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Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle


In Morocco with General d'Amade

by Sir Reginald Rankin

Excerpt:

Again, the "chef de bataillon," or major in command of a battalion, has two officers attached to him; (l) the "adjudant-major" (who is nearly always the senior captain of the battalion), who carries orders to the company officers and makes all arrangements for camps and bivouacs; and (2) the "officier d'approvisionnement," a subaltern whose duty it is to draw battalion rations from the commissariat and to divide them between the four companies. During a fight or on the march he is frequently employed as an " officier de liaison" with the headquarter staff. The orders issued by General dAmade were distinguished by their extreme reticence. He never indicated his plans in detail beforehand, and often at ten o'clock at night no one knew whether the force would march at five the next morning or whether it would remain all day in its bivouac. The advantages of surprise and secrecy conferred by this method are obvious.

The following is a specimen of March orders, usually issued about nine o'clock at night:—

"Headquarters. "March Orders for the 9th March.

"To-morrow, 9th March, the columns which have operated against the M'Dakra will proceed to operate against the M'Zab on similar lines.

"For this purpose they will march towards the territories of that tribe, and will bivouac in the district of Sidi Abd-el-Kerim. The starting-point will be the west entrance to the bivouac of the coast column.

"Order of march and times of starting :—

Hours.

Goum and Cavalry . . . .6.30

Black Earth Column .... 6.35

Ambulance and regimental transport 6.55

Coast Column 7.10

Ber Rechid Column .... 7.25

Bou Znika Column .... 7.35

First hourly halt .... 7.50

"The cavalry will cover the movement with the Goum and one squadron in front. Two squadrons will protect the left flank (east). One squadron and the Spahis will act as rear-guard, and will detach a troop to protect the right flank (west).

"The replenishing of ammunition, the transfer of the wounded, and the refilling of the regimental transport with rations for two days will take place at Sidi Abd-el-Kerim.

"At the bivouac of the Oued Aceila, 8th March, 8 P.m.

"The General Commanding,

(Signed) "damade."

Certified Copy. The Chief of the Staff, C. Malaguti.

Telegraph: Balloon: Animals.—In the latter part of January a field telegraph was established between Casablanca and Mediouna; and early in March a wireless installation was set up at Ber Rechid, between that fort and Casablanca. A balloon was carried with the force during the January operations, and in a very short time demonstrated its utter uselessness. Against an enemy in position a balloon may be of great service; but against an enemy like the Moors, who shift their ground from moment to moment and scorn the use of earthworks, it is merely an encumbrance.

Time after time the balloon, soaring high aloft, gave the Moors the warning they wanted, and cattle and stores which would otherwise have fallen into the hands of the French were driven off into safety. The enormously heavy carriage took Bix horses to drag it, and its weary progress through the heavy mud earned for it the sobriquet of " le cafard" (the black beetle).

After proving the death of several artillery

B

I

horses the balloon was left at Casablanca, where for a time it was of some service in giving information of the movements of the Fedallah column, and in watching the roads towards the south-east. It has since been invalided home.

The Algerian barb is probably the best remount animal in the world for light cavalry. He is not the equal of the well-bred English horse for fast work, but for continuous heavy marching he cannot be beaten. The grey stallions of the Chasseurs—little horses averaging fifteen hands— are the result of crossing the native mare with a thoroughbred sire; and he is a very handsome beast, with plenty of bone and very easy paces. The Goumiers rode the native mare—little weedy, ewe-necked, goose-rumped creatures, that looked as though they could hardly carry their heavy chair-backed saddles; and yet they managed, at a quick shuffling walk, to cover enormous distances. The veterinary surgeons found little work to do in this campaign. In fact, the chief business of the latter was to doctor the wounds which irate stallions continually inflicted on one another. The gun teams came straight from France; and in size, breed, and appearance they differ little from our own artillery horses. They very quickly lost flesh —the result of the great heat, very hard work in the heavy plough, and insufficient water. A few died of nephritis, arising from want of water, and several broke their hearts over the stiff gradients that were occasionally encountered. I have seen the wheels of the carriages covered as though with triumphal wreaths of marigolds, embedded in six inches of mud. Possibly every available opportunity of watering them was not made use of, owing to the anxiety of the General to press on; but the French driver is a good noree-master, and all that he can do for his animals he does. Many a time I have seen him sally out at the end of a long day to a field of green barley and pull a huge armful for his favourites.


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