The River War - An Account Of The Reconquest Of The Sudan By Winston S. Churchill

















































 -  The question was not left unanswered.

Half a mile to the southward, on the opposite bank of the river,
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The Question Was Not Left Unanswered.

Half a mile to the southward, on the opposite bank of the river, among the groves of palm-trees ran a long and continuous line of shelter trenches and loopholed walls.

The flanks of this new position rested on the deep morasses which extend from the river both on the north and south sides of Hafir. A small steamer, a fleet of large gyassas and other sailing vessels moored to the further shore explained what had happened. Conscious of his weakness, the prudent Emir had adroitly transported himself across the river, and had thus placed that broad flood between his troops and their destruction.

Meanwhile the three gunboats - all that now remained of the armed flotilla, for the Teb had run on a rock in the Hannek Cataract - were steaming gradually nearer the enemy, and the army swung to the right, and, forming along the river bank, became spectators of a scene of fascinating interest. At half-past six the Horse battery unlimbered at the water's edge, and began to fire obliquely up and across the river. As soon as the first few shells had reached the Arab entrenchment the whole line of shelter trenches was edged with smoke, and the Dervishes replied with a heavy rifle fire. The distance was, however, too great for their bad rifles and inferior ammunition, and their bullets, although they occasionally struck the ground on which the infantry were drawn up, did not during the day cause any loss to the watching army.

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