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have been taught lessons, and who keep to the bush, as they know their weakness.'

*Zulu spies are out,' said Victor, who had returned from some neighbouring hills, near which he had been on watch. 'I saw three men running rapidly over the open ground beyond my station; they are going to report to Dingaan our approach.'

"We shall be ready for him whenever he shows himself,' exclaimed Uys; "and we have our relatives and friends to avenge; so let us remember this as well as that our own safety depends upon the defeat of the Zulus.'

'I cannot help thinking,' whispered Hans to Victor, that if we had more men it would be better for us. I understand that some of our people, with some English and deserters from the Zulus, are making an attack on Dingaan from near the coast; if now we all were to join, it would be better. One stick is easy to break after another, but if you tie ten together it is not so easy.'

“We must trust to our leaders, Hans,' replied Victor, and fight well for our cause.'

[graphic][merged small]

The Boers advance towards Zulu Land-Their Battle with the

Zulus-Hans' Danger-Lost-The Artifice—The Race for Life.

HE emigrant farmers advanced through the

ceded territory of Natal, crossed the Zugela

river, and approached the kraal of Dingaan. Only a few spies were observed in their march, and it . was feared that the Zulu monarch had becomed alarmed, and had retreated into some stronghold in the interior.

Near the kraal of Um kung kunglovo, Dingaan's residence, there was a defile between two hills, and upon the emigrants entering this the Zulu army first showed itself, but, as though fearing the emigrants, the army rapidly retired towards the kraal.

"There stand the murderer's soldiers,' exclaimed Uys : ' let us follow them. And the emigrants pursued their foes, who shortly showed a front, and, with fearful yells, charged their invaders. Another division of the Zulu army, which had remained concealed until the emigrants had passed it, suddenly emerged and cut off the retreat of the horsemen, who were thus attacked from front and

rear.

An Ambuscade.

183 On either side too the Zulus sprang up, and the emigrants were thus prevented from adopting their usual successful mode of warfare; viz. loading whilst retreating or advancing, halting and firing, and again riding away.

It became evident to all the party that their crafty enemy had inveigled them into a trap, and had thus drawn them on, until they had entered this very unfavourable place for fighting on horseback. With a rapidlyarranged system, the Boers directed their fire upon one portion of the mass of their enemies, and thus slaying them by hundreds, cleared a way for themselves out of their difficulty.

Hans, with his two companions, had ridden near their leader from the beginning of the combat. The heavy weapons carried by these three hunters, and their accurate aim, had produced terrific effects on the Zulus, the bullets in many cases having passed through two men and wounded a third. Hans had been one of the first to see the threatened danger of being irrecoverably hemmed in by the enemy, and had shouted the advice, All fire on the rear Zulus : clear a way out over them.'

Had the whole party adopted this plan, there would not have been any great loss on the part of the white men ; unfortunately, however, the leader Uys turned from the direction in which the main body were firing, and followed by Hans and about twenty others, dashed through a weak party of Zulus, and thus hoped to escape.

The Zulus, however, were dangerous even to death : several men who had fallen wounded raised themselves as they saw their enemies approaching, and even as the horses trod on their limbs these hard-lived warriors stabbed the steeds which were above them, and, in several cases, wounded the riders. Onward rode the emigrants, however, and their escape seemed certain, although separated from the main body of the party, until they suddenly found themselves on the edge of a ravine, which their horses could not get over. At this time Uys the leader was badly wounded, and his horse sinking under him, he called to his followers to escape, though he could not. At this time Hans' horse received a second wound, and he, finding it could carry him no longer, and that hundreds of the enemy were rushing up to finish the work they had begun on the gallant Uys, he jumped from his horse, and rushed into the ravine, the side of which was densely wooded; and thus, whilst the Zulus were occupied in slaying Uys and his son, who would not leave his father, Hans managed to run or force his way through the underwood, and reached a slope beyond, from which none of his enemies or friends could be seen.

The main body of the Dutch, having cleared a way for themselves by shooting all the Zulus who opposed them, rode on at a gallop till they had cleared the ravine and bushy ground near Dingaan's kraal, and obtained a position in the plains where the Zulus dared not follow them, even had the Dutch waited for them; but finding that Hans reported Dead.

185

the Zulus were a more powerful enemy than they had imagined, and hearing from those of their party who had followed Uys that he, his son, and one or two others had been killed, amongst whom Hans was stated to be, the farmers became disheartened, and returned at once to their head-quarters.

Several of the farmers had seen Hans' horse badly wounded, and when they had escaped from Uys and his son, they saw Hans leave his horse and enter the ravine on foot. They believed he would have no chance of escape, for the enemy were in hundreds, and they therefore reported without hesitation that he was killed, for they believed he must be so. Had either Victor or Bernhard believed that he was still alive, they would have been disposed to venture back in the hope of aiding their friend; but hearing he was dead, they knew they could be of no service, and therefore rode on with their companions.

Upon reaching their head-quarters, and reporting the loss of their gallant leader, his son, and a few others, there was great grief at the läger. All who knew Hans liked him, and expected him some day to be a useful guide to them in all matters of war; so that he was bewailed by all. Katrine bore her grief silently; she would not move from her waggon, and sat rigid and corpse-like for hours, refusing all consolation, and asserting her belief that Hans was not dead.

The emigrants immediately sent messengers to their countrymen, demanding aid; but having heard that the

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