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Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas - page 114 / 129





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Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas

One place in particular, Mohalies Hock, was held by twelve white men under Mr. W. H. Surmon, with a few friendly natives, against thousands of the enemy. For two months the little garrison gallantly held out, and in the end they were relieved.

Even the Government post of Maseru itself was attacked by a mass of these brave Basutos. But it was held by 300 of the equally brave C.M.R., and though outnum- bered at every turn they, fought like heroes, and after some hot hand-to-hand struggles the white troops at length succeeded in beating off their opponents. Such is the stuff that the C.M.R. are made of.

The Zulus

One of the things that strike a stranger in Natal is the rickshas and the ricksha- boys. The ricksha, as you probably know, is a little carriage on two wheels which will carry two people-at a pinch, and is drawn by a “boy,” as a native is called in this country. The “boys” in Natal are all Zulus, and when in charge of a ricksha they deck and paint themselves up till they look almost as fine as they did in the old days when they dressed as warriors in their war-paint of fur and feather.

They are splendidly built men, strong, athletic, and very cheery-they are the last of a very fine, brave race. We have had to fight them many and many a time during the last seventy years, and can only hope that such fighting is over for ever, but it does not do to be too sure.

In 1823 among the first settlers in Natal were some splendid types of scouts; a father and his three sons named Fynn, F. Farewell, James King, Allen Gadner, and various others. Three of them had been officers in the Royal Navy. They started the town of Durban, which they named after the Governor of South Africa at that time, Sir Benjamin D’Urban.

They built their own ship out of materials got on the spot. They got a number of the Zulus to become their loyal servants, so that they became chiefs themselves and were able to take the field successfully against the hostile Zulus; and so to protect the colony and weaker tribes who came under their sway. And they were all good elephant hunters and farmers.

Chaka the Zulu Chieftain

The Zulus were at that time a very numerous tribe living in Zululand and part of Transvaal and Natal. Their chief was Chaka, a wonderful man; brave, powerful, and cruel. He liked killing people, no matter whether they deserved it or not. He had thirty regiments of a thousand men each, all highly trained to fighting. Their usual weapons were a big six-foot shield of ox-hide, three light assegais for throwing at the enemy, and a broad-bladed one for stabbing with, and a knobkerry or club.

Chaka altered their armament and only allowed the stabbing assegai with the handle broken off, so that practically his men were only armed with daggers and shields, all their fighting being done hand to hand. Any man who showed the slightest hesitation or did not instantly obey his leader in the fighting was afterwards executed. Those who did particularly well were allowed to wear a black ring as head-dress and were given permission to marry.

This little sketch shows the formation in which the Zulus generally attacked their enemies.

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