As soon as the guns had driven the enemy into their trenches on Brakfontein, a pontoon bridge was to be thrown across the river south of Hunger's Drift, and the guns on Zwart Kop were to open on Vaalkrantz, and when this had been sufficiently bombarded, it would be carried by the infantry, and guns would be brought up to enfilade the Boer line; while the cavalry "when feasible" would push through under the ridge and threaten it from the rear.

Buller proposed to occupy the ridge of Vaalkrantz with artillery, and after a feint attack on the Boer position on Brakfontein, to push through under cover of the guns. It was believed that the enemy's extreme left lay on Vaalkrantz, which was commanded by Mount Alice and Zwart Kop.

I have had them read to me, and the people who make them should be shot. Hear you now. You shall write to them and say: 'Selig Brounckers is a merciful man and a just. He is not as zwart as he is painted. He caught me mousing round his hoofd laager at Tweipans and what does he do?" The pause was impressive.

The Pietermaritzburg Y.M.C.A., for instance, provided two correspondence tents, which were of great service to the troops. We have the report of No. 1 tent before us. From December to April this tent was pitched successively at Chievely, Frere, Springfield, Spearman's, Zwart Kopjes, beyond Colenso, outside Ladysmith, Modder Spruit, and finally at Orange River Junction.

It was a pretty tactical scheme, with much of the War-Game about it, and it depended for its success upon the practicability of using Vaalkrantz as an artillery position, and upon the correctness of the assumption that the enemy was not in force eastward of it. Buller was not successful in placing his guns on Zwart Kop unnoticed by the enemy, who was warned in time.

The advance of the feint would be covered by heavy guns posted on Mount Alice, and concealed batteries on Zwart Kop would open on Vaalkrantz in support of the real attack. The bulk of the infantry was posted in the east loop, so as to appear ready to cross the river and support the feint attack between the loops.

To the Boers it appeared that another attack, determined while it lasted, but devoid of backbone, had been kept at bay. The guns on Zwart Kop opened on Vaalkrantz as soon as the detached battery was seen to be in motion; and the other batteries came into action as they arrived from the Brakfontein demonstration.