CAMPAIGNS OF A
BY MELTON PRIOR
I am now going to mention a subject of which I am not
particularly proud. I had been through several campaigns,
some of them very disagreeable ones. I had run many risks
and fear had never entered into my mind, but unfortunately,
on my journey out on this occasion, I had a bad dream.
I call it a dream, but I think it must have been a nightmare.
It took place after I had arrived at Durban.
Now this nightmare had such an effect on me that I have
never forgotten it. I dreamed that I went with the relieving
force to rescue Colonel Pearson at Etchowe. I saw myself
shot, and I saw myself buried.
Strange to say, by the next mail arriving from England I
received a letter from my mother, in which she told me she
had had a dream that I had gone with the relieving column to
Etchowe, that I had been killed, and that she had seen my
funeral, and she wound up by begging me most earnestly not
to go with that column, and it is now that I am ashamed to
own that this had such an effect on me that I made up my
mind I would not go, and even wrote to Mr. William Ingram
at my office to inform him of my determination. Some weeks
later I received a cablegram from him : " Sorry you did
THE ZULU WAR 91
not accompany force, no doubt saved for better things to
However, I did not wish the Illustrated to be unrepresented
in this expedition, and I succeeded in enlisting the services of
Colonel Crealock, the Chief of the Staff, and also engaged the
services of a private individual named Porter.
Now comes the curious incident of this act of mine. When
the fighting did take place, at Ginghilovo, on the road to
Etchowe, my specially appointed artist was one of the first
Whether I believe in presentiments may or may not be
interesting to any one, but this case is surely curious.