On The Flag Ceasing To Fly,
A Sous-Officier Rushed Up To The Flagstaff And Hurled It To The Ground,
Shaking his fists and tearing his hair in a bitterness and vexation from
which it is impossible to withhold sympathy,
In view of what these men had
suffered uselessly and what they had done. The French then embarked,
and at 9.30 steamed southward, the Faidherbe towing one oblong steel barge
and one old steel boat, the other three boats sailing, all full of men.
As the little flotilla passed the Egyptian camp a guard of honour of the
XIth Soudanese saluted them and the band struck up their national anthem.
The French acknowledged the compliment by dipping their flag, and in return
the British and Egyptian flags were also lowered. The boats then continued
their journey until they had rounded the bend of the river, when they came
to land, and, honour being duly satisfied, Marchand and his officers
returned to breakfast with Colonel Jackson. The meeting was very friendly.
Jackson and Germain exchanged most elaborate compliments, and the
commandant, in the name of the XIth Soudanese, presented the expedition
with the banner of the Emir who had attacked them, which had been captured
at Reng. Marchand shook hands all round, and the British officers bade
their gallant opponents a final farewell.
Once again the eight Frenchmen, who had come so far and accomplished
so much, set out upon their travels, to make a safe though tedious journey
through Abyssinia to the coast, and thence home to the country they had
served faithfully and well, and which was not unmindful of their services.
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