Abdullah Thereupon Determined To Strengthen His Extreme Right;
And He Immediately Ordered Four Regiments, Each 500 Strong, Drawn From
The Force Around The Black Flag And Under The Emir Ibrahim Khalil,
To Reinforce The Hadendoa In The Khor.
While we were waiting for orders on
the ridge these men were hurrying southwards along the depression,
and concealed by a spur of Surgham Hill.
The Lancer patrol reconnoitred the
khor, at the imminent risk of their lives, while it was only occupied by
the original 700 Hadendoa. Galloping back, they reported that it was held
by about 1,000 men. Before they reached the regiment this number was
increased to 2,700. This, however, we had no means of knowing. The Khalifa,
having despatched his reinforcement, rode on his donkey with a scanty
escort nearly half a mile from the Black Flag towards the khor, in order to
watch the event, and in consequence he was within 500 yards of the scene.
As the 21st Lancers left the ridge, the fire of the Arab riflemen
on the hill ceased. We advanced at a walk in mass for about 300 yards.
The scattered parties of Dervishes fell back and melted away, and only one
straggling line of men in dark blue waited motionless a quarter of a mile
to the left front. They were scarcely a hundred strong. The regiment formed
into line of squadron columns, and continued at a walk until within 300
yards of this small body of Dervishes. The firing behind the ridges had
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