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There was a ford near my farm with sandy banks; and I told the Commandants to bury the ammunition in this sand, on the south side of the river, and to obliterate all traces of what they had done by crossing and re-crossing the spot with the waggons. I found out subsequently that the Commandants had left some of the ammunition behind at Roodewal.

I did not approve of this course of action, and obtained from the Government the rank of Assistant Commander-in-Chief. I was thus able to re-appoint the old Vechtgeneraals, Piet de Wet, C.C. Froneman, Philip Botha and Paul Roux, and I at once proceeded to do so. Roodewal

I received a report the following day that thirty English troops had been seen eight miles to the west of Roodewal, and moving in the direction of Kroonstad. I despatched General Froneman with thirty of the burghers to fetch them in.

With this in view, I sent the Commandants, when night had fallen, to Roodewal, each with two waggons, and ordered them to bring it to my farm at Roodepoort, which was three miles away from the railway bridge over the Rhenoster River.

I had to unburden my heart. Now let me proceed. On the evening of the 1st of January, 1901, I pushed on towards Roodewal Station, for I had obtained all the waggons I needed for my purpose. Perhaps that night the outposts were asleep; but however that may be, we reached the railway without the enemy being aware of our movements.

Fortunately, all this occurred out of sight of Roodewal Station and Heilbron, and, as not a single shot had been fired, I had no reason so far to fear that there was any obstacle in the way of my main project the capture of the valuable booty at Roodewal. I at once returned with my capture to the spot where we had been the previous night.

Judge of my regret when, a week or so later, we heard of the magnificent blow delivered at Roodewal. After this sudden swoop De Wet returned to the vicinity of Heilbron. The chief and I drove out to his camp. It was interesting to see his entire band clad in complete khaki, with only the flapping, loose-hanging felt hats to show their nationality.

To this end I went with these officers to the other side of the railway line, in order to meet General Philip Botha in the country to the south-east of Heilbron, and also, if possible, General Hattingh, who was in command of the Harrismith and Vrede burghers. We succeeded in crossing the railway between Roodewal and Serfontein siding, but not without fighting.

At Roodewal only two of my men had been wounded, whilst General Froneman had lost but one killed a burgher named Myringen and two slightly wounded. It had been a wonderful day for us a day not easily forgotten. We were deeply thankful for our success. Our only regret was that it had been impossible for us to keep more of the clothing and ammunition.

So I made my choice and fought my fight at Roodewal, last strange battle in the West. That is K.'s way. The envoy goes forth; does his best with whatever forces he can muster and, if he loses; well, unless he had liked the job he should not have taken it on. At that moment K. wished me to bow, leave the room and make a start as I did some thirteen years ago.