With the best will in the world it would have been quite impossible to render any assistance to Dr. Jameson's forces, but apart from this there never was the slightest doubt of his ability to get into Johannesburg without assistance should he decide to attempt it. In conversation with the leaders of the movement he had always scouted the idea of requiring assistance from Johannesburg, nor would anyone have believed that with a well-equipped and perfectly trained force of 800 men (as it was believed he had) it was possible for the Boers to get together a force sufficiently strong to stop him in his dash on Johannesburg.

In the absence of Mr. Charles Leonard, who had been recognized as the leader of the movement, Mr. Lionel Phillips was elected Chairman of the Reform Committee, and he and Messrs. J.G. Auret, A. Bailey, and M. Langermann were chosen as the Committee's deputation to proceed to Pretoria and meet the Commission appointed by the Government. They left at an early hour on Wednesday morning, and were given practically a free hand to act on behalf of the Reform Committee. The position having been so thoroughly discussed there was no possibility of misunderstanding; there was no division in the Committee as to the attitude to be taken up. The deputation were to negotiate with the Government for a peaceful settlement on the basis of the Manifesto, accepting what they might consider to be a reasonable instalment of the reforms demanded. They were to deal with the Government in a conciliatory spirit and to avoid all provocation to civil strife, but at the same time to insist upon the recognition of rights and the redress of the grievances, to avow the association with Dr. Jameson's forces so far as it had existed, and to include him in any settlement that might be made. It was impossible to lay down any definite lines on which to negotiate on behalf of Dr. Jameson, as the Reform Committee were still in complete ignorance of his reasons for starting; but it was considered fairer and more reasonable to assume that he had started in good faith and that the two messengers who had been sent to stop him had not reached him, and to act accordingly. However awkward a predicament he had placed the Johannesburg people in, they accepted a certain moral responsibility for him and his actions and decided to make his safety the first consideration.

Late on Tuesday night the Collector of Customs at Johannesburg informed members of the Reform Committee that he had received a telegraphic despatch from the Pretoria head office notifying the suspension of all duties on various articles of food. It will be remembered that this relief was prayed for by the representative bodies of mining and commerce on the Rand several weeks before the outbreak and that the Government had replied that they were unable during the recess to deal with the matter as the legislative power and the power of levying and remitting duties had been taken from the Executive by the Volksraad some time previously. It will also be remembered that the Government acted on this hint as to the necessities of the community in a wholly unexpected way by granting a monopoly for the free importation of grain to a favoured individual of their party in Pretoria. It is not wonderful therefore that the notification conveyed by the Collector of Customs was received with considerable derision, and the opinion was expressed that it would have redounded more to the credit of the Government's honesty and intelligence had they remitted the duties when first petitioned instead of doing so at the last moment hastily and ungracefully—so to speak, at the point of the bayonet.

On Wednesday morning, whilst the deputation were engaged in negotiations with the Government Commission, a telegram was received by the Reform Committee in Johannesburg from Sir Jacobus de Wet, the British agent, conveying the following proclamation of the High Commissioner:

Whereas it has come to my knowledge that certain British subjects, said to be under the leadership of Dr. Jameson, have violated the territory of the South African Republic, and have cut telegraph-wires, and done various other illegal acts; and whereas the South African Republic is a friendly State, in amity with Her Majesty's Government; and whereas it is my desire to respect the independence of the said State;

Now, therefore, I hereby command the said Dr. Jameson and all persons accompanying him to immediately retire from the territory of the South African Republic, on pain of the penalties attached to their illegal proceedings; and I do further hereby call upon all British subjects in the South African Republic to abstain from giving the said Dr. Jameson any countenance or assistance in his armed violation of the territory of a friendly State.

A reply was immediately sent to the British Agent stating that the Reform Committee were not aware of the reasons which prompted Dr. Jameson to start, but that as he was coming to their assistance, presumably in good faith, they felt morally bound to provide for him, and they therefore urged the British Agent most strongly to spare no effort in forwarding the proclamation to Dr. Jameson so that he might be aware of the action taken by the Imperial Government and might turn back before any conflict should take place between his and the Boer forces. The Committee offered to forward the despatch themselves if facilities of passport were given.

A full meeting of the Committee was immediately convened in order to consider this new complication of the case, and the following telegram was approved and sent at 11.15 a.m., addressed to the Deputation of the Reform Committee, care of Her Majesty's Agent, Pretoria:

Meeting has been held since you started to consider telegram from British Agent, and it was unanimously resolved to authorize you to make following offer to Government. Begins: 'In order to avert bloodshed on grounds of Dr. Jameson's action, if Government will allow Dr. Jameson to come in unmolested, the Committee will guarantee with their persons if necessary that he shall leave again peacefully within as little delay as possible.'{22}

The Committee well realized the fatal results of Dr. Jameson's invasion under the circumstances, and much as their position had been injured and complicated by his action, it was felt that it would still be better to get rid of the foreign element which he represented and to fight the battle out under such conditions as might arise without any assistance than to let things go from bad to worse through further action on Dr. Jameson's part.

No reply had been received from the High Commissioner to the telegrams urging him to come up in person. Mr. Cecil Rhodes had telegraphed that he was urgently pressing the High Commissioner to come, but that he had received no assurances as yet from him. During Wednesday Messrs. Leonard and Hamilton telegraphed that the former had seen the High Commissioner, who had declined to move unless invited by the other side; they were using every effort to induce him to move but no reliance could be placed upon him. They further advised that in their strong opinion a reasonable compromise should be effected, and that it was most vital to avoid offence. Mr. F.H. Hamilton, who was one of the first associated with the movement, finding then that nothing more could be done and feeling that his proper place was with his comrades, refused to remain longer and returned to Johannesburg, arriving there after Dr. Jameson's surrender.

Two and a half days had now elapsed since Dr. Jameson started, and the Committee were still without word or sign from him as to his having started or the reason which prompted him to do so. None knew better than Dr. Jameson himself the difficulties and magnitude of the task which he had set the Reform Committee when he struck his camp at Pitsani and marched into the Transvaal. None knew better than he that with the best luck and all the will and energy in the world it would hardly be possible to do as much as place the town in a position of defence. Every hour some explanation or some message was expected from him, something to throw a little light on his action; but nothing ever came, and the Committee were left to act in the dark as their judgment or good fortune might lead them.

The deputation which had been sent to Pretoria met the Government Commission at noon on Wednesday. The Commission consisted of Chief Justice Kotzé (Chairman), Judge Ameshof, and Executive Member Kock. There was a Government shorthand clerk present. Before the business of the meeting was gone into, at the request of the Chief Justice the deputation consented to minutes of the interview being taken, remarking that as they were dealing with the Government in good faith they had nothing to conceal. It may be well to mention that at the meeting of Messrs. Malan and Marais with the Reform Committee the question was raised as to the attitude of the Government towards the deputation which it was suggested should be sent to Pretoria. Someone remarked that the Government were quite capable of inducing the deputation to go to Pretoria, having them arrested as soon as they got there, and holding them as hostages. Messrs. Marais and Malan both scouted the idea and stated positively that the Executive Council had formally acknowledged to them that they were negotiating with the Reform Committee in good faith, and that negotiations would of course be carried on in a decent manner as between two civilized parties in arms. These little incidents have a peculiar interest now in view of the treachery practised by the Government by means of the negotiations with the deputation.

Mr. Lionel Phillips as spokesman detailed at length the position of affairs in Johannesburg, citing the grievances and disabilities under which the Uitlander population existed. He pointed out that year after year the Uitlanders had been begging and petitioning for redress of these grievances, for some amelioration of their condition, for fair and uniform treatment of all the white subjects of the State, and for some representation in the Legislature of the country, as they were entitled by their numbers and their work and their property to have; yet not only had a deaf ear been turned to all their petitions, but the conditions were actually aggravated year by year and, instead of obtaining relief, there was a marked increase in the burdens and disabilities imposed. He informed the Commission that the Manifesto fairly represented the views of the Reform Committee and the people of Johannesburg; that, whilst they were determined to have their rights, they recognised that it might not be possible to obtain complete redress at once, and they were prepared to accept what they might consider a reasonable instalment of redress. He stated that Dr. Jameson had remained on the borders of the Transvaal with an armed force by a written arrangement with certain of the leaders, and that he was there to render active assistance should the community be driven to extremes and require his assistance; but as to his present action the Committee could throw no further light upon it, as they were in ignorance of his reason for starting; they could only assume that he had done so in good faith, probably misled by rumours of trouble in Johannesburg which he thought he had sufficient reason to believe. He added that so far from being invited by the Committee, messengers had actually been sent to prevent him from moving, but that it was not known to the Committee if these messengers had reached him or if the telegrams which had been sent with a like purpose had ever been delivered to him, and that consequently the Committee preferred to believe that he had come in in good faith and thinking the community to be in dire need, and for this reason the people of Johannesburg were resolved to stand by him.

In the course of the discussion, Executive Member Kock remarked: 'If you have erected fortifications and have taken up arms, you are nothing but rebels.' Mr. Phillips replied: 'You can call us rebels if you like. All we want is justice, decent treatment, and honest government; that is what we have come to ask of you.' Mr. Kock thereupon remarked that the deputation spoke as though they represented Johannesburg, whereas for all the Government knew the Reform Committee might be but a few individuals of no influence; and he asked if they could be informed as to who constituted that body. The deputation gave certain names from memory and offered to telegraph for a full list. The reply came in time to be handed to the Government and it constituted the sole piece of evidence ever obtained as to who were members of the Reform Committee. After hearing the statement of Mr. Phillips the Chief Justice informed the deputation that the Commission were not empowered to arrange terms, but were merely authorized to hear what the deputation had to say, to ascertain their grievances and the proposed remedies, and to report this discussion to the Government. Taking up certain points referred to by Mr. Phillips, the Chief Justice asked whether the Johannesburg people would consent to lay down their arms if the Government granted practically all the reforms that were asked. Mr. Phillips replied in the affirmative, adding that after enfranchisement the community would naturally be privileged to take up arms again as burghers of the State. The Chief Justice asked on what lines it was proposed that the franchise should be granted. The deputation replied that the community would be quite content if the Government would accept the principle, leaving the settlement of details to a Commission of three persons—one to be appointed by each party, and the third to be mutually agreed upon.

The meeting was adjourned at noon until 5 p.m., and in the meantime the deputation telegraphed to the Reform Committee in Johannesburg the substance of what had taken place, stating among other things that they had explained the arrangements with Dr. Jameson. That such a message should be sent through the Government telegraph-office at a time when every telegram was read for the purpose of obtaining information as to what was on foot is further proof (if proof be needed) that the 'revelations' as to the connection between Dr. Jameson and the Reformers, which were brought out with theatrical effect later on, were not by any means a startling surprise to the Government, and were in fact well known to them in all essential details before the first encounter between the Boers and Dr. Jameson had taken place. The significance of this fact in its bearing upon Dr. Jameson's surrender and the after-treatment of the Reform prisoners should not be lost sight of.

The adjourned meeting between the Government Commission and the Reform Committee deputation took place at 5 p.m., when the Chief Justice intimated to the deputation that they had reported to a full meeting of the Executive Council all that had taken place at the morning meeting, and that the Executive had authorized them to hand to the deputation in answer a resolution, the substance of which is given hereunder:

The High Commissioner has offered his services with a view to a peaceful settlement. The Government of the South African Republic have accepted his offer. Pending his arrival, no hostile step will be taken against Johannesburg provided Johannesburg takes no hostile step against the Government. In terms of a certain proclamation recently issued by the State President the grievances will be earnestly considered.

It is impossible to give the exact wording of the minute because the original document was inadvertently destroyed and all applications to Government for a copy were met at first by evasions and finally by point-blank refusal. The document was required as evidence in the trial of the Reform prisoners and every effort was made to secure an exact copy. As a last resource the above version, as sworn to by a number of men who had seen the original document, was put in. The Government were informed that if a true copy of the original resolution as recorded in the Minute Book of the Executive Council were not supplied for the purposes of evidence in the trial the prisoners would hand in the version given above. No reply was received to this, and the State Attorney acting on behalf of the Government admitted the version here given in the statement put in by the prisoners. It is clear therefore that if this version errs in any respect it cannot at all events be to the disadvantage of the Government or they would assuredly have objected to it and have produced the resolution itself.

On receipt of the above resolution the deputation inquired whether this offer of the Government's was intended to include Dr. Jameson. The Chief Justice replied that the Government declined to treat about him as he was a foreign invader and would have to be turned out of the country. The deputation thereupon handed in the telegram from the Reform Committee, already quoted, offering their persons as security, and pointed out that this was the most earnest and substantial guarantee that it was possible to offer that the Committee had not invited Dr. Jameson and had no desire to destroy the independence of the State. The Commission in reply stated that the proclamation of the High Commissioner was being forwarded to Dr. Jameson from various quarters, and that he would inevitably be stopped. In reply to the statement by the deputation that they were not empowered to accept terms which did not explicitly include Dr. Jameson but would report to headquarters and reply later on, the Chief Justice stated that the Government required no answer to the resolution handed to them. This was in fact their answer, and if the people of Johannesburg observed the conditions mentioned therein there would be no further trouble, but if they disregarded them they would be held responsible for whatever followed. The deputation returned to Johannesburg fully convinced that the grievances would be redressed and a peaceful settlement arrived at through the mediation of the High Commissioner, and that Dr. Jameson would inevitably obey the latter's proclamation and leave the country peacefully on ascertaining that there was no necessity for his intervention on behalf of the Uitlanders.

Not only did the Government supply the deputation with the minute in writing already quoted, but they also instructed the local officers of Johannesburg to make public their decision to avail themselves of Sir Hercules Robinson's services. It will be observed that the notification published in Johannesburg is not so full as the Executive minute handed to the deputation in Pretoria, but the spirit in which it was given and accepted is shown by the following notice issued by the Reform Committee embodying the official statement:



The Government have handed us a written reply this afternoon (January 1), stating they have agreed to accept the offer of the High Commissioner to go to Pretoria to assist the Government in preventing bloodshed, and then the representations of the Committee will be taken into serious consideration. The communication referred to is as follows:

'The Government of the South African Republic have accepted the offer of the High Commissioner to come to Pretoria.

(Signed) J. L. VAN DER MERWE, Mining Commissioner. J. F. DE BEER, Judicial Commissioner. CARL JEPPE, Member of the First Volksraad, Johannesburg. A. H. BLECKSLEY, Commandant Volunteers.

Desirous as the Committee has always been to obtain its objects without the shedding of blood and incurring the horrors of civil war, the opportunity of achieving its aims by peaceful means is welcome.

The Reform Committee desires that the public will aid them with the loyalty and enthusiasm which they have shown so far in the maintenance of its organization, and will stand firm in the cause of law and order and the establishment of their rights.

By order of the Committee.

This notice was published in the local press, and also distributed as a leaflet in Johannesburg.

More than this! At one o'clock on Wednesday President Kruger had sent for Sir Jacobus de Wet and requested him to transmit to the Reform Committee the following message: 'I desire again to invite your serious attention to the fact that negotiations are going on between Mr. Chamberlain and His Honour the President. I am convinced the Government is prepared to meet any committee or deputation at any time to discuss matters. In view of this and of negotiations with Mr. Chamberlain I advise you to follow a constitutional course.' That telegram was framed at President Kruger's request and approved by him before being transmitted.

A great deal has been said about the impolicy, and even the bad faith, of the Johannesburg people in concluding an armistice which did not include Dr. Jameson. From the above account it is clear in the first place that every effort was made to provide for his safety, and in the next place that no armistice was concluded. Certain terms were offered by the Government which it was open to the Committee to either accept or reject or ignore, as they might decide later on. In plain English, the Committee were as free after the negotiations as they had been before. They gave no undertaking to abstain from hostile action; they simply received the offer of the Government. Whether they complied with those conditions as a matter of cold-blooded selfish policy, whether they simply selected an easy way out of a difficult position, or whether they complied with the conditions solely because they were not in a position to do anything else, it is open to every man to decide for himself; but it does not seem fair, in face of the fact that they were not able to do anything else, to impute the worst motives of all for the course which they eventually took.

On the return of the deputation to Johannesburg a report of what had taken place was given to a full meeting of the Reform Committee. Divers opinions were expressed as to what was the right course to take, but eventually all were agreed that, as the first duty of the Committee was undoubtedly to protect the town and the unarmed section of the community, as they could not afford to send a single man out of the place, as there was no reason to suppose that Dr. Jameson required or would welcome any assistance, and as it seemed certain that he would be stopped by the High Commissioner's proclamation and turned back, it would be nothing short of criminal madness to adopt any aggressive measures at that stage.

It does not appear to have occurred to many of the hostile critics of the Reform Committee to consider what might have happened when they are judging what actually took place. Dr. Jameson had invaded the country with less than 500 men. It must be clear from this that it was not his intention to conquer the Transvaal. It must have been and indeed it was his idea that it would be impossible for the Imperial Government to stand passively by and witness the struggle between its own subjects preferring legitimate and moderate claims and a corrupt and incompetent Boer Government. Intervention of one sort or another he certainly expected—either material help in the shape of British troops, or the intervention of the High Commissioner to effect a peaceful settlement. By the false step which evoked the High Commissioner's proclamation he had forfeited all claim to the support on which he reckoned. It was reasonable to suppose therefore that, on the receipt of the proclamation ordering him to return and calling on all British subjects to abstain from assisting him, he would realize the consequences of his mistake. He would also learn from the Reform Committee's messengers (that is, assuming that he did not know it already) that the Johannesburg people neither required nor wished for his intervention, and he would elect to leave the country in accordance with the High Commissioner's mandate rather than continue a course which, with the opposition of the British Government added to that of the Boer Government, must inevitably end in disgrace and disaster. This was the conclusion arrived at in the Reform Committee room; and it was then considered what would be the position of the Johannesburg people if, in defiance of the High Commissioner's proclamation and in violation of the terms offered by the Transvaal Government, they should adopt aggressive and wholly futile measures in aid of Dr. Jameson, only to find that he himself had obeyed the proclamation and had turned back.

No man in his senses would have anticipated Dr. Jameson's continuing his march after receipt of the proclamation and full information as to the wishes and position of the Johannesburg people. But, apart from this, it was the opinion of military men, such as Colonel Heyman, who had been sent in by Dr. Jameson, and who were present at the meetings of the Reform Committee, that it would not be possible for the Boers to stop him, and that it would require a very large force indeed to cope with a body of men so well trained, well equipped, and well led as his were thought to be. It would moreover need extraordinary luck and management on the Boers' side to get together any considerable force in time to intercept him before he should reach Johannesburg. It may be added that the opinion expressed by these gentlemen is still adhered to. They say that, properly led, Jameson's force should have got in without firing a shot, and that, properly handled, they should not have been stopped by a much greater number of Boers. However this is as it may be.

It has been stated, and the statement has gained considerable credence, that the very train which brought the deputation back to Johannesburg after their negotiations with the Government also brought a detachment of the State artillery with field-pieces and a plentiful supply of ammunition to reinforce the Boers, who were then in position to intercept Dr. Jameson, and it has further been suggested that the obvious course for the Reform Committee to have taken was to break up the line and to stop trains passing out towards Krugersdorp, also to seize the telegraph and railway offices. Such action would have been perfectly futile. As a matter of fact the artillery and ammunition were sent direct from Pretoria by waggon, and not through Johannesburg at all.{23} Any such action as the seizing of the telegraph and railway offices would have been useless in itself, if intended to aid Jameson's force, and would of course have been a declaration of war on the part of the Committee against the Transvaal Government, a declaration which they were not able to back up by any effective measures. A partially successful attempt was made to blow up the line between Johannesburg and Krugersdorp by individuals who thought that they would be rendering a service to the cause, and who did not stop to calculate the full effects of their action.

During the afternoon of Wednesday, while the deputation were still engaged in negotiation with the Government Commission, the messenger despatched by Sir Jacobus de Wet, British Agent in Pretoria, to deliver the High Commissioner's proclamation to Dr. Jameson, arrived in Johannesburg, and applied at the Reform Committee rooms for an escort through the lines of defence, showing at the same time the passport given him by the Commandant-General to pass him through the Boer lines. It was immediately decided to take advantage of the opportunity in order to bring further pressure to bear upon Dr. Jameson to induce him to leave the country peacefully, and to make finally and absolutely sure that he should realize the true position of affairs. Mr. J. J. Lace, a member of the Reform Committee, volunteered to accompany the messenger to explain to Dr. Jameson the state of affairs in Johannesburg and to induce him to return while there was yet a chance of retrieving the position. On the return of the deputation this action of the rest of the Committee was cordially approved and was found to be in entire accord with the attitude taken up by them in their dealings with the Government.

If any evidence were needed as to the sincerity and singleness of purpose of the Committee, the action taken by the deputation in Pretoria and the rest of the Committee in Johannesburg, whilst acting independently of each other and without any opportunity of discussing matters and deciding upon a common line, should be sufficient. If the Committee as a whole had not been following an honest and clearly-defined policy they would have inevitably come to grief under such trying circumstances. As a matter of fact, the steps taken during Wednesday by the two sections acting independently were wholly in accord.

In the course of the day it became known that Dr. Jameson had caused to be published the letter of invitation quoted in another chapter, and from this it was clear to those who knew the circumstances under which the letter was given that he had deliberately started in violation of the agreement entered into, that he had thrown discretion to the winds, and decided to force the hands of the Johannesburg people. The result of this was that among the leaders it was realized that Dr. Jameson was playing his own hand with complete indifference to the consequences for others; but the vast majority of the Rand community could not possibly realize this, and were firmly convinced that the invading force had come in in good faith, believing the community to be in extreme peril.

In sensational matters of this kind it is very often the case that a single phrase will illustrate the position more aptly than chapters of description. It is unfortunately also the case that phrases are used and catch the ear and survive the circumstances of the time, carrying with them meanings which they were never intended to convey. In the course of the events which took place in the early part of the year many such expressions were seized on and continually quoted. Among them, and belonging to the second description above referred to, is the phrase 'Stand by Jameson.' It was never used in the sense of sending out an armed force to the assistance of Dr. Jameson, because it was recognized from the beginning that such a course was not within the range of possibility. The phrase was first used in the Executive Council Chamber when the deputation from the Reform Committee met the Government Commission and Mr. Lionel Phillips explained the nature of the connection between the Johannesburg people and the invading force. After showing that the Rand community were not responsible for his immediate action, and after acknowledging that he was on the border with the intention of rendering assistance if it should be necessary, he said that the Uitlanders nevertheless believed that, owing to circumstances of which they were ignorant, Dr. Jameson had started in absolute good faith to come to their assistance, and for that reason they were determined to stand by him. For that reason they offered their persons as security for his peaceful evacuation of the country—a course which was then, and is still, deemed to be 'standing by him' in as effective and practical a manner as it was possible for men in their position to do.

The reproach levelled at the Reform Committee by members of the Transvaal Government ever since the surrender of Dr. Jameson is that, whilst professing not to support hostile action against the State, and whilst avowing loyalty to the Republic, the people of Johannesburg did not give the logical and practical proof of such loyalty that the Government were entitled to expect; that is, they did not take up arms to fight against the invaders. It is scarcely necessary to say that such a preposterous idea never entered the minds of any of the Uitlanders. When all is said and done, blood is thicker than water, alike with the Uitlanders as with the Boers. The Boers have shown on many occasions that they elect to side with their kin on the promptings of their heart rather than support those whom their judgment shows them to be worthy of their assistance. Had the Uitlanders been sufficiently armed there can be no question that rightly or wrongly they would have sided with Jameson, and would have given him effective support had they known that he needed it. Had he ever reached Johannesburg the enthusiasm would have been wild and unbounded, and, however much the cooler heads among the community might realize that such a partial success might have proved a more serious misfortune than the total failure has been, no such considerations would have weighed with the community in general; and the men who were aiming at practical and lasting good results, rather than cultivating popular enthusiasm, would have been swept aside, and others, more in accord with the humour of the moment, would have taken their places.

It is useless to speculate as to what would have happened had Dr. Jameson reached Johannesburg. The prestige of success might have enabled him, as it has enabled many others, to achieve the apparently impossible and compel the acceptance of terms which would have insured a lasting peace; but as Johannesburg had neither arms nor ammunition, especially the latter, commensurate with the requirements of anything like severe fighting, even for a single day, and as the invading force had not more than enough for its own requirements, it is difficult to conceive that anything but disaster could have followed.

Throughout the troubles which followed the invasion it was not the personal suffering or loss which fell to the lot of the Johannesburg people that touched them so nearly as the taunts which were unjustly levelled at them for not rendering assistance to Dr. Jameson. The terms, 'cowards,' 'poltroons,' and 'traitors,' and the name of 'Judasburg,' absolutely undeserved as they were known to be, rankled in the hearts of all, and it was only by the exercise of much self-denial and restraint that it was possible for men to remain silent during the period preceding Dr. Jameson's trial. Extremely bitter feeling was roused by the tacit approval given to these censures by the officers of the invading force, for their continued silence was naturally construed to be tacit approval. 'Not once,' said one of the Reformers, 'has a single member of Dr. Jameson's party come forward and stated that the imputations on the Reformers were undeserved; yet we gave them the benefit of every doubt, and tried throughout to screen them, whilst all the time the Doctor and at least three of his companions knew that they had started to "make their own flotation." That is not cricket.'

It has been urged on behalf of Dr. Jameson that he could not have been asked to state prior to his trial that he never expected or arranged for help from Johannesburg—that his case was already a sufficiently difficult one without embarrassing it with other people's affairs. Yet it was noted in Johannesburg that, when a report was circulated to the effect that he had started the invasion on the instructions of Mr. Cecil Rhodes, he and another officer of his force wrote jointly to the English papers to say that there was no truth whatever in the statement. The consequences of taking upon himself the responsibility for initiative in this way, while he had yet to undergo his trial, were far more serious than would have followed a simple statement to the effect that injustice was being done to the Rand community in the charges of cowardice laid against it. It was felt then, and the feeling has not in any way abated, that Dr. Jameson regarded the fate and interests of the people of Johannesburg with indifference, looking upon them merely as pawns in a game that he was playing. It was only Mr. Rhodes who took an opportunity to say that 'the Johannesburg people are not cowards; they were rushed.'

The general public did not know the circumstances under which Dr. Jameson had agreed to remain on the frontier. They did not know that telegrams and messengers had been despatched to stop him, nor was it felt advisable to inform them of these steps at a time when matters had seemingly gone too far to be stopped. It was considered that any statement of that kind put forth at that particular juncture would simply tend to create a panic from which no good results could accrue, and that, as Dr Jameson had cast the die and crossed his Rubicon, as little as possible should be done needlessly to embarrass him. Suggestions were continually being made, and have been and are still being frequently quoted, to the effect that a force should be sent out to create a diversion among the Boer commandoes in Jameson's favour. Suggestions were made by men who had not the remotest idea of the resources at the command of the Committee, or who did not stop to think of what might have happened had Johannesburg been depleted of its armed force, and so left at the mercy of a few hundred Boers. There were always, as there will always be, men prepared for any reckless gamble, but this course was most earnestly considered time after time by the Committee when some fresh suggestion or development seemed to warrant a reconsideration of the decision already arrived at not to attempt any aggressive measures. Finally the matter was by common consent left in the hands of Colonel Heyman, an officer who has rendered distinguished service in South Africa, and whose reputation and judgment were acknowledged by all. This course was the more readily agreed to since Colonel Heyman was by none more highly thought of than by Dr. Jameson himself. The decision given by him was that the invading force, properly led, drilled and equipped as it was, was a far stronger body than the entire force enrolled under the Reform Committee, and that it would require a very large force indeed of burghers to stop it. If Dr. Jameson had thought that he would need help there had been ample time for him to send a fast mounted messenger to Johannesburg. He had not done so; and it was therefore to be presumed that as he had taken upon himself the responsibility of invasion he was prepared for all contingencies; but, apart from this, the force available in Johannesburg, which would be in a few days a very good one behind earthworks, was at that moment utterly unfit to march out in the open. It would in its then condition, and with no equipment of field-pieces, be liable to be annihilated by a relatively small number of Boers before it should reach Dr. Jameson. It was decided, however, that, should fighting take place within such distance from the town that men could be taken from the defences without endangering the safety of the town, a force should be taken out at once.

Fault has repeatedly been found with the military organization in Johannesburg for not having been well served by an Intelligence Department, and for not knowing from day to day what the whereabouts and position of Dr. Jameson's forces were.

The reply to this is that the Johannesburg people had only two days in which to look after themselves and protect themselves in the crisis in which Dr. Jameson's action had plunged them; that as a matter of fact strenuous efforts were made to establish communication with the invading force; that the Intelligence Department—which, considering how short a time was available for its organization, was by no means unsatisfactory—was employed in many directions besides that in which Dr. Jameson was moving; that some success was achieved in communicating with him, but that the risks to be taken, owing to the imperative necessity of saving time at almost any cost, were greater than usual and resulted in the capture of eight or ten of the men employed in the endeavour to communicate with Dr. Jameson alone; and finally, that since he had seen fit to violate all the arrangements entered into and dash into the country in defiance of the expressed wishes of the people, whom he was bent on rescuing whether they wished to be rescued or not, the least that could be expected of him and of his force was that they should acquaint themselves with the road which they proposed to travel and take the necessary steps to keep the Johannesburg people posted as to their movements.

It has been urged by a prominent member of the invading force—not Dr. Jameson—that since the force had been kept on the border for some weeks with the sole object of assisting Johannesburg people when they should require assistance, the very least that they were entitled to expect was that someone should be sent out to show them the road and not leave them to go astray for want of a guide. To this it was replied that a force which had been, as they stated, on the border for several weeks with the sole object of invading the country by a certain road, had ample time, and might certainly have been expected to know the road; and as for relieving Johannesburg in its necessity, the argument might have applied had this 'necessity' ever arisen; but since the idea was to force the hands of the Reformers, the latter might fairly regard themselves as absolved from every undertaking, specific or implied, which might ever have been made in connection with the business. But at that time the excuse had not been devised that there had ever been an undertaking to assist Jameson, on the contrary it was readily admitted that such an idea was never entertained for a moment; nor can one understand how anyone cognizant of the telegram from Dr. Jameson to Dr. Rutherfoord Harris—'We will make our own flotation by the aid of the letter which I shall publish'—can set up any defence at the expense of others.

By Wednesday night it was known that Major Heany had passed through Mafeking in time to join Dr. Jameson's force, and that, bar some extraordinary accident, Captain Holden must have met Dr. Jameson on his way, since he had been despatched along the road which Dr. Jameson would take in marching on Johannesburg; and if all other reasons did not suffice to assure the Committee that Dr. Jameson would not be relying on any assistance from Johannesburg the presence of one or other of the two officers above mentioned would enable him to know that he should not count upon Johannesburg to give him active support. Both were thoroughly well acquainted with the position and were able to inform him, and have since admitted that they did inform him, that he should not count upon a single man going out to meet him. Captain Holden—who prior to the trial of Dr. Jameson and his comrades, prompted by loyalty to his chief, abstained from making any statement which could possibly embarrass him—immediately after the trial expressed his regret at the unjust censure upon the Johannesburg people and the charges of cowardice and bad faith which had been levelled against them, and stated that he reached Pitsani the night before Dr. Jameson started, and that he faithfully and fully delivered the messages which he was charged to deliver and earnestly impressed upon Dr. Jameson the position in which the Johannesburg people were placed, and their desire that he should not embarrass them by any precipitate action.

Before daybreak on Thursday, January 2, Bugler Vallé, of Dr. Jameson's force, arrived in the Reform Committee room and reported himself as having been sent by the Doctor at about midnight after the battle at Krugersdorp on Wednesday. He stated that the Doctor had supplied him with the best horse in the troop and sent him on to inform Colonel Rhodes where he was. He described the battle at the Queen's Mine, Krugersdorp, and stated that the force had been obliged to retreat from the position in which they had fought in order to take up a better one on higher ground, but that the position in which they had camped for the night was not a very good one. When questioned as to the exact message that he had been told to deliver he replied, 'The Doctor says, "Tell them that I am getting along all right, but they must send out to meet me."' He was asked what was meant by 'sending out to meet him.' Did it mean to send a force out? Did he want help? His reply was, 'No; the Doctor says he is getting along all right, but you must send out to meet him.' The messenger was keenly questioned upon this point, but adhered to the statement that the force was getting along all right and would be in early in the morning. Colonel Rhodes, who was the first to see the messenger, was however dissatisfied with the grudging admissions and the ambiguous message, and expressed the belief that 'the Doctor wants help, but is ashamed to say so.' Acting promptly on this conviction, he despatched all the mounted men available (about 100) under command of Colonel Bettington, with instructions to ascertain the whereabouts of Dr. Jameson's force, and if possible to join them.

This was done without the authority of the Committee and in direct opposition to the line already decided upon. It was moreover considered to be taking a wholly unnecessary risk, in view of the fact that an attack upon the town was threatened by burgher forces on the north-west side, and it was immediately decided by a number of members who heard of Colonel Rhodes' action to despatch a messenger ordering the troop not to proceed more than ten miles from the town, but to reconnoitre and ascertain what Dr. Jameson's position was, with the reservation that, should it be found that he actually needed help, such assistance as was possible should of course be given him. As a matter of hard fact it would not have been possible for the troop to reach Dr. Jameson before his surrender, so that the action taken upon the only message received from the invading force had no practical bearing upon the results.

At daybreak on Thursday morning Mr. Lace and the despatch rider sent by the British Agent to deliver the High Commissioner's proclamation and the covering despatch were passed through the Dutch lines under the authority of the Commandant-General, and they delivered the documents to Dr. Jameson in person. In reply to Sir Jacobus de Wet's appeal Dr. Jameson said, 'Tell Sir Jacobus de Wet that I have received his despatch; and that I shall see him in Pretoria to-morrow.' Mr. Lace briefly informed him of the position, as he had undertaken to do. The presence of a Boer escort and the shortness of the time allowed for the delivery of the messages prevented any lengthy conversation. Dr. Jameson made no comment further than to say, 'It is too late now,' and then asked the question, 'Where are the troops?' to which Mr. Lace replied, 'What troops do you mean? We know nothing about troops.' It did not occur to Mr. Lace or to anyone else that he could have meant 'troops' from Johannesburg. With the receipt of Dr. Jameson's verbal reply to the British Agent's despatch-carrier the business was concluded, and the escort from the Boer lines insisted on leaving, taking with them Mr. Lace and the despatch-rider. He offered no further remark.

Footnotes for Chapter V

{22} The telegram originally read 'within twenty-four hours,' but it was considered impossible to guarantee the time exactly, and the alteration as above given was made, the word 'within' being inadvertently left standing instead of 'with.'

{23} Captain Ferreira, at one time in command of the guard over the Reformers, informed the writer that he had formed one of the cavalry escort. 'It is a good story,' he said, 'but what fools we would have been to send our guns shut up in trucks through a hostile camp of 20,000 armed men—as we thought—round two sides of a triangle instead of going by the shorter and safe road.'