Chapter 9 Summary

For two days, the native Kukuana lead the white men to Loo, the place where Twala the king is residing. They travel along Solomon’s Great Road, which ends at the mountains that the Kukuanas call the “Three Witches.” These mountains are full of caves.

When Quatermain asks why men came to this place, Infadoos replies that the “men from the Stars,” as he calls the white men, should know. Quatermain says that he has heard that men came for “bright stones, pretty playthings, and yellow iron.” Infadoos tells him that he will have to ask Gagool, the old wise woman. 

Umbopa says that the diamonds are there and will be found by the white men, who are so fond of such toys and money. Sir Henry is becoming more suspicious of Umbopa. The native has asked people if they have seen anything of a white man, but they have seen nothing.

Infadoos leads them to the kraal of Loo, which seems to be endless. They are taken to a hut where they are allowed to eat and bathe. They sleep late the next morning. They are then led to an enclosure surrounded by the huts of the king’s wives.

At Twala’s hut they seat themselves, waiting for the king’s arrival. When he enters, they are astounded at his great size, as well as the empty socket where one of his eyes used to be. The native people bow before him, and Twala speaks to the white men with great arrogance. One of the natives drops his shield, and Twala orders Scragga to kill him. When Scragga throws his spear at the man and kills him, the white men are outraged.

Twala demands to know why the “men from the Stars” have come. They speak of their guns, which can strike death from a distance. Twala demands proof and tells them to kill a man. Quatermain insists that they will not kill a human being but will demonstrate with an ox. Twala insists that it be a man, so Quatermain invites the king, or if not himself then Scragga, to be the example.

Twala gives in and orders an ox brought. Sir Henry shoots the animal, and the king is convinced. Quatermain gives Twala a rifle, but warns him that it will kill him if he uses it against another man.

An old woman comes in. Gagool is incredibly old, Quatermain sees. She warns the king that she hears the footsteps of approaching white men. Turning to Quatermain and the others, she tells them that the man they seek is not there. She confronts Umbopa as well, saying that she can smell blood in his heart. She orders his girdle to be removed but falls down in a fit. As she is carried away, Twala invites the white men to the great dance taking place that night.