Full of matter which is no longer a tenth as interesting as it was there and then.
Number 21 of THE FRIEND, dated April 10th, was a splendid number for Bloemfontein, and for the time, yet there is nothing to reproduce except an Australian's trooper's poetic salute to the eucalyptus, or gum-trees, that he recognised as fellow inhabitants of his distant land, whence they have been sent to cheer the waste places of California, the American Plains, and all South Africa.
Three solid columns of the paper were justly given up to Mr. Kipling's exposure in the London Times of the treacherous element of the Cape population, and its relations with those neighbours who are honest and loyal subjects of the Queen and with the army. Two columns of "Reuter's" despatches from abroad, one column of similar telegrams from South African points, and a notable leader by Mr. Perceval Landon on Mr. Kipling's article, made up the contents of the reading page.
Mr. Guthrie, M.P., now required two columns of the paper in which to announce the cases and parcels he had in hand for the soldiers. The railway had just delivered to him five truck-loads of those most welcome necessaries and luxuries sent out from home.
(Edited by the War Correspondents with Lord Roberts' Force.)
No. 21.] BLOEMFONTEIN, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 1900. [Price One Penny.
The Field-Marshal Commanding in Chief having decided that twenty Railway Trucks are to be placed at the disposal of the tradesmen of Bloemfontein for the conveyance of food necessaries, it is requested that those wishing to take advantage thereof will communicate with the Director of Supplies at his office at the corner of Green Street and Douglas Street, between the hours of 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday next, 11th and 12th inst.
As the amount of truck accommodation will be divided by the Director of Supplies among the various applicants, a statement of the Supplies required as a first consignment must be submitted. When the statements have been received an allotment will be made among the applicants.
Gum trees! Here in the Dutchman's land?
(You'll lie of a kangaroo)
Seen them?--Yes--Well, I'll understand
The truth when I see them too.
Lord!--There they are, by the old brick wall,
Shiny and green and high,
Best of the sights we've seen at all
Is this, to a Cornstalk's eye.
Back, by the creeks in the far-off plains;
Over the ranges blue;
Out in the West where it never rains;
We whispered "good-bye" to you.
We left you alone on the high clay banks,
On a fringe round the dry lagoon,
Where your white trunks gleam by its empty bed
In the pale, soft summer noon.
It's carry me back to the Castlereagh,
Or pack me along to Bourke;
On the Wallaby-track to the west of Hay--
Wherever there's sheds or work.
It's cattle on camp or colts to brand;
It's brumbies about the Peel--
It's all we've here of our own good land,
And this is the way we feel.
Oh, hurry the show, and give us a lead,
And march us beyond the Vaal,
For the lambing's near, and the ewes will breed
And it's close up time to "tail,"
And we've shearing them, and the wool to load,
And the ships are at Circ'lar Quay--
So loot it along the red Veldt road,
A sight for Oom Paul to see.
And when we are back on the Murray lands,
Or up in Mouaro hills,
You may collar the Fonteins, and Drifts, and Rands,
And the Boers will pay the bills.
But we'll be back where the gum-tops wane,
Or the Myall hangs and droops;
With a good veranda round the house,
And none of your dirty stoops.
So hurry it up, for we've work to do
In a far better land than here.
We will swap the veldt and the parched Karoo,
For the plain and ranges clear.
But we'll never forget, in the days to come,
The friends that we've left behind--
For the Dutchman who planted yon tall, white Gum
Was a little bit more than kind.
J. H. M. A.
BRAVE YOUNG HIGHLANDERS.
To the Editors of THE FRIEND,--SIRS,--In your Saturday's issue an appreciation of the R.A.M.C. appears, in which the Morning Post correspondent speaks of their services as stretcher-bearers at Magersfontein with the Highland Brigade, whereas the R.A.M.C. has furnished no stretcher-bearers to the Highland Brigade, the whole of this dangerous work having been done by the Regimental bearers, and "A" Company Volunteer Ambulance (King William's Town), and as this company--consisting principally of mere striplings--has "faced the music" right through, and kept shoulder to shoulder with the veterans of the Highland Brigade, they surely should be credited with the work they have so gallantly performed.
Yours very truly,