Infomotions, Inc.A Woman's Part in a Revolution / Hammond, Natalie Harris, -1931



Author: Hammond, Natalie Harris, -1931
Title: A Woman's Part in a Revolution
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): fcp; pretoria; johannesburg; crown; illustrations; reform committee; president kruger; high commissioner
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Title: A Woman's Part in a Revolution

Author: Natalie Harris Hammond

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A WOMAN'S PART IN A REVOLUTION

by

MRS. JOHN HAYS HAMMOND

Longmans, Green, and Co.
39 Paternoster Row London
New York and Bombay

1897







PREFACE


To the American Public, whose sympathy was my chief support through
days of bitter trial, this book is gratefully dedicated. My personal
experience forms the subject of my story. The causes of the Revolt in
Johannesburg, and the ensuing political questions, are but lightly
touched upon, in deference to the silence enforced upon my husband as
one of the terms of his liberation by the Boer Government.

                    NATALIE HAMMOND.

  BOUGHTON: BICKLEY, KENT.
      February, 1897.






A WOMAN'S PART IN A REVOLUTION

    I hope I may be able to tell the truth always, and to see
    it aright according to the eyes which God Almighty gives
    me.--THACKERAY.

I.


Totsey the terrier lay blinking in the hot African sun, while Cecilia
Rhodes, the house kitten, languished in a cigar box wrapped about with
twine to represent bars of iron. Above her meek face was a large label
marked 'African Lion.' Her captor, my young son Jack, was out again
among the flower-beds in quest of other big game, armed with my
riding-crop. The canvas awnings flapped gently in the cool breeze.
Every now and then a fan-like arm of one of the large Madeira chairs
would catch the impetus and go speeding down the wide red-tiled
verandah. I looked up from the little garment which I was making, upon
this quiet picture. It was the last restful moment I was to know for
many long months--such months of suffering and agonised apprehension
as God in His mercy sends to few women.

David, my husband's black coachman, drove rapidly through the gate,
and, coming up to me, handed me a letter. It was from his master and
briefly written. Jameson had crossed the Border; Johannesburg was
filled with strange people, and he thought it wise for me to move with
our family and servants into town. Rooms had been secured for us at
Heath's Hotel, and he would meet us that night at dinner. This summons
was not entirely unexpected. For many months the political kettle had
been simmering. Johannesburg had grown tired of sending petitions in
to the Government to be answered by promises which were never
redeemed. An appalling death-rate of fifty-six in each thousand,
directly traceable to lack of proper sanitation, resulting from bad
government, spurred the general discontent, and a number of
representative citizens, unwilling longer to wait upon gods and
Government, finding all attempts to obtain redress of their grievances
by constitutional means ineffectual, determined to enforce their
demands for right by arms if necessary. As arms for the Uitlander
under the law of the Transvaal could only be obtained by a permit,
guns and ammunition were smuggled into the country, hidden away in oil
tanks and coal cars.

My husband had vast interests in his charge; many million pounds
sterling had been invested at his instance in the mining industry of
the country, and, actuated by a sense of duty and responsibility to
those who had confided in him, he felt in honour bound to take an
active part in the movement, for the protection and preservation of
the property placed under his control.

My leaving for the Cape, in case affairs should assume a dangerous
phase, was frequently discussed between us, but I could not make up my
mind to leave my husband, feeling that the separation would be more
trying than if I remained, even should a conflict be forced upon us.
In addition to my wish to be with him, I knew that many of his staff
had their wives and children in Johannesburg, and would be unable to
send them away, and for me, the wife of their chief, 'to bundle to the
rear' would subject my husband, as well as myself, to harsh, and not
unjust, criticism.

The Leonard Manifesto was published December 26th, setting forth the
demands of the Uitlander.

'We want,' it reads:

     '1. The establishment of this Republic as a true Republic.

     '2. A Grondwet or constitution which shall be framed by
     competent persons selected by representatives of the whole
     people, and framed on lines laid down by them; a
     constitution which shall be safeguarded against hasty
     alteration.

     '3. An equitable Franchise law and fair representation.

     '4. Equality of the Dutch and English languages.

     '5. Responsibility to the Legislature of the heads of the
     great departments.

     '6. Removal of religious disabilities.

     '7. Independence of the Courts of Justice, with adequate and
     secured remuneration of the judges.

     '8. Liberal and comprehensive education.

     '9. An efficient Civil Service, with adequate provision for
     pay and pension.

     '10. Free Trade in South African products.'

It was further planned to hold another meeting of the 'National
Union,' and afterward make a last demand upon the Government to
redress our wrongs.

Arrangement meanwhile was made with Dr. Jameson, who was encamped on
the western border of the Republic with a body of the Chartered
Company's troops. In case of a disturbance he was to come to the aid
of Johannesburg with at least a thousand men and 1,500 guns. It was
also distinctly understood between him and the five gentlemen who were
the recognised leaders of the movement, that he should not start until
he had received instructions to do so directly from them.

I gathered my household about me, explained the situation, and gave
the servants their choice, whether they would go into town or remain
in the house. The four white servants decided to remain, but the
native boys begged leave to depart under various pretexts. One to get
his missis from Pretoria because he was afraid the Boers might kill
her. Another to tell his mother in Natal that he was all right.
Another frankly said, that as the white men were going to fight among
themselves, this was no place for Kaffirs.

I arranged to leave Mr. Hammond's secretary in charge of the house.
We hastily packed up a few of our most precious belongings, and left,
to take possession of four tiny rooms at the hotel in town. With a
full heart I looked back at my pretty home. The afternoon shadows were
beginning to lengthen; I saw the broad verandah, the long easy chairs
suggestive of rest; my books on the sill of the low bedroom window;
the quiet flower garden, sweet with old-fashioned posies associated
with peace and thrift. We were going to--WHAT?




II


My diary carries the story on:--

DECEMBER 30.--We find the town intensely excited, but there is no
disorder. Men are hurrying about in cabs and on foot with
determined-looking faces, but no other visible evidence of the day's
tragedy.

My husband ran in to see how we were faring about 8 o'clock this
evening. I had not seen him since early morning. He told me that a
Reform Committee had been formed of the leading men of the city. Also
that the Americans had called a meeting in the course of the afternoon
to hear the results of a Special Deputation, consisting of Messrs.
Hennen Jennings and Perkins, to President Kruger. Mr. Jennings
reported the President as having listened to them attentively while
they conveyed to him what they believed to be the sentiment of the
Americans on the Rand. They assured him that, although the Americans
recognised the rights of the Boers as well as those of the Uitlanders,
unless he could in some way meet the demand of the unenfranchised
people of the Transvaal he could not expect their support when the
revolution came. They also told him that the Americans wanted to see
the Republic preserved, but on a truer basis. And when questioned by
the President if in case of rebellion the Americans would be with or
against the Government, they answered bluntly, 'They would be against
the Government.'

President Kruger dogmatically declared 'this was no time for
discussion, but a time for the people to obey the law,' and with this
they were dismissed.

A Committee of three is appointed to visit Pretoria to-morrow and
again lay before the President a statement of the demands of the
Uitlanders, the attitude of the Americans and their wish to preserve
the integrity of the Republic, but also to warn him that, if the
Government insists upon ignoring these just demands, and thus
precipitates war, the Americans must array themselves on the side of
the other Uitlanders.

A large mass meeting is called to receive these gentlemen on their
return from Pretoria and to decide upon the Americans' future course
of action.

The mail train to Cape Town was crowded with hundreds of
terror-stricken women and children sent away by anxious husbands to a
place of safety. The ordinary accommodation was far too inadequate to
supply the sudden rush. They were crowded like sheep on cattle trucks.
I fear the journey of a thousand miles will be one of great
discomfort.[1]

There are many anxious souls in Johannesburg to-night.

Betty and I are sitting up. The night is sultry, and we have dragged
our chairs out on to the verandah which overhangs the street.

MIDNIGHT.--The town has quieted down. Once a wild horseman clattered
down the street towards the 'Gold Fields' shouting, 'A despatch, men!
a despatch. We've licked the Dutchmen!' A few heads peered out of
windows--but that was all.

DECEMBER 31.--My husband came in at 4 o'clock this morning, looking
very tired. He was on the point of going to bed, when a messenger came
from the 'Gold Fields' and hurried him away.

The streets are alive at a very early hour, and the excitement
increases. The Reform Committee sits in perpetual session in the
offices of the 'Gold Fields.' They are appointing sub-committees for
the safeguard and comfort of the town; 51,000_l._ for the relief of
the poor has already been raised. Messengers are sent out to call in
all the women and children from the mines. Arrangements are being made
for the housing and feeding of these. Nothing is forgotten, and
everything goes on with the utmost method and precision. It is like a
great, splendid piece of machinery.

The merchants have sent up a deputation to try to bring the President
to reason. He has temporarily removed the dues from food stuffs as a
result of the interview. The Government has prohibited all telegraphic
communication. _We are cut off from the world_.

The Reform Committee repudiates Dr. Jameson's inroad, but publishes
its intention to adhere to the National Union Manifesto, and
'earnestly desires that the inhabitants should refrain from taking any
action which can be construed as an overt act of hostility against the
Government.' A certain tone of security and dignity pervades all the
notices of the Reform Committee. The town is sure of success.

In order to silence rumours in regard to the hoisting of the English
flag, Mr. Hammond after some difficulty secured a flag of the
Transvaal, and took it into the committee room this morning. The
entire body of men swore allegiance with uncovered heads and upraised
hands. The flag now floats from the roof of the 'Gold Fields.' The
merchants have closed their shops and battened up the windows with
thick boards and plates of corrugated iron. Boer police are withdrawn
from the town. Excitement at fever heat, but everything running
smoothly. No drunkenness nor rioting. The streets are filled with
earnest-looking men. Near the Court House arms are being distributed.
At another point horses are given over to the newly-enrolled
volunteers.

4 P.M.--I have driven from one end of the town to the other, through
busy crowded streets, without seeing one disorderly person, or being
regarded a second time by one of the thousands of men filing solemnly
past my carriage. They would form into squads and march gravely to
their posts of duty. A splendid-looking set of men, ranging in age
from 25 to 35. Men from every walk in life, professional men, robust
miners, and pale clerks, some among the faces being very familiar. My
eyes filled when I thought of what the future might be bringing them.
At the hotel dinner Mrs. Dodd, Betty and I were the only women
present. The room was crowded with men who spoke excitedly of a
possible war and exchanged specimen cartridges across the table. I
hear that one thousand Lee-Metford rifles have been given out. The
town is now policed by Uitlanders under Trimble.

The Americans have held another meeting. Five hundred men were
present, and with only five dissenting votes determined to stand by
the Manifesto. After this meeting, the George Washington Corps of 150
members was formed.

Following are the names of the various Brigades:--

Australian, Scotch, Africander, Cycle, Colonial, Natal, Irish,
Northumbrian, Cornish, and Bettington's Horse and the Ambulance Corps.
Most of the mines are closing down. Women and children are still
flying from the town. Alas! some men, too, who are heartily jeered by
the crowd at the railroad station.[2]

St. John's Ambulance Society is advertising for qualified nurses or
ladies willing to assist.

Natives are in a state of great panic. One of the Kaffir servants in
the hotel gave me a tremendous shock this morning by rushing into my
room to fling himself at my feet, sobbing and imploring me not to
allow the Boers to kill him.

LATER.--The sultry day has cooled down into a calm, moonlit night.

This evening the Reform Committee received a deputation from the
Government consisting of Messrs. Marais and Malan; these gentlemen
showed their authority from the Government, and were duly accredited.
They are both progressive Boers and highly respected by the
Uitlanders. They stated that they had come with the olive branch, that
the Government had sent them to the Reform Committee to invite a
delegation of that Committee to meet in Pretoria a Commission of
Government officials, with the object of arranging an amicable
settlement of the political questions. They emphatically asserted that
the Government would meet the Reform Committee half-way--that the
Government was anxious to prevent bloodshed, &c. That they could
promise that the Government would redress the Uitlander grievances
upon the lines laid down in the Manifesto, but that of course all the
demands would not be conceded at once, and both sides must be willing
to compromise. The Reform Committee met to consider this proposal,
and after long discussion decided to send a deputation to Pretoria.
These gentlemen leave with Messrs. Malan and Marais on a special train
to-night for Pretoria.

Johannesburg is quiet as ever was country town. The streets deserted.
Nothing to suggest a city girt around by a cordon of soldiers, and yet
such it is.

At midnight my husband ran in for a moment to see how we had stood the
strain of the day.

'Is the news from Jameson really true?' I asked, still hoping it was
rumour.

'I am afraid so.'

'And are those heavy wagons just going down the street carrying the
big guns to the outskirts?'

'Yes. Good-night, dear.' He was gone.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: The sufferings of this hapless crowd were acute.
Provisions were hard to obtain at the way stations. The water supply
gave out. A little child died of exposure, and the heart-broken mother
held the lifeless body twenty-four hours on her lap. There was no room
to lay it to one side. Another woman gave birth to an infant.]

[Footnote 2: The Cornish miners were politely presented at Kimberley
and other places en route with bunches of white feathers by the
howling mob. One Cornishman afterwards related that he was pulled out
at every station and made to fight. After the fourth mauling he turned
round and went back to Johannesburg, preferring to take his chances
with the Boers.]




III


January 1, 1896.--With the dawn of day I am out of bed and at the
window waiting for the cry of the newsboy.

What will the New Year bring us?

With nervous dread I opened the paper brought to my door. In large
headlines it told of disaster.

The Natal train filled with refugee women and children has been
wrecked, with great loss of life. The papers say forty have been
killed outright, and many fearfully injured. Entire families have been
wiped out in some cases. Mr. ---- has lost his wife, his sister, and
three little children. This is the result of a Boer concession. The
accident was caused by the Netherlands carriages being poorly built
and top-heavy. In rounding a curve they were swung off the
track--collapsed at once like card-houses, crushing and mangling the
helpless and crowded occupants.

The deputation to Pretoria did not leave last night, as was expected.
They go this morning instead.

My husband is greatly disturbed at the delay. He says time is all
important, and the Reform Committee's hands should not be tied while
the Boers gain time.

Reports of Jameson's meeting the enemy have been amplified. Now it is
said that fifty of his men have been killed and three hundred Boers.
Sir John Willoughby is believed to be shot.

I drove out to my home to reassure my women, Mr. Sharwood having
brought in word that the coachman Adams had almost caused a panic by
his garish tipsy account of 'what was going on in town,' and 'the many
risks he ran when taking the mistress out.'

Parker was overjoyed to see me, and so was Totsey. I found all
staunch, and ready, not only to protect themselves, but to fight
anything, particularly the valiant Adams.

On my way back to town I heard firing beyond the ridge east of us.
Some men at practice probably, but it gave me a wrench and detracted
from Adams's dignified bearing. More organising and drilling of
troops. I hear there is much suffering among them. The book-keeper,
clerks, and indoor men find the unaccustomed exposure and fatigue
trying in the extreme. But they are a plucky lot, and stand for hours
on guard in the scorching sun, and walk miles with their poor
blistered feet with pathetic cheerfulness; swooning in many cases at
their posts rather than give in; to a man, eager to fight.

Betty and I began our daily visits to the women and children at the
Wanderers' and Tattersall's to-day. At the Wanderers' alone are nearly
three hundred. The wonderful provision made for their health and
comfort spoke well for the intelligence as well as heart of the
Reform Committee, and Mr. Lingham, an American, who has that especial
department in charge. We found the dancing-hall of the Wanderers'
converted into a huge dormitory, the supper-room into a sick ward, and
the skating-rink reserved for women newly confined--fright and
excitement having brought on many premature births. There is a matron
in charge of the sick, and a medical inspector, who comes twice a day
to visit the different wards. I overheard him soundly berate a mother
who kept her children too much indoors. The food was good, and there
was plenty of it. Fresh cow's milk was supplied to the children. I
noticed a large vessel of galvanised iron marked 'Boiled water for
drinking purposes.' The little children were romping and tumbling
about with great energy. The women were wonderfully patient, I
thought, and firm in their adherence to the cause. This in some cases
was but vaguely understood, but there was a general belief that there
was 'goin' to be some fighten,' which was sure to make us all better
off. I heard but one complaint, and that from a hulking slouch of a
man who had sneaked in from duty to take a nap on the foot of his sick
wife's pallet. He complained of the food, showing me the remains of
dainties given out to the sick woman, and _which he had helped her to
eat_. The woman looked up at me with haggard eyes: 'It ain't the
vittles, but the pain that's worrying me, ma'am.'

A touching sight were the yelping dogs of every breed, family pets
tethered to the fence outside. All canteens are closed by order of the
Reform Committee as a precautionary measure, and where there was doubt
of these precautions being observed, the liquors were bought and
thrown away.

Hundreds of varying rumours are afloat, which rush and swirl along
until lost in distorting eddies.

This afternoon a horseman went through the town distributing a
Proclamation from the High Commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson:--


     PROCLAMATION BY

     _His Excellency the Right Hon. Sir Hercules George Robinson,
     Bart., Member of Her Majesty's Most Hon. Privy Council,
     K.C.B., of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and
     St. George, Governor, Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's
     Colony of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and of the
     Territories, Dependencies thereof, Governor of the Territory
     of British Bechuanaland, and Her Majesty's Commissioner,
     &c., &c_.

     'Whereas it has come to my knowledge that certain British
     subjects, said to be under the leadership of Dr. Jameson,
     have violated the territory of the South African Republic,
     and have cut telegraph wires, and done various other illegal
     acts; and

     'Whereas the South African Republic is a friendly State in
     amity with Her Majesty's Government; and whereas it is my
     desire to respect the independence of the said State:

     'Now therefore I hereby command the said Dr. Jameson and all
     persons accompanying him, to immediately retire from the
     territory of the South African Republic, on pain of the
     penalties attached to their illegal proceedings; and I do
     further hereby call upon all British subjects in the South
     African Republic to abstain from giving the said Dr. Jameson
     any countenance or assistance in his armed violation of the
     territory of a friendly State.

     'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

     'Given under my hand and seal this 31st day of December,
     1895.

          'HERCULES ROBINSON,
              'High Commissioner.

     'By command of His Excellency the High Commissioner.'


Johannesburg is dumfounded!

The sixth edition of the 'Star' this evening says that Jameson is only
fifteen miles away, and that he has had a second encounter with the
Boers. The populace has recovered from the Proclamation, and their
wild enthusiasm can scarcely be restrained. They want to go out to
meet Jameson and bring him in with triumphal outcry. It is hard to be
only a 'she-thing' and stay in the house with a couple of limber-kneed
men, when such stirring happenings are abroad.

11 P.M.--Mr. Lionel Phillips has just addressed the crowd collected
around the 'Gold Fields' waiting for news. He told them that the
Reform Committee Delegation--of which he was one--had been received
with courtesy by the Government Commission, the Chief Justice of the
Republic acting as chairman.

They were assured that their proposals should be earnestly considered.
Mr. Phillips then explained what was wanted, and reiterated the Reform
Committee's determination to stand by the Manifesto. He also told the
Commission that the leaders of the Reform Committee had arranged with
Jameson to come to their assistance when necessary, but that
unfortunately he had come before required, probably through some
misunderstanding or false report. While the Reform Committee regretted
Jameson's precipitate action, they would stand by him. And as they had
no means of stopping him they offered to prove their good faith by
giving their own persons as hostages that Jameson should leave
Johannesburg peacefully if he were allowed to come in unmolested. This
offer was rejected by the Commission, but a list of the names of the
Reform Committee was asked for.[3]

As a result of this interview the Government decided to accept the
offer made by Her Majesty's High Commissioner to come to Pretoria to
settle differences and avoid bloodshed. An armistice was then agreed
upon pending the High Commissioner's arrival. Mr. Phillips was often
interrupted by the crowd, some with cheers and others hooting. One
voice called out, 'And how about Jameson?' Mr. Phillips answered, 'I
am instructed by the Reform Committee to state to you, as I did to the
Government, that we intend to stand by Jameson. Gentlemen, I now call
upon you to give three cheers for Dr. Jameson.' There was prolonged
and enthusiastic cheering.

The Reform Committee has sent out J.J. Lace to escort a messenger from
the British Agent, who carries the Proclamation, and also to explain
the situation to Dr. Jameson.

It is said that Lieutenant Eloff was captured by Jameson some miles
beyond Krugersdorp. Eloff declaring he had official orders to obstruct
his advance, Jameson expressed his determination to go on, but added
that he had no hostile intentions against the Government.

JANUARY 2.--Betty and I sat up all night. The excitement is too
intense to admit of hunger or fatigue. We know nothing beyond the
rumours of the street. Jameson is said to be at Langlaagte, fighting
his way into town, the Boers in hot pursuit.

Mademoiselle has asked leave to go to the Convent to make her will.

In the streets, private carriages, army wagons, Cape carts and
ambulances graze wheels. Every hour or two a fresh edition of the
'Star' is published; public excitement climbing these bulletins, like
steps on a stair. We sit a half-dozen women in the parlour at Heath's
Hotel. Two sisters weep silently in a corner. Their father is manager
of the 'George and May'; a battle has been fought there a couple of
hours ago. No later news has come to them. A physician, with a huge
red-cross badge around his arm, puts his head in at the door, and
tells his wife that he is going out with an ambulance to bring in the
wounded. At this we are whiter than before, if it were possible.

Poor Mademoiselle returned an hour ago and was obliged to go to bed,
done up with the nervous tension.

Jacky is loose on the community; in spite of energetic endeavours
(accompanied by the laying-on of hands in my case) his Aunt Betty and
I cannot restrain his activity. He is intimate with the frequenters of
the hotel bar, and on speaking terms with half the town. The day seems
endless.

Things have gone so far, men want the issue settled, and perhaps the
irresponsible are eager for a little blood-letting; there are certain
primitive instincts which are latent in us all, and the thought of war
is stimulating.

Mr. Lace returned this afternoon and reported that he had ridden
through the lines to Jameson. He had had very little speech with the
doctor, as the time was short, and the messenger bearing the
proclamation of the High Commissioner was also present. Jameson asked
where the troops were. Lace told him that he could not rely on any
assistance from the Uitlanders, as they were unprepared, and an
armistice had been declared between the Boer Government and the people
of Johannesburg.

LATER.--News is brought of a battle fought at Doornkop this forenoon,
and _Jameson has surrendered_. Johannesburg has gone mad.

MIDNIGHT.--My husband has just come in, his face as white and drawn as
a death mask.

We talked earnestly, and then I insisted upon his going to bed, and
for the first time in three days he drew off his clothes and lay down
to rest. The exhausted man now sleeps heavily; I sit beside him
writing by the spluttering candle. Now, while it is fresh in my mind,
I am trying to put down all that I have just heard from my husband.

He told me the Reform Committee were greatly surprised when they
received the report of Mr. Lace, as Jameson had no right to expect
aid and succour from Johannesburg for the following reasons:--

_First_.--In answer to a telegram from Jameson, expressing
restlessness at the delay, my husband wired him on December 27 a
vigorous protest against his coming.

_Second_.--Strong and emphatic messages were taken by Major Heaney,
one of Jameson's own officers, to the same effect, also by Mr. Holden.
Major Heaney went by special train from Kimberley, and Mr. Holden on
horseback across country.

These messages informed Dr. Jameson that the time had not arrived for
his coming; that the people of Johannesburg were without arms, and
that his coming would defeat the aim and purposes of the whole
movement; and, further, that he could not expect any aid or
co-operation from the people of Johannesburg.

Notwithstanding all this, Jameson left Pitsani Sunday night, and the
first intimation which Johannesburg had of his advance was through
telegrams received Monday afternoon.

The Reform Committee, thus informed of Jameson's coming, and knowing
that he was fully aware of their unarmed condition, believed that he
relied only on his own forces to reach Johannesburg; and the Committee
were assured by Major Heaney and Captain White (two of Jameson's
officers, the latter having two brothers with the invading force) that
no Boer force could stop him in his march; and this was confirmed by
one of Jameson's troopers, who came from him this morning of the
surrender, and reported that he was getting along well; that, although
his horses were tired, he would reach Johannesburg within a few hours,
and that he needed no assistance.

The hope of the Committee was that, after receiving the proclamation
of the High Commissioner, Jameson would retrace his steps instead of
pushing on.

Monday, when we first heard of his starting, there were only 1,000
guns, and very little ammunition in the country, and these were
hidden away at the different mines. One thousand five hundred more
guns arrived next day. So desperate was the extremity, these guns were
smuggled in at great risk of being discovered by the Boer Custom House
officials, under a thin covering of coke on ordinary coal cars. But
for the bold courage of several men, who rushed the coke through, they
would have fallen into the hands of the Boers. The leaders had taken
as few men as was possible into their confidence, so as to reduce to a
minimum all liability of their plans being discovered by the
Government. They had made almost no organisation, and Jameson's sudden
oncoming placed them in a terrible position. To confess at this
juncture that the Reform Committee was short of guns would have
demoralised the people, and placed Johannesburg entirely at the mercy
of the Boers. These leaders played a losing game with splendid
courage. Realising that all would be lost if the true situation were
suspected, and feeling the fearful responsibility of their position,
they kept their counsel, and turned bold faces to the world,
continuing to treat with Government with the independence of
well-armed men, and men ready to fight.

When the news of Jameson's surrender was confirmed this evening, the
surging crowd around the 'Gold Fields' became an excited and dangerous
mob. Pressing thickly together, in their frenzy, they began to mutter
threats against the Reform Committee, and demanded, 'Where is Jameson?
We thought you promised to stand by Jameson! Why didn't you give us
guns and let us go out to help Jameson?'

Plans were made to blow up the 'Gold Fields' where the Reformers sat
in session. Several gentlemen of the Committee essayed to speak from
the windows, but were received with howls and curses from the stormy
tumult below. At last Mr. Samuel Jameson, brother to Dr. Jameson, made
himself heard:--

'I beg you, for my brother's sake, to maintain a spirit of calm
restraint. We have done everything in our power for him, and used our
very best judgment. In face of the complicated circumstances, no other
course could have been taken.'

It was as oil on the troubled waters.

     JANUARY 3.--

         FROM THE REFORM COMMITTEE.

The Reform Committee issued the following notice at noon:--

     '_Resolved_: That in view of the declaration by the
     Transvaal Government to Her Majesty's Agent that the
     mediation of the High Commissioner has been accepted, and
     that no hostile action will be taken against Johannesburg
     pending the results of these negotiations, the Committee
     emphatically direct that under no circumstances must any
     hostile action be taken by the supporters of the Reform
     Committee, and that in the event of aggressive action being
     taken against them, a flag of truce be shown, and the
     position explained.

     'In order to avoid any possibility of collision, definite
     orders have been given. The matter is now left with the
     mediation of the High Commissioner, and any breach of the
     peace in the meanwhile would be an act of bad faith.

     'By order of the Committee.'


Deep and universal depression follows upon the great excitement.
Jameson and his men are prisoners of war in Pretoria. Armed Boer
troops encircle the town.

One man said to me to-day: 'If we do get the franchise after losing
only thirty men, how much we will have gained and at how cheap a
price.'

It was a man's view; birth and death could never mean so little to a
woman!

JANUARY 4.--The High Commissioner has arrived at Pretoria.

They say poor Dr. Jameson is greatly dejected, and never speaks to a
soul.

JANUARY 5.--This beautiful Sunday, quiet and serene, dawns upon us
free of the sounds of the past week. No cries of newspaper boys nor
hurry of wheels. A couple of bands of recruits drilled for a while
sedately on Government Square, and then marched away. It is wonderful
to an American woman, who still retains a vivid recollection of
Presidential Elections, to see two warring factions at the most
critical point of dispute mutually agree to put down arms and wait
over the Sabbath, and more wonderful yet seems the self-restraint of
going without the daily paper. The George Washington Corps attended a
special service. The hymns were warlike and the sermon strong and
anything but pacific.

JANUARY 6.--The Government issues an ultimatum: Johannesburg must lay
down its arms.

The letter of invitation signed by Messrs. Charles Leonard, Francis
Rhodes, Lionel Phillips, John Hays Hammond and George Farrar, inviting
Dr. Jameson to come to the succour of Johannesburg under certain
contingencies, was printed in this morning's paper. It was picked up
on the battlefield, in a leathern pouch, supposed to be Dr. Jameson's
saddle-bag. _Why in the name of all that is discreet and honourable
didn't he eat it!_

Two messengers from the High Commissioner, Sir Jacobus de Wet, the
British Agent, and Sir Sydney Shippard, were received by the Reform
Committee this morning. De Wet told them that Johannesburg must lay
down its arms to save Jameson and his officers' lives; that unless
they complied with this appeal, which he made on behalf of the High
Commissioner, who was in Pretoria ready to open negotiations,
Johannesburg would be responsible for the sacrifice of Jameson and his
fellow prisoners. It would be impossible for the Government to conduct
negotiations with the High Commissioner for redress of grievances
until arms were laid down. He urged them to comply with this appeal to
prevent bloodshed, and promised that they could depend upon the
protection of the High Commissioner, and that not 'a hair of their
heads would be touched.' After much discussion, the Committee agreed
to lay down their arms.

Betty and Mrs. Clement were busy all the morning giving out books and
flowers which had been generously sent by various ladies and
commercial firms for distribution among the women and children at the
Wanderers' and Tattersall's. Betty says the women were most grateful.
They are busy, hard-working women, and the enforced leisure is very
trying to them. She spoke with the manager of Tattersall's; he thanked
her for her gifts, remarking, with some weariness in his tone: 'You
don't know, Miss, how hard it is to keep the women amused and
contented--and several of them have been confined!' as if that, too,
were a proof of insubordination.

My husband tells me that the Committee is to hold a meeting at
midnight, and another at six to-morrow morning. He says that Lionel
Phillips nearly fainted from exhaustion to-day. Mr. Phillips is
consistent and brave, and George Farrar, too, is proving himself a
hero. Dear old Colonel, with the kind thoughtfulness so characteristic
of him, never fails to ask how we are bearing the trial.

JANUARY 7.--Sir Jacobus de Wet and Sir Sydney Shippard addressed the
populace from the Band Club balcony, exhorting them to accept the
ultimatum.

LATER.--I have had such a reassuring conversation with Sir Sydney
Shippard this evening. He is a most intelligent man, and speaks with
such fluent decisiveness that all he says carries conviction. I am
told that Sir Jacobus's speech was a rambling, poor affair and weak;
the crowd showed a restlessness that at one time threatened to become
dangerous. He was fortunately pulled down by his coat-tails before the
crowd lost self-control.

Sir Sydney's speech, on the contrary, was strong and full of feeling.
He told the people that he sympathised deeply with them in their
struggle for what he believed to be their just rights, but that being
an English Government official he could take no part. He reminded them
that Jameson was lying in prison, his life and the lives of his
followers in great jeopardy. The Government had made one condition for
his safety: the giving up of their arms. 'Deliver them up to your High
Commissioner, and not only Jameson and his men will be safe, but also
the welfare of those concerned in this movement--I mean the leaders.'
He continued: 'I, whose heart and soul are with you, say again that
you should follow the advice of the High Commissioner, and I beg you
to go home and to your ordinary avocations; deliver up your arms to
your High Commissioner, and if you do that you will have no occasion
to repent it.'

JANUARY 8.--Arms are being delivered up. About 1,800 guns already
handed in. The Government assert that we are not keeping our agreement
and are holding back the bulk of the guns. My husband tells me that
these are being given up as fast as possible, but that there are not
over 2,700 among the entire Uitlander population. The Reform Committee
has assured the High Commissioner that they are keeping good faith,
but that they never had more than about 2,700. The disarmament is
universally considered the first step to an amicable settlement. The
Reform Committee has sent out orders and the guns are coming quietly
in. Everybody feels a certain relief now that the strain is eased; the
members of the Committee are dropping down into all sorts of odd
places to make up for the lost sleep of the past week. Dozens are
stretched on the floor of the club rooms. Some steady-going gentlemen
of abstemious habit are unprejudiced enough to allow themselves to be
found under the tables wrapped in slumber as profound as that of
infancy.

In contrast to my feelings of yesterday I am almost joyous. But for
poor impetuous Jameson and the newly dead and wounded of Doornkop, I
could laugh again.

The women are going back to the mines. Many brave little men who have
remained in the shade to comfort their wives now step boldly to the
front and tell us what they would have done if it had really come to a
question of fighting. There is so much talk of _moral courage_ from
these heroes, I fear it is the only kind of courage which they
possess. One gentleman, not conspicuous for his bravery during the
preceding days, gravely said to me: 'If there had been war, I wonder
if I should have had the moral courage to keep out of the fight?' I
looked into his face, and, seeing there his character, answered with
dryness, 'Oh! I suspect you would.' He was too complaisant to
appreciate the sarcasm. God made little as well as great things! I
suppose we should love all humanity, even if it be in the spirit of a
collector of curios.

The protracted excitement has caused several deaths from heart
failure, and I heard of two cases of acute mania. There would
doubtless have been a far greater mortality but for the fact that
Johannesburg is populated by young and, for the most part, vigorous
men and women.

I hear that Dr. Jameson answered, when asked after his first night in
the Pretoria jail if there was anything he would like to have,
'Nothing, thank you, but flea powder.'

I sat on the verandah with Sir Sydney Shippard and Betty this evening
and watched the 'Zarps'[4] take control of the town. There was no
remonstrance on the part of the populace.

LATER.--It is rumoured that a Commando of Boers will attack the town
to-night. The place is practically defenceless; most of the men having
returned to their work and the companies being disbanded.[5]

JANUARY 9.--There is a fearful impression abroad this morning that the
Reform Committee, or at least the leaders, will be arrested. My
husband comforts me by saying the Government could not pursue such a
course after having recognised the Reform Committee and offered not
only to consider, but reform the grievances which have brought all
this trouble about. He declares that Great Britain would not allow
this after commanding her subjects to disarm and promising them her
protection, and to see that their wrongs were righted.

'It would be the worst sort of faith,' he insists.

NOON.--The situation is very strained. I can see that my husband is
trying to prepare me for his possible arrest. 'It will merely be a
matter of form.' Ah me! I can read in his grave face another truth.
May God in His mercy grant us a happy issue out of all our
afflictions.

At a quarter to ten on the night of January 9, my husband, with two
dozen others of the Reform Committee, was arrested and thrown into
jail on the charge of rebellion and high treason. They had heard that
this was probable several hours earlier in the day.

The four leaders were secretly offered a safe conduct over the border,
but refused to forsake their comrades and the Cause. Leaving word
where he was to be found, and with the further stipulation that no
handcuffs were to be used in his arrest, or 'he would blow the brains
out of the first man who approached him,' my husband hastened to
break the news gently to us. I packed a tiny handbag with necessaries
and filled his pockets with cakes of chocolate; chocolate was
nourishing, and would sustain a hungry man hours, even days. We sat
down hand in hand to wait for the officer, Betty in delicacy having
left us alone together.

The Australians were giving a banquet below stairs, and as we clung to
each other we could hear their shouts of boisterous mirth and
hand-clapping. We started up at a tap on the door. A friend to tell us
the officer was waiting at the street entrance. I helped my husband
into his coat and we kissed each other good-bye. He was filled with
solicitude for me. My thoughts were of the two thousand excited Boers
laagered between Johannesburg and Pretoria, but recollection of my
unborn child steadied me and gave me self-command.

Kind Mrs. Heath came to me, and, putting her arms about my shoulders,
led me gently back into the bedroom, 'Mrs. Heath, will you please
tell my sister-in-law that I am alone?' and Betty knew what had
happened and came to me at once. Some time later Mr. John Stroyan
brought a note from my husband:--

     Johannesburg Jail--2 A.M.

     'We are well--a couple of dozen--waiting for the train to
     Pretoria. Don't worry.

     'Yours, J.H.H.'

Then nature came to my relief. My overtaxed nerves refused to bear any
more--they were paralysed. I threw myself across the foot of my little
boy's bed, and lay like a dead woman until the morning broke....

Many days afterward I heard further details of the arrest. Some of the
incidences were amusing, as was the polite borrowing and making use of
Mr. King's carriage--he being one of the Reformers--for conveyance of
the prisoners to the gaol. At the Rand Club there was so large a
collection of Reformers, that the carriages, even over-crowded, could
not carry them all. Lieuts. de Korte and Pietersen, the officers in
charge, said in the most friendly manner, 'Very well, gentlemen, some
of you must wait until we can come back for you.' And they _did_ wait.
Colonel Rhodes was taken from his own home; roused from his bed, he
stood brushing his hair with martial precision, and expressing to the
officer his regret at putting him to the trouble of waiting while he
dressed, Mr. Seymour Fort meanwhile packing his valise. 'Fort, old
man, put in some books,' said the Colonel, who is a great reader; 'all
the books you can find;' and Mr. Fort threw in book after book--big
ones and little ones; and for this lavish provision the poor Colonel
paid dearly some hours later, in company with several husbands, whose
wives in excess of tenderness had provided them with every known
toilette luxury filled into silver-topped cut crystal bottles. The
sight of these afflicted men carrying their heavy burdens from the
station to the prison at Pretoria was both amusing and dramatic. At
times their speech reached the epic.

The sad side was poor Sam Jameson, crippled and broken with
rheumatism--a seriously ill man--accompanied to the very prison gates
by his ever-faithful wife; and the second lot of Reformers, sent to
Pretoria the following morning, met with an experience which some of
them have never since been able to speak of without turning white. By
the hour of their arrival the whole country round about Pretoria knew
of their coming, and a large and violent mob was gathered at the
railroad station to receive them. Through some misadventure, an
inadequate guard was detailed to march them to the gaol. The prisoners
were set upon by the mob, reviled, stoned, and spat upon, the officers
in charge trampling them under their horses' hoofs, in their vain and
excited endeavours to protect them. The poor prisoners reached the
jail in a full run, bruised and breathless, but thankful for the
asylum the prison door afforded them from their merciless pursuers.
They were quickly locked into cells. For many hours they had not
tasted food. The first Reformers imprisoned slipped in to them a part
of their own provisions, but as it was quickly and stealthily done one
cell would receive the pannikin of meat, another the tin of potatoes,
&c. The cells were in a filthy condition. As has been truly said, a
Boer prison is not built for gentlemen. It was an unavoidable
misfortune that this prison, which had up to this time housed only
refractory Kaffirs, should by force of circumstance become the
domicile for six long dreary months, and through a hot tropical
summer, of gentlemen nurtured in every decency. Captain Mein told me
that he stood the greater part of that first night rather than sit
upon the filthy floor, but exhaustion at length conquered his
repugnance. These were times which proved men's natures. It distilled
the very essence of a man, and if anywhere in his make-up was the salt
of selfishness, it was pretty sure to appear. Many who before had
appreciated Charlie Butter's open hospitality, realised now that it
was more than kindliness which prompted him to give up his last
swallow of whisky to a man who was older or weaker than himself. And
they tell me that my own good man's cheery spirits helped along many a
fellow of more biliary temperament.

The four leaders were put into a cell 11 feet by 11 feet, which was
closed in by an inner court. There was no window, only a narrow grille
over the door. The floor was of earth and overrun by vermin. Of the
four canvas cots two were blood-stained, and all hideously dirty. They
were locked in at 6 o'clock--one of them ill with dysentery--and there
they remained sweltering and gasping through the tropical night until
six of the morning. For two weeks they remained in this cell.
Meanwhile, I knew nothing of my husband's plight, being mercifully
deceived by both him and our friends, every day Mr. Heath bringing to
Parktown telegrams from my husband assuring me of his good treatment
by the Government, and imploring me not to worry.

The Reform Committee consisted of seventy-eight members; sixty-four
were arrested. One of this number subsequently committed suicide in a
temporary fit of insanity caused by protracted anxiety and prison
hardship.

The Committee was composed of men of many nationalities and various
professions--lawyers, doctors, and, with only one or two exceptions,
all the leading mining men on the Rand. The Young Men's Christian
Association was well represented, and a Sunday-school Superintendent
was one of the list.

I returned to my home, and was in the doctor's care, and attended by a
professional nurse.

By my Journal I see how good was Mr. Seymour Fort and how faithful Mr.
Manion, the American Consular Agent, during this time of trial. From
the flat of my back I listened to and took into consideration many
plans suggested for the liberation of my husband. One lady proposed
getting up a petition, which she would take to England to the Queen.
It was to be headed with my name, as wife of one of the leaders: Mrs.
Lionel Phillips being in Europe, and Mrs. George Farrar at the Cape;
Colonel Rhodes a bachelor. I had small hopes of the success of things
which had to be sent to Court, or placed before Courts. The subject
was dismissed.

Then there was another plan thought out by a very shrewd man, and
brought to my bedside, 'news which concerns your husband' being a
passport to any one. I was to go at once to Cape Town, see Mr. Cecil
Rhodes, and demand one hundred thousand dollars from him.

'What for?' I asked.

'You see,' said the gentleman, 'your husband and those other men are
going to be tried _sure_, and we need money to lobby Pretoria.'

I was stupid--it was my first Revolution--and I hadn't the least idea
what lobbying Pretoria meant. My friend gave me a sketchy view of its
meaning, and assured me it was usually done in grave cases.

'But it will kill me to leave my bed and start for Cape Town
to-morrow,' I exclaimed.

My adviser delicately hinted that my husband's life was of more value
than my own. On this point we agreed. I was to make Mr. Rhodes
understand that we didn't want any more 'tom-fool military men up here
to ball up the game.'

He was to give the money to me unconditionally, to be disbursed as my
friend saw fit. We rehearsed the part several times; I was hopelessly
dull!

'And now,' he questioned, 'if Rhodes refuses to give you the money,
what will you do?'

I thought of Jael and Charlotte Corday, and all the other women who
had to do with history, and said, 'I suppose I'll have to shoot him.'

My preceptor looked discouraged. We went over the part once again.

It is but fair to say that he had made every provision for my comfort.
Attendants were ready, and at the right moment I have no doubt but
that a neat pine coffin could have been produced. Reflection, however,
showed me the inadvisability of this project; but I was happily spared
the embarrassment of drawing back from promised compliance.

There was a higher power ruling. The next morning's papers announced
the sailing of C.J. Rhodes for England.

The morning of January 10th, Johannesburg disarmed, and the Reformers
in prison, the President of the Transvaal Republic issued a
proclamation offering pardon to all who should lay down their arms,
and declaring them to be exempt from prosecution on account of what
had occurred at Johannesburg--'_with the exception of all persons or
bodies who may appear to be principal criminals, leaders, instigators,
or perpetrators of the troubles at Johannesburg and suburbs_. Such
persons or bodies will justify themselves before the legal and
competent Courts of this Republic'

The principal criminals, leaders, instigators, or perpetrators were
the same to whom was tendered the olive-branch brought from Pretoria
by Messrs. Malan and Marais, acting envoys by the unanimous vote of
the Executive; and three of these same principal criminals, leaders,
instigators, or perpetrators were received seven days since, as
representatives of the Reform Committee, in a conciliatory spirit by
the Government's Special Commission, and told that their demands would
be earnestly considered. During the intervening seven days Dr. Jameson
had been conquered at Doornkop and made a prisoner of the State. The
Reform Committee, in obedience to Sir Jacobus de Wet's long and prolix
solicitation, and the strong appeal of Sir Sydney Shippard, assuring
them that Jameson's life was in imminent danger, and the Government
had made Johannesburg's disarmament the one condition of his safety,
laid down their arms to preserve the life of a man already protected
by the terms of his own surrender. 'Placing themselves,' cables the
High Commissioner to Mr. Chamberlain, 'and their interests
unreservedly in my hands, in the fullest confidence that I will see
justice done them.' The sixty-four Reformers were then promptly driven
into jail, and their property placed under an interdict.

Six months later, the four principal leaders were tried and sentenced
to be hanged by their necks until they were dead, by a judge _brought
from a neighbouring Republic, the Orange Free State_, for that
purpose.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 3: This list was used as a roll-call a week later in the
arrest of the Sixty-four members.]

[Footnote 4: Abbreviated term for South African police.]

[Footnote 5: The following cablegram will show that there were very
substantial grounds for the rumour:--

'Sir Hercules Robinson (Pretoria) to Mr. Chamberlain.--8th
January--No. 3. Since my telegram No. 1 of this morning matters have
not been going so smoothly. When the Executive Council met I received
a message that only 1,814 rifles and three Maxim guns had been
surrendered, which the Government of the South African Republic did
not consider a fulfilment of the ultimatum, and orders would be
immediately issued to a Commando to attack Johannesburg. I at once
replied that the ultimatum required the surrender of guns and
ammunition for which no permit of importation had been obtained, and
that onus rested with the Transvaal Government to show that guns and
ammunition were concealed for which no permit had been issued. If
before this was done any hostile step were taken against Johannesburg
I should consider it a violation of the undertaking for which I had
made myself personally responsible to the people of Johannesburg, and
I should leave the issue in the hands of Her Majesty's Government ...']




IV


SUNDAY, JANUARY 12.--Mr. and Mrs. Perkins called this morning to
advise Betty's not going immediately to Pretoria, as was her
intention. Mr. Perkins said that the Boer feeling was very bitter, and
foreign women were insulted in the streets. Advocate Wessels has also
written to me, insisting upon my waiting two or three days, as my
presence in Pretoria could do no good, and might prejudice my
husband's cause. A little trunk was packed and sent to my husband last
night. I got out of bed to superintend, and felt tragically tender as
I watched the things laid in. A fresh suit of clothes, some personal
and bed linen, towels, shoes, family photographs, flea powder,
ginger-snaps, beef essence, soap, my little down pillow, and his
beloved and well-read Shakespeare. I was able to sit up for an hour
this afternoon to receive Sir Sydney Shippard, Mr. Seymour Fort, and
Mr. Manion.

Yesterday the Governor of Natal, Sir Walter Hely Hutchinson, started
for Pretoria to confer with the High Commissioner in regard to the
transport of Dr. Jameson and his men through Natal. They are to be
handed over to the English Government.

Search parties of mounted Boers are going about looking for hidden
guns. The Robinson Mine seems to be the spot most suspected.

Yesterday's 'Volksstem'--a Government organ--recalled to the minds of
the Boers the Slachter Nek affair of eighty years ago--a story of
Boers hung by Englishmen for their insistence in punishing a negro
slave according to established custom. What a cruel sinister
suggestion underlies this![6]

Keen resentment is felt here against the young German Emperor and his
indiscreet message to Kruger. I never dreamed years ago, when I used
to see him, a tall, slender-legged boy in Berlin, that in maturity I
should have so strong a desire to chastise him. England has
commissioned a Flying Squadron, and the forces at Cape Town are to be
strongly augmented.

JANUARY 13.--Mr. Manion showed me to-day a cable from the United
States Secretary of State, Mr. Olney. 'Take instant measures to
protect John Hays Hammond, and see that he has fair play.' It brought
such a feeling of confidence and comfort! All he wants _is_ fair play,
and I pray to God that he may be protected until he gets it.

Many business meetings had to be postponed to-day on account of the
large number of influential men in jail. I hear from Mr. ---- that on
Thursday and Friday it was most difficult to keep the Boers from
storming the town. President Kruger dissuaded them by promising each a
new suit of clothes. These they have since been seen carrying, tied
to the cantle of their saddles.

Feeling is strong and bitter against the leaders; they are held
responsible for all the trouble brought about by the Jameson invasion.

Commandant Cronje's Burgher force paraded the street this
morning--they are the men who captured Jameson. Jameson is the god of
the hour, and Johannesburg resented the intrusion; but for the sake of
their hero, still in the power of the Government, there was no
indication of intolerance beyond a few audible sarcasms; remarks which
were answered in kind by the Burghers.

Betty says they were an interesting-looking body of men;
strong-framed, heavy-featured, with long unkempt hair and beards. They
rode shaggy, moth-eaten-looking little ponies, each man with a bundle
of hay bound to his saddle and a sausage in his wallet. Fathers among
them as hale as the brawny sons by their sides. They looked capable
of any amount of fatigue.

Numbers of stray dogs and cats attest the many deserted homes.

JANUARY 15.--Every train brings women and children, hobby-horses and
canary birds back to their homes in Johannesburg. Betty has returned,
accompanied by Mr. Seymour Port, from Pretoria. She gives a very
spirited account of her visit. Through Mr. Sauer, one of the advocates
retained by the Reformers, a visiting permit was obtained. She and Mr.
Fort were obliged to wait several hours, in company with a crowd of
wives, at the prison gates, under a broiling sun. All were loaded down
with offerings.

Betty's own donation was several green-lined umbrellas (a god-send in
a whitewashed court beat upon by a tropical sun). After being admitted
each lady was taken into a private room and 'felt all over by a Boer
woman,' who was so fat, Betty declares, 'she must have grown up in
the room, as she could not possibly have got through the door, even
sideways.'

In the prison court the prisoners were sitting about in great
diversity of costume, pyjamas predominating. The weather was
suffocatingly hot. To while away the tedious time some were playing
marbles, others reading, and a few of the most active brains on the
Rand were caught dozing at midday, in a strip of shadow the width of
one's hand, the sole shade in the whole enclosure. Colonel Bettington
sat on a bench near the entrance in a peculiar and striking costume
which proved to be, to those who had courage to linger and analyse,
pyjama drawers rolled to the knees, a crash towel draped with happy
blending of coolness and perfect propriety around body, noble Bedouin
arrangement of wet crash towel on head, single eyeglass in eye, merry
smile. Mr. Lace was the only one of the company who could suddenly
have been set down in Piccadilly without confusion to himself and
beholders. He wore a neat brown suit, pale pink shirt, and a
_stylish_ straw sailor hat. The prisoners showed a touching interest,
Betty says, in the distribution of their gifts. One husband asked his
wife almost before she was within arm's length what she had brought
him. She had brought him a box of Pasta Mack tabloids, and
unfortunately there was not at that time a bath in the whole prison.
Another gentleman was presented with a Cologne spray. He was the envy
of the jail; within twenty-four hours every Cologne spray in Pretoria
was bought up and in the possession of the Reform Committee.

The four leaders are kept apart. After much ceremony my husband was
allowed to see his sister at the door of the inner court where they
are housed. Jameson and his men are in a tiny cottage by themselves,
and no communication whatever is allowed between the prisoners.
Arrangements have been made with the authorities to allow food to be
served to the Reformers from the Pretoria Club at the prisoners'
expense. The head jailer, Du Plessis, is a cousin of Kruger's. A
ponderous man with a wild beard, a blood-shot eye, and a heavy voice.
He is said to have gone to the President several days after the arrest
and said, 'Those men are not like us, they are gentlemen, and cannot
stand such hardships.' $250,000,000 are estimated as being represented
by the men within the four walls of the Pretoria jail.

President Kruger suggests the adjournment of the Volksraad. Every one
feels this to be a wise move while party spirit runs so high. The
Hollanders in the Transvaal are much more rabid against the Reformers
than the Boers.

Mr. Chamberlain has cabled to the High Commissioner respecting the
leaders in the recent rising. He points out that their imprisonment
may disorganise the mining industry, and inquires as to what will be
the likely penalties.

America has asked Great Britain to protect Americans arrested in
Johannesburg. I hear that a Burgher, who saw some of the great iron
pipes of the Waterworks Company being put in the ground, reached
Pretoria in a state of intense excitement, exclaiming that he had seen
'miles of big guns at Johannesburg.'

Mr. Andrew Trimble, chief detective and head of the Uitlander police,
quitted Johannesburg the night of the arrest with much precipitation;
unfortunately, before indeed he had filed away his most important
private papers. Following his hasty flight his office was carefully
guarded by Zarps; no one was allowed to enter--'Oh yes, the Kaffir boy
might go in to clean up.' A good friend of Mr. Trimble's, with stern
aspect, instructed the boy to make a 'good job' of the room and burn
all the papers strewn over the floor and desks. This was faithfully
done by the unconscious negro, to the entire satisfaction of all save
the Zarps in charge.

It is said Dr. Jameson entered the Transvaal with his despatch-box
filled with important papers in cypher, _and the cypher code with
it_. I cannot believe this of any man in his sound senses.

The High Commissioner left Pretoria by special train yesterday. This
was the man who offered his service as Mediator and was accepted by
both Uitlander and Boer. To placate the Boer he refrained from
visiting Dr. Jameson and his men imprisoned at Pretoria, nor did he
permit Sir Jacobus de Wet to visit them. He never acquainted himself
with the terms of Dr. Jameson's surrender. He commanded Johannesburg
to disarm to appease the Boer, and this being successfully
accomplished through the self-control of the Reform Committee, he
departed with his gout and other belongings, leaving the unarmed
betrayed Reformers to shift for themselves. Was this being a Mediator?


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 6: This affair was the result of an interference by the
English. It arose out of the ill-treatment of a negro slave. The Boers
resisted arrest, there was a clash of arms, and four of the Boers were
hanged.]




V


JANUARY 21.--The Burghers are disbanding and returning to their homes.

Trade is thoroughly unsettled, and business of every kind is in an
unsatisfactory condition. Great disorder prevails in the town.
Scarcely a night but there is some sort of disturbance between
citizens and police; the latter are mostly raw German recruits.

Dr. Jameson and his officers left Pretoria yesterday. Dr. Jameson
looked very downcast, and sat gazing stolidly before him until the
train started. They were cheered at many places along the route. The
United States Government has thanked Mr. Chamberlain for his offer to
protect Americans in the Transvaal.

All travellers coming into the country must submit to a rigorous
personal search for firearms at Vereeniging. In one case even the
infant of the party was overhauled for guns and ammunition before
being handed over to the loving father, who had come down to meet his
little family.

LATER.--I came up to Pretoria this afternoon with Betty and the sick
nurse. We were stopped at the station while the officials examined our
handbags for cannon. This delay would have been irritating, but the
men were so universally good-natured--little dull-witted, with no
appreciation of fitness, but good-natured. We drove at once to the
Grand Hotel, and I went to bed that I might look rested when I saw my
husband on the morrow. Lady de Wet and Dr. Messum, the prison
physician, called to tell me the four men had been moved into the
Jameson Cottage, but I was asleep, and not allowed to be roused. There
is comfort in being this much nearer to my poor prisoner. The hotel is
full of Reformers' wives, and there is much excitement and coming and
going. We are warned to be cautious in what we say in public places,
because of spies. Every woman has a nervous look on her face, and some
of them shut the windows and doors before uttering even the most
commonplace remarks.

Pretoria lies in a shallow basin in the heart of the hills--a fitting
home for the Sleeping Princess. It is hushed and drowsy and overrun by
a tangle of roses. Weeping willows edge the streets, which are wide
and as neglected as a country road. Open gutters carry off, or rather
contain, the sewage of the town. Its altitude is lower than that of
Johannesburg, and the climate very relaxing. Every month or couple of
months the town is full of stir and life. The Boers trek in from
neighbouring farms with their long span of oxen, as many as eighteen
and twenty being yoked to a wagon. They buy and sell, and partake of
the Nacht Maal, or sacrament, laagered around the Dopper Church; and
with their dogs, Kaffirs, and oxen make of that square a most
unsavoury spot.

JANUARY 24.--I have been several times to the prison, and have seen my
husband. He looks thin, but his face is much rested. He was greatly
distressed on my first visit at the change in my appearance, which I
declared was most ungrateful, as I had put on my best clothes for the
occasion. His mouth showed a tendency to grow square at the corners; I
had seen his children's do the same a thousand times in our nursery,
and I turned away to conceal my emotion.

The leaders are still kept apart from the other Reformers, a chalked
line showing the margin of their liberty. They are fairly comfortable
in the Jameson Cottage. It contains two tiny rooms; in one all four
sleep, and the other is used for a sitting-room. These are kept very
clean and bright. Mr. Farrar is housekeeper, and 'tidies up' with such
vigour that his three comrades threaten to give up their lodgings and
decamp.

'Hang it all,' says Mr. Phillips, 'we never sit down to a meal that
George does not begin to sweep the floor'; 'And he takes our cups away
and begins washing them before we've finished our coffee,' complains
the Colonel. Mr. Farrar reproaches me for my husband's want of order.
He says I have not trained him at all, which is quite the truth. Each
man has his chief treasures on a little shelf above his bed. The three
husbands have photographs of wife and children; Colonel Rhodes, the
bachelor, a sponge-bag and pin-cushion. Every day I find a short list
of things which they want got for them. It is many a long year since
they had such simple desires: bed-sheets and pillow-cases, a shade for
their window, Dutch dictionary, and lead pencils.

JANUARY 25.--The Reformers, with the exceptions of Messrs. Lionel
Phillips, George Farrar, Colonel Rhodes, John Hays Hammond, and Percy
Fitzpatrick, are released to-day on bail of ten thousand dollars
each. They are not permitted to leave Pretoria however.

JANUARY 27.--Dr. Jameson has sailed on the 'Victoria' for England. The
Governor of Natal was hooted at Volksrust for congratulating President
Kruger on his defeat of Jameson.

We are again in Pretoria. I have asked for an interview with the
President.

       *       *       *       *       *

     _My First Prison Pass_

     BEWIJS VAN TOEGANG

     Aan den Cipier van de Gevangenis te
     Pretoria.

     Verlof wordt verliend aan Mrs. Hammond
     en Miss Hammond en Lady de Wet

     Om den gevangene genaamd Hammond,
     Phillips, Rhodes en Farrar te bezoeken in
     Uwe tegenwoordigheid.

     Den 22nd--1--1896.




VI


Sir James Sivewright said, as I left my rooms for the President's
house, 'I am glad that you are going. You will find a man with a rough
appearance but a kind heart.' Mr. Sammy Marx accompanied me.

The home of the President of the South African Republic is an
unpretentious dwelling, built of wood and on one floor. There is a
little piazza running across the front, upon which he is frequently
seen sitting, smoking his pipe of strong Boer tobacco, with a couple
of his trusted burghers beside him. Two armed sentinels stood at the
latch gate. I hurried through the entrance. A negro nurse was
scurrying across the hall with a plump baby in her arms. A young man
with a pleasant face met me at the sitting-room door and invited me
to enter. It was an old-fashioned parlour, furnished with black
horse-hair, glass globes, and artificial flowers. A marble-topped
centre table supported bulky volumes bound in pressed leather with
large gilt titles. There were several men already in the room, Boers.
Those nearest the door I saw regard me with a scowl. I was a woman
from the enemy's camp. At the further end of the long room sat a large
sallow-skinned man with long grizzled hair swept abruptly up from his
forehead. His eyes, which were keen, were partly obscured by heavy
swollen lids. The nose was massive, but not handsome. The thin-lipped
mouth was large and flexible, and showed both sweetness and firmness.
A fine mouth! He wore a beard. It was President Kruger. He was filling
his pipe from a moleskin pouch, and I noticed that his broad stooping
shoulders ended in arms abnormally long. We shook hands, and he
continued to fill and light his pipe. Mr. Grobler, the pleasant-faced
young man, grandson and Secretary to the President, observing that I
was trembling with fatigue and suppressed excitement, offered me a
chair. We sat opposite each other, the President in the middle. I
spoke slowly, Mr. Grobler interpreting. This was hardly necessary,
President Kruger answering much that I said before it was interpreted.
I could understand him perfectly from my familiarity with German and
especially _Platt-Deutsch_.

I explained that I had not come to talk politics. 'No, no politics,'
interrupted the President in a thick loud voice. Nor had I come to ask
favour for my husband, as I felt assured that the honesty of his
motives would speak for themselves at the day of his trial; but I
_had_ come as a woman and daughter of a Republic to ask him to
continue the clemency which he had thus far shown, and to thank Mrs.
Kruger for the tears which she had shed when Johannesburg was in
peril.

President Kruger relaxed a little. 'That is true, she did weep.' He
fixed me with his shrewd glance. 'Where were you?' he asked abruptly.

'I was in Johannesburg with my husband.'

'Were you not afraid?'

'Yes, those days have robbed me of my youth.'

'What did you think I was going to do?'

'I hoped that you would come to an understanding with the Reformers.'

His face darkened.

'I was disappointed that the Americans went against me,' he said.

Mr. Sammy Marx rose and left the room. I was seized with one of those
sudden and unaccountable panics, and from sheer embarrassment--my mood
was far too tragic to admit of flippancy--blurted out, 'You must come
to America, Mr. President, as soon as all this trouble is settled, and
see how _we_ manage matters.'

Kruger's face lighted up with interest. 'I am too old to go so far.'

'No man is older than his brain, Mr. President'; and Kruger, who knew
that in all the trouble he had shown the mental vigour of a man in his
prime, accepted my praise with a hearty laugh. This was joined in by
the Boers from the other end of the room.

Mrs. Kruger refused to see me, and I liked her none the less for her
honest prejudice. I stood to go. President Kruger rose, removed the
pipe from between his teeth, and, coughing violently, gave me his
hand.

Mr. Grobler escorted me to the gate. 'Mrs. Hammond, I shall be glad to
serve you in any way possible to me,' he said with courtesy.

'Then will you say to Mrs. Kruger that I am praying to the same God
that peace may come?'

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3.--The preliminary trial of the Reform Committee
prisoners was called this morning. The hearing was in the second
Raadzaal. Although the accommodation for the public was limited there
was a large crowd of Johannesburgers present.

Shortly before ten o'clock an armed escort marched up to the jail for
Messrs. Hammond, Phillips, Farrar, Fitz-Patrick, and Rhodes. The other
Reformers stood in a bunch at the entrance of the hall. All the
principal Government officials were present. Sir Jacobus de Wet
appeared, accompanied by Mr. J. Rose Innes, Q.C., who had come from
the Cape to watch the case on behalf of the Imperial Government.

Punctually at ten the State Attorney, Coster, took his seat, and,
beginning with my husband's name, called the accused into Court.

The sixty-four prisoners were assigned to rows of cane-bottomed chairs
in the north-west corner of the building. The proceedings were in
Dutch, and continued throughout the day. With the exception of a few,
none of the Reformers understood Dutch. The hall was without
ventilation, and overcrowded, and sixty-four more bored and
disconsolate-looking men, I believe, were never brought together. Some
of them fanned vigorously with their hats, others gave themselves up
to circumstance and sank into apathy. On the second day, profiting by
experience, fans and paper-backed novels were brought into the Court
room by the arraigned.

When the Reformers filed in I noticed my husband was not amongst them.
Captain Mein caught my eye and beckoned me to come down from the
ladies' gallery. I hurried to him in some alarm. He told me that my
husband was not well, and handed me a permit which Advocate Sauer had
procured for me. I went at once to the prison, and found my husband
with acute symptoms of dysentery, a feeble pulse, and a heart which
murmured when it beat.

'Jack,' I said, 'I am going to dig you out of this jail!'

He looked incredulous, and said despondently, 'I'd rather stay _here_
than go to the prison hospital.'

'I'm not thinking of the prison hospital,' simply to reassure him, and
with absolutely no plan of procedure in mind I smiled wisely.

On my way back to the hotel I was perplexed and uncertain which end to
try first--the American Government or the Government of the Transvaal.
I decided upon the latter, and, assisted by Advocate Scholtz, set to
work with such good effect that by the end of the day I had received
permission to remove my invalid into a private house and personally
attend him. Captain Mein cabled to Mr. David Benjamin, who was in
England, for the use of his cottage. An answer returned within a few
hours, granting us cordial possession.

I was told that we should be kept under strict guard and that an
officer would be lodged in the house with us. Colonel Bettington
advised me to ask the Government that this officer might be Lieutenant
de Korte, who was a gentleman, and a man of kindly instincts. This I
did, and again my wishes were generously considered. My first act in
the cottage home was to cable the United States Secretary of State of
my privilege; Betty and my faithful housemaid, Parker, were allowed to
be with us.

Thirteen men were stationed on guard around the tiny flower-covered
cottage. No letters or telegrams were allowed to be sent or received
without first being read by Lieutenant de Korte; visitors were obliged
to obtain permits to see us, and many were the times I saw my best
friends hang disconsolate faces over the garden gate, because the
prescribed number of passes had already been distributed.

The ladies of the house were allowed to go out twice in the week. I
never accepted this freedom. Betty did once, and returning after hours
was refused entrance by the sentinel. Fortunately Mr. de Korte came
to the rescue. Another time, in consequence of a change of guard, he
himself was obliged to show his papers before being allowed to leave
the premises. Lieutenant de Korte was excessively strict, as was his
duty to the Government, but throughout the two weeks we were under his
care he proved himself entirely worthy of Colonel Bettington's praise,
'A gentleman and a man of kindly instincts!' One piece of kindness I
particularly appreciated. _He never wore his uniform in the house_.
When he sat down to table it was in the usual evening dress of a man
of the world, and our conversation was always on pleasant subjects. We
never forgot, however, that we were prisoners. My husband and I slept
like Royalty in the throne-room, with all the Court assembled. One
guard sat at our bedroom door, gun in hand, and two others on the
verandah just outside the low window. I could hear their breathing
throughout the night. My husband and I could never exchange a private
word; sometimes I would write a message which was hurriedly burnt in
the bedroom candle. The day we moved into the cottage I saw a rose in
the garden which I thought would please and refresh my patient. I
stepped over the threshold to find my nose in conjunction with the
highly-polished barrel of an unfriendly rifle. There was no necessity
for me to understand the guttural speech of the guard, to appreciate
that he desired me to return into the house at once. I did so. Efforts
to induce Mr. Hammond to take a little exercise in the garden I soon
gave over. After a few steps (a guard only two feet behind him) he
would be utterly exhausted, and would almost faint away on reaching
his chair again. Under these petty irritations my husband showed an
angelic patience and fortitude that alarmed me. It was so unlike his
normal self. I longed to hear him cuss a cosy swear; it would have
braced us both. But he was gentle, and appreciative of little
kindnesses; so, to keep from weakening tears, I took to swearing
myself.

Pretoria was like a steam bath. Frequent thunderstorms were followed
by a blazing sun. Vegetation grew inches in a day, and emitted a rank
smell. People were sallow and languid, and went about with
yellow-white lips. My husband was losing strength perceptibly.

I called upon Dr. Messum, and begged that he would summon Dr. Murray,
our family physician, from Johannesburg, in consultation. He preferred
a Hollander. I would have none of them! We haggled, and he gave in.
Dr. Murray came to Pretoria. He was very grave when he came out of my
husband's sick room. His report to the Government gained the allowance
of a daily drive, but even for this slight exertion the sick man was
soon too feeble. I wanted to take him to the bracing heights of
Johannesburg, but lawyers and physicians advised me not to make this
request. Johannesburg was still a red rag to the Government, and I
would be sure to meet with a rebuff. Notwithstanding, I went one night
at eleven o'clock, escorted by Lieutenant de Korte, carrying a
glimmering lantern, to interview Dr. Schaagen van Leuwen, and laid the
case before him.

My husband would surely die if kept in Pretoria; the Government
physician who had been attending him could attest the truth of my
statement. I begged to be allowed to take him to his home in
Johannesburg, under whatever restrictions or guard the Government
might choose to impose. _Johannesburg was my desire_, and I positively
refused to accept any alternative. Dr. Schaagen van Leuwen was very
kind, and promised to do all he could to help me, and he gave me good
reason to hope that my request would be considered.

In the morning I went again to visit Dr. Messum, this time with Mr.
Percy Farrar. I urged him to send in his report of my husband's case
at once, as he seemed inclined to let the matter drift. Mr. Farrar
and I also drew his attention to the condition of the Jameson Cottage.
The walls were covered with mildew from the recent rains and the floor
damp with seepage water. Mr. Phillips was suffering from lumbago, and
Mr. Fitzpatrick with acute neuralgia.

Next day we were pleasantly surprised by a call at the cottage from
Messrs. Phillips, Farrar, and Colonel Rhodes, liberated under the same
conditions as was my husband--a bail of 50,000 dollars and a heavy
guard. They were then on their way to a cottage at Sunnyside. Mrs.
Farrar and I hugged each other with joy, and were quite ready to do
the same to the lawyers who had been so successful in attaining this
end. When I learned a little later that consent had been given for Mr.
Hammond to be taken to Johannesburg my measure of happiness seemed
indeed complete.

With all speed Parker and I tied up our belongings. Lieutenant de
Korte, with nine guards, was to attend us as far as Johannesburg. A
bed was made for the sick man on one of the seats, and frequent
stimulants helped him bear the journey. The thought of going home did
as much as the cordials to stay his strength, I shall always believe.
A number of gentlemen of my husband's staff were at the station to
meet us. Mr. Catlin's kind face I could see above all the others, and
dear Pope Yeatman's. Before we could exchange greetings we were
whisked off into our carriage by the officer whose duty it was to take
us in charge. A soldier hopped up on the box, and another planted
himself on the seat opposite to us--to my inconvenience, and Parker's
intense indignation. Our home was alight. There was a good dinner on
the table, and my husband, with his natural hospitality, invited the
officer to share it with us. I think I should have shot him if he had
accepted--but he did not accept.

There had been a fearful dynamite explosion at Fordsburg, a suburb of
Johannesburg, late in the afternoon, and he was busied with bringing
in the wounded. Very politely he asked me to take him through the
house. This I did, grimly remarking, as I pointed to the window in my
dressing-room, 'That is the one he will escape by when we have made up
our minds to run.' This cheap wit cost me weeks of inconvenience, for
the literal Hollander took me at my word, and posted a guard directly
opposite this window. Being a Vrywilliger[7] and a gentleman, this
poor man suffered as sharply from his position as did I. That night
two armed men stood at our chamber door. One was stationed at each of
our bedroom windows. Another guarded the house entrance, and the
remainder of the guard were dispersed around the yard. Their guns were
loaded, and a bandolier of cartridges crossed their breasts. All this
to restrain a poor, broken man, who could not walk a dozen yards!


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 7: A volunteer.]




VII


ASH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19.--The dynamite explosion was something
terrific. Fifty-five tons exploded at one time, wounding 700 people,
killing 80, and leaving 1,500 homeless. It ripped a chasm in the earth
deep enough to hold an Atlantic steamer with all her rigging. The
Kaffirs thought the sun had burst. Betty says the noise of the report
was something awful. Little Jacky was digging in the garden at the
time. He returned to the house at once with a very troubled face. The
coachman coming from town an hour later told of the dreadful
catastrophe. Jacky took his aunt aside: 'Aunt Bet, I heard that great
big noise when I was diggin' and I thought I had dug up hell.'

The explosion was the result of neglect. For four days fifty-five and
a half tons of dynamite lay under a hot sun at the Netherlands
Railroad junction, left in charge of an inexperienced youth of twenty
who had 'forgotten to remove it' as was ordered the day before the
explosion occurred.

Fordsburg is populated by poor Dutch and Boers. With generous
disregard of recent conflicts, the Uitlanders at once gave help and
sympathy to the afflicted. Seven of the members on the Relief
Committee were Reformers; and Reformers' wives were among the first to
nurse the wounded. President Kruger came over to Johannesburg to visit
the scene of the accident. He visited the wounded at the Wanderers'
and hospital, and seemed greatly affected. He made a speech in which
he begged the sufferers to turn their eyes to the Great Healer, who
alone could comfort. He also said that he was gratified to hear that
the subscriptions in aid of the distressed had reached so high a
figure; 'Johannesburg had come nobly to the rescue, and he was glad to
know it.' He quoted the words of the Saviour, 'Blessed are the
merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' In benefiting others he
declared they would benefit themselves.


FEBRUARY 23.--I am housed with my ill husband. Betty comes in and goes
out in constant service to the sufferers from the dynamite explosion.
We can think of nothing else. All the tragic stories we hear from
friends and read in the papers fill our days with sadness.

A friend of my cook's was visiting a neighbour at Fordsburg. She stood
on the threshold, an infant in her arms, and a three-year-old boy at
her side. The explosion came. Her baby was killed outright, and the
child clinging to her skirts dropped with one leg ripped entirely from
the socket. The mother was not even scratched. Another woman was
sewing on a sewing machine. After recovering from the shock, she found
herself unhurt, her house collapsed, and the sewing machine entirely
disappeared. Most of the houses fell outward and not inward, and
those persons near the explosion describe their experience of the
shock as falling asleep or going off in a trance.

The society women of Johannesburg are doing noble work. Dr. Murray
says it is astonishing how intelligently alert and self-sacrificing
they are proving themselves to be. A story has been told me of a Boer
woman who was fearfully mangled; she bore the necessary surgical
operation with fortitude, but wept copiously when a green baize
petticoat, which she had recently made out of a tablecloth, was taken
off. Only a solemn promise from Mrs. Joel, her lady nurse, to keep the
garment safe until her recovery, appeased her outcries.

I asked the officer in charge yesterday if I might see some of my
friends who called, the sentinels having thus far denied them
entrance. 'Yes, but there are some women in the place whom I do not
care to have come here.' 'And who might they be?' I asked. 'The wives
of the Reformers,' he answered. 'Then,' I flashed out, 'I do not care
to accept _any_ favours at your hands; those women are my personal
friends, and the only persons under existing circumstances whom I wish
to see.'

(We were under this gentleman's surveillance for some time, and he
afterwards proved very friendly, _so my husband says_, but I never
spoke to him again. I did not like him. His voice was unpleasant and
he had a high, hard nose, and I do not fancy people with hard, high
noses.)

A poor little two-year-old baby was found wandering among the ruins at
Fordsburg, with only a slight scratch on her wrist. It is supposed
that she has been lying unconscious under the debris.

A Malay woman was discovered cowering over the ruins of what was once
her home, crooning to a dead child at her breast.

The Netherlands Railroad Company, _under whose auspices_ the accident
took place, have donated 50,000 dollars to the Relief Fund; and the
Transvaal Government has set aside 125,000 dollars for the same
purpose; the Uitlanders, 325,000 dollars, which was collected within a
few hours after the explosion.

FEBRUARY 25.--Business continues stagnant.

A deputation of mining men go to Pretoria in regard to the depression
in the mining industry resulting from the imprisonment of the leaders.
I hear many of the mines will have to shut down.

England's Queen and President Kruger have exchanged messages over the
explosion.

A Kaffir has been found in the wrecked station at Fordsburg; although
he had been imprisoned five days in the debris, he was still alive,
and revived promptly after being given food. (He succumbed however,
some days later to pneumonia brought on by the exposure).

1,500 of the survivors from the dynamite disaster are now encamped at
the Agricultural Show Yard. The Relief Committee are doing all
possible to assuage their sufferings. Poor people! many of them are
utterly crushed, and sit about dazed and listless; while the little
children, unconscious of the despair surrounding them, frolic about
with the chickens, and make mud-pies as if nothing had happened. But
for the thoughtless elasticity of childhood, how few of us could live
to grow up!




VIII


The preliminary trial dragged its undignified course through the
Courts with a fortnight's interruption, because a youth named
Shumacher refused to give his opinions on a certain subject to the
Attorney-General, and was committed to prison for contempt.

The High Commissioner was going through genuflexions before the Boer
President. Peace, peace, at any price! at the cost of broken promises,
humiliating compromises, and the lives of sixty-four Reformers, if
need be.[8]

Mr. Chamberlain had caught the infection, and was salaaming across the
world to Mr. Kruger, like a marionette out of a box. Thoughtful people
began to wonder if he were swung by a heavy weight, which was unknown
to us. Sir William Harcourt was giving the House of Commons, in
England, ill-founded and flippant assurances that 'the Uitlanders
desired no interference from the outside, whether British or other,
but preferred rather to work out their own salvation.' He added many
unpleasant remarks about the Reformers. I said to one of his
countrymen, 'Why does he, in his safety, flourish about, pinning us
deeper down in the wreckage?'

'Don't let that distress you. Everybody understands that he belongs to
the other party. If he were of the party in power he would be howling
for the Reformers. Remember, Mrs. Hammond, that our system of party
politics seems to call for such attitudes of injustice.' I didn't
quite understand the argument, but the gentleman spoke with
conviction, and I was willing to accept his proffered comfort.

In our quiet home at Park Town we had settled down to domestic
routine. The guard had gone to housekeeping in a tent under the
dining-room window. They had made friends with Totsey, and then with
Totsey's master, little Jack. Although I never recognised them beyond
a formal bow, in answer to their salute as we drove in and out of the
grounds, I realised that they were kind-hearted men. They were
Burghers belonging to the Volunteer Corps, and were quite a different
grade altogether from the men who composed our guard at Pretoria. At
first we had thirteen, then the number was diminished to nine. Each
man was paid $5.00 a day out of my good man's pocket, fed, and cab
fare provided (to fetch and carry the relief squad from and to the
town).

It was very like boiling a kid in its mother's milk, but I had the
gratification of remarking once or twice with casual superiority
during conjugal conversation, that revolutions were expensive things,
and that was _some_ comfort.

My invalid's health, which at first showed a decided change for the
better, began to wane again. Massage was tried, and tonics were freely
administered. Dr. Murray and I thought of Cape Town and the sea; but I
must own up, it was _the officer in charge_ who was most influential
in obtaining a permit for my husband to leave the Transvaal. The bail
bond was increased to a hundred thousand dollars. Fearing _somebody_
might change his mind, I insisted on Dr. Murray's starting at once
with my husband for the Cape. Jacky was thrown in as a bonus. Parker
and I were to follow on the mail train two days later.

The guard, who were by this time genuinely attached to their charge,
begged him to be photographed in a group with themselves. To their
great pride this was done. I missed my husband just before his
departure, and Jacky, joining in my search from room to room, gave
the information, 'Papa is playing with his guard outside.' Weak though
he was, he had crawled out to the tent, with a big bottle of
champagne, and when I stepped to the study window I saw, in the pale
twilight, Mr. Hammond standing with the men about him. They lifted
their glasses to him, and their hearty cheers shook me through.

The travellers were despatched, and, according to our plan, I followed
with the maid. My dear husband was well enough to meet us in Cape Town
at the depot, and Jacky was in high feather--he had a tin steamboat;
he was inclined to swagger; and showed a personal complacency not
warranted by his appearance, for some of his clothes were put on with
great care, _hind-part before_.

We found lodgment at Muizenburg, near Cape Town--sun, wind, and
primitive discomfort, this last mitigated by the never-failing
kindness of the proprietor. His little children fell over one another
in eager service to my invalid; they were always sure of appreciative
recognition from him, and every child is sensitive to kindness.

Mr. Joseph Story Curtis, the Reformer, joined us, brought down from
the Rand by his physician and sick nurse; he was suffering from
partial paralysis, induced by the excitement of the revolution and
preliminary trial.

Young Shumacher had come to the coast for building up, also Mr. Van
Goenert, who had carried a gun on duty when Johannesburg was under
arms. We were a saddened little circle at Muizenburg, and we used to
watch the great ships sail out for 'home' with a lump in our throats.

The strong salt breeze buoyed us up to fresh hope. A new friend came
to me: a woman with all a woman's tenderness, and the simple
necessities of life had a fresh meaning when supplied by you, dear
Jessie Rose Innes!

Dr. Murray was obliged to leave us.

An untimely sea-bath brought back most serious symptoms to my
patient, and I was the prey every afternoon to a low fever which
sapped my strength. Although at first this fever bore a horrible
menace, it proved a disguised blessing. For two or three hours each
day I was absolutely free of care, and would lie with quick pulse and
mildly intoxicated brain dreaming I was with my elder boy on the
border of England. I saw him in his little Eton jacket and broad
turned-down collar, his sweet young face fresh as the morning. Or I
would dream of the pretty home under the hill, in far-off California.
The fragrance of thick beds of violets would seem to float to me over
the long waste of sea, and I could see the tall roses nodding in the
white summer fog. My temples beat like the winter rain on the roof,
and the light before my eyes was the library fire, picking out, in its
old familiar way, the gilt lettering on the books ranged about. It was
sweet to go back to all this, even down the scorching path of fever.

Our stay at Cape Town was coming to its close.

The first trial was called for April 24, and my husband insisted upon
going back to meet his sentence. Drs. Thomas and Scholtz declared this
most unadvisable. His heart was in such condition, any shock might
prove fatal. Their reports were forwarded to the Transvaal Government,
and I begged for a few days' reprieve, cabling my urgent request to
Mr. Olney in Washington, Dr. Coster at Pretoria, and our faithful
friend, Mr. Robert Chapin, United States Consul at Johannesburg. Mr.
Olney _at once_ petitioned the Boer Government in our behalf. Dr.
Coster answered curtly by wiring Mr. Chapin that John Hays Hammond was
summoned to appear before the High Court of the Transvaal on the
morning of April 24, at 10 o'clock. To me he vouchsafed no word.

Letters came from friends in Johannesburg begging my husband not to
return, and cables from the United States to the same effect. The
sentence was sure to be a death sentence or a term of long
imprisonment.

From important sources, which for obvious reasons I cannot quote, I
received private messages and letters informing of a plan on foot to
lynch the leaders. The beam from which four Boers had been hung years
before at Schlaagter's Nek (Oh! that poisonous suggestion in the
'Volksstem') had already been brought from the Colony for this special
purpose. Mr. Manion, the Consular Agent, and Mr. K.B. Brown, an
American just arrived in Cape Town from the Rand, took me aside and
laid the case in all its bare brutality before me. _To allow my
husband to return to Pretoria was for him to meet certain death_. If
he were not lynched by the excited Boers, he was sure to get a death
sentence. Mr. Brown showed feeling as he plead with me to use a wife's
influence to save her husband's life. My head was swimming. I could
only repeat in a dull, dogged way: 'He says his honour takes him
back. He is the father of my sons, and I'd rather see him dead than
dishonoured.'

Somehow I got to my room, and the page-boy stumbled over me at the
door some time afterward, and ran for Mrs. Cavanagh. When I felt a
little recovered, I put on my hat, and, not waiting for my husband's
return from an appointment with Dr. Thomas, I drove to the office of
Mr. Rose Innes. He was not in, and his clerk declared he did not know
when he would be in. 'Very well, then; I'll wait until he does come
in.'

I was given a comfortable chair, and a dictionary was dusted and
placed under my feet. Mr. Rose Innes at length appeared. He was
greatly astonished to find me waiting for him. I began abruptly: 'Dear
Mr. Innes, I am in need of a friend; my distress is so great that I
can no longer distinguish right from wrong.' I told him everything;
showed him the letters which I had received, and, facing him, asked,
'What is my duty? I can appeal to my husband--for my sake, to save
the life of our child--and perhaps dissuade him! _My God, it is a
temptation!_'

Mr. Rose Innes sat deep in thought.

'If you think his going back is a needless throwing away of a valuable
life,' I began, with a timid hope beginning to grow in my heart--'I
will chloroform him and have him taken to sea!'

Mr. Rose Innes leaned forward, and took my hand gently between his
own: 'Mrs. Hammond, your husband is doing the right thing in going
back; don't try to dissuade him. If he were my own brother I would say
the same'--and I accepted his decision.

For a further strong but ineffectual effort to gain a few days' longer
leave of absence for Mr. Hammond, I am indebted to this good friend.
Also for many personal kindnesses which I can never forget. Miss
Louisa Rhodes was a most helpful friend as well; the anxiety in
common brought us very close together. She was a veritable
fairy-godmother, bringing us wines and dainty food from Groote
Schuur's well-stocked larder to tempt us to eat.


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 8: Cablegram of the High Commissioner to Mr. Chamberlain,
January 8, 1896:--

'I intend, if I find that the Johannesburg people have substantially
complied with the Ultimatum, to insist on the fulfilment of promises
as regards prisoners and consideration of grievances, and will not
allow, at this stage, the introduction of any fresh conditions as
regards the London Convention of 1884. Do you approve?']




IX


At Cape Town I saw the High Commissioner--a gentle old man with
delicate hands. He had lived two-thirds of his life, and passed the
virile period.

The responsibility of taking my husband to Pretoria was more than I
could assume alone; my strength was nearly spent. Doctors Thomas and
Scholtz assisted me in every way. Although called separately, and not
in consultation, these two gentlemen were far too broad-minded and
generously interested in our welfare to stand upon professional
etiquette. Dr. Scholtz accepted the post of medical attendant on the
journey up-country, and one of the last faces which I saw at Cape Town
as our train drew out was that of Dr. Thomas, who had left a critical
case to hurry down in order to wish us God-speed.

Jessie Rose Innes had come too, wild night though it was. Under her
tweed cape she had brought from her home at Rondebosch a basket filled
with food--fresh butter, chicken jelly, extract of coffee, and a
home-made cake for 'Jacky boy.' Dear heart of gold! there was no need
of words between us that sorrowful night.

Trotting along beside the slowly-moving train, Sir James Sivewright
held my hands thrust through the open window.

'When the worst comes, you'll do all you can to help us, Sir James?' I
asked.

'Indeed I will,' was the hearty response.

The trip was a wearisome one. The weather was hot, and there was much
dust. Little Jack was the leaven of our heavy days, and a sweet
letter, tucked away in a safe place, from the boy in England, wrung
and cheered my aching heart. It bade us to 'brace up.' He had heard
all about the troubles, and was glad his father was not idle when men
were needed. His house had won the football match. There were only a
few more weeks to wait, and we would all be together again! Fate
carried a smile in her pocket for me so long as that boy kept well!

At night we reached Vereenigen, on the border of the Transvaal. We
were delayed there two hours (120 minutes, 7,200 seconds) while the
Custom House officials examined the luggage. Faint and exhausted, my
husband lay on the seat before me. I sat at the open window
waiting--waiting with every nerve strained and a fearful rushing sound
in my ears, for the possible attack of excited Boers or a stray shot
from some fanatic's rifle. Jacky, trying to clamber over my lap, would
whimper under the fierce clutch of my fingers as I dragged him down
from the window.

As is usual, the passengers' names had been telegraphed ahead, and a
crowd of Boers had gathered at the station to see the man who had come
back to get his sentence. They were a wild, uncouth-looking crowd
from the adjacent farms. I could hear them ask, 'Where is he?' 'In
there,' another would answer, pointing with his thumb over his
shoulder to our compartment. In threes and fours they would shuffle
into our car and gaze with dull, stupid curiosity upon the prostrate
man, as sheep gaze at a dead member of the flock. Dr. Scholtz,
keen-eyed and watchful, stood on guard in the doorway. Platinum would
have melted under the courteous warmth of his manner to the officials.

Our train at last under way, I found some one had thrust a bunch of
fresh grapes into my little boy's hand.

Nearing Johannesburg Dr. Scholtz came to me: 'Your husband is
exhausted. I think it best for him to pass the night at his home,
going to Pretoria on the mid-day train to-morrow.'

It was well we did this, for between Johannesburg and Pretoria this
train met with one of the collisions so frequent on the Netherlands
Railway. Only the engineer and a brakeman were killed, but the shock
would certainly have been most disastrous to us.

SUNDAY, NOON, APRIL 26.--My husband with Dr. Scholtz started for
Pretoria. I was unable to leave my bed, but it was agreed that Betty
and I should follow on the early train of the morrow.

The Reform trial which was begun on Friday, April 24, was resumed on
Monday.

Repeated wires from Mr. Hammond and Dr. Scholtz prevailed upon me to
remain at my home to rest another day. 'It would probably be a long
trial.'




X


My husband reached Pretoria Sunday evening, April 26. The information
that we had received en route, regarding the pleas of guilty entered
by the imprisoned Reformers, was confirmed by his associates: the
other three leaders, Messrs. Rhodes, Farrar, and Phillips, had entered
a plea of guilty under count one of the indictment for high treason,
the fifty-nine Reformers entering a like plea of guilty under the
count of lese-majeste. As conjectured by us when we heard of this
action of the Reformers, the prisoners had received certain assurances
before making such pleas:

_First_.--That they should not be tried under the comparatively
obsolete Roman Dutch Law, which punished the crime of treason with
death; but they would be tried and punished under, and in accordance
with, the code laws of the Transvaal Republic, which imposed penalties
of fine and imprisonment for the crime charged in the indictment.

_Second_.--The leaders were further assured that this action on their
part would measurably mitigate the sentences of the other fifty-nine
Reformers.

On Monday, the 27th, the Court reconvened in the market hall, the
_imported_ Judge Gregorowsky occupying the bench.

Mr. Hammond took his place with the three leaders, attended by his
physician, Dr. Scholtz, who remained at his side during the entire
trial.

After some preliminary matters were disposed of, Mr. Hammond, actuated
by the same influences that were brought to bear on his associates,
entered a plea of guilty to count one of the indictment, and placed
his signature to the written statement which had been previously
signed by Messrs. Rhodes, Phillips, and Farrar.

This written paper was in substance as follows:--

     That for a number of years the Uitlanders had earnestly and
     peacefully sought relief for their grievances by the
     constitutional right of petition. That what they asked was
     only what was conceded to new-comers by every other South
     African Government.

     That petition after petition was placed before the
     authorities--one bearing 40,000 signatures, asking
     alleviation of their burdens and wrongs; that they could
     never obtain a hearing, and that the provisions of law
     already deemed obnoxious and unfair were being made more
     stringent; and, realising that they would never be accorded
     the rights they were entitled to receive, it was determined
     to make a demonstration of force in support of their just
     demands.

     The statement then recites the coming of Jameson against
     their express commands and understanding with him, and all
     the subsequent acts of the Transvaal Government, the High
     Commissioner, and De Wet, Her Majesty's Agent, which are
     now matters of history.

The paper concluded as follows:--

     'We admit responsibility for the action taken by us. We
     practically avowed it at the time of the negotiations with
     the Government, when we were informed that the services of
     the High Commissioner had been accepted with a view to a
     peaceful settlement.

     'We submit that we kept faith in every detail of the
     arrangement. We did all that was humanly possible to protect
     both the State and Dr. Jameson from the consequences of his
     action; that we have committed no breach of the law which
     was not known to the Government at the time; and that the
     earnest consideration of our grievances was promised.

     'We can now only put the bare facts before the Court, and
     submit to the judgment that may be passed upon us.'

After the examination of several witnesses and the introduction of the
celebrated cipher telegrams, the Court was adjourned for the day.

TUESDAY, THE 28TH.--There was a vast concourse gathered at the Market
Hall on this day of the trial. The chamber was crowded to its utmost
limit by anxious and interested listeners. Many ladies were present.

His Lordship (the imported Judge) was late in ascending the bench,
unnecessarily prolonging the suspense of the waiting crowd.

The proceedings were commenced with every formality that could render
them impressive. A large number of armed men were stationed at the
entrance and about the Court-room. A prominent object in the
Court-room, one which immediately struck the eye of those entering, as
this was its first appearance during the trial, was a plain wooden
dock, low in front, high at the back, and large enough to hold four
men.

As in the preliminary examination, the Court proceedings were
conducted in the Dutch language, an unfamiliar tongue to a majority
of the accused.

After the despatch of some minor matters, Mr. Wessels, counsel for the
defence, made his address to the Court, closing by reading the written
statement of the four leaders, and asking the clemency of the Court.

He made no reference or protest to the tribunal as constituted--a
Court presided over by a Judge _not a_ citizen of the country whose
sovereignty had been offended by the treasonable acts charged.

Mr. Wessels was followed by the State Attorney, Dr. Coster, in a
bitter and vindictive speech.

He demanded that the prisoners at the bar should be punished under the
_Roman Dutch Law_, and that the four leaders should receive the
_death_ penalty.

This demand of the State Attorney was apparently a surprise to Mr.
Wessels, for he sprung to his feet in an excited manner and protested
most vigorously against the demand of Dr. Coster; his language and
manner were such as to impress many present that it was provoked by a
breach of good faith.

At the conclusion of the speech of the State Attorney, Gregorowsky
(the imported Judge) summed up the case at length, and held that the
prisoners were guilty of high treason as charged in the indictment,
and that the Roman Dutch Law governed in such cases; and that the
sentences imposed would be in accordance therewith.

The Sheriff then with a loud voice commanded silence whilst the
sentence of death was pronounced.

A deep hush fell upon the Court-room--a profound, breathless silence
that became oppressive before the next official utterances disturbed
it.

'Lionel Phillips, George Farrar, Francis Rhodes, John Hays Hammond!'
called the Registrar.

In response these four were singled out from the rest of the prisoners
and conducted to the new dock.

It was the Registrar who again spoke.

'Lionel Phillips, have you any legal reasons to urge why sentence of
death should not be passed upon you, according to law?'

'No,' was the response.

This was followed by the sentence.

In like manner, Farrar and Rhodes were interrogated and sentenced.

Mr. Hammond was then called to his feet and the same formal question
asked.

Although pale and weak from protracted illness, Mr. Hammond responded
in a firm voice to the Registrar's question.

The Judge, then addressing the prisoner, said: 'John Hays Hammond, it
is my painful duty to pass sentence of death upon you.

'I am only applying the punishment which is meted out and laid down
according to law, leaving it to his Honour the State President, and
the Executive Council, to show you any mercy which may lie in their
power.

'May the magnanimity shown by his Honour the State President, and this
Government, to the whole world, during the recent painful events be
also shown to you.

'I have nothing to do with that, however.

'I can only say, that in any other country you would not have a claim
on their mercy. The sentence of the Court is, that you be taken from
this place where you are now, and be conveyed to the jail at Pretoria,
or any such other jail in this Republic as may be appointed by law, to
be kept there till a time and place of execution shall be appointed by
lawful authority, that you be taken to the place of execution to be
there hanged by the neck till you are dead.

'May Almighty God have mercy on your soul!'

Whilst the sentences were being passed upon the four leaders the
auditors were wrought up to the highest pitch; sobs were heard on
every side, tears were on many cheeks, and even stolid old Boers were
seen to weep. One man was carried from the room in a fit.

The four Reform leaders, who had borne themselves during this trying
time in a brave and fearless manner, then stepped out of the dock
firmly and unhesitatingly, and were taken to the Pretoria jail.

The other fifty-nine prisoners were then called to the bar and
sentenced each to pay a fine of ten thousand dollars, and to suffer
two years' imprisonment.

Thus ended this remarkable trial, a judicial trial unprecedented in
the annals of jurisprudence.

A mockery of justice and a travesty upon civilisation.[9]


FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 9: The foregoing regarding the trial and sentence of the
Reformers is from information derived from eye-witnesses and the local
Press.]




XI


By a strange providence Betty and I missed the early train. I had not
reckoned on the delay in dressing which sorrow and fatigue could
occasion.

The paper had announced that the sentence was to be given at noon.
Though I had no intention of being present in the Court-room, I wished
to be within reach of my husband in case he should need me. We took
the local train which left Johannesburg at 10.30.

Our journey came to an end. I saw Mr. Rose Innes and Dr. Scholtz on
the platform.

'Is it the death sentence?'

Mr. Rose Innes, with both hands on my shoulders to keep me from
falling, said 'Yes.'

There were many other friends, I have since learned, who were there to
receive me. I have a hazy recollection of Mr. Barnato, good
kind-hearted 'Barney,' begging me 'not to fret'; that he had brought
my husband to Africa and he meant to stand by him till he got out of
Africa. Mrs. Clement and Betty remained beside me. The day was without
hours to me, a dry aching stretch of time; I had no tears to shed!

At some time in the afternoon Mrs. Joel brought me a flower and a note
from my husband, beseeching me to keep up a brave heart, and assuring
me that he was all right and as comfortable as was possible under the
circumstances.

After the death sentence had been pronounced and the Court dismissed,
Mrs. Joel, with woman's thoughtfulness, put a flask of brandy in her
pocket and started for the prison. In the confusion of receiving the
prisoners she managed to slip in and went at once to the condemned
cell. Her visit was a God-send to the four unhappy men, who were much
worn by months of anxiety, ill-health, and this final strain of the
death sentence. They were bearing up wonderfully well, she said.

One of the lawyers came and sat at the end of my sofa. He burst into
tears. 'We've been played! we've been played!' he exclaimed, with
vehemence. Remembering how the lawyers for the Reformers had muddled
everything from the beginning of the trial, how they had
conscientiously and persistently walked into every trap laid for them,
I sat upright to look squarely into his face. 'My God! when haven't
you been played?'

The effect of the death sentence on Johannesburg was extreme: all
shops and the Stock Exchange were closed, and the flags of the town
were placed at half mast.

This, from the 'Standard and Diggers' News'--a tribute from the
enemy's paper--goes to my heart:--

'One respects the probity of the man who, dangerously ill and totally
unfit for the hardship of a prison, preferred to take his stand in the
dock, rather than sacrifice his self-respect by flight from Cape Town;
Mr. Hammond has worthily upheld the reputation of a nation which
claims its sons as men who "never run away."'

It was decided by the Executive this same night to commute the death
sentence, but this was not communicated to the condemned men until the
following morning. The night of suspense passed under the eye of the
death watch with a dim light burning was a needless cruelty; it made
the President's subsequent magnanimity more dramatic, but with that I
naturally felt no sympathy.

I have often been asked since if I did not realise that the Boers
would never have _dared_ execute my husband? And many dear friends who
were thousands of miles away assure me now that they never had a
moment's real apprehension for his safety. We however, who were in
Pretoria, at the time, a helpless handful in the power of a primitive
population of narrow experience, a people inflamed by long years of
racial feud and recent victory, were by no means so sure that all
would end well. Two prominent men, standing high in authority,
confessed to me later that they were most anxious and fearful of
results, although at the time their sustaining support helped to keep
my body and soul together. _The gallows was prepared, and the order
was to hang the four victims simultaneously_.

The night following the sentence, Mr. Chapin, the U.S. Consul, and his
wife came to me. They were then and for months afterwards as tender
and faithful as people of my own kindred. Mr. Chapin was tireless in
his efforts in behalf of the Americans in trouble, and the high
personal regard in which he was held by the Boer, as well as
Uitlander, did much subsequently to ameliorate their circumstances.
Mr. Chapin at once interviewed Mr. Wessels, chief advocate for the
Reformers--and he told me immediately after the interview the result
of their meeting. Mr. Wessels distinctly said that, although it was
not put in writing, it was understood between the State Attorney and
himself 'as between man and man' that if the prisoners pleaded guilty
he would not press for severe punishment. (Mr. Wessels has since, for
reasons only known to himself, denied this both privately and
publicly.)

APRIL 29.--The commutation was published. Mrs. George Farrar had come
from Johannesburg, and together we went to see our husbands. Our visit
was limited to five minutes. We found the four men haggard, but
apparently cheerful. The condemned cell had an earthen floor. It had
been newly whitewashed and reeked of antiseptics. Four canvas
stretchers, a tin pail filled with water, and a dipper, furnished it.
A negro murderer had been its last occupant. I sat on one of the
canvas cots with an arm around my husband and holding Colonel Rhodes'
hand. Mrs. Farrar was sitting on the opposite cot, locked in her
husband's embrace. The guard came to order us out. Poor Mrs. Farrar
looked so frail and white, I put my arm about her to give her support.
In the courtyard we stopped to speak to one of the Reformers. The
guard became furious, and, swinging his arms in a threatening manner,
rushed at us with curses. We were driven violently out of the yard
like depredating dogs. Surely the sun never looked upon two women in
sadder case. She was just up from her confinement, and I was far
advanced in pregnancy.




XII


No cable of political purport could be sent from Pretoria safe from
mutilation. I therefore despatched Mr. Hammond's secretary to Cape
Town with a message to the American press, reporting Mr. Wessels' plea
for the Reformers, the statement of the four leaders, and the
sentence. I did this, believing that, if the American public fully
understood the circumstances of the case, popular sympathy would allow
no stone to remain unturned to protect their unfortunate countryman
from so violent and unjust a sentence.

Pretoria seethed with overwrought wives. In the prison the men were
suffering real hardship. The sanitary arrangements were shocking.
Twenty-two Reformers were crowded into a room thirty feet by ten.
This room had been hastily built of corrugated iron, and leaked at
every seam. Draughts were strong enough to blow the hair about their
temples; the men slept on straw mattresses laid on the floor, and
there was scarcely room enough for a man to get out of bed without
stepping on his neighbour. Rations of mealie pap--a coarse, insipid
porridge--with a hunk of hard, dark-coloured bread were given to each
prisoner in tin pannikins--not particularly clean. At mid-day a little
greasy soup and soup meat were added. This unsavoury fare caused many
of the Reformers to go hungry rather than eat it. Others ate it, but
their stomach afterwards rejected it. They were locked in the cells at
5 o'clock and without lights. Prison regulations were most strict at
this period.

Mr. S., one of the Reformers, had the misfortune to have his teeth
drawn a short while before the trial. A new set was completed the day
after his incarceration, and although his friends used every effort
to convince the jailers of the perfect harmlessness of these false
teeth, and explained Mr. S.'s painful predicament in being without
them when he had nothing but hard food to chew, they insisted upon
considering them contraband, and would not allow them to pass. Poor
Mr. S. lived for three days on a half-tin of condensed milk, smuggled
in by the wife of a fellow-prisoner. The world has never seen such
wholesale smuggling as was practised by these devoted women. Mrs.
Solly Joel as she passed daily through the prison gate was a complete
buttery. The crown of her hat was filled with cigars; suspended from
her waist, under her dainty summer silk skirt, hung a bottle of cream.
Tied to her back by way of a bustle was a brace of duck, or a roasted
fowl wrapped neatly in linen. She said this gave her a slightly
out-of-date appearance, but she did not mind that. Under her cape Mrs.
Clement wore a good-sized Bologna sausage around her waist as a belt;
this was in time adroitly removed by Mr. Clement. Another lady
supplied the prisoners with tins of sardines and beef essence, which
she carried concealed in her stockings. Occasional vagaries on the
part of these affectionate wives were subsequently explained to the
complete satisfaction of their captive lords. Mrs. Butters' coyness
and refusal to be embraced because of the flask of coffee in her bosom
is an instance of this. All this sounds very funny now, but it was
desperately earnest work then. In time the stringent rules relaxed.
The prisoners were allowed to buy their own food, and Mr. Advocate
Sauer made the same arrangement with the Pretoria Club to supply food
for the Reformers as had been done during their former imprisonment.
Those were boom times for little Pretoria. Hotel-keepers and tradesmen
coined money, and the cab-drivers were able to open an account with
the bank.

Mrs. Lionel Phillips closed up her beautiful home in Johannesburg,
sent her babies to her people at the Cape, and took permanent lodgings
in Pretoria. She was most faithful in her visits to the prison, and
was kind to the three room-mates of her husband in many ways.




XIII


My diary continues through May:

FIRST WEEK.--Petitions in favour of the Reformers are being signed all
over the country. All feeling against the Reform Committee has veered
round, and the strongest sympathy is now felt for them. Only the
extreme of the Boer and Hollander factions chant the old story of
their trying to subvert the Government--conniving with Jameson, and
then deserting him, &c., &c.

Landdrost Schutte and Captain Shields quarrel over who shall have
charge of the jail. Apparently it is an appointment of honour, or
large emolument.

Gregorowski is publicly hooted on his return to Bloemfontein. I hear
that as soon as Gregorowski had pronounced the death sentence, Judge
Morice dashed from the Court-room and ran hatless through the streets
of Pretoria to withdraw Gregorowski's name, which had been put up at
the Club, at his request. This is a sample of the feeling among
honourable men. Judge Morice is a Burgher and a prominent Judge of the
Transvaal Court. The Jury of Burghers called for the final trial,
which was never empanelled, were greatly surprised and affected by the
fearful sentence--some of them wept like children. And they were the
first to draw up a petition for commutation.

Prisoners are still wearing their own clothes, although it is said
that enough jumpers of prison sacking are waiting to breech the lot.
They suffer severely from cold and dampness, the prison accommodations
offering little or no protection from the weather. Many of them are
ill. There is talk of separating the Reformers and sending them to
jail in various districts--Barberton, Rustenburg, and Lydenburg. This
threat causes much apprehension, for their one solace is being
together.

Rumour of English troops gathering on the Border.

President Kruger and the High Commissioner exchanging opinion over the
uneasiness. Kruger calls out, 'I see Bugaboos in your front yard,' and
Sir Hercules responds, 'Oh no; that's our tame cat.'

Petitions come in from the country districts of the Transvaal. From
Durban and Pietermaritzburg, with over a thousand signatures, from
Lorenco Marques, a second from Durban, and one from the Orange Free
State, expressing sympathy and the hopes of President Steyn.

Natal sends a petition signed by 4,000 Burghers.

The sentences are commuted, but nobody knows to what.

General Joubert is sent off with a ten days' leave of absence to take
his annual bath.

Messrs. Rose Lines and Solomon visit the jail daily.

SECOND WEEK.--In spite of hardships my dear husband's health improves.
He vows the death sentence has cured him. From day to day we are
promised a final decision from the Executive, but matters are still
drifting. Nothing will probably be done in this direction until
General Joubert returns to Pretoria, as he is one of the members of
the Executive Council. It is suggested to me by one of the Government
circle that a visit from me to Mr. Kruger would be timely. All which I
wished to say I would not be allowed to say, and just to pay an
aimless visit seemed a foolish thing to do, and, being outspoken, I
said so. A friend in whom I had implicit confidence advised me to go
by all means. I was possibly being used as a political pivot. After
some delay I did go, splattering through the mud in a wheezy old cab
behind a splayfooted white horse driven by a hunchbacked negro boy.
The interview lasted five minutes, and was perfectly meaningless. I
suppose it was meant to be that. Ten fathoms down under many other
things I could see that Kruger had strong heart qualities. Educated
and morally matured, he would be one of those grand characters who
make epochs in the world's history. We shook hands at parting and went
out of each other's lives for ever.

Mr. G. told me, as he helped me into the cab at the door, that Mr.
Kruger had received a cable from America in my husband's behalf,
signed by the Vice-President and a large number of the Senate and
House of Representatives. This information opened my eyes. I now saw
why a visit from me would be 'timely.'

Within an hour news was cabled by _some one_ to all parts of the
civilised world that the wife of the American prisoner, John Hays
Hammond, had received audience of the President of the Transvaal. 'The
interview was of long duration. What transpired was of a private
character, but it is believed to be very hopeful and satisfactory.'

THIRD WEEK.--Delays, shiftings, postponements, delays with excuses,
and delays without excuses. Each day strong petitions sent in to the
Executive. A continual stream of disheartened wives and friends on
their way to the Presidency, many going in the early dawn, as the
President--an early riser and of simple habit--was known then to be
easy of access. A pitiful picture lingers in my mind of a dozen
Reformers' wives in the deep golden yellow of an African sunrise
sitting on the edge of the broad side-walk with their feet in the dust
waiting for the President to return from burying a Landdrost's wife. I
cannot remember that Mr. Kruger made any specific promises. 'All shall
come right,' he said frequently. 'Wait; don't hurry me. I must go
slow, or my Burghers will get out of hand.' We waited, and the men
inside of the prison walls one after another sickened and lost heart.

On May 12, Dr. Messum sent the following report in to the Landdrost:--

Dear Sir,--I have, on the 29th and 30th April, written to the
Inspector of Jails about the state of the jail. I do not know if I am
to report to you or to the Inspector of Jails; in any case, I have the
honour again to report that as yet no alteration has been made in the
sheds in which the political prisoners are kept. I must repeat again
that they are too small and unhealthy for the number of prisoners
placed in them. I find now, on account of their immediate vicinity to
the native section, that vermin is beginning to trouble the political
prisoners. There are amongst the political prisoners very old and
sickly men, whose lives, on account of the insufficient accommodation,
are placed in danger. There is not yet any proper hospital room for
the sick, who are thus obliged to remain amongst the others. I find
that the accommodation is very insanitary and unhealthy.

About the prisoner F. Gray I wish to make special mention, because he
is showing signs of developing melancholia (lunacy), caused by the
uncertainty of the future and what he has gone through during the last
few months.

I also fear that he later on will develop suicidal tendencies. I would
recommend that his sentence should be taken into immediate
consideration, and to discharge him at once from the jail.

  I have the honour to be, etc.,
        GORDON MESSUM, M.D.,
            _District Surgeon_.

Unfortunately this report was not considered, and on the 16th day of
May poor Gray, distraught by his sufferings, cut his throat.

Mr. Fred Gray was a man of high business standing. He was married, and
the father of six children. His tragic death was a shock to every one.
Johannesburg turned out in a body ten thousand strong to carry his
remains to the burial-place. Inside the jail, his fellow prisoners had
formed in procession and with uncovered heads followed the body as far
as the prison gates, the limit of their freedom, not a man with dry
eyes.

_The first prisoner was liberated_.

FOURTH WEEK.--The decision still withheld. President Kruger excuses
this by saying it is due to the fact that only half the captive
Randites have signed the petition for commuting the banishment and
imprisonment clauses to fines.

The suspense is heartbreaking, and night brings no forgetfulness.
Those long voiceless nights of South Africa! Not a bird's call, nor a
chirp from the tiny creatures which hide in the grass. A white moon, a
wide heaven filled with strange stars, and the tall moon-flowers at
the gate lifting up their mute white trumpets to the night wind.

The little boy beside me rouses from his sleep to ask:--'Mother dear,
why do you laugh and shake the bed so?'

Fearing an illness, I yearned for a last interview with my husband. It
was a Saturday that I went to Pretoria, and although the prison was
supposed to be closed on that day to visitors, I had several times
gained admittance through the kindness of those in authority. I went
to the Landdrost who had the dispensing of permits.

'Will you please make an exception in my favour and allow me to see my
husband? I am ill, and must return to my home in Johannesburg at
once.'

'What does she say?' roared the Landdrost, who for some reason was in
a furious temper. He turned to a Boer in the room. 'Tell her she may
whine as much as she pleases, she can't see her husband on Saturday.
_Nobody_ can go in the prison on Saturday. If she wants to see her
husband she must wait until next Monday!' The man turned fiercely
towards me, but seeing my patient face, or perhaps for the sake of
some Boer woman on a distant farm, his voice broke, and became quite
gentle as he delivered the message.

With one exception this was the only time I ever received harsh
treatment from a Boer official. Of course I sometimes met with a
_strictness of manner_ which was to be expected, and which I was quite
prepared to submit to. Brutal unkindness I never experienced but
twice.

Reaching the jail, whither I had directed the cabman to drive me, I
found Advocate Sauer and Mr. Du Plessis standing at the gate. They
almost dropped at sight of my face. Dignity had deserted me. I was
actually howling in my distress,

'Please, _please_ let me in to my husband!'

Du Plessis, rough and violent as he was to most people, was always
kind to me. He opened the wicket and pushed me gently through. That
was his answer. My sudden entrance, a ball of a woman with the tears
dripping down on to her breast, surprised the warders. They regarded
me with stricken faces. One at last rallied. With his eyes still
fastened upon me, he called,

'Mister H-a-m-mond, Mister H-a-m-mond, your missis is here!' and my
husband came rapidly across the yard.

I went home to my bed. Dr. Murray came in charge.

'Poor little woman! There is nothing to prescribe but oblivion in a
case like this.' He ordered narcotics. Two weeks later I was told that
I had been dangerously ill. In that darkened room I had suspected my
jeopardy. Surely there is a special place in heaven for mothers who
die unwillingly.

From distant parts of the world kind letters came to me--and from
Johannesburg messages, sweet, with full-hearted sympathy--many of
these from people whom I had never seen, nor ever shall in this life.
I found friends in the days of my trouble, as precious as rare jewels,
whom I shall wear on my heart until it stops its beating.

The Government most generously allowed my husband to come to my
bedside. He was accompanied by the chief jailer, Du Plessis. He wore
some violets in his buttonhole, I remember, which the jailer's child
had given him. Mr. Du Plessis asked to see me. He had news to tell me
which would cheer me up, he said. Brought to my bedside, all he could
say, and he said it over and over again in his embarrassment, was:

'Don't be unhappy; your husband won't be many years in prison.'

This did not bring the cheer intended. Playing the part of guest was
irksome to Du Plessis. He went home to Pretoria the second
day--leaving Mr. Hammond, who was not on parole, or even under bail,
entirely free. No point in my husband's career has ever given me so
entire a sense of gratification as the confidence in his honour thus
manifested by the Boer Government. In my convalescence he returned to
Pretoria and gave himself up at the prison.

'You might have waited another day,' said the warder in charge; 'we
don't need you yet.'




XIV


One day the 'Star' (in a third edition) announced the great decision
was at last concluded. The sixty-three Reformers were to be divided
into four groups and sentenced in lots. Ten were to be liberated
because of ill-health. Some were to be imprisoned twelve months,
others five, and still others three months. The four leaders were
sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment, which, if carried out, was
equivalent to death. However, this sentence was provisional, and it
was understood petitions would be entertained.

This news was first taken into the jail by two wives who had outrun
the messenger. My husband says that when he saw Mrs. X. throw herself
weeping and speechless into her husband's arms, he thought 'it was all
up with him.'

X. wasn't half the offender he was, and the sentence was evidently
something too dreadful to tell. Mr. X. was one of the three months'
men, I believe.

These sentences, although unpopular, relieved to a certain extent the
awful strain. But what was Johannesburg's wrath to hear two days later
that the sentences were not for the periods mentioned, _but that at
the expiration of these periods the prisoners could make fresh
applications to be again considered!_ This was juggling with human
souls! Everybody believed it to be the work of Dr. Leyds. A man more
execrated than Dr. Leyds, I believe, does not live!

Three more weeks of cruel suspense followed.

Mr. Chamberlain continued to tumble down the Boer back stairs head
over heels, yelling out excuses as he descended. He publicly denied on
the 29th that Great Britain had promised to protect the Reformers,
and added that they were not being unfairly treated. I will never make
statesmen of my sons. I'd rather set them to ploughing.

Mark Twain came to the Rand. He visited the men at Pretoria. My
husband did the honours of the prison, and introduced him to the
Reformers. He talked a long while to them, sitting on a dry goods box.
Expressed his satisfaction at finding only one journalist in the
crowd, and no surprise that the lawyers were largely represented. He
assured them that they were to be congratulated and envied, although
they did not know it. There was no place one was so safe from
interruption as in a jail. He recalled to their minds Cervantes and
Columbus--it was an honour to share captivity with such men as these.

They have sent another member of the Executive away to the baths, and
later his absence will be given as an excuse for delay.

MAY 30.--All the Reformers with the exception of Davies and Sampson,
and the four leaders, are released after paying ten thousand dollars
each, and giving their oath to abstain in future from discussing or
participating in Transvaal politics.


JUNE.--Meetings are called by the labourers on the Rand. They send a
monster petition to Pretoria. The miners and mechanics also send a
petition. The famous Innes petition is being circulated all over South
Africa, and the mayors of all the large towns are preparing to go in a
body to Pretoria to present their petitions for the release of the
leaders. The President promises and postpones from day to day. The
retention of the leaders is acknowledged to be only a question of the
amount of fine.

An influential deputation from the Cape Town branch of the Africander
Bond wait upon President Kruger, and a petition signed by sixty
members of the Cape Parliament is read to him. Another deputation
comes from the Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor of Durban forwards
through the Colonial Secretary a petition bearing 1,250 names, and the
Kimberley branch of the Bond send a petition. Nothing comes of it all.
The President appoints the 7th to be a day of humiliation and prayer,
and Dr. Leyds doubles his bodyguard.

JUNE 10.--The whole of South Africa is appealing to President Kruger
to let the leaders free. The entire white population--two millions of
people--give voice to this desire and hope of United South Africa. One
hundred and fifty mayors, representing 200 towns and many of the rural
districts, are in Pretoria waiting for audience with the Executive
Council.

This evening, Thursday, June 11, the leaders were given their liberty
after paying each a fine of 125,000 dollars, and taking an oath to
abstain from taking part in the politics of the Transvaal. Colonel
Rhodes refused, being an English officer, to take the oath, and was
banished, not to appear again in the Transvaal, under pain of death.

The Executive then politely announced its decision to receive the
Mayoral delegates on _Saturday morning_ next. Perhaps the Mayors were
not mad! Some of these men had trekked for days in ox-wagons before
reaching the railroad to take train for Pretoria. A large banquet was
given in their honour. They insisted upon the liberated leaders being
invited as guests--but those criminals, leaders, and instigators did
not attend, deeming it injudicious under the circumstances.

My husband flew to me, who am still kept indoors. He came with a light
in his face I had not seen for months. 'We are free!'

JUNE 12.--This is a gala day in Johannesburg. Everybody is
joyous--Kruger's name is cheered everywhere. Several thousand people
were at the station to receive the leaders. Messrs. Phillips and
Farrar were the only two left of the four to step off the train. They
were caught up shoulder-high and carried by the crowd. Cheers rent the
air. The horses were unyoked from their victoria, and willing hands
grasped the shafts; and like returning conquerors, instead of
criminals, these instigators were dragged triumphantly down the heart
of the town followed by a vociferous multitude.

As the invited guests of Cape Colony we travelled on a special train
to Cape Town--by 'we,' I mean a dozen or two Reformers with their
families. The heartfelt ringing cheers as we pulled out of the station
I can never forget. The cheers again at Bloemfontein and the strangers
who came forward to shake hands and congratulate have enriched my
life. One man at a way station in the Free State rode up shouting:

'Where is the American, John Hays Hammond?' My husband came forward.
'Mr. Hammond, I have come miles from an ostrich farm to shake hands
with you. You are a white man, and Americans are proud of you!'

The Mayor of Cape Town received us, and dear friends were there to
tell us with brimming eyes of their joy in our release.




XV


Those good people who have followed me thus far will see that a
woman's part in a revolution is a very poor part to play. There is
little hazard and no glory in it.

The day we made Southampton, as we stood, a number of Reformers and
Reformers' wives, on the 'Norham's' deck, one of the gentlemen who had
come to welcome us asked:

'Mrs. Hammond, what did _you_ do in the revolution?'

'She helped us bear our trouble,' said Lionel Phillips, and his words
were sweet praise to my ears.

A few weeks later, in my lovely English home, a third son was born to
us. There was something very appropriate in this child of war-times
being first consigned to the professional arms of a Miss Gunn.

'He is perfect,' were his father's first words to me as he leaned over
the new-born infant, and every mother will know all that meant to me.


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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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