The morning of May 12, 1874, was much like any other in Natal. Hot, humid, and, around the docks, stinking. The piers of Durban were well known to Richard Braddock, who made his living on those who frequented them. His step, light from over 20 years of stalking prey, was barely audible on the waterlogged wood. Braddock scanned the hulls for the name he was looking for. Star of Natal, Emperess, Fortune, they were all familiar sights to the Canadian, but they were not the ship he wanted. Then, at the end, of No.4 dock, he saw her. The Victoria. On her, if his letter from the dockmaster was correct, was a party of Europeans fresh from the continent, looking for the sort of excitement that Braddock could offer. At least, for the men. As he stopped just short of the ship, he rankled at the number of dresses that mingled with trousers.
Braddock groaned, realizing that he would have to sort out those accompanying him from the other trekkers. Shaking his head wearily, he folded the brim up on the left side of his beaten slouch hat, and walked towards the crowd, his left hand raised in greeting. "My name is Richard Braddock." He called. "I'm told that some of you were anxious about hunting? If so, I'm the man that's going to help you do it."