Have you heard that all the while he was a traitor in the pay of Cetewayo, and that he went over, with the regiments of his command, to the Usutu just when the battle hung upon the turn? Come, Traitor, here is my heart the heart that loved and trusted you. Strike strike hard!" "Out of the way, Macumazahn!" hissed Saduko. But I would not stir.
At least, within three minutes that Usutu regiment was no more. That regiment had gone, taking nearly a third of our number with it, for in such a battle as this the wounded were as good as dead. Practically our first line had vanished in a fray that did not last more than a few minutes. Before it was well over the second Usutu regiment sprang up and charged.
"O Watcher-by-Night and O Maputa, Indhlovu-ene-sihlonti prays that you will hold back the Usutu, as the King bade you do in case of need, and so give to him and those who cling to him time to escape with the women and children into Natal. His general, Saduko, has betrayed him, and gone over with three regiments to Cetewayo, and therefore we can no longer stand against the thousands of the Usutu."
"Because we shall take many of those down into the darkness with us, Macumazahn," and he pointed to the dense masses of the Usutu. "Yet," he added, with a touch of compunction, "this is not your quarrel. You and your servant have horses. Slip out, if you will, and gallop hard to the lower drift. You may get away with your lives." Then my white man's pride came to my aid.
I am glad indeed, Macumazahn, that you have escaped without harm, but I must tell you that I fear henceforth your life will be in danger, since all the Usutu party will hold it forfeit if they can catch you.
Only I noted that Saduko did not mention the name of "Panda's favoured son" upon whose head he hoped to live to set the crown. Now, Panda had many sons, and that day would show which of them was favoured. A minute or two later John Dunn and his following departed, as he said, to try to make peace with the advancing Usutu.
He rode up almost to the point of the left horn of the Usutu, waving a white handkerchief and followed by his small force of police and Natal Kafirs. Then from somewhere among the Usutu rose a puff of smoke. Dunn had been fired at. He dropped the handkerchief and leapt to the ground. Now he and his police were firing rapidly in reply, and men fell fast among the Usutu.
When I began to get better, Scowl and some Zulu friends who came to see me informed me that the whole land was in a fearful state of disorder, and that Umbelazi's adherents, the Isigqosa, were still being hunted out and killed. It seems that it was even suggested by some of the Usutu that I should share their fate, but on this point Panda was firm.
Then suddenly, from the midst of the Isigqosa army, emerged a great body of men, thousands strong, which ran swiftly, but in open order, down the slope towards the Usutu, holding their spears reversed. At first I thought that they were charging independently, till I saw the Usutu ranks open to receive them with a shout of welcome. "Treachery!" I said. "Who is it?"
They fled in a hideous rout, crashing through the thin, left horn of the Usutu by mere weight of numbers, and passing behind us obliquely on their road to the banks of the Tugela. A messenger rushed up to us, panting. "These are the words of Umbelazi," he gasped.