Before the middle of July we reached Cape Town, and the end of our African journeyings. And well satisfied; for, towering above us was Table Mountain—a reminder that we had now seen each and all of the great features of South Africa except Mr. Cecil Rhodes. I realize that that is a large exception.
I saw Table Rock, anyway—a majestic pile. It is 3,000 feet high. It is also 17,000 feet high. These figures may be relied upon. I got them in Cape Town from the two best-informed citizens, men who had made Table Rock the study of their lives. And I saw Table Bay, so named for its levelness. I saw the Castle—built by the Dutch East India Company three hundred years ago—where the Commanding General lives; I saw St. Simon's Bay, where the Admiral lives. I saw the Government, also the Parliament, where they quarreled in two languages when I was there, and agreed in none. I saw the club. I saw and explored the beautiful sea-girt drives that wind about the mountains and through the paradise where the villas are: Also I saw some of the fine old Dutch mansions, pleasant homes of the early times, pleasant homes to-day, and enjoyed the privilege of their hospitalities.
And just before I sailed I saw in one of them a quaint old picture which was a link in a curious romance—a picture of a pale, intellectual young man in a pink coat with a high black collar. It was a portrait of Dr. James Barry, a military surgeon who came out to the Cape fifty years ago with his regiment.
Only after Barry died in 1865 was it discovered that Barry was a woman.