But this misfortune was not due to the blockhouses. On the contrary, they were taken prisoners when they were attempting to hide themselves in small bodies. In this way more than a hundred burghers fell into the hands of the English. There were now with me Commandant Mentz, and portions of the commandos of Commandants Bester, Cilliers, and Mears.

At meetings held with these commandos the following representatives were chosen: General Nieuwouwdt, and the Commandants Munnik Hertzog, J. Van der Merwe, C. Van Niekerk, Flemming, A.J. Bester, F. Jacobsz, H. Pretorius, and Veldtcornet Kritzinger. At these meetings also the burghers were unanimous in their decision not to give up their independence.

Our loss was also heavy fourteen dead and thirty wounded; among the dead were Commandant Olivier from Bethlehem and Vice-Veldtcornet Jan Dalebout from Harrismith; among the wounded was one of my own staff, Gert de Wet. Later on two more died, one of them being Veldtcornet Louwrens. I appointed Mr. A.J. Bester as Commandant in the place of Commandant Olivier.

My three adjutants, Bester, Redelinghuisen, and J. Viljoen, carefully dressed in as much "khaki" as they could collect, and parading respectively as Colonels Bullock, "Jack," and "Cooper," all of His Majesty's forces, proceeded one fine evening to Dullstroom Church, to ascertain if the Steenkamps would agree to surrender and fight under the British flag.

We discovered afterwards that our suspicions were well-founded, and that the moving objects were kaffir spies, who returned to the British lines and reported our approach. Having failed in this enterprise we returned to the road, I riding in advance with Adjutant Bester, the others following.

Half an hour after the Squire went out she ordered the carriage round, had two small trunks, which she had packed herself, brought down, and leisurely, with her little green bag, got in. To her maid, to the butler Bester, to the coachman Benson, she said that she was going up to stay with Mr. George.

I don't look as though I'd bin ill, do I? But I was, though: for it was just stiflin' hot up in our workrooms all larse month, an' tailorin's awful hard work at the bester times. Willoughby felt a sudden accession of interest in her.

Two companies were to-day thrown out along the further edge of their hill in extended order as firing line, and soon after dawn the Boers began to creep down the opposite steep by two or three at a time into one of the many farms owned by Bester, a notorious traitor, now kept safe in Ladysmith.

He assured me that his regiment entertained the highest respect for me and my burghers, and that they appreciated the fact that we had fought fairly and gallantly and had well-treated our prisoners-of-war. Bester and I remained under Milner's care throughout our stay at Lydenburg, and I shall always remember with gratitude the kindness extended me by the officers of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Welden after looking at her for a few seconds was prompted by some sublimely simple intuition, and gently sidled Mrs. Bester and her youngest into the little kitchen, where the copper was. "Her helpin' him like she did, makes it come near," she whispered. "Dessay it seems as if he was a'most like a relation." Old Doby sat and looked at his goddess.