A Ride for Life

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A Ride For Life.
by W. L. Gooding

Published in: Grey River Argus (Newspaper, New Zealand), Volume XXXVI, Issue 7986, 10 July 1894.

A letter written by Mr. W. L. Gooding from Buluwayo has been received by his mother in England. Mr. Gooding was with the Salisbury column in operations against the Matabele and was with Major Wilson just before that officer and his followers made their last advance. After describing how he took part in the pursuit of Lobengula until it became necessary to retire, he says : —

" Captain Borrow asked Burnum [Editor’s note: Frederick Russell Burnham] (one of the scouts) to ride on as fast as lie could and hurry Major Forbes up. Captain Judd suggested that he had better send two more with him, as one of the three might have a chance of getting through. Captain Borrow asked if I would go, and, of course, I said yes ; so he and I and Ingrant [Editor’s note: Pete Ingram], his mate, set off at a canter. We had not gone more than half a mile when Burnum, who was leading said —

'NOW FOR IT BOYS,' and turned off sharp to the left. I caught sight of a lot of Matabeles, and followed Burnum at a gallop. The enemy fired a regular volley at us, and as they were about 50 yards off I am sure I do not know how the/ missed ; but miss they did, and we had not gone far when I saw Burnum again turn to the left, and we heard a most infernal howl, and got another volley with the same result.

We galloped on gradually turning to the right again, and when we were well clear of the Matabele. tried to make our way back to the track. We did not reach it, however', but we heard the Maxims, which showed us that Forbes was being attacked. We could also hear heavy firing behind us, showed that Wilson was again engaged. We decided our only chance was to make a detour and come up in the rear of Forbes. We at last reached the river, which, to our dismay, was in flood, having risen during the night or early morning. We consulted, and decided to cross, and managed this safely, though our horses had


Luckily, the Matabele, who were quite close, were too busy with Forbes's to notice us.

On reaching the bush on the opposite side, we agreed to make a dash for the main body, and had not gone far when ! the Matabeles saw us, and commenced to shoot. Just then we caught sight of Forbes's party, 500 or 600 yards off, and galloped into the camp. We found they were unable to cross the river to Wilson's help. We joined in the firing, which lasted half an hour longer, and meanwhile the firing in Wilson's direction had ceased, so I am much afraid the whole of the party have been killed.

This work was published before January 1, 1926 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 100 years or less since publication.