The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  Six weary months had this
village withstood the pitiless pelt of rifle bullet and shell. Help
seemed as far away - Page 480
The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle - Page 480 of 842 - First - Home

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Six Weary Months Had This Village Withstood The Pitiless Pelt Of Rifle Bullet And Shell.

Help seemed as far away from them as ever.

But if troubles may be allayed by sympathy, then theirs should have lain lightly. The attention of the whole empire had centred upon them, and even the advance of Roberts's army became secondary to the fate of this gallant struggling handful of men who had upheld the flag so long. On the Continent also their resistance attracted the utmost interest, and the numerous journals there who find the imaginative writer cheaper than the war correspondent announced their capture periodically as they had once done that of Ladysmith. From a mere tin-roofed village Mafeking had become a prize of victory, a stake which should be the visible sign of the predominating manhood of one or other of the great white races of South Africa. Unconscious of the keenness of the emotions which they had aroused, the garrison manufactured brawn from horsehide, and captured locusts as a relish for their luncheons, while in the shot-torn billiard-room of the club an open tournament was started to fill in their hours off duty. But their vigilance, and that of the hawk-eyed man up in the Conning Tower, never relaxed. The besiegers had increased in number, and their guns were more numerous than before. A less acute man than Baden-Powell might have reasoned that at least one desperate effort would be made by them to carry the town before relief could come.

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