The Second Traveller Who Sailed Within A Few Days Of The Governor
Was Mrs. Botha, The Wife Of The Boer General, Who Visited Europe
For Private As Well As Political Reasons.
She bore to Kruger an
exact account of the state of the country and of the desperate
condition of the burghers.
Her mission had no immediate or visible
effect, and the weary war, exhausting for the British but fatal for
the Boers, went steadily on.
To continue the survey of the operations in the Cape, the first
point scored was by the invaders, for Malan's commando succeeded
upon May 13th in overwhelming a strong patrol of the Midland
Mounted Rifles, the local colonial corps, to the south of
Maraisburg. Six killed, eleven wounded, and forty-one prisoners
were the fruits of his little victory, which furnished him also
with a fresh supply of rifles and ammunition. On May 21st Crabbe's
column was in touch with Lotter and with Lategan, but no very
positive result came from the skirmish.
The end of May showed considerable Boer activity in the Cape
Colony, that date corresponding with the return of Kritzinger from
the north. Haig had for the moment driven Scheepers back from the
extreme southerly point which he had reached, and he was now in the
Graaf-Reinet district; but on the other side of the colony Conroy
had appeared near Kenhart, and upon May 23rd he fought a sharp
skirmish with a party of Border Scouts. The main Boer force under
Kritzinger was in the midlands, however, and had concentrated to
such an extent in the Cradock district that it was clear that some
larger enterprise was on foot.
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