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No. MCCXXVII. JANUARY 1918.
AT THE RIVER'S BRINK.
THE Hun had put up a good rearguard fight against considerably superior odds (as, to give the devil his due, he usually did in that part of Africa), but in the end had elected to retire across "The River," destroying behind him the only bridge which it boasted on its whole course.
Climbing the low forest-clad bluff, which commanded the northern approach thereto, the Brigade at last set eyes on the river concerning which it had speculated so much during the latter phases of the campaign. Save for its unexpected width, it presented no unusual features: a swift yellow flood, close on half a mile across, confined by sandy shores, where the heart breaking thorn-bush of the interior at length ceased, and broken at intervals by reed - covered islands. Beyond the far bank stretched a wide expanse of elephant-grass, and thence to the horizon a waste of dry,
VOL, CCIII.NO, MCCXXVII,
neutral-tinted thorn, dotted here and there with the grotesque baobab, that monstrosity among trees. No sign of life broke the desolation of the southern shore, but the ready bullet which greeted the appearance of watering parties on our bank showed that the Hun was still in full possession, and awaiting our next move with his musket at full cook. Taking advantage of the plentiful cover afforded by the trees, some of the officers descended the forward slope of the hill to reconnoitre the remains of the bridge. This had once been a fairly solid structure, orossing the river in two spans of some 300 yards each, by way of a central island. The retiring enemy had, however, made time enough to destroy the whole of it pretty thoroughly, and the yellow waters seethed savagely between such piles as remained.
"750 yards, sir," reported a