Major General Trepanning sat astride his old grey mare and peered in the blistering haze that is Sudan. A God fearing man, Trepanning had never quite believed in Hell, until now. A never ending vista of sun blasted rock and sand. Whatever managed to live out there had devilish thorns or stings, sharp teeth or sharper swords.
Taking binoculars from his aide he peered into the shimmering heat. On the horizon he could make out the walled village. Was that a Union flag hanging limply from the improvised flagpole?
Beyond the village the vague shape of the Beja camp showed little activity. If the devils are there then the lads must still be alive in the village. He straightened his saddle weary spine and turned to his subordinate officers.
"Send forward the hussars in skirmish order, the foot will maintain column of march until we are on the sand, then form brigade squares. We will relieve El Tel today."
Silently he prayed he wouldn't throw a double six.