His Camp Was Still Menaced By The Men Whom
He Had Repulsed, And He Could Not Weaken It By Sending
Reinforcements Up The Hill.
But the roar of the musketry was rising
louder and louder.
It was becoming clearer that there was the main
attack. It was a Majuba Hill action up yonder, a thick swarm of
skirmishers closing in from many sides upon a central band of
soldiers. But the fusiliers were hopelessly outnumbered, and this
rock fighting is that above all others in which the Boer has an
advantage over the regular. A helio on the hill cried for help. The
losses were heavy, it said, and the assailants numerous. The Boers
closed swiftly in upon the flanks, and the fusiliers were no match
for their assailants. Till the very climax the helio still cried
that they were being overpowered, and it is said that even while
working it the soldier in charge was hurled over the cliff by the
onrush of the victorious Boers.
The fight of the mounted infantry men had been at half-past four.
At six the attack upon the hill had developed, and Clements in
response to those frantic flashes of light had sent up a hundred
men of the yeomanry, from the Fife and Devon squadrons, as a
reinforcement. To climb a precipitous thousand feet with rifle,
bandolier, and spurs, is no easy feat, yet that roar of battle
above them heartened them upon their way. But in spite of all their
efforts they were only in time to share the general disaster.
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