We were told that the troops were shortly going forward to rendezvous at Nasri Island, whereas it was a matter of notoriety that Wad Habeshi, which was further south, had been selected as the advanced camp for the army on leaving Dakhala. Of course, not one word of the true state of matters were we permitted to wire home.

Nasri Island, however, was retained as a depôt, and a small force was left there. On Friday, the 26th of August, after a great fantasia and war-dance, Stuart Wortley's column of armed friendlies moved south. That evening they encountered and drove back a small body of dervish horsemen. On our side of the Nile, part of the cavalry had been scouting up to 10 miles south of El Hejir.

As these allies and the Sirdar's forces were to march by the river's margin when possible, signalling would be nearly always practicable between them. Telegraphic communication was opened to Wad Hamid from Dakhala by Captain Manifold, R.E., and his sappers almost as soon as the troops got into camp. With much hard work the line had been put upon poles as far south as Nasri.

Major-Generals Hunter and Gatacre, having learned that the dervish infantry had been withdrawn from Shabluka, scouted south up to the cataract and selected Wad Habeshi as a suitable camp and rendezvous. That village, or rather district, is on the west bank, south of Nasri Island and but fifteen miles north of Shabluka. A big zereba was made at Wad Habeshi and trenches were dug.

The wounds received in battle had scarce been dressed before the Sirdar was seeking to give effect to his schemes for the well-being of the Soudanese. Means were taken for the speedy connecting by telegraph of Suakin and Berber, Suakin, Kassala, Gedarif, Khartoum. The wire from Dakhala to Nasri was brought on to Omdurman a few days after the victory.

It lives, like the earth-mouse, in small holes in the ground. I saw flocks of them at two of the most barren places in the desert, where there was no trace of a blade of grass to be discovered, far and wide. Towards 10 o'clock in the morning, we halted for two hours only at Chan Nasri, as I was resolved to reach Hilla today.

SIR, It having been decided that an expeditionary force of British and Egyptian troops should be sent against the Khalifa's army in Omdurman, I have the honour to inform you that the following troops were concentrated at the North End of the Sixth Cataract, in close proximity to which an advanced supply depôt had been previously formed at Nasri Island.

Detachments, true enough, had been sent ahead to "cut wood" and set up a camp upon Nasri Island. But that was merely to have a secure secondary depôt and hospital station. It had been ascertained after the occupation of Shendy that the dervishes were in no great strength at Shabluka or the Sixth Cataract.

Nasri Island as a base of concentration was, as I have intimated, a blind. Although we correspondents were not permitted to go up the river, or indeed move beyond the Atbara, until the Sirdar and headquarters had started, yet we kept ourselves fully informed of all that was happening at the front.

But that my man was very apprehensive of meeting patrolling dervishes, I would have ridden direct across country, starting from a point opposite Nasri Island, where the depôt of supplies was. The consequence was that I rode over fifty miles on Monday. However, I managed to reach Wady Hamed before sunset. On my way in I met the Sirdar, out, as usual, on an inspecting tour.