Chapter 3 Summary

Allan Quatermain does not make up his mind about joining the adventure until they reach the port of Durban. As the three men wait to leave the boat, Quatermain announces that he agrees to guide them to the Suliman Mountains on three conditions: one, that he will receive half of all treasure recovered; two, that he will receive five hundred pounds before the trip begins; and three, that should he die, his son Harry will receive an annuity of two hundred pounds for five years.

Sir Henry readily agrees to these conditions, saying that he gladly would give more. Quatermain wishes that he had asked for more, but he will not go back on his word now. He warns Sir Henry and Captain Good that he doubts that they will survive this adventure because no white man has lived to tell the tale in more than three hundred years. He says that he is taking the chance because he believes that God will take him when his time to die has come. Also, he is a poor man and he would like a treasure to leave his son wealthy.

Sir Henry commends Quatermain for his courage, agreeing with the fatalistic attitude that the elephant hunter bears. They drink to seal their bargain.

The following day they go ashore, and Quatermain leads the two men to his shanty, although it is small and humble. They pitch a tent in the garden and sleep there. Quatermain begins to buy supplies, especially a wagon and oxen to carry them and their belongings to the mountains in the north.

A driver, a leader, and two servants are also hired, but a third servant is needed. Quatermain despairs of finding one fit for the journey, when a lighter skinned Zulu approaches him. Quatermain thinks he looks familiar and learns that they encountered each other in the Zulu war.

The Zulu’s name is Umbopa and he is a member of a distant branch of the traditionally dark-skinned Zulu tribe. Umbopa’s people had remained in the north when the Zulus migrated south many centuries ago. Now he wants to join Quatermain and his company, desiring to return to his home in the north.

Quatermain is concerned that Umbopa knew of his trip, even though he had tried to keep it a secret. He presents the Zulu to Sir Henry and Captain Good, who decide that he will be a worthy addition to their company, with Sir Henry proclaiming him his own servant. Umbopa is pleased, stating that he and Sir Henry are both men.