A Baffling Ambush

TranquilpenStarred Page By Tranquilpen, 20th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/16eznrkj/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

For months after the big battle at Aliwal North, after the fighting between the Boer commandos and the British forces, in which several buildings were damaged one of which was the town hall which had been completely destroyed having taken a direct hit from British artillery fire...

The Deadly Mountain Pass

Between Aliwal North and Kareefontein was a steep mountain pass of ten miles long. Aliwal North was an outpost of the British army headquarters 195 miles away at the city of Bloemfontein, while Kareefontein had the same relation to the Boer commandos' headquarters at East London. In the aftermath of the attack at the town of Aliwal North, while hastily moving out their dead and wounded, to the safety of their stronghold at Kareefontein, the Boers had also found the bodies of three non combatants, those of the Mayor and two of his councilors among the debris and rubble of the demolished town hall.

Since the battle, these outposts were constantly at each others' throats, most of which occurring on the mountain pass mentioned, between these two detachments.The British army at Aliwal North and the Burghers of the Boer commando at Kareefontein. Frequently the British would discharge their long range field guns indiscriminately in
the general direction of Kareefontein, sending the Burghers cursingly diving for cover. Sometimes the Boers took a hand in the game by way of showing their “good-will.” and sneaking up to a vantage point at the crest of the pass and putting the Boer snipers well within range of their 30-40 caliber, Long range Swedish/American “1896 model Krag-Jorgensen”carbines, a gift from U.S President Teddy Roosevelds' "Rough Riders" regiment which was loosely fashioned around the successful Boer commando style of warfare. One night a unit of Boer horsemen, commanded by Commandant Paul Reitz a gallant and skillful officer, moved out from Kareefontein on an uncommonly hazardous enterprise requiring secrecy, caution and silence.

One Of The Forward Scouts Are Missing

Passing their Burgher pickets, the cavalcade soon approached a group of two of their forward scouts picketed in a shallow ditch at the side of the notorious pass, staring hard into the darkness towards Aliwal North which lay ahead. "There should have been three, where is your other man?" asked the Commandant "I ordered Martin Du Toit to join you here tonight." "He rode forward, sir," the man replied."There was a little firing afterward, it was coming from the direction of the poplar tree forest ahead." "It was against orders and against sense for Du Toit to do that," said the officer, obviously vexed."Why did he ride forward?" "Don't know sir; he seemed mighty jittery." When this remarkable reasoner and his companion had been absorbed into the Commandant's expeditionary force, it resumed its advance toward the poplar forest.

All conversation was forbidden; arms and accouterments were prevented from rattling The horses' tramping was all that could be heard their progress was slow in order to have as little as possible of that. It was after 2 am. and pretty dark, although there was a full moon somewhere behind the masses of cloud. Two or three miles along,the head of the column approached the dense forest of Poplar trees bordering the road on both sides. The Commandant ordered a halt by merely reining in his own horse, and, evidently himself a bit "jittery," holding up his hand, as an indication to the main detachment to wait, he rode ahead alone to reconnoiter. He had been followed, by his adjutant and three of his senior Burghers who remained a short distance behind and,unseen by
him, saw all that occurred.

The Expeditionary Force Draw Their Hunting Knives

After riding about a hundred yards toward the forest, Paul Reitz again reined in his
horse and sat motionless in the saddle. Near the side of the road, in a little open space
and hardly ten paces away, stood the figure of a man,dimly visible and as motionless as he was. The Commandants' first feeling was that of satisfaction of having left his detachment behind; if this were an enemy and should escape he would have little to report.

His expedition was as yet undetected. Some dark object was dimly discernible at the man's feet; the officer could not make it out. With the characteristics of a true horseman and a particular indisposition to the discharge of firearms, he drew his German “Solingen” steel long bladed hunting knife. A versatile farming tool no self respecting farmer would ever be caught without. The man standing in front of him made no movement in answer to the challenge. The situation was tense and somewhat dramatic. Suddenly the moon burst through a rift in the clouds and himself in the shadows of a group of giant yellow wood trees, the officer saw the footman clearly, standing in a patch of white light. It was unmistakably young Martin Du Toit, unarmed and bare headed.

The Object At His Feet Was A Dead Horse

The object at his feet resolved itself, it was a dead horse, and at a right angle across
the animal's neck lay a dead man, face upward in the moonlight. "Du Toit has had the fight his life," thought the Commandant, and was about to ride forward when Du Toit suddenly raised his hand, motioning him back with a gesture of warning; then, lowering the arm, he pointed to the place where the road lost itself in the blackness of the poplar forest behind him. The Commandant understood, and turning his horse rode back to the little group that had followed him and was already moving to the rear in fear of his displeasure, and so he returned to the head of his command. "Du Toit is just ahead there," he whispered to the senior Burgher in charge of his leading company. "He has killed one of the enemy and will have something to report when he returns" Patiently they waited, hunting knives drawn, but Du Toit never came...
.

"If Du Toit Was Dead, Who Had Warned The Commandant?"

In the time they spent waiting for Du Toits' return, not a single suspicious sound was
heard. As day broke, the whole force moved cautiously forward, its commander not altogether satisfied with his faith in young Martin Du Toit. His expedition had failed, but something needed to be done first. In the little open space off the road they found the fallen horse. At a right angle across the animal's neck face upward, a bullet in the brain, lay the body of Martin Du Toit, stiff and cold as a statue, the blood from his fatal head wound as well as that found at the area on the ground where he had bled out, was almost bone dry which would indicate that he had been dead for several hours. On their inspection of the adjacent poplar forest, abundant evidence was found indicating, that a strong contingent of British troops had been lying in ambush in the poplar forest, and had only departed a mere 30 minutes before commandant Paul Reitzs' arrival...

Foot Note

This website features some insight into President Roosevelds' remarkable "Rough Riders" regiment, CLICK HERE

Tags

Ghosts, Paranoral Activity, Paranoral Acvtivity, Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Experiences, Paranormal Horror, Spirit, Spirit Guide, Spiritual Realm

Meet the author

author avatar Tranquilpen
As Andre' Hartslief, I strongly believe, that In life, there are no justified resentments.”We the old legends will become relics and fade away, while new giants emerge in our world of sobering truths.

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Comments

author avatar johnbee
20th May 2013 (#)

Interesting article! It was amusing sorta!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
21st May 2013 (#)

Thank you Johnbe, so is your comment,sorta!

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author avatar ammu1115
20th May 2013 (#)

nice article

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author avatar Tranquilpen
21st May 2013 (#)

Hello Ammu1115

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
20th May 2013 (#)

Well written. Interesting.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
21st May 2013 (#)

Hello Eileen, thank you my friend, I need to fix a few errors in the punctuation I noticed. Thanks for reading

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th May 2013 (#)

another of your fascinating pages ...thank you

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author avatar Tranquilpen
21st May 2013 (#)

Thanks CN for reading, see my comment above.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
21st May 2013 (#)

Mystery and history, well told and very fascinating Tranquilpen, thank you

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd May 2013 (#)

Hello Delicia, thank you for reading my friend

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author avatar C.D. Moore
21st May 2013 (#)

Interesting article.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd May 2013 (#)

Hi CD, thank you for your comment my friend

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author avatar Songbird B
22nd May 2013 (#)

I am so sure that the spirit lives on after death, and this fascinating article seemed to prove just that..Spooky, but utterly captivating Andre'..\0/x

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd May 2013 (#)

Hello dear Bev, thank you for your inspirational comment. The new one (a complete work of fiction) has just been published. Enjoy.

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