"The days are so long, and there are so many of them." - Du Maurier.
During the weeks I remained at Mosita, the only book I had to read was "Trilby," which I perused many times, and the lament of the heroine in the line quoted above seemed to re-echo my sentiments. For days and days we were absolutely without news. It is impossible after a lapse of time to realize exactly what that short sentence really means. I must ask my readers to remember that we talked and thought of one topic only; we looked incessantly in the one direction by which messengers might come. Our nerves were so strained that, did we but see one of the natives running across the yard, or hear them conversing in louder tones than usual, we at once thought there must be news, and jumped up from any occupation with which we were trying to beguile the time, only to sink back on our chairs again disappointed. As for knowing what was passing in the world, one might as well have been in another planet. We saw no papers, and there was not much prospect of obtaining any. Before the war we had all talked lightly of wires being cut and railway-lines pulled up, but, in truth, I do not think anyone realized what these two calamities really meant. My only comfort was the reflection that, no matter how hard they were fighting in Mafeking, they could not be suffering the terrible boredom that we were enduring. To such an extent in this monotony did I lose the count of time, that I had to look in the almanack to be able to say, in Biblical language, "The evening and the morning were the sixth day."
At length one evening, when we were sitting on the stoep after supper, we descried a rider approaching on a very tired horse. Rushing to the gate, we were handed letters from Mafeking. It can be imagined how we devoured them. They told of three determined attacks on the town on the third day after I had left, all successfully repulsed, and of a bombardment on the following Monday. The latter had been somewhat of a farce, and had done no damage, except to one or two buildings which, by an irony of fate, included the Dutch church and hotel and the convent. The shells were of such poor quality that they were incapable of any explosive force whatever. After nine hours' bombardment, although some narrow escapes were recorded, the only casualties were one chicken killed and one dog wounded. An emissary from Commandant Snyman had then come solemnly into the town under a flag of truce, to demand an unconditional surrender "to avoid further bloodshed." Colonel Baden-Powell politely replied that, as far as he was concerned, operations had not begun. The messenger was given refreshment at Dixon's Hotel, where lunch was laid out as usual. This had astonished him considerably, as presumably he had expected to find but few survivors. He was then sent about his business. Gordon, who imagined me at Setlagoli, concluded his letter by saying the Colonel had informed General Cronje of my presence at Mrs. Fraser's, and begged him to leave me unmolested. This news, which had come by a Daily Mail correspondent, on his way South to send off cables, was satisfactory as far as it went, and we at once despatched a trusty old nigger called Boaz with a tiny note, folded microscopically in an old cartridge-case, to give the garrison news of the surrounding country. This old man proved a reliable and successful messenger. On many occasions he penetrated the cordon into the beleaguered town, and during the first two months he was practically the sole means they had of receiving news. His task was of course a risky one, and we used to pay him £3 each way, but he never failed us.
Now commenced a fresh period of anxious waiting, and during this time I had leisure and opportunity to study the characteristics of these Boer farmers and their wives, and to learn what a curious race they are. Mrs. Keeley told me a great deal of their ideas, habits, and ways, in which low cunning is combined with extreme curiosity and naive simplicity. Many of the fathers and sons in the neighbourhood had slunk off to fight across the border, sending meanwhile their wives and daughters to call on Mrs. Keeley and condole with her in what they termed "her trouble," and to ascertain at the same time all the circumstances of the farm and domestic circle. A curious thing happened one day. Directly after breakfast an old shandrydan drove up with a typical Dutch family as occupants. Mrs. Keeley, busy with household matters, pulled a long face, knowing what was before her. No questions as to being at home, disengaged, or follies of that sort, were asked; the horses were solemnly outspanned and allowed to roam; the family party had come to spend the day. Seated gravely in the dining-room, they were refreshed by coffee and cold meat. Mrs. Keeley remarked to me privately that the best thing to do was to put quantities of food before them and then leave them; and, beyond a few passing words as she went in and out of the room, I did not make out that they went in for entertaining each other. So they sat for hours, saying nothing, doing nothing. When Mrs. Keeley wanted me to have lunch, she asked them to remove to the stoep, and in this request they seemed to find nothing strange. Finally, about five o'clock they went away, much to the relief of their hostess; not, however, before the latter had shrewdly guessed the real object of their visit, which was to find out about myself. Report had reached them that Mafeking was in the hands of the Dutch, that the only survivor of the garrison had escaped in woman's clothes, had been wandering on the veldt for days, and had finally been taken in here. "Ach!" said the old vrow, "I would be afraid to meet him. Is he really here?" This remark she made to Mrs. Keeley's brother, who could hardly conceal his amusement, but, to reassure her, displayed the cart and mules by which I had come. If in England we had heard of the arrival of a "unicorn" in an aeroplane, we should not have shown more anxiety or taken more trouble to hear about the strange creature than did they concerning myself. Their curiosity did not end here. What was Mr. Keeley doing in Mafeking? Was he fighting for the English? How many head of cattle had they on the farm? And so on ad libitum. Mrs. Keeley, however, knew her friends well, and was quite capable of dealing with them, so they probably spent an unprofitable day.
On another occasion an English farmer named Leipner looked in, and gave us some information about Vryburg. This town was absolutely undefended, and was occupied by the Boers without a shot being fired. The ceremony of the hoisting of the Vierkleur  had been attended by the whole countryside, and had taken place with much psalm-singing and praying, interlarded with bragging and boasting. He told me also that some of the rumours current in the town, and firmly credited, reported that Oom Paul had annexed Bechuanaland, that he was then about to take Cape Colony, after which he would allow no troops to land, and the "Roineks" would have been pushed into the sea. His next step would be to take England. Mr. Leipner assured me the more ignorant Boers had not an idea where England was situated, nor did they know that a great ocean rolled between it and this continent. In fact, they gloried in their want of knowledge, and were insulted if they received a letter in any tongue but their own. He related one tale to illustrate their ignorance: An old burgher and his vrow were sitting at home one Sunday afternoon. Seeing the "predicant"  coming, the old man hastily opened his Bible and began to read at random. The clergyman came in, and, looking over his shoulder, said: "Ah! I see you are reading in the Holy Book—the death of Christ." "Alle machter!" said the old lady. "Is He dead indeed? You see, Jan" (to her husband) "you never will buy a newspaper, so we never know what goes on in the world." Mr. Leipner said this story loses in being told in English instead of in the original Dutch. He reiterated they did not wish for education for themselves or for their children. If the young people can read and write, they are considered very good scholars. This gentleman also expressed great satisfaction at Sir Alfred Milner and Mr. Chamberlain being at the head of affairs, which he said was the only thing that gave the colonials confidence. Even now, so many feared England would give way again in the end. I assured him of this there was no possibility, and then he said: "The Transvaal has been a bad place for Englishmen to live these many years; but if Great Britain fails us again, we must be off, for then it will be impossible." I was given to understand that the Boers exhibited great curiosity as to who Mr. Chamberlain was, and that they firmly believed he had made money in Rand mining shares and gold companies; others fancied he was identical with the maker of Chamberlain's Cough Syrup, which is advertised everywhere in the colony.
Early in November we had a great surprise. Mr. Keeley himself turned up from Mafeking, having been given leave from the town guard to look after his wife and farm. He had to ride for his life to escape the Boers, who were drawing much closer to the town, and the news he brought was not altogether reassuring. True, he stated that the garrison were in splendid spirits, and that they no longer troubled themselves about the daily bombardments, as dug-out shelters had been constructed. The young men, he said, vied with each other in begging for permission to join scouting-parties at night, to pepper the Boers, often, as a result, having a brush with the enemy and several casualties. All the same, they would return at a gallop, laughing and joking. There had been, however, several very severe fights, notably one on Canon Kopje, where two very able officers and many men had been killed. In such a small garrison this loss was a serious one, and the death-roll was growing apace, for, besides the frequent attacks, the rifle fire in the streets was becoming very unpleasant. Intelligence was also to hand of the Boers bringing up one of the Pretoria siege guns, capable of firing a 94-pound shell. This was to be dragged across the Transvaal at a snail's pace by a team of twenty oxen, so secure were they against any interruption from the South. Against these depressing items, he gave intelligence of an incident that had greatly alarmed the Boers. It seemed that, to get rid of two trucks of dynamite standing in the railway-station, which were considered a danger, the same had been sent off to a siding some eight miles north. The engine-driver unhitched them and made good his escape. The Boers, thinking the trucks full of soldiers, immediately commenced bombarding them, till they exploded with terrific force. This chance affair gave the Boers the idea that Mafeking was full of dynamite, and later, when I was in the laager, they told me one of the reasons why they had never pressed an attack home was that they knew the whole town was mined. Mr. Keeley also told us of a tragedy that had greatly disturbed the little circle of defenders. The very evening that the victims of the Canon Kopje fight were laid to rest, Lieutenant Murchison, of the Protectorate Regiment, had, in consequence of a dispute, shot dead with his revolver at Dixon's Hotel the war-correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle, a Mr. Parslow. I afterwards learnt that the court-martial which sat on the former had fourteen sessions in consequence of its only being able to deliberate for half an hour at a time in the evening, when the firing was practically over. The prisoner was ably defended by a Dutch lawyer named De Koch, and, owing to his having done good service during the siege, was strongly recommended to mercy, although sentenced to be shot. The most satisfactory points we gleaned were the splendid behaviour of the townspeople, and the fine stand made by the natives when the Boers attacked their stadt, adjacent to the town. The number of Boer field-guns Mr. Keeley stated to be nine, of the newest type, besides the monster expected from Pretoria. He also said more expert gunners and better ammunition had arrived. As to his own position, Mr. Keeley was by no means sure that either his life or his property were safe, but he relied on his influence with his neighbours, which was considerable, and he thought he would be able to keep them quiet and on their farms.
One night, just as my maid was going to bed, she suddenly saw, in the bright moonlight, a tall figure step out of the shadow of the fir-trees. For an instant a marauding Boer—a daily bugbear for weeks—flashed across her mind, but the next moment she recognized Sergeant Matthews from Setlagoli. He had ridden over post-haste to tell us the Boers were swarming there, and that he and his men had evacuated the barracks. He also warned us the same commando was coming here on the morrow, and advised that all the cattle on the farm should be driven to a place of safety. This information did not conduce to a peaceful night, but, anyway, it gave one something to think of besides Mafeking. I buried a small jewel-case and my despatch-box in the garden, and then we went calmly to bed to await these unwelcome visitors. Mr. Keeley had fortunately left the day before on a business visit to a neighbouring farmer, for his presence would rather have contributed to our danger than to our safety. When we awoke all was peaceful, and there was every indication of a piping hot day. Mrs. Keeley was very calm and sensible, and did not anticipate any rudeness. We decided to receive the burghers civilly and offer them coffee, trusting that the exodus of all the cattle would not rouse their ire. Our elaborate preparations were wasted, for the Boers did not come. The weary hours dragged on, the sun crawled across the steely blue heavens, and finally sank, almost grudgingly, it seemed, into the west, leaving the coast clear for the glorious full moon; the stars came out one by one; the goats and kids came wandering back to the homestead with loud bleatings; and presently everything seemed to sleep—everything except our strained nerves and aching eyes, which had looked all day for Boers, and above all for news, and had looked in vain.
We still continued to have alarms. One day we saw a horseman wrapped in a long cloak up to his chin, surmounted by a huge slouch hat, ride into the yard. Mrs. Keeley exclaimed it was certainly a Boer, and that he had no doubt come to arrest Mr. Keeley. I was positive the unknown was an Englishman, but she was so shrewd that I really believed her, and kept out of sight as she directed, while she sent her brother to question him. It turned out that the rider was the same Daily Mail correspondent who had cut his way out of Mafeking in order to send his cables, and that he was now on his way back to the besieged town. The growth of a two weeks' beard had given him such an unkempt appearance as to make even sharp Mrs. Keeley mistake him for a Boer. He had had an interesting if risky ride, which he appeared to have accomplished with energy and dash, if perhaps with some imprudence.
It was the continued dearth of news, not only concerning Mafeking, but also of what was going on in the rest of South Africa, that made me at length endeavour to get news from Vryburg. As a first step I lent Dop to a young Dutchman named Brevel, who was anxious to go to that township to sell some fat cattle. This youth, who belonged to a respectable Boer family—of course heart and soul against the English—was overwhelmed with gratitude for the loan of the horse, and in consequence I stood high in their good graces. They little knew it was for my sake, not theirs, that they had my pony. By this messenger we sent letters for the English mail, and a note to the magistrate, begging him to forward us newspapers and any reliable intelligence. I also enclosed a cheque to be cashed, for I was running short of English gold wherewith to pay our nigger letter-carriers. I must confess I hardly expected to find anyone confiding enough to part with bullion, but Mr. Brevel duly returned in a few days with the money, and said they were very pleased to get rid of gold in exchange for a cheque on a London bank.
He also, however, brought back our letters, which had been refused at the post-office, as they would take no letters except with Transvaal stamps, and for ours, of course, we had used those of Cape Colony.
The magistrate wrote me a miserable letter, saying his office had been seized by the Boers, who held a daily Kriegsraad there, and that he had received a safe-conduct to depart. The striking part of the communication was that a line had been put through "On H.M. Service" on the top of the official envelope. I was really glad to find the young man had done no good with his own business, having failed to dispose of any of his cattle. He, a Dutchman, had returned with the feeling that no property was safe for the moment, and much alarmed by the irresponsible talk of those burghers who had nothing to lose and everything to gain by this period of confusion and upheaval. He also greatly disturbed Mr. Keeley by saying they meant to wreak vengeance on any who had fought for the English, and by warning him that a commando would surely pass his way. Further news which this young man proceeded to relate in his awful jargon was that Oom Paul and all his grandchildren and nephews had gone to Bulawayo; from there he meant to commence a triumphal march southward; that Kimberley had capitulated; and that Joubert and his army had taken possession of Ladysmith. To all this Mrs. Keeley had to listen with polite attention. Luckily, I did not understand the import of what he said till he had taken himself off, with an unusually deep bow of thanks to myself. The only comfort we derived was the reflection that these lies were too audacious to be aught but inventions made up to clinch the wavering and timid spirits.
No matter how miserable people in England were then, they will never realize fully what it meant to pass those black months in the midst of a Dutch population; one felt oneself indeed alone amongst foes. Smarting under irritation and annoyance, I decided to go myself to Vryburg — Dutch town though it had become — and see if I could not ascertain the truth of these various reports, which I feared might filter into Mafeking and depress the garrison. Mr. Keeley did not disapprove of my trip, as he was as anxious as myself to know how the land lay, and he arranged that Mrs. Keeley's brother, Mr. Coleman, should drive me there in a trap and pair of ponies. For the benefit of the gossips, I stated as an ostensible reason for my visit that I had toothache. I was much excited at the prospect of visiting the Boer headquarters in that part of the country, and seeing with my own eyes the Transvaal flag flying in the town of a British colony. Therefore I thought nothing of undertaking a sixty miles' drive in broiling heat and along a villainous road. The drive itself was utterly uneventful. We passed several Dutch farmhouses, many of them untenanted, owing to the so-called loyal colonial owners having flocked to the Transvaal flag at Vryburg. All these houses, distinguished by their slovenly and miserable appearance, were built of rough brick or mud, with tiny windows apparently added as an afterthought, in any position, regardless of symmetry. Towards sundown we arrived at a roadside store, where we were kindly entertained for the night by the proprietors, a respectable Jewish couple.
About five miles from Vryburg a party of thirty horsemen appeared on the brow of the hill; these were the first Boers I had seen mounted, in fighting array, and I made sure they would ride up and ask our business; but apparently we were not interesting enough in appearance, for they circled away in another direction. The road now descended into a sort of basin or hollow, wherein lay the snug little town of Vryburg, with its neat houses and waving trees, and beyond it we could see the white tents of the Boer laager. A young Dutchman had recently described Vryburg to me as a town which looked as if it had gone for a walk and got lost, and as we drove up to it I remembered his words, and saw that his simile was rather an apt one. There seemed no reason, beyond its site in a sheltered basin, why Vryburg should have been chosen for the capital of British Bechuanaland. The railway was at least a mile away on the east, and so hidden was the town that, till you were close on it, you could barely see the roofs of the houses. Then suddenly the carriage drove into the main street, which boasted of some quite respectable shops. The first thing that attracted our notice was the Court House, almost hidden in trees, through which glimmered the folds of the gaudy Dutch standard. Before the court were armed Boers, apparently sentries, whilst others were passing in and out or lounging outside. Another group were busy poring over a notice affixed on a tree, which we were told was the latest war news:
VRYBURG, OCT. 31, 1899
MAFEKING SPEECHLESS WITH TERROR
40 ENGLISH SOLDIERS DESERT TO JOIN OUR RANKS
It appears by telegram received this morning that the Burghers started firing on Mafeking with the big cannon. The town is on fire and is full of smoke.
The British troops in Natal met the Burghers at Elandslaagte. The battle-field was kept by the Burghers under General Prinsloo. Two were killed, four wounded.
We drove down the street, and pulled up at the Central Hotel, where I got capital rooms and was most civilly received by the manager, an Englishman. The latter, however, could hardly conceal his surprise at my visit at this moment. He at once advised me not to mention my name, or show myself too much, as that very day a new Landrost had arrived to take charge of the town, and strict regulations respecting the coming and going of the inhabitants and visitors were being made. He then gave me some splendid news of the Natal border, the first intelligence of the victories of Dundee, Elandslaagte, and Glencoe. To hear of those alone was worth the long drive, and he also showed me the Dutch reports of these same engagements, which really made one smile. On every occasion victory had remained with the burghers, while the English dead and prisoners varied in numbers from 500 to 1,300, according to the mood of the composer of the despatch. The greatest losses the burghers had sustained up to then in any one engagement were two killed and three wounded. The spoils of war taken by the Dutch were of extraordinary value, and apparently they had but to show themselves for every camp to be evacuated. They were kind enough to translate these wonderful despatches into a sort of primitive English, of which printed slips could be bought for threepence. The hotel manager said if they did not invent these lies and cook the real account the burghers would desert en masse. So afraid were their leaders of news filtering in from English sources that all messengers were closely watched and searched. In the afternoon I drove up to the little hospital to see three of the occupants of the ill-fated armoured train. They were all convalescent, and said they were being very kindly treated in every way, but that the Boer doctoring was of the roughest description, the surgeon's only assistant being a chemist-boy, and trained nurses were replaced by a few well-meaning but clumsy Dutch girls, while chloroform or sedatives were quite unknown.
It was grievous to hear of all the Government military provisions, police and private properties, being carted off by the "powers that be," and not a little annoying for the inhabitants to have to put all their stores at the disposal of the burghers, who had been literally clothed from head to foot since their arrival. The owners only received a "brief or note of credit on the Transvaal Government at Pretoria, to be paid after the war. For fear of exciting curiosity, I did not walk about much, but observed from the windows of my sitting-room the mounted burghers patrolling the town, sometimes at a foot's pace, more often at a smart canter. I felt I never wished to see another Boer. I admitted to myself they sat their horses well and that their rifle seemed a familiar friend, but when you have seen one you have seen them all. I never could have imagined so many men absolutely alike: all had long straggling beards, old felt hats, shabby clothes, and some evil-looking countenances. Most of those I saw were men of from forty to fifty years of age, but there were also a few sickly-looking youths, who certainly did not look bold warriors. These had not arrived at the dignity of a beard, but, instead, cultivated feeble whiskers.
After I had seen and heard all I could, came the question of getting away. The manager told me the Landrost had now forbidden any of the residents to leave the town, and that he did not think I could get a pass. However, my Dutch friend was equal to the occasion; he applied for leave to return to his farm with his sister, having only come in for provisions. After a long hesitation it was given him, and we decided to set out at daybreak, fearful lest the permission might be retracted, as it certainly would have been had my identity and his deception been discovered, and we should both have been ignominiously lodged in a Boer gaol. As the sun was rising we left Vryburg. On the outskirts of the town we were made to halt by eight or ten Boers whose duty it was to examine the passes of travellers. It can be imagined how my heart beat as I was made to descend from the cart. I was wearing a shabby old ulster which had been lent me at the hotel for this purpose; round a battered sailor hat I had wound a woollen shawl, which with the help of a veil almost completely concealed my identity. It had been arranged that Mr. Coleman should tell them I was suffering from toothache and swollen face. The ordeal of questioning my supposed brother and examining our passports took some minutes—the longest I have ever experienced. He contrived to satisfy these inquisitors, and with a feeling of relief we bundled into the cart again and started on our long drive to Mosita. On that occasion we accomplished the sixty miles in one day, so afraid were we of being pursued.
On my return to Mosita I at once despatched old Boaz to Mafeking, giving them the intelligence of the victories in Natal. This proved to be the first news that reached them from the more important theatre of the war. Our life now became uneventful once more. One day an old Irish lady, wife of a neighbouring farmer, dropped in for a chat. She was a nice old woman, as true as steel, and terribly worried by these dreadful times. She had a married daughter in the Transvaal, and a brother also, whose sons, as well as daughters' husbands, would, she sorely feared, be commandeered to fight, in which case they might unknowingly be shooting their own relations over the border. It was the same tale of misery, anxiety, and wretchedness, everywhere, and the war was but a few weeks old. The population in that colony, whether Dutch or English, were so closely mixed together—their real interests so parallel—that it resolved itself locally into a veritable civil war. It was all the more dreadful that these poor farmers, after having lost all their cattle by rinderpest, had just succeeded in getting together fresh herds, and were hoping for renewed prosperity. Then came the almost certain chance of their beasts being raided, of their stores being looted, and of their women and children having to seek shelter to avoid rough treatment and incivility. Often during the long evenings, especially when I was suffering from depression of spirits, I used to argue with Mr. Keeley about the war and whether it was necessary. It seemed to me then we were not justified in letting loose such a millstream of wretchedness and of destruction, and that the alleged wrongs of a large white population—who, in spite of everything, seemed to prosper and grow rich apace—scarcely justified the sufferings of thousands of innocent individuals. Mr. Keeley was a typical old colonist, one who knew the Boers and their character well, and I merely quote what he said, as no doubt it was, and is, the opinion of many other such men. He opined that this struggle was bound to come, declaring that all the thinking men of the country had foreseen it. The intolerance of the Boers, their arrogance, their ignorance, on which they prided themselves, all proclaimed them as unfit to rule over white or black people. Of late years had crept in an element of treachery and disloyalty, emanating from their jealousy of the English, which by degrees was bound to permeate the whole country, spreading southward to Cape Colony itself, till the idea of "Africa for the Dutch, and the English in the sea,” would have been a war-cry that might have dazzled hundreds of to-day's so-called loyal colonists. He even asserted that those at the head of affairs in England had shown great perspicacity and a clear insight into the future. If at the Bloemfontein Conference, or after, Kruger had given the five years' franchise, and the dispute had been patched up for the moment, it would have been the greatest misfortune that could have happened. The intriguing in the colony, the reckless expenditure of the Transvaal Secret Service money, the bribery and corruption of the most corrupt Government of modern times, would have gone on as before, and things would soon have been as bad as ever. Mr. Keeley was positive that it was jealousy that had engendered this race hatred one heard so much about; even the well-to-do Dutch knew the English were superior to them in knowledge and enterprise. At the same time any English invention was looked upon with awe and interest; they were wont to copy us in many respects, and if a Dutch girl had the chance of marrying an Englishman, old or young, poor or rich, she did not wait to be asked a second time. There is no doubt the women were a powerful factor in Boerland. Even a Britisher married to a Dutchwoman seemed at once to consider her people as his people, and the Transvaal as his fatherland. These women were certainly the most bitter against the English; they urged their husbands in the district to go and join the commandoes, and their language was cruel and bloodthirsty.
Towards the middle of November I decided that I could not remain in my present quarters much longer. My presence was attracting unwelcome attention to my kind host and hostess, albeit they would not admit it. From the report that I was a man dressed as a woman, the rumour had now changed to the effect that I was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, sent specially out by Her Majesty to inform her of the proceedings of her rebellious subjects. Another person had heard I was the wife of the General who was giving the Boers so much trouble at Mafeking. I determined, therefore, to return to Mrs. Fraser's hotel, which was always a stage nearer Mafeking, whither I was anxious to return eventually. As a matter of fact, there was no alternative resting-place. It was impossible to pass south to Kimberley, to the west lay the Kalahari Desert, and to the east the Transvaal. With many grateful thanks to the Keeleys, I rode off one morning, with Vellum in attendance, to Setlagoli, which I had left a month before. We thought it prudent to make sure there were no Boers about before bringing the Government mules and cart. Therefore I arranged for my maid to follow in this vehicle if she heard nothing to the contrary within twenty-four hours. Mrs. Fraser was delighted to see me, and reported the Boers all departed after a temporary occupation, so there I settled down for another period of weary waiting.
The Boers used better ammunition later.
Boer national flag.
Mr. Murchison was shut up in the gaol awaiting Lord Roberts's confirmation of his sentence. When Eloff succeeded in entering Mafeking many months later, the former was liberated with the other prisoners, and given a rifle to fire on the Boers, which he did with much effect. I believe he was afterwards taken to a gaol in the Isle of Wight, but I do not know if his life-sentence is still in force.
This gentleman on a later occasion again attempted to leave Mafeking on horseback, and was taken prisoner by the Boers and sent to Pretoria, leaving the Daily Mail without a correspondent in Mafeking. At the request of that paper I then undertook to send them cables about the siege.