Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/102

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87
IN SOUTH AFRICA

was detailed to carry him seven miles to the base hospital at Chieveley.

After Colenso, the Indian bearers were disbanded, and sent back to Durban. They were told to expect another call soon. In all, they had given seven days to this work.

The second summons came on the eve of Spionkop, about a month later, and this time they remained three weeks in the field. During this period, they were more than once under fire. In the interval between the two engagements, about thirty-six of the Indian leaders had placed themselves in training under the instruction of doctors, so that they might prove of greater use in hospital work. It was the duty of the bearers to receive the wounded outside the line of fire and tramp with them to Frere, some twenty or thirty miles away. Mr. Gandhi was in charge of one of these parties, and when General Woodgate fell, the dying man was consigned to his care, and he helped to carry the sufferer from the field-hospital to the base-hospital. The agony of the General was excrutiating during that march, and Mr. Gandhi tells how they hurried through the heat and dust, fearful lest he should die before they could reach camp.