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Full text of "Among Boers and Basutos: The Story of Our Life on the Frontier"

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AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 



AMONG BOERS AND 

BASUTOS 



The Story of oiw Life on the Frontier 



MRS BARKLY 



SECOND EDITION 



REMINGTON & COMPANY, Ltd. 

LONDON AND SYDNEY 
1894 

All rights reserved 



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TO THE MEMORY OP 
MY BELOVED HUSBAND 

ARTHUR CECIL ST ART BARELY, C.M.G. 

(Late Carabineers J 

THE LAST BRITISH GOVERNOR OF HELIGOLAND 

THIS LITFLE BOOK IS DEDICATED 

WITH DEEP AFFECTION 

BT 

HIS WIDOW 

Hampton Court Palace 



CONTENTS 



The Journey 



Basutoland 



Our Social Life 



Basuto Customs . 



CHAPTER I 



CHAPTER II 



CHAPTER III 



CHAPTER IV 



CHAPTER V 



Moiiale's Hoek .... 

CHAPTER VI 

MoiROSi's Mountain • . 

CHAPTER VII 

Life in Camp .... 

CHAPTER Vlll 

The Disarmament Act . 

CHAPTER IX 

Our Last Station in Basutoland, Mafeteng 

CHAPTER X 

My Flight at Night from Mafeteng to the 
Orange Free State . 



PAGE 
1 



22 



34 



41 



59 



85 



98 



III 



125 



150 



via CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XI 

The Siege of Mafeteng i6o 

CHAPTER XU 

Mt Life ON THE Border DURING THE Siege . i66 

chapter xui 
Wepeiter, Orange Free State. How we lived 

IN A Dutch Boer's Cottage . .176 

chapter XIV 
Colonel Carrixgton arrives at Wepener with 

TWO HUNDRED C.M.R l8o 

chapter XV 

Situation in Camp 190 

chapter XVI 

Extract FROM Times — The Basuto Rebellion 21c 

CHAPTER XVn 

Dark Days 22? 

CHAPTER XVUI 

Arrival of more Troops 231 

CHAPTER XIX 

Relief of I^Iafeteng 234 

CHAPTER XX 

Successful Attack on Lerothodi . . -239 

CHAPIE R XXI 

More Fighting 274 

CHAPTER xxn 
Fresh Troubles 260 

CHAPTER XXIII 

Aliwal North, and Home Again . . .266 



AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

CHAPTER I 

THE JOURNEY 

I LEFT England for Basutoland in the autumn 
of 1877 to join my husband, who had been 
appointed a few months before (22nd August, 
1677) by Sir Bartle Frere, then Governor of 
the Cape of Good Hope, to be Resident 
Magistrate of Thaba-Bosigo, Basutoland — 
otherwise called * Advance Post, Cannibal 
Valley* — not perhaps, a very inviting ad- 
dress for the residency. 

Our party consisted of my two little 
children, Harry, aged three, and Nancy, not 
quite two years old; my brother, the late 
Mr Alfred Hatchard, afterwards Civil Com- 



2 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

missioner of Mafeteng, British Bechuana- 
land; and two nurses, one of whom, Maria, was 
a Basuto, trained and educated in Bishop 
Colenso's school at Maritzburg, Natal. 
Maria had been brought home by my friend 
Lady Barker (now Lady Broome), and was 
glad to return with me to her native land. 
We had a pleasant but uneventful passage 
to the Cape, where we landed, and received 
a most kind and hearty welcome from many 
old friends at Cape Town, my husband hav- 
ing been for several years there as private 
secretary to his father, Sir Henry Barkly, 
who had preceded Sir Bartle Frere as 
governor of the colony. 

We spent a pleasant time in Cape Town 
waiting for the steamer which was to take 
us on to Durban, and received much kind- 
ness and hospitality from Lady Frere and 
her daughters, the governor himself being 
away. They petted and made much of 
Harry and Nancy, who were delighted to 
find themselves ashore again, and to be able 
to pick flowers and eat oranges to their 
hearts' content. 



THE JOUBNEY 3 

One of our most delightful excursions was 
to Bishop's Court to see the bishop and his 
sister. We passed through many pretty 
villages, gay with brilliant flowers, and fields, 
and hedges of pomegranates, the beautiful 
arum lily growing wild everywhere, past 
enclosures full of ostriches, pretty streams, 
where the Malay women were busy wash- 
ing clothes, which they beat with mealie 
cobs or staves, until we arrived at Wyn- 
berg, the most charming of the many 
pretty suburbs of Cape Town, which was 
looking exquisitely beautiful, and the children 
ran about, got branches of the lovely 
silver leaves, and thoroughly enjoyed them- 
selves. We were quite sorry to leave the 
old familiar places, and our spirits sank as we 
drove down to the docks with Lady Frere and 
her daughters, who came to see us safely off 
We had a nasty passage to Durban, the sea 
running mountains high, and a thick blind- 
ing fog prevailing, in the midst of which we 
ran dangerously near land, and positively 
* hugged the shore.' At last we arrived at 
Durban, where the sea was still terribly 



4 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

rough, and were lowered from the ship (one 
of Donald Currie's fine vessels) in big 
baskets, by no means a pleasant sort of 
conveyance, especially as the authorities 
insisted on putting two ladies in a basket 
together when there was only room for one. 
The said basket was swung on to the deck 
of our steamer by a sort of windlass, and we 
were politely requested to get in, I being the 
first to enter, which I endeavoured to do in as 
dignified a manner as possible, a difficult 
task, as the walls of the basket were high 
and the ship was rolling heavily in a strong 
gale of wind. When I got in and sat down 
in the bottom, I found that there was only 
room for one at a time, but as a young actress 
was immediately hoisted in after me, she had 
nothing for it but to sit on my lap, and we 
were gaily swung into a launch from a great 
height and deposited on the deck in safety. 
I was rather glad to emerge from my friendly 
basket, as I found my fellow-traveller heavy, 
she being a young woman of ample propor- 
tions. Not only did she almost reduce me to 
a state of pulp, but she also screamed loudly 



THE JOURNEr 



all the time, although she certainly had much 
the best of it. The usual mode of landing 
at Durban then was for passengers to be 
battened down in a life-boat, air and light 
being scrupulously excluded, and then * rush 
the surf/ This is somewhat dangerous in a 
high sea. As they have to go' through heavy 
rollers the passengers are often much alarmed, 
to say nothing of being nearly suflFocated ; but, 
fortunately for me, being related to Sir 
Henry Barkly, I was treated with great 
consideration always, and in this case the 
officials sent off the port launch for me — 
a steamer of considerable strength. 

We stayed only a day or two in Durban, 
and then went on to Maritzburg, a very 
pretty place, but having a temperature 
slightly above European ideas of comfort. 
We were very kindly received by the 
Governor, Sir H. Bulwer, and Sir Napier 
Broome, both of whom immediately called 
upon us on our arrival, as did the other 
principal officials in Maritzburg. The 
Governor was very kind, and said he re- 
gretted that being quite full he could not 



6 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

put US up at Government House during 
our stay in Maritzburg. A good many officers 
and their wives also came to see us, and 
gave us many invitations, and we had a very 
pleasant time altogether. The wife of the 
officer commanding the engineers was very 
good to me, and drove me about a great 
deal. Alfred and I went with her several 
times to hear the string-band play at the 
barracks on * ladies' nights ' after the officers* 
mess, and it was very pleasant to sit in the 
gardens and hear a very good band after 
the intense heat of a Natal summer's day. 
All the ladies in Maritzburg appeared to do 
most of their own cooking and other work 
also, being unable to get servants to do it, 
even if they paid very high wages ; and if 
you go to luncheon with one, she tells you 
that you ' must excuse her, as she has to see 
after those cutlets and that fowl, and dish up 
the luncheon.* Everybody rides in Natal, 
and you see ladies riding to a dinner-party 
in full evening dress. Sometimes a tropical 
storm overtakes them en route, causing sad 
results to a pretty toilette ! And on arrival 



THE JOURNEY 7 

at their destination, they have to be entirely 
'rigged out' again by the hostess; but 
nobody minds these little misadventures, 
everybody being in the same boat. I had a 
good deal of trouble about my Basuto maid 
* Maria' in Maritzburg. Her mother lived 
there, and as soon as the daughter arrived, 
she appeared at our hotel accompanied by a 
choice selection of coloured ladies and gentle- 
men(?), and taking up a conspicuous position 
in the principal street, just in front of our 
windows, commenced to scream and yell as 
loudly as she could, throw stones at the 
windows, and create a disturbance. It ap- 
peared that although Sir Napier and Lady 
Broome had taken Maria home with her 
entire consent and delivered her over to me, 
the mother chose to consider herself a 
great victim, and screamed out and abused 
Sir Napier Broome, my brother, and myself, 
saying that we had * stolen my child away 
from her home. She shall not go to 
Basutoland to be servant to the white 
people. I will keep her here, she is mine. 
Those wicked people have torn her away 



8 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

from her mother's arms,' and so on. At 
last the police appeared on the scene, and 
soon silenced the good lady. Maria herself 
was quite willing to go on to Basutoland 
with me, having a sister and other relations 
at Leribe, Major Bell's station, and had 
signed an agreement (which, however, she 
utterly failed to keep) to stay with us for 
two years as our servant, on condition that 
I paid all her expenses out from England 
to Basutoland, her native country. She 
was a most usefiil maid and nurse, and could 
pack capitally, do needle work, write and 
speak English very well, and looked after 
the two little ones perfectly. I brought 
another very good servant out from home, a 
Cape girl, who had gone home with me, but 
when she got back to Cape Town, she refused 
to go any further and remained there. 

We dined twice with the Governor, who 
was hospitality itself, and even sent a carriage 
to fetch us, drawn by mules. Servants 
appeared very scarce in Natal, even at the 
Governor's ; everyone walked in, unan- 
nounced, as is the custom in Maritzburg. We 



THE JOUBNEY ^ 9 

had a charming evening, the first time that my 
brother and I dined at Government House, 
the party consisting of Sir Theophilus 
Shepstone and his daughter, Sir Napier 
Broome, Mr Rider Haggard, then private 
secretary, and some others. The Governor 
made a most genial host, and indeed the 
greatest kindness was shown us by everyone 
we met in Natal. 

Meanwhile the news was by no means 
reassuring. Rumours of war were rife, and 
though hostilities had not actually broken 
out, we could not get any waggon-driver to 
* trek ' to such a dangerous region as Basuto- 
land. Besides which. Sir Henry Bulwer 
strongly advised us to wait a little while 
and watch the progress of events. At last, 
after many delays we succeeded, and 
then came the interesting but arduous 
task of packing the waggon for our long 
journey. We fitted-it up as much like 
a caravan as possible, and laid in large 
stores of tinned provisions, all of which 
proved invaluable to us. We took a big 
camp pot and kettle, gridiron, and some small 



lO AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

saucepans, for open-air cooking, plenty of 
tea and coffee, and tins of biscuits, and last, 
but not least, two pocket filters, which we 
used always, and found most necessary, the 
water being often very bad. When all was 
ready, we sent our waggon on before, and we 
ourselves followed forty-eight hours later, in 
Sir H. Bulwer's mule waggon, which he had 
kindly lent us for two or three days, sending 
also a mounted policeman by way of escort, 
who accompanied us to Basutoland. 

We joined the waggon at Estcourt, and 
our journey began in earnest ; unfortunately 
the delay was asfainst us, as the rainy season 
h«l by this til set in ; the weather was 
accordingly abominable, and the roads in a 
shocking state, with the result that we 
constantly stuck in the mud, and had to be 
dug out with much labour. 

The journey through Natal was pleasant 
enough in fine weather, though tedious at 
times, of course. My brother made great 
friends with the Natal policeman, who was a 
gentleman, and was most civil and attentive. 
When we got tired of the waggon, he used 



THE JOURNEY II 

to lend us his horse, in turns, to ride. After 
a time, we got used to the jolting of the 
waggon, and could sleep through it. The 
nurse Maria and the two children and I 
slept at night on a bed inside the waggon, 
while Alfred and the policeman camped 
underneath. At night they lit large fires to 
keep oflF the jackals, which we constantly- 
heard howling round us. We used to get up 
early, and go and bathe in the river, and 
make our toilets as best we could. The 
children were delighted at this alfresco way 
of living, and their appetites were something 
phenomenal ! 

Our policeman used to ride on in front to 
the various farms and buy us fresh milk in 
bottles, and new-laid eggs and bread. Some- 
times we came to a little inn, kept generally 
by an Englishman. Many of these small 
hotels in Natal are kept by gentlemen, 
retired officers, etc., men of good family and 
connection. My brother Alfred was de- 
lighted on our arrival at one little inn, and 
soon made friends with one man, especially 
as he found that he knew some of his people. 



12 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

He told us that he was making a fortune, 
but that he had to work very hard, and do 
almost everything himself, servants being so 
scarce in Natal. He cooked a capital 
luncheon for us, and before proceeding to 
lay the table showed us a book full of photo- 
graphs of his family. He seemed very much 
amused at our ignorance of the ways of the 
country, and told us that we were what the 
Natal people call * Jemmies.' We soon learnt 
to work, however, quite as hard as he did ; 
but it was a very rough experience, for me 
especially. We tried to persuade our host 
to have luncheon with us, but this he absol- 
utely declined, and insisted on waiting upon 
us, which we did not like at all. He seemed 
much pleased to see people fresh from home, 
and especially when we produced some 
books, magazines, and papers, and begged 
him to accept them. It was wonderful how 
nice and clean the whole place was and well 
arranged, although he had no wife, and only a 
black boy to help him. Still it seemed very 
unnatural to see him sweeping and dusting, 
and doing all sorts of work about the house. 



THE JOURNEY 1 3 

Now and then a friend or two would pafes 
us in one of the light ' spiders/ built especi- 
ally for Natal, and take us for some miles' 
drive on in front, a pleasant change from 
waggon-travelling. The nurse Maria was a 
great amusement to us. She was the most 
civilised savage that I ever came across. 
Perfectly black, with woolly black hair, large 
brown eyes, beautifiil teeth, and a good 
figure, she was quite a beauty in her way. 
She boasted that when she was in the service 
of Lady Broome, she had the honour of being 
spoken to by Her Majesty the Queen of 
England, besides having been * presented * to 
several duchesses, and had had many presents 
given to her — amongst others a travelling 
bag, fitted up, and a great many smart cos- 
tumes. When arrayed in a large Gains- 
borough hat, velveteen dress, long su^de 
gloves, and a silver chatelaine, she was in- 
deed a wonderful sight, and caused much 
excitement along the route. Whenever we 
stopped she was at once surrounded by native 
women, who screamed with envy at the 
gorgeous vision. I am sorry to say that on 



14 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

one occasion, having indulged rather freely 
in Kaffir beer en route^ brought to the 
waggon by some of her friends in large clay 
bowls, manufactured by the Basuto women, 
who use them for everything, the admiration 
of her fellow-country women, combined per- 
haps with other causes needless to mention, 
were too much for Maria, who suddenly 
jumped out of the waggon and rushed up a 
mountain, screaming and yelling that 'the 
moon had gone up hill.' She was speedily 
brought to her senses, however, by being 
pursued by a number of baboons who were 
playing and dancing on the top of the moun- 
tain, and promptly made a rush for Maria, 
who managed, fortunately, to get back tb 
the waggon, or it would certainly have been 
her last journey. 

After a time we became quite professional 
in the art of cooking out of doors, and never 
did I taste anything so good as a fowl baked 
or boiled in a Basuto pot made of iron. To 
bake it, you put fire on the top and under- 
neath the pot, adding pepper and salt and a 
little onion for flavouring, and the result is 



THE JOURNEY IS 

excellent. Bread is also much nicer made 
in a round pot, than in any other way, 
probably because the heat is equally radi- 
ated on all sides, and we had to make it 
with a little sour dough in place of yeast, as 
there was very often no yeast to be had in 
those wild parts. Scones we used to get 
our waggon-driver to make in cakes on the 
gridiron, with fire or hot ashes under- 
neath on the ground outside the waggon. 
Nothing could be more delicious than these 
when eaten very hot, with butter, and 
seasoned with the appetite born of the 
glorious air of those latitudes. 

I quote here an extract of a letter from 
my husband to his father on his arrival at 
Advance Post, Basutoland, 1st October, 
1877. 

' My bear Father, — You will see by the 
heading of this that I have reached Advance 
Post at last. On Monday Rolland drove 
me over from Maseru, and the next morning 
a " pitso " was held in my honour, to which 
all the chiefs and headsmen in the district 



1 6 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

came, and brought a large number of fol- 
lowers. Masupha, the principal chief in my 
district, was very civil, and expressed him- 
self as highly flattered at having a son of 
yours as magistrate. We had to sit in the 
sun for a long time, but a charitable, though 
very prosy old counsellor of Moshesh', by 
name Kamatseatianu (they have the most 
fearful names in these parts) held an umbrella 
over my head, and thereby probably saved 
me from sunstroke, as I had no puggery. The 
chiefs and headsmen came to the front, and 
made speeches and danced about, very much 
like Ethiopian serenaders. Most of them 
had large gamp umbrellas, and of course 
there was the usual old Kaffir, dressed 
in the ancient fashion of the tribe, with 
battle-axe and shield, making a very pictur- 
esque figure, who was a sort of butt for 
the rest, and supplied the comic element 
to the affair. He made a long speech, 
which consisted chiefly of anathemas against 
the rest of the company for having frightened 
his horse, and was received with " cheers and 
laughter." I made a very high-flown oration 



THE JOURNEY 1 7 

in reply, but it seemed to suit them, as they 
shouted loudly at the conclusion. Next 
day, I tried an old Hottentot for beating his 
child, but let him oif as his wife appeared to 
have aggravated him very much. The lady 
herself then appeared and asked for a divorce, 
but as it turned out she had never been 
married, there was a diflficulty about that, 
and I had the whole family turned out of 
the court with the usual caution, viz., ** Don't 
let me see you here again." The next case 
was a claim for dowry, not disputed, but 
unpaid, as the defendant was a slippery 
customer, and the witnesses declared he had 
estate though he pleaded poverty. I ordered 
him to pay up in a month, or I should com- 
mit him for contempt of court, a decision 
which was received with loud shouts of 
laughter, etc., and terrific groans, which is 
the Basuto mode of expressing approval ! 
This is the style of thing, varied by cases 
involving claims for land and boundary dis- 
putes, which are the most troublesome. We 
have one on now, which I have postponed in 
order that I may first visit the spot. 

B 



1 8 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

* The system here of allowing any number 
of witnesses to talk as much irrelevant non- 
sense as they like, makes the proceedings 
very tedious. They declare, however, that 
the only way with Basutos is to let them 
talk, and that if prevents from doing so, 
they will give no information whatever. 
The fact is, that they have no idea what 
evidence means, and it is only after any 
amount of irrelevant statements have been 
made that one comes to the real matter at 
all. I of course move very cautiously as 
yet, and leave much to Bell. 

* I am alone in my glory to-day, as I have 
given Bell leave to go to Maseru. He is a 
very nice young fellow indeed, a son of Major 
Bell, the magistrate of Leribe. To-morrow 
morning I am going to parade my army of 
fifteen black policemen, and amuse myself 
with drilling them a little. 

* I am, of course, anything but well accom- 
modated at present ; my waggon has not yet 
come up, and my house is in the hands of 
the builders. I found it so leaky and small 
that I couldn't have got Fanny and the 



THE JOURNEY I9 

children into it. Luckily, at that very 
moment turned up two wandering brick- 
layers and a carpenter in want of a job, so I 
put them on at once. We had 20,000 bricks 
in the place, too, which Bell had had made 
by the prisoners, so I have set them all to 
repair the house thoroughly, build me two 
more rooms, and enlarge the kitchen, etc., 
and have applied to Rolland for the money, 
£115 (building is not very expensive here), 
but doubt if I shall get it ; though, as the 
house belongs to Government, they ought 
at least to put it in proper repair. If they 
won't give me the money except as an ad- 
vance, I shall ofter to buy the house, paying 
£50 per annum until the price (about £200) 
and the advance are repaid. The salary we 
get is none too much for the work one has 
to do here, which is really very hard if done 
conscientiously. The people are very quarrel- 
some and litigious among themselves, and 
come into the court on the slightest pretence. 
A man has a fight with his grandmother, and 
instantly the whole family and connection, 
accompanied by about thirty "witnesses," 



20 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

who know nothing whatever about the busi- 
ness, rush off to the magistrate. Luckily, 
however, the chief constable is a good hand 
at settling such matters, and we generally 
make him try his hand outside the court 
before making a " case ^ of it, and he is very 
often successful. One gentleman did come 
to me about a quarrel with his brother, but 
I read him such a lecture on the impropriety 
of brothers quarrelling, that he has not ap- 
peared again, though I told him to bring his 
brother before me if they couldn't manage to 
agree. 

* We want rain very much now. Several 
Basutos at the pitso asked me to make some ! 
We had a couple of thunderstorms yesterday, 
but not enough to do much good. The 
general opinion is, that Langalibalele has 
made so much rain for himself down in Cape 
Town, that he has left none for us up in the 
East! 

' This place, alas ! is not so cheap as it was. 
Wherever the Englishman comes, up go the 
prices, and the native who would once sell 
a sheep for a pinch of snuff, now wants a fair 



THE JOUBNEY 21 

market price for his produce. I find that 
" pound sales " are the best way of buying a 
sheep ; one went yesterday for sixpence 1 He 
was a very thin one certainly. I bought two 
'* hukus," otherwise fowls, for a shilling yester- 
day, but they were so thin that I couldn't 
kill them, so I have ordered them to be shut 
up and stuffed with as much as can be got 
down their throats. 

* There will be a famine in the land, I am 
afraid, if we don't get rain soon. I have 
just had a visit from the chiefs, Yonathan, 
Molappo, and Leshubero, and now all the 
chiefs in this district have been to call upon 
me. I shall not write to Fanny this time, 
as I expect that she and the children have 
already started to join me up here. I hope 
to get the house finished before they arrive 
here.* 



CHAPTER II 



BASUTOLAND 



At first I was much, and I think naturally, 
alarmed at the process of crossing the rivers 
(there are no bridges so far up country), but 
I found myself getting used to it in time. 
Harry and Nancy thought it was a great 
joke when the waggon and long team of 
oxen started dashing down a hill, almost 
perpendicular, through a river so deep that 
often the oxen had to swim, and were 
hardly able to get through the rushing 
torrent of water. Then out the other side, 
and up another precipice, apparently, with a 
tremendous rush, men screaming and shout- 
ing and urging on the oxen, cracking their 
enormously long whips ; you felt as if 



BASUTOLAND 23 

nothing short of a miracle could ever bring 
you through it in safety. 

At last, after a month's travelling, we 
arrived at Leribe, where lived Major Bell, 
the resident magistrate, and here we met 
with a most hospitable reception from him- 
self and Mrs Bell and all their family, who 
took us all in, and entertained us for some 
days in their comfortable house, Schlotse 
Heights, Leribe, which is also a large mission 
station. 

Harry and Nancy were by this time tired 
of travelling, and were well content to find 
themselves in a house again, making them- 
selves quite at home in the shortest possible 
time. My husband and his clerk, Mr Charles 
Bell, came down two days after to meet us, 
and we had a pleasant stay at Schlotse 
Heights, wh^re there was a pretty little 
church and quite a nice society, amongst 
whom were an English clergyman, and a 
remarkably clever doctor, Dr Taylor, who, 
on the principle of * physician heal thyself,' 
had come there for his health. Then, our 
pleasant visit at Leribe over, we started off 



24 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

again for our own magistracy, Advance Post 
The residence looked very pretty as we 
approached it, well planted with eucalyptus 
trees, with a nice garden, watered by streams 
running down from the mountains. The 
house was rambling, all in one storey, but 
far from uncomfortable, though it took me 
some time to get used to the mud floors. 
These have to be renewed about once a 
week, upon which interesting occasion we 
generally took the opportunity of going out 
for the day if possible, as the process was, to 
say the least of it, an unpleasant one. The 
usual way is to turn a flock of sheep in, and 
let them stamp about the floor when freshly 
done over, which makes it harden well. 

Advance Post stood in an extremely 
isolated position, approached through a river 
as usual, and the road, very rough and 
narrow, ran by the side of deep precipices, 
the descent of which, in a cart with four 

horses, was at first more than a little 
alarming. 

The scenery of Basutoland is very grand 
and beautiful, composed chiefly of great 



BASUTOLAND 2$ 

mountains and fertile valleys. So lovely is 
the country generally, that it is often called 
' the Switzerland of South Africa.' It con- 
sists of three great districts, was then under 
the government of the Cape Colony, but is 
now administered by the Imperial Govern- 
ment through the Governor and High Com- 
missioner, and is divided into various magis- 
tracies or districts. Maseru is the principal 
station. Here is the residence of the Ad- 
ministrator, who is also the Chief Magistrate, 
and who holds a responsible, and, at times, a 
very dangerous and anxious post. Maseru 
is situated seventy-two miles from Bloem- 
fontein, in the Free States, which is con- 
sidered quite near in those parts ! and 
constant communication is kept up between 
the two towns. Maseru has a population of 
about six hundred. About twenty-four 
miles south of it is Morija, the oldest mission- 
station in Basutoland, founded in 1833. 
Here the French missionaries have carried 
on a great work among the Basutos, and 
have a very beautiful station. They devote 
themselves entirely to the well-being of the 



26 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

natives, with, in most cases, the most satis- 
factory results, and all the arrangements of 
the Mission are carried out on a most ex- 
cellent system throughout. Maseru lies 
between the Maluti and the Molappo ranges 
of mountains. The streets are planted with 
the fragrant eucalyptus trees, which flourish 
well in this country, where trees are very 
scarce, consequently wood costs a fabulous 
price. The Administrator's house is quite 
a comfortable one, with wooden floors, a 
great luxury here, where mud floors are 
almost universal. 

Mafeteng is about fifty miles from Maseru, 

in the southern part of Basutoland. This 
is the residence of Lerothodi, eldest son of 
Letsea. There are several other seats of 
magistracies here. Mohale's Hoek, a lovely 
spot, lies between the Molappo moun- 
tains and Orange Free State. Quithing 
(pronounced with a click on the q) is a very 
wild district, full of Baphuti, another tribe 
of Basutos. 

Leribe is situated in the northern part of 
Basutoland, about fifty miles from Maseru 



BASUTOLAND 2/ 

This is the most agricultural district ; a great 
deal of wheat is grown here, and the Basutos 
keep much stock, as the pasture is excellent 
for cattle. Advance Post, our first station, 
is in this district; a very wild place. My 
husband held three appointments as magis- 
trate in Basutoland. The climate here is 
wonderfully healthy and bracing. The air is 
so clear and pure that the mere fact of 
living seems happiness, and we were both 
young ; and though we had many hardships 
to undergo and privations, we did not mind 
them very much, but made a joke of our 
various adventures. I found out how to do 
everything by degrees, and it was com- 
paratively easy to work in such splendid 
mountain air. At first it seemed very hard 
to have no society, and for six months I 
never saw another white woman ; but when 
we invested in a cape-cart and pair of horses, 
life did not seem so trying and monoton- 
ous, and we used to go about a good deal, 
and felt ourselves to be less isolated from the 
world. We suffered a good deal from the 
cold in winter. When the sun was shining 



28 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

it was very pleasant, and we could sit outside 
and enjoy the warmth in the middle of the 
day, but in wet weather or towards evening 
the cold became intense, and we had great 
difficulty in keeping the children warm 
enough. Fires made of peat did not make up 
for coals and logs of wood, but they were all 
that we could get there. The natives brought 
us great round baskets made by themselves 
of coarse straw, filled with round cakes of 
peat, peculiar to this country, which baskets 
they carried on their heads. These we were 
glad enough to get, and exchanged beads or 
sugar for them. Sometimes, if the weather 
was very wet, we could not get even this to 
burn ; and then we were cold indeed. The 
summers are very hot in Basutoland, and 
every afternoon there is a violent thunder- 
storm. The thunder roars and crashes 
among the mountains, and the forked light- 
ning is most vivid. The effects of this and 
the setting sun are grand and magnificent 
in the extreme in this grand scenery, but a 
daily thunderstorm is not very agreeable, 
and one longed for one's five o'clock tea in 



BASUTOLAND 29 

peace if only for a change without the 
accompaniment of thunder roaring and 
lightning flashing round one! But we 
never had a day without a storm, especi- 
ally in the mountainous districts of 
Mohale's Hoek and Advance Post. 

I found my husband quite settled, and 
tolerably comfortable, but Maria would not 
stay there, as she said, 'It is not a place 
that / should like to settle down in ! ' so she 
left us at once, though she had agreed to 
stay with us for two years, and went back 
to savage life entirely, dropped all her 
civilised ways (and clothes), attired herself 
in skins again, embroidered with blue beads, 
and smeared herself with oil and red clay as 
before. Finally she married a 'headman,' 
and then * settled down ' in a Basuto village. 

I experienced great difficulty in getting 
any servants at first, as the Basutos were all 
too well off to go to service, and considered 
it a fearful degradation to wait upon a * white 
man.' At last we got one old woman, and a 
constable from Arthur's band of police, who 
were attached to this, as to other magis- 



30 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

trades. This man used to wait at table, 
and help in the house generally. The old 
woman, in spite of a somewhat witch-like 
appearance, was very good to the children, 
and used to carry Nancy on her back while 
she did the housework. 

I found many great difficulties, as I had 
no idea how to cook, iron, or mangle, or 
make bread, all of which I had to learn. 
Luckily, I had brought a paraffin stove and 
patent irons, which proved invaluable to me, 
as were also a set of toughened glasses 
which we took out with us. Mr Bell did all 
he could to help us, and the splendid climate 
served as compensation for many disagree- 
ables. We were much isolated at Advance 
Post, and had no society but the natives, 
and one or two traders who kept Kttle shops 
near the residency. The neighbouring 
chiefs came to call upon us, and afterwards 
sent their wives to see me ; each brought me 
some little present, such as a fowl, or a few 
eggs, or some melons. 

Several of these ladies, wives of Moirosi, 
afterwards well known as a rebel chief, all 



BASUTOLAND 3 1 

came together, and sat down outside the 
door in a circle, on the ground, each with 
her present, and had a good stare at the 
, chieftainess/ as they called me. My 
husband was always called 'Mebekabek,' 'Son 
of the glittering breast,' or * Great chief,' re- 
ferring to the decorations worn by his father 
Sir Henry Barkly, for whom the Basutos 
had the greatest respect and veneration 
always, and whose son they were proportion- 
ately proud of having as their magistrate. 

I gave the Basuto ladies various little 
things, chiefly large blue beads, which they 
liked very much, and one said through the 
interpreter, * No doubt these are what the 
Queen of England always wears ; we are very 
proud to have the same ! ' They were much 
delighted with Harry and Nancy, and played 
with them a great deal. 

There was no English priest at Advance 
Post, and no doctor nearer than Doctor 
Taylor, three days off at Leribe, so I found 
that I was expected to doctor everybody, 
and had plenty to do, while Arthur had 
to act as clergyman, and officiate at all 



32 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

marriages, and read the Morning Service at 
the Court-House on Sundays. He also had 
to divorce people, as well as hear all the 
ordinary cases in court. Fortunately, as it 
turned out, we had brought with us medical 
books and a good medicine chest, so that 
my fame as a lady doctor soon spread round 
the district, and at last such crowds came 
for English medicines, that I had far more 
than I could do, and when I came out in the 
morning I always found rows of natives 
sitting on the ground, dressed in skins, and 
each holding a fowl to offer me in exchange 
for my doctoring as my fee. At one time 
I had about two hundred fowls. By great 
good luck, nobody died under my amateur 
treatment ! My husband rather encouraged 
these doctoring performances, and we got 
acquainted with the Basutos in that way, 
contriving thus to pick up a fair sprinkling 
of Dutch and Sesuto, of which we were 
both, at first, profoundly ignorant. Of 
course, T only ventured to give mild doses, 
and one of the doctors up-country told me 
that it was always safe to give a native a 



BASUTOLAND 33 

good dose of jalap to begin with, it never 
hurt him! The Basutos were much de- 
lighted with pills, and also liked a large 
bottle of medicine, but were not particular 
as to the contents at all. 



CHAPTER III 



OUR SOCIAL LIFE 



When I first arrived at Advance Post, I 
was quite aghast at the amount of hard work 
expected of me. For instance, I was com- 
plaining to one of the traders that our meat 
was not well cut, etc. 

'Well, Mrs Barkly,' he replied, 'the fact 
is, you must learn to superintend the cutting 
up of a cow or sheep yourself, and see them 
skinned before you ; the late magistrate's 
wife always did so before the front door!* 

After which performance, the skins were 
dried and made into karosses, or mats. 

We also had to make our own mattresses, 
which we did by drying quantities of long 
soft grass in the blazing sun ; and when (as 



OUR SOCIAL LIFE 35 

often happened) unexpected guests arrived, 
we at once proceeded to fill a large case or 
bag with this dry grass, and it made a most 
comfortable bed. 

Had our visitors been of a poetical turn of 
mind they might have quoted the words of 
the poet, * Strew for me a bed of rushes.' 
To our English ideas it would seem rather 
hard work for the lady of the house, if, when 
an unexpected guest arrived to dine and 
sleep, she had to take the upper and under 
housemaid, proceed to the loft, bring down 
a quantity of dry grass, and stuff a mattress, 
or more, if several guests arrived, see that 
sheets were well aired, and make the bed 
herself, as one never could trust a Basuto to 
do so alone. They always omitted the 
sheets altogether, as they considered them a 
perfect waste, and a piece of extravagance, 
greatly increasing the family washing, and I 
know that I was well abused for my love of 
clean linen and baths, I overheard some 
native women saying in Sesuto, * How very 
dirty those white folks must be, to need a 
bath every day and so much washing ; and 



36 AMONG BOEES AUB BASUTOS 

the idea of washing in the kraal^ too, instead 
of bathing in the river, and using clean 
sheets and everything fresh for each visitor, 
instead of making them last a month, as they 
ought to do ! ' 

Everyone is given to hospitality in Basuto- 
land. When guests arrive, they stay and 
dine, spend the night and breakfast with you, 
as a matter of course, and without any sort of 
invitation. When I first went up, I aston- 
ished a young Government official by politely 
asking him ' to stay and dine, and sleep at 
the Residence.* He looked at me in astonish- 
ment, as much as to say, * What else did you 
suppose I was going to do?' So we soon 
learnt to take it as a matter of course also, 
and were very glad to welcome any guests, 
and they in return were very good to us 
when we required hospitality on our travels. 

One day the chief, Masupha, and his 
brother, Sekalo, came to luncheon with us. 
Masupha was very smartly dressed in 
European dress, and wore a tall hat, suit of 
brown corduroys, and an orange plush waist- 
coat. His manners at the table left much 



OUR SOCIAL LIFE 37 

to be desired, as he insisted on helping him- 
self first to everything, and coolly asked us 
to give him one of the silver saltspoons, 
made in the shape of a shovel^ as he said he 
thought it would look so well just in front 
of his hat ! 

The Basutos always buy their wives, and 
give cattle in exchange for them ; the better 
looking the woman is, the more cattle she is 
worth. Masupha was very curious to know 
how many cattle my husband had given for 
me when he married me ! My husband in 
joke said, * I gave eighteen pence for my 
wife and a goat, Masupha/ 

'Eighteen pence, perhaps,' replied the 
Chief, * but not a goat * (a goat ranks with 
the Basutos as the lowest of animals, and 
this speech was the nearest approach to a 
compliment that I ever succeeded in extract- 
ing from Masupha). 

Our little children were much admired 
and petted by the Basutos. I went out one 
day into the garden, and there I saw one of 
them, seated under a tree (he was then 
about a year old) with no clothes on, his 



38 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

Basuto nurse holding an umbrella over him, 
and a crowd of natives sitting in a circle, 
gazing at this wonderful white baby. The 
contrast between the little fair boy with his 
golden curls, and solemn little face, and the 
bronze-coloured admiring countenances of 
the natives made a picture which I have 
not forgotten. 

Going into the nursery one day, to fetch 
the children for a drive in the cape-cart, I 
found the Kaffir nurse smearing Gilbert all 
over with salad oil ; in reply to my astonished 
inquiry, it appeared that they thought he 
would catch cold in driving, and this was 
supposed to be a safeguard. The said Bertie 
went by the name among the Basutos, of 
* Father of Guns,' because he was bom during 
the attempted disarmament of the natives, 
just before the second rebellion of the whole 
Basuto nation commenced. 

My husband had a great deal of magisterial 
business, and among others he had one day 
to try a * cannibal case,' at the hearing of 
which I happened to be present. A baby 
had disappeared in a very mysterious manner. 



OUR SOCIAL LIFE 39 

and the afikir had been traced to two well- 
known cannibals, but unfortunately the 
evidence was not strong enough against 
them, and they had to be let oflEl The two 
^defendants' looked more like wild animals 
than human beings, with long shaggy hair 
and fierce gleaming eyes. They had a 
hungry look about them, and I trembled for 
my little children, as these appalling baby- 
fanciers lived unpleasantly near us, in holes 
in the rocks, called * the Cannibal Caves.' 

The missionaries are doing all in their 
power to suppress cannibalism, and have 
succeeded to a great extent, but now and 
then cases are still heard of, or were at the 
time of which I write. I saw many Basutos 
who were pointed out to us as having formerly 
practised cannibalism, but who had left it 
oflF, on becoming more civilised, though they 
were in no wise ashamed of their previous 
doings. The horrible practice was, no doubt, 
attributable to the scarcity of food in * The 
Lesutho,' a scarcity from which we ourselves 
sufiered on more than one occasion. If the 
rivers round us were *up' there was no 



40 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

chance of getting anything at all, and we 
soon learnt the necessity of laying in a store 
of food for the winter season. I particularly 
remember one time when we could buy 
nothing to eat, for love or money, but 
sardines in tins, and porridge, made of ground 
mealies. By way of salad we had some 
earth roots, which we dug up. It was in 
the rainy season, and the little local stores 
had all run out of everything, and could not 
get any fresh supplies. We could only 
procure meat from the Orange Free State, 
the Basutos declining to sell their sheep and 
oxen for food, and giving as their reason 
that they prized them far too highly. At 
this season too, when the rivers were swollen 
by the rains, it was impossible to get sheep 
or oxen across. 



CHAPTER IV 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 



The Basutos have many curious customs, 
which never alter, but are handed down 
from pne generation to another. If a chief 
wishes to pay a compliment to another one 
and to please him, he salutes him by sending 
his principal servant, who is also one of his 
courtiers, with a large pot of native beer. 
The servant is brought into the presence of 
the chief, when he makes a very low obei- 
sance, and salutes him with the words, * Eh ! 
Morena,* *IIail chief.' He then tastes the 
beer himself, to show that there is no poison 
in it. If one chief wishes to send a present 
of cattle to another one (which they prize 
more than anything else), he is careful to 



42 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

choose a white ox or cow, * to show that his 
heart is white/ To send a black beast of 
any kind would be considered a great insult. 
The custom in handing anything to a superior, 
is to extend the right hand, to hold the arm 
up, and support it at the elbow with the left 
hand ; to hold out the left hand would give 
great offence. When a council is being held, 
if a man wishes to pass he always does so in 
front of another, never behind, unless he 
wishes to provoke a quarrel, as it is a 
principle among them that a man must stand 
face to face with another both in a battle of 
words and in a contest with arms ; and if one 
stabs another in the back, he is despised by 
the rest of the tribe and considered a great 
coward. 

If a man is sent anywhere as an am- 
bassador, and appears to be in a great hurry, 
trying to get away early, the saying is, * A 
man who is patient eats fatted beasts, but 
an impatient man has to content himself 
with the flesh of a lean goat.' 

The breast of a bullock is only eaten by 
the principal men of the tribe, and as they 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 43 

despise all women, especially unmarried ones, 
the girls have to eat the thin flank, which is 
their only portion. A Basuto woman is not 
allowed to eat a kidney ; if she does so, it is 
considered a curse. The Basutos seldom 
kill and eat their cattle at all, excepting for 
a great feast on some grand occasion, as they 
consider them far too precious, and never 
will sell them to the white people for food. 

The Basutos speak much in metaphors, 
many of which are very poetical. One of 
their sayings is, * Men may meet, but moun- 
tains never.' If a man goes to warn another, 
or a tribe, of coming or threatened danger, 
he is called in Sesuto, *Mongane o'pile to- 
tone Iroawbe,* or 'a light in the darkness.' 
Another saying is, * Do not prick an enemy 
with a two-pointed needle, as that hurts 
yourself quite as much as it does him,' 
meaning, * Do not insult or annoy an enemy 
before witnesses, as it will do you as much 
harm in the end and reflect upon you quite 
as much as it does upon him.' 

After killing an enemy, the Basutos have 
a barbarous custom, showing, it would seem. 



44 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

that they have by no means lost all traces of 
cannibalism, even in these enlightened days, 
as they actually cut out the hearts of their 
enemies and eat them. After a battle they 
do this, and eat all the hearts of their fallen 
foes. 

The constant showers of locusts are a 
god-send to the natives, in a country where 
food is very scarce. The Basutos collect 
and store them in tons and tons and dry 
them, then pull off the heads and wings, and 
either eat them dry, or make porridge of 
them in their large pots. When cooked, 
they all sit round the pot on the ground, 
with long wooden spoons, and thoroughly 
enjoy their feast of locusts ! They taste 
rather like shrimps, but are not so 
nice. 

The Basutos are very clever in taking ad- 
vantage and making use of any natural feature 
— ^for instance, there are great mounds, formed 
by the white ants, on the veldt ; these the 
natives scoop out^ and lighting a fire inside 
and placing the meat or bread on a gridiron, 
excellent ovens are thus formed. They make 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 45 

very long wooden spoons to stir their 
porridge, which is made either of mealies, 
viz., Indian corn, dried, soaked in water, 
and then slowly boiled for hours ; or 
Kaffir corn, a smaller grain, treated in 
the same way; another favourite dish is 
locust porridge, into which, they put fat 
or eat with salt. Straw spoons they 
manufacture in a pretty open pattern, to 
skim off the flies from the Kaffir beer. 

The women make pretty ornaments, mixed 
with beads, which they get from the traders 
who import them in great quantities, from 
the Colony. The women use little earth- 
nuts, which they dig up out of the ground, 
and string them together with small beads 
in pretty patterns. I have one or two of 
these, and also a necklace, made of black 
beads and jackals' teeth, a great treasure, for 
which I had to pay a good deal. Many 
jackals must have been laid under contribu- 
tion for it, the teeth are long and pointed, 
and very polished, and look extremely 
ferocious. I managed to persuade a Basuto 
to sell me her brooch, which was made of 



46 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

brass in a very ingenious fashion. The pin 
slips in without any fastening, and if it were 
made in gold or silver, would be very popular 
and convenient to wear. Among my 
treasures, picked up during my travels, I 
have also a curious necklace, called ' witch- 
craft * by the Basutos. During the Basuto 
campaigns, at the storming of Moirosi's 
Mountain the rebel chief Moirosi's own 
particular wizard-doctor was taken prisoner 
and brought to the Residency at Mohale's 
Hooki he was almost starving and very ill 
from exposure and other hardships. I took 
him iu hand and doctored him as well as I 
oould» gave him dry warm clothes and good 
ftH)d» and hi him rest until he was well 
0nou);h to be taken away» he was so grateful 
tt> mo that he b<^i;gtdd me to accept a coUeo- 
tion of oharm»» which his chief Moirosi always 
Wivro iH^und hJa nock, and I gladly consented 
tt> tU> }ikK\ M it was so curious, and looked so 
wwi>*^ui\y. I had it w^ll washed* but the 
watlvtm \tPfi> aHVaid tc^ touch it, as the neck- 
kiHi WM «ttt^tH>iwd to b^ endowed with all 
ViiuU K)X iH>ww} aiuv^^ olh« things, it is 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 47 

composed of men's fingers, bits of bones and 
joints in the hands, baboons* fingers, small 
horns of goats, etc., etc. The Basuto doctor 
told me that it would bring me good luck, 
and also cure aU diseases, if I only scraped a 
little off a bone and ate it ! 

The betrothal and marriage customs are 
very curious. If a man sees a girl that he 
likes and whom he wishes to marry, he must 
on no account say a word to her, but is only 
permitted to look at her. He then goes to 
his mother or some old woman whom he 
selects, and confides to her his wishes to 
settle down and marry ! and begs her to 
arrange everything for him as soon as 
possible. Accordingly, his mother or friend 
arranges an appointment with the mother or 
guardian of the wished -for bride, and goes to 
see her, and the two Basuto ladies talk it 
over, and discuss the ways and means and 
position in Basuto society, in the particular 
* set ' in which the young people both move, 
and if they agree that the marriage will be a 
suitable one, they arrange everything be- 
tween them. 



48 AMONG BOEES AND BASUTOS 

Infant betrothal is very common among 
the Basutos, especially in the upper classes 
of the race. The first step consists in send- 
ing an ox, as a present from the father of the 
prospective bridegroom to the father of the 
bride-elect, and they make a feast and eat 
the flesh of it. The skin is given to the 
child as her ' vata,' or marriage portion, and 
this skin is often carefully kept for months 
and years. The uncle of the girl has to pro- 
vide the wedding blanket, or kaross. Many 
of these are extremely handsome. This is 
also religiously put on one side, and often 
for a long time. 

When the friends of the girl think that 
the right time has come to celebrate the 
marriage, and that she is old enough and 
everything is prepared, they send a message 
to the man [to say that he may come to the 
house to see the girl. This he does at once, 
generally accompanied by several friends. 
He is kindly received by the family, and all 
sit down on the ground excepting the younger 
members, who stand round in a circle. The 
man is not allowed to talk to the girl at all, 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 49 

but this courtship consists of exchanging 
looks only. This goes on for some time, and 
the man then stands up and says to the girl, 
* Eh ! dumela.* This is the Basuto form of 
respectful salutation, and means *A11 hail.' 
If the girl responds with * Eh ! dumela ' it is 
all the conversation that he can possibly 
expect to have with her. They are always 
strictly chaperoned at this interview. The 
bridegroom-elect then takes his departure, 
but returns in a week or two. When he 
enters the * kraal ' (hut) of his fiancee^ he 
looks to see if the skin of the ox, presented 
by his father to the girl, is displayed as a 
kaross, or wedding-blanket, or not. If it is 
spread out, he remains as the husband of the 
girl without further rites or ceremonies, but 
has to leave his bride when the bird ' florissa,' 
begins to sing at four o'clock in the morning. 
This is considered part of the marriage cere- 
mony. A great feast is given before the 
wedding in honour of the occasion. The 
bride and bridegroom each have a part of 
their own, separately. The first ox that is 
sent is eaten by the girl and her friends. 



50 AMONG BOEBS AXD BASUTOS 

This is about the only time in her life 
that she gets enough meat to eat ! After 
the marriage every ox the bride and bride- 
groom kill for their wedding feast belongs 
partly to the father of the bride, and is 
sent to hiuL The head and about 40 
lbs. of the flesh is his property entirely, 
and so strict is the custom, that if 
this rule is neglected, the marriage is 
annulled — the offence being considered so 
great that it can only be pardoned and wiped 
off by a present of fifteen or twenty head of 
cattle, and a dispute on such a matter has 
often given rise to a tribal war. Some of 
the cattle paid by the bridegroom to her 
father for his wife, are killed for the 
wedding-feast and a portion given to all the 
servants and retainers about the kraal, and 
the father sends the rest of the marriage 
cattle to be herded with his own. This 
custom never alters among the Basuto tribes 
—even when baptised and received into the 
Church, or converted by the French Mission- 
aries, the Basutos are still compelled by 
their chiefs to pay cattle for their wives. A 



BASUTO CUSTOMS Si 

Basuto mother says : * It is the very least a 
man can do, to recompense me a little, for all 
the troubles, fatigue, and anxiety, which I 
have gone through, in bringing up his wife 
for him ! It makes no difference in that 
respect to what religion she belongs, the 
trouble is the same.' There is joy in the 
kraal when a child is born, especially if it be 
a girl, a Basuto woman is wretched if she 
has no children, as she is intensely despised 
by everyone, if she has not had, at least, 
two. There is generally one who is the 

* chief wife,' as the Basutos have several, and 
the others are inferior to her. At the birth 
of a girl, the family are delighted, the 
grandmother takes it up and exhibits it, 
gives it a slap, and then kisses it, saying, 

* Luck ! From this child come many herds 
of cattle.' To the father and mother, she 
says, * You have no trouble until you have 
a boy child, as he will be a source of 
drain on your income and decrease your 
wealth.' 

The father and mother have a curious 
way of addressing each other, for instance, 



52 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

supposing that they have a boy named 

* John/ the father would be called *Ra-John,' 
'Father of John/ and the mother, *Ma-John/ 
or * Mother of John * — the son also would 
address his father and mother as * Ra- John * 
and * Ma- John/ or * Father and mother of 
myself/ This custom is especially mentioned 
by Moffat in his works. If a child dies, the 
next child is always called, very poetically, 

* The Child of Consolation,' and the father 
and mother are addressed as * The father (or 
mother) of the child of consolation * — in 
Sesuto, * Ramothsidth/ The Basuto women 
are, as a rule, very faithful to their husbands, 
but a divorce is easily to be obtained. The 
greatest injury which a woman can do to 
her husband, among the Basutos, is to be 
unfaithful to her marriage vows, when he 
has gone to battle, or on a hunting 
expedition, for the strongest superstition 
prevails that in such a case he is sure to be 
wounded by his enemies, if engaged in war, 
or to mi?» his game, if out hunting. To 
obtain a divorce, the interested parties have 
first to go through a process called *Ryosane,* 



BASUTO CUSTOMS S3 

which consists of consulting the elder mem- 
bers of the kraal; who assemble a * pitso/ or 
great meeting, to discuss the subject, which 
they do at great length. When they have 
decided to grant a divorce, the woman is 
ordered to return all the presents given to 
her by her husband; bracelets, earrings, 
bangles for the hands and feet, worn just 
above the ankle, made of brass, and milk- 
bags, to contain their favourite food of 
thick milk. These milk-bags are made of 
strong skins, brazed, dried, cleaned and 
prepared. Karosses, blankets, beads, rugs, 
and all the surviving cattle, have to be 
restored to her husband to constitute a 
divorce. 

A widow may not re-marry until twelve 
moons have passed by, after that she is at 
liberty to do so, when the same cere- 
monies are gone through as before. If pos- 
sible she marries her deceased husband's 
brother, and so carries on the name. Men 
also, always endeavour to marry their 
deceased wife's sister, as they say, *Who 
else would take so much interest in, and be 



54 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

good to, my children, as my late wife's 
sister ? ' They send any distance to secure 
them, and even take them away from their 
first husbands, if they can, when lawfully 
married. 

The Basutos have a deep respect and 
affection for their mothers, their greatest 
oath is to swear by their mothers, and they 
consider it most sacred. They have a 
proverb, *Teg6rno h Nano Tegudie,' a 
mother is like the cow which sustains the 
family in time of drought. 

Referring to the scriptural story of 
Solomon s judgment of the two women and 
the baby, the Basutos say, * See those two 
women standing before the king to be judged, 
one snatches the knife or assegai, with her bare 
hand, and allows herself to be cut, to save 
her child, she is the mother of the child, the 
other woman does not do so, but thinks only 
of herself.' 

The men always have to pay their future 
father-in-law for their wives, the first pay- 
ment is called ^Bojadi' so many heads of 
cattle, are given and accepted, according to 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 55 

the supposed value of the bride- elect, her 
position in Basuto society, personal appear- 
ance, height, size, amount of beauty, etc. 
If she is fat, she is much more admired, and 
so is of course a more valuable possession. 
The son-in-law takes a very subservient 
position with regard to his father-in-law, 
and is always liable to be sent for, or called 
upon by the father of the bride, to do 
all kinds of menial work for him, he has to 
prepare skins, bray, dry, and clean them for 
him, even plough the fields and sow seeds 
for his father-in-law, and is virtually his 
servant. For the first year, the marriage is 
not considered completed, and the bride has 
to live with her husband in a kraal or hut, 
close to her father's home, until the birth of 
her first child, when her husband has to 
take a certain number of cattle, and 
present them to his mother-in-law. This 
ceremony is called 'Mokadee.' He is not 
allowed to speak to his mother-in-law, or 
even look at her, for the first year, (this is a 
custom that many people would like to see 
introduced in England). This is called 



$6 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

* Anissibana.' If the bridegroom happens 
to meet his mother-in-law anywhere, he 
hides his head and does not look at her, 
(like the ostrich). 

Before engaging in war, the Basutos have 
to undergo a regular course of preparation 
on Thaba Bosigo. There lives the para- 
mount chief, and this is his great stronghold. 
All the Basuto * disloyal ' armies repair to 
this mountain for three or four days to be 
thoroughly washed and * charmed * as a safe- 
guard against their enemies. The old 
women take a great part in this process, and 
they brew mystic concoctions, composed of 
herbs, something after the manner of the 
ancient Greeks before a battle. The old 
men and women have to wash these heroes 
before daylight with 'witchcraft' medicine, 
and then bathe them in the river. After 
this they are supposed to be purified; and 
on their return from the war they have to 
go through the same process again before 
they are allowed to enter the presence of a 
chief, or to return to their own homes. If 
they neglect this ceremony it is a great 



BASUTO CUSTOMS $7 

oflfence, and may lead to their being punished 
by banishment from the country. 

While on Thaba Bosigo, the natives also 
dance wild war-dances by the light of the 
moon. Like their neighbours the Zulus, 
when preparing for war, the Basutos take 
two bulls, one white and one black one, then 
they cut the skins of the poor beasts, so that 
they hang down from their backs on both 
sides, and leave them to go about like this 
until they die. If the white bull dies first, 
they consider it a bad omen, and that they 
themselves will lose the battle ; if the black 
bull is the first to succumb, they look upon 
it as a sign that they will win the day and 
their enemies be vanquished. 

These are of course entirely savage cus- 
toms, and never practised save by the un- 
converted Kaffirs. 

If the courage and strength of a given 
number of young men is doubted, they are 
tested by being confronted with a savage 
bull, and they have to show how quick and 
plucky they can be by the manner in which 
they despatch him. Nothing but little short 



58 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

spears are given to them, and if they kill 
him off quickly they are considered fit to 
belong to a regiment, but if they are long 
about it and show a lack of smartness, it 
goes much against their record. 



CHAPTER V 



mohale's hoek 



These were as yet peaceful times, and we all 
rejoiced very much when the Cape Govern- 
ment offered my husband the appointment 
of resident magistrate of Mohale's Hoek, 
after we had been for about six months at 
Advance Post. Little did we think of all 
that lay before us, when we joyfully packed 
up everything and started off, having sent 
on our furniture and luggage in two waggons, 
and we ourselves travelling in the light 
cape-cart, for Maseru — en route for our new 
station. 

Our journey was pleasantly broken at two 
of the French Mission stations where we 
met with every sort of kindness and hospi- 



6o AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

tality, and were greatly interested in observ- 
ing the results of the admirable course of 
training furnished to the Basutos, both men 
and women. The French Missionaries 
manage to get an immense amount of in- 
fluence over the natives, and teach them 
many useful avocations. The stations were 
kept exquisitely clean and neat, and the 
inhabitants all looked very happy, bright 
and intelligent. We were shown all the 
arrangements of the missions, and were 
especially struck with the schools which 
presented a model of good management 
Here the girls are taught to preserve fruit 
with great skill, and to do all kinds of wort 
Sacks upon sacks of peaches and apricots, 
dried in the blazing sun of the Basuto summer, 
were filled with fruit and put away for use 
in the winter. The girls also made a sort of 
maccaroni and vermicelli, and were taught to 
wash, iron, and mangle clothes. Mangling is 
done in a peculiar fashion throughout Basuto- 
land, and also in the Orange Free State, 
The clothes are first sprinkled with water, 
folded and packed in a compact, flat, square 



mohale's HOEK 6 1 

mass, a sheet is pinned together with the 
clothes in the middle and a blanket is fastened 
round the whole, and then the Basuto men 
and girls dance on these great bundles, a 
regular Kaffir dance, singing all the time a 
Sesuto song or hymn, clapping their hands 
and dancing wildly on the family Washing. 
Strange as it may sound to English ears, 
this operation has the desired effect, and the 
clothes come out mangled to a turn. 

The Basutos have many curious and original 
ideas and ways, which may be interesting to 
my readers to hear of, so I mention a few 
more of theoi. For instance, a native 
comes to visit a friend from a long distance 
or a neighbouring country, and inquires after 
his health and well-being, whether the 
country is quiet, etc., if the prospects are 
peaceful, the host replies, * We are sitting 
down, building houses,* meaning that all is 
quiet in the land, as otherwise they would 
not be so peacefully occupied as to be build- 
ing houses, but on the contrary, would be 
sharpening their assegais, filling powder- 
horns, cleaning their guns and battle-axes. 



62 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

storing grain in their mountain fastnesses, 
and otherwise employed in preparing for 
war. 

The Basutos are well acquainted with our 
fables^ which the missionaries have intro- 
duced and translated into Sesuto ; they have 
no books or letters of their own. They know 
the fable of the hare and the tortoise, but 
they say, * Yes ; but a sitting hen never gets 
fat, she remains always thin and suffers 
hunger, for she rarely gets off the nest to 
seek for food.' 

To our proverb * One good turn deserves 
another,* they have an equivalent ; they say, 
* One hand washes another ! ' 

One of their peculiarities is that a Basuto 
cannot make a straight road, no matter how 
open is the country ; no one, however^ vast 
is his experience of natives, has ever seen 
anything but a crooked road made by a 
native of Basutoland. They cannot walk 
straight either, from the constant habit of 
carrying a gun, stick, or knobkerry, or some- 
thing in the right hand, they always walk 
crookedly. They prefer a round-about road 



mohale's hoek 63 

as being safer, and consider short cuts 
dangerous, and say *they cause a man to 
sleep in the veldt/ They quote as follows : 

' A road is a road tho' worn to ruts, 
Let him who goes keep straight therein. 
But he who lacks and takes short cuts 
Gets but fools' praise and broken shin.' 

The two things which most surprised the 
Basutos in the advent of the white man, 
were the horse and the saw. 

The real history of the celebrated Basuto 
pony is this : 

In 1840, a butcher in Grahams-Town 
named Canood imported from Scotland a 
number of Shetland ponies. These were lost 
about that time, and found their way into 
Basutoland, from whence comes the short, 
stout Basuto cob, which is so well-known for 
its endurance and wonderful sure-footedness. 

Basuto ponies hardly ever fall, and when 
riding across country they carry one safely 
over rocks and great stones, up the steep 
mountain sides which they climb, and down 
the sharpest incline, perhaps nothing but a 
narrow sheep-walk at the edge of a deep 



64 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

precipice, at the bottom of which you can 
just see the blue waters of a river foaming 
and rushing down to the sea. These ponies 
always keep close to the edge going up or 
down a ravine, and at first I did not like it, 
but soon became accustomed and never once 
had a fall. You can get a good pony there 
for £10 or £15, so plentiful are they, and. 
everybody rides in Basutoland. I was very 
fond of my particular pony 'King.' He 
carried me well, and in him, as in others, 
you could see the trace of the Shetland 
ancestor, and compare with the original 
stock. The same little button-feet, long 
mane and tail remain to this day. 

There are no canteens, inns, or hotels in 
Basutoland, and the laws are very strict, 
prohibiting the sale of all intoxicating drinks. 
Everyone has to get a permit from a magis- 
trate before he can bring in any spirits. Of 
course, however, this law is constantly broken, 
and the inhabitants do very often manage to 
smuggle in what they want from the Orange 
Free State. The Basutos make two kinds 
'^f beer of their own. One is made of Kaffir 



MOH ale's HOEK 65 

corn. The first process is this : the corn is 
carefully sorted and washed, then it is put 
into large stone pots, and hermetically sealed, 
and left for a time until the corn begins to 
sprout. It is allowed to do so, and is then 
taken out and dried in the sun, and ground 
into flour, a certain amount of which is set 
apart, and when it becomes sour they make 
a leaven from it, which is boiled with the 
flour, and allowed to ferment, drain, and left 
to stand. This Kaffir beer can be made so 
strong that a quart of it may cause a man to 
be intoxicated, but is generally made so 
weak that a man can drink a gallon without 
feeling the effect. They drink their beer 
out of the large native red clay pots. 

The Basutos are very fond of honey-beer, 
which is made from the honey of the young 
bee. They put in a little bag of powdered 
herbs (which last for ever), to give it a 
flavour; this is called in Sesuto *drutsfe.* 
This honey-beer can be made very strong, 
and is most sustaining. They can support 
life on very little. When a man is travelling 

E 



66 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

he carries his own commissariat for any dis- 
tance on his back. He takes a quart of 
maize, or Indian corn, burns it, and then 
grinds it very fine. A tablespoonful of this 
in a pint of water serves him for a meal, 
three times a day. It tastes rather like 
toast and water. This is enouofh to sustain 
a Basuto for a long time. But if they 
capture any cattle in time of war, they are 
then allowed to eat as much as they like, 
and a Basuto can easily put away ten pounds 
of meat in a day. 

We drove to Maseru, and after staying 
for a day and night with Mr and Mrs 
Holland, went on to Mohale's Hoek, leaving 
all our worldly goods to follow in the waggons. 
My brother Alfred had left us some time 
before, and gone to Leribe as clerk to Major 
Bell. 

We were delighted with the beauty of our 
new station nestling among the mountains, 
and within sight and sound of many water- 
falls. The Residence was a comfortable red 
brick house, with a court-yard, and capital 
out-buildings, besides a large and beautifully 



mohale's hoek 6j 

• planted garden and orchard, full of peach, 
plum, and apricot trees. 

To the children it seemed a paradise of 
delight, with its lovely flowers, and endless 
number of fruit trees. So prolific were the 
gardens and orchards, indeed, that we were 
able to supply the neighbourhood with fruit 
and vegetables. In fact this last move of 
ours seemed quite like a return to civilisation, 
inasmuch as not only were there two or 
three stores all doing a fairly brisk trade, 
but we found moreover, a pretty little church 
under the Bloemfontein Mission, where 
regular services were held by the Priest, the 
Rev. W. W. Stenson, who with his family 
lived close to us. 

. To these kind people we were indebted 
for several days' hospitality, our waggons 
not having arrived, and our house being as 
yet quite empty. However, it was not long 
before we quite settled down, and made 
ourselves comfortable enough. After a while 
we established a regular little farm at 
Mohale's Hoek, exchanged peaches for fowls, 
made our own butter, and cured and dried 



68 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

our own hams and bacon. We also tried 
brewing at home, but the success of this 
experiment was something more than doubt- 
ful, the beer showing a tendency to disagree 
somewhat with such unwary travellers as 
allowed themselves to be captivated by its 
harmless appearance. An old Basuto woman 
also helped me to make vinegar from the 
plant, and it was under her able tuition that 
I learnt to dry grapes and make raisins. 
Another failure to which I must confess was 
my first attempt at jam-making, and as to 
this, a libellous story was in circulation. It 
was said that several pots of preserve which 
I made and sent as a slight offering of 
affection to my brother Alfred, went through 
some mysterious process of fermentation en 
route, and the first of these, when placed on 
the breakfast table, blew up to the ceiling, 
and descended in a sticky shower upon his 
head, and upon a new suit of clothes which 
he had just imported from England ! 

We all used to work very hard when 
the fruit was ripe, drying peaches and 
apricots. Every day two hundred or three 



morale's H0£K 69 

hundred native women came to the Residency, 
each with a fowl, or fresh eggs, or pumpkins, 
to exchange for a large basket of fruit ; and 
they looked very picturesque as they went 
away in a long procession, dressed in their 
embroidered skins, bearing each a basket of 
peaches on her head, and generally a baby. 
These they carried slung on behind, or sitting 
astride on their hips. The babies, as a rule, 
wore no clothes at all, only earrings, and a 
string of beads. They were often very 
pretty, with large brown eyes like velvet. 
A hundred or two of men and women always 
remained all day, and cut up peaches and apri- 
cots for drying, eating as many as they liked. 
All they wanted as payment for their day's 
work was a large basket of peaches. The 
fruit was cut up in quarters, the core cut out 
and put on pieces of corrugated iron and 
placed in the sun, brought in at night or 
during rain, and the peaches were turned 
over every day. Some were dried only, but 
others were sprinkled all over with sugar, 
and when dry were very good to eat with- 
out being cooked. I used to exchange bags 



70 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

of these peaches and apricots with the 
traders, who gladly gave me groceries to 
the value of a shilling per pound, as they 
were so useful in winter when no fruit was 
to be had in those parts. Sometimes, but 
not often, an enterprising Dutch boer and 
his ' vrouw/ would bring a waggon into the 
station loaded with all sorts of good things ; 
cheeses, bread, vegetables, and delicious fresh 
butter, which they sold in large milk-tins, 
the best butter that I ever tasted. 

The waggon always went back empty, as 
everybody rushed to get the good things, 
and the worthy Dutch *vrouw' was graci- 
ously pleased with the appreciation shown 
for these luxuries from the Free State, and 
promised to repeat the visit very soon. She 
was delighted with some fruit, for our 
orchards at Mohale's Hoek were famous all 
over the country. How the good soul's eyes 
glistened with delight when I begged her to 
take back as much fruit as she liked to carry 
in her empty waggon. Baskets and baskets- 
ful of peaches and apricots were quickly 
filled by herself and * the boss ' (her husband), 



MOH ale's HOEK 71 

and when they got home the ' vrouw ' made 
a quantity of jam for the winter with some 
of the fruit, and dried the rest and put it in 
large sacks. . Fruit was so plentiful on this 
station that we fed our pigs chiefly upon 
peaches, and they got very fat on them. 

We were sitting in the great court-yard 
under the trees one day, watching the Basuto 
women taking the dried fruit into the store- 
room from out the blazing sun, when 
Harry and Nancy suddenly appeared before 
us, each with a horrible mouth-instrument 
which the natives called * fou-fou,* this they 
proceeded to play upon. Nancy danced in 
the most absurd manner, puflSng out her 
cheeks, like a cherub on a tombstone, and 
doing all sorts of Basuto steps with the 
gravity and earnestness which characterised 
all her proceedings. Harry joined her in 
this charming duet. They then talked 
Sesuto, a little Fingo, Kitchen-Dutch, and a 
few words of French. But finding the sun 
very hot, they retired after a time, stewed, but 
rejoicing. They were very amusing some- 
times. Harry imitated both Arthur and 



72 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

me exactly, and gave Arthur long lectures 
in his own voice and style, *Now Pappa, 
why are you so naughty, you'll never be a 
big man, you know, if you are such a baby/ 
and so on; and we had the satisfaction of 
knowing that all our exhortations were 
treasured up with a view of reproducing 
them afterwards in burlesque. Of course we 
stopped and severely reproved the young 
monkey, if we heard him. 

Extract of a letter from my husband to 
his father. 

^Morale's Hoek, 
* ^th January^ 1879. 

' My Dear Father, — We are all in a state 
of *' stata quoa " as a man wrote the other 
day ! We are all well. Fanny was to have 
taken the children and started for Rouxville 
yesterday to see a doctor, but heavy rains 
have come on, and the Cornet Spruit, a pass 
on the river which divides us from the 
Orange Free State, is impassable ; in such 
cases we are regularly imprisoned here, for 
the river almost surrounds us, and stops 



mohale's hoek 73 

both the roads to the Orange Free State and 
also to Mafeteng. I hope it will go down 
in a few days, but the rain is still falling. 
We heard by last post that war had been 
declared with Cetewayo, and are very 
anxious in consequence. Though I sincerely 
hope that the next news will be that of a 
victory, so complete as to scare the malcon- 
tent party here from all idea of mischief. 
There is uneasiness about, and the traders 
and others have begun to feel it. As is usual 
in such cases, all here depends on what 
happens in Zululand, we are so near it, 
and messengers are known to have been 
sent thence, threatening the Basutos with 
vengeance, if they don't assist the Zulus, 

* Doda, the Basuto chief, has been liberated 
from the jail at Quithing, by a friend who 
wrenched the padlock off the door in the 
night, from outside, and let out all the 
prisoners. There was no police sentry put 
on at night, but Austin (the magistrate of 
Quithing) was daily expecting the consent of 
the governor's agent, to Doda's removal to 
the Colony, which had actually been given, 



74 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

but by some mistake the letter miscarried 
and did not arrive until two days after 
Doda's escape. He has not since been heard 
of. If disturbances do occur here, no doubt 
he and Moirosi will be again put forward as 
tools to commence them, and to be supported 
or disowned as may be convenient to the 
greater chiefs, when they see how things 
eventuate. That this was the case in the 
former ** Moirosi aflFair,*' I have no doubt, 
whatever.* 

Extract of a letter from my husband to 
his father : 

* Mohale's Hoek, I2th March, 1879. 

* My Dear Father, — We are again with- 
out English letters, but the telegram informs 
us that the news of the disaster at Isandh- 
lana had been received, and that reinforce- 
ments are on their way. They will have an 
easy task enough, I fancy, for the Zulus are 
more than half beaten already, as far as one 
can judge from the news from Natal. Cete- 
wayo seems to be amusing himself by putting 
his Indunas, victorious or otherwise, to 



MOH ale's hoek 75 

death promiscuously, and must be a pleasant 
sort of person to serve. He is described as 
being terribly shocked at the appearance of 
his favourite Inlwana regiment when he saw 
it after Isandhlana, and could not believe 
that what he saw was but the remains of it ; 
in fact, as withMoshesh at Thaba Bosigo,they 
seem really more frightened at their victory 
than they would have been at a defeat. 
" They fell together in one place," the Zulus 
said of the gallant Twenty-fourth, whose 
bravery seems to have made a great impres- 
sion on them. 

* Littleton writes me (the Hon. W. Little- 
ton, private secretary to Sir Bartle Frere) 
an account of the deaths of Coghill and 
Melvill, the former of whom sacrificed him- 
self to save the latter, who was wounded and 
struggling in the river, his horse having 
been shot. Coghiirs horse was also shot 
whilst he was helping Melvill, and as he was 
then lame — the reason of his being in camp, 
for he was properly Glyn's galloper (Colonel 
Glyn commanded the 24th Regiment) — he 
could not save himself on foot, nor could 



76 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

Melvill, who was wounded, so they sat down 
revolver in hand to meet their fate, and were 
found by an N. N. C. oflScer, who had 
escaped and who led a party to the spot, 
dead, with several Zulu corpses round thenu 
Coghill was clear of the river, and could 
easily have escaped had he not turned back 
to the rescue of Melvill and the N. N. C. 
man, whose horse had kicked him oflF into 
the river, and who was the only one of them 
who succeeded in escaping. The Zulus 
won't attack Ekowe, which is too strongly 
intrenched, I think, to please them. Walker 
is there (now Major - General Porestier 
Walker of the Scots Guards), and they are, 
I fear, on short rations and very crowded. 
The Zulus are all in strong force in the 
neighbourhood, and it is thought impracti- 
cable to relieve the place until reinforce- 
ments arrive. 

* For Basutoland news, Griffith (Colonel 
Griffith, the Governor's agent and chief 
magistrate of Basutoland) remains at Phat- 
lallu waiting for a couple of guns which 
are to come up. Ayliff (Minister for 



MOHALE'S HOEK ^^ 

Foreign Affairs at the Cape) is also coming 
up, I believe. Moirosi is on his mountain, 
and his people are, many of them, pretending 
that they never had anything to do with 
him. I am told that two of Moirosi's head- 
men came over in quite an innocent manner 
to GriflBth to ask if their cattle, which had 
been sent over to this side for safety, and 
collared by Lerothodi on their arrival, might 
be restored to them. As both gentlemen had 
undoubtedly been in rebellion, Griffith took 
them prisoners and sent them to Palmiet- 
fontein.' 

At this time we had very great difficulty 
in getting any servants at all. I had to work 
very hard myself, and do all sorts of things, 
and became greatly knocked up, as I had to 
look after my little children, besides con- 
stantly having to cook and do much of the 
housework, see after the cows and horses, 
superintend the bread-making, curing hams 
and bacon, making fresh butter, drying the 
sheepskins and preparing them, all the fruit- 
drying, besides looking after the garden. 



78 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

wheat-fields, etc. etc., and seeing that the 
fruit trees were properly irrigatecT by water 
laid on from the large pond. Besides all this, 
there was the washing to be done, and I had 
to help with the mangling, and often do the 
ironing myself! My husband was occupied 
the whole day in court, or riding long dis- 
tances to settle various disputed points. 

At last we made up our minds to get a 
cook over from Bloemfontein. Accordingly 
I wrote to one of the clergymen s wives 
there, and asked her to recommend me a 
respectable person, and agreed to give good 
wages. 

After much delay, we were informed that 
a ' treasure * had been found for us, and was 
willing to come to the Hoek — a widow and 
an Englishwoman of great respectability, 
etc. I waited wath intense anxietyand impati- 
ence to see the waggon which contained my 
new cook, and flattered myself that at last 
peace and rest lay before me ! When lo ! a 
terrible female presented herself, with her son 
and heir also, a big boy of twelve years old 
or so. She immediately began to complain, 



MOHALE S HOEK 79 

and abused me, declaring that she * had been 
deceived- in very gruff and somewhat inco- 
herent tones. * I was told as this were a 
large town, and I wouldn't stay *ere, no, not 
if you was to pay me ever so. / am a lady, 
and haccustomed to heverythink anony- 
mous.^ What she meant by this I never 
could discover, but suppose it was intended 
to crush me at once ! ' This 'ere place 
would never suit me, m'am. I am a lady 
as 'as a very delicate constitooshun, and 
suffers much from consumption, 'eart 
complain, besides haricot veins (varicose 
veins) and browntitus (bronchitis), so you'll 
'ave to send me back again at once ; but I 
don't mind staying a day or two just to 
oblige you, and to take a rest.' I soon dis- 
covered that the * treasure ' was by no means 
an acquisition (nor a teetotaller). As she re- 
marked herself, * I feel quite an " anteloper *' 
in such a savage place ' (meaning interloper), 
* and I do assure you, mum, that among 
all these blacks, I am nothing but a syphon ' 
(cipher). It was very amusing to hear her 
talk, she used so many long words that she 



80 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

couldn't understand; bnt she was no good as a 
servant, and I was thankful to see her depart 
with her little boy. She refused to let him 
work or do anything, however light ; as she 
said, *'Is poor dear papa was a gentleman^ 
and would never 'ave let him come to such 
a savage place.' She could not make out 
why we were living in such a place as the 
Hoek, and was much alarmed (as she had 
only lived in Bloemfontein herself, and never 
been into the country), to see us amusing 
ourselves by throwing assegaies for practice. 

The natives, in their turn, were highly 
amused at her appearance and fine airs, and 
especially one day, when she asked leave to 
take a short ride, and went out with her 
hair streaming down, and a large shawl tied 
round her instead of a skirt, while a very 
long blue gauze veil floated from her hat. 
The Basutos were much delighted at this cos- 
tume. They are great mimics, and can take 
off the white people to perfection. 

I have overheard the Basuto servants 
amusing themselves by talking exactly like 
myself! One, especially, more clever than 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 8 1 

the others, gave a performance, showing how 
I walked, entered a room, bowed to a friend, 
got up and sat down, etc. Having borrowed 
one of my hats and gowns, she sailed about, 
with a large parasol, much to the delight of 
her audience. 

We had on the whole, many sources of 
content at Mohale's Hoek. Among these 
were the long drives into the Orange Free 
State, and cross-country rides, on our Basuto 
ponies, which are very sure-footed little 
animals, accustomed to scramble up and 
down the most breakneck looking places, 
while the beautiful climate and fresh moun- 
tain air made the mere fact of living a 
delight. Occasionally Mr Bowker would 
ride over from the Orange Free State, and 
spend a day and night at the Residence, or 
our two Scotch friends, Mr Donald Fraser 
and his brother Douglas, would come and 
cheer us up with the latest news, so breaking 
the pleasant monotony of our existence. 

But this peaceful time was destined to be 
all too short, for the air now began to be 
filled * with wars and rumours of wars.' 

F 



82 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

At Mohale's Hoek we were only a few 
days* journey by short cuts through the 
mountains from Zululand, and it was in the 
last days of January, 1879, that there came 
to us through the native runners the appal- 
ling news of the disaster at Isandhlana, and 
of the death of so many of our old acquaint- 
ances and friends of the Twenty-fourth. 
We had known most of the oflScers of the 
regiment well when they were stationed at 
Cape Town, especially poor Captain Degacher 
and Lieutenants Coghill, Hodson, Daly, and 
Porteous, all of whom were among the killed. 
Not only had we to grieve for the personal 
loss of so many brave men, but this catas- 
trophe was indeed the beginning of all our 
troubles, as Cetewayo kept perpetually 
sending messages into our country, with the 
object of stirring up the Basutos to join him 
in Zululand against the English Government 
Zulu refugees kept constantly coming into 
Basutoland at this time, bringing, of course, 
the most contradictory accounts of the pro- 
gress of the war. 

The news of the massacre at Isandhlana 



BASUTO CUSTOMS 83 

created the utmost excitement and conster- 
nation amongst the Basutos, and had of 
course the worst possible effect on the 
natives generally throughout South Africa. 
Our people became more and more sullen 
every day, and we felt that there were indeed 
* parlous times' before us, no one knowing 
what a day might bring forth. 

Just at this time a baby boy was born to 
us. Harry and Nancy were much pleased 
with their little brother Hugh, and the 
Basutos always made a great pet of him. 
He was the first white baby who had been born 
at the Hoek ; and was always called * Doda ' 
by them, after the rebel chief who escaped 
from prison. Within a few days of the 
event, my husband received orders from 
Colonel Griffith, the governor's agent, to 
join him at the camp, Patlahlas Drift, with 
as many men as he could collect. Colonel 
Griffith having already moved to the camp 
with 1200 loyal Basutos, and 400 colonial 
troops. My husband started immediately, 
leaving us all and the Residency in charge 
of his clerk, Mr Carlisle. Then followed a 



84 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

terrible time of anxiety and trouble in the 
Hoek, as Arthur could not be spared to 
return to the magistracy, but remained with 
Colonel GriflSth, to whom he acted as aide- 
de-camp at the siege of Moirosi's Mountain. 

Having formerly served as an oflScer in 
the Sixth Dragoon Guards (Carabineers), my 
husband's knowledge and experience proved 
invaluable all through the rebellion of 
Moirosi and the subsequent revolt of almost 
the entire Basuto nation. 

Colonel Griffith afterwards wrote to him 
as follows : 

* I have submitted your name as my staff 
officer, and have taken the opportunity of 
again alluding to your coolness and bearing 
under fire, when carrying messages for me 
on the 8th April (attack on Moirosi's 
Mountain).' 

I may just add that my husband s bravery 
and courage were greatly admired by the 
Basutos themselves, who gave him the name 

of ' The Lion.' 



CHAPTER VI 

MOIROSl's MOUNTAIN 

Before going any further in this slight 
sketch of the siege of Moirosi's Mountain, 
it may be as well to state briefly that Moirosi 
was in reality a Baphuti (not a Basuto), chief 
of a tribe living in the Quithing district at a 
south-east corner of Basutoland, who had 
been conquered about fifty years before by 
Moshesh, then the paramount chief of Bas- 
utoland, and had consequently become with 
his followers the subjects of the * Chief of 
the Mountain/ 

Moirosi, being old and feeble, was almost 
entirely under the influence of his son Doda, 
a very troublesome and mischievous man, 
who, after repeated insults to his magistrate, 



86 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

was, together with some of his followers and 
hangers-on, imprisoned and heavily fined. 
But the prison in which he was confined, 
being a mere shell, and the inmates very in- 
suflSciently watched, he one day contrived to 
escape, and with the rest of the tribe, now 
declared war against the English Govern- 
ment, and fled to the famous Moirosi's Moun- 
tain, an almost impregnable natural fortress 
in the Quithing territory. 

The colonial government thereupon called 
upon the Basutos through the governor's 
agent. Colonel Griffith, to punish these 
rebels and force them to submit. The then 
loyal Basuto chiefs promptly obeyed the call, 
and in April, 1879, the first storming of 
Moirosi's Mountain took place with a com- 
bined force of colonial troops from the colony 
and Basuto levies. 

Extract of a letter from my husband to 
his father, Sir Henry Barkly, April 9th, 1879. 

'Camp, Moirosi's Mountain. 

*My Dear Father, — I have no writing- 
paper left, and scribble a line on the back of 



MOIROSl'S MOUNTAIN 87 

a telegram, just to say that, as you will 
probably learn from the papers, we made an 
unsucce?sful attempt to storm Moirosi's 
Mountain yesterday. The place is far worse 
than we thought, and one can't really realise 
its strength unless actually on the moun- 
tain, 

*The stone walls or schantses are built 
marvellously high and solid, and command 
the whole face of the mountain. The ascent 
is far more diflScult than one would think 
from looking through even good glasses from 
the bottom of the hill. 

* We shelled for about an hour and a half 
and then tried to get up in vain ; had about 
thirty killed and wounded, and eventually 
had to get under the lowest schantse, which 
we couldn't get up, and under the ledge 
below it. 

* As it grew dark, by keeping up a tremen- 
dous fire on all the loopholes of the schantses, 
and the field guns (cannon) playing on them 
over our heads, we were enabled to get 
down the wounded and retire. The fire was 
something awful, and the stones came rattling 



88 AMONG BOEBS AND BASX7T0S 

down upon us by thousands from all the 
schantses thrown by the rebels. 

'We were from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m. o'clock 
on the mountain, without food of any sort. 
Poor Surmon of the police is shot through 
the lungs, and not expected to live. Grant 
led the storming party very gallantly, and 
the Cape Mounted Rifles behaved very well. 
I was carrying orders backwards and for- 
wards all day, and was fortunately not hit, 
though of course much fired at. 

' This morning I assisted at three amputa- 
tions. One poor fellow died ; I was holding 
his pulse.' 

Extract from my husband's letter to my- 
self : 

* Camp, Saturday y April V2ih. 

*The postboy has been waiting all this 
time at the standing camp for our letters, 
which we sent by the other bank of the 
river. I am now sending a man to tell him 
to go on, and he will take this. We are all 
well here. Colonel Brabant arrived yester- 
day with about a hundred and fifty men. 



MOIBOSl'S MOUNTAIN 89 

A new place has been found for the guns, 
which commands the mountain top com- 
pletely, and we hope that by shelling from 
there we can soon make the place too hot for 
the enemy, who can be plainly seen, and 
even recognised from this point. To-day 
Griflfith is going to have notice given by 
shouting to the enemy to send down their 
women and children (of whom they have a 
number on the mountain), and if they won't, 
they must take the consequences. 

* I had a good day's fishing yesterday in 
the Orange River, and a splendid swim. 
The nights are very cold now, and the patrol 
tents we have not over watertight when it 
rains ; still we are comfortable enough, and 
the life is healthy. 

* I go to have a chat with the wounded 
men nearly every day. It is not very 
pleasant work, but they like it, poor fellows, 
and I have just got a message from one — 
the Sergeant Scott whose hand was blown 
off — asking me to come and see him. One 
of his bandages slipped off last night, and he 
has lost a great deal of blood, and is very 



90 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

weak. He is a gentleman , and one of the 
finest young fellows, physically and morally, 
I ever saw. I am very sorry for him. 

'Little Daumas, the son of the French 
missionary, is a splendid fellow, as gentle as 
a woman and as brave as a lion. When 
others were running to get out of fire, he 
walked along as unconcerned and smiling as 
usual. 

' Please send me an air cushion and a little 
currant jelly, and a few odds and ends for 
the wounded. I gave them the biscuits you 
sent, and they made short work of them.' 

The following account, extracted from the 
Colonies and India, June 28th, 1879, gives 
a good general resume of both aflFairs : 

'Being by this time convinced of the im- 
possibility of carrying the place by assault. 
Colonel Griffith ordered the men to be with- 
drawn, to save any further sacrifice of life. 
Then began the hazardous task of removing 
the killed and wounded from under fire, which 
was eflfected without a casualty, plenty of 



MOIROSIS MOUNTAIN 9 1 

volunteers coming forward for the work 
from the Cape Mounted Rifles. One body, 
however, that of Private Braine, C.M.R., 
killed early in the attack, could not be 
brought away. Captain Surmon, badly 
wounded (since dead), was found by the 
guidance of a native servant who had re- 
mained by his master all day. Several 
other acts of personal bravery are testified 
to, such as that of Sergeant Scott, coolly 
exposing himself, but carefully considering 
the safety of his comrades, whilst he threw 
the shells into the enemy's schantses, and 
that of Private Peter Brown, C.M.R., who, 
to relieve the agony of his wounded com- 
rades, went twice through a shower of 
bullets carrying water to them ; whilst 
thus engaged. Brown received a severe 
wound in the leg, and immediately his 
right arm was broken by a bullet, and so 
he fell beside the men to whose assistance 
he had gone so bravely. The conduct of 
civil surgeons Kannemeyer and Daumas, in 
looking after the wounded under fire, has . 
also received special notice. 



92 AMONG BOEBS AND BASX7T0S 

'Mr Arthur C. S. Barkly (son of Sir 
Henry Barkly, G.C.M.G.), the magistrate 
of Cornet Spruit district (afterwards com- 
mandant and staff officer to Brigadier- 
Greneral S. Clarke), who arrived in camp 
the previous day, and volunteered his 
services (as an old Carabineer officer) to 
Colonel Griffith, is particularly mentioned 
as having rendered valuable assistance in 
conveying orders to the other officers, in 
doing which he was exposed to the direct 
fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters. 

* After the failure of the attempt to 
storm the enemy's position, and awaiting 
the arrival of heavier cannon, the invest- 
ment of the mountain was continued, 
pickets being posted day and night around 
three sides of it, the fourth being a perpen- 
dicular krantz of many feet in height. 

' Notwithstanding all the vigilance and 
precautions taken, one of the pickets, con- 
sisting of a troop of the 3rd Yeomanry, 
were surprised on the night of the 29 th 
inst. About two hundred of the enemy 
rushed into their camp, overpowering the 



MOIROSl'S MOUNTAIN 93 

sentries, and assegaing some of the men in 
their tents. The yeomanry, after six hours' 
fighting, often hand to hand, beat them off, 
but not without sustaining a loss of six 
colonists killed and fifteen wounded/ 

Extract from Colonies and India, June 
28th, 1879 : 

* At this time the Imperial troops, under 
Lord Chelmsford, were endeavouring with 
the utmost exertions to reach Ulundi, the 
Aldershot of Zululand, under great dis- 
advantages of every kind, Cetewayo 
doing his utmost with thousands of his 
Zulu warriors to try and intercept and 
fall upon our troops on their way to Ulundi. 
Nearer home, within the Cape dependency, 
only a short distance from Zululand, in 
Basutoland, our colonial forces are still 
engaged with the rebel chief Moirosi. The 
mountain stronghold where the chief and 
his followers have taken their position, has 
proved to be a most difficult place to attack. 
There is but one path leading to the summit 



94 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

which is fortified by strongly -built stone 
walls, arranged with great skill, so that the 
lower ones are commanded, and can be 
enfiladed by those above them. They are 
pierced with double rows of loop-holes, and 
in most cases are situated on the verge of 
steep rocks, which render them almost 
inaccessible from below. The mountain 
was crowded with every kind of stock, and 
defended by several hundred Baphuti rebels, 
under Moirosi. 

* When Colonel Griffith first invested it, 
two seven-pound field guns were placed in 
position to fire upon the fortifications and 
shell the defenders. The guns did very 
little damage to the walls, but the enemy 
appeared to be driven from behind them, 
as many were seen to fly.* 

My husband was in constant communica- 
tion, both by telegraph and post, all through 
the Basuto campaign with Sir Bartle 
Frere, Mr Littleton, and Mr (now Sir 
Gordon) Sprigg. Sir Bartle Frere con- 
stantly asked his opinion on the subject 
of the disarmament question, etc., and 



MOIROSl'S MOUNTAIN 95 

Arthur always replied to the same effect, 
*that some fighting there must now be, 
and that the stronger we are seen to be, the 
less fighting we shall have to do.' 

Extract of a letter from Arthur to my- 
self: 

* Camp, Moirosi's Mountain, 
'April 23rd, 1879. 

* We have still no ammunition and are at 
a standstill, excepting that strong patrols 
have been sent out after some thieves who 
have been stealing horses, etc., at about thirty 
miles from this. Davies (commandant) 
is there with some natives, and a troop of 
yeomanry have gone too, but no doubt the 
natives will bolt to the mountains as soon 
as they come near them. I must stop and 
see the end of this affair. This place 
cannot be stormed unless all the schantses 
are fairly breached, for they are inaccessible 
without ladders, and breaching would be a 
diflficult job, the mountain is such an extra- 
ordinary natural fortress, and almost im- 



96 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

pregnable, very hard to take even if we 
had lots of guns and unlimited ammunition ; 
but I believe that if they can get four 
guns, or even three, into position on the 
heights around, which all command the 
mountain, the fire will become too hot for 
anyone to live up there. It is marvellous 
how the cattle on the mountain manage to 
hold out ; a good many are dead, but some 
seem healthy enough still. We are quite 
close to it here and have a fine view of 
everything, and are only waiting for the 
guns to come up to attack the mountain. 
They were ordered up at once by Sprigg 
on receipt of Griffith's telegram. We are 
very short of shot for the two guns we 
have, but have got the mountain now 
commanded from two sides, and will make 
the rebels' lives a burden to them. When 
we get a couple more guns and complete 
the circle of fire nothing can live on 
the mountain, I feel certain. 

^ April 27th. — They are getting short of 
water now on the mountain, and the cattle, 
poor things, are dying fast. We command 



MOIROSrS MOUNTAIN 9/ 

the only spring they can get to, and have 
shot several men going to it and they are 
now afraid to go there. Before Griffith 
got the second gun up into the new posi- 
tion, he sent a messenger to call to Moirosi 
to send down his women and children, 
but the old savage refused. The reason 
being, I suspect, that he has two of Letsie's 
on his mountain married to one of his sons, 
and thinks he will punish the paramount 
chief, who is angry with him, by keeping 
thetn there.* 



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MOIEOSI S MOUNTAIN 



97 



the only spring they can get to, and have 
shot several men going to it and they are 
now afraid to go there. Before Griffith 
got the second gun up into the new posi- 
tion, he sent a messenger to call to Moirosi 
to send down his women and children, 
but the old savage refused. The reason 
being, I suspect, that he has two of Letsie's 
on hia mountain married to one of his sons, 
and thinks he will punish the paramount 
chief, who is angry with him, by keeping 
them there.' 




CHAPTER VII 



LIFE IN CAMP 



I WILL not attempt to give anything like a 
detailed account of the Basuto campaigns, 
which has already been most ably done by 
others better fitted for the task ; but I think 
that a few short extracts from my husband's 
letters written at this time may prove in- 
teresting, and therefore subjoin the following: 

'Camp, IIoirosi, 2nd May^ 1879. 

* I came down here yesterday with GriflBth, 
and shall be back at Moirosi's Mountain to- 
morrow. This camp is better pitched, 
quieter, and more conveniently situated than 
that on the mountain. The hospital is here 
and three or four troops of yeomanry. 



LIFE IN CAMP 99 

* One is out of hearing of the perpetual 
** pop-pop " of the pickets, which is a blessing 
It will be "bang-bang" now, however, for 
the shells are up at last, and I hope will 
soon rout out Moirosi. 

* Thanks for the loaf ; there being no 
bread in camp, it was very welcome. The 
dried fruit I will take back to my mountain 
fastness to-morrow. 

' 5 thy Camp, Moirosi! s Mountain. — Came 
back here yesterday just in time for a little 
excitement, for last night the enemy tried 
to cut off the picket on the saddle rock, just 
beyond our camp, and very nearly succeeded. 
At about eleven o'clock just as we were 
going to sleep, a sharp fire from the pickets 
roused us, and a moment after it we heard 
bullets whistling through our camp. There 
was a tremendous scuffle for coats, revolvers, 
etc., and we all tumbled (literally, some of 
us) out of the tent ; the police turned out 
smartly, and off we went, up the rocks to 
the " saddle." The gun at the point above 
us was now firing over our heads. Just at 
the " saddle '* foot we came upon a wounded 



lOO AMOSG BOEBS ASD BJLSUTQ6 

ijian, ass^iaied in ten places and flong over 
the krantz by the enemy, who had got op 
behind the picket (who were not mach on 
the alert). Some men ran, others fired, and 
the enemy, hearing os coming and the guns 
opening on them, ran back. I poshed on 
at once with the police and natives, and 
finding myself the only officer with them, 
the rest staying to look after the woonded 
man, extended them in skirmishing order 
among the rocks, and got op nearly to the 
top slope below the schantses. It was 
moonlight, and we expected to be fired at, 
but were not, nor did we see the enemy, so 
I called in my men and went back, the picket 
being now reinforced. Three men of the 
picket wounded, one since dead.' 

I now give one or two extracts from a 
letter dated September 8th, 1879 : 

' A camp guard who was just on the 
bank of the Quithing saw a black mass 
rush along under the bank of the river 
towards the camp; he ran into the camp — 



LIFE IN CAMP lOI 

about fifteen or twenty yards — followed by 
the enemy, who gave a yell as they came 
on. The sentry woke Captain Chiappini, 
who came out to get his men together. On 
coming out he saw the enemy round two 
tents silently cutting the guy-ropes and stab- 
bing through the canvas with their assegais. 
The men out of the other three tents 
were quickly rallied behind the stone wall, 
that is between the wall and the Quithing. 
There they remained till daybreak. The 
enemy, who thus had full possession of the 
camp, made use of their time by sacking 
and pulling everything upside down in the 
tents. The Burghersdorp (G) Troop, 2nd 
Regiment, which is stationed across the 
Orange River, in charge of one of the guns, 
heard the frightful noise occasioned by the 
firing, shouting for help, and Kaffir yells of 
triumph, and running to the river, cheered 
away as hard as they could. One of the 
^emy was heard to say in Sesuto, " Listen, 
the bugle is blowing, and they are coming, 
let us go.*' They then retreated, carrying 
their dead and wounded v/ith them. Be- 



102 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

fore they went they had made one or two 
attempts to take the party behind the wall 
on either flank, but fortunately did not 
succeed. A couple of bugles had been got 
out of one of the tents, and on these the 
men were making as much noise as possible. 
At daybreak an awful sight presented itself. 
Everything was in the utmost confusion. 
Tents simply cut to shreds by the assegais, 
great pools of blood, assegais, guns, blankets, 
bodies of the dead and wounded, and in one 
place a lot of human teeth, evidently be- 
longing to one of the enemy, and all the 
various little necessities of camp life, were 
lying about in all directions. On following 
the path the enemy had taken — for they were 
easily traced by the blood of their wounded 
— they were found to have returned back 
to the mountain. 

* Casualties, — J. Kannemeyer, bullet in 
left eye, dangerous; P. L. Mair, two assegai 
wounds, slight ; T. Laurence, four bullet and 
eleven assegai wounds, dangerous ; W. 
Parkes, two assegai wounds, slight; P, 
Ferreira, twenty assegai wounds, doing well ; 



LIFE IK CAMP i03 

A. Mansfield, two loopers in left arm, slight ; 
A. Johnson, one bullet wound, since dead. 
Three others slightly wounded. 

* Last night the enemy got fifty head of 
cattle up the hill. They had been feeding 
halfway up the mountain all day, and at 
dark were driven into the schantses.' 

Unfortunately, every attack failed, and 
the subsequent siege of Moirosi's Mountain 
dragged on and on until November, when 
the Baphuti, who still kept their positions 
in the caves and rocks of this terrible 
mountain, were actually starved out, and 
the mountain was taken. 

On the 14th October, 1879, my husband 
wrote home to his father as follows : 

* We are staying at Ciphering for a few 
days with our friends the Frasers, who have 
a large trading station between Mohale's 
Hoek and Maseru. The house is well built 
and the most comfortable one in Basuto- 
land, and the Frasers are kindness and hos- 



I04 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

pitality itsel£ " Peter " is highly delighted 
with it, and made himself quite at home 
at once, as usual. I go to the pitso at 
Maseru, but Fanny is so knocked up that 
she will stay quietly here with the children 
and rest a little until we come back from 
Maseru. Crowds of people will be at this 
meeting of the chiefs and people. Sprigg 
and Uppington were to arrive at Maseru 
to-day. Irvine, M.L.A., has also arrived, 
and one of the Hays (of the Cape Mercury)^ 
so the " eyes of the world " are on Basuto- 
land just now, and not without reason. 
I have been ordered officially to make the 
capture of Cetewayo generally known. This 
I can do ; but make it generally believed, 
I most certainly cannot. The mass of the 
people simply don't believe a word of it, 
and think it is just a form of ours to 
frighten them into compliance with our 
plans. The native seldom believes any thin or 
that is not circulated by his own chiefs; 
of course this does not apply to all, but 
only the ignorant mass of the people.' 



LIFE IN CAliP 105 

Extract from a letter from my husband 
to his father : 

' Mohale's Hoek, November 25^A. 

' Moirosi's Mountain has fallen at last, and 
the old fellow himself; also his sons Setuka 
and Motsap were shot by the C.M.R. 
(Cape Mounted Rifles), who stormed the 
stronghold. He had apparently been 
deserted by most of his people, or 
starvation had compelled them to leave 
the mountain. The attack was made at 
4.15 A.M. on the 20th in five different 
places with scaling -ladders. The defence 
was feeble compared with what it was in 
the two former attacks. In fact there were 
not men enough on the mountain to defend 
it properly, and it was taken as soon as the 
first body of C.M.R. got up the ladders, 
as they did with no loss, though one man 
had his cap shot off as he put his head 
over the rock. He, however, shot the 
Baphuti dead who did it, and though he got 
another shot through his coat, jumped up, 
followed by his comrades, who fixed bayonets 



I06 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

(they had long sniders), and charged right 
across the top of the moan tain , driving the 
enemy before them. At this the defence 
ceased. At the other points attacked our 
men came swarming up on every side, and 
all was over. The rebels fought to the 
death ; three chiefs were wounded and one 
killed, and the same number of Fingoes 
were knocked over. Of the Baphuti, ex- 
cepting some eight or ten, all were killed and 
among them the old chief Moirosi himself, 
who was killed on the top by a soldier 
servant of ours who had been in the 
** Blues," and accompanied me to the 
mountain, who afterwards received £20 
as a reward for his conduct on the 
occasion. 

* Some Baphuti took refuge in a cave, but 
in the evening a charge or two of dynamite 
was thrown in, and several more of the 
enemy were killed. Two rushed out, one 
of them believed to be the chief Doda, and 
sliding down a krantz some thirty-five feet 
high, escaped under a heavy fire. 

' The whole thing was well planned and 



LIFE IN CAMP 107 

well carried out, but the weakness of the 
!i3nemy made it easier. 

' Moirosi's son Doda escaped untouched 
to the inner depth and fastnesses of the 
Quithing.' 

We had a great deal of trouble at this 
time, not being able to get any governess 
or nurse. The children of course ran rather 
wild. One day Harry announced that he 
was now very big, and wished for an entire 
change of diet, and for the future requested 
that no more soup (which he called chicken- 
water) should be given to him, but re- 
served entirely for Nancy and the baby. 
^ Maizena pudding' he always objected 
to also, and suggested that his father 
should exchange with him for once and go 
to bed at six o'clock, while he (Harry) 
dined late and sat up until twelve o'clock. 
Pretty well, for a child of four-and-a-half 
years old! He and Nancy had also a 
great objection to learning anything, especi- 
ally Dr Watts' hymns. As my husband 
wrote home to his father, * They are regular 



I08 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

nineteenth-century children, and have very 
little respect for the wisdom of their ances- 
tors, as displayed in the poems and aphor- 
isms formerly supposed to be suited to the 
infant mind, and which certainly used to 
go down with the children of the last gen- 
eration. At least I know that, although 
rather sceptical as a child. I was profoundly 
impressed by "the little busy bee," and 
though I secretly sympathised with the 
"sluggard," should never have dared to say 
so, but " Peter '* would in a minute. I don't 
encourage it at all, and shall teach him all 
I was taught myself. It is very difficult 
to be severe with him as he is so very 
comical that he makes everyone laugh 
when they try to exhort him.* 

After many weary weeks, my husband 
returned to Mohale's Hoek, where I had 
spent a most trying time of suspense and 
anxiety, only relieved from time to time by 
chance messengers who brought me in 
news of him from the camp close to the 
mountain. 

Fortunately, I had plenty of occupation 



LIFE IN CAMP 109 

during Arthur's absence, as all my spare 
time was taken up with preparing lint and 
bandages for the wounded, and devising 
means to send it down to the camp — together 
with bread, dried fruit, sausages, and other 
supplies. 

Food was scarce at the camp, and then 
there came a time when a diet of porridge, 
made of dried Indian corn, pounded on stones, 
and then boiled, became too much for the 
digestive organs, excepting for those who 
were accustomed to it; and this tried my 
husband very much, combined with the great 
fatigue and exposure to bad v/eather. I sent 
food, of course, by every opportunity, but 
could not send enough. 

Our little children, Harry and Nancy, 
were much delighted to welcome their father 
back again, and were greatly excited and 
interested by the events of the war through- 
out. Harry was most anxious to be allowed 
to go and join his father *and fight the 
Kaffirs.' By this time they could both 
speak Sesuto and * Low ' or * Kitchen Dutch 
(as it is called in those parts) well. Harry 



no AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

was very particular about being treated with 
great respect by the natives^ and ordered all 
the policemen, servants, etc., to address and 
salute him as they did his father, with ' Eh ! 
Morena ' (Hail, Chief). 

The natives were always very kind to the 
children, but all were in such an excited state 
at that time that one could not depend 
upon them in the least. We had a Zulu * boy,' 
who appeared to be always as mild and gentle 
as possible, but one night, without any warn- 
ing, he rushed out of the house, almost naked, 
taking with him a quantity of spears and 
assegais, got up on the top of a hill, and re- 
fused to come down, declaring that he would 
kill anyone who attempted to come near him. 
Some police were ordered out to fetch him 
back, but this they had some difficulty in 
doing, and it was not until he had severely 
wounded one or two of them, that he was 
eventually taken and confined to prison in 
irons, much to the grief of the children, who 
loved him dearly. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE DISARMAMENT AOT 

The country now became more and more un- 
settled, and servants were almost impossible 
to get. Thefts, and indeed more serious 
crimes of all kinds were committed daily, 
almost with impunity, which added to our 
difficulties and hard work. 

Some time before this, the Cape Parlia- 
ment had passed a Disarmament Act, requir- 
ing that all natives should give up not only 
their guns, but also their assegais and other 
weapons, and in September, 1879, Sir Gordon 
Sprigg, then the Prime Minister of the 
Cape Colony, summoned a great pitso 
(assembly) at Maseru to meet him. My 
husband of course attended officially, and I 



112 AMONG 30ZBS AND BASUTOS 

was also invited, but only accompanied him 
as far as Diphering, near Mafeteng, where I 
took Harry for a little change, to stay with 
Mr Fraser and his brother. They were 
most hospitable to us all, and I was glad 
enough to stay quietly there with Harry 
and rest, while Arthur and Mr Fraser went 
to Maseru to attend the pitso and meet Sir 
Gordon Sprigg, who came up to deliver a 
message to the Basuto chiefs and people, 
and try to persuade them to obey the man- 
date of the government and surrender their 
arms to the magistrates of each district, for 
which they were promised compensation 
according to the value of each weapon. 

Sir Gordon Sprigg was by no means 
cordially received at Maseru. A great 
number of chiefs and people assembled to 
meet him, and every possible argument was 
brought forward to persuade them of the 
great advantage to be gained by the policy 
of disarmament, but to no avail ; they would 
not pretend even to agree with him, or to 
promise to give up a single gun, and in fact 
treated the Prime Minister in a very cavalier 



THE DISABBIAMENT ACT II3 

fashion, making many insolent remarks, most 
of which the judicious interpreters took care 
not to translate. 

No more unfortunate time could have been 
chosen to attempt such a very unpopular 
measure, as the whole Basuto nation was 
absolutely and entirely opposed to the pro- 
posal, while the French and English mission- 
aries and all the traders scarcely succeeded 
in disguising their opinion of its impolicy. 

The Basutos themselves were profoundly 
stirred up by the news of the disaster in 
Zululand at Isandlhana, and the terrible 
massacre of our troops there, and they were 
quick to see and seize their opportunity of 
taking active measures to show their marked 
disapproval of the action of the government. 

The very unpopular Disarming Act was 
followed by results which the most pessi- 
mistic had scarcely foreseen. 

In a moment, as it seemed, the whole of 
Basutoland was in a blaze, and then began 
a most trying time for all the resident 
officials and their families. Each day things 
grew worse and worse, and the country 



114 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

became very dangerous for Europeans to 
live in. 

The magistrates were bound to carry out 
the instructions which they received through 
Colonel Griffith, the Grovemor's agent, and 
to use every means in their power to pre- 
serve the peace. I, for one, can truly and 
earnestly testify that my husband worked 
day and night to persuade the chiefs in his 
district to obey the dictates of the Grovern- 
ment. His efforts were, to a great extent, 
successful, and large numbers of guns and 
assegais were brought in from time to time. 

On the 17th February, 1880, my husband 
wrote as follows to his father : 

*We leave this for Mafeteng about the 
4tb or 5th of next month' (my husband 
had just been appointed magistrate of that 
district), 'and very glad I shall be to get 
away. This place seems to be getting very 
unhealthy ; there is a kind of epidemic about, 
typhoid, or something similar, which has 
carried off a great many people at Bethesda 
Mission Station, and five deaths have been 



THE DISARMAMENT ACT 11$ 

reported to me from a village near the 
Cornet Spruit. This sort of thing is very 
unusual in Basutoland. For ourselves, we 
have all been ill, more or less. I am still 
suffering from an attack of low fever, which 
I can't shake ofi^, for a magistrate in this 
country can never afford to be ill. Peter is 
convalescent after his two attacks, but looks 
like a little skeleton. Doda has got a very 
sharp attack of measles, which Peter calls 
' mealies,' and Sossie does not appear well. 
Fanny is not actually ill, but dreadfully tired 
and knocked up, and much worried, of 
course. Peter informed me yesterday that 
his getting the chicken-pox, was entirely 
owing to my having put him in the corner 
one day! "Next day, of course^ the spots 
came out ! *' 

' Altogether, we shall all be glad of change 
of air. The crops this year look very bad, 
the rain came too late. 

' The Basutos have sent a petition to the 
Queen and Cape Parliament against dis- 
armament, which will of course delay 
matters and gain time. The Basutos con 



Il6 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

sider that they have an undoubted right to 
petition the Queen and the Cape Parliament. 
Both the chiefs and people are strongly 
opposed to the idea of giving up their arms, 
and in fact will do anything hut *' disarmJ 



»t t 



Extract from a letter from my husband 
to his father : 

' Mafbteno, 17 th March, 1880. 

* My Dear Father, — As you will -see by 
the heading of this, we have got here at last, 
though the waggons with our belongings 
have not come up yet, and we are staying 
with the Frasers meanwhile. We only 
crossed the river with great difficulty, 
having to go to a lower drift than usual, 
and come round by the Orange Free State, 
a better road, but longer. Fanny and the 
children travelled in two Cape-carts, and 
I rode part of the way, greatly to Harry's 
disgust, who suspected that I was going 
to desert him, and has never forgotten my 
going oflF to Moirosi's Mountain for so long 1 
He wanted to search several Dutchmen's 



THE DISARMAMENT ACT 11/ 

premises for me as he passed, and was not 
satisfied until I caught them up at Bush- 
man's Kop, where they stopped to lunch 
and were very hospitably received by Irvine's 
people, who have a large store there. They 
presented Sossie (Nancy) with a kitten, and 
she carried it off with her in triumph. The 
house here is a superior one for Basutoland, 
no less than eleven rooms, which constitute 
a mansion in this country {mud floors, 
however, as usual). There is quite a small 
town here, but no church. The two Sten- 
sons and Mr Holland also hold services in 
the court-house on Sundays. Peter {alids 
Harry) was great fun yesterday, and talked 
all the way, informing me that he was now 
going to a new house, where he was afraid 
that there would be no room for me\ I 
told him that I had no doubt but that I 
should find a corner to put him in, where- 
upon he changed the subject, " Sossie " 
rebelled the other day on being threatened 
with the corner, and walked up to me with 
folded arms, saying in her deepest tones, 
pumped out of her boots, '^ I stand in dat 



Il8 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

corner bya ! " I don*t know how to spell that 
last word, but believe it to be Dutch for 
''too much." The emphasis that Sossie put 
upon the word was something tremendous, 
and having spoken, she cast a contemptuous 
glance at the corner, and withdrew, leaving 
me in fits of laughter. They are funny 
little things all of them, and when their new 
clothes arrive we must try and get them 
photographed at Aliwal. I wish you could 
see them ! They are delighted with the 
new baby, "The Father of guns," as the 
Basutos call him. Harry introduced himself 
to him the other day, " Dis brudder Peter 
("This is brother Peter"), "Dis is Sossie, 
" Dat Mamma ! " as much as to say, " It's 
not of much consequence, but you may like 
to know it." ' 

Mafeteng, was a more central and civil- 
ised place than Mohale's Hoek, where 
we seemed to be shut in and enclosed 
by chains of mountains, and almost sur- 
rounded by the Cornet Spruit and other 
rivers. 



n 



THE DISARMAMENT ACT II9 

We were somewhat sorry, however, to 
leave the Hoek, with its lovely gardens and 
well -planted orchards, teeming with fruit 
by this time, and gay with flowers. We had 
quite a little farm there. We grew our own 
wheat, and carefully superintended the 
ploughing of the fields. We took all our 
belongings that we possibly could with us — 
horses, cows, pigs, turkeys, and 150 fowls, 
which were always most valuable in a 
country where meat was often impossible to 
obtain. 

The children were of course delighted to 
*trek' to another station, and greatly en- 
joyed all the bustle of packing up and pre- 
paring to leave Mohale's Hoek. Harry had 
by this time completely mastered the policy 
of the Disarmament Act, and used to run 
about and try to persuade the Basutos to 
surrender their guns to ' Morena.' 

The change came at a serviceable time for 
us, and the journey down was a pleasant one 
enough. We travelled with two waggons 
and two large carts, which were very light 
and well adapted for the mountain roads, 



I20 AMONG BOSBS AND BASUTOS 

and strong enough to drive through the 
rivers, as there were no bridges at that 
time in Basutoland. 

The horses being rested and refreshed were 
'inspanned/ and we drove on our way re- 
joicing, until we came to Diphering, where 
our friends, the Frasers, had for the second 
time most hospitably insisted on our again 
staying for a few days, until our waggons 
arrived and we could get into our house at 
Mafeteng. Here we thoroughly enjoyed 
ourselves, and soon got quite strong and well 
at this charming house with the two brothers, 
rich gentlemen-traders, who had come out 
to make their fortunes, and luckily succeeded 
beyond their expectations. The house was 
most comfortably furnished throughout, and 
abounded in delightful books and papers, 
and never did we enjoy a little holiday more 
thoroughly. Now and then I was * in- 
spanned ' to make a pudding or a curry, for 
which I used always a famous recipe given 
to us by the late Sir Bartle Frere's ' chef* 
at Government House. 

I can recall an amusing conversation 



THB DISABMAHENT ACT 121 

which I had with Sir Bartle himself, at 
Cape Town, about our mutual experiences 
*up country/ We could not quite agree 
as to the best method of making candles I 
he declaring that the brightest light was 
to be obtained by melting the fat into a 
tin, with a wick in the middle, while / 
ventured meekly to urge that my method 
of pouring the fat into tin moulds with a 
plaited wick in each, was superior, besides 
having a more civilised appearance. Sir 
Bartle Frere was always most kind to us, 
and used frequently to correspond with my 
husband while we were up country. 

During the subsequent Basuto campaigns 
I was permitted to send telegrams to him 
at any time from Aliwal, free, with news of 
the war, especially when my husband was 
holding the siege of Mafeteng later on, and 
I frequently took advantage of this kind 
permission. Sir Bartle also showed the 
greatest kindness to the children and 
frequently inquired after * one Peter,» 
which was one of Harry's nicknames. 

Before he left the colony, he wrote a 



122 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUT03 

very kind letter to Arthur, speaking most 
kindly of his services, and bidding him 
farewell. 

My husband wrote as follows, to his 
father : 

'Mafetsng, May Vlt\ 1880. 

'Disarmament of the Basutos is at a 
dead-lock, and Griffith asked me, as I think 
I told you, to write a report descriptive of 
the state of afiairs, which I did. I recom- 
mended also an extension of the time 
allowed, so as to enable the Basutos to 
realise the fact that no interference was to 
be hoped for either here or at the Cape; 
and alluded to the fact that the chiefs, 
by putting themselves forward as champions 
of the people against the measure, had 
recovered much of their influence. The 
people dislike the idea quite as much as the 
chiefs, though they would, many of them, no 
doubt, have submitted rather than have a 
disturbance. The chiefs simply expressed 
the popular feeling, however, in their op- 
position to the measure, and have thereby 
temporarily recovered a good deal of their 



THE DISARMAMENT ACT 1 23 

old power over the people. To Parliament 
they all determined to appeal. 

The Basuto chiefs having sent a deputa- 
tion to Cape Town to petition the Queen 
and Cape Parliament against disarmament, 
we had for some weeks quite a pleasant time, 
unpacked many of our belongings and felt 
quite civilised, comparatively ! There were 
a few ladies in Mafeteng and a small society 
there. Sometimes we had a visit from 
one of the families of the better class 
of Dutch people from the Orange Free 
State, some of whom were pleasant enough. 
I had to speak Dutch to them always, and 
fear that my Dutch was by no means of the 
best, and I daresay might not have been 
recognised even in Holland ! but I managed 
to keep up a conversation somehow or other. 
The whole family generally came together 
and sat round one in a semicircle. I believe 
that they were very curious about me as I 
came from England, and looked upon me as 
a curiosity altogether. They asked me a 
great many questions such as, *Are you a 
good cook ? ' * Can you make bread ? ' * Your 



124 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

hair is very light, is it because you are very 
old f ' (The Basutos also said that they had 
never seen light hair before). * How many 
children have you? and have they all had 
the measles ? ' * Have you seen our Presi- 
denty Sir John Brand?' They appeared 
pleased when I replied that I knew him and 
Lady Brand and his daughter also. * Have 
you ever seen the great Queen of England ? ' 
When we returned their visits over the 
border in the Orange Free State they 
were always most hospitable. Some of 
the Dutch ministers are very eloquent in 
the pulpit Their congregations always 
treated them very well, provided them with 
an excellent house, well and substantially 
furnished, close to the church, and besides 
giving them a good salary, sent them con- 
stantly handsome presents of food to help 
them. The Dutch have, as a rule, very large 
families, and the ladies used to bring them 
all with them to call upon us, and made 
many excuses if one was omitted, ' that little 
Joss or Hans or Paul had a very bad cold, 
but would come next time ' ! 



CHAPTER IX 

MAFETENG 

This was our last station in Basutoland. 
Here we soon established ourselves, and 
for a short time enjoyed comparative peace 
and comfort. We had a nice large garden, 
and fields round the residency, with good 
roads. Sometimes the doctor (Dr Taylor) 
visited us, and found plenty to do, 
especially in the way of extracting teeth 
among the natives. The Basutos were 
particularly fond of having their teeth 
pulled out, and I have often seen them 
squatting oh the ground in front of our 
house, with their mouths wide open, all 
ready, while the doctor went along the 
rows of natives, pulling out tooth after 



126 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUT03 

tooth as fast as possible. Sometimes in 
the hurry of attending to so many patients 
he would pull out the wrong tooth, but this 
little detail made no difference, they seemed 
to like it all the better ! It was a very 
funny sight, I thought. 

The Basutos build their houses in a 
peculiar way of their own invention. The 
only implement that they use is a native- 
made axe ; no nails or fastenings are used at 
all, only the bark of trees, split and beaten 
into sharp-pointed pieces. Their houses are 
shaped in two different ways, over walls 
six feet high, with conical-shaped roofs. 
The mode of operation is this : First an arch 
is drawn the size of the hut required ; poles 
eighteen inches deep and two feet wide 
apart are made round this line of circle ; 
then the poles are chopped with the axe 
about six feet long, with a fork of strong 
pointed iron in each pole at the top, in 
which forks the wallplates are made. 
These are first of all well lashed together 
with the bark, then upright standards about 
eight inches in thickness are inserted in the 



MAFETENG 12/ 

spaces between each upright pole closely 
together. Then this is covered with the 
natural South African mud-daub. Then 
the conical roof is put on with more wood, 
having in the centre of the hut a pole 
about fifteen feet high ; from the centre of 
this pole the weight is supported, assisted 
by another line of poles about three feet 
from the hut, which forms the verandah. 
The roofs are generally at an angle of thirty- 
seven degrees. The doorway of this hut 
or kraal is about five feet high, and about 
two feet wide.^ The actual door is plaited 
like a mat and rolls up ; it is suspended in 
the lintel of the door. This is all the handi- 
work of women. Men may assist at times, 
but the bulk of it is done by women. A 
round hole in the centre of the hut on the 
floor constitutes the fireplace. 

There is no window whatever to a Basuto 
hut. Boughs are stuck into the grass on 
either side, meeting at the top, where they 
are fastened with the bark of a tree. The 
roof is then thatched, commencing at the 
top. The thatch is held on with very thin 



128 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

sticks about a foot long, and the points are 
stuck in, the sticks being exposed. This is, 
as a rule, a hut of a temporary character. 
The more settled hut is somewhat more sub- 
stantial, of a bungalow shape, with a veran- 
dah running all around, averaging as a rule 
about twenty-two feet in diameter. The 
kraal of the paramount chief is built in the 
same manner, but a little larger. He him- 
self is easily discerned from the rest of his 
tribe by his robes, which are made in a par- 
ticular pattern and of the finest skins only. 
When at home, however, he, like the rest, 
wears but very little clothing, very often 
none at all, as they consider it to be much 
more healthy and altogether better to be 
without them. 

The Basutos take their meals out of 
wooden bowls and use long wooden spoons. 
They sit down on the ground in a circle 
round the pot, the men only ; the women sit 
at a distance apart and are served afterwards ; 
but married people use the same spoon and 
bowl ; the rest have one apiece. The staple 
food is milk and corn and Kaffir beer. They 



iilAFETENG 1 29 

grind corn on a large flat stone, and take a 
perfectly round water-worn stone, a pebble 
of seven pounds in weight, and use it on the 
flat stone with both hands. They stamp 
mealies in two ways ; one is to make a hole 
in the ground, insert a skin in this hole, and 
put mealies in it, they then stamp it with a 
stout pole. Another way is to hollow out 
the bark of a tree eighteen inches deep and 
two inches wide. The corn is then stamped 
and crushed in it with a piece of wood shaped 
something like the clubs used at home for 
gymnastic purposes, very heavy. When 
finished it resembles crushed corn. It is 
then put out in the hot sun to dry; the 
husks are winnowed out of it. This meal is 
then boiled with milk, and eaten like fine 
mashed potatoes (it is really very good in- 
deed with a flavouring of salt) ; it is eaten 
with a little eland fat, if they have any, or 
the fat of any game. 

Etiquette among the Basutos is very 
strong indeed, which accounts for the fact 
that a native is perfectly safe with only a 
light hanging mat of plaited straw for a door. 



I30 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

No one would attempt to enter his kraal 
during his absence. The hut of a native 
when closed is as sacred to his colleague as 
the room of an undergraduate when the 
* oak * is ' sported.' All natives sleep on the 
floor with their heads to the door. Some 
use bedsteads ; this is since the advent of 
missionaries. They have no garden as a 
rule, but on the roofs of their kraals they 
cultivate vegetable-marrows to a great 
extent, and gourds, the latter affording them 
their only drinking cups, known as * cala- 
bashes.' These plants, too, harbour a species 
of grey snake. Snakes are considered sacred 
and are never killed. A Basuto believes 
that to kill them would bring ill-luck on the 
house, and this species of snake is fre- 
quently to be seen crawling about the roof 
under the verandah. They do not often 
bite, and their bite is not dangerous. 

The Basutos build their huts in a cluster, 
a number of huts together ; this forms a 
' kraal.' As a rule, each hut is contained in 
about the tenth of an acre, and is enclosed 
in a ring fence made of the currant-bush, a 



MAFETENG I3I 

wild African currant which grows freely and 
is very strong and hardy. In some cases 
stone is used. This enclosure is called in 
Sesuto *se kogtla.' Within this enclosure 
there are several smaller huts, used for the 
grown-up daughters to sleep in, and also to 
store the corn, equivalent to our barns. 
These huts contain large earthenware pots 
six or seven feet high, made from their own 
native clay. These are made inside the hut 
after it has been constructed. In addition 
to the corn is stored a large quantity of 
dried water-melon, which is used in the 
spring for flavouring purposes, and has a 
sweet taste. This is known as 'louauhi.' 
Dried locusts too they store in some of these 
huts ; and if they have had a good hunting 
season, of game, springbok and blesbok, 
animals weighing about two hundred pounds 
each, the flesh of them is sun-dried and wind- 
dried, cut up in thin strips and carefully 
stored for food. Both English, Dutch, and 
natives use dried meat a good deal when 
travelling long distances; sometimes they 
ride as far as seventy miles a day, and are 



i 



132 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

glad enough of a bit of dried meat in those 
lonely regions, where, during a long ride 
across country, no food of any kind is to be 
had. After storing the dried meat, the 
skins of these animals are carefully prepared, 
and the skin of the springbok is considered 
the orthodox cradle for a Basuto, and is 
used to wrap him in as a baby. The women 
carry their babies propped in these skins on 
their backs or across their hips ; this skin is 
called ' taree.' 

For musical instruments the natives use the 
* water-reed,' the sound being obtained by the 
depth of the hole and the thickness of the 
reeds. Two or three hundred natives, each 
with one of these reeds, constitute a national 
band. Each takes a different note ; they 
hold it up to their mouths and blow down it, 
but they never get much beyond such a tune 
as 'Three blind mice.' While this stirring 
and classical (?) melody is being performed by 
the reed-band, the women dance round the 
circle of musicians, keeping time with their 
hands and singing a low weird song. The 
effect is very curious and somewhat unearthly. 



MAFETENG 133 

In addition to reeds, they use a bow-shaped 
harp, a calabash being attached to the one 
end, the wire being tight. The wire is 
played upon by a little piece of wood against 
this wire and the finger as in the case of a 
violin. At best it is but poor music and 
affords entertainment for one person only, 
viz., the operator! I should say that the 
Basutos are by no means a musical race, but 
are capable of being trained, and the mission- 
aries, both English and French, do their 
best, and teach them to sing at the mission 
stations. They sing many hymns fairly 
well, the women especially taking very high 
notes. 

Even when converted to Christianity, the 
natives will go to Thaba Bosigo to be 
charmed before a war, though the mission- 
aries are struggling hard to break through 
these heathen customs. A Basuto is con- 
sidered, privately, to be * lost ' when he be- 
comes a Christian, by the heathen members 
of his tribe. Some of the chiefs profess 
Christianity. The missionaries have a hard 
battle to fight, the people are so deeply im- 



134 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

bued with and rooted, and grounded in 
heathenism and superstition. On arriving 
at a Mission station, a Basuto firmly 
refuses to engage in any religious duties 
until he has had something to eat ; in fisict, 
they demand food from the good missionary, 
saying that *it is poor game to preach to 
an empty stomach.' 

Let me here remark that the missionaries 
extend their hospitality to the utmost limit 
that their scanty means will admit, and I 
gladly testify to the excellent work done 
by the missionaries throughout South Africa. 
They are, undoubtedly, the pioneers in the 
country of our Greater Britain. They 
have heroically endured all kinds of 
privations, dangers, difficulties, and isola- 
tion, and endure them to this da3^ 
Everyone must make up his or her mind 
to * suffer and be strong,' if they pitch 
their tent in such an uncivilised country 
as Basutoland. The missionaries have 
done and do this cheerfully and 
patiently. They have brought the light 
of the Glorious Gospel to these distant 



MAFETENG 1 35 

regions, and it is to their influence that these 
savage chiefs and people have become suflfi- 
ciently civilised to admit of the approach of 
oflficialism and commerce. I recollect hear- 
ing that, in the early days of Basutoland, 
Dr Moffat's daughter was travelling there 
in a waggon alone, to join her hus- 
band, with only Kaffir drivers to escort 
her. They were suddenly attacked by seven 
lions, at a place called Mahussa. One or 
two of the Kaffirs were killed and devoured, 
and this poor woman lay for six or seven 
hours inside the waggon, with only a thin 
piece of canvas between her and the seven 
lions who were all roaring with fury and 
raging round the waggon. Every moment 
she expected them to spring in and devour 
her, but she escaped unhurt. 

Another lady was travelling with her hus- 
band on mission work in the depths of the 
country, far from all help and civilisation. 
Her little baby was born in the veldt, and 
being very weak, she depended on two milk- 
goats to feed the child. They were attacked 
by lions who killed the milk-goats, and one 



136 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

or two of the drivers also. In the scrimmage 
the baby's feeding-bottle was broken, and 
the poor mother had to resort to the shank- 
bone of a leg of mutton, through which she 
managed to administer meal and water to this 
child of three weeks old, for five weeks! 
This was a girl of aristocratic birth, fresh 
from Europe, a niece of Bismarck, Miss Von 
Putkammer, with, of course, no sort of 
experience, before her marriage, of South 
African life in the wilds. 

The converted natives always dressed 
very smartly in European dress, and a 
Basuto lady invariably carried the whole of 
her wardrobe on her back when going from 
place to place ; and the more stiffly starched 
bright coloured cotton skirts they could 
put on the better. But the effect was 
somewhat comical, and they resembled 
a ship in full sail The native women were 
very clever in making baskets of all kinds, 
and also in shaping pots and basins out of 
the red clay and baking them. They used 
these for everything, especially for their 
Kaffir beer^ Often, too, they made dolls 



MAFETENG 137 

out of the red clay, very well shaped, and 
baked them and gave them to the children 
as toys. 

The Disarmament Act was just now at 
a standstill for a short time, whilst the 
petition, numerously signed, was sent to 
the Cape by a deputation of chiefs, who 
represented the whole of the Basuto 
nation, urging the extreme and universal 
unpopularity of the Act, and represent- 
ing that a Basuto war was inevitable 
if Parliament attempted to enforce its 
provisions. But by this time matters 
had gone too far. Most stringent in- 
structions were sent to Colonel Griffith 
that all arms, assegais, etc., were to 
be surrendered before a certain time 
to the resident magistrates of each dis- 
trict, who were to value them with the 
help of a committee, while the loyal 
Basutos were to be compensated by the 
Government when all were given up. 

Immediately upon receiving these in- 
structions, Arthur called a great meeting 
of chiefs and people to assemble at the 



138 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

Residency. Lerothodi, the principal chief 
in the district, attended with all his coun- 
cillors, petty chiefs, and headsmen, and 
was very civil in his behaviour. My 
husband spoke at the meeting, using 
every possible argument to persuade Lero- 
thodi to give up his arms to the Govern- 
ment, and persuade his followers to do the 
same, and for a time Lerothodi appeared 
to be inclined to do so. But, alas, the love 
of fighting was too strong in him, as we 
shall see later on. Still at this time he 
professed much loyalty to the Queen, 
*Our Great Mother,' and to his magis- 
trate and other oflScials. Lerothodi indeed 
brought his councillors and principal men 
to call upon me at the Residency. He 
walked first, followed by his people, and 
making a very low bow, said in good 
English, 'I am happy to tell you, Mrs 
Barkly, that 1 have made up my mind to 
give up my arms to your husband, and to 
obey the orders of the Government.* 
Whereupon I made him a very low curtsey. 
We shook hands, and I congratulated 



MAFETENG 139 

him warmly, and said that I was delighted 
to hear it, etc. I then begged him 
to take a seat which he did, and one or 
two of his under chiefs, the rest standing 
round, or squatting on the ground. Tea 
and cakes were brought in by a Hottentot 
servant, of which the chief Lerothodi and 
his people partook freely, munched cake 
and drank tea in the most peaceable manner, 
and we were all very friendly together. 
They talked to me through an interpreter, 
about the great Queen Victoria, and called 
me * Missis Mabekabek ' (wife of the Glitter- 
ing Breast or Great Chief, as I have before 
said my husband was called after his father), 
and asked many questions about their 
former Governor and his wife, Sir Henry 
and Lady Barkly, who they always hoped 
would come back to South Africa again, 
and pay them a visit ! Lerothodi was most 
polite, and spoke a little English, pretend- 
ing that he should be quite pleased to give 
up his guns to his magistrate. *Does the 
great White Queen wish it ? If so, we are 
her children and must obey our Great 



I40 AMONG BOEBS AND BASX7T0S 

Mother/ and so on. These praiseworthy 
sentiments, however, he utterly failed to 
carry out- Lerothodi was the great soldier 
of the Basutos, and a fine, well-built man, 
a splendid rider, but with an unfortunate 
weakness for drink. He was the son of 
the Paramount Chief, Letsea, and himselj 
was also a powerful chief with many 
followers. 

The next, and last time, that I saw the 
Chief Lerothodi, was on a very different 
occasion. My husband had called a great 
disarmament Pitso in his district to decide 
the issue of peace or war in Mafeteng. For 
weeks and months past, he and his fellow- 
magistrates, hadbeen working hard to preserve 
peace, and to try and convince the Basutos 
that it was to their interests to obey the 
Government, so that our anxiety was very 
great as to the result of their labours. 

It was a brilliant day, with bright sun- 
shine. My husband was at the court-house 
waiting to receive Lerothodi and the other 
chiefs and people in his district. I was 
standing in the garden of the Residency, 



• MAFETENG I4I 

and the children with me, commanding a 
view of the road, when suddenly I saw a 
great cloud of dust approaching in the 
distance, and presently hundreds and hun- 
dreds of mounted Basutos, with Lerothodi 
at their head, all armed to the teeth, dashed 
into the little town of Mafeteng at full 
gallop, their spears, battle-axes, and assegais 
gleaming in the sun, shouting as they rode 
in the war-cry of the Basutos ! The child- 
ren were delighted at the spectacle, and it 
was a grand sight, the Basutos being all 
well mounted, under perfect discipline, and 
in full battle array, many with long cloaks 
made of skins ; but I am not ashamed to 
confess that when the notes of the war- 
cry burst upon my ear, a thrill of terror 
went through me, for it meant that the 
long-dreaded rebellion was upon us in 
earnest. 

Though inwardly alarmed, I managed to 
attend the meeting, the last which was held 
in Mafeteng on the Disarmament Act, by 
my husband, before hostilities actually 
commenced. 



142 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

But before this happened, the Cape 
Government again postponed the day for 
the final disarmament until the 12th 
July. 

The Paramount Chief Letsea adopted a 
shilly-shally course of action throughout, 
and appeared to try to keep in with all 
parties. At this time he called a great 
meeting, professedly to try and per- 
suade his people to give in to the 
government and surrender their guns. 
He went through a pantomimic perform- 
ance himself, expressive of his intention 
to surrender his gun, bringing it out 
and laying it down before the people, eta 
He afterwards stated, however, that he 
could not find a messenger to take it to 
Colonel Griffith, but this of course was all 
nonsense. His sons, meanwhile, particu- 
larly Lerothodi, began to give themselves 
great airs and ' bounced ' a good deal, none 
of them being worth a moment's considera- 
tion but Lerothodi, who was a man of more 
influence on account of his well-known 
courage. He was very sulky at that time, 



MAFETENG 1 43 

and went about saying everywhere that * he 
would not give up his guns/ etc., and abused 
his father Letsea for wishing to do so. My 
husband then sent Lerothodi a sharp message 
and strong caution as to his behaviour, and 
received in return a very civil reply, which 
was quite satisfactory as far as it went, but, 
as events proved afterwards, he was at heart 
utterly false and traitorous. Lerothodi's 
village was only a mile and a half from the 
Residence, and at this time he began fully to 
show his hand (and a pretty strong one it 
was !), he, Masupha, and others not only 
doing all in their power to stir up the people 
to fight and oppose disarmament, but also 
threatening those loyal natives who sur- 
rendered their guns, and altogether taking 
up a semi-rebellious position. 

My husband was of opinion that by so 
doing they hoped to frighten the Govern- 
ment into further and perhaps indefinite 
postponement of the measure. 

In this very disagreeable state of affairs 
everyone became more or less troublesome. 
Our Basuto servants (under orders from 



144 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

their chiefs), refused, most of them, to work 
any longer. The men prepared to fight, and 
many of the women ' treked * to the Orange 
Free State, leaving us in a sad plight. 
Unfortunately at this time I was very ill 
indeed and could not get anyone to nurse 
me ; and when my little boy Gilbert was 
born on the 20th of June, it was indeed 
terrible altogether. Had it not been for my 
husband's devoted care and nursing, and 
the wife of one of the traders, Mrs Asch- 
mann, I must have died, 1 was so very ill, 
and for some days in great danger, as I 
caught a severe chill. Dr Reece was most 
kind in coming over from the Orange Free 
State, sometimes twice a day, a distance of 
ten or twelve miles, to see me ; and my poor 
husband was quite worn out with work and 
anxiety, as every day we expected to be 
attacked by the rebel Basutos. 

Three or four weeks passed in this way. 
Lerothodi kept sending threatening mes- 
sages to my husband, to say that he and 
Moletsani's men were going to join forces, 
and come and attack us at once. Masses of 



MAFETENG 1 45 

men and horses were seen gathering behind 
a ridge near Lerothodi's village. Arthur 
then determined to send the children and 
me ofF to Wepener, just over the border, in 
the Orange Free State, so, as I was then 
able to move, I was obliged to obey, for we 
were only in the way of the little garrison. 
Arthur had had the court-house fortified as 
strongly as possible while I was ill, and 
everything was prepared for the expected 
attack, as he fully intended to hold the place 
to the very last ; but as he heard that the 
other magistrates had sent away their wives 
and families some time before, he would not 
let us stay any longer. Accordingly, on the 
19 th July, we sent the children off with Mrs 
Aschmann's mother to Wepener, where Dr 
Reece very kindly took in the poor little 
refugees, while I stayed one more day, and 
packed up in the greatest haste a few of our 
most valuable possessions, but of course had 
to leave much behind, which we never saw 
again, but lost utterly. News suddenly 
came in, brought by the spies, that an 
attack was expected that very night, so we 

K 



146 AMONG BOEBS AND BASX7T0S 

were all told to go into Captain Aschmann's 
great store, which had been hastily barri- 
caded by bags -of mealies outside, and inside 
by piles and piles of blankets against the 
walls, which, it was hoped, would prevent 
the bullets from penetrating. Miss Asch- 
mann came with me, and we had one little 
room all lined with blankets, with no light 
or ventilation. Of course I, being still very 
weak, found it trying. Sleep was, as I need 
hardly say, quite out of the question that 
night, as every moment we expected the 
enemy to fire upon us. The night passed 
quietly, however ; and, mercifully for us, the 
plan of attack failed, as Lerothodi and the 
other chiefs had a quarrel, and they were, in 
consequence, obliged to postpone operations. 
All night long my husband and his little 
garrison worked hard, preparing their guns 
and putting everything in readiness. While 
shut up in Mafeteng during the siege my 
husband wrote to his father : 

*The enclosed letter will show you the 
result of the disarmament policy in Basuto- 



MAFETENG I47 

land. I am writing in my office with the 
windows bricked up and the walls loop- 
holed. I have eight whites (four old 
soldiers among them), and about twenty 
more or less trustworthy black police, quite 
enough, I trust, to hold this court and 
offices. Fraser is entrenched at Diph- 
ering with about thirty men, traders and 
others. Fanny left to-day, and is, I hope, 
at Wepener by this time. The children are 
at Dr Recce's house for a day or two. He 
and his wife have been extremely good to 
us all through. No disturbance has as yet 
taken place in the district, but an outbreak 
may occur at any moment. Lerothodi and 
I are still on civil terms. I sent a letter 
telling him he was so far safe if he would 
keep quiet. He returned a reply with 
many salutations, saying that he would not 
begin any attack. What this Chief wants 
to do is to " cut up " the natives who have 
given up their guns, and Lerothodi at his 
pitso yesterday said that if the Govern- 
ment did not molest him in so doing there 
would be peace as before. I sent to him 



148 AMONG BOEBS AND BASXJTOS 

at once to say that that would not do, 
and that if he struck the loyal natives he 
struck the Government, who were bound to 
protect those who had disarmed at their 
order. It was after this he sent me an- 
other message of the same nature. 

'The fact is, that the chiefs and their 
immediate following have always been 
opposed to our rule more or less, but never 
got the body of the people with them until 
the disarmament affair was commenced. 
The Basutos now say that what they want 
is ** no magistrates, no rule, no hut-tax." 

'The disarmament business is the one 
thing which is capable of rousing the 
Basutos to opposition. As to what Ches- 
son quotes from my report as to the 
orderly disposition of the Basutos, speaking 
generally I still endorse every word of 
it 

*I am not well off for ammunition, but 
Fraser has sent a cart into Aliwal, two days* 
journey from this, and I wrote to Hunt, 
the C. C. and asked him to supply me 
with all he could. It ought to be back 



lyiAFETENG I49 

to-morrow night. It comes through the 
Orange Free State, I had to abandon the 
store I thought of holding, which was too 
large and rambling for the few men I had. 
This place is small and compact. It had 
a partly thatched roof, which is the reason 
why I did not select it at first, but I have 
chained tarpaulin over that, and I don't 
think they can fire it under our fire at all 
events. I have four or five crack shots 
among the "garrison," who will make it 
extremely hot for anyone trying to come to 
close quarters.' 



CHAPER X 

MT FLIGHT AT NIGHT FBOM MAFETENG TO THE 

ORANGE FREE STATE 

The next day so many messengers arrived 
reporting an expected attack on the Resi- 
dence, and also on the loyal natives, that my 
husband would not let me stay another 
night in the laager, and I could not leave 
the little ones at Wepener any longer, so it 
was arranged that I should leave at night. 
Arthur sent two policemen as an escort with 
me across the border, and Miss Aschmann 
drove me in our own Cape-cart with a pair of 
horses. I had to go in great haste, and only 
managed to take a few little necessaries with 
me, in order to send the two policemen back 
to Arthur, who could not spare them from 



FLIGHT FROM MAFETEKG I51 

his small force. It was terrible work having 
to go off and leave poor Arthur in a state of 
siege, not knowing what might happen, or 
when he would be relieved by troops from 
the colony. It was an awful position for 
him to be in, but his courage, pluck, and 
energy never failed for a moment, and 
though repeatedly urged by the Governor 
and Prime Minister to ' forsake the magis- 
tracy, and retire on the Orange Free State,' 
he determined to stick to his post through 
everything, and protect as far as possible, 
the loyal natives who looked to him to save 
them from being killed by the enemy, and 
their cattle and other possessions confiscated 
by Lerothodi. This he succeeded in doing 
with but a handful of men. To return to 
our flight to Wepener : As we were going 
along at a rapid pace, some messengers from 
Lerothodi rode quickly after us and over- 
took us with messages from the Chief to me : 

'The great Chief Lerothodi sends kind 
greetings to the wife of Mabekabek, and 
wishes to know why she is leaving the 



152 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

district to-night, and begs that she will 
return at once to the Residence, where she 
will be quite safe, and free from all danger.* 

I returned my compliments and thanks 
to the chief, and replied *That Morena 
Mabekabek had given me directions to leave 
at once, so that I must obey.' 

Whereupon, the messengers were very- 
angry, and seized our escort of two policemen 
and carried them off as prisoners to Lero- 
thodi*s village with their horses, where they 
kept them until Arthur heard of it, and sent 
for them, and Lerothodi then, very reluct- 
antly, let them go. Meanwhile Miss Asch- 
mann and I drove on alone as fast as we 
could to the border, but just as we crossed 
over into the Orange Free State, two Basutos 
met us, more than half drunk, dressed in 
blankets hung over their shoulders, and carry- 
ing heavy clubs and assegais in their hands. 
They immediately stopped our horses and 
were very impudent, and asked 'what two 
ladies were doing driving alone at that time 
of night.' Miss Aschmann was, for the 



FLIGHT FROM MAFETENQ I S3 

moment, paralysed with terror, as they 
looked so wild and fierce, and there was no 
one near us in the midst of the veldt, the 
bright moonlight streaming on us, and the 
two gaunt savages, who stood at our horses' 
heads, refusing to let us go on our way. I 
immediately called out to them very loudly, 
* Leave go of our horses this instant, and if 
you dare to touch one of us you will be re* 
ported to Mabekabek and to your chiefs also, 
and be punished by the Government. Drive 
on instantly,' said I in a commanding tone to 
Miss Aschmann (who by this time had re- 
covered), and I took the whip and lashed up 
the horses to a quick gallop, and on we 
simply ^z^;, leaving the two wretches some- 
what astonished. 

We had a terrible drive that night al- 
together, as we had to get through several 
rivers on our way to Wepener, and the late 
rains had greatly swollen them. We had 
the greatest difficulty in getting through the 
last one, as it was very deep and often un- 
fordable after heavy rains. But Miss Asch- 
mann, being a splendid whip and very strong, 



154 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

we managed to get the horses through some- 
how. The colonial girls possess wonderfa 
strength and courage, but it was awful work. 
The current was so strong that the horses 
could hardly get through it, and I really 
thought we must have been carried away and 
drowned. As it was, they swam through 
with the cart, and the water came right in, 
so that we had to tuck up our skirts and get 
on to the seat, but arrived in Wepener very 
wet and in a miserably cold and hungry con- 
dition. Here I was thankful to get to a 
little inn, kept by a German and his wife and 
daughter, after having first driven to Dr and 
Mrs Reece s house, whence I fetched my little 
children. They were all well, and the little 
baby none the worse, apparently, though he 
was only a few weeks old. The good folks 
gave us one little room with one bed for the 
children. Miss Aschmann, and myself. We 
managed to sleep a little, being worn out 
with fatigue and anxiety, but could not get 
warm, as there was no fire ; but after much 
coaxing and persuading I got the landlord to 
let me have a little fire in the one sitting- 



FLIGHT FROM MAFETENG ISS 

room, which was crammed with other refugees 
from Basutoland, and their children, and I got 
some warm milk for the poor baby, and some 
bread for the children and ourselves, and a 
little Cape pontac (wine). 

The Consul and his wife came down to see 
if they could do anything for us, as of course 
all were in terrible trouble and distress. I 
was in the greatest anxiety about my hus- 
band for weeks after this, as all sorts of 
rumours kept coming in from Basutoland, 
and no one knew what to believe. I lived 
in a state of terror as to what I might hear 
next. A messenger would come in breath- 
less, and assure me that I must never expect 
to see my husband again, as he could not 
possibly escape, Lerothodi having offered 
£100 for his head, and that being very tall 
and big he was a splendid mark for the 
enemy. It is impossible to describe the 
anxiety that I passed through during the 
Basuto campaigns. 

I wrote to Captain Hunt, the Civil Com- 

ft 

missioner of Aliwal North, and implored 
him to try and hurry up the relief to Mafe- 



156 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

tengy and also to send up more ammunition 
to my husbandy as he had very little indeed, 
and he writes as follows : 

* Aliwal, 25th July, 1880. 

*Dear Mrs Barklt, — ^Your messenger 
arrived at twelve noon to-day with Mr 
Barkly^s letter and telegram, also your letter 
and telegram. I have sent Mr Barkly's 
telegram to the Colonial Secretary, Cape 
Town, and a copy to the Commandant- 
General, King William's Town, to save time 
and let them know what is going on. En- 
closed I send copy of my telegram to the 
Commandant-General, King William's Town, 
a copy of which I have also sent to the 
Colonial Secretary. Had I listened to red- 
tape, Mr Barkly would not have had the 
little ammunition which I sent him. It is 
terrible to think of the way in which Mr 
Barkly has been left to the mercy of these 
pet savages. Under such circumstances he 
would, I think,, have been perfectly justified 
in leaving the place to be sacked.' 

[The Cape Government wished him to do 



FLIGHT FROM MAFETENG I $7 

80, and repeatedly telegraphed, ' If necessary, 
retire on the Free State,' but this he refused 
absolutely to do. — F.A.B.] 

* I have my clerk Mr Hood, my chief 
constable and others out arranging with 
Captain Aschmann (my messenger) about 
what quantity of arms and ammunition he 
can take to Wepener for you for Mr Barkly, 
and have told them to hire a second cart if 
necessary. I hear the telegraph wire is cut 
between this and James' Town ; if so, it will 
soon be in order again; but unless proper 
measures are taken immediately regarding 
assistance to Mafeteng, I shall take upon 
myself to act as I think fit, and do what I 
think ought to be done. The C.M.R. can't 
be here until Tuesday, and as regards Mafe- 
teng, they might as well be in Cape Town. 
If the yeomanry do not get direct orders, I 
shall not wait long. I have sent to them 
already, and will let you know the result 
before closing this. Please send all that is 
in this letter or any enclosure to Mr Barkly, 
whom, I trust, I may assist in relief, and 
that he may retire safely on Wepener. 



158 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

Mrs Hunt is writing you, and when you 
come to Aliwal, expects to see you, and will 
do her best in a small house. If you require 
express-riders, get them on account of Grovern- 
ment, as they are Mr Barkly's for Grovem- 
ment duty. Let me have any telegrams, 
and I will countersign them for free 
transit. 

'2.30. P.M. Sunday. — Your express-rider 
wishes to start now, so I send this. Captain 
Aschmann had not arrived about an hour 
ago. I shall send about twenty boxes of 
snider ball cartridges, and I expect twenty 
snider carbines in two carts, and another 
I have given Captain Aschmann orders 
to hire. I have seen Captain Parker of our 
yeomanry, and told him to hold himself in 
readiness for Wepener and Mafeteng, and 
told him if he does not get orders from head- 
quarters, I shall take upon myself to order 
them off. You shall hear more by the 
ammunition carts. Heartily wishing Mr 
Barkly success, and that he may soon be 
with you in Wepener, and sincerely condol- 
ing with you in his present position, and still 



FLIGHT FROM MAFETENG 1 59 

more with you aJl being left to make good 
your escape how best you could, — ^Yours 
sincerely, 

* S. T. C. Hunt, 

* Civil Commissioner J 



CHAPTER XI 

SIEGE OF MAFETENG 

As the authority of the Government had 
ceased to be recognised by the Basutos, 
and the police courts were of necessity 
closed, my husband thought it prudent 
(as did the other magistrates) to prepare to 
defend bis court house in the too probable 
event of an early attack upon it ; and the 
following letter gives an account of it : 

Extract of letter from Commandant 
Barkly to his father. 

* 2.7th July, — I have just paraded my 
small forces, eight white and thirteen black, 
all armed with sniders, and told each man 



SIEGE OF MAFETENG l6l 

oflF to his loop-hole. I believe they will all 
fight, and if so, ^we can hold the place well. 
I telegraphed to Sprigg to-day, to the 
eflfect that though no outrage had as yet 
been committed by Lerothodi, I might be 
attacked at any moment, and could only 
hold out for a limited time. 

* Masupha has attacked a loyal chieftain, 
a Fingo, living with his people not far from 
Advance Post, Cannibal Valley; being in 
Masupha s district, he was of course under 
his rule, but like all Fingoes very loyal 
to the Government. Although they objected 
in common with others to the disarmament 
policy, yet they resolved to obey, and had 
given up their guns when ordered to do so. 
Masupha routed poor Tukunya wuth his 
commando, and they had a sharp fight, 
the Fingoes defending themselves very 
bravely. But the enemy was too strong 
for them, and burnt their village and took 
nearly all their cattle. Overpowered by 
the numbers, Tukunya and his people fled 
to Maseru where they took refuge. Tuk- 
unya was the same Fingo chieftain who, 



1 62 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

when you were here in 1870 or 71, accom- 
panied Masupha with his men all in ^^full 
dress," viz., with shields and feathers. Bell 
has been obliged to abandon Advance Post, 
and he and Alfred Hatchard have been 
ordered by Griffith to join the garrison 
at Maseru, with their police and loyal 
natives. This of course has delighted 
Masupha. Officials and loyal natives being 
driven out of his territory, he now reigns 
alone in his glory.' 

Extract from a letter to myself : 

^Your note reached me last night by a 
native runner, whom you sent in with eggs 
and meat, for which many thanks. He 
had to crawl on his hands and knees and 
cannot bring much, as he might be attacked 
at any time, and would then have to fly 
for his life. 

* There was a ration of horse served out 
to-day, and we have also managed to get 
hold of some geese, one or two only. 

*We are hard at work all day, building 
new schantses, from which we shall fire if 



SIEGE OF MAFETENG 163 

attacked at the court-house, levelling 
walls, getting wire entanglements round 
the schantse^, etc. 

* I heard from Littleton, saying that he had 
sent me a lot of photographs of Cetewayo, 
and also that Sir Bartle Frere was very 
anxious to know my opinion about things 
in general in Basutoland. I have tele- 
graphed freely to him, Sprigg, and Colonel 
Clarke, and send the telegrams to you to 
be sent on to Aliwal at once, as usual. I 
have just heard from Sir Bartle Frere. 
Three hundred Cape Mounted Riflemen are 
to be sent to relieve me as soon as possible 
under Colonel Carrington; they ought to 
be up soon. I have telegraphed both to 
Sir Bartle Frere and Sprigg to say that 
we must have reinforcements sent up here 
immediately. We are hard at work all day, 
mining, etc. Thanks for the sausages, etc. 
We ate them for lunch ; the runner brought 
them all right, and didn't eat any ! ' 

Six or seven weeks passed in a state of 
terrible suspense, each night expecting an 



1 64 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

attack on the little garrison at Mafeteng, 
as the rebellion had fairly begun. On 
Thaba Bosigo, Letsea's great mountain 
stronghold, all kinds of war ceremonies were 
being performed by the chiefs and natives. 
Young bulls killed, the Basuto warriors 
given war-medicine, their arms and assegais 
all prepared for war in earnest ; great war- 
dances were held, and all kinds of spells and 
charms used ; the war rations served out 
by the headmen for three days* supply of 
mealies, or meal made of a fine wheat. 
These they wore round their waists, tied 
with a string, also a tobacco pouch filled ; 
a powder horn slung round their necks, 
long feathers in their hats. Some of the 
men wore a necklace made of the dried 
bones of baboons or men's fingers and goats^ 
horns. A wizard doctor presented me with 
one of these treasures, in return for giving 
him shelter and food for a night at Mohale's 
Hoek, he being nearly starved. He was 
Masupha's own wizard doctor, and declared 
that Masupha himself wore this necklace, 
and that if I was ill, I must scrape one of 



SIEGE OF MAFETENG 1 65 

these charms and eat it, when I should 
immediately be cured. (I thought I should 
infinitely prefer the illness to the *cure/ 
but of course did not say so, and accepted 
the gift, as it was meant, as a great curiosity. ) 



CHAPTER XII 

MT LIFE ON THE BORDER DURING THE SIEQE 

I CANNOT say that life in the Orange Free 
State was agreeable in any way during the 
Basuto War, apart from all the dreadful 
suspense and anxiety one felt during the 
siege of Mafeteng, held by my husband 
until relieved by the Cape Mounted Rifles, 
under Colonel Carrington. Wepener was 
not a nice place to live in. The Dutch 
Boers were by no means sympathetic as a 
rule, though there were some bright excep- 
tions. But take them as a whole, they 
cordially disliked the English ofiScials and 
their families, and would not help them in 
their difiSculties, but infinitely preferred the 
natives, and secretly assisted them in many 



LIFE ON THE BORDER DURING THE SIEGE 1 6/ 

ways, sold them quantities of ammunition 
and guns, and plenty of ' Cape smoke * or bad 
brandy, besides horses and blankets. Now 
things are changed greatly for the better. 
Finding that I could be of some use to 
Arthur by remaining at Wepener, I remained 
on there for some months, and was rewarded 
for doing so by being able to assist to some 
extent by sending in small supplies of food, 
such as hard-boiled eggs, sausages, bread, 
and cakes to the little garrison at Mafeteng 
by the express-runners who were heavily 
paid for their dangerous task. In fact, I was 
employed as a secret agent, and had to tele- 
graph to the Governor, Sir B. Frere, and 
the Premier to get food in the middle of 
night for the native runners who frequently 
crawled through the mountains on their 
hands and knees. A little boy from a 
store slept in my cottage, and was very 
useful to run about at night to find express- 
riders to carry messages, until the camp 
was formed at Wepener, and even after 
Colonel, now Sir Frederick, Carrington, 
came up, they always sent all letters 



1 68 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

to me first, and telegrams also. The express- 
runners used to arrive in the middle of 
each night and tap at the window, when I 
had to take the bag, sort the letters, and 
find express - riders to go on to Aliwal 
North to the telegraph oflSee there — a day's 
journey, there being no telegraph oflSce in 
Wepener itself. 

Mr Alfred Becker, the principal Dutch 
trader there, was most kind and useful in 
helping me in these great difficulties. 

About this time I had a letter written in 
French, from my brother, Alfred Hatchard, 
from Maseru, saying that he was quite safe, 
and that all were in a state of siege thera 

[Copy telegramJ\ 
From Mrs Barkly, 
Wepener, O.F.S. 

To The Hon. W. Littleton, P.S. 
Government House, Cape Town. 

(Received at Cape Town, November 4th.) 

'AH quiet now. Great meeting at 
Morija to-day. Doubt if Masupha or 



LIFE ON THE BORDER DURING THE SIEGE 1 69 

Lerothodi will go. Arthur got in 20,000 
rounds of ammunition, besides arms, etc., 
to Mafeteng at night with strong escort of 
fifty men. Large body of Lerothodi's men 
were working along flank, behind rising 
ground, but did not appear. Please tell 
brother/ 

Extract &om letter from my husband to 
myself : 

' Mafeteng, 2bth September j 1880. 

'Nearly the whole of our last mails fell 
into the hands of the rebels, and it is 
doubtful if we shall get the post to-night. 

* The only means of communication now 
is by the native runners, who, by their 
knowledge of the country, manage to slip 
through the rebel posts on the border at 
night. When we are to be relieved, seems 
problematical. We are thoroughly shut in 
here at present, and can just hold our own 
and no more. We are pretty well off for food 
at present, at least for meal, flour, etc., and 
horse is really very good ! 

' Delay has done its work, and the 



T&mboolaes mider Tjrafi are now op, mnd 
hare jomed tlie lebek hcR^ The 'Moyal" 
BmoUm^ who wefe uimenNBi m moiith ago, 
are beeoming: afanost non-exiate&t^ We are 
aehantaed, wire entangledy mined, etc, here 
to any amount, but still the rebek keep ofl^ 
and do not attadlL ns, tiioi^h they patrol 
about in companies, folly armed, and keep 
sending threatening messages that they are 
coming to kill o& All the rebek here are 
divided into raiments with most blood- 
thirsty names, snch as '' Fierce - eyes," 
'< Finishers of the Woonded," eta, eta I 
forget the rest, bat BoUand has a list' 

Extract firom letter to Sir Henry Barkly : 

* The President of the Orange Free State. 
Mr Brandy is to be in Wepener to-morrow, 
and I am going in, if possible, to meet him 
and discuss matters with him. 

' 18th. — We are not actually at war yet 
with the Basutos, though we certainly 
are not at peace, and the first shot 
must be fired soon. I have just re- 



LIFE ON THE BORDER DURTNG THE SIEGE 17I 

turned from Wepener, where I went to 
see Fanny and the children as well as to 
meet the President; also to inquire about 
some arms which I heard were coming 
up ; moreover, I wished to parley with some 
of the rebel parties who beset the border. 
I took no extra escort besides the orderlies I 
always have and one of Letsea's men. I 
had not gone halfway when down came a 
rebel headman, one Khoejane, a notorious 
rascal, at the head of fifteen or sixteen men 
armed with guns. As they crossed the road 
they partly halted as if to form across it, but 
thought better of it and rode on. I sent 
Letsea's man after them, however, to order 
them to come to me, and after some talk 
they all rode back. I asked Khoejane what 
he was about, and ordered him home. He 
was very respectful, and said he would go ; 
but as the horses were very fidgetty, and it 
was not comfortable standing up in the cart, 
I got down and walked quietly up with my 
hands in my pockets to speak to Khoejane, 
upon which he shouted out, " I am going to 
be killed ! " and galloped off as hard as he 



I 



172 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

could, followed by his men, some of whom 
could not help laughing at him, and so did 
all my escort. 

* I have since heard that Khoejane went 
to Lerothodi and complained of the fright 
which " Mabekabek " had put him in, upon 
which Lerothodi sent a lot of men to the 
border yesterday to prevent my returning. 
As it happened, I did not come, as I found 
all the arms and" ammunition had been by 
some mistake consigned to Maseru, and had 
to send to Colonel Bayley, who is encamped 
some miles from Wepener, to ask him to let 
me take what I wanted. He consented to 
do so, and I sent a waggon to get a hundred 
and twenty sniders, and twenty thousand 
rounds of ammunition, and chartered a 
horse-waggon to bring them here to Mafe- 
teng. The Dutchmen then began to give 
trouble; would not lend their horses, etc. 
At last I got them, but did not get off until 
one o'clock. I met my escort on the border, 
my own police, and Donald Fraser with 
eight of his volunteers ; good men, who had 
all been in the Free State war. 



LIFE ON THE BORDER DURING THE SIEGE 1 73 

*We had not gone far when I saw the 
advanced guard halt, and a man came gallop- 
ing back to me to say that a ridge on our 
right was lined with rebels. I threw out 
flankers and moved on, and as usual they 
funked, and though we passed right under a 
lot of them armed and standing by their 
horses, they made no movement, and we got 
safely in. 

* This sort of thing can't last long, how- 
ever, without a collision taking place. 

' Bayley's column left King William Town 
about three weeks ago; they went by rail 
to Queenstown, and are now within three 
days of their marching of Maseru, the 
whole distance of their route from Queens- 
town to Maseru being about two hundred 
and forty miles. Hunt, the Civil Com- 
missioner of Aliwal, writes to me that a 
telegram was sent to hurry them on. 

* Colonel Clarke comes up with Sprigg, 
and I shall be glad to see him. They 
were going to send Carrington with two 
hundred men from Kokstadt into Basuto 
land, by Phattahla Drift, which is watched 



174 AMONG BOERS AND BASUT08 

by three hundred rebels, up through the 
most dangerous road in the country. I 
have, however, telegraphed to Sprigg, 
Clarke, and Parr (one of Sir B. Frere's 
A. D. 0*8.) warning them against this, and 
recommending another route through the 
Free State, to a place called Greathead's 
Drift, which is much safer. Spies have 
swarmed about the camp all day, but I 
have not taken much notice of them. 
I expect three or four white men to- 
morrow from the Free State and some 
more loyal natives. I have about forty 
or fifty encamped above me to act as an 
outpost. 

* I will finish this to-morrow, if I am still 
in the land of the living. 

' Thursday. — No attack last night, but 
hear that Lerothodi's men " eat up " the cattle 
of one of the police living near his village ; 
shall no doubt succeed in making them re- 
store them. I shall try to keep Lerothodi off 
until relief is at hand, when he may attack 
and welcome. 



Life on the bobdeb during the sieqe 175 

'News from Maseru. Alfred Hatchard 
is safe there^ and no attack as yet ; they are 
in tolerably strong force, thirty whites and a 
lot of loyal natives.* 



CHAPTER XIII 

WEPENEB 

Wepener, 11th September. My liusband 
wrote and told me that he had got safely- 
back to Mafeteng, with the ammunition 
and five waggons, but that the rebels were 
furious at his having got in unmolested. 
Lerothodi sent messages to say that he 
'would crush him under his feet shortly/ 
and also that *a high reward (£100) would 
be given for his head.' These terrible 
words filled me with horror, and living alone 
in a cottage near the Dutch church, with 
only my little children and an old Zulu in 
the house, my readers can imagine my 
anxiety and fears for my husband's safety 
all through those dreadful weeks and 
months. 



WEPENER 177 

No words can describe what I went 
through at that time, but I determined to 
remain on the border as long as I could, and 

was thankful afterwards that I had done so. 
Many, indeed, were the hardships and 
privations that the poor little children and I 
endured in Wepener, especially when the 
troops came up, provisions and fuel being so 
verydiflScult to obtain, and the prices of every- 
thing enormous, we often had nothing to eat, 
or no means of cooking, and had to make a 
fire of old chairs, or bits of wood out of the 
roof, or even of match boxes ! A neighbour- 
ing trader kindly let us sometimes send a 
joint to be baked with his own, and we got 
on somehow or other. My little baby 
Bertie, whom I thought I should never rear, 
began to get stronger by degrees. 

My husband and I were much cheered 
and comforted, however, throughout all, by 
the kind and sympathising letters and tele- 
grams which we received, both from the 
Governor and Lady Frere, and also from Sir 
G. Sprigg and others, speaking in most 
flattering terms of my husband's extreme 



M 



178 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

courage and bravery in holding the siege of 
Mafetengforsolong. The following message 
from Sir Bartle Frere to Sir Henry Barkly 
is but one among many sent : 

'Tell Sir Henry Barkly that his son is 
rendering most gallant service. The cool 
courage and foresight exhibited by him 
under the most trying circumstances are 
beyond description. But I have seen these 
things. The way in which he and a few 
others in Basutoland have conducted them- 
selves during the past few weeks, raises 
them into the foremost ranks of British 
heroes/ (Message sent through Sir Charles 
Mills.) 

Extract of a letter from my husband to 
his sister. Miss Barkly : 

*Mt Dear Blanche, — The approach of 
the C.M.R. has set all the rebels patrolling 
the border between Basutoland and the 
Orange Free State in greater force than 
ever. Ridgway (a trader) with his waggon 
was stopped this evening by two parties 



WEPENER 179 

in succession, but after a good deal of 
questioning and talk was allowed to 
go in. Sprigg is coming up at once 
with Colonel Mansfield Clarke and Mr 
Orpen. I shall send a strong escort to 
escort Aschmann in with the ammunition 
to-morrow, with orders, that if the rebel 
chief, Koejana, rides after them, to wheel 
about and take him prisoner and bring him 
in here. He is the ringleader in all the dis- 
turbances on the border. The Paramount 
chief, Letsea, has evidently no power now to 
keep the Basutos quiet, even if he had the 
will ; for it is only yesterday that Letsea's 
men visited Koejana to make him promise 
to behave himself. But he did not keep this 
promise. I have now several schantses on 
the heights, and have altogether seven 
points defended here, so that even a large 
body trying to surround the place would 
meet with a warm reception. Lerothodi 
has not yet come back to this village.' 



CHAPTER XIV 

COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES AT WEPENER 

September 15th. — I was indeed thank- 
ful to see Colonel Carrington arrive in 
Wepener with the two hundred Cape 
Mounted Rifles. He came at once to 
call upon me, and I handed him a 
letter from Arthur, with the directions 
in Greek characters as to his route 
while crossing the border ; he and his 
officers were in capital spirits, and de- 
lighted at the idea of 'tackling the 
Basutos/ as they called it, and lost not 
a moment after getting my husband's 
message in continuing their march to 
Mafeteng. 



COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES l8l 

Harry and Nancy, who at this time 
were very small children, were delighted to 
see the soldiers arrive, and immediately 
gave them all kind of useful information 
about disarmament, state of Basutoland, and 
disobedience to the Government on the part 
of the chiefs, which seemed to amuse them 
greatly. Harry said, * My father has killed 
lots of Basutos,' Nancy adding, in a sepul- 
chral tone, 'And he eats them for lunch/ 

The rebels didn't lose much time, but 
attacked the column about a mile from 
Mafeteng. 

Arthur turned out with his police to meet 
Colonel Carrington on hearing the sound of 
firing. The following extract from his 
letter to his father will describe the day's 
proceedings far better than I can : 

* Mafeteng, Basutoland, 
* I5th September, 1880. 

*Mt Dear Father, — Long before this 
reaches you, the telegraph will have given 
you news of the commencement of hostilities 
here. On the 13th, Colonel Carrington 



1 82 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

marched in, and the rebels appeared in 
artnSy about seven hundred strong alto- 
gether, between Lerothodi's and the border, 
besides some four hundred or five hundred 
of Molitsane's men who were posted to the 
left on the Bushman's Kop road. I had 
everyone under arms and my horses 
saddled, and at the first sound of firing 
manned all my schantses, and leaving the 
garrison in charge of my clerk, young 
Surmon, and three or four volunteers who 
are acting as officers, rode out with sixteen 
or eighteen native police, and three or four 
Europeans to reconnoitre. I was not long 
in coming upon the enemy. About two 
miles from here, there is a line of strong 
Kopjes to the right of the road, and these 
I found held about three hundred Basutos. 
I inclined to the left, and showed up parallel 
with them, keeping about three hundred 
yards away (good range for my rifles, but 
out of shot of two-thirds of their guns), and 
formed behind a rising ground which gave 
me some shelter. 

'Presently a messenger came down and 



COLONEL CARRTNGTON ARRIVES 1 83 

shouted that he wanted to parley, so I sent 
forward a native constable to him, who re- 
ported that Lerothodi was commanding the 
rebels in person, and wished to know if I 
meant to fire on him. I said I should not 
commence firing, but would of course return 
it, and added that he had better go home. 
The messenger returned, and I moved for- 
ward to meet some videttes of the C.M.R. 
who now came in sight, and sent one of them 
back to tell Carrington the road was com- 
manded in his front by a strong party of 
rebels. Lerothodi sent to me again to say 
that he wanted to see me himself, to which 
I replied that if he would ride forward with 
two or three men I would do the same. The 
answer came that he would do so if he could, 
but was prevented by his people. I heard 
he was himself in the road with about twenty 
men, so I rode forward with a white volun- 
teer and my chief constable, who is a con- 
nection of Lerothodi's. As I came up I saw 
a queer spectacle. Lerothodi dismounted 
was engaged in a violent struggle with two 
of his men, who were forcibly holding him 



1 84 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

back. I shouted to him, and he waved his 
hat to me, but as I rode on they all prepared 
to retreat, so I stopped and told Dechaba 
(the chief constable), to ask what on earth 
they were afraid of. *0f Morena's (the 
chiefs) revolver,' replied the heroes. Ac- 
cordingly I divested myself of this deadly 
weapon, dropped my reins, and rode in 
among them unarmed, with my hands dis- 
played to show that * there was no deception.' 
Lerothodi then shook off his brother who 
was detaining him, and came up to me with 
proper salutations, calling me his father and 
his mother and so on, after Basuto fashion. 
I shook hands with him, and said that out of 
friendship for him I had come to try and 
save him from utter destruction if possible? 
and toJd him that nothing could delay or 
stop the march of the Cape Mounted 
Rifles, whatever he might think, and 
that if he attempted it he would simply 
be sent flying (which occurred accord- 
ingly, five minutes afterwards). I then 
suggested that he should withdraw his 
men and surrender to me pro forma 



COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES 1 85 

as proposed by Mr Sprigg. When. I 
would inflict such fine as I thought proper, 
and refer the sentence for confirmation. 
He said he would do this if I would stop the 
** polices," which of course I could not do, 
a fact of which he was perfectly aware. 
By this time Carrington had bent to his 
right, and moved up with his waggon, out of 
range to the rear of my police. Lerothodi 
pointed to the column, shouted and stamped 
with rage, seizing his gun (a very neat 
Snider sporting rifle). I laughed at him, 
upon which he put down his gun and 
calmed himself a little. A moment after- 
wards he snatched it up again, however, 
and pointing it at Dechaba, said he would 
disarm him. 

* I told him not to make a fool of himself, 
and shaking hands with him again, turned 
to go as the rebels were unslinging their 
guns and preparing for action ; just as I 
turned, one of them fired and the ball 
passed over my head. To do Lerothodi 
justice, he ** went " for the man, who swore 
it was an accident. I must own, however, 



1 84 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

back. I shouted to him, and he waved his 
hat to me, but as I rode on they all prepared 
to retreat, so I stopped and told Deehaba 
(the chief constable), to ask what on earth 
they were afraid of. *0f Morena's (the 
chiefs) revolver,' replied the heroes. Ac- 
cordingly I divested myself of this deadly 
weapon, dropped my reins, and rode in 
among them unarmed, with my hands dis- 
played to show that * there was no deception.' 
Lerothodi then shook off his brother who 
was detaining him, and came up to me with 
proper salutations, calling me his father and 
his mother and so on, after Basuto fashion. 
I shook hands with him, and said that out of 
friendship for him 1 had come to try and 
save him from utter destruction if possible^ 
and told him that nothing could delay or 
stop the march of the Cape Mounted 
Rifles, whatever he might think, and 
that if he attempted it he would simply 
be sent flying (which occurred accord- 
ingly, five minutes afterwards). I then 
suggested that he should withdraw his 
men and surrender to me 'pro forTna 



COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES 1 85 

as proposed by Mr Sprigg. When. I 
would inflict such fine as I thought proper, 
and refer the sentence for confirmation. 
He said he would do this if I would stop the 
** polices," which of course I could not do, 
a fact of which he was perfectly aware. 
By this time Carrington had bent to his 
right, and moved up with his waggon, out of 
range to the rear of my police. Lerothodi 
pointed to the column, shouted and stamped 
with rage, seizing his gun (a very neat 
Snider sporting rifle). I laughed at him, 
upon which he put down his gun and 
calmed himself a little. A moment after- 
wards he snatched it up again, however, 
and pointing it at Dechaba, said he would 
disarm him. 

* I told him not to make a fool of himself, 

and shaking hands with him again, turned 
to go as the rebels were unslinging their 
guns and preparing for action ; just as I 
turned, one of them fired and the ball 
passed over my head. To do Lerothodi 
justice, he ** went " for the man, who swore 
it was an accident. I must own, however, 



l86 AMOSG BOEBS ASD BASCT08 

that I did not expect to get back ali^^e to 
my meiL Xo more shots, however, were 
fired till I rode dowa to meet Carringtoo, 
when three or four were sent after ns, very- 
wild ones. I sent my police forward in 
front of the colnmn as gmdes, and was 
riding along talking to Carrington, when 
down came the whole body of Basutos 
mounted, apparently to get possession of 
the rocky rising ground, where my men 
Iiad been drawn up. We were too quick 
for them though, and it was held in a 
moment by my police, and a troop of the 
C.M.R. The Basutos dismounted and 
opened fire which of course was promptly 
returned; down went three or four of 
Lerothodi's men, when they ran to their 
horses and galloped up the sides of the 
Kopje. Carrington called his men in and 
went on with his waggons. But I galloped 
round the Kopje with my police and half-a- 
dozen volunteers, who had come out with 
Carrington, and who joined me and we 
"letrip" to use the Africander expression, 
into the fugitives pretty smartly, taking a 



COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES 1 87 

prisoner or two; and as we afterwards 
heard, wounding Lerothodi's horse, and 
hitting several rebels. The wounded 
Basutos, however, can always ride away, 
their vital power is extraordinary, and I've 
seen a man ride some distance with a shot 
through the lung even. Some, however, 
fell and have since been found dead in the 
sluits. A troop of the C.M.R. came out 
and joined us, and the enemy were pursued 
beyond Fraser's place, where one was 
cut down by Shervington of the C.M.R. 
and several more shot, some rallied on 
Fraser's Kopj, and fired down at us, but 
their bullets fell short. We captured 
several waggons and some horses. Montague, 
with two troops was sent out along Bush- 
man's Kop road, to engage Moletsane and 
Sefadi's men who were attacking loyal 
natives, and he routed five hundred of them 
and killed five, capturing a lot of sheep and 
cattle. So ended the * battle of Mafetens: ' 
in which the Basutos displayed great 
cowardice, as indeed I always expected they 
would in the open. My police, however, 



l88 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUT08 

did splendidly. Since then we have de- 
stroyed a lot of villages. I was oat all 
day yesterday with my police and a troop 
of C.M.R., ander Shervington. We drove in 
about five hundred of Lerothodi s men and 
burnt five villages. The rebels only fired 
at us at long ranges, but had some good 
rifles among them and sent several shots 
over and amonofst us at seven hundred or 
eight hundred yards range. No one was 
hit, but I had to dismount my men and 
open a smart fire on one lot who held a 
village. They soon left it, however, and I 
went on and joined a troop of C.M.R., 
which had moved round on the other side 
of the hill and we descended, the rifle 
bullets plunging into the ground about us, 
from Lerothodi's Kop one thousand yards 
off at least. We had, however, driven oft 
the rebels and came home, firing a couple 
more villages as we passed, we succeeded 
in drawing out most of Lerothodi's garrison, 
which is stronger than we supposed, and he 
is besides backed by Moletsane and Sefadi, 
who could muster twelve hundred men at 



COLONEL CARRINGTON ARRIVES 1 89 

least, at very short notice. We were talk- 
ing of attacking him, but I don't think we 
shall try it until reinforced ; it wouldn't do 
to fail, and we might be surrounded and cut 
off, as there is a kloof on this side through 
which Sefadi's men could come in our rear, 
two hundred men is not half enough for the 
work we have to do, and the horses are in 
poor condition after their long march. We 
are of course safe enough here, but shall be 
able to do little more than hold the place, 
and keep the Wepener road open for the 
present, and as I hear that the rebels are 
again blocking the road, we shall have to 
go out and give them a lesson, before they 
will leave our communications undisturbed 
even on that side. Fanny has taken a 
house at Wepener, she and " the band " are 
quite well, but she is of course, rather 
anxious. I wish for the sake of the chil- 
dren and herself, I were in a safer position, 
though as far as I am personally concerned, 
I like the soldiering in the field, as much as 
I used to hate playing at it, in the long 
valley, at Aldershot years ago.' 



CHAPTER XV 



SITUATION IN CA2:P 



SfiPTEMBEB 22nd. — After the first fight and 
attack on Mafeteng my husband wrote to 
me, and I think that an extract from his 
letter will be interesting. They had great 
difficulty in getting anyone to go in to 
Wepener after the fight, as the border was 
so strongly watched by the rebels, but Cap- 
tain Montague, C.M.II., volunteered, and 
got safely into Wepener, quite alone. He 
came straight to my cottage to bring news 
and letters from my husband. His pluck in 
riding alone through the enemy^s country 
was greatly admired and commented upon. 
Arthur says : 



SITUATION IN CAMP I9I 

*We had a hard fight yesterday, but, 
thanks to good stone walls and intrench- 
ments, are not much the worse ourselves, 
though very tired. We gave them an awful 
hammering. My shoulder is so sore and stiff 
with constant firing that I can hardly move 
my arm. I shot two men and a horse, and 

I believe I hit another man, but of this I am 
not certain, but as I fired about ninety or a 
hundred shots, I daresay I accounted for 
more. They were in such masses that one 
could hardly see the effect of the fire, but it 
must have been very severe, as though they 
removed most of the dead men, they left a 
hundred dead and wounded horses, fifty-nine 
of them in front of my schanse, where the 
attack was hottest, and strings of led horses 
were seen carrying off the dead and wounded, 
who were, I daresay, nearly a hundred in 
number. 

* We had the whole district upon us, seven 
thousand at least. Letsea had been playing 
traitor. After all there were a lot of his 
people out, among them Kugane and his men, 
the scoundrel whom Letsea sent to remain 



192 AMONG BOEBS AKD BASUTOS 

with and ** protect^ me. He was acting as 
guide to LerothodL The rebels charged 
OS repeatedly and got within fifty yards of 
the schanse, some of them. There are three 
dead horses of theirs in Hawkins's garden , 
and they burnt his hoosa One fellow is 
lying shot through the head behind a pile of 
stones, which they had pat ap to fire at us 
from not twenty-nine yards off Their in- 
tention was, no doubt, to get under the 
ledge below Hawkins' house, dismount, and 
reach the schanse. Three hundred or so did 
get there, but our fire was too deadly and 
they could not show above the ridge. 

* One chief with about two hundred men 
made a splendid dash along the road, and 
was only stopped when about a hundred 
yards from Aschmann's. He was afterwards 
shot, and when he failed, one thousand five 
hundred at least, under Lerothodi himself, 
advanced upon us at a thundering gallop. 
I ceased firing and let them come on, and a 
very pretty sight it was. The very ground 
shook under the thunder of the serried troop, 
at four hundred yards I fired a volley slap 



SITUATION IN CAMP I93 

into them, and thus turned theni off to the 
right. 

* Lerothodi however, and about five hun- 
dred of the boldest naen advanced again, and, 
notwithstanding our fire, which sent men 
and horses rolling in all directions, got 
under the wall of JacoVs field, beyond 
Aschmann's, and also under Hawkins' 
Krantz. We slated the party under the 
wall terrifically, and the police from Asch- 
mann's garden fired at them too. They could 
not move out, and, though their fire was hot, 
it did not reach us in the schantse, while 
nearly every shot of ours told upon them. 
We fired, however, with the bullets whistling 
over our heads, atd a lot struck the big 
rock in the centre of the schantse, but all 
too high to do damage to us. 

* At last Carrington, who had been send- 
ing me up notes from time to time, sent 
Shervington to me to ask if they could be 
dislodged. Their supports were then so 
strong that I said No, but afterwards, when 
a lot of these had retired, Shervington 
came out with twenty-five men, and charg- 

N 



194 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

ing those behind the wall in flank, drove out 
the whole lot He could not follow up, as 
they were too strong, but they were all ex- 
posed to our fire again, and we gave it theni 
with a will. Carrington was then up with 
me, and after we had driven them oflF, he 
and I ran out and got behind a rock, and 
fired away at a lot who were retreating 
along the hill at the back, they replied 
smartly, but all their bullets flew over 
us. They then retired steadily however, 
keeping up a fire on us from the villages 
near, and the caves, etc., (they seemed 
nearly all to have rifles, and the ground is 
literally strewn with their bullets). The 
only firing now was from a ridge above 
" No. 2 " the highest schantse, which you 
may remember is out behind the police 
station. A C.M.R. corporal was wounded 
there, and it was very difficult to communi- 
cate with it. Carrington and I went up, and 
were fired upon smartly both going and 
coming, and had to run for it going down. 
Their fire did not cease till sunset, and then 
ended the great attack on Mafeteng, which 



SITUATION IK CAMP tg$ 

was to have ended, we hear, in our com- 
plete destruction, and the sending of my 
head to Letsea. The Basutos here say, 
that nothing like it has ever been seen in 
any Basuto war before, and that they could 
not believe their people could fight like that. 
No doubt it was a desperate attempt, and 
they fully expected to succeed, owing to the 
number of their men, and the goodness of 
their weapons. I hardly think they will 
venture to try again, though they may 
— we are better prepared now — having 
destroyed Mohalie's village, (close to the 
Camp) which they occupied during the 
fight, and levelled every wall and en- 
closure all round. This house is fortified, 
and even the top has grain bags round 
it. The barrack is the hospital, our 
bedroom is the C.M.R. mess room, and 
the oflficers' tents are in the garden of the 
Residency. The C.M.R. were fired on 
a good deal, but struck only with spent 
bullets from a distance, as the walls, 
luckily, were none of them down, and 
the Basutos could not get close in front, and 



Wire aocci <2rrr-eaiL £roc3& 3fo23a£e*& Xhe 
fiOKj€iQriir&:s&, aic>c>Q^ til-em a chief named 
SjtlocioQ M ^Lstsise, sbot serenJ women 
there, it is said. One, (in eold blood) 
carried off idt washerwoman and a lot 
cf mv shirts whidi she was ironinor. 
They made no attempt on Fiaser's, but I 
shoold not be much snrprised if they did 
so to-night, as a lot of them are hangincr 
aboat Diphering. I hare to sleep in the 
schantse now, in ease of night attacks. 
We hope Grant will turn np soon, and 
bring ns a gun which we want badly. 
They say several chiefe were hit, and 
there was no war dance or any sign 
of rejoiciDg among the enemy at night. 
We are pegging out the different ranges 
for firing all about the schantses, and if 
they come again they will get a warmer 
reception even than last time.' 

On the 27th my husband wrote to me as 

follows: 

' Camp, Mafetbno. 

* Since I wrote, we have had a tremendous 



SITUATION IN CAMP 1 97 

business here, Shervington went out this 
morning with a party, to destroy some grass 
in a village beyond Eraser's. He hadn't 
been out half-an-hour, before 1200 rebels 
poured down from Lerothodi's village, in all 
directions, and cut him ofi. He held a kraal 
and killed eight or ten of them, before he 
was supported, and brought off by some 
more C.M.R. who were sent out at once. 
He manned all the schantses and expected 
an attack, as the enemy were in masses all 
round, and a vedette of the C.M.R. was 
cut off and killed. The rebels swarmed down 
the hill sides, one of the sergeants was 
wounded, and a young lieutenant named 
Clarke turned back to assist him and was 
surrounded by the enemy. He was seen 
fighting desperately with his sword but was 
finally killed and the sergeant also. The 
rebels charged down at a party who were 
holding a small kopje, but retreated before 
their fire, and the whole bolted back to 
Lerothodi's. Poor Clarke was a very fine 
young fellow and is much regretted, his body 
was recovered this morning. We have been 



198 AMONG BOEBS AND BASX7TOS 

tuFDed out no less than three times to-day» 
the last, half-an-hour ago, by an alarm at 
Fraser's, where a volley was fired. He has 
120 C.M.R. there to-night. Sprigg gets 
out to-morrow if lie can. 

* Give this letter, (written in Greek char- 
acter) to D'Arcy as he comes up, on his ar- 
rival at Wepener, it contains secret instruc- 
tions as to which road he and his men are 
to take to come into Mafeteng from Wepener/ 

Extract of a letter from my husband to 
his father : 

' Mafeteng, Camp Cape Mounted Rifles, 
'UthOctober,' 1880. 

•Wd are going to try and send in a 
messenger to Wepener, to-night, so I write 
in the hope that he will get in safely, the 
last one who came out was nearly caught. 
Clarke, now a local Brigadier General, with 
Southey, and about four hundred yeomanry, 
and C.M.B. with two guns, are encamped 
at Wepener, waiting for reinforcements 
before coming in, as the enemy are very 
strong. We are meanwhile, living chiefly 



SITUATION IN CAMP 1 99 

on horse, which is not particularly bad 
eating, we have, however, plenty of flour, 
groceries, etc., and we can hold out, if 
necessary, for a fortnight or more on short 
rations. We have been having floods of 
rain, lately, which makes life a burden, but 
is useful to us in many ways, keeping the 
rebels from crossing the river, and making 
the grass grow for the horses, which would 
otherwise have starved. The rumour we 
hear now, is, that the enemy's plan is to 
mass all the force that can be collected to 
attack us again, and when we are disposed 
of, to go for Maseru. This design is im- 
practicable at present owing to the rivers, 
and if they do come, they will be beaten, as 
before, only a great deal worse, for we have 
improved our defences since the last attack, 
but it would take six thousand or seven 
thousand men (Europeans) with a good 
strong native levy, to bring this war to an 
end in any reasonable time. Brabant is 
expected with about two hundred yeo- 
manry, and one hundred or so infantry 
volunteers. Willoughby's Horse are coming 



200 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

later, and the Diamond Fields' Horse, 
two hundred strong, are on their way 
with them. I suppose Clarke will come in. 
Many of our old friends and acquaintances 
are here. Carrington is smoking a pipe in 
this office as I write, and Cochrane (32nd) 
is Clarke's D.A.A.G. Poor Fraser is not 
very happy, his outer store was burnt last 
week, and the rebels surrounded him the 
whole day, and shut him in completely, we 
went out and did what we could, but were 
surrounded ourselves and had to retire.' 

I now add an extract from a newspaper, 
giving an account of the great attack on the 
magistracy. 

'Mafeteng, October 21s<, 1880. 

' The village of Mafeteng, situated about 
fifteen miles from Wepener, and about eleven 
(not nine, as I stated previously) within the 
western border of Basutoland, is a magis- 
tracy of which Mr Arthur Barkly son of a 
former governor of the Colony, has been in 
charge for the last five months, that gentle- 
man having exchanged with Mr Surmon 



SITUATION IM CAMP 201 

at Mohalie's Hoek. Besides the Maoris- 
trate's house, there was a church which had 
been pulled down, the house of the Rev B* 
Rolland, the house and shop of Mr Asch- 
mann, court house, gaol, government stables, 
and a number of rough square houses, be- 
longing to Basutos, some of which have 
been pulled down for military purposes. 
There are two or three fine fruit and flower 
gardens, but they are at present in a very 
ruinous state, the walls having been pulled 
down to prevent the Basutos taking advan- 
tage of them as cover. The prison is now 
converted into a magazine, and part of the 
magistrate's house is used as a hospital. 

' On the 19th July (just three months ffo'm 
the date of the relief), the Basuto outbreak 
in this district commenced, there being at 
that time, including refugees, about one 
hundred native men, and nine Europeans in 
the station, and these few men were left quite 
alone until the arrival of Colonel Carrington 
with the left wing of the Cape Mounted 
Rifles. At Diphering, about a mile distant, 
Mr Fraser, the owner of a large trading 



202 AMONG BOERS AKD BASUTOS 

establishment, organised a force of twenty 
white volunteers and five natives, under the 
command of Captain Bird. On the 13th of 
September, Colonel Carrington arrived with 
about two hundred men, having been attacked 
about two miles from the place. Two men, 
a corporal and a private, were wounded in 
this aiOTair, and several horses killed, about a 
dozen Basutos being placed hors de combat 
The Cape Mounted Rifles immediately began 
patrolling the country daily, until the arrival 
of Mr Sprigg, on the 16th September. On 
the following day, Captain Shervington went 
out with about fifty men, and was surrounded 
on a kopje. Lieutenant Clarke went out to 
recall him, and the particulars of .action 
which ensued, and the gallant death of 
Lieutenant Clarke are already before the 
public. On the same day Mr Sprigg left, 
with a strong escort, and managed, as he has 
himself said, to escape from the territory 
only with the skin of his teeth, a demon- 
stration of Basutos being made near the 
border line, though no actual attack was 
made. 



SITUATION IN CAMP 203 

*On the 21st September, the rebels made 
a grand attack on the Station. About 
seven thousand were actually engaged, and 
there was a reserve force of from two 
thousand to three thousand which did not 
come into action. On that day most of the 
Cape Mounted Rifles held their own camp, 
adjoining the magistrate's garden, and the 
natives were distributed at three principal 
schantsen, in each of which were also 
stationed from six to ten of the Cape 
Mounted Rifles. These outposts were 
under the command of the magistrate, Mr 
Barkly who occupied the chief schantse 
himself; and it should not be omitted 
that the schantsen had been erected under 
Mr Barkly's directions some time before 
the arrival of the Cape Mounted Rifles. 
The attack lasted over seven hours, the 
firing being almost incessant the whole 
time. 

* Eight thousand men, well mounted and 
well armed were charging to the attack at 
a furious pace, led by Lerothodi himself 
It must have been an awful moment. The 



204 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

ground literally shook under their horses' 
hoofs, but the little garrison never for a 
moment flinched. Led by such men as 
Carrington and Barkly, they stood their 
ground bravely, and poured volley after 
volley into the dark masses. This soon 
brought the Basutos to a standstill ; and in 
order to change their tactics, they formed a 
circle round Mafeteng, charging repeatedly 
on what they must have thought the 
weakest point in the fortification. The 
schantse held by Mr Barkly, came in for 
the lion's share. Not less than fifty-four 
horses were shot by his men alone. Lero- 
thodi at the head of his own regiment. 
"The Battle Axes" was ever foremost, 
mounted on his favourite charger (Blauw- 
koos), which was shot under him near 
Mr Aschmann's stable. And thus the 
Kaffirs alternately advancing and retreating, 
the garrison keeping up a brisk fire, the 
fight lasted from ten A.M. till sundown. 
The Kaffirs must have lost heavily. Carry- 
ing most of their dead away, as is their 
custom, they left about sixteen men and 



SITUATION IN CAMP 20$ 

eighty-six horses on the battle-field. Horses 
laden with dead and wounded were seen 
from Fraser's place going up Lerothodi's 
mountain in one continuous stream. I 
don't think it exaggeration if I put down 
the number killed at close on a hundred. 
The loss of the Colonial force was trifling. 

* The Basutos' mode of fighting is prin- 
cipally by charging on horseback, and the 
way that they carry off their wounded is 
something wonderful, they seldom leave 
any, (as however they did on this occasion, 
which proves how heavy must have been 
their loss). They use a long iron hook, 
such as is" used to lift bales of wool, about 
twelve inches long, and have two sharp 
points, with these, they quickly lift and 
carry away their wounded and dead com- 
rades. 

*A native sergeant of the police was 
wounded and one of the Cape Mounted 
Rifles shot through the hand. The esti- 
mated number of Basutos killed was thirty, 
and a large number were wounded. About 
ninety horses were left dead on the field. 



206 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

There was afterwards a native rumour to 
the effect, that twenty natives died of their 
wounds. The attack was directed by Lero- 
thodi himself, and it is believed that he was 
wounded. Only five dead were on the field 
the next morning, all the rest, whatever 
their number, having been carried off during 
the night, 

' After this attack nothing special occurred 
for a fortnight (though shots were fired into 
the camp almost every day), when a number 
of rebels occupied a ridge close to the village 
and kept up a desultory fire for some time 
On the loth October another attack was 
made from the site of a village which had 
been burnt down during the first attack, and 
which afforded splendid cover. On this 
occasion the Basutos were only about a 
thousand strong. The attack lasted two or 
three hours, and the native chief constable 
was killed by an accidental shot from one of 
our own men. The Basutos lost, as far 
as could be ascertained six men. On the 
19th instant about a hundred and fifty men 
went out under Colonel Carrington to 



SITUATION IN CAMP 20/ 

co-operate with the advancing column, but 
the attack on that column had already been 
repulsed, and there was only a slight attack 
made upon a retreating body of the enemy. 
For three weeks previously the Cape 
Mounted Rifles had been on half rations. 
About the 21st September, when the whole 
of the cattle were carried off, the entire 
garrison was reduced to eating horse flesh.' 

IHB CAPE TOWN VOLUNTEERS 

October 1880. 

(From our own correspondent) 

* Aliwal North, date of despatch opt 
given. 

* Received at Cape Town, Friday, 1.47 jp.m. 

* Volunteers arrived this morning ; pro- 
ceed on probably to-morrow ; all well. 
Commandant - General goes on to-morrow. 
Nothing fresh from Basutoland, but express 
native runners being established between 
Wepener and Mafeteng. Wounded from 
Southey's action, expected here to-morrow. 

' (The purport of this telegram was pub- 



20S AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

lished on Friday, but the telegram itself 
should have been published in Saturday's 
paper.) 

ANOTHER ENGAGEMENT 
THE ATTACK UPON DIPHEBING 
THE CAPE MOUNTED RIFLEMEN COMPELLED TO 

RETIRE 

'Official information from the resident 
magistrate at Mafeteng, states that the 
Basutos attacked Fraser's stores at Dipher- 
ing* on the 4th inst, burning dwelling- 
house and plundering store. Cape Mounted 
Riflemen went out from Mafeteng to drive 
off rebels, who, however, came on in such 
numbers that Cape Mounted Kiflemen had 
to retire for fear of being surrounded. Mr 
Barkly went out with the Basuto police, 
and shot several of the enemy. 

Before the little garrison were re- 
lieved by General Mansfield-Clarke, they 
were reduced to very short rations. My 

(* This attack was reported to us by our Free State 
correspondent, and appeared in our issue of Saturday 
last. — Editor, Cape Times.) 



SITUATION IN CAMP 2O9 

husband wrote to me as follows — * Your 
note reached me last night, also the 
hard boiled eggs, and cooked sausages 
by the express runner, they were very 
acceptable ! Many thanks for them. There 
was a ration of horse served out to-day, 
and there are some geese about, which 
we are eating. We expect a strong attack, 
when Clarke and his force come in to 
relieve us. I have not slept in the 
schantse lately, as I have another place 
now. I do not expect a night attack, 
so sleep in the " vedette " very comfortably. 
I am very well and much thinner from 
having to ride and walk about so much — 
I have told the cook, to put some horse 
steaks on the fire to-night to see if anyone 
will find it out' 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE BASUTO REBELLION 

Extract from TimeSj 28th October, 1879. 
(From an occasional correspondent) 

* Oapb Town, October 5. 

The outbreak of hostilities in Basatoland has 
completely falsified the hopes of those opti- 
mists, who thought that a policy of modera- 
tion and forbearance would prevent the 
necessity of an appeal to arms for the 
maintenance of law and order in that terri- 
tory. The conciliatory efforts of the Govern- 
ment to win the rebel chiefs back to loyalty 
have been tried, and failed. The answer that 
the Premier sent to Letsea's petition for 



THE BASUTO REBELLION 211 

patience to be shown towards his rebellious 
sons, contained demands of so lenient a nature, 
that, had there been any sincerity in their 
repentance, or had it been their intention to 
preserve the peace of the country as far as 
they could, without any actual sacrifice on 
their part, they would immediately have 
complied with its requirements, which in- 
volved only a nominal surrender of arms and 
submission to a fine. 

*The first overt act of aggression in the 
present rebellion was committed by Lero- 
thodi's followers on the 13th of September. 
Particulars of the circumstance have been 
furnished both by Mr A. C. Barkly, the 
magistrate at Mafeteng, and by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Carrington, C.M.G., commanding 
the left wing of the Cape Mounted Rifles, 
who were ordered to occupy the magis- 
tracy, up to that time held by a few mounted 
police. Mr Barkly, on hearing that the 
Cape Mounted Rifles were advancing, and 
were three or four miles distant, went out 
with fifteen men to meet them. When 
about a mile from Mafeteng, he saw a 



212 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

Dumber of Basutos gathered a short distance 
off, one of whom came to him with a message 
from Lerothodi, that he desired to see him 
but that Lerothodi was afraid an attempt 
might be made to capture or kill him, so he 
would not trust himself alone with the 
party. Mr Barkly proposed to meet him 
half-way, to which Lerothodi agreed, and 
Mr Barkly then moved forward alone to 
meet him. Some of the rebels objected 
that Mr Barkly had a revolver on him, so 
he unslung it at once and threw it on the 
grass some distance from him, and then 
holding up his hands to show that he was 
unarmed, waited for Lerothodi, who evi- 
dently wished to approach, but some of his 
people endeavoured to prevent him ; but he 
broke through them and joined Mr Barkly, 
and in an excited manner, asked what were 
the troops coming for. Mr Barkly answered, 
simply for the protection and safety of the 
place, and that if the Basutos remained 
quietly at their villages, no harm would 
come to them. Lerothodi then said that 
the troops had already fired at his men, but 



THE BASUTb REBELLION 213 

Mr Barkly said he Was not aware of it. 
The head of the column just then appearing 
in sight, Lerothodi pointing them out, said, 
" See, here are the troops coming , order 
them back at once ; " but Mr Barkly replied, 
he had no power to do so, and advised him 
to remain quiet. He then grasped Mr 
Barkly's hand and shook it violently, 
jumped on his horse, and returned to his 
party. 

' Lieutenant-Colonel Carrington, in his 
dispatch, states that when he marched 
within two miles of Mafeteng, he found the 
rebels about 600 strong, holding a rocky 
position commanding the road, and they 
opened fire upon the rifles, which the latter 
were not allowed to return, until thirty shots 
had been fired and one horse had been killed. 
Mr Barkly, with the native police, was in 
front, and, after the firing, was talking to 
Lerothodi and only left him when a shot was 
fired past his head by one of the enemy; but 
while the parley between Mr Barkly and 
Lerothodi was going on Carrington turned 
the flank of the rebel position. As soon as 



214 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

they saw this they galloped down and 
opened fire, which was returned, but on the 
Cape Mounted Rifles and police advancing 
against them at a gallop they turned and 
fled, and, although they attempted to rally 
at each rocky place they came to, they were 
totally routed and pursued for several miles, 
five of them beinof killed and Lerothodi's 
horse wounded. Colonel Carrington formed 
camp at Mafeteng, * laagering ' the waggons 
and making himself secure within intrench- 
ments, while small bodies of his men harassed 
the enemy in the neighbouring villages — 
Captain Shervington and Lieutenants Cars- 
tensen, Clarke, and M'MuUen leading in the 
skirmishes which took place. In one of these 
on the 17th of September, a vedette named 
Bernard White was killed, and in another 
Lieutenant Clarke C.M.R., fell. The latter 
must not be confounded with Brigadier 
Clarke C.B., the Commandant-General of 
the Colonial Forces. Lieutenant Clarke was 
sent out with reinforcements to cover some 
of Captain Shervington's Ynen, who were in 
danger from a force of 1200 rebels surround- 



THE BASUTO REBELLION 21$ 

ing them. In covering their retreat, the 
horse of one of the Riflemen, Private Magee 
was killed, and he himself wounded, where- 
upon Lieutenant Clarke, although closely 
pressed by the enemy, stopped and dis- 
mounted, placing the wounded man upon his 
horse, which, however, threw them both and 
broke away, and he and Magee being left in 
the midst of the rebels were immediately 
surrounded and cut to pieces. Clarke was 
seen to make a desperate resistance, killing 
three or more of the enemy. The bodies of 
the dead were afterwards recovered. These 
were our only casualties; while the rebels 
had from 40 to 50 killed and wounded. 
After this the Basutos seemed to have 
determined on a simultaneous attack upon 
the garrisons at the Magistracies of 
Maseru, Mafeteng, and Mohalie's Hoek; 
but Mafeteng and a neighbouring trading 
station, (Diphering) bore the brunt of it, 
Lerothodi himself, with a following of about 
five thousand men, well armed and mounted, 
leading the assault. The defending force 
consisted only of two hundred Cape Mounted 



2l6 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

Rifles, one hundred and twenty natives and 
a few volunteers; but they had made pre- 
parations for the attack ; as on reconnoiter- 
ing Lerothodi's kraal the previous evening 
it was observed that large reinforcements 
had arrived there, and an attempt on the 
camp was therefore expected. The men 
were disposed as follows : — 

* The three schantses (temporary fortifica- 
tions with high walls and a traverse) above 
the court-house were commanded by Mr 
Barkly. The main schantse was held by 
fourteen Cape Mounted Rifles and two 
volunteers with Mr Barkly. No. 2 schantse 
by thirteen Cape Mounted Rifles and twelve 
natives. No. 3 schantse by eight Mounted 
Rifles, fifteen natives and Mr Mallraison. 
Diphering, Mr Fraser's store, was held by 
twenty-five Cape Mounted Rifles, twenty- 
five volunteers, and Captain Montague. 
The intrenchment, stone horse-kraal and 
Mr Barkly 's house and hospital all adjoin- 
ing, were held by one hundred and thirty- 
six Cape Mounted Rifles, waggon-drivers, 
and a few natives; the house and hospital 



THE BASUTO REBELLION 217 

being in charge of Dr Smith, the men firing 
from barricaded windows and the roof of the 
house which was sand-bagged. The court- 
house was loop-holed and defended by the 
remainder of Mr Barkly s native police and 
a few volunteers. 

'Colonel Carrington reporting to the 
Commandant-General the particulars of this 
engagement which occurred on the 21st of 
September, states that the enemy first swept 
down and carried oflf the cattle notwithstand- 
ing all the eflforts of the mounted guard, the 
herds having fled. They then advanced 
with supports and large reserves from every 
side, charging down at the top of their speed, 
while our men kept up a steady and well- 
directed fire from all sides of intrenchment, 
both sides of the horse-kraal, and from the 
windows and roof of the house. Colonel 
Carrington says a very dashing charge was 
made by the enemy down the main road to 
Mafeteng led by a chief; at about one 
hundred yards they were turned by a heavy 
fire from the main schantse and court-house 
and had their leader shot. This attack,' 



2l8 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

he continues, 'had scarcely been repulsed 
when about one thousand five hundred men 
moved from the left, and, on gaining the 
road, wheeled to the right and charged at 
full speed. They were met with a heavy 
volley at four hundred yards, which checked 
but did not completely stop them, and, 
though the majority retired, some two 
hundred to three hundred of the boldest 
continued the charge under a heavy fire 
until they gained the shelter of a wall and 
rocky ledge immediately below the main 
schantse. Some of these men burnt a house 
close to the schantse, and crept up to within 
fifty yards, building stones up in front of 
them and loop-holing a sod wall of a garden. 
Fresh charges were repeatedly made by the 
enemy in the face of the fire to reinforce 
these men, while we sent men up from Mr 
Barkly's house with water and fresh supplies 
and ammunition for the schantses. At five 
o'clock P.M. having gone up to the main 
schantse to Mr Barkly, I sent down to 
Captain Shervington instructions to sally 
out with twenty-five mounted men and 



TH£ BASUTO REBELLION 219 

charge on the right flank. This he did 
in the most gallant manner under their 
fire and dislodged the enemy, who were 
about four hundred strong close under- 
neath the schantse, from fifty yards up 
to four hundred yards. A tremendous 
fire was at once opened upon their retreat- 
ing, they continually dismounted and picked 
up their dead and wounded. Fifty-nine dead 
horses and some seven to eight bodies lay 
round the schantse. Captian Shervington, by 
my orders, did not pursue, as the reserves in 
masses came down at once. A very large 
number of dead and wounded were lying 
behind a sod wall, but they were carefully 
covered by a large reserve, and most of 
them carried away after dark. Our casu- 
alities were of the Cape Mounted Rifle- 
men, Corporal W. Brownlee and Privates 
S. Meyer, J. Bevan, and W. Curran, 
gunshot wounds, and one of the Basuto 
police also wounded. The smallness of 
the list was owing to the fact that every 
man was under cover, erected with the 
greatest care by Lieutenant Carstensen, 



220 AMONG B0EB8 AND BASUTOS 

Cape Mounted Rifles, a young officer formerly 
in the Prussian Army. The enemy were 
well armed with Martini-Henry and Snider 
rifles, as was proved by the large number 
of cartridge cases found. Their loss was 
estimated at a hundred and fifty killed 
and incapacitated, and the ground around 
the camp was strewn with dead and 
wounded horses. . . . . 

'The Colonial Government has now to 
stamp out the rebellion and maintain the 
authority of Her Majesty the Queen all 
along our native border, by its own unaided 
efforts. The Imperial authorities have pro- 
hibited the assistance of even a single soldier, 
and the knowledge of this has, unfortunately, 
spread throughout Basutoland and even parts 
of Caflfreland, greatly increasing the diffi- 
culties of our position. The ministry and 
the colonists generally, however, have ac- 
cepted the responsibility upon the under- 
standing that there shall be no Imperial 
interference hereafter in the settlement of 
the country when the rebels are subdued.' 



THE BASUTO REBELLION 221 

Extract from a letter to Miss Barkly 
from Arthur : 

*Camp in the Nek, 
'Eight Miles from Mafeteng, 
* December lOth, 1879. 

* My Dear Blanche, — I am afraid I owe 
you more than one letter, but there has been 
very little time for writing of late since I 
rejoined Carrington here (as staff-officer), 
about a week ago. I have been worked off 
my legs. Not to mention fighting, there is 
plenty of staff work to do. Yesterday we 
had a sharp fight in the morning, and 
scribbling all the afternoon. We have twelve 
hundred men here, of which of course we 
always have to have four hundred in camp. 
About a thousand burghers are camped be- 
tween us and Mafeteng, and they keep up a 
skirmish with the enemy and the garrison of 
Mafeteng — four hundred men, under Sou- 
they. This gives us available force for 
patrolling (as they call going out with a 
column, in this country). There are about 
eight thousand of the enemy in strong 
position in front of us. What we generally 



222 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

accomplish when we go forth to battle you 
can see from the papers. It is nearly always 
raining, which does not improve matters. 
We shall go in to Mafeteng for Christmas, I 
fancy. A great many of our old friends are 
here. Hercules Tennant is assistant staff- 
officer, and a very good one. He stops at 
Mafeteng, and does the work there while I 
go with Carrington. Dalgety is field-ad- 
jutant, and had a very narrow escape 
yesterday, a bullet going through his sleeve 
and a silk handkerchief which he had tied 
round his wrist. He is a very smart and 
plucky young fellow, and we were delighted 
to find that he wasn't hurt at all, nor even 
grazed by the bullet' 

Before hostilities actually commenced I 
hoped to have been able to go in to Mafeteng 
to see the fortifications and the Kesidency, 
etc., all prepared for an attack, but my hopes 
of spending Christmas there with Arthur 
were dashed to the ground on the 22nd De- 
cember, 1880, by a note from him, in which he 
said: 



THE BASUTO REBELLION 223 

' Only a line, to say that we have received 
warnings from several sources of an intended 
attack on Mafeteng about Christmas-time, so 
that it would not be safe for you and the 
children or any other ladies to come. I can- 
not under these circumstances come myself to 
see you all at Wepener either, as I should 
otherwise do. All best wishes for Christmas 
to you all,* etc. 

A terrible Christmas I spent, full of 
anxiety and misery. On Christmas Day I 
only managed to get enough for the children 
to eat, but not a morsel could I get for my- 
self at all, and did not like to ask anyone for 
food, as all were in want of it, everything 
having been supplied to the troops in camp 
close by. The continuous strain, anxiety, 
and hard work were too much, and one night, 
when quite alone in the cottage with my 
little children, I was taken dangerously ill, 
tried to call for help, but all in vain. The 
old Zulu was nowhere to be found, and I 
was too ill to get to the nearest house. In 
the morning I managed to send for our good 



224 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

Dr Reece, who came at once, and found me 
more dead than alive and terribly ill. For- 
tunately, indeed, my friend, Miss Stenson, 
our clergyman's daughter, who had been 
hospital-trained at Bloemfontein, came and 
offered her services and looked after the poor 
children and myself. I became unconscious, 
and was very ill for days and days, but got 
through it all somehow or other, and shall 
never forget Miss Stenson's kindness to me 
during this dreadful time. 



CHAPTEK XVII 

DARK DAYS 

Each day seemed to bring with it fresh 
troubles and anxieties and T Hved in a state 
of terror always, never knowing a moment's 
peace, besides which, I was quite worn out 
with hard work. My Basuto nurse left me 
suddenly, having had a ' call ' from her chief, 
and I could not get another one anywhere. 
A Dutch woman came in when she felt 
inclined, and did a little work, but was not to 
be depended upon, and I had my four 
little children to look after night and day, 
with only one old Zulu as a 'stand-by.' 
When I engaged this old man, who was the 
only one I could get, he told me that he 
didn't know how to do any kind of work in 



226 AMONG BOERS AI^^D BASUTOS 

the house, but could only iight and look afler 
sheep ! However, I was glad enough to get 
even him, just to do a little rough work for 
me, and he was a very quiet, sober old man, 
but used constantly to go away at night, 
leaving me alone with the little ones, two of 
whom were quite babies. I had to get up 
every night to receive the expresses and send 
them on, write letters and telegrams, and 
send in little parcels of food to the poor people 
shut up in Mafeteng, this was indeed hard 
work after a day's fatigue. 

About the 6th October at two o'clock in 
the morning, a runner came in breathless 
with excitement, with letters from Arthur, 
and imploring messages from the Erasers 
at Diphering, close to Mafeteng, begging 
me to send someone at once to Aliwal 
North, with telegrams to head-quarters to 
hurry up the relief as quickly as possible. 
The Frasers* nice house was burning and 
was utterly destroyed by the Basutos, and 
part of their great store also. There had 
been a fight at Diphering a few days before, 
and they were completely hemmed in by 



DARK DAYS 22/ 

the rebels, and could not get any water 
there. Of course I at once sent a messen- 
ger to Captain Aschmann, and Mr P. 
Becker, the consul, and one or two others, 
to ask who would volunteer to start at 
once for Aliwal North, with telegrams to 
the Governor and Premier, and inform 
them of the state of affairs, and take letters 
to the Civil Commissioner, Captain Hunt, 
there. Captain Aschmann immediately 
offered to drive to Aliwal, so I wrote out 
telegrams as quickly as I could to Sir 
Bartle Frere and Mr Sprigg, imploring 
them to hurry up the relief as quickly as 
possible. I heard afterwards, that these 
telegrams of mine, were posted up all over 
Cape Town (of course not in my name), and 
were sent home where they appeared in the 
Times. The governor ordered his carri- 
age as soon as he received them, and went 
to the Premier's house, and orders were 
given to hurry the reinforcements to the 

front. 

News reached me afterwards that Arthur 

went out at once with a small party of the 



228 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

C.M.R. to try and draw off the rebels from 
them, and enable them to get water. He 
did so with a venoreance. Lerothodi came 
galloping down from his village, with 
about four hundred men, and tried to cut 
them off from the camp, which he very 
nearly succeeded in doing. There was^ 
hot fire on both sides, and soon at least four 
hundred Basutos came out on every point, 
and opened fire on Arthur and his little 
force, but happily no one was wounded at 
all on our side, while I believe nine Basutoa 
were killed, according to the express-runner, 
who gave me an account of the fight the 
same night at Wepener, he himself was also 
fighting. This little skirmish diverted the 
rebels from the Frasers and their small 
garrison, and enabled them to get water 
from a well outside their store. Arthur got 
within range with about sixteen rifles and 
volunteers, and drove off the whole lot round 
the store; meanwhile a troop of C.M.R. 
had cleared the kopje above. 

The rebels, however, came back and 
Arthur was going for them again, when he 



DARK DAYS 229 

saw Lerothodi himself with his * battle-axe ' 
regiment, coming towards him, so he rode 
smartly for the Dutch boer's refuge, a ' sluit ' 
(watercourse) and though the bullets whistled 
freely round him and his men, they soon 
drove them ('battle-axes') back again, leaving 
two or three dead horses behind them. 

Meanwhile the forces were gradually 
assembling from the Colony, but the 
numbers were very small in comparison to 
the rebels whom they were to conquer. 
On the 12th October, 1880 Brigadier- 
General Clarke, with Colonel Southey 
and about four hundred yeomanry, and 
Cape Mounted Rifles, with two guns, 
were encamped at Wepener, waiting for 
reinforcements before coming into Basuto- 
land, as the enemy was very strong. The 
little garrison at Mafeteng were reduced 
to short rations, and living chiefly on horse 
flesh, no vegetables^ nothing to drink but 
tea. The poor fellows tried to support 
nature on these short commons, by eating 
butter-scotch all day long ! They seemed 
wonderfully cheerful, considering all things, 



230 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

aad up to this time Arthur appeared none 
the worse for sleeping out night after night 
in the open schantses, during very wet 
weather, with his clothes and boots on, 
ready for an attack at any moment. Un- 
fortunately it told upon him afterwards, and 
he was very ill indeed. 

I drove out one day with Captain Asch- 
mann close to the Border to see the camp. 
Colonel Brabant had just marched in to 
Wepener. It was a striking spectacle to 
see the Basuto villages burning, and we 
were so near at Wepener, that we could 
always see them, and hear the roaring of 
the Inons mo.t distinctly. The Brigadier- 
General came at once to see me, when he 
arrived, and was most kind to the children ; 
he spoke very warmly of Arthur's *good 
work' and share in the attack on Mafe- 
teng, and all through the campaign was 
always most friendly with both of us, and 
we thought him a charming man, and a 
thorough soldier all round. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

ARRIVAL OP MORE TROOPS 

Lbrothodi sent a message to-day to the 
President of the Free State, Sir J. Brand, 
to ask if he might attack the English camp 
here. The President had just left, and I 
was somewhat afraid that he might take 
French leave, which would have been by no 
means pleasant for us, as we were so near 
it, but I was told that he would not really 
dare to do so, as that would be declaring 
war with the Orange Free State also. Poor 
Colonel GriflSths came to luncheon with us, 
and seemed quite crushed with all his mis- 
fortunes, and by all the damage done to the 
headquarters at Maseru, at a recent attack 
made upon it by the rebels. I felt very 



232 AMONG BOERS AND BASOTOS 

sorry for him, as no doubt he had done his 
best to carry out the wishes of the Govern- 
ment, but had an impossible task to perform. 

The Basutos made the most of their 
time while we were anxiously waiting for 
troops to arrive from the colony — and be- 
came more and more insolent to the oflScials 
and other Englishmen, the natives had 
plenty of their own food, and were amply 
supplied with horses and guns, besides 
brandy and blankets, by the Dutch Boers 
from the Free State, and by unprincipled 
Englishmen on the Border also. 

Their numbers far exceeded those of 
any forces which we could bring against 
them, while ours fell far short always of 
what was required for the work. General 
Clarke determined not to risk going in 
to Mafeteng, until sufficient reinforcements 
arrived, to enable him to * cut out ' (as 
they called it) the little garrison at 
Mafeteng, and they had to wait also for 
sufficient supplies to come up, as it wa& 
of course impossible to take troops in with- 
out plenty of food, they being already on half 



ABRIVAL OF MORE TROOPS 233 

rations there. A large camp was formed 
near Wepener, and everything put in 
proper train for the military operations. 
A regular heliograph station was established 
on the top of a hill, near my little cottage, 
and I used often to ride up there, and 
see the olBBcers signalling to the camp 
in Mafeteng, and could watch the convoys 
of mounted troops and Avaggons with the 
OlBBcers in charge, going through the 
enemy's country, nine or ten miles to 
Mafeteng, and see the fighting when they 
were attacked by the rebels, en routes as 
they usually were. 



CHAPTEK XIX 

RELIEF OF MAFETENG 

On the 19th of October, 1880, Brigadier- 
General Clarke, Commandant-in-chief of the 
colonial forces, succeeded in relieving Mafe- 
teng. My husband wrote to me that night : 
*Just time for a line. Received your 
letter. This afternoon Clarke got in, but 
suffered very heavily. The rebels made 
their "assegai charge" and caught two or 
three troops of the 1st Yeomanry extended 
in skirmishing order, and killed thirty two, 
wounding eleven. They were, however, 
severely punished, and over thirty cut to 
pieces. They retired steadily, however, 
from kopje to kopje, the artillery firing 
upon them. We saw the fight from the 



RELIEF OF MAFETENG 235 

Hog's Back ridge, and though Lerothodi 
had about twelve hundred men in Molet- 
sane's village, they did not attack us. 
Carrington and I went out with the C.M.R. 
and I took command of twenty-five men, 
police, etc. (whom I had sent down to Fraser 
the night before), and galloped round to the 
riffht, while the C.M.R. went to the left of 
Fraser's kopje. We got within range ot 
some of the rebels, and drove them off a 
ridge in our front, but were recalled by 
Clarke. 

* I am to be Commandant to date from the 
thirteenth of last month, and am to be at- 
tached to Carrington's column, I hold no 
less than three appointments now, command 
of my own Contingent, "Barkly's horse," 
Staff-officer to the Brigadier- General, and 
also do some Magisterial duties, so shall 
have plenty of hard work.' 

The action lasted about three hours, and 
from five thousand to eight thousand 
Basutos were engaged — shells were thrown, 



236 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

and after much skirmishingy Mafeteng was 
relieved. 

In Wepener all was bustle and excitement 
at the camp. More troops kept marching 
in, and Captain Waring, who commanded 
the Communications and Base, was never at 
rest for a moment, but worked night and 
day, endeavouring to regulate everything 
properly. My husband put us under his 
charge, and he showed us the greatest kind- 
ness always, and never failed to help us out 
of any diflficulty, if he possibly could. 

The little church at Wepener under the 
Bloemfontein Mission (where such hearty 
services had always been held by Mr 
Stenson, son of the clergyman at Mohale's 
Hoek, who had been well trained in the 
Bloemfontein College,) was now taken and 
fitted up as a camp hospital for the wounded. 
As it was close to us I frequently went 
there, and did what little I could, to help 
the poor fellows, most of whom bore their 
sufferings most bravely and patiently, they 
seemed to like to see an Englishwoman, and 
I used to write letters to their friends at 



RELIEF OF MAFETENG 237 

home for them, and try to cheer them up. 
Many of them were sons of friends at the 
Cape, or in England, who had brought out 
letters of introduction to my husband and 
myself, some of those especially in the Cape 
Mounted Rifles, a very line Corps, composed 
chiefly of the sons of gentlemen. Harry 
and Nancy used to go frequently with me, 
to see the wounded men and chat with them, 
but Nancy's ideas on the subject were rather 
peculiar, and for some time she firmly 
believed that all the poor men who died in 
the hospital from the effect of their wounds, 
or else from camp fever, were killed by the 
doctors. Her elder brother took great pains 
to enlighten her on the subject, however. 

Harry was always wishing to go and join 
his father 'to fight the KaflSrs,' and one 
day was lost for a long time, much to my 
terror. He had actually started for Mafe- 
teng to go to his father, but was fortunately 
found by some officers, and brought home 
again. 

He had a great many questions to ask his 



238 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

father on the subject of the war, when he 
next saw him : — 

* Are you allowed to kill people, father ? ' 
on being told that it was permitted during 
the * Gun war/ * Oh then/ replied Harry, 
* Why don't you kill my schoolmaster ? ' 
and he was much surprised that Arthur 
should neglect such an eligible opportunity ! 



CHAPTER XX 

SUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON LBROTHODl's VILLAGE 

On the 22nd October 1880, there was a very 
sharp fight, and Lerothodi's village was 
taken. I heard from Arthur that they had 
been having a busy time of it in camp, as 
the General was a very smart officer, one of 
Lord Wolseley's school, and kept everybody 
moving. Arthur wrote : 

* A column under Carrington, consisting 
of two hundred and fifty C.M.R. the Port 
Elizabeth, and Cape Town Volunteers, my 
contingent and Surmon's went at break of 
day to attack Lerothodi in his village. 
Clarke came out, but merely as a looker-on, 
leaving it all to Carrington. 

We moved up below the ridge on which 



240 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

the village stands, rushed a small kraal 
(KaflSr homestead) at its foot under smart 
fire, ran the guns into this and opened fire, 
and at the same time seized a kopje on the 
left, which communicated with the village. 
The party who seized this, a troop of 
C.M.R. with the Mafeteng and Mohale's 
Hoek contingents, (I did not lead my 
men that day, as I was with Carrington, 
and had only forty out) actually got into 
Lerothodi's village, when a large commando 
of Basutos suddenly appeared and the 
recall was sounded. Everyone came out 
and we hauled the gun and the mortars 
with dray-ropes up the kopje, and soon 
drove off the commando on the left, but by 
this time the whole line was astir and 
Moletsane's men from the right, swarmed 
through the gorges into the village, and the 
sluits and kopjes around. For two or 
three hours we could not dislodge them, 
but at last a large spruit, which was the 
key of their position, was pluckily rushed 
by the two volunteer corps, (who are 
very good indeed), and the two troops 



SUCCESSFUL ATTACK 24 1 

C.M.R., when the enemy at once abandoned 
all the positions below the village to our 
right, under a tremendous fire of guns, 
musketry and mortars, which we kept up 
from above, (where Carrington and all of us 
were) but one fellow left the sluits and 
pursued the enemy who were tremendously 
cut up. Then we rushed the village, and 
terribly hard work it was, all uphill. I got 
so blown, I could not run another yard, 
and Clarke was even worse. He was laugh- 
ing and waving his sword, and trying to 
get up a jog-trot but in vain, and we nearly 
all had to walk before we got in. 

*The enemy fired at us until we got up 
within a few yards, but so badly that very 
few were hit. One fellow fired point blank 
at me from a schantse about thirty yards oflF, 
and missed me clean. I took a carbine and 
fired at him, but he cleared out. 

* We burnt the village to the ground and 

retired, getting back to camp about fi/e 

o'clock P.M., having been out fourteen hours, 

with but very little to eat or drink. We 

only had sixteen wounded, of whom one 

Q 



H 



242 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

died, but we had a lot of men struck by 
spent bullets, of which there are always a 
great many, as the enemy use smooth bores 
a good deal, though a large per centage of 
them have excellent rifles. A ball cut my 
coat, but did not damage me at all, I am so 
used to them now, that I hardly notice them, 
unless the fire is unusually hot. On Mon- 
day, Clarke took out the whole force, ex- 
cepting about three hundred men left in 
garrison, with his empty train of waggons 
to bring in supplies, which were waiting, 
and had "laagered" on the border.' 

Extract from the Times, Friday, Novem- 
ber 19, 1880. 

THE BASUTO WAR 

{From our Correspondent) 

* Capb Town, October 26. 

• When I last wrote there was little relief 
to the dark clouds which hung loweringly 
over our position in Basutoland. The rebels 
were testifying by revolt and rapine their 
ingratitude for the efforts of our govern- 
ment and people to protect them and assist 



SUCCESSFUL ATTACK 243 

them in their progress from barbarism to- 
wards civilisation. Three of the seats of 
magistracy were closely invested by over- 
whelming numbers who repeatedly made 
enraged rushes upon their small bands of 
gallant defenders and only at two places, 
Leribe and Quithing, were the loyal people 
and the representatives of government 
holding their position undisturbed. Since 
then the colonial government has been able 
to muster its forces, to equip its men and to 
march some of them over a distance of one 
thousand miles to the scene of rebellion. 
The besieged garrisons of Mohale's Hoek 
and Mafeteng have been relieved, and they, 
together with our troops, are now able to 
take the oflfensive against the enemy, and 
have indeed, already inflicted upon them a 
telling defeat in the capture and destruction 
of the Chfef Lerothodi's stronghold. 

* Brigadier-General Clarke, the command- 
ant-general of the colonial forces, eflfected the 
relief of Mafeteng on the 19th of October. 
His column consisted of some one thousand 
seven hundred men with field guns and 



244 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

mortars, and upwards of forty waggons and 
ambulances, besides spans of slaughtered 
oxen for the garrison, as it was known Mr 
Barkly's gallant band and Carrington's force 
were in want of provisions, having been for 
several days on rations of horse-flesh. They 
formed a considerable train as they marched 
from their camp on the Free State border. 

*The 1st Cape Mounted Yeomanry under 
Colonel Brabant, being the advance guard 
and supports; the 2nd Yeomanry, under 
Colonel Southey and Cape Mounted Rifles 
flanking detachments ; and the 3rd Yeomanry 
Kimberley Horse, and Captain Hunt's 
Volunteers the rear guard. The 1st City 
Rifles, (Graham's Town), Prince Alfred's 
Guard (Port Elizabeth), and the Mohale's 
Hoek contingent marched on the left of the 
column, and the Duke of Edinburgh's own 
Volunteer Rifles (Cape Town) at the right. 

*Mafeteng being the key of the military 
position in Basutoland, the general command- 
ing threw up a small fort between that 
place and Diphering and made the position 
of his camp secure, while he, with an escort, 



SUCCESSFUL ATTACK 245 

reconnoitered towards Lerothodi's strong- 
hold. On the 22nd of October this place 
was gallantly taken, with very slight loss on 
our side, and a severe defeat inflicted upon 
the rebels. General Clarke, in the follow- 
ing oflScial despatch to the Premier, details 
the operations : 

' CAMP, NEAR MAFETENG, 
* October 22. 

' Leaving the laager near Mafeteng, pro- 
tected by the three Yeomanry regiments, I 
moved the remainder of the force soon after 
three this morning, augmented by all the 
men that could be spared from the garrison 
of Mafeteng, against the village of Lerothodi, 
situated on a strong mountain position some 
three miles distant. The force was placed 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Carrington, Cape Mounted Rifles. Day- 
light broke as we approached the village, 
and the rebels were thereby enabled to 
occupy it in sufficiently strong force to pre- 
vent a surprise, which was nearly effected. 
The troops gained a rocky plateau some 
nine hundred yards from the neck on which 



246 AMONG BOEKS AND BASUTOS 

the village is situated, without loss, although 
the natives held it in some force, and I 
cannot understand how they allowed us to 
gain this ground. The rebels were seen 
hurrying in large numbers from all parts 
of the country, and shortly held the village 
in strong force. The seven pounder gun and 
two five and a-half inch mortars were 
dragged up to the plateau we had gained 
by hand, and the fire from the guns soon 
drove those in the open to a respectful 
distance, as large numbers had occupied a 
rocky gorge on our right.' 



CHAPTER XXI 



MORE FIGHTING 



At the beginning of November Arthur wrote 
word that General Clarke had a tremendous 
fight over the attack on Moletsane's Moun- 
tain. Arthur was out the whole day long, 
under strong fire, and exposed to terrible 
dangers and fatigues and having nothing to 
eat all day but a few sardines and a bit of 
dry bread. He made a great eflfort to keep 
up, and would not give in, but this affair 
proved to be the last straw, and he was 
taken very ill with camp fever, etc., and 
afterwards invalided to Wepener. I had 
only a line beforehand from him written in 
pencil, to say that he was ill, and put on 



248 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

the sick list, and it gave me a terrible shock 
when Captain Montague, C.M.R. rode over 
in advance to tell me that Arthur was very 
ill and coming in at once. He arrived in 
an ambulance waggon, with a large mounted 
escort, the Geneva flag flying, and poor 
Arthur lying on a mattress inside the am- 
bulance waggon. The doctors who attended 
him told me that his illness was caused 
chiefly by the immense amount pf exertion 
which he had gone through, during the 
last few months, and the great strain both 
mentally and bodily, and also by drinking 
bad water while on patroL Fortunately 
we were able to obtain plenty of * hospital 
comforts' for him, and the hospital cooks 
kept him well supplied with good food 
which was sent to our cottage for him. 
So, with complete rest and nursing, he 
soon became much better and able to 
walk about a little. The P. M. 0. and all 
the other doctors implored him not to go 
back to the field until completely restored to 
health, and, in fact, ordered him right away 
for changCi but he wouldn't listen to any of 



MORE FIGHTING 249 

them, and insisted on going into Mafeteng 
again as soon as he possibly could, in com- 
mand of a convoy with eight hundred 
burghers and one hundred yeomanry. When 
he was actually on the sick list and still very 
weak, he managed to get ia with the convoy 
to Mafeteng, and resumed all his duties, both 
civil and military, but the many hardships 
and constant exposure had told upon his con- 
stitution, and he was soon invalided again. 
I was very glad that I had remained in 
Wepener instead of going away, as I was 
able to nurse him. 

After visiting Hermon, a French mission 
station, and burning a village or two 
belonging to the enemy en route, the 
General, my husband, and the rest of the 
staff rode into Wepener, to see us and have 
luncheon in our little cottage. I got a 
message a few minutes before only, to say 
that *The General, Commandant Barkly, 
and others, were coming to luncheon.' 

As ill-luck would have it, the Dutchwoman 
who sometimes helped me, had stayed at 
home that day, and I had no one to help me 



2 so AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

but the old Zulu and another * boy/ so I had 
to set to work in earnest to get something 
fit to eat. I first locked up all the little ones 
in one room, in charge of Harry, so as to be 
sure that they were safe (!) and then the old 
Zulu and I managed to conjure up a respect- 
able meal. While I was laying the table 
leaving my Zulu to see that my roast fowl, 
a great treasure which I fortunately hap- 
pened to have that day, and curry, did not 
burn in the kitchen — (having no wood or 
coal we had just smashed up an old chair or 
two for firewood), the General and Arthur 
and some of the other officers, arrived on 
horseback all in full uniform, and looking 
lively, well and happy. The children were 
enchanted to see their father again, and had 
much to say to General Clarke also. He 
made himself most agreeable, and took in 
the whole situation at a glance, insisted on 
cutting bread and butter and helping to give 
the children their dinner. Arthur mean- 
while helping me to finish laying the table. 
We had great fun over it all, with barely 
room to turn round in the little cottage with 



MORE FIGHTING 25 1 

its mud floors. The said cottasre soon be- 
came full of officers, who crowded in to see 
the General. There were not chairs enough 
for all to sit down upon, some having been 
impounded to cook the luncheon, (!) so some 
sat on the table, others on boxes, while the 
rest stood up. After some conversation the 
General and his staff we nt off to see the 
camp close by, and Arthur had to leave at 
four o'clock the next morning and march 
back to Mafeteng with the convoy of 
waggons. On arriving there, he changed 
his horse, and went out again with Colonel 
Carrington, and had a slight skirmish near, 
exchanged some shots with the enemy, and 
after burning one or two villages returned 
to Mafeteng. 

I was pleased to hear that General Clarke 
had made out a very flattering * general 
order,' thanking Colonel Carrington and my 
husband *for their gallant defence of 
Mafeteng under overwhelming odds' etc. 
etc. 

On the 31st October, the Premier received 
a message in Cape Town to say that ' The 



252 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

military operation in Basutoland satisfactory^ 
After success at Lerothodi s village Com- 
mandant Barkly issued Government Procla- 
mation, offering protection to all surrendering 
with their arms and ammunition. 4000 
Europeans called out to proceed to the 
Frontier/ Another telegram stated, how- 
ever, * Position critical, neighbouring tribe 
of Pondos in rebellion, had murdered Mr 
Hope, the Magistrate, destroyed his house 
and telegraph station. Several families 
taken refuge in the prison, hope to hold out 
until relief comes. Pondo chief half-hearted 
Tungukeli sitting still. Fingoes quiet' 

On the 3rd November 1880, my hus- 
band wrote an account of the attack of 
Moletsane's Mountain called in Sesuto 
Makwaisberg. 'This was never intended, 
and grew out of a reconnaissance we made 
in some force, to complete one Carringtoa 
and I made, with only twenty men the day 
before — whilst the General, with the three 
Yeomanry regiments went round the other 
side of the mountain, to burn Moletsane s 
village, and to reconnoitre the other opening 



MORE FIGHTING 253 

of the kloof, which runs under Makwaisberg, 
and where the old chief has most of his 
grain, etc. Carrington and I rode towards 
the opening on this side, about five miles 
from here, in a line with Lerothodi's moun- 
tain and village. Makwaisberg and the 
kloof lie to the right of Mafeteng and 
Lerothodi's village is right opposite to it 
(Mafeteng). Carrington and I got pretty 
close, and tried to get up the gorge, but 
one hundred and fifty men came out in 
front of us, and we were obliged to retire. 
Next day, the General ordered out Carring- 
ton and one hundred and fifty C.M.R. 
and sixty of my contingent, and a gun, 
and we went out to reconnoitre the 
gorge, he going with us, but not in com- 
mand. We found Moletsanes mountain 
being schantsed, the natives were at work 
as we came up. My contingent was scout- 
ing in advance, so I galloped up to them, 
and finding the vedette falling back under 
the rebels' fire, took a couple of men and 
galloped up to the opening of the gorge and 
got a look at it, and a very bad place it is. 



254 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

I got well peppered and rode back, when 
Carrington ordered an attack on the 
schantses. Two were taken, but the enemy- 
appeared in such numbers that the General 
ordered the attacking party to withdraw, 
and we returned, having eflfected a very good 
reconnaissance and seen all we wanted with 
the loss of three horses only. On the 21st 
November we were ordered to parade at 
midnight, every man but the garrison at 
Mafeteng underlined. The main attack, 
with which I was with eighty of my 
contingent (called Barkly's Horse) was 
under Carrington but the General went with 
us as before. We had two guns and a 
mortar, and about fifteen hundred men, 
C.M.R. Mafeteng contingent. Cape Town 
Volunteers, and Diamond Field Horse in 
advance and two yeomanry regiments in re- 
serve. Grant with some C.M.R. Grahams- 
town Volunteers and thirty of my men, about 
two hundred and fifty in all, was to hold 
Lerothodi*s village and the flat kopje near it, 
and cover our left rear, as large commandos 
of the enemy were known to be not far oflF in 



MORE FIGHTING 25$ 

that direction. After the usual sticking: in 
sluits, upsetting of waggons, losing the road, 
etc., inseparable from night-marching in this 
country, we reached our position at five a.m., 
having been just five hours marching five or 
six miles. I was commanding the advance 
guard alone for part of the time, afterwards 
with Carrington himself. It was awful work 
halting every five minutes for the waggons, 
we were too late of course, only getting into 
position in broad daylight. However, we 
lost no time when we were there, got the 
guns unlimbered and sent the storming party 
forward at once. The mountain was not well 

to 

held, and we took it with the loss of only two 
wounded. The enemy began to appear on 
the hills to the left, and I went down to 
reconnoitre. They pelted me kindly, as usual, 
with bullets, but I am so used to it that I 
hardly notice it now. I was about to return 
and report, when a troop of C.M.R. came 
down to hold the rock I was on, and drive 
the enemy back. They lay down and fired, 
and I dismounted and walked about with the 
officer, Carstensen, a German artillery-lieu- 



256 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

tenant, who was all through the Franco- 
Prussian War. The Basutos had the pull 
of us, for they were behind the rocks and 
their bullets fell all about us. I had several 
close to me. We were doing no good what- 
ever, but I didn't like to say so. However, 
at last Carstensen got tired of it and said, 
" They have got the laugh ; we do no good 
here. Will you not go back and ask if I 
shall retire to the village on our right ? " 
Just at that moment the order came to do 
so, and riding back as far as the village, I left 
him and went back to Carrington, very glad 
to have escaped with a whole skin.* 

• 

At this time Arthur had several appoint- 
ments, Resident Magistrate of Mafeteng, 
Commandant and Staff officer to General 
Clarke. 

On the 2nd of December he wrote to his 
father as follows : 

' I think, that as we have so few men, it 
would be better if they would abandon 
Leribe, if not Maseru itself, and bring the 



MORE FIGHTING 2 $7 

whole force together at Mafeteng, as then, 
we might strike a heavy blow at the enemy. 
As it is, we can barely hold our own. In a 
month or two's time it will be necessary to 
destroy the crops, a service which would 
require a very large force, and if we fail in 
doing it, and they get fresh supplies (and the 
crops will be very good this year), we are in 
for two years of it. I am afraid if they don't 
reap their crops, they will be starving in six 
months, by their own confession. 

* The General is kindness itself, and very 
pleasant to work under. There is any 
amount of work to do. The enemy's position 
is now very strong. I do not myself think 
that we ought to attack it at present. They 
are in great numbers. I fear that the 
Bacas will fail us ; they seem most unwilling 
to turn out, and I expect the Basuto chiefs 
have been intriguing, and no doubt the 
Transvaal reverses have had something to do 
with it. 

* 25th November. — I am still here on sick 
leave, the doctor says I have had too much 



258 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

work " mental strain/* as they put it, and 
want me to go away for a change, but I 
shall not do this, as I am getting better, 
and shall go in again in a few days. We 
have not half men enough for the force 
against us, in this mountainous and difficult 
country. One thousand two hundred 
burghers are coming up in course of time. 
We want a large native contingent, but that is 
just what we have not got, we are badly off for 
natives, and both Surmon and I have but 
very few in our contingents. 

•' Harry made a speech on disarmament 
the other day, much to the delight of the 
natives. One of the Basuto servants came 
and told Fanny. His audience consisted of 

his nurse, two or three other women, who had 
brought fowls and eggs, etc., to sell, a con- 
stable, and two prisoners, who were sweep- 
ing the yard. He first took the popular 
side and told them that government had 
" praated " to them to give up their guns ; 
bnt he added in Dutch, " If you will not do 
so, I must speak to Morena (his father) and 
he will have you put in the Tronk " (prison). 



MORE FIGHTING 259 

He also told them that although he knew 
that they wanted their guns to shoot the 
birds with, also pigeons and dogs^ still it 
couldn't be helped, and they must give them 
all up to him, and Morena.' 



CHAPTER XXII 



FRESH TROUBLES 



February 14th, 1880. At this time the 
Basuto war seemed to be interminable, 
fight succeeded fight, and still our troops 
seemed to make little or no impression on 
the rebels. 

Our good friends, Sir Bartle and Lady 
Frere, had ere this left the Cape, and the 
new Governor and High Commissioner, 
seemed to be determined to bring this 
miserable * Gun War/ as it was called, to 
a close, at any price, and to this he was 
strongly urged by the ofiScials in Downing 
Street, and the war indeed having already 
cost the Cape Government an enormous 



FBESH TROUBLES 26 1 

sum, everybody was in favour of peace. 
At first it seemed as if the Basutos would 
never give in, and though Pitsos (councils) 
were held by the chiefs, fighting still went 
on all over the country. Meanwhile, a great 
trouble befell us in our little cottage at Wepe- 
ner, my poor little boy Harry was kicked 
by a horse as he was crossing the road, a 
mounted orderly came suddenly round a 
corner at full gallop, and knocked him over. 
Harry saw him coming, and rushed forward 
to save his little brother Hugh, who had 
run on a little way in front of us. I was just 
behind them with Nancy. The orderly 
pulled up sharp, but poor Harry got a very 
nasty cut on the head ; half-an-inch nearer 
the temple, and he must have been killed, 
as it was, it was a deep scalp wound. We 
were close to the hospital, and I rushed in 
and fetched two doctors, and the little fellow 
was carefully brought home on a shutter, 
when he was immediately put under chloro- 
form, and the wound sewn up. For some 
days he was in danger, and had to be most 
carefully watched, and not left for a 



262 AMONG BOERS AND BASUTOS 

moment. I had to take the strongest 
coffee to prevent myself from going to sleep, 
for some nights, and at times he was deliri- 
ous and very violent The greatest kindness 
and sympathy were shown us by everyone 
in Wepener, and numbers of people offered 
to help nurse the poor little boy. Arthur 
came out as soon as possible, but could not 
get away for some days from camp ; gradu- 
ally Harry got better, and then it was 
decided that the P.M.O. should lend us an 
ambulance waggon as soon as he could be 
moved to go down to Aliwal, and I con- 
sented at last to take him there, as we saw 
signs of the war coming to a close. Besides 
we could not keep our house on any longer, 
as the Dutch boer wanted it for himself, so 
I was obliged to turn out in any case. We 
had a sale of our effects, said * Good-bye,' 
to all our friends and acquaintances, and 
started off for a three days* journey to Aliwal 
North. Harry bore the journey very well, 
and we rather enjoyed the trip. We had 
no nurse with us, but a black policeman 
helped me with the children, and Miss 



FRESH TROUBLES 263 

Aschraann came with me as far as Aliwal. 
We were charmed with Aliwal, it is quite a 
fine town on a very pretty river, good broad 
streets, and large shops, quite a civilised 
looking place, and not having seen a regular 
town for three years and a half, we were 
quite delighted. 

Unfortunately the rooms which we had 
taken for a time at an hotel there, days 
before, had been let over our heads, and we 
could not find a place to go to anywhere, 
every house was crammed, the town being 
so full of troops going and returning from 
Basutoland. At last two young oflScers 
very kindly turned out of their room, and 
lent it to us, it was a good big one, and we 
managed to sleep in it, by making some beds 
of blankets on the floor. These oflScers were 
very good-natured to us, and went under 
canvas themselves for a few days, until we 
managed to get into the hotel. At that 
time there was a plague of large flies every- 
where, which were supposed to be the cause 
of the epidemic of opthalmia, which was 
going about. I managed to catch it, and 



264 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

for some days was perfectly blind, and 
suffered agonies, nothing could have been 
more awkward, as for a week or so I couldn't 
get a nurse, or write a note, or do anything 
for the children. Captain Hunt, the Civil 
Commissioner, and his wife were kindness 
itself, and sent us in dainty little trays of 
food, very often. Miss Aschumann would 
have helped us, but had to go on to King 
Williams Town at once, by the post cart. 
And we could not even get food sent us 
from one of the hotels, all the inhabitants 
were far too busy to do anything for us, 
and what to do, I knew not 

Our Basuto policeman was very stupid, and 
could only summon up suflBcient intelligence 
to go out and buy a few sponge cakes for us. 
However, after a few days, things got a 
little brighter, and we were fairly comfort- 
able at the hotel. My brother Alfred came 
down and met us there from Leribe, having 
been invalided to Aliwal. He also had gone 
through great hardships and dangers, but 
soon had to return to his post. Eventually 
we were fortunate in getting a nice house 



FRESH TROUBLES 265 

and garden next to the Civil Commissioner's, 
and found some servants and made ourselves 
very comfortable there. Harry and Nancy 
went to a day-school close by, which they 
liked very much, and Harry soon recovered 
his strength again. We were close to the 
hospital, and the doctor there looked after 
him very well. I met some very nice people 
in Aliwal, and everybody called upon me at 
once, so that I found it much pleasanter than 
being in Wepener, but too far off from 
Arthur, which increased my anxiety very 
much. Major Giles of the Cape Artillery 
was invalided to Aliwal. His wife came up 
to meet him from King William's Town, and 
I asked them both to stay with me until 
Major Giles got better. She brought two 
very nice little boys up with her, which de- 
lighted my children. It was a great pleasure 
to me to have them both with me, as I was 
very lonely. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

ALIWAL NORTH AND HOME AGAIN 

In June 1881. Arthur was taken very 
ill, having caught a chill, sleeping out in 
the open, in uniform, and getting constantly 
wet without being able to change his boots 
and clothes. The exposure and heavy hard- 
ships told upon him and he was sent down 
to me at Aliwal North invalided, in an 
ambulance waggon as before — ^he was 
terribly ill for some time and suffered 
acutely. When he got a little better he 
wrote to his father as follows : 

* I am getting much stronger, but suffer 
greatly from neuralgic pains, rheumatism and 



FRESH TROUBLES 26/ 

stiffness which at times make me really 
helpless. However, I daresay, it will 
disappear by degrees. I am anxious to 
be back at the camp again, but there is 
a difficulty about conveyance. I hope 
to get away soon. The weather is fear- 
fully cold, and this is against me, no doubt, 
but I am picking up strength though, 
and if I don't have another relapse shall do 
well enough. I fear that there is but little 
chance of permanent peace. 

*The armistice was very convenient for the 
natives, as it gave them time to make all 
their little arrangements, get in their grain, 
etc. Luckily the Kaffir corn is not yet ripe. 
I should be very glad if you would send me 
out a good sword, I do not suppose that I 
should ever use one, as I should trust to a 
revolver in preference, but it is a necessary 
part of one's uniform, also a pair of field- 
glasses. The Basutos don't like the look of 
swords much.' 

Arthur had an orderly with him, but 
could not bear him to come into his room. 
Had it not been for the kindness of 



268 AMONG BOEBS AND BASUTOS 

Captain Kerr, who was commandiDg the 
communication to base and who used to 
come in constantly and help me to poor 
nourishment down his throat, and lift 
him up, he must have died, so very ill 
was he, and his sufferings were terrible to 
witness. As soon as he got better, a con- 
sultation of doctors pronounced him to be 
quite unable to return to the front, so that 
he was obliged to resign his appointments, 
and take leave for six months on full pay 
as resident magistrate. An ambulance 
waggon drawn by mules was sent for him, 
and we had a very trying journey down to 
Queenstown. 

At last we arrived in Cape Town, en route 
for England, where we were very kindly 
received by Lady Robinson at Government 
House, Sir Hercules, being unfortunately 
away. Lady Robinson took much interest in 
our accounts of the Basuto campaigns, and all 
we had gone through. 

Meanwhile, various telegrams had been 
sent by Mr (now Sir James Sievright) to Sir 
Henry Barkly, in order to relieve his anxiety 



FBESH TROUBLES 269 

about my husband's healthy during his jour- 
ney down from Basutoland. Sir James, was 
most kind all through our troubles on the 
frontier, in helping us, by forwarding tele- 
grams and sending us information whenever 
he could do so. After waiting a day or 
two in Cape Town, we joined a home- 
ward bound steamer, and soon arrived in 
England. Meanwhile peace had been pro- 
claimed in Basutoland, and all was quiet 
there. The following letter, (sent to 
Arthur by order of General Clarke, accept- 
ing his resignation) will, I think, fitly close 
this narrative : 

* Aliwal North, 

'BOthMay, 1881. 

'Sir, — I am directed by the Brigadier- 
General commanding to acknowledge your 
letter of to-day's date, in which you tender 
your resignation of the command of the 
Mafeteng Contingent, on the ground of 
ill-health. 

'The Brigadier - General desires me to 
convey to you his regret at the cause which 



270 AMONG BOERS AND BASUT08 

has compelled you to take this step, a cause 
which he knows is only too well founded. 

* I am also desired to convey to you 
General Clarke's most sincere thanks, not 
only for your exertions in command of the 
contingent, but for the services you rendered 
as Stafi Officer to Colonel Carrington, and 
as assistant Stafi Officer, . when the forces 
returned to Basutoland. 

*The Brigadier-General can only deplore 
that he should be deprived of your valuable 
advice and assistance, which were always 
so freely placed at his disposal, and he trusts 
that you will soon be restored to perfect 
health. — I have the honour, etc. etc. 

* W. F. D. Cochrane, Major, 

* A. A. G. Colonial Forces 
To Commandant Arthur Barkly,' etc. etc. 



THE END 



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THE TIMES says:— 

A wide field lies open to the novelist who sets himself to expose 
the trickery and fraud of company promoting and company direct- 
ing. Such is the theme which inspires the caustic pen of Mr 
Frederick Wicks, already known as the author of more than one 
vivacious novel in which roguery plays an important part. In 'The 
Veiled Hand ' he is specially severe upon that combination of the 
politician and the company-monger of which we have latterly 
had so many shining examples in our own and in other countries. 
Mr Wicks has evidently seen — as a disgusted witness, no doubt — a 
great deal of the inner working of the great modern engine of 
fraud. * The Veiled Hand,' a domestic drama extending through 
three decades, relates the rise and fall of a subtle lago who piles 
up a colossal fortune by pulling the wires of limited liability from a 
secure position in the background. Mr Delfoy's name never comes 
before the public. But he manages, with consummate address, all 
the apparatus of the company promoter — the dummy vendor, the 
confederated solicitors, the financial journalist, the guinea-pig 
directors, the 'independent' experts, the rich sample of ore, and all 
the rest of it. . . . Many scenes could be enumerated from Mr Wicks's 
novel which, in the essential satire of the situations and in the spirit 
in which they are described, would not disgrace the best English 
satirists. Of such are the first meeting of the subscribers to the Great 
Coradell (Limited), the Countess of Bolore's garden party, and the 
appeal issued on behalf of the Unusual Morality Society — which 
last exposes very neatly the methods by which charity canvassers 
work upon the snobbishness of the public. . . . Mr Wicks has really 
given us an amusing and highly seasonable story, which is none 
the less pleasing because embellished with numerous illustrations 
from the clever pen of Mr Jean de Paleologue. 



THE SATURDAY REVIEW says :— 

A new work by Mr Wicks is an exception to the rule upon which 
the average modern novel is constructed. The incidents packed 
into 'The Veiled Hand ' are very numerous and dramatic. His 
plot, which is exceedingly ingenious, involves a wide variety of 
urgent topics, all of which Mr Wicks treats with familiarity, shrewd- 
ness, and vivacity. The legislators, who are endeavouring to devise 
means by which the British public may be protected from adven- 
turers under the Limited Liability Acts, will find in the chapters 
narrating the rise and fall of the Great Coradell Company, as much 
inspiration as they are likely to derive from many ruminations in 
committee. The chapters dealing with the great strike in the coal- 
fields are equally instructive, . . . and Mr Wicks will have con- 
tributed much to the services of man if his novel makes the 
proletariat familiar with the 'true inwardness* of the movements to 
which they lend themselves when high-strung knights of labour 
take the field. It must not be supposed, however, that 'The Veiled 
Hand ' is a didactic work. Incidentally it is capable of teaching 
much which the community would profit by knowing ; but this 
teaching is casual only, and subservient always to Mr Wicks's 
purpose, which is to tell a story with the thoroughness of treatment 
in detail which a plot such as his demands. In the matter of 
construction, ' The Veiled Hand ' is extremely skilful. 

THE ATHENiEUM 

reviewing the year 1892, says:- -In his recently published story, 
*The Veiled Hand,' Mr Wicks revealed himself as a writer of quite 
uncommon subtlety and strength. 

THE ATHENiEUM 

* commenting upon the book at length, says : — There is a complete- 
ness and rotundity in the delineation of the characters, which gives 
them the air of being types of humanity rather than individuals, 
though at the same time their dramatic individuality is not sacri- 
ficed. Thus, it is not the passing interest in fraudulent or idiotic 
directors, large though it may be, that renders the book great, but 
the feeling that the particular form of villainy or folly attributed to 
these men is merely an accident, and not of the essence of their 
presentation. . . In reading it one is reminded more than anything 
else of Thackeray's wonderfully broad and true pictures of manners, 
and of Thackeray's genius for universalising the snob and artistically 
glorifying the flunkey. It would follow, then, that it is loially 
unlike any other English novels of the present day. These are, 
broadly speaking, of two classes : the study of character, a novel of 
which Mr Meredith is the chief exponent, or the book of adventure, 
which depends almost exclusively on plot, wherein lies Mr Steven- 
son's chief claim to distiuctiow. Bwt since Thackeray there has 
hitherto been no considetaVAe ^rvtax olVJafeTicw^Q^TasMaaers which 
describes a state of society i?X\v^x >3q3wv ^ti 'va.eLwv^>aa\ ewwasxsst^ 



[3] 

' The Veiled Hand/ likewise, dea's with very much the same society 
as Thackeray delighted in — the proud, impecunious, and foolish 
inheritor of a long line of ancestors; the cool, synical villain, 
succeeding by irreproachable manners and unscrupulous employ- 
ment of more stupid villains as his tools ; the gentlemen's gentleman, 
calm and imperturbable, with his consoling tags of commonplace 
philosophy ; the Bohemian in chambers, who combines with his one 
enthusiasm, the stage, a laxity of principles which permits him to 
e?»rn money for it by any dirty job ; and a host of others whom it 
would be tedious to enumerate. The heroine, also, by her insipidity, 
reminds one of the Lauras and Amelias who are the weakest point 
of Thackeray's novels. Indeed, if it were not for the well-known 
veracity of title pages, and the allusions in the latter part to such 
modern institutions as School Boards and South African mines, the 
reader would be tempted to suppose that the book had been written 
thirty years ago, under the full inspiration of Thackeray's genius. 
It is not, however, intended to suggest that Mr Wicks servilely 
copies Thackeray's methods, and is devoid of originality ; he 
resembles him because he treats of much the same sort of people, 
and, like Thackeray, looks at society from the point of view of the 
good-humoured cynic. ... It would be difficult to praise the style 
too highly ; it is quite in the grand manner, broad, deliberate, and 
uninterrupted. The language is terse, crisp, witty, but the narrative 
is never hurried ; indeed, to the present generation, accustomed to 
take their fiction in small and strong doses, the book may seem too 
long ; but this length has th** advantage of satisfying the desire for 
completeness, which is merely tickled by the hors cfcBuvres of mod- 
ern fiction. The digressions are not infrequent, but they are never 
out of place, and hardly a word is wasted ; one feels in reading the 
book, as in that of any true artist, that there is a reserve of force 
out of sight— that much more might have been said, but that the 
writer has rigidly confined himself to the absolutely necessary. . , . 
One of the best scenes in the book — too long, however, for quotation • 
in this review — is that describing the death of George Adolphus 
Leuchars Delfoy, Jun. It begins with an admirable bit of fooling, 
and leads up with a marvellously dramatic abruptness to the fatal 
ending of a drunken frolic. In the artist, M. Jean de Paleologue, 
the author has secured a most valuable ally. The numerous 
sketches which illustrate the work are not all equal in merit, but 
most of the principd characters are admirably rendered. Among 
the best, we should pick out the larije illustration called 'Filial 
Restraint,' and ' A Formal Introduction,' together with the sketch 
of M. Blanch^, and of George Augustus sufFenng from an unquench- 
able thirst. 

VANITY FAIR says:— 

Mr Frederick Wicks has again written a book which for interest and 
abiding value deserves a high place. . . . 'The Veiled Hand ' tells 
a story marked by the qualities at once of photographic fidelity ^'sv^ 
artistic selection. It is full of honest nnotVl mx.\vo\3X\i^vcv'^\2^^^'^^^N 



[4] 

it is shrewdly, sometimes even mercilessly, observant without 
preaching- the decadent gospel of pessimism, and above all it has 
ihat essential quality which so many modern novelists seem to 
avoid as a damning literary crime — namely, exceeding interest in 
the conception and evolution of the story as such. The subtitle of 
the book is ' A Novel of the Sixties, the Seventies, and the Eighties/ 
and no one will deny that the author has taken hold of two of the 
most prominent developments of social relationship of this period in 
the apotheosis of the plutocrat and the descent on the city of the 
aristocrat. No small part of the interest of the story centres in the 
formation and fortunes of the Great Coradell Copper Mining 
Company Limited ; and the strange companionship thereby engen- 
dered of the aristocrat, the stockbroker, the solicitor, the financial 
pressman, and the ' nominal vendor,' provides Mr Wicks with excel- 
lent material, of which he makes most excellent use. Another pro- 
duct of this age is the professional agitator, and in * the notorious 
Bowlder ' we are presented with a creation which we would fain 
hope is not typical, which we are inwardly convinced is so, and 
which, whether or no, is extremely entertaining. By far the 
strongest portrait is that of Geoffrey Delfoy, the gambler in love, 
in money, in politics, and in the reputation of men and women ; 
a man who, having divested himself of the inconvenient attributes 
of heart and conscience, moves from poverty to the verge of vast 
wealth through the ruin of others with the relentless concentration 
of a chess-player who sacrifices his pawns the better to attack his 
adversary's king. Muriel, the good woman of the story, is some- 
what colourless ; but it is at least an arguable retort that good 
women are not infrequently characterised by negative and passive 
excellences. The book is a workmanlike production, to be classed 
not only among ' Books to Read,' but also among ' Books to Buy.* 
The drawings by M. Jean de Paleologue are very clever and 
genuinely illustrative. 

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says:— 

The plot of this ingenious fiction is at least as elaborate as any to 
be found in the earlier works of Sue, De Balzac, or Dumas the 
elder. 

FAIRPLAY says :— 

' The Veiled Hand ' is life-like and full of life. The plausible, 
but cold-blooded cynic, who begins his career, with a social 
crime, plunges into promotion of the worst kind as readily as a duck 
takes to water. Around him are the gang with which the company 
prospectuses have made us familiar, of the type of the broken-down 
baronet, the half- pay colonel, and the pauper peer, all anxious to 
make use of their names, which, having ceased to be productive on 
bills, still count for something on companies. The low-class 
company lawyer is there in evidence, together with the wily stock - 
broker to work the markets. The financial journalist is well 

represented by Mr MarmaduV^ '^t^cs- » vv. OcvacraLCter whom most city 

men will recognise. 



[5] - 

THE MORNING POST says:— 

His story arrests and retains attention from first to last/ the study 
of the unscrupulous Delfoy being thoroughly remarkable for re- 
strained power and analytical discernment. Mr Wicks is effective 
without exaggeration, while his cynicism is tempered by a lively 
sense of humour. . . . strong human interest, and brilliant originality 
of manner. 

THE ECHO 

in an article on ' Morals and Manners,' by Meliorist, says : — 
Mr Wicks has attempted a task worthy of the highest gifts of 
genius. Zola has attempted it for France. . . . It (' The Veiled 
Hand') is full of ability, with frequent displays of a higher quality 
than abihty. . . . Dickens himself would have laughed over, and 
might have owned, the rollicking, extravagant humour of Mr 
Wicks's description of the pork- butcher, Mr Joy, in the crush at the 
bank and in the bosom of his family. . . . Bearing in mind that Mr 
Wicks has selected his incidents from one manifestation only of the 
modern movement — and that, if socialism be more than an empty 
name, only a transient manifestation — his readers may accept him 
as a safe critic on the ground which he has occupied. For the 
burden of this novelist-preacher's message to his generation is the 
vulgarising and de-humanising, socially debasing, and ruinous effect 
of the race for wealth. Mr Wicks is a strong hater (none the worse 
for that). He hates the brutalising Materialism of the day, and with 
such intensity that the preacher sometimes swamps the artist. He 
hates the Materialistic creed and practice, that man is one appendage 
of wealth, instead of wealth being the servant of man. . . . There 
can be no doubt that, as far as it goes, this account of interaction 
between commercial politics and social demoralisation is correct. 
Mammon has been vulgarising all ranks of the community. Chipper- 
ing, M.P., the vulgar, illiterate haberdasher, whose influence with 
the Whips is set forth by the satirist, has his dittoes— and many of 
them — in the Parliament which has just met. 

THE WESTERN MORNING NEWS 

under the title, ' A Notable Novel,' says : — At a time when 
people are deploring the decadence of English fiction, and asking 
who are to fill the proud position formerly held by such write'^s 
as Thackeray, Dickens, and George Eliot, it is pleasant to 
come across a novel displaying many of the best traits of 
famous English novelists. . . . Many of the passages are as good as 
anything to be found in 'Vanity Fair,' and there is not the slightest 
exaggeration in saying that the chapter headed ' A Party of Eight ' 
is one of the very best things in English fiction. 

THE WORLD says :— 

The author makes his leading villain so hateful that we are 
positively glad when he is left in a condition of abjectness that ^cs 
other English novelist has described *, ^itvd. \o ^oM'sfc'OcssiX'^^^^^'^^'^ 
his readers means a writer's success. 



[6] 

THE NATIONAL REVIEW says :— 

'The Veiled Hand* is Zolaesque in the thoroughness of its 
mastery of detail. . . . Mr Wicks is painstaking, vivid, and 
entertaining. . . . ' The Veiled Hand ' is a highly superior work. . . . 
Many of the chapters are humorous in a measure and in a manner 
which would have done credit to Dickens ; the pages sparkle with 
epigrams ; and frequently, as by a flash of lightning in the gloom, 
we are startled by some philosophical reflection deep enough and 
w4se enough to make Mr Meredith pause and admire. 



Mr Frederick Wicks has inserted the following Preface in a copy 
of his able novel ' The Veiled Hand ' which has recently been 
presented to the Queen : — 'It is the misfortune of sovereigns that 
they seldom see behind the mask; and, as dissimulation is a 
necessary part of the dishonourable in social life, few are able to 
penetrate below the surface of social movement until the public mind 
is shocked by a catastrophe. The parable here set out— the result 
of thirty years* observation as a journalist— dramatically portrays 
some of those things that man may be and man may do without 
transgressing a single statute either extant or possible. Reviewing 
the work, the author remarks that no possible preventive can be 
devised for nine-tenths of the wrongs done within these realms 
other than by the cultivation of the individual sense of honourable 
obligation.' — Extract from the A t/ienceum * lAtenry Gossip,' February 
i8th, 1893. 

By HUGH CONWAY 

A CARDINAL SIN. By the Author of * Called Back,' 
etc. Crown SvOy cloth^ 3s 6d. 



Second and Cheap Edition, at 3s. 6d. 

THE REMINISCENCES OF A MIDSHIP- 
MAN'S LIFE, 1 850-1856. By Capt. Cecil Sloak- 
Stanley, R.N. 

The Times says : — * The Reminiscences are bright, cheery, and graphic, 
and may \vell serve to illustrate a period of naval history which has not yet 
had its Marryat nor even its Basil Hall. Some of the stories here told, not 
for the first time, certainly read like direct reminiscences of Marr3rat.' 

The Daily Telegraph says — *A midshipman's existence some forty cmt 
fifty 3'ears ago had a picturesque variety. If a cadet, at present under- 
going a somewhat laborious training in the Britannia^ wishes to assure 
himself of the fact he can hardly do better than take up the vivid records 
which, with the title of ** Reminiscences of a Midshipman, 1850-1856," 
have just been published.' 



££MnrGT01I & Co., lAmiXj^, \j«iidfi>TL and Sydney 



OPINIONS OF THE PRESS 

ON 

'TOO EASILY JEALOUS' 

AN AUSTRALIAN ROMANCE 

By Mrs H. E. RUSSELL 



I Vol. Crown 870. 



The London Daily Telegraph says — ' Told with considerable force and 
pathos, and the sketches of character . . . are in some instances par- 
ticularly well drawn.' 

The Athenceum says — 'An ornament to colonial authorship.' 

The Liverpool Daily Post says — ' In this novel an author, hitherto un- 
known to fame, takes by what we presume is a first essay a hig^h position, 
which it only remains for a continuance of the well-directed power of 
" Too Easily Jealous " to retain, and to improve. ... An observer so 
delicate under-rates her power of being interesting. . . . Quite a soup^on 
of Jane Austen in the conversations. . . . The catastrophe of the story 
is managed with tender feeling and with power of climax. There is no 
part of her task that Mrs H. E. Russell has not performed well.' 

The Glasgow Herald says — * The writer has a keen appreciation of the 
beauties of nature, and skilfully depicts her impressions.' 

The Sydney Illustrated News says — ' A novel which has considerable 
merit, and contains even more of promise. . . . Mrs Russell has a 
bright and winning style, and is of course thoroughly at home in Aus- 
tralian surroundings.* 

The Sydney Evening News says — ' Well written and the side issues to 
it, along with the events occuring in the lives of the minor dramatic 
personages, render it interesting.' 

The Maitland Mercury says — ' The story will be followed with interest 
throughout, and it appeals powerfully to the domestic emotions.' 



SEMINaTON k CO., Limited, London and Sydney. 



Bemington & Go/s !New Books 



A T ALL BOOKSELLERS AND BOOKSTALLS 

A NOTABLE WOMAN; and other Sketches. 

By MiLLicENT Erskine Wemyss. Crown SvOy 3s 6d. 

* It is full of interest, and merits an honourable place in the historical 
literature of the day.' — Morning Post. 



THAT AWFUL BABY. By Campbell Rae-Browx. 
Author of * Richard Barlow, the Bloodhound,' etc., etc. 
Crown 8ro, cloth^ is. 6d. 



THE MARK TWAIN BIBTHDA7 BOOK. 

By Mark Twain. Cloth^ gilt cdges^ 2s 6d. Seventh 
Edition. 



Bv DOROTHEA GERARD 

A QUEEN OF CUBDS AND CREAM. By 

the Author of * Lady Baby,' * Etelka's Vow,' etc. 
Crown %vo^ cloth^ 3s 6d. Third Edition, 

The Standard says : — ' It would be difficult for the author of " I^dy 
Baby " to give us anything but a clever novel.* 



THE FBENCH-ENQLISH VADE MECUM : 

OR, GENERAL INTERPRETER. Intended as an 
instantaneous means of making oneself understood 
when staying, travelling, or shopping in France. By 
Alix Vuillard and P. J. Armstrong. Crown 8vo, 
cloth^ 2S. 6d. 

. The Daily Telegraph sa5's : — * The simple arrangement of bringing 
French and English phrases opposite each other on parallel pages tends 
with the classification of subjects, to speedy reference.* 



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