Thomas did so–in some way he felt compelled to do so.
“I am going to think of the church as I propose it shall be when finished according to the plans I have made,” he said hoarsely. “I am going to think of it with a belfry spire roofed with red tiles and a clock in the tower, and I am going to think of the clock as pointing to the exact hour of noon. Do you all understand? It is impossible that this man should know of how I mean to build that spire and about the clock, because until this moment no one knew except myself. If he can show me that, I shall begin to believe that he is inspired by his master, the devil. Do you all understand?”
They said they did, and Menzi called out:
“Be quick, White Teacher. Be quick, I grow tired. My Spirit grows tired. The smoke grows tired. Come, come, come!”
They returned and stood in front of the fire, and in obedience to Menzi’s motions once more the fan of smoke arose. On it grew something nebulous, something uncertain that by degrees took the form of a church. It was not very clear, perhaps because Thomas found it difficult to conceive the exact shape of the church as it would be when it was finished, or only conceived it bit by bit. One thing, however, was very distinct in his mind, and that was the proposed spire and the clock. As a result, there was the spire standing at the end of the shadowy church vivid and distinct. And there was the clock with its two copper hands exactly on the stroke of noon!
“Tell me what you see, Little Flower,” said Menzi in a hollow voice.
“I see what Father told me he would think of, a church and the spire of the church, and the clock pointing to twelve.”
“Do you all see that,” asked Menzi, “and is it what the Teacher said he would think about?”
“Yes, Doctor,” they answered.
“Then look once more, for _I_ will think of something. I will think of that church falling. Look once more.”
They looked, and behold the shadowy fabric began to totter, then it seemed to collapse, and last of all down went the spire and vanished in the smoke.
“Have you seen anything, O people?” said Menzi, “for standing behind this smoke I can see nothing. Mark that it is thick, since through it I am invisible to you.”
This was true, since they could only perceive the tips of his outstretched fingers appearing upon each side of the smoke-fan.
“Yes,” they answered, “we have seen a church fall down and vanish.”
“That was my thought,” said Menzi; “have I not told you that was the thought my Spirit gave me?”
“This is black magic, and you are a fiend!” shouted Thomas, and was silent.
“Not so, Tombool, though it is true that I have gifts which you clever White people do not understand,” answered Menzi.
By degrees the smoke melted away, and there on the ground were the ten or twelve crooked pieces of ebony that they had seen consumed, now to all appearance quite untouched by the flame. There too on their farther side lay Menzi, shining with perspiration, and in a swoon or sleeping.
“Come away,” said Thomas shortly, and they turned to go, but at this moment something happened.
Menzi, it will be remembered, had given Tabitha a kid of a long-haired variety of goat peculiar to these parts. This little creature had already grown attached to its mistress and walked about after her, in the way which pet goats have. It had followed her that morning, but not being interested in tricks or magic, engaged itself in devouring herbs that grew amongst the tumbled stones of the old kraal.
Suddenly Menzi recovered from his faint or seizure and, looking up, directed his attendants to return the magical ebony rods which burned without being consumed to one of the hide bags that contained his medicines. The assembly began to break up amidst a babel of excited talk.