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SITUATION AT LADISMITH.

CAN nOLD OUT INDEFINITELY.

THE KIMBERLEY GARRISON.

PROVISIONED FOR SIX MONTHS.

DISLOYALTY INCREASING.

THE PRETORIA RESERVE.

REPORTED FORMIDABLE FORCE. FRICTION IN THE BOER ARMY.

EUROPE AND THE WAR.

THE PEACE OF THE CON-

TINENT

DEPENDENT ON GREAT

BRITAIN.

LONDON, December 26.

The Times correspondent at Vienna declares that the nervousness dis- played by European diplomatists as to the result of British reverses in South África is significant.

It implies, he says, a reluctant ad- mission that a strong Great Britain has alone inspired the Continental Powers -with a robust faith in the maintenance of peace.

THE ARMY IN NATAL

AT THE TUGELA.

POSITION COMMANDED BY

NAVAL GUNS.

LONDON, December 26.

According to several of the war correspondents with General Bailer's army in Natal, the British naval guns now command the whole of the posi- tions at the Tugela, thus rendering it impossible for the Boers to appear in the open.

REINFORCEMENTS FOR

GENERAL BULLER.

LONDON, December 26.

Tha 63rd Battery of Field Artillery has left Cape Town for Durban.

THE BATTLE OF THE

TUGELA.

GENERAL BULLER NARROWLY

ESCAPES.

LONDON, December 27.

At the tattle of the Tugela on the

15th inst. General Sir Redvers Buller, who was repeatedly under a heavy fire, had his ribs grazed by a

Boer bullet.

General Clery, whose horse was shot under him, also had a narrow escape, one of the enemy's bullets having grazed his arm.

BOERS REINFORCED.

1,000 CAPE DUTCH.

LONDON, December 27.

One thousand Cape Dutch have reinforced the Boer army at Tugela

River.

GENERAL JOUBERT.

RETURNED TO THE FRONT.

PRESENCE OF SPIES SUS-

PECTED.

LONDON, December 27.

General Joubert has returned to the front. It ia stated that the Com-

mandant-General's movements are prompted by President Kruger, who is suspicious of the presence of spies

inside the Boer lines.

LADISMITH.

CAN HOLD OUT INDEFINITELY

LONDON, December 27.

A heliographio message receive«? from Ladismith states that the garrison can hold out indefinitely.

THE RECENT SORTIE. BRITISH CASUALTIES.

LONDON, December 27.

The British casualties resulting from the sortio from. Ladismith on the 22nd inst., included nine killed and fifteen wounded,

THE AFFAIR AT NICHOL

SEN'S NEK.

LONDON, December 27.

It -will be remembered that the surrender of the captured battalion

at Nicholsen's Nek in October last ?was said to have been due to someone

having, -without authority, hoisted the -white flag.

According to the Ladismith corre- spondent of the London Daily News the responsible officer was Captain Adye.

Captain Adye -was a member of Sir George White's staff, and accompanied Colonel Carleton, -who "was command- ing the Gloucestcrshires and Royal Irish Fusiliers, on the occasion, of their captnre.

KIMBERLEY.

PROVISIONED FOR SIX

MONTHS.

LONDON, December 27,

The beleaguered garrison at Kim- berley is reported to bo provisioned

for six months.

BOER FRICTION.

THREATENED DEFECTION OF

FREE STATERS.

LONDON, December 26.

Much friction is stated to exist between the Free Staters and Trans vaalers at Modder River.

The Transvaal officers, fearing the defection of their allies, threaten to shoot them on the first sign of weak-

ness.

The Free Staters, on their part, declare that they prefer the domina-

tion of Great Britain to that of the Transvaal.

CRONJE AND METHUEN.

HOLD NO COMMUNICATIONS.

THE BRITISH RIGHT

HARASSED.

LONDON, December 27.

General Cronje, the Boer General at Modder River, has formally noti- fied that he declines to hold any com- munication with Lord Methuen until after the war.

A disappearing gun manipulated by the enemy is said to be harassing Lord Methuen's right.

TEE INVASION OF CAPE

COLONY.

GENERAL FRENCH REIN

FORCED.

LONDON, December 26.

General French's column, which is operating in the neighbourhood of Naauwport in the North of Cape Colony, has been reinforced by a squadron of the 10th Hussars.

THE NEW ZÈALANDERS IN

ACTION.

"A TIGHT CORNER."

LONDON, December 26.

The New Zealand mounted men

found themselves in a tight corner at

Arnndel on the 18th inst. After

completing their reconnaisance, they returned amid a bail of bullets, directed against them by the enemy at short range.

There were many narrow escapes, and several of the soldiers had their uniforms perforated.

TROOPER BRADFORD.

EXPECTED TO RECOVER.

LONDON, December 27.

Trooper G. Bradford, of New Zealand, who was recently wounded in a skirmish near Arundel, is expected

to recover.

BOERS RETREAT FROM

DORDRECHT.

LONDON, December 27.

The Cape -Mounted Police have oc- cupied Dordrecht, which was lately in the possession of the Boers. The

latter have retreated northwards.

Dordrecht is situate due east of Sterkstroom, and is on the loop-line of railway which runs from Sterk-

stroom to the Indwe coalfields.

DISLOYALTY IN CAPE

COLONY.

THREE LEGISLATORS IMPLI-"

CATED.

LONDON, December 27.

Three members of the Legislative Assembly of Cape Colony are said to be implicated in serious charges of

sedition.

WIDESPREAD DISAFECTION.

LONDON, December 27.

The Times correspondent at Sterks- troom states that fear, not loyalty, prevents a general rising of the Dutch farmers in the north of Cape Colony.

The same correspondent declares that the members of the Africander Bond are unanimously disloyal.

He adds that at the battle of

Stormberg, where General Gatacre sustained his reTerse, 1,850 dis- loyalists fought with the Boers.

PINK EYE.

APPEARS IN CAPE COLONY.

LONDON, December 27.

The disease known as " pink eye," bas made its appearance among the horses at the Boer camp at Mod-

der River.

It has also appeared among the

British horses at De Aar and Sterk- stroom.

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

BOER INSTRUMENTS

CONFISCATED.

LONDON, December 27.

The instruments for establishing wireless telegraphy on the Marconi system, whijh were consigned to the Transvaal Government, and confiscated by the British authorities at Cape- town, have been tried in the field.

The experiments were tried between De Aar and the Orango River, with the result that perfect communication was set up between these two terminal points.

COLONIAL LOYALTY.

TESTIMONY BY A WAR COR-

RESPONDENT.

LONDON, December 27.

The Times's war correspondent at Modder River states that it is difficult to over-estimate the effect of Aus-

tralian and Canadian loyalty upon

the Soath African colonists.

The colonial detachments at the

front are, he says, extremely popular. The New South Wales troops have already proved their courage and discipline. As for their enthusiasm, it is, he declares, encouraging to all fighters, and shames many waverers into loyalty.

The Times's correspondent con-

cludes with the statement that the

conduct of the colonial contingents.im poses a heavy debt of gratitude on

the motherland.

A NAVAL INCIDENT.

CAPTURE IN DELAGOA BAY.

LONDON, December 27.

The British 2nd class cruiser Forte

has, it is reported, captured in Dela- goa Bay, a cargo of stretchers and railway sleepers.

INFERIORITY OF BRITISH

ARTILLERY.

CRITICISMS BY THE NEWS-

PAPERS.

LONDON, December 26.

The British newspapers bitterly complain that our artillery is anti- quated as compared with the Boers' guns, which are the newest pattern.

MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL.

HOW ESCAPE WAS EFFECTED.

LONDON, December 26.

The Boers allege that Mr. Winston Churchill escaped from Pretoria by adopting the disguise of a woman.

THE TRANSPORTS.

LONDON, December 27.

The steamers Umbría, 8,128 tons, Cymric, 12,522 tons, Norseman, 4,450 Lake Erie, 4,040 tons, and American, 8,196 tons, have been chartered by the Imperial Government for transport

purposes.

THE 16TH LANCERS.

LONDON, December 27.

Lord Roberts, it is stated, obtained a promise from the War Office, before leaving England, that the 16th Lancers (the Queen's) would be sent to the

front.

THE PRETORIA RESERVE. 8,000 OFFICERS AND MEN.

LONDON, December 27.

Members of the Africander Bond in

Capetown report that a strong force is being held in reserve at Pretoria.

This force they declare is composed of 8,000 European officers and men

skilled in tactics and in the use of artillery.

THE IMPERIAL YEOMANRY.

20,000 VOLUNTEERS.

LONDON, December 27.

Twenty thousand men have already volunteered for service in the Imperial Yeomanry, which is being raised for

service in South Africa.

THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN

CONTINGENT.

STRENGTH INCREASED TO 85.

GOOD MARKSMANSHIP NECESSARY.

The first step towards forming the camp for the second contingent at Karra- katta was made yesterday morning. Some .47 of those enroÍM paraded, and the camp soon bogan to assume definite shapo. The Chief Staff Officer, Major Campbell, ad- dressed the men, and told them at first they would have to make up their minds to rough it, because everything could not be done at once. He counselled them all to put down any spirit of grumbling, and not to encourage the character well-known among military men as the " barrack-room lawyer." If they had any complaints to make he asked them to speak to "tkeir sergeant and learn at once what were their rights, but not to tolerate grumbling or fault find-

er. He reminded them that a soldier's first duty was to obey, and he asked them to form themselves into groups oí four, because they would be quartered in that way, and it was best to have four comrades together who understood each other and could agree amongst themselves. They would be together both in the ranko and in camp, and it wa3 necessary that each group should contain men who ware on the best terms of friendship and comradeship.

In the evening moro men were enrolled, so as to bring the number up to 85, and Major Campbell telegraphed to the Premier informing him that the strength of the contingent had been augmented by 25 men, and wonld consist of 85 of all ranks, with 100 horses, which would include pro- vision for remounts and transport. Among those who were accepted last night were Mr. Frank Wallace, M.L.A., and a former lieutenant in the navy. A splendid set of men have been got together, Dut so far those who have been accepted have been tested only as regards their physical fitness, their horsemanship and marksman- ship being taken according to their own representations. In these respects, bow ever, they will be put through their facings, and Major Campbell expresses the opinion that many of those enrolled will fail in the shooting. The standard of aver- aging an " outer " each shot, which was sufficient to pass tho New South Wales contingeut, will not satisfy Major Cimp bell, who state's that he will íequire some- thing very much better than tnat. Good markmanship, he avers, is, in fact, more necessary than good horsemanship, and as long as a man whose shooting is «good can sit a horse, he will be retained. Major Campbell points out that though the men accepted are enrolled and take the oath of allegiance, yet the authorities may under the Act which governs the forces dischargo any man within three months of enrol- ment, if for any reason it is considered im- probable that such person wonld make an effective soldier. In selecting the men, thoso exceeding 5ft. 9in. in height have, as far as possible, been excluded, and although there wero some who exceeded that height, it was considered possible to reduce their weight somewhat in camp, so that they

would do. -

The selection and purchase of the horses have been left entirely in the hands of Chief Inspector Craig, though Master Gunner Manley, an old Artillery Sergeant Major, will accompany him to offer any suggestions which may be necessary from a military point of view. It is understood that a draft of 50 horses is coming up from Bunbury in charge of Lieut. McMaster, and that they are a fine stamp of animal.

Orders for the transports have already been given, but they will not be of a very elaborate character, consisting only of a spring waggon and a light spring cart, the latter being specially built upon lines approved by the military authorities.

A fourth lieutenant was appointed yes- terday, the selection being in the favour of Mr. J. di Castilla, of the Perth Artillery, No. 1 field battery.

THE BAND OF NÜBSES.

Owing to the Town Hall being engaged, the public meeting which was to have been held there to-night, to arrange for the col- lection of funds to defray the expenses of sending a band of 10-trained nurses to the lVansvaal to attend Australian and irregu- lar troops, has been postponed until to- morrow night. The meeting will be hold in the council-chamber, and those who in- tend to offer subscriptions are invited' to attend.

"THE ABSENT-MINDED BEGGAR." «WEST AUSTRALIAN" SHILLING

FUND.

Towards the WEST AUSTBALIAN Shilling Fund in aid of the widows and orphans of imperial and colonial soldiers killed in Sonth Africa, we have received the follow- ing:-Previously acknowledged, £Q 9s.

"Friends," 7s.; James H. Lissiman, 47s.,» collected in shillings lrom the following : A. E. -King, F. Andrews, F. W. Tollev, D. H. Lovedrige, R. T. S. Hughes, T." W. Vincent, L. E. Robinson, A. W. Manning, A. L. Parker, T. A. Harwood, A. E. Boyes, ' R. H. Kydd, P. Smith, J. C. Angel, H. D.

Legge, C. Piesse, W. T. Clifford, T. H. Webb, T. DrinU, G. H. Faulkner, G. WhirsUnd, N. P. Rhodes, C. E. Hillier, L. Stockwell, L. Wilkie, W. K. Thomas, D. W. Weidenhofier, H. D. Stephenson, J. Walsh, F. Brown, A. C. T. Fry, H. Wilson, R. Edwards, A. W. Manning, M. M. Toll, A. E. Thnrston, M. C. Cooling, W. T. Murphy, - Jeffries, H. Freedman, A. Good, V. C. Lissiman, N. C. Lissiman, L. C. Lissiman, J. H. Lissiman, A. Freedman, S. Nyman. Total to date, .£9 3s. Od.

THE STEAMER SURREY TO CALL

AT FREMANTLE.

As a result of the communications which have been passing between Sir John Forrest and the Premier of New South AVales (Mr. W. J. Lyne) it has been arranged that the steamer Surrey, whioh has been chartered to convey the Western Australian mounted troops to Sonth Africa, shall call at Fre- mantle instead of at Albany, as at first proposed. Many of the troops from the eastern colonies will also ship by the Surroy. The vessel is due to arrive at Fremantle abont the 26th January, and it is felt that the shipment of the horses will he effected much more expeditiously at that port than could possibly be the case at Albany.

SOUTH AFRICAN NURSES' FUND. GERALDTON CONCERT IN AID.

GERALDTON, December 27.

A concert in aid of the fund for des-

patching nurses to South Africa ia being organised by Miss Sydney Gibbons. It will take place on New Year's Night in the Masonic Hall, winch has been kindly lent for the occasion, and the programme will include the names of Mrs. ïiouch, Mrs. R. Robson, Mr3. E. Pope, jua., the Misses Brown, Miss Sydney Gibbons, Messrs. R. W. Grenville, C. A. Garrett, A. H. Morris,

and others.

BOULDER CLERGYMAN VOLUN-

TEERS.

KALGOORLIE, December 27.

The Rev. Stanley Reid, Presbyterian minister at the Boulder, left this after- noon by the express to join the West Aus- tralian contingent for the Transvaal. Last night he was accorded a hearty send-off by friends and church communicants. As the

train moved away he was accorded ringing cheers. Mr. Reid, who was in the first flight of Melbourne athletes, has joined the contingent as a private.

GOLDFIELDS VOLUNTEERS.

KALOOOBLIE, Decenibor 2G.

About a dozen local residents have loft for Perth in ordor to enliet for service in South Africa. Among.tho number are two members of the Caledonian Society who have already seen service as soldiers in the

Black Watch. There is great exoitement locally in connection with the war, and every movement of the British forces is watched with patient interest. It has been seriously proposed to raise a company locally to be composed of prospectors and bushmen to act as scouts for tho British army. If the idea wero taken up officially it would be vigorously pushed on here.

MENZIES VOLUNTEERS.

PROPOSED CORPS OF BOUGH

EIDERS.

MEKZIES, December 27.

The people in this district display much patriotic enthusiasm in --connection with tho Transvaal war, and a number of resi- dents propose to volunteer for service, in- cluding Councillor Powell, whose brother is now leaving England for sorvice. In- spector Ord ha3 made a suggestion to send a body of rough ridera, and this has been freely responded to. Seven riders, young men, of Menzies having volunteered, in- cluding Mr. Strickland, of tho Warden's Office, while offers of service are coming in

from Mulline and the northern fields. AH

ara vigorous young mon and used to roughing it in the country.

THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL

BRIGADE.

MESSAGE FROM MB. CHAMBER

LAIN.

INSTRUCTIONS AS TO TRANSPORT

EQUIPMENT.

ilELBOüENE, December 27.

The Premier has received through the Government of New South Wales the following cablegram from the Secretary of State for tho colonies :-" Hor Majesty's Government cordially recognise the prompt and energetic action of the Governments of Australia in sending additional troops to South Africa, and the great moral and material value of the assistance they offered,"'

A cable message has been received by the Premier, through the Governor of New South Wales, from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, which says : Field batterios should < be complete iu every respect, with horses, and thero should be 750 rounds of am- munition per gnu, if possible,' and full transport equipment. The Mounted Infantry should bu organised in units of 125 non-commissioned officers and men, with one captain, four subalterns, and a good proportion of farriers, shoeiug smiths and ead-dlers. The men should, if possible, bring 500 ronnds of marti 2*303 ammuni- tion. The personal regimental equipollent is saddlery, btabling and picketing gear, nose bags, grooms' Lits, horseshoes, for three months, farriero' tools, and regi- mental and other transport necessities. He asked tho Premier to telegraph as soon as possible tho date of the departure of the contingent aud tho probable date of their arrival in South Africa, together with full details ot Ilia,strength, arms, quantity of ammuuition, constitution of forces, and any unavoidable deficiency of equipment ; also to send tho nominal rolls at the earliest opportunity.

VICTORIAN CONTINGENT.

QUESTION OF INSURANCE.

MELBOTJBNE, December 26.

Tho Premier (Mr. McLean) states that the question of insuring the lives of the Victorian contingent will bo dealt with at the next meeting of the Cabinet. Au opinion is held that in view of the heavy war premiums charged by the insurance offices it would be better for Parliament to undertake to deal with each casa on its merits.

PATRIOTIC VICTORIA.

MELBOUBNE, December 27.

The tide of patriotic fervour now flow- ing in Victoria is exceedingly strong, judging from the long lists of the names

of volunteers receive i for service in South

Africa. The men will go into camp on Tuesday next. The names of the surplus voluuteers are being kept, in view of the possible despatch of a third contingent. (

THE NEW SOUTH WALES

CONTINGENT.

POSSIBILITY OF MORE MEN BEDS G

REQUIRED.

TRAINING IN MARKSMANSHIP.

SYDNEY, December 26.

The Government bave decided to allow those volunteers who failed in musketry to remain in camp at Randwick for another month for the purpose of enabling them to qualify as marksmen. They will thus ba available in the event of a third contingent being required. They will be paid at the rate of 2s. 3d. per day with rations.

NEW SOUTH WALES ROUGH

RIDERS.

PROPOSAL TO RAISE A TROOP OF

soo.

REPORTED DONATION OF £8,000.

STDNET, December 27.

The acceptance of a squadron of rough vi./ers from Canada by the British authori- ties has brought the proposal/to send a troop of bushmen riders and shots into prominence again. There is some talk of privately equipping a troop of 500 men. Two gentlemen, well known iu business circles, have between them informally promised a donation of ¿£8,000 towards the expense of equipping, arming and mount- ing the men. Mr. Lyne looks on the pro- posal with approval, and has signified his intention of materially helping the move-

ment.

MAJOR-GENERAL FRENCH TO GO

TO SOUTH AFRICA.

SYDNEY, December 27.

The Government have decided to allow Major-General French to proceed to South Africa, in what capacity it has not yet been decided. A beginning will bo made to-morrow to place the guns and impedi- menta on board the steamer Warrigal.

About 1,200 men will be under canvas at Randwick by the end of the week.

THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN

CONTINGENT.

MEN MARCH INTO CAMP.

ADELAIDE, December 27.

Of tha number of volunteers who pre- sented themselves for inspection to-day, 55 passed the medical examination, most of whom were members of the different squads of mounted rifles. Most of the chosen men wero then marched into camp at the old Exhibition-grounds, where the first guard was mounted at 6 o'clock this evening.

THE QUEENSLAND CONTINGENT.

MR. MoEACHARN-S HORSES

UNSUITABLE.

AN M.L.C. DONATES ¿1,000.

BEISBANE, December 27.

Everything is proceeding satisfactorily in connection with the work of equipping the second contingent, and the medical examination of the men will be begun to- morrow. Of the horses offered by Mr. McEaoharn 200 were inspected and found quite unsuitable for the use of the troops. Tho generous offer will therefore be de-

clined.

The Premier has received a telegram from Mr. John Ferguson, M.L.C., announc- ing that he had posted a chequo for .£1,000 as a donation to the patriotic fund.

NEW ZEALAND CONTINGENT.

PROPOSED TROOP OF YEOMANRY.

AUCKLAND, December 2B.

Mr. G. G. Stead, of Christchurch, has offered £500 towards raising a troop of yeomanry at Canterbury for service in South Africa. Colonel Ponton, Commander

of the Forces, has promised a donation of £S per month to the Patriotic Fund til?

the close of the war.

A THOUSAND VOLUNTEERS.

FUND FOR THE PURCHASE OF

HORSES.

AUCKLAND, December 27.

A thousand names have been sent in foi the contingent for South Africa. The Go- vernment are being urged to send more men, but they are apparently unwilliug to take this step. A fund ha3 boon started to purchase horses for presentation to the Imperial authorities on condition that the Government pay the freight to South

Africa.

CAREER OF COLONEL SCHIEL.

SOME PARTICULARS FROM HIS

OWN LIPS.

From time to time (says the "Cape Times") short accounts of this soldier of fortune have appeared, but, so far, no details as given by Colonel Schiel

himself.

On his return from Europe in 1893 on a mission which seemed to be kept a close secret-he sailed per B.M.S. Roslin Castle, timed to arrive at the Cape on January 17, 1894. During this voyage_ Schiel was exceedingly

communicative to those who could speak German, and in view of subse- quent events, the particulars given by himself may not be uninteresting.

To begin with (says a Natal journal) he confessed himself, oven from hoy hood, mauvais sujet. For hy various breaches of discipline, and determina- tion not to study, he was expelled from every school to which he was sent in Rhenish Prussia. He managed, how- ever, to_ secure some sort of officer's commission in the German army, hut

for some reason or other his career was cut short, and he then arrived in South Africa to seek his fortune. Mak- ing his way to Zululand, he created himself a sort of "Inkos," settled down, and married the daughter of a German missionary. At the outbreak of the Zulu War, however, his goods were sto- len, his place looted, and his homestead burnt. Thereupon, he fought with the English in their punitive war of

1879.

Mystery seems to enshroud events about this time, for the Colonel, in making his recital, soon changed his tone as to the British Government. No doubt this has something to do with the £500 offered years ago, and never known yet to he withdrawn. Be this as it may, Schiel in 1881, at once took side with the Boers. His remark as to the abrupt termi- nation of the war after Majuba, throws another light altogether on the Boer asseveration that they, ought to be independent, and also on their denial that they ever consented

to he annexed. His words were: - "You could have knocked me down with a feather when I heard the war was at an end. We simply couldn't believe that Gladstone had given up the country to us." If wrongly an- nexed, why were they surprised P

Asked as to whether he ever regret» ted going to the Transvaal, he said, "Never; I have adopted the country, have made my home there, and have now an estate of some 60,000 acres up in the Spelonken. My time in Ger- many has been spent partly iu choosing £1,200 worth of farming implements. I intend to have a fine place np there. In speaking of natives, Schiel declared he would like to root out the "Christian" native. To have ever been under the influence of a missionary, this wa» enough to make him increase the pun- ishment invariably. "For theft, 10 lashes to a raw Kaffir, but 25 lashes to a Christian Kaffir," he said, with a chuckle. He explained fully, too, the working of an automatic arrangement by which he punished on the spot aiiy

native tampering with his larder win- - dow. On hearing a noise, Schiel, by pulling a string in his bedroom, let off a gun charged with salt-and the na- tive's howling and yelling for mercy one could hear a long way off.

During the whole voyage Schiel was always, at some time of the day, in deep conclave with Elias Grobler, one of the rising Free Staters, who was re- turning from representing the Free State at the Chicago Exhibition. A man of ability, this young Grobler has. worked his way up to the post of vice chairman of the Raad' in Bloemfontein. It is quite evident that a complete in- oculation of this useful Free Stater was going on, and subsequent Raad debates now prove this.

The evening before landing the health of the two Presidents was drunk in bumpers of champagne. Under this genialising influence Schiel began to boast that _ an unexpected honour was accorded him in Germany, when, at * private audience, he received a decorar tion from the German Emperor. li»

answer to the natural "For what serr vice?" he, stopping the flow of informa- tion, then gave it: "Because of a Ger- man officer rising so high in the service of the Transvaal, he supposed.

When, walking about the Capetown streets, soldiers were met, Schiel said

more than once that ever since the Boer war of 1881 he always felt he wan- ted to have a pot at them again.

In private life Schiel is a hail-fellow well-met, and is generally considered generous and kindly

VLLJOEN IN CAPTIVITY.

The capture of Commandant Ben Viljoen will probably have a more im- portant bearing on the campaign than those unacquainted with this indiscreet hut unquestionable able leader, would be disposed to credit (says the "Natal Mercury"). His conduct during the Magato campaign brought, him promi-J nently before the war party in Pretoria,;' and with justice, for all who had oppor-. tunities of observing him there are agreed that he displayed conspicuous courage, and a judgment that result! proved to be sound. Ben lost no opporx tunity for pressing home the advamV age, and it was an open secret that ha would hold an important and leading position in the campaign now in^hand» By way of strengthening his chance,/ he laid himself out to do two things«] First, he came down to Natal to leam! all that was possible of the British' plan of campaign; secondly, he re- turned to the Transvaal, and paid a se-' ries of flying visits to the leading Fieldcornets and landsvaders in _ the RuBtenberg and Pretoria districts.) The result was that, although a young, man-he is only 32-he had the unusual I good^fortune of securing the confidence (_ of his seniors, including that of the'' President himself. When he left for. the front it was understood that he, would he second in command ' under Jouhert, and at the first Krygsraad held Ben Viljoen's voice was as loud and emphatic as any, and, what is more, it carried weight, except with General Jouhert, who had never been friendly disposed towards the pushing young Commandant. Ben is a man of resource, and, seeing that_ Joubert's influence was dead against him, he set the machinery in motion, and, in a couple of days, bad brought about something very like a mutiny. A week from the date of their departure, about a dozen leading members of the West Rand Commando returned to Krugersdorp, and sent a deputation to Pretoria to announce their re- fusal to serve under Field-pornet Fourie or Commandant Kock, and asking that the half-promise of the Government bo fulfilled, and Viljoen be made second in command. There is reason to believe that the Gov- ernment complied, for at tho next Krygsraad Ben Viljoen strongly op- posed the projected advance into Natal by way of Lang's Nek. His plan of campaign was to leave a small party at the Nek, while the main body hv rm the border awaiting an opportunity of cutting in between the British if they advanced, and isolating them. Tile rest of the War Council adopted bh view_, but Joubert hold out. The ex- tension of the Viljoen plan consisted in drawing the British out by a feijïiv 1 retreat and getting behind thom v. ir this was abo opposed by tie G"""i"l, who was in favour of sillins: , it :T the Nek and at Van Me^v o s i*>

,The Boer who supplied this information declared that the War Councils were conducted with great acerbity, and he -prophesied that within a short time the burgher« would demand the superses- sion of General «taubert, who has lost the confidence of the Rustenburg, Waterburg, and Pretoria Commandoes.

GENERAL JOUBERT.

A PERSONAL SKETCH.

(BY ONE WHO KNOWS HIM.)

Piet Jbuhert and Paul Kruger have never been very good friends.

'1'hey ara both strong men, and although in public and in the councils of State they have always appeared to ba on tho best of j terms, it has been an open secret in Pre * toria for many years past that their per-

sonal relations wera not of the most cor- dial.

This may be accounted for in many ways. The t*7o man have little in com- mon, save strength of character and lovo of

their country.

Kruger admires Joubert's ability, shrewdness and education ; Jonbert envíos Kruger hi3 place, his power, and his

monoy.

Thp Kaffirs have a saying,' ''Indonga ziwelene," meaning "the walls have knocked together." This saying they apply when two important personages come into col- lision. It has often been used in connection with the two protagonists of the South African Republic.

Piet Joubert is nicknamed " Slim Piet," which he takes as a great compliment. Slim, in the common Dutch parlance, means something between smart and cunning, the American expression " cute " is the nearest equivalent. Joubert is an honest man ac- cording to his lights, but they are dim. He never has deliberately swindled anyone; but being a man of business first and a farmer or a generalissimo afterwards, he takes 'the keenest delight in getting the best of a deal, whether it be in mining shares, gold claims, water rights, or oxen. It is this pride in the conscious sentiment of " smartness " that is such a prominent feature throughout the Boer character.

One of Joubert's foibles is being photo- graphed. Probably he is the most came raett man ia the Transvaal. Owing to this harmless peculiarity, his features are thoroughly well known, and may be criti- cally examined as typical of the highest

class of Boer intellect.

<? A broad, straight furrowed brow, from whioh. the whitening hair is carefully brushed back, overhangs a pair of powerful, clear and honest grey eyes, whioh look the stranger straight in the face, and are not shifty and furtive as are those in the head of the average Boer. The mouth is cold and hard, with no trace of a smile ; the cornera, droop slightly, and the general expression is not amiable. The nose is the striking feature. It inspires respect, for it is built on strong, commanding lines, and broadens out at the base into powerful but sensitive nostrils. The face as a whole has dignity, repose, almost a certain nobility of

its own.

sAs his name implies, Joubert is of French extraction. In 1688 a large party of French settlers, fleeing from the disastrous results of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, were sent out from Holland for purposes of colonisation. Some of them were grantedJands and free farms in the neighbourhood of Stellenbosch and at Fransfihe Hook (Frenchman's Corner). In course of time tbey intermarried with Dutch colonists, and this admixture of good Huguenot blood with that of the sturdy Low Country burgher bas produced the present race of Boers, of whom Joubert is a specimen very far above the average.

MOSLEMS AND THE WAR.

The Cape Argus of 1st November gives --jin account of a remarkable meeting of

Imams of the Moslems held at the Mosque of Imam Rakeab, Capetown, on the 25th October, to consider what means could be devised to offer the services of the Moslems to the Imperial Government in the present crisis. Tho chairman, in opening the pro- ceedings, said :-According to his opinion, loyalty, in the present state of affairs, when the Empire was attacked, should ba shown in deeds and not in words only. They all knew that at the present time the Beers were invading the British dominions here all round, and they did not know what might occur at any time ; therefore it was for them to think of what England had dine for the Moslems in the past, from the very first time she stepped on these shores. Moslems before that time wera sold like cattle, and treated most inhumanely. They had no rights whatever as human beings. They were not allowed even to fulfil their religious duties, but had to hide in holes atad corners and in caves to worship their God. England freed them from this, gave them equal rights with all others, assisted them to worship the Almighty acttording to their consciences, and granted them the right to buy and hold land, and to build their churches. Now, if they thought of these things, should they not feel compelled to render assistance as far as in them lay to those who liber- ated their Moslem brethren and some of their Moslem forefathers? Therefore he called, upon them to show the means in which they could render that service. -Nothing, he was afraid, would be of much use on their part to defend the country of the flag under whioh they obtained their liberty, but they could at least offer their services to the bestof their ability to show their gratitude for the rights that were granted them by the British Govern- ment by rallying round the Union Jack, and defending that with all .their force and with their lives. He proposed that they individually, as leaders ' of congregations, should call together their flocks, communicate, and explain to them the object of the meeting, and call upon them to express their senti- ments, and also ask who among them are willing and ready to come forward to proffer their services if called upon.

Imam Famza, in seconding the resolu- tion, said he endorsed every word that the chairman had said with regard to what England had done for them, and, with the chairman, he felt that out of gratitude all the Moslems of the country should offer their services to their beloved Queen to defend her rights and country, and from his heart he seconded the resolution pro- posed. He might mention that in 1846, .when tiie Moslems responded to the call«of duty, some of them stayed here to protect the Barracks, Castle, Treasury, and maga- zine, and the others went te the front, even at that tims, when it was only a Kaffir rising, and they, as Moslems, responded so well for England. Should they not now, when the whole country is invaded by the Boers (who would moko slaves of all they could), rise np as a united body and offer their services to the Queen P

The resolution was then put to the meet- ing and unanimously carried.

ANGLO-FRENCH RELATIONS.

A WARNING FROM M. CLEMEN-

CEAU.

The Paris correspondent of the Times sends a translation of a remarkable article by M. Clemenceau ou the relation-) of France and England. We make some

extracts from the artiole :

"Because," says M. Clemenceau, "the English have lost 2,000 or 3,000 men at Ladysmith I see certain French journalists who are going mad. Other high-flying politicians take advantage of the ' ohance offered' to fall upon perfidious Albion. To assemble the French, Russian, and German armies in order to transport them through the air into- the very heart of Great Britain, tosgo to ' hold London to ransom,' as M. Paul da Cassagnac said, and to divide up the world to the detriment of the Anglo-Saxons who ore occupying it-this* is merely tho matter of a newspaper article. What miracles cannot one accom- plish with pen and ink !

. " But what is making headway beneath these madnesses is the criminal enterprise of arousing French Chauvinism against English Chauvinism and of preoipitating tho two peoples into a war. I say nothing of tho economic disaster which would re- sult for us from such an adventure, seeing that England is our principal buyer, whereas Russia persists in avoiding our

market. But when you fight you must, after all, fight for something. In_ the present casa, onr share of Africa is already much beyond our capaoitv for exploitation and I look to see, outside the smoke wreaths of military pride, what sort ol satisfaction the crashing of England wonld give Us. Would even our warlike vanity really obtain what it craves in laureü whioh it would be' necessary to share jvith the conquerors of Sedan, Metz, and Paris f As for supremacy on the Continent, there eau be no question of this, siiioe we our- selves surrendered it to Germany.

''What I wish at present to point ,out is that all England's enemies haVe from the outset rejoiced at the difficulties in which she has been involved by the imperialist

passion which is now ravaging all classes of the British population. England's enemies have' rejoiced, and as her in- sufficient military preparation gave at the start an advantage to the Boers, who are admirable soldiers, people fancy that a loss for the English of 2,000 men can m any way affect the result of the war. The English are as good soldiers as the Bqers, and they have the crushing advantage of numbers. Such is the undeniable fact.

' As for intervention, it is easy to accom- plish it in the newspapers. I believe it

will be much more difficult to translate it into fact. Where were our great friends of Russia at the time of Fashoda? Who will tell us of what use the alliance was to us at that difficult juncture P Ah ! we are big children, for ever duping ourselves with' words. One point remains from ail these extravagances-namely, that out our Nationalist Revanchards have reached the point of wishing to turn the revanche, not againBt those who have torn from us a strip of the Fatherland, but towards our

fortunate rival in colonisation. Strasä

burg or Cairo ? These are the people who venture to put the question. It appears that the bad patriots are they who stick to Strassburg.

"The truth is that we are at present foolishly paying the piper for the flirtation of England and Germany, who will one day be reconciled at our expense. Thirty years after our defeat by Germany the strolling actors of patriotism are im- ploring the hand of the conqueror. One is never vanquished save by the acceptance of defeat. When France shall have become resigned she will have deserved her abdica-

tion."

Writing in the Gaulois, Rear-Admiral Dupont says :

" The feelings of satisfaction with which the British reverses in the Transvaal have been received in Europe arise from the patting into execution of Mr. Chamber- lain's plans. Europe is alarmed, and we now see the awakening of the maritime nations, who to-day (8th ultimo) regret having done nothing to thwart Great Britain's ambitious schemes. .Great

Britain will no doubt triumph in the end.

Even if she loses the Transvaal and the Orange Free State she will seize Delagoa Bay from Portugal, and from that point wiUs threaten Madagascar.' The naval power of England has enfolded the whole world in the formidable network with meshes of iron. In *view of the situation the maritime Powers of Europe are increasing their naval strength. France must follow their example. Nothing but the united navies of Europe will 'be able one day to put an end to the abominable monopolising of the universe by one nation, and unless this is done we shall have to submit to many more infractions of

international law."

In an article in the Figaro, M. Etienne, former Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, says that after having summed up the causes of the conflict between Great Britain and the Transvaal, he cannot help asking

"II Europe is going to bow before the presumptuous pretensions of Great Britain and look on passively at the horrible duel now, proceeding ? If (he continues) France cannot and ought not to take the initiative in intervention of this bloody conflict, has she! not' interests to protect, rights to make respected? Why not enter into a diplomatic conversation with a neighbour- ing Power, whioh will be the more efficacious for being prompt? Has not Great Britain for twenty years past taken advantage of, abused the diffi- culties of, our position in Europe to snatch from us territories incontestably ours ? Has she not been most discourteous in her actions towards U3 P Would not the safety of Madagascar bo menaced by the British occupation of Delagoa Bay ? Have we not to make effective our influence in North West Africa and in Asia ?"

The Radical also demands that France shall intervene. It says :-" Every Power has the right to offer its mediation. France intervened between Spain and the United States, and it is still more urgent to inter-

vene between Great Britain and the Trans- vaal.'' It is not indispensable to wait until

the weaker has been crushed."

In an interview published in the Echo de Paris, M. le Myro de Vilers supports the view that France ought to intervene. He asserts that Count Muravieff, during his visit to Paris, advised M. Delcasso in that sense, but the French Foreign Minister re- fused to act upon the suggestion.

AS THE BOERS SEE IT.

Mr. Douglas Story, editor of the late Boer newspaper, the Standard and Diggers' Netos,, writing' in an English paper,

says :

" While the eyes of the nation are focussed upon the khaki-clad heroes on the rough veldt in and around Glencoe, there is another scene that Britons in their generosity need not shrink from regarding.

" Away up on the kopje summit, grim men-quaint figures of farmers in their Sunday best are peering through the mist at the bewildering manouvres of the dis- ciplined troops beneath.

" It is difficult for anyone who has not lived with the Boers to realise how abso- lute must be their astonishment at all they have seen and suffered these past few days.-death dealt by a hidden battery three mile3 distantr~men moving to the attack with the remorselessness of a machine, but with the intelligence of the shrewdest witkop amongst them, the avgful energy of the spiteful lances when the fight is done, and stricken men seek shelter. It is the revelation of the most modern developments of military science to a conventicle of Covenanters.

" But there are bravo men up there on the kopjes. Jan Koch was a brave man. L remember him as I last saw him, on Dingaan's Day, 1896, standing on the sacred'mound of Paardekraal-a command- ing figure with flowing beard and wide open hunter's eyes-and his words come

back to me.

" He was addressing the assembled bur- ghers on the great quinquennial celebra- tion of the Boers most glorious victory. I quote from my notes made at the time : " Compared with the great peoples of the earth our folk are a very small household. But we have the blood of our forefathers

in our veins,' and their religious faith in

our hearts. These sufficed fo crush the Zulus at Bloed River, and while we remain true to their principles we need have no fear. It is not for us to dwell too long on the glories of our past; it Í3 for us to do' our duty in the present. It is for you bur- ghers to do your duty to the State and to guard its peace." Other speakers made orations; Jan Koch spoke shortly, as a soldier and a patriot. But no man was cheered more loudly on his down-sitting.

"Old Jan's son was hilled at Elands Laagte. He was Advocate Koch when I knew him-a tall, strikingly handsome young man of 26, with coal black hair, and proud, piercing eyes. At the Bar he was considered a smart counsel, very fpnd of searching cross-examination, relentless of his treatment of adversé witnesses, and frequently in oonfliot with opposing coun-

sel.

Since then he has been Judge Koch-the youngest judge in South Africa-and has' presided at the trial of the policeman in the notorious Edgar case. It is a strange sequel to that weary business, this lying stiff' and stark, of the judge who tried the case, on the kopje top of Elands Laagte.

Three years ago, on October 24,1896,1 sat at supper in Johannesburg with Ben Viljoen, dressed in his silver-braided uni- form of the West Rand Vrywilligers. With us at table were Sarel Eloff, the President's grandson, and Piet Grobler, the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. It was a merry party, and the talk was all of the kindness Eloff dhd Grobler had sustained at tho hands of the

' roo!nk3 ' on the "occasion of the visit, a few ¡weeks before, to England to give .vidOBC» *t the trial of Dr. J-tmeson.

"They drank tlte Queen's health up- standing oat of. eomplimaut to vaa, land younç KloÄ laughingly, yet proudly, told bow the Prince of Wain had stopped him at a Colonial Iuatitute reception to ask after his grandfather's health. The dark field of Elands Laagte cist no prophetic shadow over that gay supper table in tbo Johannesburg Frascati, and neither Majuba nor Glencoe KM in the thoughts of any of

us.

"Commandant De Meillon, who was taken prisoner prior to the battle of Elands Laagte, was a candidate for the vacancy in the First Volksraad caused by the retirement of Carl Jeppe. He is a man with a stormy past, with many enemies and many friends, but a persona grata with the sporting community in Johannesburg.

"Colonel Schiel, wounded, is the typical soldier of fortune, a German adventurer, finding a sojourning place and an occupa- tion among the unscientific Boars of Pretoria.

" He earned the dislike of the Reformers by giving bis orders in German, to the escort that took 'them to goal after the

historic trial of 1896. Of the Pretorias captured I cannot write with certainty, as there are many of the name in the Re- public,' descendants of that grand old warrior Audriee Willem Jacobus. Pretorius.

" One and all they are brave men, and well worthy to meet the Gordons, the Royal Irish, and those others in that Valhalla where courage is the only badge and political distinctions cannot inter- rupt."_

A RICH PRIZE FOR THE BOERS. T

THE KIMBERLEY DIAMONDS.

Nobody knows -just bow mu&h value in the shape of diamonds is kept in store at Kimberley, but it is certainly gigantic. Quite possibly it is ¿20,000,000 worth. The company has offices iu Loudon, but its head- quarters are in the South African city, and there, in a building resembling a bank, the bulk of the gems is kept, stored away in vaults. If only a fraction of them were offered for sale at once the price of dia- monds would promptly tumble, but the great corporation, owning as it does de- posits which produce 93 per cent, of the world's entire yield of these precious stones, is able to control the market abso- lutely, and holds back a large part of its output, disposing of only a limited number of carats per annum.

The yield of the mines is about 5,500 carats every 24 hours, aud the diamonds obtained from the diggings are sent daily, under armed escort, to the company's headquarters, and there delivered to the appraisers in charge. First they are cleaned by boiling them iu a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids, and then they are carefully sorted in respect to size, colour, and purity.

lu one room are kept ou exhibition stone3 aggregating 60,000 carats, and the speotaclothey afford is most striking.

Only a dozen years ago the Kimberley mines were worked as more than 3,000 separate claims, each 31ft. square, and separated from one another by narrow roads for hauling the gem-bearing earth. In 1S93, however, Cecil Rhodes brought about a consolidation of all these pro- perties into a single corporation, which now practically monopolises the diamond production of the world, with a capital of

43,900,000.

As is usual in such cases, the discovery of diamonds in South Africa was purely accidental. > A stranger "trekking" through the country stopped overnight at the hous'e of a hospitable Dutch farmer, who showed him as curiosities some bright Íiebblea found by his children, which the atter used as playthings. The visitor suspeoted that they were diamonds, and, being au honest- mau, suggested the idea to his host, who, taking them to the nearest city, sold them for a sum sufficient

to make him rich for life.

Later on many valuable stones were

found in the gravels of the Vaal and Gong- j

Gong Rivers, but it was not until 1870 that prospectors came upon the real source of supply from which these accidental gems had been washed out by the streams. Even then only the yellowish sur- face earth was worked, and when the miners got down to the blue clay, which later proved to be the true matrix of tho stones, they imaginad that the de- posits wero exhausted. The Kimberley mines now yield 2,500,000 carats annually, representing a value of ¿5,000,000, of which two-fifths is clear profit. During the last quarter century they have added to the world's wealth ten tons of dia- monds, worth ¿60,000,000 uncut and ¿120,000,000 after cutting.

These mines employ 1,500 Europeans and about 66,000 Kaffirs. Necessarily, the utmost precautions have to be taken against theft, and yet, notwithstanding all preventive measures, the company reckon on a loss of 10 to 15 per cent, of its product in this way. The business of purchasing stolen gems occupies many enterprising persons, and the methods devised by tho I.D.B.'s, as the illicit diamond-buyers aro called, exhibit an ingenuity worthy of a more honourable calling

In 1894 the Jagerfontein diamond was discovered at one of the Kimberley mines. It weighed 971 carats, or nearly half a pound avoirdupois, and was three inches long, one and a half inohes thick, and two and one-half inches wide. A Kaffir picked it up, while he was loading a cart with blue clay, and, concealing it about his person, gave it to the manager directly. In return ho received ¿130 in cash, a horse and a saddle. The stone is valued at ¿500,000; it is blue-white in colour, aud faultless except for a very small flaw in the centre. It was presented to the Pope by Oom Paul Kruger.

SIEGE TRALÑs"

THEIR COMPOSITION AND

UTILITY.

With his_ thoughts full of armoured trains of this, that and the other variety it is not surprising (remarks the "Morn- ing Leader" of November 21) that the man in the street associates a siege train with something that travels on a rail- way track and is propelled by a locomo-

tive.

But siege trains were known before the days of George Stephenson, and the deadly machine that is now being got to- gether for the Transvaal has only a secondary connection with the iron

road.

"You can put it on a railway, of course," said Capt. A. C. Currie, who is going out to act as adjutant to the officer commanding the siege train division, Lieut.-Col. T. Perrott. "The guns and their carriages can be mounted on trucks-that is, if the railway is of any service to you. But the guns and ammunition can be drawn either by horses-12 to a gun-by bullocks, in teams of 16,' or by mules."

"As for , the guns themselves, the chief armament of a siege train is the six-inch howitzer."

War Office orders are proverbially liable to change; but so far, out of the 30 guns of the train 14 are six-inch and the remainder^five and four-inch-"all new arms," said the captain, "the sjx inch'ones firing a 1201b. shell." The bursting charge in these missiles is 191b. of lyddite, and their firing charge 28oz. of cordite.

Each gun will take ?00 rounds of am- munition, find the shell weight, for the 14 6-inchers alone, totals up to over 370

tons.

The officers of the train are expert artillerists, and the men who will fight the guns are, perhaps, the finest body of picked gunners England has ever sent abroad. Some of them are up at Wool- wich now taking a short course of gun- nery instruction, but they are already practically perfect, and hardly need it. -They ore at home with anything from the smallest garrison arm up to the largest ; and woe betide any fort or city upon which they train their weapons.

They are chosen from about a dozen garrisons in different parts of the coun- try ; and there is no need so far to call up the garrison reserves.

As for physique, the í,100 men who will staff the train are comparable even to the. Horse Guards. A young recruit for the garrison artillery is nothing if he is not 5ft. Sin. or 5ft. 9in. when he enlists, and, as he is generally still grow- ing then, he develops into a fine soldier.

"I would not take my. oath ta it,"

remarked Capt. Currie, "but I don't think we haVe used a siege train since the Crimea, or at all events since the Mutiny. There was none in the taking of Magdala, nor in Afghanistan. So the prêtent train is the first after an in- terval of at least 40 years."

Besides the siege train, Woolwich is very busy with the five batteries of field artillery which will depart within the next week. They have howitzers,too; but they are taking with them their own transport cattle for the ammunition in the chape of some 300 tram horses, who are rapidly being ridden into shape. The riding school has to 'serve as a staple by night, for want of accommodation

elsewhere.

Already the six-mile-an-hour trotters are taking to themselves the aspect of army horses in a marvellous way, and soon they will be quite military, except for their docked tails, which are a happy exception among army cattle.

A LADY'S LETTER FROM LADY-

SMITH.

The following are some extracts from a letter dated Ladysmith, October 20, re- ceived from the wife of an officer on the staff there :

" Since my last letter to you the Boers have attacked, but in their nasty, sneaking way of trying to cut off small outpo3ts, and, when larger bodies of men have come to the rescue, of retiring as quickly as pos- sible into the Berg. The patrols have brought in some prisoners, amongst them young Bester, a son of the man who liv'e3 here, and another well-known Dutchman, called Solomon De Jager. One spy was found among the Imperial Light Horse. He had a letter from the Transvaal com- manding him to poison all the horse forage. I saw him, poor wretch. He was watched into one yard, and M. had to take him and his guard into the prison just opposite. They have not yet decided what his punishment will be. Most think it will bo death. It all seems so dreadful. Some of the ladies have left Ladysmith, but most people think it about the safest place in the colony, and I am staying on. The troops have come down into the town, and M. is back here again. . . . The Boers are pretty well all round the place now, but they will not come down and give the troops a fight. You witt be sorry to hear that Captain Davey, of the 18th Hussars, was taken prisoner yesterday. I have not seen his poor wife yet, but we all think that of course he will he well treated. We have too many of their people prisoners for them to harm him.

"... Weehear to-day that General Penn Symons had a battle with them at Glencoe, commencing last nighty Our guns soon silenced their guns, and the latest news this morning was that the Leicesters and Dublin Fusiliers had got right in amongst them. We aro all hoping that they have had a really good drubbing. They are the Transvaalers up in that camp, and the Free State Boers are all ronud here. Colonel Hamilton has gone out to-day to try and draw the Boers out of the Berg, and the batteries and cavalry are close behind to fall on them if they will only come out. These are weary, wretched, times, and one never knows what the next news will be. I see three Boer prisoners have just come in, being marched off to the

court between two soldiers with loaded rifles. I could not help feeling sorry for them, they look so dejected. . . . General Archibald Hunter is here, too, on Sir G. White's staff. . . . We hear one poor carbinier has been killed, young Mr. Galway, a son of Sir Michael Galway. I do not think the body has been recovered, so there is just a hope that he was wounded and carried off by the opposite Bide. I see another prisoner just brought in by the volunteers. He looks a big dirty boy of about 20. ... I often wish I could see you for half an hour to give me an onward

cheer. I do not feel a bit nervous about

myself-we all feel sure that the Boers

will not hurt women-but we do about our husbands."

THE BOER PRISONERS AT SIMON'S

TOWN.

USE OF EXPANSIVE BULLETS

DENIED BY THEM.

Amongst the Boer prisoners on board H.M.S. Penelope at Simon's Town is Mr. Godfried Vollmer, who was captured at Elands Laagte. His brother, Mr. Theo. Vollmer, ex-Mayor of Wynberg, in South Africa, was unaware that his brother was a prisoner at Simon's Town until he received a telegram from the prisoner asking him to visit him (Mr. G. Vollmer) on tho ship. The ex-Mayor did so, and according to the weekly edition of the South African News, of the 8th inst., "Mr. G. Vollmer was par- ticularly anxious, on behalf of himself and "his fellow-soldio/&, to deny the statement which has been tnade that the Republican troops fired sporting bullets. The explana- tion by Mr. G. Vollmer of the fact that sporting Mausers were found in the Boer camp is simply this : There are two pat- terns of Mauser rifles-one, the military arm, has the wood of the stock reaching almost the whole length of the barrel, whilst the other, or sporting pattern, bas only what is technically known as a half stock, that is to say, the wood part reaches to only about .half the length of the barrel, Both kinds take the ordinary (and only) military Mauser cartridge a3 used in the German and Republican armies. There are no sporting Mauser bullets inexistence in the 'Transvaal. The military bullet is steel-coated, .and about as thick as an ordinary lead-pencil. Sporting bullets are generally uncovered, and on striking a bone or meeting with resistance expand. As a matter of fact, the Mauser bullets, having a very high velocity, go through a man's body like a rapier thrust. Ong of the wounded received three Mauser bullets in his left leg, but was quite unconscious of the fact until loss of blood forced him

| to lag behind, when he became aware that

he'had been wounded." /

In a letter dated November 9, from Simon's Bay, where he is a prisoner aboard the warship Penelope, Lieutenont-Colonel A. Schiel complains to Sir Redvers Buller that though he gave his parole to Sir George White he has not been treated ac- cording to military etiquette. Though wounded he was locked up in a prison cell at Maritzburg, and most strictly guarded, as he has been at Simon's Bay. Sir Red- vers Buller, replying through his military secretary, regrets the inconvenience, but cannot admit the breach of etiquette. General White's authority, he states, was limited to Ladysmith, and the officer com- manding in Natal is empowered to make any arrangements he pleases for the safety of prisoners of war. The smallness.of the British force does not allow of any elabo-' rate measures for the safe-keeping of pri- soners, who may, therefore, have to be sub- ject to closer restraint than will be neces- sary after the arrival of reinforcements.

REFUGEES AT DE AAR. '

PATHETIC SCENES.

The war correspondent of the äforntng Leader, writing from the British camp at De Aar on October 16 says :-Thanks to the Boers tearing up the rails ahead of our train, and thus cutting off communication

Wjith Kimberley, I have been able to spend a day at the base of Imperial operations

on this frontier.

During this brief stay I saw a strange mixture of the pathetic and the picturesque 'sides of war. Every road seemed to lead to De Aar. Along the one I had just traversed from Cape Town came soldiers and volunteers eager to be in the fray ; along the others-from Kimberley, Johan- nesburg, Bloomfontein - carne hurried, blear-eyed refugees with the dust of the warring Republics still upon their gar-

ments.

The soldiers stepped straight from the railway station into the camp; the re- fugees hung about the platforms and slept in the waiting-rooms amid piles of clothing which they had saved iu the stampede. Tired to death, they dropped to the ground where they stood, and lay stretched at full length on the platforms and even m the roadways. The atmosphere of the waiting rooms given over to the miserable crowd because so fonl that the oil lamps seemed to flicker painfully, and one dared scarcely put his nose inside tho places to Bee that his luggago was intact. How bad things would hove been during the night I don't know if the available empty carriages which were no longer noadad to make up

trains that could go nowhere-had not been brought up to the platform for refugees to sleep in. And in they bundled like sardines, till they literally lay in. lavers, and then the train was run into a siding to await the morrow.

FLIGHT OP REFUGEES.

I have never witnessed such sights, »ever board snob stories of the frightened flight before calamity since somo dreadful mouths that I spent with the famino stricken Russians, now nearly ten years ago. It is teuly curious the resemblance which this flight before war boars to tho flight before famine. Twos almost tempted to think that I was listening to the same stories over again.

But I was brought back to the realilyby hearing the language of my own kith and kin. Away in Cape Town mo3t of tho refugees I saw were wealthy men, specu- lators-not of our own national blood

looking out for a chance, by means of a ring ia horses or a corner in asses, of getting more money out of the trouble that has driven them from the Transvaal than they would have netted had they remained there this summer. There wero Cornish miners, too, as I have already written, seemingly not hard up,

but going a fair way lo become so if they

do not return to England. Here, at De Aar station, tho majority of the sufferers was composed o' poor Britishers. Many of them were so poor that they had only been able to pay their way to the,frontier, and were then dependent upon the Cape Government railways to carry them free of charge to some centre.

They told some extraordinary stories of Boar ill-treatment when they reached the frontier, though I must iu fairness say that I myself met nobody who would declare that he had experienced the fats which ha said had befallen others. The allegation was this : At Vereeniging station-the last one on the Transvaal side of the Johannes- burg-Cape Town railway-tho Boor officials, not content with examining lug- gage, actually searched tha refugees and "commandered" whatever ready cash they possessed abovo ¿13. Passengers were driven from the train iu batches, " com- mandered" according to their cash bal- ances, and sent to another part of the station till the operation was finished, so that they might have no opportunity of warning their fellow-travellers.

DESTITUTE AND MISERABLE.

The crowd at De Aar was a very desti-

tute one. You could not have " comman-

dered" ¿15 from a dozen of them, if ap- pearances went for anything, so there may not be much in my failure to get a per- sonal confirmation of stories which are so widely told that there is probably some- thing in them.

Two particularly pathetic incidents came under my eyes. One was a mother who sat weeping in the women's room, mourn- ing the separation from her children, whom she feared had been carried elsewhere when a train-too heavy for one engine to drag through this hilly country-was broken into two portions. The other a husband who had left his wife to go to Kimberley for the money with which to get her away. Boers held the rail to Kim- berley. He was mad with grief at the thought of what might become of her. I saw him start up Irom the floor of the waiting-room, where he had been lying half-asleep, and rush out of the place de- claring that he would got back to her oa foot and chance whether the Boers shot him.

Two hour3 later I saw him about the station again, maudlin drunk.

There is a terrible amount of drinking amongst the refugees and the volunteers. The loriner to drown their misery, the latter to raise their courage to enlisting point. We signed on 37 volunteers upon the platform in ten minutes yesterday afternoon. And, of course, the next thing they had to do was to have a glass : " Con- fusion to our enemies, and may we dodge

the Boar bullets."

IMPRESSIONS OF AN OFFICER.

The following extracts from a pri-

vate letter received in Calcutta from a

member of the Ladysmith garrison, written on the 29th October, on the eve of the investment, will be read with general interest : -

" The Boers have very good guns, and shoot very well with them, and I think everybody on our side was immensely surprised1 when they opened fire on us at 4,600 yards at the battle of Elands

Laagte. They put shell after shell amongst the battery I was near. Their ammunition is certainly bad or other- wise we should have lost very heavily. They have smokeless^ gunpowder just as we have, and all their guns are manned by Germans. We captured two of their guns at Elands Laagte, and they were escorted into Ladysmith from the bat- tlefield, a distance of sixteen miles, by the 42nd Field Battery. The guns are the well-known Maxim-Nordenfeldt, manufactured in England. The battle- field at Elands Laagte ivas a fearful sight. The Boers lost very heavily, as our artillery fire was tremendously ef- fective, but we lost heavily too. All night long after the fight it poured with rain, and we bivouacked at the railway station at Elands Laagte, about two miles from the scene of the battle. The actual fighting lasted from two o'clock in the day until it was dark, but if we had the luck to finish it earlier the Boers would have lost much more

heavily than they difl, as our cavalry was prevented from pursuing by the pitchy darkness. Next morning seve- ral of us went out to help to bring in the Boer guns, and the spectacle pre- sented by the field of battle was ter- rible. The dead and wounded, Bri- tish as well as Boers, were lying about all over the field, and the cries and groans of the wounded, who had been lying all night, were heartrending. . . The climate here is very variable. One day it is as hot as it is in India, and the next as bitterly cold as the Arctic regions, and when it rains it comes down in sheets.

Our second fight, at Reitfontein, was not so decisive at Elands Laagte. _ It took place ten miles from Ladysmith, and the Boers again lost heavily. We were in action form eight -o'clock in the morning until half-past three in the afternoon, about seven and a half hours. I was close to two guns of, the 42nd Field Battery during the' greater part of this engagement. They were placed on the extreme left of our line, and were ordered to be turned on to a_ ridge about a mile and a half away, which was swarming with Boers, who were occupy- ing . themselves in sniping at us with very annoying effect. The first shell I saw fired was beautifully placed, and I distinctly saw it fall and burst right amongst them, it must have killed or wounded a lot. Several _ times after- wards I saw the same thing happen. Both at Reitfontein and at Elands

Laagte the rifle firing of the Boers was very deadly, and several of the Gordon Highlanders to whom I have talked about it, and who lost so heavily in the fight at Elands Laagte, have told me po- sitively that Dargai was mere child's play to it. Our infantry, all of them, behaved most splendidly. It was a truly magnificent sight to see them ad- vance under a heavy fire and take the Boers' position with the bayonet.

THE LADYSMITH OF TO-DAY.

BY A. RESIDENT.

When I left Ladysmith, in July last, there was nought to presage the present state of affairs save a vague unrest in the air, a subtle drawing together of the townsfolk and the soldiers at the camp, and a tense feeling of expectation of something-we knew not what.

_ Ordinarily, Ladysmith is a quiet, dull little place, intensely English, in so far that there is absolutely no Dutch ele- ment to disturb the solidly loyal sere- nity of the township-for it is little

more.

_ We rather pride ourselves upon the situation of Ladismith. It is over 3,000ft. above tho sea; the frowning crests of the Drakensberg Mountains are about 30 miles away to the north and west, and help to shelter ns in winter from excessive cold. The cli- mate goô3 to rather unnecessary ex- tremes; the height of summer (Decem- ber and January) is very hot, and the depth of winter (June and July) cor- respondingly cold. At the «ame time

the air is extraordinarily dry and brac- ing. The open air cure for consump- tion had been tried and proved suc- cessful at Ladysmith years before it began to he talked about at home. Wo are not only healthy, but we are very good. Probably ferr towns of 4,000 in- habitants have* so many places of wor- ship. Frantically, every creed has its church or chapel, from «he Dutch Re- formed, which is a very small congrega- tion, to tho Wesleyan, whioh is quite considerable. Wo even boast of the Salvation Army.

Folks are wont to laugh at the im- portance of little provincial places, but, after all, Ladysmith is the third sized town in Natal, Durban and Pieter maritzburg being, of course, a good deal larger. Our town hall, wo think, is worthy of an English cathedral town, and wo plume ourselves considerably on tho public buildings ,espeoially the court house, schools, public library and the gaol.

Of course, the town, a3 a town, is not much to look at-a few dusty, ill kempt, hut fairly wide streets : a- spa- cious market square surrounded by low galvanised iron stores, many of them bearing such curious Indian names as Moona-Sammy, Abdol Mahomet, and tho like, on signboards, for the import- ant "Arab" merchants of Durban are all represented by branch houses.

In front of the court house, the hotels and the police barracks are the usual horse-tethering rails, and one hitches up one's pony and leaves it alone for hours, quite secure in the average integrity of the passers-by.

Honestly, our weak points are our roads, our drainage and our lighting. These are elementary, and not on the scale that they should be. Our aediles premise better things in the near future, but a moonless night, a rutty road, and a variety of small sluits (ditches) have before now made the stranger in our midst use strong lan- guage about our rural simplicity.

For quite a long while Ladysmith was the railway terminus from Durban, from which it is 190 miles away. . Dur- ing the gold rush to the Transvaal, coaches, Cape carts, waggons, spiders, even "gin-case3 on wheels," set out daily by the score for the northern Eldorado. At the time the bonded warehouses for goods in transit were piled up with thousands of pounds' worth of goods for the Transvaal. In those days the hotelkeepers did a flourishing business in housing intending travellers and pro- visioning them for the journeey. But this has all been altered now ; we are only a roadside station on the great through line to Pretoria and beyond, but we have the branch line to Harri- smith, in the Orange Free State, so that we are, after all, a junction on a small

scale.

There are a good many' trees

Ladysmith; in fact, it is by way of being an oasis in the veldt. Mimosas, gum trees of a dozen kinds, yucas, aloes and planes all flourish, and some of the flower gardens are beautifully bright in

summer.

By the way, the name of Ladysmith has tihe simplest of derivations. _ It was christened after Lady Harry Smith, about the year 1840. She was the Spanish wife of General Sir Harry Smith, who commanded the troops in South Africa at the time. His extra- ordinary ride from Cape Town to Gra- hamstown, a distance of nearly 500 miles, to the relief of the " City of Saints," in the Kaffir war of 1835, in six days, is a matter of history.

But, after all, the chief interest in Ladysmith to-day lies in its military po- sition. In the old days of the first Transvaal war we had troops here, and the place was to all intents and pur- poses a garrison town. But the sol- diers were eventually, withdrawn ,and it was not until 1897 that we were again familiar with the fifes and the drums. In that year the military au- thorities came up-from Maritzburg and laid out a camp of considerable extent near the waterworks, rather less than two miles from the west of the town. We were right glad to see them, and tried our best to do them well. There were never less than 2,000 men

camp under canvas and in so-called huts, and three field batteries of artil- lery helped to swell the number.

Looking back to-day to the time when the camp was re-established, just over two years ago, it seems to me that there was some inkling of strange hap- penings, even at that time We talked vaguely of possibilities, hut never rea-

lised the dread actualities that have now come to pass.

At that time various real estate speculators and others bought land in the neighbourhood of the camp with a view of building an hotel, some bunga- lows, a canteen or so, and other accom- modation for the troops, but owing to various causes nothing tangible was done, and beyond the tents there are only some dozen little brick buildings dotted about the outskirts of the regi-

mental lines.

The soldiers came and went freely in the town, and caused an appreciable improvement in the trade of the place,

which, previous to that; had not been in a too flourishing condition.

It would be ridiculous in the extreme to pretend that Ladysmith is imprég- name. It is nothing of the sort. To the west of the, town there is a fine level plain; in which is the camp. The open veldt rolls away for miles until it meets the foothills stretching, afar from the Drakensberg Mountains. The Sand River with its affluents, the Blaauw bank River and Dewdrop Spruit or stream, intersect the plateau, and the Klip and Sand rivers join on the road leading across Van Reenan's Pass to Harrismith. There is very little water in any of these rivers save after a thunderstorm. During the summer months 'these are pretty frequent, and for at least a few weeks in January may he expected with almost clockwork re- gularity between 4 and 5 o'clock every afternoon. They, usually only last for an hour or less, and though the down- pour is veritably tropical for the time, the hot sun soon dries up the moisture, and the soil is parched and thirsty again by the next day.

On the east of Ladysmith there are several hills, which are of some import- ance. The Isimbulwana, for instance, is dignified by the name of a mountain but this is gross flattery; Lombard's Kop is an eminence within four miles of the town_ and six of the camp. Kopje (a hillock) is the diminutivo of kop, a hill. Scattered about the veldt on this side of the town\are many kopjes, co- vered with stone, and capable of making excellent cover for the Boers, who, how- ever, could be, and evidently have been, dislodged by_ our heavy naval guns.

It is _ entirely incorrect to describe Ladysmith as lying in a tea cup. A fairer comparison would be to say that it lies towards one side of a gigantic soup plate, with a big piece of the edge chipped off on one side. Through this chip comes the railway line from Dur-

ban.

There are a number of hamlets of a dozen or 20 houses scattered about within a score or so miles from Lady- smith. Leatherns, for instance, is 15 miles away; Freers (Acton Homes), where General White's first engagement

took place, is 24 miles ; and Little Tu- ] gela Waterfall is about 30. Round ' about are many more or less isolated ] farms-English farms, where they really do farm, not Dutch farms, where they do everything except farm, and on one of these, Farquhar's Farm, the battle of

Monday took its acutest phase. '.

Speaking as a resident, and one who ( knows the country, there need be no . fear that we shall lose Ladysmith. The earthworks surrounding the heavy guns are amply sufficient to protect"the town. Every hill, sluit and distinctive point of

attack for miles round has been care- j fully measured for shooting purposes.

The site of the camp itself was chosen hy Á a board of officers specially appointed . for the purpose, and the military posi- j tion of the place has been studied and 1 developed during the past two years by 1 the most expert local military advice. f

The natural advantages and defences s of the town have been enhanced and í strengthened by carefully planned re- f ioubts at any possibly vulnerable points, j rho danger of the place being rushed is

absolutely nil, because the immediate i surroundings are open and bare to na- u iednese, so that there is no possibility I I

of surprise. Anyone approaching can be seen for a great distance, and no

near cover is available. In short, Lady smith is the Aldershot of Natal. "Daily Mail."

THE' WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE BOER CREUSOT GUNS.

The Boer Artillery^ at Ladysmith, ac- cording to the Paris correspondent of the '"Daily Mail," cpusists largely of guns manufactured at Le Creusot, and known as French Krupp guns. The Transvaal and Orange Free State Go- vernments placed a very large order some time ago with the Creusot people, and, although a certain number of guns and ammunition were delivered, the correspondent has reason to believe, on the best possible authority, that the suddenness with which war broke out has prevented tho delivery of an even larger quantity. The Creusot _ guns which the Boors actually haye in use aro df two descriptions-75 millimetres, or 3-inch land-service, quick-firing guns, and 155 millimetres, or 6 l-5inch siege and garrison guns. Tho Boer _ guns have Deen mounted on light carriages, aud have been specially adapted in every way for use in tne Transvaal, great caro having been taken to avoid trouble from the mud, which, in the opinion of the military authorities, may prove a dis- advantage to the. British ArtiHery when tho rains Begin. The correspondent is also informed that the BOers have im-

mense stores of anununitionjSnit of all proportion to the number of guns they possess, and that they have had about two months' firing practice under com- petent agent3 at the Creusot firm, so that, although by no means expert artillerymen, they aro not altogether novice?. The " Gaulois " says that the chief gunnar of tho Boers is a French- man named Fleeche, a foreman of the Creusot works. He went out to the Transvaal to superintend the mounting of the new French guns, and was in- duced to enter the service of the Boers. He is a most remarkable shot.

THE PRISONERS AT SIMON'S BAY.

Some doubt having existed as to the treatment of the Boer prisoners of war, the "Cape Times," in its issue of No- vember 9, published full particulars cn the subject, obtained from the naval authorities at the Cape.

1. The prisoners of war are victualled exactly the same as Her Majesty's troops when on board ship. More could scarcely be expected by persons cap- tured as troops.

2. The prisoners are allowed to smoke at all hours upon the upper deck-a privilege which Her Majesty's officers and seamen do not enjoy.

3. The prisoners are given bedding, but are not provided with clothing.

4. The prisoners are required to per- form such cleaning work as is absolutely necessary to keep the portion of the ship allotted to them clean. This is always required of seamen and troops.

5. They are not required to do any

other work.

6. They are allowed to supply them- selves with any luxuries (except liquor) which they caro to purchase, or receive gifts from friends.

7. They are allowed to interview friends from noon to 4 p.m. daily.

8. They are allowed to correspond freely by letter, political matter and matter relating to the disposition of the forces excepted. Their letters are under censorship consequently.

9. They are treated with every con- sideration, and under the most liberal interpretation of the international duties towards prisoners of war laid down by the accepted international writers. ,

AN IRISH BOER LEADER.

One of the Boer leaders is Tom Kelly. He ranks among the first of the latter-day leaders. He is in charge of the Zoutpans berg division, and has 20,000 Kaffirs under him. He is a rampant Boer agitator, and as fond of fighting as a Matabele warrior.

It will not be hard to understand this when it is known that he is an Irish Boar descendant of tho old stock, that finds its way so strangely into all lands and under all flags, but is still ever proud of its Irish blood. Tom Kelly speaks only Dutch and Kaffir. All the present leaders are up to the old standard of the fighting Boar. They care nothing for lift»-their own or that of their onomy ; in fact, they go into a ' fight with the determination to die sooner than accept defeat.

A LETTER FROM LADISMITH.

The following letter from an officer at Ladismith has been received in Calcutta :

5th Dragoon Guards' Camp, Ladismith, October 26.-I arrived hero on the 19th and am attached lo tho 5th, so next morn- ing I set up my tout heie and commenced duty. The vory second day, the 21st, I had tho wonderful luck to get into my first engagement, the battle of Elands Laagle, whore for two miles of open plain we were shelled by tho Boer guns. The sensation is a most exciting one. Bang goes the gun, and the shell comes screaming over your head, and for several seconds you have the uncertainty as to where it is to fall. Their shooting was quite good enough for us, as shells fell all around us and within five yards of us, but only one man was hit. Half-way across wo had to halt under fire whilst two mon dismounted to cut tho wiro fencing and let us across the railway, and as wc sat still ther¿, waiting for above three minutes with shells burst- ing all round, we had. an experience most of us will never forgot. We had two mad charges into the retreating Boers, and killed and captured a crowd of thom. The men used their lances and we our revolvers, and I had my first taste of killing fellow men. One man near mo dashed into two

Boers riding one horse, and spitted the

two and had to leave tho lanca in them.

It was pitch dark when the order carno to rally, and another subaltern and I who had ridden on after the retreating Boers found on returning a party of twelve of our men tying up a lot of prisoners, so wo stayed to bring them on, and so lost sight of our squadron, and after blundering about in the dark for an hour wo decided to halt till daylight, as wo did not know where we might fall into a Boer camp, being right behind their original poiition, and threo miles from our own main body. It rained all night, and we had an awful time, but regained the squadron m the morning to find that tho victory had been complete ; that wo had captured their guns and killed and wouuded 490 of them, losing ou our side 4 officers and 37 men killed, and 31 officers (5 since dead) and 185 meu wounded. Every officer in the Gordons except ono was hit. Wo rode over the battlefield next morning to bring in the captured guns, and the sight was awful, the placo being strewn with dead and wounded men and horses, as all the wounded could not bo found in tho night. On the 24th, during a íeconnaissance, in which the Glosters were out, thoy lost poor Wilford shot through the head.

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