Finds the general sentiment agreeing in one view,
he delivers his judgment accordingly. He alone speaks sitting;
all others stand.
No one refuses to acquiesce in the decision of the chief,
as he has the power of life and death in his hands, and can enforce the law
to that extent if he chooses; but grumbling is allowed,
and, when marked favoritism is shown to any relative of the chief,
the people generally are not so astonished at the partiality
as we would be in England.
This system was found as well developed among the Makololo
as among the Bakwains, or even better, and is no foreign importation.
When at Cassange, my men had a slight quarrel among themselves,
and came to me, as to their chief, for judgment. This had occurred
several times before, so without a thought I went out of
the Portuguese merchant's house in which I was a guest,
sat down, and heard the complaint and defense in the usual way.
When I had given my decision in the common admonitory form,
they went off apparently satisfied. Several Portuguese,
who had been viewing the proceedings with great interest,
complimented me on the success of my teaching them how to act in litigation;
but I could not take any credit to myself for the system which I had found
ready-made to my hands.