December 13, 1909
Few men have led a more exciting career than Fred Lindsay, Australian bushman, Boer war veteran, big game hunter and expert whip, who is at the Orpheum this week.
Mr. Lindsay also has hunted in Africa. Last fall he gave Mr. Roosevelt pointers on big game hunting, and invited to president to hunt on the Lindsay preserves in Africa.
Mr. Lindsay fought with the British against the Boers. In an engagement on the east coast, according to his own story, he came nearest facing death of the many times in his career,
"My regiment had been ordered up from Beira, a Portuguese town," said he. "This is notorioulsy a death hole, and it proved such for both men and horses. After the relief of Mafeking I went to Rustenberg, getting into action among the hills with about 300 men. We were soon completely surrounded by General Delarey with 1,000 men, and, as the Australians were in a bad position, every horse was shot in less than five minutes.
"My sergeant, two corporals and a private were killed next to me. I escaped miraculously. The spur was shot off my boot. Captain Fitzclarence, of Mafeking fame, rescued us as darkness came.
"The next two days resulted in the hemming in of the whole of the small force of 300 men by Delarey at Elands river, with fourteen field guns and two pompoms, the position taken being that of a small exposed kopje, with a little stream running at the foot.
"For twelve days this gallant little band held out against the whole forces of the Boers, who outnumbered us. At the end of that time we were relieved by General Kitchener with 24,000 men.
"Every drop of water had to be fought for every night at dusk, the carta coming back from the stream with water spurting through bullet holes that the boys plugged up with grass and mud till they reached the summit of the hill.
"Every man worked hard with bayonet, knife and even his finger nails to dig a hole in the stony ground deep enough to afford him shelter from the rain of bullets. the animals were tied in lines and it was no unusual thing for a shell to carry off seven or eight of them at a time. Eventually every one of them was killed.
"A little touch of humor relieved the awful tragedies everywhere about us, and that was when several wagons loaded with cases of champagne, canned soups and other luxuries, presented by Lord Rothschild, got into the danger zone.
"Every time the parcel was hit with a shell it was a good excuse for the boys to jump in and divide it among them, so that many a poor chap whose mouth was swollen for lack of a drop of water got many a good pull at a magnum of sparkling French wine."