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

















































 -  Three days later he arrived at Reng, and there found, as the crew
of the Tewfikia had declared, some 500 - Page 410
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Three Days Later He Arrived At Reng, And There Found, As The Crew Of The Tewfikia Had Declared, Some 500 Dervishes Encamped On The Bank, And The Safia Steamer Moored To It.

These stupid fellows had the temerity to open fire on the vessels.

Whereat the Sultan, steaming towards their dem, replied with a fierce shell fire which soon put them to flight. The Safia, being under steam, made some attempt to escape - whither, it is impossible to say - and Commander Keppel by a well-directed shell in her boilers blew her up, much to the disgust of the Sirdar, who wanted to add her to his flotilla.

After this incident the expedition continued its progress up the White Nile. The sudd which was met with two days' journey south of Khartoum did not in this part of the Nile offer any obstacle to navigation, as the strong current of the river clears the waterway; but on either side of the channel a belt of the tangled weed, varying from twelve to twelve hundred yards in breadth, very often prevented the steamers from approaching the bank to tie up. The banks themselves depressed the explorers by their melancholy inhospitality. At times the river flowed past miles of long grey grass and swamp-land, inhabited and habitable only by hippopotami. At times a vast expanse of dreary mud flats stretched as far as the eye could see. At others the forest, dense with an impenetrable undergrowth of thorn-bushes, approached the water, and the active forms of monkeys and even of leopards darted among the trees.

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