On The 13th, Elaborate Precautions
Being Observed, The Metemma Passed The Cataract Safely, And Was Tied Up To
The Bank On The Higher Reach.
The Tamai followed the next day.
On the 19th
and 20th the new gunboats Fateh, Naser, and Zafir, the most powerful
vessels on the river, accomplished the passage. Meanwhile the Metemma and
Tamai had already proceeded up stream. On the 23rd the unarmed steamer Dal
made the ascent, and by the 29th the whole flotilla reached
Abu Hamed safely.
After the arrival of the gunboats events began to move at the double.
The sudden dart upon Abu Hamed had caused the utmost consternation among
the Dervishes. Finding that Mahmud was not going to reinforce him, and
fearing the treachery of the local tribes, Zeki Osman, the Emir in Berber,
decided to fall back, and on the 24th he evacuated Berber and marched
south. On the 27th General Hunter at Abu Hamed heard that the Dervish
garrison had left the town. The next day he despatched Abdel-Azim,
the chief of Irregulars, and Ahmed Bey Khalifa, his brother, with forty
Ababda tribesmen, to reconnoitre. These bold fellows pushed on recklessly,
and found the inhabitants everywhere terrified or acquiescent. Spreading
extraordinary tales of the strength of the army who were following them,
they created a panic all along the river, and, in spite of a sharp fight
with a Dervish patrol, reached Berber on the 31st. As there was no armed
force in the town, the enterprising allies rode into the streets and
occupied the grain store - the only public building - in the name of the
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