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Among the men of exemplary and consistent piety in the Transvaal are conspicuous: President Krüger, State Secretary Reitz, Commandant-General Joubert, General Piet Cronjé, and others holding highest positions, and also many of the Volksraad members, including the late General Kock.

They forgot that the Boers, who for three months had held Buller back at the Tugela, were the same Boers who were rushed across the Free State to rescue Cronje from Roberts, and who were then sent to meet the relief column at Fourteen Streams, and were then ordered back again to harass Roberts at Sannahspost, and who, at last, worn out, stale, heartsick, and hopeless at the unequal odds and endless fighting, fell back at Sand River.

Cronjé, therefore, appears on the scene on this occasion without much to prejudice the unbiassed reader in his favour. The condition of Dr. Jameson's surrender revived the feeling that Mr. Cronjé has need to do something remarkable in another direction in order to encourage that confidence in him as an impartial and fair-minded man which his past career unfortunately does not warrant.

There are at present three strong commandos of burghers fighting upon the British side, commanded by three Boer Generals Marais, Celliers, and the younger Cronje, all of whom had made their names in fighting against us. This fact alone goes far to dispel those stories of British barbarity with which I shall presently deal.

In a few hours, however, the soundness of Kelly-Kenny's judgment was shown; the attack became an investment, which was prolonged many days by the moral and physical exhaustion of the troops, who after forced marches by day and night on scanty rations were hustled without method into a costly battle. By 8 a.m. Kitchener was able to report to Head Quarters that Cronje was hemmed in.

When the Sabbath sun descended and the four thousand Boers sang their psalms and hymns of thanksgiving there was probably only one man who believed that the burghers would ever be able to escape from the forces which surrounded them, and that man was General Cronje. He realised the gravity of the situation, but he was as calm as if he had been victorious in a battle.

There was news that Cronje had decamped from Mafeking and was at Modder River with an augmented force; but this did not for the moment interest us. What they told us of his inglorious retreat from the north was not to the point; it was enough that he had been wafted south by an ill wind that might blow us no good luck.

Cheering auguries there were in plenty, but we guardedly declined to be cheered, and pretended to snigger sceptically at the auguries. It might be that the Boers had been "driven out of Colesburg," but we did not believe it, on principle. From the same source we learned that Cronje was a prisoner; but he was not! so that our incredulity was in a measure justifiable to the end.

Until they passed Jacobsdal they thought they were going to the relief of Kimberley, but all unknown to them General French's cavalry had already performed that feat, and the direction of their march was changed. It was theirs to follow in pursuit of Cronje instead. In one terrible twenty-four hours they marched thirty-eight miles, and on Sunday morning, February 18th, they reached Paardeberg.

That Commandant Cronjé then, in compliance with the note sent by Commandant Potgieter, as well as the other commandants and officers mentioned in the declaration of Cronjé, rode up. That Commandant Cronjé then explained his own note. That thereupon also Commandant Malan joined his co-commandants and officers, and at this time Commandants Malan, Cronjé, and Potgieter were present.