1899 - 1902

Anglo

War

Anglo Boer War
Home Reasons/Intro Build Up Battles / Sieges Deaths VC's Photographs

MAFEKING IN NOVEMBER


PLUCKY little Mafeking continued to hold its own, and not merely to hold its own, but to make itself dauntlessly aggressive. Continual sorties took place, and  indeed formed part of the routine of daily life. Commandant Cronje now sent in a communication disputing the right of the British to use dynamite in any way in the operations for the defence of the town; but Colonel  Baden-Powell was inclined for deeds, not arguments, so Cronje was silenced. The town was enlivened by a great concert, in which the National Anthem was sung with fervour and intense significance. This showed without doubt that  Mafeking meant to fight so long as breath should last. In regard to provisions and water, the garrison was getting on well. The art of dodging shells, said one officer, was being carried to a state of great perfection, and the  fighting was being conducted in strict accordance with military etiquette, Commandant Cronje always giving due notice of bombardment!

For some time after Colonel Walford's gallant defence of Cannon Kopje on the 31st October,  nothing much occurred. The losses from this attack were more than at first supposed. Captain the Hon. H. Marsham, as we know, was killed, and Captain Pechell, who was hit in the abdomen by a piece of shell, succumbed to his  injuries.

SW' Sergeant Lloyd, who did splendid service with the Red Cross company, was struck while attending to the wounded, and died. Trooper Nicholas, whose arm was shattered, succumbed owing to shock to the system. A  trooper who was hit by a bullet in the collar- bone escaped death miraculously. Fortunately, Lieutenants Brady and Dawson, who were also injured, were getting on well.

Among the marvellous escapes recorded, and these were not  a few, was one of a negro who was shot through the brain by a bullet. The projectile passed through one temple and lodged in the other yet the man still survived, and showed a decided intention to recover, There is an old story  of a Jamaica negro who fell from a tree without injury, and when asked how he escaped, he explained his good fortune by saying, Tank God, me fall on me head

The Invulnerability of the nigger cranium in that case, as in this,  had its advantages, and it would be interesting if some of our specialists-say Dr. Horsley-would account for the rough-and-tumble superiority of blacks over whites.

On the 1st of November a lamentable incident occurred. Parslow, the correspondent of the Daily Chronicle, was shot by a member of the garrison. 'I'he miowing is an extract from a letter relating to the sad affair, which  was in the possession of the Editor of the Daily Chronicle

"MAEKING, November 10.-One item, the most unpleasant of the while beleaguerments occupied attention during last week-that is, the court-martial of  Lieutenant Murchison for the murder of Mr. Parslow, special war correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle; He was a genial, good-humoured young fellow, and asked Murchison, an artilleryman of ability and undoubted  courage, to dine with him. After dinner Mr. Parslow strolled with Murchison across the Market Square towards Dixon's Hotel, the headquarters of the Staff, the ostensible purpose being for both of them to obtain a copy of the  orders for the day, usually issued about that time-half-past nine or ten o'clock P.M. Some words ensued apparently during the few minutes occupied in reaching Dixon's. Parslow left his companion in the passage of the hotel, and  was passing out, when it is alleged that Murchison drew his revolver and shot him dead, the bullet entering his head on the occipital protuberance an inch or an inch and a half behind the left ear, and lodging against the base  of the skull. The case is completed, and the court closed to consider the verdict."

The young journalist was exceedingly popular and deeply regretted. He was buried with military honours on the evening of the 2nd. bus  coffin was covered with the Union Jack, and carried to the grave by Major Baillie of the Morning Post, Mn Angus Hanijiton of the Times, Mr. Hellawell of the Dai~ A!ai4 Mr. Reilly of the I'atI Malt Gaze/te, and the correspondent of the Press Association. The funeral was attended by many members of the Staff, who were desirous of showing their esteem for the promising and aallant writen.

The enemy now engaged in  hostilities under the command of the son of Cronje, who was said to have had, in the interval, a pasasage d'armes with his father, the General, the younger man having taunted the elder for not having succeeded in  reducing Mafeking to submission. Whereupon Cronje fils undertook to do the great deed himself, and in setting about it managed to get killed. The Boers again stormed the place, and were driven back in confusion by the  magnificent energy of the British South African Police, leaving strewn on the field of action an enormous number of dead and wounded. Their removal occupied two hours. Captain Goodyear, commanding a squad of Cape  "boys," made a dashing sortie, and received a wound in the leg, but he nevertheless captured the brickfields, and held them against the enemy, thus Preventing him from utilising them for sniping operations.

Sunday  the 5th of November was, as usual, observed as a day of truce. The enemy made an effort to defy the rules of Sabbath etiquette, and were informed, under a flag of truce, that if they should continue to erect works commanding  the brickfields, the guns would open fire on them. This warning had the desired effect. The memory of Guy Fawkes, together with the news of our victories in Natal, was honoured by an exhibition of fireworks-a display which some  thought rather de trop; considering the nature of the daily operations in the town. On the following day the Boers made themselves unpleasantly obstreperous by saluting the place with quick-firing guns, weapons whose  shells burst almost simultaneously with the report, thus depriving those aimed at of the chance of running to cover.

'The air of Mafeking is said to be equal to champagne, and perhaps to its stimulating influence the garrison  owed its sprightliness and activity. The little township " ran" a journal of its own, and though not so effervescent as The Lyre of Ladysmith, it had its humorous side. The Mafeking Mail as it was called, was issued daily-shells permitting. Quoting from the Mail of the 1st of November, a facsimile of which was reproduced by the Daily Telegraph, we read that-"We have borne the much-feared  bombardment for a fortnight, and still

Mafeking stands. From what we have experienced we do not consider ourselves too optimistic in anticipating a successful ending to the contest. For the first time in the history of Boer  warfare have the Boers been defeated at every turn by a force far inferior in point of numbers. Since the first attack on Saturday, October 14th, they fly directly our guns are heard. Safely out of range they fire into the  town, but they do not appear to be pining for another attempt at storming Mafeking. In the 'general orders' issued last Sunday the following occurs :-' The Colonel Commanding having made a careful inspection of the defences of  the town and the native stadt, is now of opinion that no force that the Boers are likely to bring against us could possibly effect an entrance at any point.' Now, this is like the advertisements say a certain cocoa is-grateful  and comforting, and we feel that having got so far through the ordeal, we have only to remain steadfast, as the matter of a little time will see decided the first great step towards the settlement of the future of South Africa.  There is no doubt that the attention of Great Britain, the Colonies, in fact, the whole world, is now riveted upon this little spot, which is now playing a prominent part in the most important epoch in the history of this  wonderful continent. We know there is no need to urge the claims of our country and kindred upon our gallant garrison. Being in such close touch with each other that nothing but the exceptional circumstances thrust upon us  could have made possible, we are in a position to judge and recognise the steady determination that British blood and British pluck exhibit when such a crisis as the present arises, and we know that the memory of Bronkhurst  Spruit, Majuba, and Potchefstrom will make that determination, supported by the knowledge of our grand successes of the past fortnight, more firm, more strong, and more united than has been before, and this, with the grand  soldier who is in command here, will render certain the first stages towards the complete crushing of the enemy.

"There is no doubt that there was landed in South Africa by Sunday last a body of 57,000 men, including  probably twelve or fourteen regiments of cavalry, twenty or twenty-two batteries of artillery, and forty regiments of infantry, besides, most likely, a body of mounted infantry. Of this force there will be not less than 15,000  disembarked at Cape Town and despatched on the road here. They may now be settling accounts with the Boers outside Kimberley, in which case Vryburg might be reached by Sunday, allowing for some delay at Fourteen Streams. When  our troops reach Vryburg the air of Mafeking will not suit Cronje sprinters, so by this day week we may begin to wish them a pleasant journey back to the Transvaal. It will then be merely an interchange of courtesy if we  return the visit.

"When the big gun with which the enemy hoped to pulverise us, and which has sent more shells in the neighbourhood of the hospital and women's laager than in any other parts of the town, is taken by our  troops, we think it only fair to Mafeking that it should be brought here. It will make a good memorial and be an object lesson to succeeding generations, who, reading the history of our bombardment, and seeing the weapon  employed against our women and children, will be able to judge of the nineteenth-century Boer's fitness to dominate such a territory as the Transvaal. Let it be placed, say, in the space opposite the entrance to the railway  station, raised on end, with the unexploded shells piled at its base, with a description of Colonel Baden-Powell's clever defence of the place. We hope the Colonel will bear the town in mind when the disposal of the gun is  under discussion.

"Major Lord E. Cecil, C.S.O., last evening issued the following under the heading of 'General Orders':

[Here was recorded Colonel Baden-Powell's appreciation of the action of Colonel Walford and his  gallant men, which has been previously quoted.]

The perusal of the opening paragraphs of the 'Mafeking Mail serves to enlighten us as to the degrees of hope deferred through which the plucky inhabitants bad to pass.  The pathos of the expression. "So by this day week we may begin to wish them a pleasant journey back to the Transvaal," can only be understood by comparing the date to which it referred with that of the relief of the  noble garrison-the 17th of May 1900!

On the 7th of November, the force under Major Godley and Captain Vernon made a successful sortie, the excellent management of which was recognised in an order issued by Colonel  Baden-Powell :-"The surprise against the enemy to the westward of the town

was smartly and successfully executed at dawn this morning by a force under the direction of Major Godley. Captain Vernon S squadron of the  Protectorate Regiment carried this operation out with conspicuous coolness and steadiness. The gunners, under Major Panzera, fought and worked their guns well under a very trying fire from the enemy. The Bechuanaland Rifles are  to be congratulated on the efficient services rendered by them under Captain Cowan in this their first engagement in the field. The enemy appeared to have suffered severely, while our casualties were luckily very light. This is  largely due to the fact that Major Godley delivered his blow suddenly and quickly, and with-drew his force again in good time and order. The Colonel Commanding has much pleasure in placing on record a plucky piece of work by  Gunners R. Cowan and F. H. Godson. The Hotchkiss gun, of which they had charge, was overturned and its trail-hook broken in course of action. In spite of a very heavy fire from the enemy's one-pound Maxim and seven-pound Krupp,  these men attached the trail to the limber by ropes, and brought the gun safely away.

At this time the town was surrounded by some 2000 Boers, and a heavy shell-fire was daily exchanged. The damage done, however, was Might,  except in the case of the Convent, which seemed to be a favourite mark for the Boer gunners. The trenches of the besiegers had been moved to about 2000 yards of the town, and from here the enemy fired with rifles, but with  indifferent success. The Boers, in fact, were getting disheartened. Colonel Baden Powell was proving himself prepared to enter into a competitive examination on the subject of "slimness" with them, and they were  somewhat disturbed at the intellectual strain demanded for rivalry against 50 smart a pupil. All manner of efforts were made, and there was even a Dutch council of war as to the propriety of making a midnight attack upon the  place. But the wily Colonel was ready for them. He took care that lanterns should be placed in suitable positions to illumine the paths of the would-be assailants and when they turned on these lanterns the attention of their  guns and broke them, more were immediately found to take their place. There was also the British bayonet in reserve, and a hint which they did not care to prove as a certainty-that dynamite was somewhere or other arranged in a  ring round the place, so that at a given sign the too pressing attentions of intruders might be disposed of. These some one called "the B. P. Surprise packets," which were arranged on the lucky-tub principle, ready  for those who might venture on an experimental dive. The exact locality was not disclosed, in order that their whereabouts might prove a never-ending source of wonder and interest to the besiegers.

As before said, continual  sorties took place, and Colonel Baden Powell succeeded in capturing mules and horses from the enemy and generally harassing him. Great expectations sustained the gallant little party that Colonel Plumer's force would shortly  make its way from the north and join hands with Colonel Baden-Powell. Early in November the opposing forces stood thus:

Colonel Baden-Powell, with 500 Cavalry, 200 Cape Mounted

Police, and B.S.A. Company's Mounted Police, 6o

Volunteers, six machine-guns, two 7-pounders, and 200 to 300 townsmen used to arms 1500

1000 TransvaaI Boers under Commandant Cronje, and 509

Boers at Maritzani 1500

But later, some of the Boers were drawn off for service in the south.

Poor Mafeking! The inevitable hung like a ghost over everything-bodiless, formless, but always there at the elbows of the gallant band that so long had  held out against the foe. He was. now coming closer-closer, continuing to sap and approach by parallels, till before long not only shells but rifle-fire would render streets impassable, shelters useless, and fortified positions  dangerous. Colonel Baden-Powell's brilliant wits were hard pressed to keep the enemy from carrying the town by storm, and all who valued their lives lived underground, burrowing like rabbits, or in bombproof shelters, from  which occasionally they were routed, not by fire but by water.

Still the word surrender was unspelt. None dared breathe it aloud. A battery of seven field-guns blazing their hot fire and doing their fell work made no  effect-the besieged remained firm. Mauser bullets whizzed past their ears; shells long as coal-scuttles and nearly as thick crashed into buildings, now into the hospital, now the convent, or sometimes into the women's laager,  leaving, not seldom a track of mourning and blood; but the Boer could not plume himself on victory. Not so far off his white tents reflected the sunlight, and closer still the grim music of his rifles was eternally to be from  mere men of commerce into toughened warriors, and assisting Colonel Baden Powell and his diminutive force to maintain the majesty of Great Britain, with a chivalry that might have done honour to the knights of old.

Towards  the middle of the month the garrison was much cheered by the arrival on the scene of a plucky American journalist, who had ridden. from the Cape straight through the Boer lines, and who came with all the buoyancy of the outer  world to delight the ears of the British with tales of Lord Methuen's advance. Other news now and then filtered in, and this the Colonel, either viva voce or by means of his typewriter, promptly shared with the whole interested  community.

To make it evident that Mafeking was determined to keep lively and aggressive in spite of intermittent bombardment, several more gallant sorties were made, and on each occasion the little place came off with flying  colours. Commander Cronje, disgusted, finally took -himself off with some twenty waggons to Riceters (Transvaal), leaving his guns with the remaining commandoes and relegating to them the task of reducing the truculent town to  submission.

Ruses, which are as the breath of his nostrils to the Boer in warfare, continued to be tried on Colonel Baden- Powell, who may be  said to have almost enjoyed new chances to whet his wits and showed himself the last person to be caught napping. Indeed, some one at the time remarked that if they wanted to take him in they would have to get up very early in  the morning and stay awake all night into the bargain! The latest Boer device was to make a show of going away and leaving a big gun apparently in a state of being dismantled. This of course was what in vulgar phrase might be  called a "draw" for the besieged. But the Colonel was not to be drawn; his smart scouts continually found the enemy hidden in force, and thereupon put every one on their guard. Mafeking, in fact, sat tight"  and-winked!

Meanwhile the inhabitants were pushing out advanced works with good effect, and began to feel more and more confident that their pluck and  patience would ultimately receive their reward. Their bomb-proof shelters were becoming works of art. They were no longer rabbit-warrens, but well-ventilated apartments, roofed with the best steel rails and sand-bags, and  lighted by windows resembling portholes. Great ingenuity was displayed in the wedding of safety with comfort, and the owners soon began to grow interested in the artistic quality of their improvised retreats!

On the 25th of  November another gallant sortie was made, and the Chartered Company's Police, with magnificent pluck and determination, attacked Eloffsfort and kept the Boers from further encroachment.

For some days nothing unusual took  place. The Boers continued to annoy with their 10-ton gun and the Boer flag began to float over the fortified places surrounding the town. In fact, there was a somewhat wearisome monotony in the programme of daily life. The  laconic report at that time of one of the sufferers was that the sole resource was to "snipe and wait!" Fortunately pressure elsewhere was beginning to draw off some of the hostile legions, and consequently the  activity of the assault on the town was diminished. It was quite evident that Colonel Baden-Powell had been found a nasty nut to crack, and that his earthworks, his trenches, his underground shelters, his night attacks, and his  hundred-and-one minor dodges, which had been craftily invented to test the amiability of the ingenuous Boer, were scarcely appreciated. Indeed, the worthy Cronje, when wisely taking himself off, was reported to have owned that  the Mafeking blend of Baden-Powell-dynamite mine-and-best-Sheffield was decidedly infernal!

On this subject the correspondent of the Times, who was cooped in Mafeking, said: "The significance of the dynamite mines  which surround our position cannot be under-estimated. Had the Boers any trustworthy information as to the whereabouts of the mines, the town would probably have been stormed weeks ago. The general ignorance on their part of  the locality of the mines creates corresponding dread. The mines way be taken as a material effort on the part of Rhodesia to assist Imperial prestige and interests. The Postmaster-General of Rhodesia lent Mr. Kiddy, manager of  telegraphs, to superintend the laying of mines, telephones, and field-telegraphs. The services so rendered have been invaluable."

Of the Commandant another of the beleaguered band wrote:

"Commanding us we have a  man than whom we could have none better. The Colonel is always smiling, and is a host in himself To see 'B. P.,' as he is affectionately termed, whistling down the street, deep in thought, pleasing of countenance, cheerful and  confident, is cheering and heartening-far more cheering and heartening than a pint of dry champagne. Had any man in whom the town placed less confidence been in command, disaster might have befallen Mafeking; and if we are able  to place the name 'of Mafeking upon the roll of the Empire's outposts which h4ve fought for the honour and glory of Britain, it will be chiefly because Baden-Powell has commanded us."

That our good old friend Punch  should, in his old age, cause almost intoxicating delight is a fact worthy of note. A copy brought by Reuter's cyclist-runner was safely carried into the town, to the intense joy of its inhabitants. It contained the cartoon by'  Sir John Tenniel in which John Bull is represented as telling the Boer that if he wishes to fight it must be a fight to the finish. The journal was read and re-read even to the advertisements, and gloated over for many days.  What has now become of it is a question of interest. There are doubtless many collectors of war trophies who would pay more than his weight in gold for Mr. Punch after he had lived through and shared in the vicissitudes of  siege' life in Mafeking.

The pluck of Colonel Baden-Powell seemed to be epidemic. Young boys, and even women, clamoured' to do their share of the work, and strove to display a perfectly unruffled front in face of shot and  shell. In one house some ladies stuck to their abode while the breastworks were being built, and employed the interval in playing and singing the National Anthem, thus stimulating and cheering

the workers outside, who joined  heartily in the chorus. On the 28th of November grand preparations were made for an evening attack, and these were quietly inspected by Colonel Baden-Powell in the small hours of the morning. But the Boers, whose spies, were  for ever busy, were forewarned and had evacuated their position. From the advanced trench in the river-bed some successful sniping at the foe on the brickfields was carried on.

During the night the Colonel ordered Captain  Fitzclarence, with D squadron and a Hotchkiss gun, to relieve Lord C. Bentinck and to support the "snipers " in the river-bed. D squadron took up a position in the river-bed under Captain Fitzclarence and Lieutenant  Bridges 1400 yards from "Big Ben". The Cape Police and a maxim at the extreme south-east corner, and Captain Marsh with a detachment of the Cape Police in the native stadt at 2000 yards range, co-operated. It now  became impossible for the Boer artillerists to hold the emplacement of their 100-lb. gun. Heavy three cornered volleying from the British positions swept the parapet of 'Big Ben " every time its detachment attempted to  turn the gun upon the town. The remarkable accuracy of our fire kept the Boer gunners at bay, and after discharging two shells they withdrew the weap on below its platform. The enemy made some futile efforts to renew the  shelling, but at last desisted. But on the morrow the customary salute of big guns was resumed. Meanwhile the Colonel employed himself with various jokes of a very practical nature, which served to keep the wits and energies of  the Boers in a perpetual state of polish.

News from Colonel Plumer arid his force was scarce, but all were aware that their days and nights were spent in hard work, discomfort and in perpetual and gallant efforts to come to  of tile besieged town. It must be remembered that the Regiment originally had for its object the protection of border of the Transvaal and a portion of the western

Mareking made, as it were, the outer gate, and this gate it  necessary to defend in order to preserve the communications with the north arid with Buluwayo. No sooner, therefore, was it locked by a state of siege. than the entire responsibility of keeping the Boers at bay in the northern  fringe of the Transvaal devolved on Colonel Plumer, who, on arrival at Tuli, set to work to guard the Drifts and keep an eye on all quarters along the Crocodile where the Boers might try to effect a crossing. At Rhodes Drift,  twenty six¥?miles south of the Tuli, he posted Major Pilsen with

250 mounted infantry, while Captain Maclaren, with fifty men of Regiment and twenty of the Rhodesia Regiment and twenty of the Bechuanaland Border Police, was  sent to garrison Macloutsie, some thirty miles north o the Limpopo, where it was said the Boers hoped to put in an appearance. Major Pilsen, as we know, was forced to retire on Tuli, after which the position vacated by him was  occupied by Colonel Spreckley (Southern Rhodesia Volunteers), who in his turn was obliged to make a night march back to Tuli, with the loss o all his horses. Soon after this, strong Boer patrols approached daily towards Tuli,  and the garrison had an anxious and energetic time. Minor skirmishes took place with certain success, but leaving behind them their melancholy roll of killed and wounded. Soon, however, a British victory south, and Colonel  Plumer's exertions round about, combined to alter the Boer plans, and at length their retirement in the direction of Mafeking was reported. Whereupon this enterprising officer prepared to enter the Transvaal, whither he was  driven by the enemy, but by drought. On the 1st of December he started from Tuli with a force of mounted men, and, after hair-breadth escapes, in four or five days reached a place some fifty miles north of Petersburg, the chief  town in the north of the South African Republic. He also proceeded down the railway line towards Mafeking, but was continually harassed by the enemy, and continually obliged to retrace his steps owing to lack of water and other  insuperable difficulties. Here we must leave him for a time.

The Boers, learning that necessity is the mother of invention, and finding they could not get into Mafeking, were obliged to communicate with the Baden-Powell  "braves" in an original manner. They fired into the town a five-pounder shell, which failed to explode. It was examined, opened, and discovered to contain the following jocose epistle :-" Dear Powell,-Excuse an  iron messenger. There is no other means of communicating. Please tell Mrs.-Mother and family all well. Don't drink all the whisky. Leave some for us when we get in." This was a little piece of innocent diversion compared  to other experiences. On the following day a shell from a Boer 100-pounder struck a store, sending its splinters far and wide, and carrying devastation in its wake. Daily some tragic episode was the result of a well-directed  shot, some white or black inhabitant was left a mangled, hopeless wreck-a pathetic fortuitous atom blown to the winds by the blast of war. In addition to the intermittent uproar of the heavy guns, heaven's thunders at times  broke out, with copious showers of rain, and one of these, on the 5th, was so violent that it Hooded out the trenches, and made all bombproof shelters untenable. Trouble and discomfort were as far as possible relieved with  great energy by Lord Edward Cecil and others, but the effects of the inundation were not easily removed. Brisk engagements between the sharpshooters on either side now formed part of a morning and evening programme, and the  Protectorate Regiment, under Lord Charles Bentinck, did such good service that the enemy grew shy of approach, and concluded that the process of starving out the garrison would be more comfortable than shelling so vigorous and  retaliative a community.

On the 10th of December the Dutchman Viljoen, who was a prisoner, was exchanged for Lady Sarah Wilson. The story of this enterprising lady is one of remarkable interest. In the beginning of the siege  she left Mafeking and rode to Setlagoli Hotel, where she arrived on the same night. No sooner was she asleep than the rattle and roar of musketry commenced. This was afterwards discovered to be the gallant fight of Lieutenant  Nesbitt on the armoured train, which has been described in the opening story of the siege. Poor Nesbitt, it may be remembered, was taken prisoner Lady Sarah, a day or two after the fight, rode to the scene of the engagement and  photographed the wreck. Later on, this intrepid lady moved from Mosuti to the care of a colonial farmer, and with great difficulty and much expenditure of energy and coin, she managed to induce the natives to provide her with  information. All this time she and her friends were subject to the insults of the Boers. At one period she was declared to be the sole survivor of Mafeking, in hiding in the disguise of a woman. At another, she was believed to  be the wife or one of the British generals. Others declared that the extraordinary lady was a member of the Royal Family, who was acting as spy on the doings of the Boers in the Colony. After moving to Vryburg, life for her  became more exciting still. A young Boer passed her off as his sister, and some loyalists in the town gave her shelter, arid helped her to obtain official despatches and news. But her state was far from comfortable, for most of  her excursions had to be made under the shadow of night, and her days were spent enclosed in a room at the hotel. When Lady Sarah desired to leave the town, her exit was not so easy. The magistrates had issued orders that no  one was to leave, and but for the kindness of her "brother Boer," she might not have been able to depart. Their Journey was commenced at four in the morning, while it was still dark, and before leaving the town they  had to submit to a search of their car lest it should contain any contraband of war.

At last, however, it was discovered that Lady Sarah Wilson's energy was connected with despatch-running, and her liberty was threatened. One  day while riding to Mafeking with her maid she was captured by the Boers. On reaching Snyman's camp, the general refused to allow her to proceed to her destination or to return to Setlagoli. She was then detained as a prisoner  of war,

pending negotiations with Colonel Baden-Powell regarding the terms o her release. The Colonel offered to exchange for Lady Sarah a

Boer Lady prisoner, but the enemy refused to part with their prize till Viljoen, who  was incarcerated in Mafeking, was first given up. Colonel Baden-Powell then represented that he, as a natural consequence and without terms of exchange, had at once transferredwoman and children prisoners to the care of their  people; but the Boer general was not to be prevailed upon by argument. Eventually Viljoen was given up and Lady Sarah returned safe and well to Mafeking. The transaction, though somewhat unpleasant, was on the whole decidedly  complimentary to Lady Sarah in particular, and to the British feminine sex in general. It fully proved that an English woman might in future view herself as the equivalent of a Boer officer.

The artillery fire of the enemy was now beginning to prove

More efficient than formerly. In spite of this, however, Colonel Baden Powell, in the kindness of his heart, issued a warning to the Burghers advising them to make  terms and go home. This very characteristic epistle is here reproduced, as it shows the amazing blend of serpent and dove in the spirit of the man who was at that moment facing the choice of death or surrender.

To the Burghers under arms round Mafeking

"Burghers,-I address you in this manner because I have only recently learned how you have been intentionally kept in the dark by your officers, the Government, and the newspapers  as to what is happening in other parts of South Africa. As the officer commanding Her Majesty's troops on this border, I think it right to point out clearly the inevitable result of your remaining longer under arms against  Great Britain. You are aware that the present war was caused by the invasion of British territory by your forces without justifiable reasons. Your leaders do not tell you that so far your forces have only met the advanced guard  of the British forces. The circumstances have changed within the last week. The main body of the British are now daily arriving by thousands from England, Canada, India, and Australia, and are about to advance through the  country. In a short time the Republic will be in the hands of the English, and no sacrifice of life on your part can stop it. The question now that you have to put to yourselves before it is too late is -Is it worth while  l6sing your lives in a vain attempt to stop the invasion or take a town beyond your borders7 which, if taken, will be of no use to you?

"I may tell you that Mafeking cannot he taken by sitting down and looking at it, for  we have ample supplies for several months. The Staats artillery has done very little damage, and we are now protected both by troops and mines. Your presence here and elsewhere under arms cannot stop the British advancing  through your country. Your leaders and newspapers are also trying to make you believe that some foreign combination or Power is likely to intervene in your behalf against England. It is not in keeping with their pretence that  your side is going to be victorious, nor in accordance with facts. The Republics having declared war and taken the offensive, cannot claim intervention on their behalf. The German Emperor is at present in England, and fully  sympathises with us. The American Government has warned others of its intention to side with England should any Power intervene. France has large interests in the goldfields, identical with those of England. Italy is entirely  in accord with us. Russia has no cause to interfere. The war is of one Government against another, and not of a people against another people. The duty assigned to my troops is to sit still here until the proper time arrives,  and then to fight and kill until you give in. You, on the other hand, have other interests to think of, your families, farms, and their safety. Your leaders have caused the destruction of farms, and have fired on women and  children. Our men are becoming hard to restrain in consequence. They have also caused the invasion of Kaffir territory, looting their cattle, and have thus induced them to rise and invade your country and kill your Burghers. As  one white man to another, I warned General Cronje on November 14 that this would occur. Yesterday I heard that more Kaffirs were rising. I have warned General Snyman accordingly. Great bloodshed and destruction of farms  threaten you on all sides.

"I wish to offer you a chance of avoiding it. My advice to you is to return to your homes without delay and remain peaceful till the war is over. Those who do this before the 13th will, as far  as possible, be protected, as regards yourselves, your families, and property, from confiscation, looting, and other penalties, to which those remaining under arms will be subjected when the invasion takes place. Secret agents  will communicate to me the names of those who do. Those who do not avail themselves of the terms now offered may be sure that their property will be confiscated when the troops arrive. Each man must be prepared to hand over a  rifle and 150 rounds of ammunition. The above terms do not apply to officers and members of the 5taats artillery, who may surrender as prisoners of war at any time, nor to re>els on British territory.

"It is probable that my force will shortly take the offensive. To those

who after this warning defer their submission till too late, I can offer no

I promise. They will have only themselves to blame for injury td and loss of

property they and their families may afterwards suffer"-(Signed) R. S. S. BADEN-POWELL, Colonel, Mafeking, December 10."

If this warning  did nothing else, it certainly had the effect of touching General Snyman in a soft spot, for he at once wrote to his l3urghers in fiery language, expressing his disapproval that such a communication should have been addressed  direct to them. The

idea that "sitting and looking at a place is not the way to take it"seems to have gone home to him, for he promptly challenged the besieged to come out and drive him away.

On the same day as  his address to the Burghers the Colonel wrote home to a relative in England, and sent the missive folded in a quill, which was in its turn rammed into the pipe of a Kaffir

"MAFEKING, Dec.12, 1899.

"All going well  with me. To-day I have been trying to find any old Carthusians in the place to have a Carthusian dinner together, as it is Founder's Day; but so far, for a wonder, I believe I am the only one among the odd thousand people here.

"This is our sixtieth day of the siege and I do believe we re beginning to get a little tired of it ; but I suppose, like other things, it will come to an end some day. I have got such an interesting collection of  mementoes of it to bring home. I wonder if Baden 1is in the country? What fun if he should come up to relieve me!

"I don't know if this letter will get through the Boer outposts, but if it does, I hope it will find you  very well and flourishing.