One of the enemy's Maxim-Nordenfelts had loosed off a group of the gaily-painted little shells. With the reduplicated rattle of the detonation, they passed over the laager, bursting as they went, sending their fan-shaped showers of splinters broadcast. Slatternly women and scared children bolted for their burrows.
Two other guns, the Maxim-Nordenfelts of Elandslaagte, manned by a comparatively weak detachment, took up a position on their own account at the foot of King's Post near our old permanent, but now disused, camp, whence they could bring a fire to bear on the same point.
The British Squadron and a detachment of the Chilian fleet thundered out a salute which was answered a few moments later by the shore batteries, Redgrave went down into the deck-chamber and fired twenty-one shots from one of the Maxim-Nordenfelts the same with which he had mown down the crowds of Martians in the square of their great city a hundred and thirty million miles away, and while he was doing this Zaidie in the conning-tower ran the White Ensign up to the top of the flagstaff.
Our batteries, aided by Captain Kinnaird-Smith's two Maxim-Nordenfelts, covered the retirement, but they could not put Surprise Hill out of action, or even attempt a reply to the redoubtable "Long Tom" of Pepworth's Hill, who on this occasion surpassed himself by throwing three shells in succession on the road by Range Post Gap from a distance that must be well over 9000 yards.