The Brink of Disaster!

Little did the Lancers realise the fatal nature of the error that was about to befall them. As they climbed up the reverse bank of the valley, they saw a terrible site waiting for them just behind the crest. A unit of Jafrayni camel cavalry kicked their animals into a charge and promptly chased the Lancers back down the hill into the unprepared gatling gun and the side of the hapless Sikhs. A vain attempt was made by the remaining Lancers on escort duty. Alas, both the distance and the surprise were both too great. They couldn't quite reach the desperate melee. The struggle ensued all over the valley floor and on both slopes. At times, it looked as if the British would stand firm. At others, it looked as if all was lost. In the end, the Sikhs succumbed to the power of the camel cavalry and retreated; trying to get behind the artillery piece. The gatling crew and the original lancer patrol also made their way back down the valley floor. More success was to be had by the British infantry. Despite appalling casualties, which included both the commanding officer and the sergeant-major, the plucky brits responded to the personal intervention of Colonel Adams who got stuck in and showed Jonnie-Jafrayni what for! They eventually managed to send the swordsmen packing and running with their tales between their legs!

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by Stephen Luscombe