The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  Pilcher, with great daring, pushed onwards until
with his little band on their tired horses he found himself in
Ladybrand - Page 430
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Pilcher, With Great Daring, Pushed Onwards Until With His Little Band On Their Tired Horses He Found Himself In Ladybrand, Thirty Miles From His Nearest Supports.

Entering the town he seized the landdrost and the field-cornet, but found that strong bodies of the enemy were moving upon him and that it was impossible for him to hold the place.

He retired, therefore, holding grimly on to his prisoners, and got back with small loss to the place from which he started. It was a dashing piece of bluff, and, when taken with the Douglas exploit, leads one to hope that Pilcher may have a chance of showing what he can do with larger means at his disposal. Finding that the enemy was following him in force, he pushed on the same night for Thabanchu. His horsemen must have covered between fifty and sixty miles in the twenty-four hours.

Apparently the effect of Pilcher's exploit was to halt the march of those commandos which had been seen trekking to the north-west, and to cause them to swing round upon Thabanchu. Broadwood, a young cavalry commander who had won a name in Egypt, considered that his position was unnecessarily exposed and fell back upon Bloemfontein. He halted on the first night near the waterworks, halfway upon his journey.

The Boers are great masters in the ambuscade. Never has any race shown such aptitude for this form of warfare - a legacy from a long succession of contests with cunning savages.

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