Assault Butler Mission Station
Relief Efforts Fail, Rescue Hopes Dimming
Lft. Winsome Churchill-Downs, Special to the Times.
The ill fated attempts to relieve the defenders of the Butler Mission Station faced failure again last Monday reports our special correspondent. Our readers will recall that the previous expedition to relieve the station was turned back following the fit of madness of Lt. Dashing of Hargrave’s Sikhs. His ill timed attempt at mutiny was defeated by brave Captain Bunting, but caused the unit to buckle under the savage assaults that the renegade forces hurled at them in an successful effort to turn back the relief.
From Lft. Winsome Churchill-Downs:
I arrived too late to aid in the second mission to relieve the Butler mission station but I was able to witness the fate of the brave men of Hargrave’s Sikhs, led by the misfortunate Captain Bunting. While attempting to drive off a pack of slavers, Bunting’s men were attacked from the rear by a savage group of Up-River Pygmy. The depraved savages managed to wound the Captain with their poisoned spears which reduced him to a comatose state and allowed the fiends to carry the Captain and the units Bhisti boy and several troops as prisoners. One can imagine the horrid fate that awaits these men at the hands of these midget minions of barbarity. Lt. Doomed struggled forward to complete the relief but was slowed by being transfixed with a spear. The remainder of the Sikhs carried the wounded Lieutenant to the mission but the force was so weakened that no breakout could be mounted.
The mission had been under assault as the relief force approached but managed to hold in spite of a brutal ambush of Capt. Parker (ret.) who was killed with his askaris as the mission residents attempted to join up with the relief force. The mission defenders fell back to the storerooms as the Zulu hordes swarmed over the mission barricades. A porter, Juumba, killed several of the attacking devils as he taught them that a 60 lb. steamer trunk could be wielded with as much force as a rifle butt or a knobkerrie! During the assault local ivory merchant Thurston Poole was killed as he attempted to buy his safety from the murderous locals with ivory. His assistant, Dudley Morton was quick to say ‘good riddance’ and to say that he will continue to pay to prices for quality pieces of ivory if anyone can get through the attackers to bring them to him. All in all however things look grim. We held in close siege, supplies are short, and we are reduced to hiding our messages out in hollow coconuts and throwing them in the river to get word out.
Sheni says delays ‘Regrettable’
Prince Sheni broke his self declared press boycott Monday night calling delays in his overrunning the Butler Mission Station ‘Regrettable’. The visibly disappointed prince gave the Times an exclusive interview in which he says the delays slow the progress of his plan to through the white invader from his lands but do not stop it.
The Prince spoke against a backdrop of increasing doubt of his ability to deliver on his promise of riches, cattle and easy slaughter of the hated white devils. He is seeking a major success to forestall his replacement by his brother Mathayo. Prince Mathayo is considered a moderate and known to hate the Arawk slavers and the Up-River Pygmy who are Prince Sheni’s allies.
Prince Sheni does point to the devastation inflicted on the relief columns with some pride, but even he admits this was done by his allies, the Arawk slavers and the Up-River Pygmy. His own Zulu bands seem to have much more mixed results. Ahmutso’s band successfully ambushed the askaris of the mission as they started to move out of the mission and killed their evil leader. Ahmutso then decided that his work was done and led his band back into the jungle. Krametso’s band rushed over the barricades shortly after this and suffered horribly at the hands of the defenders. Krametso was captured by the pistol wielding missionary woman and Prince Sheni insists that he wasn’t running from her, he was just looking for Ahmutso to bring in some reinforcements. Most embarrassing are the Zulu killed in the ambush and in the station by the porter, Juumba. Juumba is huge, but he was armed only with a steamer trunk and most would assume the Zulu spears would have an advantage. Many Zulu warriors are beginning to have doubts about the quality of their spears and Prince Sheni has promised a thorough investigation following the driving of the white invader from Zulu lands.
Prince Sheni is pleased to hear that that supplies are running low in the station but he is angry that messages are getting out in hollow coconuts. ‘How hard is it to sit down river and stop all the coconuts from going by? Do I have to do everything?’ he ranted. ‘And another thing, if I see anyone dipping into the pombe I will personally feed him to the hyenas!’ Representatives of the King refused to comment on Prince Sheni’s statement or on the campaign so far.
IF you don't know if it is poisonous or not, it probably is, so have an Askari or porter try it first. Wait one day, then feel free to chow down. Remember, you are likely being considered as food for something near you so stay alert!