A Few Days Before We Left For Magdala (After The Political Trial),
Staiger, Brandeis, and the two hunters, foreseeing that
captivity, and probably chains, would be our lot before long, availed
themselves of a former permission they had obtained to remain near
Mrs. Flad during her husband's absence, in order to keep clear of
the coming storm.
McKelvie (a former captive, and servant of Capt.
Cameron,) pretended sickness, also remained behind, and shortly
afterwards took service with his Majesty. Mackerer (also a former
captive, and servant of Capt. Cameron,) had previously been in
Theodore's service, and preferred to return to him rather than go
through a second captivity at Magdala. Little were they aware at
the time how much they would have to go through themselves.
Mrs. Rosenthal, on account of her health, could not accompany us
then; afterwards she several times applied for leave to join her
husband, but until a couple of months before our release, was always
refused on some specious reason or the other. Mrs. Flad and children
belonged to the same party, having been left by her husband on his
departure, under the protection of the "Gaffat people."
Altogether the number of Europeans with his Majesty during the time
of our captivity at Magdala, including Mr. Bardel, was fifteen,
exclusive of the two ladies and several half-castes.
Theodore had no sooner returned to Debra Tabor, after sending us
to Magdala, than he set to work, with the assistance of the Europeans,
casting cannons of various shapes and sizes, and mortars of immense
weight and calibre.
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