Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Dervish Swarm Into The Interior

Date: 14 September 1929/2019
Location: El-Wil-Yam Village On The Dongolo River
Situation: Dervish Swarm Fords The River
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime BAR Adapted for Colonials

From the Scenario by Chuck The Lucky
Adaptation by General Pettygree Studios
Homage: Cecil B. DeMille "Light"

Recommendation before reading the above story:
Read Dervish Swarm posted 15 September 2019
Afterwards read Dervish Swarm The Harbor posted 16 September 2019

**********          **********          **********          **********

British Museum Site A 

The greatest adventure story ever told about the Mafrican Continent

14 September 1929 began tranquilly enough. Excavation had not yet commenced at The British Museum's Site A. The caverns discovered in the escarpment two years before were still yielding treasures at an indolent but acceptable pace. Archaeologists, their families, cooks, diggers, a few adventurers and not a few amateur Egyptologists casually strolled about in conversation in the relative cool of the morning. The sun would soon force less arduous activities. Even the great statue of Anubis appeared comfortably at ease.

Rupert Cunningham was at work though. After breakfast he resumed painting a scene from the  Dongolo River nearby. It with other artwork already completed would be transferred by camel caravan up the Dongolo and then taken to the port city of the same name. Finally a slow steamer back to southwest England and the Port of Bristol would deliver his precious visual histories to his employer at The Bristol Gazateer. Subscribers of the paper could not have enough pictorial news about the digs here and also at Site B three miles away. 

However, near ten of the clock breathing stopped and every eye turned eastward where a shocking continuous cannonade rumbled in from El Wil-Yam Harbor. Everyone wondered at its meaning.

Professor Beresford arose with breakfast in hand exiting his tents to view smoke rising from distant Fort Dongolo and its supporting tower. Through grey black powder clouds billowing up into the air he could just observe a flotilla bearing in toward the docks. "Abominable nuisance!", was all he could say. Then more thoughtfully....

"Well, the Seaforths a few hundred yards away are aware of something amiss and have formed square. They will make things right --- protect us. We can surely count on Colonel Sinclair." 

Along The River Nearby

Moments later after Egyptian bugle and drum calls
sounded in the village.... 

The Seaforths reformed into two lines facing houses populating the Dongolo shoreline. The reason?

A Dervish horde on the opposite bank was hurtling toward....

A wide ford in a narrowing in the river.
The 2nd. Egyptians only barely managed to form behind the river wall
and issue a devastating rapid fire volley.

The Dervish were disordered. Yet on they came in a maddened frenzy to burst through the red fezed infantry. More volleys dropped even greater numbers of the foe. Indeed for a time they were thrown back the devastation was so great. 

But they surged forward again.

Soon the IX Sudanese joined the Egyptians at the wall.
The blue jackets beat off several Dervish charges.
and then....

Great guns of the Dervish arrived firing into the village and beyond.
And then....

A second horde appeared on the sand bar near the ford across the river.

They all....

Crossed the ford desiring to throw back Imperial defenders.

It was not without difficulties that they did so because the Imperial infantry stood solid far longer than thought possible. The natives barely noticed the advent of a bi-plane firing machine gun bursts into them.

Suddenly it was all over. The Imperials were overwhelmed with survivors fleeing back....

To the Seaforths....

In the interior. A good thing too because....

To the left the 1st Egyptians were retiring from the harbor hotly pursued by the foe.

 And to the far right....

A new body of the enemy rounded the escarpment....

Heading toward the excavations at Site A.

 This understandably set the civilians there into a panic.

But fortunately they were protected by the timely arrival of the 1st Sikhs
forming to the right of the Seaforths off the top of the photo

Indeed the new horde outran its supports....

And paid a dear price whilst....

 In the air Lieutenant Gridley pushed the stick forward....

And  gave the Dervish more hot stuff."

My dear readers it only remains to verify what you have by now concluded. The Dervish have won. At this moment they are regrouping to consider next strategems. Meanwhile, Colonel Sinclair, the ranking Imperial commander ordered a retreat to the mound at The British Museum's Site B. The Dervish did not pursue.

An irregular square protected by ancient fallen stonework and dried thorny vegetation formed the perimeter for the night.

Tea was brewed and food distributed among the men.

"Gentlemen, stay vigilant through the night. Everyone will sleep on their rifles. Send out the usual pickets and pray to God Almighty they do not come in the moonlight. Hopefully Lt. Colonel Coote had the good sense I know him to have to send gallopers from his Guides Cavalry for reinforcements." 

Hey Charlie.
Yeah, what is it mate?
Do ya suppose them Dervishes would attack at night?
Nah. They's scared of the dark.
You sure?
Get some sleep.


Thank you --- all of you --- for taking the time to look in and/or write here, in several chat rooms or personally to me. I am very grateful for your interest, trust and support for The Adventures of General Pettygree.

I could never do this alone.

Chuck L. designed the scenario, supplied miniatures and terrain.

Keith L. also provided terrain items and the celebrated Dervish collection owned by Peter Gilder.

Earl K. rode in with his Guides Cavalry.

Naturally the Pettygree Collection was on the table as well.

And the others, Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz), Greg B., Dan E., Morgan E., John B. and Gary C.with the rest of us provided cheerful and companionable witty fun while doing what we are supposed to do; move historical miniatures and throw dice.

Everyone brought chow and goodies to share.

My dear wife made Sloppy Joes and ordered the scrumptious and themed birthday cake.

Next Things

Read the story from the perspective of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) here:

Story resumption in a few weeks at Site B after we plan the tabletop game.

Your remarks placed below, if you please.

**********          **********          **********


Der Alte Fritz said...

Never a dull day for Colonel Sinclair. Let's hope that reinforcements arrive soon. A few Maxims might come in handy too.

Gallia said...

Hi Jim,
September 25th., a Wednesday evening, should see the next and final battle. It will be at The British Museum's Excavation Site B. I'm tentatively calling it Dervish Swarm Sinclair's Square. Sinclair has a fairly good-sized force in a fortified superior position.
Bill P.
Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree

Adelaide Gamer said...

Thanks to the cast and crew for this latest edition. Raised my spirits, it did, seeing it in the despatch box.

Doug B. said...

To: Sinclair
From: Vickers


Great write up as usual, Bill. Near-cinematic experiences!