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Some time later I was informed that the man who had carried the request into Senekal was ex-Commandant Vilonel, who was then serving as a private burgher. A few days later he surrendered, so that one naturally inferred that he had arranged it all during his visit to Senekal.

No sooner had we got out of range of the enemy's fire, than the first of the reinforcements, which we had expected from Bloemfontein, arrived, under the command of Vechtgeneraal Andreas Cronje. With him were Commandants Thewnissen, of Winburg, and Vilonel, of Senekal. A council was at once held as to the best method of effecting the release of General Cronje.

The night was so dark that it was impossible to recognize anybody. "Where is Veldtcornet ?" asked Mr. Vilonel. "You are my prisoner," was Captain Pretorius' reply, as he took Vilonel's horse by the bridle. "Treason! treason!" cried poor Vilonel. They brought him back to the camp, and sent him thence to Bethlehem.

On the contrary, when compared with other nations, they are remarkable for their sobriety, and it is considered by them a disgrace for a man to be drunk. They were respectively under Commandants Piet Fourie, Crowther, Fouche, De Villiers, Michal Prinsloo and Vilonel; and these Commandants took orders from Vechtgeneraals J.B. Wessels, A.P. Cronje, C.C. Froneman, W. Kolbe and Philip Botha.

Shortly after he had given up his arms, he sent a letter to one of the Veldtcornets, asking him to come to such and such a spot on a certain evening, to meet an English officer and himself. The letter never reached the hands of the person to whom Vilonel had addressed it; and instead of the Veldtcornet, it was Captain Pretorius with a few burghers, who went to the appointed place.

He asked that the attack should be postponed until he had examined Sanna's Post through his telescope. My patience was now at an end. I told Commandant Vilonel that he must obey my orders, and that if he did not do so I should dismiss him, unless he himself resigned. He preferred to resign. My secretary procured paper, and the Commandant wrote out his resignation.

The following day I concealed my commando, and that evening some spies, on whom I could rely, and who were aware of my secret intentions, brought me all the information I required. At this point I had a great deal of trouble with Commandant Vilonel.

The prisoner Vilonel, also, was conducted to this town. At four o'clock that afternoon the advance guards of the enemy approached; and fifteen of their scouts made their appearance on the ridge to the north of the town. The burghers reserved their fire until these men were almost upon them. Then they let their Mausers speak, and in a moment there were nine riderless horses.

This Vilonel, a young man of prepossessing appearance, had been one of the most promising officers, and had early been promoted to commandant. Whether through overweening ambition on his part or not I cannot say, but Vilonel, accused of insubordination, was thenceforth given the distasteful and inglorious task of commandeering. He wearied of this, and applied for active service, but in vain.

Here again I had trouble with Commandant Vilonel. I had little time to argue the sun was already setting, and we had to be off at once. I had declined to allow a single waggon to go with me, but the Commandant declared that he would not abide by the decision of the council of war. He also refused to allow his burghers to go into positions which he himself had not reconnoitred.