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But under the supervision of Commandant Piet Fourie, whom I appointed Conductor-in-Chief, matters improved from hour to hour. After a short time I issued orders that the convoy should proceed over Koffiefontein to Edenberg.

The remainder of the Bethlehem burghers under Commandant Prinsloo and Veldtcornet Du Preez, remained with me to assist me in getting under my supervision the commandos which had escaped from behind the Roodebergen. These were under the command of General Fourie, and some were in the south of the State. I left Captain Scheepers behind me with orders to wreck the line every night.

We had hopes that if the river did not all of a sudden rise, we should find one. We came so close to the English that we had to open fire on their advance guard before we could proceed. Here General Judge Hartzog met us with his commandos from the south-west of Cape Colony, and with him, General Fourie. That night we marched about fourteen miles.

The following day we waited there for General Fourie to join us. He arrived the next day and now we were ready to begin the game once more! Our position was embarrassing, for not only was there a large English force at General Fourie's heels, but also there were two strong columns on the north from Colesberg, which were making for Hamelfontein. And these two columns were some twelve miles from us.

On the contrary, when compared with other nations, they are remarkable for their sobriety, and it is considered by them a disgrace for a man to be drunk. They were respectively under Commandants Piet Fourie, Crowther, Fouche, De Villiers, Michal Prinsloo and Vilonel; and these Commandants took orders from Vechtgeneraals J.B. Wessels, A.P. Cronje, C.C. Froneman, W. Kolbe and Philip Botha.

From time to time we could hear the pitiful cries and entreaties of burghers who were being "finished off," but we could see nothing. My man and I had fleet horses in good condition, those of the pursuing lancers were big and clumsy. My adjutant, Piet Fourie, however, was not so fortunate as myself. He was overtaken and made a prisoner.

De Wet broke away, however, and trekking south for eighteen hours without a halt, shook off the pursuit. He had with him at this time nearly 8000 men with several guns under Haasbroek, Fourie, Philip Botha, and Steyn. It was his declared intention to invade Cape Colony with his train of weary footsore prisoners, and the laurels of Dewetsdorp still green upon him.

With forty-five Boers to hold down, and 500 under Fourie, De Wet, and De la Rey around them, the little band made rapid preparation for a desperate resistance: the prisoners were laid upon their faces, the men knocked loopholes in the mud walls of the kraal, and a blunt soldierly answer was returned to the demand for surrender. But it was a desperate business.

We knew, however, that Vice-Commandant-in-Chief Piet Fourie a man whom nothing on earth would stop, if he had once made up his mind was leading the van, and that he was supported by Veldtcornet Johannes Hattingh, who was as resolute and undaunted as his chief. Fourie did not wait for us to catch him up, but at once went down the mountain side.

My orders were that, at daybreak, they were to attack an English camp which was lying a mile to the north of the railway station at Rhenoster River, and close to some brick-coloured ridges. The third party I commanded myself. It consisted of Commandant Fourie and eighty burghers, with one Krupp; and with this force I pushed on to Roodewal Station.