I was reading a book by Paul Deleage " End of a Dynasty" The last days of the Prince Imperial Zululand 1879 working on a series Panoramas on the Prince Imperial
On pages 139 - 140, Sunday 25th May
This may answer the riddle of the Zulu cattle Raw and Roberts saw moments before the discovery.
“ For ten long hours we rode relentlessly on without a break, our only nourishment was dry biscuits which
We gnawed on as we rode. The surprising thing was that no one complained. We rode alongside the Nqutu Mountains
I think they were, and before us lay the valley of Sihayo while on our right we could see in the distance the top of Isandlwana mountain.
The lieutenant called a halt on a hill and he himself went to the edge of the plateau to take some bearings.
At our feet lay a long arid desolate plain deeply furrowed with wide dongas. The Lieutenant pointed out to the right of the valley a little hill
Which in it shape and isolation resembled Koppie – Alleen. At the top of the hill stood a kraal, Napoleon while the Lieutenant was working
I raked the valley with my spyglass> I was particularly interested in a kraal close to the entrance of the valley. Was it inhabited or abandoned? I could not decide. Suddenly something moved on the slopes of the gully. It was a cow and her calf gambolling happily a few metres from the kraal. When the Lieutenant returned I pointed out to him the plunder to be seized. No he replied, the approaches to the kraal seem to me to be dangerous and anyway it is not the function of a reconnaissance party to look for danger rather than avoid it.
One of the Cafres who could understand my question from my gestures came up to the Lieutenant and told him that this was a well known ploy of the Zulus. To lure the enemy into a trap using cattle as bait. Then this same Cafre pointed out behind us a long black line on the hillside which he believed to be the enemy patrol on the march. As the troops of the escort rode up to the slope to get a better view, the Lieutenant lost his temper and sent an order to the loiterers to follow him immediately. From that moment nothing could stop his headlong dash. He was in a grip of an overwhelming urge to escape from danger, a fear that prevailed over every other sentiment”