No Doubt Cronje Had Already
Realised That The Extreme Limit Of His Resistance Was Come, But It
Was To That Handful Of Sappers And Canadians That The Credit Is
Immediately Due For That White Flag Which Fluttered On The Morning
Of Majuba Day Over The Lines Of Paardeberg.
It was six o'clock in the morning when General Pretyman rode up to
Lord Roberts's headquarters.
Behind him upon a white horse was a
dark-bearded man, with the quick, restless eyes of a hunter,
middle-sized, thickly built, with grizzled hair flowing from under
a tall brown felt hat. He wore the black broadcloth of the burgher
with a green summer overcoat, and carried a small whip in his
hands. His appearance was that of a respectable London vestryman
rather than of a most redoubtable soldier with a particularly
sinister career behind him.
The Generals shook hands, and it was briefly intimated to Cronje
that his surrender must be unconditional, to which, after a short
silence, he agreed. His only stipulations were personal, that his
wife, his grandson, his secretary, his adjutant, and his servant
might accompany him. The same evening he was despatched to Cape
Town, receiving those honourable attentions which were due to his
valour rather than to his character. His men, a pallid ragged crew,
emerged from their holes and burrows, and delivered up their
rifles. It is pleasant to add that, with much in their memories to
exasperate them, the British privates treated their enemies with as
large-hearted a courtesy as Lord Roberts had shown to their leader.
Our total capture numbered some three thousand of the Transvaal and
eleven hundred of the Free State.
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