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قراءة كتاب The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 56, December 2, 1897 A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls

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‏اللغة: English
The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 56, December 2, 1897
A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls

The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 56, December 2, 1897 A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1

Vol. 1            December 2, 1897.            No. 56
Copyright, 1897, by The Great Round World Publishing Company.

The recent despatches from India tell us that the soldiers who are fighting on the frontier have performed another gallant deed.

The heroes, this time, belonged to the Northamptonshire regiment.

It was necessary for the British to find out if the enemy was encamped anywhere in the neighborhood, so a portion of the troops left the British camp and marched to the summit of a mountain called Saran Sar.

There were no signs of the Afridis as they marched along, and the top of the hill was reached with little difficulty.

There they found the remains of a hastily vacated camp, and from the various signs that were around became convinced that the enemy was on the mountain with them.

Fearing an ambush, the British commander ordered his men to retreat, and the manœuvre had hardly been put in effect before the tribesmen appeared.

Following the troops closely, the Afridis fired on them from behind every bush and rock that offered cover, and, after many of the English soldiers had been killed or wounded, the tribesmen became so bold that they rushed from their cover and engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with the soldiers.

General Westmacott, who commanded the party, at once realized that he had serious work before him, and hastily arranging his forces so that he could care for the wounded and move his men as quickly as possible, the commander hastened the retreat.

It was, however, difficult to do; and in the hurry of the retreat one little party, which had charge of a convoy of wounded comrades, became separated from the rest of their comrades and were surrounded by the angry tribesmen.

The retreating army reached the camp safely about dark, and then it was discovered that a lieutenant named McIntyre and twelve soldiers were missing.

It was at first hoped that they had simply dropped behind and would reach camp any moment. When, however, hours passed and they did not return, the worst fears were entertained.

At last a soldier arrived, bringing with him the dreadful news, and telling the story of the gallant deed of the lieutenant and his brave companions.

It seems that the rough ground over which they had to travel made the progress of this little party very slow, and the care of the wounded under their charge hampered their movements so much that they at last found themselves completely cut off from their comrades.

As soon as the young officer realized what had happened to him, he despatched one of his men for aid, and with the others formed a ring around the wounded, preparing to defend them until help arrived.

The wounded men, on their part, behaved as nobly as the lieutenant himself.

Realizing the situation, they begged the young officer to leave them to their fate, and do what he could to save his own life and the lives of his men.

Mr. McIntyre absolutely refused to abandon the wounded, and prepared to defend them to the last.

When the messenger last saw the gallant little band, they were bravely facing the enemy, waiting calmly for the death which was sure to follow unless help reached them soon.

A party was immediately sent out from camp to their relief, but when the spot was reached the brave fellows were beyond human aid.

Not a man remained alive to tell the tale of their noble struggle. The bodies of the lieutenant and his men were found grouped about the wounded comrades they had sacrificed their lives to save, and their attitude in death showed that each man had died doing his duty, his face to the foe.

Some of the tribesmen have come to the conclusion that the British soldier is a hard foe to beat.

The Orakzais have therefore sent a deputation to Gen. Sir William Lockhart, the British commander-in-chief, asking for peace.

Sir William was willing to talk to them, but the terms he offered were so much harder than they expected that the Orakzais do not seem inclined to accept them.

The English general told the tribesmen that the only terms on which England would treat with them were that they should first give back all the rifles they had captured since the outbreak, then that they should forfeit five hundred extra rifles and thirty thousand rupees as a fine, and lastly, that they must offer submission to the Queen's rule within a fortnight,—the submission to be given at a full durbar, which is a native Indian term for a levee or reception held by a native prince or officer of rank in British India.

As we have said, the Orakzais think these terms too severe, and are inclined to refuse them.

The Afridis have as yet shown no signs of weakening. On the contrary, they have sent fresh messengers to the Ameer of Afghanistan, asking his aid. The English are confident that he will refuse, and advise them to submit, and hope that there may soon be an end of the Indian troubles.

In the mean while the Afridis are making all the trouble they can. Every night they cut the telegraph-wires, and every day they lay in wait for any baggage convoy or foraging party that leaves the camp.

You will be pleased to hear more about the brave piper of the Gordon Highlanders, who, though shot through both ankles at the battle of Dargai Ridge, propped himself up, and continued playing on his pipes to cheer his comrades.

The Indian despatches say that he has been recommended for the Victoria Cross.

This decoration is the English reward for great bravery. It is the decoration of all others which British soldiers love to receive.

It is a simple little bronze cross, of the shape known as a Maltese cross; in the centre is the crown, with the British lion standing upon it, and on a scroll beneath the inscription "For Valor." For soldiers it has a red ribbon, for sailors a blue. The slide through which the ribbon passes is a bronze bar ornamented with a laurel wreath, the symbol of victory.

The value of the Victoria Cross is practically nothing, but those men who have been happy enough to earn it value it above any riches or honors.

Piper Findlater, of the Gordon Highlanders, is a proud fellow just now, and would not be willing to change places with any duke or millionaire, no matter how great his rank or wealth, for in that little simple cross he has gained something that rank cannot command nor money buy; something that he possesses and the commanding officer of his regiment may not be able to gain; something which raises him to the highest place among men.

We felt sure you would be glad to learn that the brave piper was not killed at Dargai Ridge, but lives to receive the reward for his gallant conduct.

There is trouble in Haiti.

Haiti is in the West Indies, and is a sister island of Cuba, and the next largest of the Antilles. It is divided from Cuba by a strait called the Windward Passage.

It was discovered by Columbus in 1492, and the first Spanish colony in the New World was established on it in 1493. After a while, the colony was neglected and died out, and Haiti became the prey of buccaneers, those bold seafaring men, who, half pirates and half rovers, sailed the seas during the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth centuries, harassing foreign foes for private gain.

After many ups and downs, the western half of Haiti was settled by French buccaneers, and after another period this portion of the island was ceded to France by Spain in 1693.

The French rule did not please the natives, and a long period of discontent followed, till, in 1796, the Haitians, under the leadership of