The Great Boer War By Arthur Conan Doyle












 -  The Boer
commandos, having been driven into the mountains by French and
Clements in the latter part of December, were - Page 670
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The Boer Commandos, Having Been Driven Into The Mountains By French And Clements In The Latter Part Of December, Were

Still on the look-out to strike a blow at any British force which might expose itself. Several mounted columns

Had been formed to scour the country, one under Kekewich, one under Gordon, and one under Babington. The two latter, meeting in a mist upon the morning of January 5th, actually turned their rifles upon each other, but fortunately without any casualties resulting. A more deadly rencontre was, however, awaiting them.

A force of Boers were observed, as the mist cleared, making for a ridge which would command the road along which the convoy and guns were moving. Two squadrons (B and C) of the Light Horse were instantly detached to seize the point. They do not appear to have realised that they were in the immediate presence of the enemy, and they imagined that the ground over which they were passing had been already reconnoitred by a troop of the 14th Hussars. It is true that four scouts were thrown forward, but as both squadrons were cantering there was no time for these to get ahead. Presently C squadron, which was behind, was ordered to close up upon the left of B squadron, and the 150 horsemen in one long line swept over a low grassy ridge. Some hundreds of De la Rey's men were lying in the long grass upon the further side, and their first volley, fired at a fifty-yard range, emptied a score of saddles.

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