Chapter 65803110

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberIX
Chapter Url
Full Date1889-05-10
Page Number0
Word Count9252
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleKyabram Union (Vic. : 1886 - 1894)
Trove TitleThe Curse of Carne's Hold, a Tale of Adventure
article text

" 1iIE F:'T i CA :NE'S lOLD. A TiAIE OF AVENTURE. Sn,'lI G. A. I1nTrr S.Author of Under Droe' ," 'a".With Clive In Ida" '. , l D Oorurt io o rstzz.o . S - e ournnate . sseit wa possible that the detachment might r.emain for some time' n their present quarters, t;*leuteu?at Daniels at once set them to work to a:"ect a couplo of huts each capablo of holding ..ten.n men. Sovoral ot tih frmor senttwO or 5?three of their nativeo labourers to assit in cut :. ing and bringing to the spot timber for the c.'ramowork and supplying straw for thatchhig , the roofs. Thu operation was nota long one.' T.iho walls were made with wattle plastered ,wnith mud, and the work was taccomplishcd in a ,conplo of .days. Thi men wero glad of the ,hbltor for athOeugl the heat was very oreat ..during the ay the nights were cold and srp. SThe horses waere pcketed behind the ?o huts. ' .oflcer took up his quarters at a farr-house ao :lsundrd yards away. Once housed, tha men -had little to do, fort in the daytime, there was nuo fear of the ?atlelrs comlng down on theit ;plnndertng expeelitioss, such attempts being S.lolv made at niglht. When evening fell, tho sadtles were plamed on thu hoses, and the men lay down in their clothes, simply takitg.orf Stheir jackets and jack-hoots, so as to h in readiness to timn out at a moment's alarm. oe0metimes ih the day they rode out tn parties of two, pictrollig lthe whole country, not .:aving any idea of finuding Iatliro, but merely to give conlidenro to nottlors, whose aonlir sor '"intsn wore sure to give intelligenceo to their : rtiends in thoe ush of the presence of the ,ounted Rifles in the neicllourhood. .When thloey hul boon there a fortnight they S heard that the, Governor had comae to Kig Willlamnstown, aid had sumonono l the various -ehiof to assemble there. They had all come "with the oexcption of the paramount Cdief anndilli, tad issured the Governor of their 'fdcelity, sworn allogiulce anew, and ratified it nby kioning the stick of leace. The Governor 'was so natislied with their arssurances thet ha issued a reply to the petitions of the colonists, :aying that repirts h throughout British Ea0ffraria were most satisfactory, med the chiefs were astoeished at the sudden arrival 'of the 'troods, and he hoped to arrest some of the alves at ho had spread the alarming rports. =The Governor gave Ids assuranse, to those of the sottlorswho had loft their farms thatthere wao no occasion for alarm. A: commission, however, that he appointed to i nnvotigato the numerous complaints of dovasta. 'tion,'epoeedily forwarded to lidma such alarming "accounts of the criticaltato of affairs, tiatho 'again left for the frontier, taking with him .from Cape Town the 73rl ltegimont'and a do. taelsnnt of artillery. A' procilh ation was at once issued for tie tatobels menn of a police force, the enrolmento of sow levies, and of a ;corps of volunteers for tolf-defonco so as to ,leave the whole of the military at hiborty for esporsons" . "One day, at the begOnning of December, "Bonald and a comrade ho d ridden some twelve miles out of the station, when they saw a young lady on horseback ricing toards them. She oilWr rein when s he reacred thom. ""We have bad tify crttlo driven off in the .nlght," she said," and som, of the neighboum laveo followed the trail. I am riing over to :report the fact to your officers." "We can roport it," Itonild said, '" and save yosu the trouble of riling furthor ; but if you iose we will rides ack weth you iorst, and s00 if we can be of any sorvice." . SI am afraid it willbb no UsO, tho ginrl said !!.thoy will ho in the woods booro they can be overtaken, and then, you know, there ill be .othing to do but .to report weore their trail ended, md wait for the chance of getting com pensation from the chief " SBy this time they were galloping back with her. The tel was similar. to scores of others the had hoard sinco their, arrival in tihe valley, and thiey kluow that there was but slight chance of recovering the trail, the ordeor being sringent that they wore on no account to enter the bush. The cattle, tlhereforo, were as good is lost, for all were well aware that n tihe present state of things thorn was but little prospect of receiving .0ampensation from the chief. Tho party found, indeed, upoln their arrival, athe arsa. eoues, which was a largo ured comfortable one, andfurniahed in Englishl.stylo, that the neigh. Ibors had retuisrned, ving traetI the spoor of the stolen cattle up to.theend of thebusli. "';-The farmer canto out. to,.the door as. his .dhoghter redoup. ... " ' `?'?' ' '' '".:" theme in," o saidn th t rooporr, a and Ihvo' some refiresamont; tho1'rascals'havo got w ' aygain. I expect that.they.: are some of my old servants, for they ]eoew the trick of the featenings I huvo.plnt to the gatatof the cattle kraal, wilch would cortainly. hays puzled any of the iaetlir. Now sit down and make your elves at hom o." , ' : The other sottlers were already soated at the f2iblo that tire liottestotsi or, as 'they were tways called, " tottio" servants, lhad laid with isprofusion of food. The young lady, still in her blue riding habit, did not sit dowoun'to the tabld, but moved : about, seeing that the ttotoe'" girls-attensled to the wcrts of the mole.'' i'Sh "was, lRonald thought about •ghteen yeeIrs oldl mcd had the gsstceful,.'actvo tigoers so common among girls who spend inuch ..their time on horsebaek.- " Ihb wan otridunlly pttty,-and oher expression of delicacy madsre "emoeeit'woas 'unusual among the dauglhters of the colonial farmers., This lia was not sur prised at, when he glanced at her fatlor, Who wits a lfno-looking, man, with grey .moustache. a"I am alwaye glad to see the uniform agin" he 'said, praently, to. Itoneald., '1I .arve w a yself. wleten I was a young. man, and was an ensign I tise Hilles at..wator lo,. but I got tired of soldiering .h the ties of ."pac, ' antd c oAia "out;.to, '.the Opne thirty years ago, sO .youi ,can '.wll oaoistassd that I am -fond of 'a. eght of tho aniform again, osopucially of youry cor?,which 4ýduay tIthe colour of iy'svn. Well,'1 leave lia pretty oearly enough 'of the Capo' tind in tend i annotlir year or two' to g6 back' home: Ihave movod. a good many .tim edo, e ?ou "iiay imugtie, tince I came out, but "don't like runs.t 'slng away, and; beidIdce, just at tiresentI sl?,ould get nothling fbr my farm." "I can imagina that farms taro rathera dro i a thomarkotm u't now, " Ronald rolicd,.'",os. geeislly jUst at the edge of the frontier. :Iiow. ever, we must hope that this trouble will blow 'I oer and now that the Governor is, as I heaor, o immg round with the 73rd the afllrs may think better of it." ' .. ."'I-think .they have made up their mind toi gv' us a little troublo," the settler said. "Their witch doctor Umlanjoni Ihas been stirring thcme u. with all sorts of predlictions, tdt Sandilli, winO no doubt set him to work, Isas, we know, boeen intriguing with the other chiefs... Tho sudden dnappearancu 'of the Ktffllr servasets fromn all tie -arms of tlis part of thoe country wars, of couroe, in obedieece to orders, ned is crtahly ominous. Tiny say Usat there are altogether tf000 nuskets, 6,000,000 roeinds of ball cartrieg, seed naf a million essegols in.the hands of tiles eaties. It lens been a suicidael business nlloecing trade in r?d?irms and ammunssitiou to be carried on by them. Iwislh that the talkative fools .at Cape I 'T~cmn'who uaneigo our.n ffairs worm lI lodeted down:on' the frontier; they mightlest-f ar?Io "anse' then as to the way of dealing with the aotivos. ,.lut the worst esgne of all is that, as 1 1 eah'bheard to.dlay fromsossmo of uny loteCulotot 'tho ordorhas beon given by Umlenjeui to slay etd teat." S"To loay snd sea," tonald rct::eed it sur priso. " sat ee tllat means , ser." " le, ileat question eshows you h:ave stea bees '6ng in the eslessy," the settler said. " Yoe heow, tIe live era lhye at ordineer; times entirely ulpon a vegetable dliet, but it is thseir ourtesa expon the aleleroechl of war to eat sneot, beliuc'iseg that fleoh gives tleusu courage ad ferocity. However. its it was onlylere thre wes's seao telct the clhiels all swore to be peaceable seed feitle. mls, I hardly thinbe tClat there's any daes'cr of en outbroek for some weeks to com, prlerns wotfor some mosntths. YOs seC, it is itsl t oict snmecr seow, nnsd my crops are nearly lit for ceetting. I seat esset of my cattle away cc fortnlgilt ssre, send whlen I have got my crops in I shall shut ule te houe seand nieoe iseto Creham's Town. We hlcve many frisecsd 'there, and deall stop there until we see weltect comes of thiss busleros, and welon it is sll over I shall dieltes of soy faerm. I do scat thinkt them is oeny real dtsenger tere. Ve leave slways boes ol oxcelltesteers weith tile tnatives1, .and Ants, whio is celie! of the triue it theis tart, 'often comas dowse leers asnl begs ee icottlUe of Capo smoke or a pound of toblaeco. ItIe has .mnoked massy a pipo is, thsi room, seesdl trenIcoI . zeus as ttle 105115 are. I eannot thtink that le would allow Intes usen to do us sesy earm. IUs :gcrallv: addresses m e as his wliito brotleor." An e[ivo cou~vOeri:l Oul was at tics 0l'ns5 tilno sing on boleveeu the other O ucet5se whto ec-t'eo iuscusuaing tle fares at whhc:h itwounl iu Icett " for noiglbours to assoescblo ice crsnesuattltchr. The sottler, whoio naetno Was .rslretsrlg, Ihed placed flonahl scext himuself, 'ewhlo hlis cossrdo was at the end of thl table, thees beang thu only two seats vacant at the table when they All rights roerwr-d

entered. :Ronald and the settler chatted qioetly, together for some time. Mary Arm. strong, who let takon her place leaning on the back of her father's chair, when she hal seen the guests attended to, oceasionally joined in. r. Armstrong was pleaoed with his guest. "I hope next time when you ride over in this direction you will collin again," he said. "I can aLssure you that we shall be heartily glad to see you, and, if you can get leave olff duty for a night, to put you up. It is a real pleasure to me to hlave a chat with omei one fresh from England, and to hear how things look after all these years. Why, I shall hardly know the countery ogan, cut up as it eccms to bowith these?nilwaye." After the meal was over, Ronald and his friend rode back to their quarters. .,"That's a nice-looldng little girl," the trooper said, as they isole away from the, house; "thoy say her father is the richest man in these parts, and tlhat he owns a lot of roperty at the Cape. If I were him I should live. thre instead of this .out of the way. place." "I suppose he is fond of a country life'" Ronald replied, ignoring the flert jmrt.of the, remark ; ' I should think that soceetly in Cape Town es not very interesting." '! don't know that," the otherreplied. "I know that if. I had money enough to settle down there you wouldn't find me many hours knocking about hereas a trooper." "It's. all a matter of taste," Ronald replied. "When I was at home I lived in the country; and prefer it to town, and like an active life m the open air better than anything Cape Town could give me." " That's a nice young fellow, Mary-that luman in the Cape Rifles,' Mr. Armstrong said to his daughter the same eveoing. "1 saould say the man is altogether above his position, don't you tleinkso ?0 " I do not know that I thought much about it, father. Yes, - I suppose he wasn't like an ordinary soldier." " ' , "cNot at all, Mary, not at all. I fan?krom what I have heard that there are h good many young moe of decent family serving :in the corps. It's a thousand times hbtter for a young fellost who's got neither money nor interest to come out here than to stay at home breaking his heart in trying to got something to do. Yes. I should say fromhis talk, and especially from thie tone of his voice, that he les seen better days." SIt's a pity the colony can't afford to keep on foot four or five regiments of these Mtounted Rifles. We should not hoar much of native troubles if they did. The natives are much more afraid of them than of the soldiers;.and no wonder. . In the first place they are more accustomd' to the country, and in the second placo they are armed with wCapons that will kll at a considerablo distance, while Drown Bees is of no use at over a eunered yards. Well, I hope 'that young followr will drop in aga; I ould like anothor chat with him. It's a pleasant clango to moot anyone who is willing to talk on some subject other than natives and crops and cattle." A' week later, Ronald was sent with a do spatch to King Williamstown. " There will be. no answer, Dlunt," Lieu. tenant Daniels said, as he handed it to him ; "at least no answer of aney conskeusheo. So you can stay a day in town if you like." i' Thank' "ou sir; but as I do not care for towns, I will, f you will allow me, stop'on my way' back at' Mr. Armstrong's. That is whsre the cattle were stolen the otherday, and it will be onmy way from King Williamstown. He invited me to stay there for a day if I could get leave." " Certainly, you can do so," the iautenant said. "'You can hear if there is any news of the Kaftirs stirring in that neighbourhood; they seem to have been a bit more quiet for the last week or so." " Two days later Ronald drew rain in front of 1 Mr; Armstrong's house, late in the after-. I noon. ] 11 I have taken you at your word, Mr. Arm. strong,'? he said, as the farmer came to' the door. "' dially. It is not a moro flying visit, I ]hope; but youe will be able to stay with us till to. morrow?" Romald Mervyn availed.himself several times of .r. Armstrong'as invitations, and when on patrol in that directien, went in for a chat. Ho vas h?l;ays cordialvlyrecelved. ' 'rye have had some of tlin g?lir police hereo," the farmersaidto im ono'day. What do you thiink ofthenm l" "They seem smart fellows and well u to their duty. So far as I can see tley are just the sdrt of men for border police work." S.Yes," Mr. Arnstrong agreed, "on any other. border.but. thie. To ey mierd they are much.too, closely related to the feollows in.the bush to be,pleasant. .They are all well enough for fgllowing. up a trail or arresting a ostny thief, end would, I dare say, be faithful enough ifopposed to ahy tribe to which they were not akin, hut I doubt whether they wvill stand to us if there is trouble with Sandilli, Macomo and the. rest of them.' You see how powerful the influence of these chiefs is. 'Whoce the order t came, pretty nearly every Kalfir in this colony t loft instantly, many of them leaving consider. able arrears of wages behind. If the tribal tie is so strong that men entirely beyond the reach of their chief come home the instant they'ar I summoned, how can it be expected that the Klafirs in this polico force will fight against their own kindred 1" . ' ' It does not .soem reasonable to expect such a thing, certinly,!' Ronald agreed. "i cannot think myself why, they did not. raiso the force among .the Fin goes. 'They are just as fine a raoe as, theaflrs, speak, the sarno hIm uage, andyot.they'are bitterly hostile to thema." '"Yes; it would have been better," MIr. Arm-ie strong said. ' Ithink that there was a preju dice. agoinst. the Fingoe in the .first place. 0 They. were not apOwerful people like the It Gsikoseand.Oailogas and Dasutos. A good v many of them had escaped from the chiefs who heold them in. subjection and loafed about the f colony. ,, As all Kaffirs are giveyon to thiivinge and dcrulkeness whenever tliey gt the chance, r the coloniss looked down upon o tie anorethan C upon the other natives. t Not that thore is. any p reason for their doing so,eoxcept that they saw more of them, for all thes '"afirs are the same uint that respect." ' '" Do you think it is safe stopping hero, Mr. Armstrong 1" Ronald askd.- 'Thesy had been tatcking ofthevariotm cattlo.steiling raids that h had taken' place at various points of te ofron. ."oI still think. so for the present. By. New Year's Day I shall have got cay r6ipsin, and then I'wll town, as I told yoti, I u would ;':but in the moantimoe fivoor six ofour n neirest neighbours lve. agreed. to move. in. a here.' . Ihave the largest farm hero about, and a wd could stand a stout siege." . ' h "I m' glad to hear that, Mr.. Armstrong; tis bamo thing'has been. done in a good many placbs,h'.sid in that way you should:bo quite safoe, r nuiae think the oKafira capableof coming, down in small parties adri' attacking isolated liouses,, and murdering their' 'ocenu- f pant s; hut;after their late ' proete6htions of p hlolity; I 'nmnot think, thatthi chiefs would permit anything like large parties'to sally ut n to inako'war." • y "-That'is my idea. st theyoare treanh roue dtmds'tand. thenore is never any trstning tllom."l. . ' ' . t "i I you cas manage to scut one of. your I Fingooes ol" with news to us, you nony he sure we slhrl. be with you in the sohdrtestpossiblo time, ant we will seoon make mitofcemeat ofb them." ' "lh not be toe sur of thant. I don't say ni the open they would stand against a fore of cavalry anything hpproaching their owt num bers, utI ctsn toll you thit ion the hush Iours ider that man to mar they are iolly ias atoCh for our troops. f Wlsut chasc lesrts a soldier with his clties and fifty or sixty poaueds weight on Iis tisk, who goes crrolsisg ulog tllirough the hustirs arid essnaplng thIe twvigs with hise seavy booto, .against a esative whot oars crawl aloug etlarie ailed without runking tlus Tligltest enoie, nnd 'vlo gives the lirst intiiuation of his lrep stcuco by a selot from behind a treo, or a utab 'ivith hle spear. 'WVher I cane out hero I had rentuerlly the samo ideas 1l0 you have, antd reofied at the notion of niaedl salviuges standing nir againstai regular soldier, hut leantellyou that I hlilve clnrged riy opinione, aun if the trilbes ueder Sanrdilli are really iii earacet, I can Jell yon that you will wart live times as mumy troglrs aswe h~bl got e ih t eolonyto taklei Tire days later a mcesago arrived with orders loLieutlenalnt Dareils to rejoin witil his dt tuachnent at once. On the llte of December tihe wheole of the troops in Alb:iiey and British I(aflrarib were assembled endl moved under the Coonurralder- in-Chief towards tile uAms-sa tolas, the object being to overnwo the Gnukos witlhout resorting to force, whviiche was to he ivirefully avoided. T'he troops consisted of tie siit, 73rdt, sol 93rd regriilnts send the Cape I lousntlledtitles, iltogether shout 1,600 strong, witl Iwo divisions of the eaflir polico. Tie force sonvet in three colulrsnS. Tile Govonlor, who waes with the centrel coiluno, was mot by a greet siumbor of ttle Oailis chiesa, withl about :eO of their mos at Fort Cox. Thevrgain oxpreoed their desire for Ilouce, lust tlheir boar. irng asdse atitedo was esotsatisfletory. sindfll nnd Ihis hal-fbrcther, Antis, were declosred by tlie Qoveneor to he outlawed, and a rewvard issued for their nppraloenlen. A four .days psseod without farther move mant. On tle evening of the 23rd, Sergeant Mloexies said to Ronald, whom he met just is

d ho had como out from CaptalaTwentyman's, . "I have two p?0ces of news for you, Bhmunt. a o the first pla?, as you know, Corporal Hodgo n has lost his otripes and has been sent buck to the ranks for getting.drunk. The day before Captain Twentyman asked me who Icould re is commen, and I told him that I thought thero I was no one in the troop who would make a o better non-commissioned officer than you a would. HIe said that you were the man he hal Shis eye upon. At ordinary times he should not a have liked to give you your corporal's stripes dafter being such a short time in the corps, but that in the present state of things it was essen ' tial to have the best man who could be picked outs irrecpectivoe of Iis length of servico; beasde, as you have sorvrd before it meakes it altogether a different thing." "I am much olbliged to you, sergeant," ,IRonald answered, " if it hadn't bean for his trouble I should have' preferred remaining in f the ranks. I like a troopcr's life, and do not I care about the extra pay one way or the other. r. Bosides, as a non.commissioned officer one has more responsibility and less freedom. How over, aos it is I shall be glad of the atop, for c. doubtless if there is fighting there will be a lot 3 of scouting and escort work with very small do tachments, and I confess I would rather be in C gommand of fiveo or six men on such work as hat, to being under the orders of a man who Sperhaps wouldn't know as well as I do what oughtto be done; and now what is your next news P" "The next is that. our troop and Il troop are 5 to form part of a column 500 strong tlhat are to march to-morrow to a .plac where Sandilli is supposed to be concealed." ' Well, weo shall se then,". Ronald said, I "whether these fellows mean business or not." " I was talking to the hoeadquartrs mess sergeant. he tells me that the Governor's cock sure there swill be no fighting, but that Sandilli will either surrender at once or bolt before we got there." "From all I can hear, sergeant, the Governor's opinions are usually wrong. ' How. ever, we shall see about it to-morrow, and at any rate it's a good thing to have the question solved one way or the other. Nothing can be worse for the colonists m ld everyone elso than this state of suspenso. The follows will have to make up their mind one way or the other now." In the morning the detachment, 680 strong; iunder Colonel Msackinnon, marched from Fort Cox. The Kaffir polic led the way. and were followed', by, the Cape hountd Riflles, the infantry forming the rear. There were a good many natives about, but these shouted friendly greetings as the column passed, and it pro conded quietly, until it reached the narrow, rocky: gorge -of the Keiskamma, which coul only b. traversed in single file. . Ronald lervyn had been placed in orders the previous I corporal, and was pleased to find by the romarksof the men that they did not grudgo him his promotion, for soldiers are quick to. recogause stoeadinese and ability, and they had long since concluded that IHarry' lunt although he never spoke about Is military experiences, had sorved for t some timo, and thoroughly know his work,and had been a non.commissioned officer, if not an oficer. ".I don't like the look of this place tall," he eaid to Sergeant. "onzies, as toey halted- at thomouth of the gorgo. "If I wore in com mand of the force moving among a popuhlation, who might at' any. moment- show themselves hostile, I would not -advance through this gorge until I had sent a company of infantry v oe ahead to skirmish among- the bushes and h find outwhether there is anyone hidden there. e On horsoback, as we are, we should be alnbst at a their mercy." , ' '"The fallir policemen ahead 'ought to have y done that work," the sergeant said. " Wly, I bless you, if there was as much as a fox lurking among the bushes they could find him." t ".Yes, I have no doubt they could if they' wianted to," Ronald agreed; " but the cues. o tion is do they want to. I have no faith whnat. ever in those Kafir police. I have been tj watclhing thorem n"for the last day or two, d talking to the Gaikas, and if the natives really ti mean mischief, I would wager the police join a them." ti It was now their turn to enter the gorge, and tl as they moved along in single file, Itonald p opned onof his holstors andhold arovolver readyin hand, while he narrowly scanned the ta bushes that camd down to. the narrow path g along wlllch they were making their way. HIIo dirow eep breath of relief when lie emergea y from the asse. As tho troop rielchd the open y ground they formed up and were -about to y move forward when thoyheard a sudden out- d burst of musketry-at first the deep roar of the long, heavy guns carried by the natives, and then quicsly afterwards the continuos .rattle of ,the soldiers' muskets. . A cry of rage broke from the troopers. Cap. tain Twentymnan, who ,was in command of 'the t squadron, saw that. cavalry could be of no use in the gorge, and that they would only add to " thei conilusion did they try, to go back to assist Ca the infantry., He therefore spread them out in a the shape of a fan in front of the entrance to tho' gorge to protect it against any body of natives who aghtbo approaching.. Itifles in hand, and eyes strained into . the forest ahead of them, the cavalry eat theirheores, anxiously lietonhig to the din behind the e. Froseoltly the infantrybegai to emerge, and at ast the whole h of the force was rounited. It was found that I the aaasnt.surgoos 'ando eloven men bhad boon as killcd' and two .officerso and "seven privates a we'uncdd. 'They had,'howover, bacote off the a enemy twith odseidrabe loss. As it was:' clear t.hat, :'inowvthe Kaffir .had broken out into open war it would be unsafe ° in the extreime with, .teo, forc underhim too endoavour,,tpq getrto, further, Colonel Mac. kimon ordere tohe fores i td retire., Tho gorge waiuthoroughlysoirchod by.infantrybefore the t movement, began, andlit' was nbt until they had found that it was completely,,deserted l the enemy thaty,thoe column moved back.h They roeached camp in .the e ovening, .nd, the Governor, ,upon, hdaring what o adtacken place,. immediately proclaimed. martial-law, et and ordered a strict hiqui t ,to bo, made into the., conduct of the Krofir police. .In .the mning, iho?ever, the oecampment of the corp~sies .found desaerteod, 3 men, tnaking ra with them their wives, cattle, and equipments, haviigdesertoed' to the enemy'. daring the night. .Two strng ,parties, wore sent out to. carry the nows. to, the. commanders of.'?the other 'two, acolumns, and' to eoa-, u muiioeth-. stat of tliA country-. They came. s bon 'a sigoht tldt enragbd the troops, overn to mori .d th' ,e atntadtupon themselves. Aarty tr of the 46ti; Regmonot, consisting of, a iorgcant 19 ancd fburton privates,, escorting waggons from t Fort Vhito"to .King Villiamstown, had been as suddenly attacked ,bvtthe ?ffilrs, who' had of murderedl the whole party: cc SItonald l.ervyn ,didnot hoaroif this unpro voked atrecity atthe time. - . n inr SAt daybreak, six detanhments-throus dradwai from each troop of the Rliloes, and:each. cm- w posed of six men anda ndn-commissionodofllcer, w were ordered to start:at once to various settle ments on the border, to warn the colonists of us the outbreak of war. -.Ronald was placed in the ol command of ese of these' dotatchments, and wais e lcoso r to eomnmand that which was to warn the settlers on thel habousle River,.as h e was acquainted with the couintry. there. It was. hoped that theose detachoments wosld arrive in. tieo, for it, was r supilosed that the attacek on the column had been ast lolted nffair, .the .work of the tribes in tlheo inaneliato, noigllgbourhood. Circm s pies onlrovnd, however, that that action was only aiart.of a preconccrted plan, for next hi dy-hloritlnas Daiy---a omlaniennouo attack di ws made ul ou almost all tbe border soettle memito. Sono of these wore o ilitary villages, Govern; h meat having at the, concluaion of the previous war gven grtoano land asd lsuiatanco to etart in their fLums, to. a nunibern of discharged soldiers upon the conlition o'f their turning out at any time for thli.defesceof the country..Ali numbor of .prosperouso little villages hadthus de sprung ~, an d the. settlers .lived on the h moast frdly nterms f with the nolghblur. to ing Kaftlr, constantlyentertaining them. as 0 their guests and, employing many of them on their farms. ' In a few cases the a, news of. the fight at Kelo'kaisma arrived in w thnoe for the settloro to prepare for dofence, but in the great majority of cu.cs they were token h by surprise and masuacred, olfen by rite very men wso lid just bh?n slaring theYiChristmas dinner. - Isasy of the villagos were ,entirely fi destroyed, anstin some cases not a single man e escaped. to tell the tald. It needed-no orders far the use eli speed. Ronald acid hlss sn woutata gallop, 05 onily bresibingg into i. slower isue at. -isses to ix enauble the men to breatlh theirhIoros.' They hod a loig rido before them, ansi asoinus cac lie wasto get on, it .was InuCessary to spare tho f orseos as muchl aspossilile. •'He anrvud at.tlie station Isis doeclnent had beforoecoupied at about l o'lock. A? good musy Kafirt were P seattured about through tie village. Fheso looked surprised at the sarrival of a delhechment of carolry, uid grldually diealslsrodre, sep posing that Ronld's plrty wos bhut hs aidvses gseard of a htrger body. As soon as a the news spread, thu inhabihtts hurried from i their Ibousos--mun, wooen, asnd 'eildlrous loaded witli suah articles as tfloy could ntucls up 0 intheir hlotse, and all lastened to the building f which theoy hid before decided ehouldbo used on uttanolincase of neshO Iloysgalloped out B

a, to the fields to drive the cattle into the kraal n that had been constructed within asmy t ango of thl guns of tho defenders of o the fort. Men. wore placed on- sentry, awlhlo others brought in from the houses Sfood, bedding, and clothes, and in a short time o the villago was prepared for a defence. a Ronald made a stay of a few minutoa only. A mouthful of food was given to the horses, as 1 ihe watchedtho' settlers collecting for defence, and then, satisflod that they were prepared ag:inst surpris here, he rode on with his men. t At the isolated farmhouscs he paisei, liornsa were put into light carts as soon as his news 1 was told. In these women and children were stowed. A bundle or two of clothes were thrown in, the men then mounted, and the whole made oil at. the top of their speed towards the nearest town. A few of the younger men, land those unen cumbored by wonmen and clildren, mounted their horses, and taking their arms, joined Ilonald's party. The inext villago was live miles from the first, and as they approachoel they hiard piercing screams mingled with yells. Putting spun to their horses the little party dashed on. Round eacol of the five or aix houses in the village were groups of Kalrs, who were draggig the inhabitants frmn the houses and massacring them. One or twb shots were heard ns they rode up, showing that some of the men were selling their lives dearly. With a shout the little iartv of horsemen, counting fifteen men, dashed in poan the Kaflirs. Taken wholly by surprise, thle lattter did not see their foes until they were just upon them, and it was too late to throw their cssegais with effect. Pouring in a volley from their rifles, the troop rode among them, iewing right andleft with their sabres, the sharp eracks of their pistols following in rapid succebsion. With yells of dismay the Kanfire, though numr boring upwards of a hundred, at nce flied, making for the forest. The infuriated troopers and settlers followed them, cutting down or shooting numbers before they reached ithe shelter of the trees. In their rage they 'ould have followed them had not Ronald calledthem Ott. " It would only be throwing owayyour lives to enter the wood," lie said. " We should have to dismount, and they could spoe.r us as they chose. Desides, we havoe other work to They rode straight back to the village. More than half the inhabitants had beeoon mur derod, and the rest were gathered round their dead friends in attitudes of despair, many of them streaming with blood from several wounds.' " riends," Ronald said, as he rode up, !. you must be up and doing. t ".You' must either gather in one house to save your lives-for we have to ride on,: and the' natives wlllretran as soon as we, leave-or, as i much wiser, put your horses intolight carts, take the bodies of your friends, some-of, them may be only stunned by the knobkerries, and drivo for your lives to the town. We will stop another toen minutes.. The natives tit niot voenture out of the woods until we go on." SRonald's words roused the unfortunaote sot tiers-from their stupor..- The men, aided bythe troops, harneed ..theo horses to' their carts lifted the wounded and'dead.into thermi,end taking with,,them afplw of their.. valuables; drove awayanId Itonali rode on with his party. At one or two hoauses ,the .attack had not begun, and the settlers were able to. drive away. Inothers the party arrived too late to savo, -although they were able to avenge by surprising and cutting off tha.treacherous ser vents, who, aided by the Goikasfrom th hillst having murdered their masters, were miggeg in the work of plunder when the trooprodo up. In each case they found that the Fingo servants had shared the fate of .their. em ployers, showing that they had been.keptin the dark as to the deadly intentions of the Kaffirs. At he neared the house occuplied by hie triende, the Arsuetrongs 'Ronald Morvyo's aeniety heightened. Each scenoeof masescro lud added to his'fears, and hoe chafed at:tho comparatively slow rate of speed at which it w wasnow necoesary to go in order to apurotho tiredhorses. Presently ho heard the souudof distant firing in the direction in which ihe knew I the Armstrong's house Wo. situated. It was a welcome sound, for although it showed that e the party were attacked, it :gave ..hopes that they had not beoe entirely: taken; by. eur prise, and were still defending themselves. ! Jones," hie said, turning to" one :of. thp troopers, "you can't go faster thian -you are going; but-my horse inea plenty. in. haid.'. IT will ride oawith the burghers-at fullsp oed ; yotikeop well together and followai:nr fas as you -can.. If they. make a.fight of,'it with us, your coming up suddenly may cow. them and decide the matter." " . .CHAPTEII X. . STho sounds ofiring still continued-as Ronald a 3Meervyn, withhie party of burghers, rode at thl top of their speed -towards Mr. Armstrong's house.. As they neared it,:a number of -Katlirs were seen gathered round it. As:these per- 1 ceived the approach of the horsemen, there was i a mnovementof flight, but a chief. who was with b them, seeaing, the. samaliness of , the force approaching, called, upon them to stand, and they at'.once gatherod to mot the advaio ncing horsemen. " - - ...- - '- - "'Ihlt I" shouted- Ronald, as he pulled up hia horse a hundred, and. fifty yards.from. th houte, " thereare a couple of, hundred of them; we shall beriddled with spoeas if woehargothenm and shall throw away. our lives w dthontbhing o a anyasaistano'to dourfriends. Duniount lads, tio'your horses up to the trees. Don't tio them too flrmly, for if they makd a rush-we must- ride oi ' and then return again. Now d each got behind a troee and open a steady fire upon them. ,Each pick out your man and don't tlimhrw way a shot.. Don'tall lire toge ther. 'L?ht the man on.the right fire first, andf then the one him, and so on, so that twoorthree of therighfit-hand men can beloaded I again before the last oti the left lids emptied hlis I .A second or two later the first rifleo spoke out and h native fall. Shot after shot was tired aid Overy bullet told. -Thoetvoehidfa were among t the fiast who fell, and their loesto someexteont paralysed the advance of thenatives. " Some of, r them ran back to the shelter under, sl but fartyer. tfty_ of them, withloud shouting, rushed forward.. - : : ",Give them ono volleyo,'. Ronald shouted, ' and then toour horses.' . i Every loaded gun was discharged. the men unhitcheod. -their horses, sprang into their saddles, and dashed off. All wore accustomed to loadon horseback, and as soon as the car- a tridges were dowa and "the caps-en, lRonald led them hack again. -The natives wore this i time holding the orchard. -Ronald took a sweop t as if to cut them off rom the house,.and afraid I of being separatods they ran backto, rejoin their comrades. A volley, was poured in, and then a I eharge was made upon them, sworand pistol n in hand. i For a minute or two there was a sharp fight, a Many of the natives were shot or cut down, while several of the b'urghers received assega a wounds. a A largo body of natives were running to the nssistance of their comrades, when the six men of the Mouted .tiflos redo up. The advancing I natives Faundiat the sight .dl the soldiers, and before they could sake 1sip thei'r minda to ad vance, the greater portioni -of hboao; who h1sd oceuped tho orchard ore hilled - " Draw off fityyards," ionald aid, "and reload rifles and pistols." - Thisn was done; and soveral steady rolloys poured into thoenira. " That will do,'LItonald said, .: " they are beginning to slip off. - Now charge. straight down on the house ;: there, gentlemen, Iand my troopers will lFp off u acd enter thehonase. There is flghting in there still. .Do you take our horses ae;wq dismount, and, and 1 then open firs aguin upon the ruscta from a distance. We shall b able tohold the house if we can once enter." The plan was carried out.. ,With a desperate aharge they burst through thonatives round the door. Ionald land e e trooper ,sprog. to the grouand, and threw tlhe'rehns of their hoes to the colouiuts, who caught them anud rode off i "Close the door blehiod you," Ronald said, as ho sprung forward inito the-. pessage, wheicb I was crowded witll natives. The troopers foat I loweodlim, clolaig and barring the door behind c them. There was a sharp ight ie thde assage~ 1 but Itonald's.two revolvers aud thie rifles of his men were more tlhai a ma;tch for the natives, and in aneor two minutes the last of them " Close and bar all the shutters," Ronald shouted, as he rushed into the dihingroom, over the bodies of eight or ten natives lying inside. His appearanee was greeted with a hearty cheer, and Mr. Armstrong and three or four others ran in through the door of an luer a io Tihank God we are in time," Itomild said, graspinag [r. Armstrong's hand . I".lihaik dod, inudaed," the frenor replied. " We have haIld a lhot time for thie last hour." " Miss Armstronsg is not hurt, I hope P" "No U she las escaped without a sratch, ard I think that that's more than any of the rest of us can say." " Imustnoo about my men now," Ronald said; " w-illyou got all theoshutters downstairs fastened nid barred P" ronaldranoutandfound that his menulmdjust succeeded in clearing the house, They had I

found suerl Ifl'ri uptalrs engaged in the workofplundering. Somaeof, them had been out down, whilst others had jumped from the open windows. As soon .ns thoe huttora had been fastonen,.'Ronald and his men took their. places at the upper windows and opened fire upon the natlvos, who. were already drawing oi. The lire of the defenders of thehou?l was aidOd by that of the burghers, and the retreat of the native s pon became a flight, many dropping before they were out of the range of the nrfles. As soon as the natives were fairly inu retreat ltonald :again went downstbrl. where he found, Mr., Armstrong and the other defendors engaged in attending upon the wounded. Itonald looked round the room. " ly daug M r-'e 1ifXr. Armnnstrong said, poinhting in thie inor room. " She lou 'behaved splendidly through it all but she broke down when solhe found that the danoger was over. I think you had better leave her alone for a.few minutes." "No wonder,'! Ronald said, p? he looked roundthe room. Soven, or oight natives;lay dead close to the doorway, three or four were hi other parts of the room, threo white mon and two women lay dead, and oi the grountl lay a tablecloth, broken plates and dishes, and the remains of a foast. r. 'Mr Armstrong and four other farmnars were now-engagnd in attend-' ing to'oaeh other's wounds andiuindingithem up with ,baridages 'male out of the strips of tablecloth. . . I was never so pleased in' my .lifo," Mr. Armstrong said, "u swhen'I hoard tlto'lrst sound of your guns. Who vonawere I:could not of course mako out0 but I supposed it must be a partyfrom one on the villagos which got news of the attack onus hero." " It is partly so, eir," Ronald said.. "Wo have six of our men besides myself, and four toon or fifteen burghers as we' came along. I hear them rlidig up to the door now. I am sorry to say ni more worn to be obtained for tihe attack hes beei general, and I foar that three parts of the vilhyaes along thei frontier have becn destroyed, and their inhabitants mnasacred. Fortunatelvy, we brought thonlowe In time to save the place where we were before encamiped and 'to rescue a feow of those at thei noext village. DBut at fully.half the faromhouses I we passed the work.of massacrer had adready beencarried out." . . - The froit door was now. opened and the e burghers entered. Ronald found that two of I the party had been killed in the charge up to the house, and most of thomhad received moro or leas serious wounds in the fight, while three of the rifles had ralo been pierced with the I mseogais.. Ho hhomolf had been struck by a spear that had glaned:off'. Ids'ribs, inflicting a 1 misty flesh wound, while another assegau laid open his chuok. Mary 'Armstrong and two v other women now came out from the inner room and neststed in 'dressing the wounds i whiloe, the mon who were unhurt carried the bodies of the Katllrs who had fallen in the t house to some distance away, while those of the o white man and women were placed side c by side in another room.' They then gotbuckots t of Water, and soon removed the pools of blood from the floor. : Now, Muart" Mr. Armstrong said, " will youand'your rrnonts gota fresh tablecloth out and bring in some cold meat.and bread and anything else thatyou can lay your hands on, forour bravo friends .P Tho racals can't have lmd,timotoflundoutour cellar, and though I don't think anyof our party.want ansythiung to eat, a drauglit of spirits and watorwill be acceptable a allround." ' - ,"Not for those who -are wounded, father ; tea will be better for them, I am sure." " Perhaps it will, my dear." . - 'The women wore glad of something to do. One of them was the wifo of one of the farmers who had 'fallon, but she in a dull sort of mechanical manner, aided aryArmstrong and C the other, and as, soon as the :place was made quito tidy, six or soven children of h iifferent agesa wore called out from the inner ft room. - ' o Ronald and the troopers did justice to the e food;:for they had ridden upwards of sixty y miles, and had nothing to eat save a piece ' of hard biscuit before starting. ti ' Now," Mr. Armstrong said, .when .their appctitca were- appeased, " toll us by what d musclo you arrived, hero just inj time. to 0 oave us. I thought, al the' troops in.the t' colony woro somewhere near Fort Cox, at I least-that was, the news that. 'came to us ti yesterday."" . !" Sowo were, sir," onald said. " A column f, advanced from thoere -yesterday morninig, and were attacked by the Collrs in the gorge of the Keikamcna, and some. twenity .or thirty killed a and wounded. 'It occurred through lth trea chery of tho 1Caflir police, all of whom deserted tast night..' Some parties ware sent off the first thing, this moriing to. warn-tho border r sottlementsi but I am afraild'. that very, few of thiomnarnved in time. We shall bavo ter. fI riblo tlidigsI featr, of this dark 'day'si work ti -Toywhr. '- .-. -'- ' ' ' "'t " " ou are in command of this party P" ' "Yes ; I got my 'corporal's- stripes the day , beforo yesterday,' end.,I was.lueky: enough toa be? chosen to- commandl this detachment as I knew the country ; and now, sir;how did this n business begin hero P "' '' " We'wero at dinner," Mr. Armstrong said, a "when without the least notic;, just aswoe hmd. flnlhed, there was a rush .throughlrthe h door. All my friend , had brought their rifles t with, them, and, ho instant the oaflihs entered 'F ve kiuw.what'was up. Those who; could m caught' their 'rifles, others sitchoed upltablo. - knives and the light began. An. you sow, soveinl of the party were killed at once; but the I roat ?ade such a 'good' fight with' our& clubbed riflos mid knives: that: forthe moment we cleared the room, theou.two of us held the door, whilo tho rest fellbackiinto the inner ni room, where, fortunately, al the children were at the time, for the table was not largoe a enough to hold us all, and they had their mel al first. .- - ,' I " Directly those whoi got in thorerocapped i their riles-for.wwo found that- our .rascally T HIottentot servants' had' removed the ca s-while -m we were at dinmier-Thompson and I, who were at the door, fell 'back. Thon, you see, matters 'p were easy, enough. Two of us wvore posted at theo door of ,thu inner room, and the moment a native showed himself insido 'the door of this g room he was shot down:; .Of course, we had e] shut the shutters of the inner room directly we t sntered, and one of us knptguard there. m I don't think - the 1'afllrs would-over have fored their wayin ; bat, no doubt, as soons a they had stripped-the .house of, everything valrable to them, thoyr would have sa t .it on ret , and thoen .w should hae ad 1the hoice of being burnt-out hers" or. being speared outside. " I nooednot say that woe had all agred thait ' a itwasa thousand thmes better to dielo'hrethan o to trust ourselves "to those' fiends, who always n put their prisounrs to dath with atrocious tar ores. Anyhow, my, friends, we owe-oourl:I livesn to you, for nooner :or ',later,.tho: end moust have come to' us. -Now-what (are you li ouing to do You do not think of pushing on any further, I hope." ". ' ' l a " No, I think thatwould be usoless," Ronald said. "Thmo masusaor is apparently universal;, o nd evidently begun at -the same time anlulong the line./',We should botoo late to warn anyone m now. " Still," ho said, rising suddenly from m his seat, " we ,night t heu too int to rescue it them. There may be other parties holdingout. Ihadn't' thought of' that, atid we had hotter -e push on further." I . 0t " Idoubt if our horses can go any further," d ne of the mohu said. "Iino coulad ocarctly e carry me for ithe last lvo miles." " Yeas, that is so,":tounaldsaid.' hou Ithink my.horec in good for another twenty milmaand the horses of our frieuds t he burmr are e uitie s fr I es, sawill leave youhere and ride on with I hem.' You will, of course, hoep a 'sharp lookt ou t Iot ot thinkit likmly thist theyn wll renew the attack. 'They must have loet q hetwoen fifty onld stltt men. 'I-wll ride on ca with the burgher to thie last settleoment along n this line. It is not, I think, moru tha twenty r miles further. W twil sloop there ant dreturn the firstthing in the morning. By that time, MIr,' rmtronrg, .you willc 'I suppose, be ready, to movr into town c" . o SYes, I shall be ready by, tht tim," the armer said. "I saet over four loads of wrheat aesterday mornding, and the wb ggoe wvill be bak to.niglht. I wvill pack everything I wamt e 10 take, mid we shall he ready to start by the or imoyou return. Of course, Iehall:drivothe mttlo withus--that is If tiers are asy cattle at nit to drive." r. " I saw them in tise kraal behlnd tOlohouse'as I we rode' up," Ronald said. "I sUPl)osotho -0 Ia,.mrsthnooght they might as well Ooash with gi you first, and -they could thou divide tie cattle mnnthmelm at their leisure." ' iWell, that's good news," tie settler sald. "I smuru they wore all goio. " But m ion't you think you hauvo duos eiough for w i,?s; don't gu any further," Mary Am. 'Ifeolgthat d lis my duty to go, Mine Arnu strong. I would much rather stay, I ran ansur you, but it's posnible that some of the so garrisons may be still holding out." y ",Yes, senwore wrouri to ask you to stay," ?r.tArmstrong said; "hut just wait a minute, o .~mVhorses urn kraaled withtho cattle. I will tnn one roantd and halnmge the ritillco ; it willbou iaj,ityto founder tlat splendhil lore of ,ours. 'ou eao lie has got a lot Of Eniglish tr tlood in hi,, miud can't go onr for over like our cit Calio hornse." 03 lino inliatcs later, seounted oni i fresh horso, Donald started with the burghors. Everyfermcai

0 they viettied exhibited a spe:obuleof desolation. 1 any had been forsakei oouie time previously, a but they had been broken into and in some cases fired, In others the bodies of theoccu. pants were beonath the embers of their homes ; min a few the settlers had not boeen. taken un. awaxes, and otainsof bloodaround the builings Sshowed that tnoy had sold thelir lives dearly, rund inflicted eoraiderablo loss on the Kaire before they had succeeded in bursting open the doors. In. one littlecluster of threo or four houses, the bodies of men, woman, and chil. dren lay scattered about ; but one stoutly-built farmhouse, inhabited by a Boer fanner and six sons, had resisted all the attacks of tholaffirs. The nativeshrad drawn off before the arrival of the treoops. Tihe Boer stated thalt he intended to see it out. . r Two of my sons," he said," have alre:aly driven off tho eattle and horses. I have got a couple of cows in milk in the shed adjoionnj the house, antd I shall bring them insidoat night. The I?afIirs will never beat down iuy shutters or door, and one of tus will watehby turns, so that we will give it them hot if thoeyo venture to come on; but I think they have had pretty nearly, enough- of us." This was the only house .where a successful resistance was made, and on getting to the latt station the party bivouackle near the ruins of the house, and placing two men on guard, were soon asleep. They were undisturbed till morn ing, and mounting as,soon aeit was daylight, roeos bck to Mr. :Armstroni' staotion. Three wag gons had arrived late the night before, and with the eosistance of troopers were. already loaded with furniture and other effects. Two of the burghers offered to assist Mr. Armstrono in' driving his cattle and horses to King WVilnlaamtown. '7lio party was aeeom panied by the other settlers al3 their families several of whom had saved their waggons and animals, as the Katrire had mode their first attack upon Mr. Armstrong, knowing fromn the IIottentot icrvanta that the settlers from thrco or four. of tile adjoining farms would be gathered 'tlere. Their defeat, therefore, had saved not only Mr. Armstrong but the other farnmsfrom pillage. in cry warm wore the thanks that the settlers before starting be stowed upon .Ronald and the troopers and Ronald as soon as the caravan had starteld odo somewhat thoughtfully off with hir men to the first place lihehlod visited. Here they found that the afllirs, after they had left, had made a determined attack upon the place, but had been beaten off with much loss after soveral hours' figlting. The esttlers were now, however, occupied in preparing to leave their farms, as the attack might at any moment be renewed, and perhaps with over whelming numbers. The party of mounted rifles remained in the village until the follow ing morning, as their horses, after their heavy work on the previous day, were not fit to take the long journeyo back to the camp. On the following, morning they saw the settlers fairly on thehir way, and then galloped off to rojohi their corps a tFortCorx. SToa ioo.?0r0sum