The Defence of Duffer's Drift

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Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 17,884 / 56 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.4
LoC Category: U
Downloads: 1,110
Added to site: 2008.03.16
mnybks.net#: 20324
Origin: gutenberg.org

Upon an evening after a long and tiring trek, I arrived at Dreamdorp. The local atmosphere, combined with a heavy meal, are responsible for the following nightmare, consisting of a series of dreams. To make the sequence of the whole intelligible, it is necessary to explain that, though the scene of each vision was the same, yet by some curious mental process I had no recollection of the place whatsoever. In each dream the locality was totally new to me, and I had an entirely fresh detachment. Thus I had not the great advantage of working over familiar ground. One thing, and one only, was carried on from dream to dream, and that was the vivid recollection of the general lessons previously learnt. These finally produced success.

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his, to my horror, I recognized as my unhappy camera. Here, I suppose, my mind must have slightly wandered, for I found myself repeating some Latin lines, once my favorite imposition, but forgotten since my school-days--

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes----"

when suddenly the voice of the field cornet broke into my musing with "Your breeches, too, captain."

* * * * *

Trekking all that day on foot, sockless, and in the boots of another, I had much to think of besides my throbbing head. The sight of the long Boer convoy with guns, which had succeeded so easily in crossing the drift I was to have held, was a continual reminder of my failure, and of my responsibility for the dreadful losses to my poor detachment. I gradually gathered from the Boers what I had already partially guessed, namely, that they had been fetched and guided all round our camp by friend Brink, had surrounded it in the dark, crawling about in the bush on the river bank, and had carefully marked down our two

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