Binky and the Aqeda Dagger

Part 3 - The Kwenja Turst Waterhole

The Kwenja Turst waterhole is the main stopping place on the caravan trail.  It provides a secure camp area and a serai for defence.  It is home to a Turkish trader, Zellit Attapriz, and his retinue.  The fees are high but the water and hospitality good.  Everyone who travels the caravan trail praises Zellit and his guards.  The traderís camp is a strong building and store surrounded by the serai.  There are even a few rooms of reasonable quality. 

The store sells all sorts of supplies and comforts.  Zellitís home made gin is freely available and so are the dancing girls!  It is a place of relative comfort and pleasure before the hard terrain leading to the edge of the Rift Valley. 

In the quiet of the afternoon, things are beginning to stir as the heat of midday gradually disperses.  A few zebra wander towards the waterholes and the natives start to bring their herds and flocks.  A peaceful scene that is about to change.
Binky's column approaches the waterhole determined to get there before dark.  A little hunting party sets out to add some fresh meat to the supplies. 
The main camp is set up on the edge of the waterhole with sentry posts set up on the high ground to give good fields of fire and observation.  Everyone settles down for a night of celebration and then some rest.  As the night goes on the celebrations draw to an end and most have just settled down when the odd shot is fired at those near the campfires.
The sniping goes on all night but causes no casualties only restlessness.  At dawn things change.  Several parties of riflemen are in the surrounding boulders and their firing starts to inflict casualties.  As the sun rises the fire intensifies as the defenders are dazzled. 
With everyone's attention facing the sunrise a thunder of hoof beats heralds a charge by a small force of Arab cavalry determined to attack the baggage animals under cover of the riflemen. 
The Baluchis and the baggage guards turn and calling upon their gods and Allah they make ready to sell their lives dearly.  Pausing only for a moment they let fly with a devastating short range volley that brings down almost every rider.  Their morale shattered the surviving Arabs turn and flee.
With the threat driven off the column counts the cost in the early light, nearly a dozen of the askaris are dead or wounded.  This is a serious loss to both the guards at the waterhole and the column. 
Binky and his companions also had to drive off attackers and again the defending askaris suffered heavily.  The Turk decides to accompany Binky to the lake and the safety that the garrison promises.  His troops spend the morning packing essential supplies while Binky has his men bury the dead and treat the wounded.

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