Chapter 8 Summary
The travelers are led by the guides, Infadoos and Scragga walking with them. Quatermain asks Infadoos who made the road and the sculptures in the ravine, and Infadoos tells him that they were made a long time ago by people from the north.
He also tells the hunter of the last war, which was a civil war between the warriors of Kukuanaland. The current king, Twala, had been born the younger twin of two boys. By tradition, the weaker twin was put to death; in this case, that would have been Twala, but his mother hid him. The other twin, Imotu, was made king at the death of his father, but Gagool, the wise woman, brought out Twala and revealed the serpent tattoo, which was put on the heir when he was born.
The people rose up in anger, taking sides between the two brothers. Imotu came out of his hut along with his wife and young son Ignosi. Twala stabbed him in the heart, and his wife and son ran away to a nearby kraal. That is the last time anyone saw the queen and her son alive.
Umbopa is behind them, listening to Infadoos’s story. Quatermain looks at him, thinking that he looks as though he is trying to remember something long forgotten.
Infadoos points out ahead of them to the very kraal where the queen was last seen. As Quatermain, Good, and Sir Henry watch, a large band of warriors emerges from the barricade surrounding the kraal, dressed as if for war. They come to the company of the white men and escort them into the kraal.
The inside is planned out, with a central pathway and surrounding huts. The people are tall, all of them greater than six feet in height. The people look with appreciation at Captain Good’s white legs until Good feels conspicuous.
Infadoos leads them to a large hut where they can rest. The native people bring them gifts of cattle, milk, and honey. The white men receive the gifts, have one of the oxen slaughtered, and pass the meat around among the people.
As the white men eat, the old gentleman among the natives is polite to his guests, but the young one soon begins to look upon them with suspicion. Sir Henry suggests that they ask the natives if they have heard anything about his missing brother, but Quatermain thinks it is wiser to wait.
When the white men take out their pipes to smoke, the natives are astonished. They learn that Twala, the king, is away at his principal palace, where the white men will be taken the following day.