The Tricks of War.
The tricks and stratagems of war in the Basuto country are something akin to those which gamekeepers adopt in the destruction of “ vermin.” The follo.ving extract from a private letter, written by a rifle volunteer, appeared in the Cape Times of the 20th December last:—“We went out for seven days patrol, which expired on the 14th inst., but on the 2nd, the colonel sent for fresh supplies for seven days. The first seven days were spent on the scene of our wood patrol, where we had two fights and a night attack. Before leaving, thinking the niggers would like some amusement, a hole was dug, in which was placed one pound of dynamite. A carbine was buried, and fastened by a string to an ammunition case, so that when anyone opened the case the carbine would go off, thus causing the amusement. As soon as we started, I went off to the ridge, where we had lunch on the day of the wood patrol, to watch the effect, but the niggers funked the guns, and would not go near until we were well out of sight. Just before we arrived at our present laager we heard the explosion, and scouts on the ridge stated that a crowd of niggers assembled in the laager, and four spied the case and made for it at the same lime, one opening it, and three looking on ; the next instant there was an earthquake—and four Basutos disappeared. The crowd made tracks, forgetting in their hurry to take their horses, which gallopped all over the country. Doubtless this will have a wholesome effect, and cause them to fight shy of our camping places.”
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The Tricks of War., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 299, 22 March 1881
The Tricks of War. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 299, 22 March 1881
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