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

 -  A few soldiers succeeded in reaching the bank of the river.
But the captain of the steamer would run no - Page 40
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A Few Soldiers Succeeded In Reaching The Bank Of The River. But The Captain Of The Steamer Would Run No Risks, And Those Who Could Not Swim Out To The Vessel Were Left To Their Fate.

With such tidings the expedition returned to Khartoum.

Mohammed Ahmed had been himself wounded in the attack, but the faithful Abdullah bound up the injury, so that none might know that God's Prophet had been pierced by carnal weapons. The effect of the success was electrical. The news spread throughout the Soudan. Men with sticks had slain men with rifles. A priest had destroyed the soldiers of the Government. Surely this was the Expected One. The Mahdi, however, profited by his victory only to accomplish a retreat without loss of prestige. Abdullah had no illusions. More troops would be sent. They were too near to Khartoum. Prudence counselled flight to regions more remote. But before this new Hegira the Mahdi appointed his four Khalifas, in accordance with prophecy and precedent. The first was Abdullah. Of the others it is only necessary at this moment to notice Ali-Wad-Helu, the chief of one of the local tribes, and among the first to rally to the standard of revolt.

Then the retreat began; but it was more like a triumphal progress. Attended by a considerable following, and preceded by tales of the most wonderful miracles and prodigies, the Mahdi retired to a mountain in Kordofan to which he gave the name of Jebel Masa, that being the mountain whence 'the expected Guide' is declared in the Koran sooner or later to appear.

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