My position was altered at the post. From working about the headquarters office, I was transferred to the colonel's living quarters. I had greater freedom, and no longer slept in one of the prisons, but had a little room to myself off the kitchen of the colonel's log house.
My master was always kind to me, and under him I rapidly learned the language of my captors, and much concerning them that had been a mystery to me before. His name was Abu Belik. He was a colonel in the cavalry of Abyssinia, a country of which I do not remember ever hearing, but which Colonel Belik assured me is the oldest civilized country in the world.
Colonel Belik was born in Adis Abeba, the capital of the empire, and until recently had been in command of the emperor's palace guard. Jealousy and the ambition and intrigue of another officer had lost him the favor of his emperor, and he had been detailed to this frontier post as a mark of his sovereign's displeasure.
Some fifty years before, the young emperor, Menelek XIV, was ambitious. He knew that a great world lay across the waters far to the north of his capital. Once he had crossed the desert and looked out upon the blue sea that was the northern boundary of his dominions.
There lay another world to conquer. Menelek busied himself with the building of a great fleet, though his people were not a maritime race. His army crossed into Europe. It met with little resistance, and for fifty years his soldiers had been pushing his boundaries farther and farther toward the north.
"The yellow men from the east and north are contesting our rights here now," said the colonel, "but we shall win--we shall conquer the world, carrying Christianity to all the benighted heathen of Europe, and Asia as well." glass didlo