing of myriad doves and the whistle of plover and the hum of strange winged insects coming forth on their nightly quests.
A veldt vendetta
By Bertram Mitford

To these men this was in one sense an alien country. Through the dulled noises of London there came to their ears the click of the wheels of a cape-wagon, the crack of the Kaffir's whip, the creak of the dusselboom. They saw the spoor of a company of elephants in the East country, they saw through the November mist the springbok flying across the veldt, a herd of zebras taking cover with the wild deer, or a cloud of locusts sailing out of the sun to devastate the green lands. Through the smoky smell of London there came to them the scent of the wattle, the stinging odor of ten thousand cattle, the reek of a native camp, the sharp sweetness of orange groves, the aromatic air of the Karroo, laden with the breath of a thousand wild herbs. Through the drizzle of the autumn rain they heard the wild thunderbolt tear the trees from their earthly moorings. In their eyes was the mad lightning that searched in spasms of anger for its prey, while there swept over the brown, aching veldt the flood which filled the spruits, which made the rivers seas, and plowed fresh channels through the soil. The luxury of this room, with its shining mahogany tables its tapestried walls, its rare fireplace and massive over-mantel brought from Italy, its exquisite stained-glass windows, was only part of a play they were acting; it was not their real life.
Harper's magazine, Volume 126

The waggon track to Richtersfeldt leads northeast from Port Nolloth, and after a few hours' trek the sand veldt becomes thickly bushed, melk bosch, zout bosch, and many other fleshy-leaved aromatic and resinous shrubs densely covering the long, undulating slopes of heavy sand, the sad monotony of dark grey-green being unbroken except by an occasional lily-like flower of a brilliant scarlet; no sign of life anywhere, the silence unbroken except for the crack of the whip or the yell of the driver, the sand effectually deadening the sound of the wheels and the tread of the oxen. As we wished to see the whole of the country we were travelling through, we trekked only by day, quite contrary to the general custom of the country in the hot season; and as the intense heat made it impossible to move during a considerable part of the day, our progress was of necessity slow.
The glamour of prospecting
By Frederick Carruthers Cornell