Panting and begrimed with smoke and powder, we stood looking at each other and around us. The tents of the waggons were ripped to pieces, in our own I counted more than sixty spear cuts, and the trampled turf inside the laager was like the back of an angry porcupine, for from it we gathered nearly fourteen hundred heavy assegais.
I reported to the general that, in my judgment, the huts should have floors and bunks, because the ground was wet when they were built, they could not be struck like tents to dry and air the earth, and they were meant to be permanent quarters for the rendezvous of troops for an indefinite time. The decision of McClellan was in accordance with the report.
We took everything with us, tents, stoves, provisions, all sufficient to enable us to live independently for three or four months, not to mention the "law library" and surveying apparatus.
On his account she constantly returned to the northern part of the camp which adjoined the road coming from Tanis and where now, at Moses' bidding, the tents of most of the men capable of bearing arms were pitched.
The same tribe came up to our tents in the morning with the men who had been in charge of the cattle, and who reported that these natives had assisted in finding them. I was so much pleased with this kindness and the quiet, orderly behaviour of the tribe that I presented two of them with clasp-knives.
The show at the evening performance was pushed forward with a rush, while many anxious eyes were upon the skies, for it was believed that the heaviest rainstorm in years was about to fall. By dint of much hard work, together with a great deal of shouting and racket, the tents were off the field by the time indicated by Mr. Sparling, and loaded. A quick start was made.
It was the hot season in the end of April, when a good supply of ice is beyond price; the soda-water was supplied from Jubbulpur, and with good tents, kuskos tatties, and cool drinks, the heat was bearable.
There were two or three passengers on board for Bluff City, a new and prosperous mining camp, composed chiefly, though so late in the season, of tents. Lumber and supplies of different kinds had to be put off.
John Jennings laughed. "You'd make a good lawyer on the defence," said the Squire, good-naturedly, "but, by the Lord Harry, if all the trees of the earth were mine, men might live in tents and travel in caravans till doomsday for all I'd cut one down!" The Colonel and Jennings did not go into the mill, but they nodded and sang out good-naturedly to Jerome as they passed.
It is not at all surprising that they overheard this conversation, for not only the tents, but even the houses used by these Asiatic nations were built of very frail and thin materials, and the partitions were often made of canvas and felt, and other such substances as could have very little power to intercept sound.