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On hearing this it is said that the Mullah was so discouraged that he
refused to lead the Swatis anymore, and ordered his followers to go back
to their homes.
If this report be indeed true, the worst of the rebellion is undoubtedly
over, for the Haddah Mullah was the most dangerous enemy the British had
to fear in the frontier war. By preying upon the superstitions of the
tribe he had obtained such an influence over them that they regarded him
as a prophet and obeyed his slightest word.
To make them fight bravely he distributed rice that had been colored
pink among his followers on the eve of a battle, and assured them that
all who carried it would pass through the fiercest battle without a
wound or scratch.
On one occasion when the rice had been handed round from man to man it
was found after the fight was over that the Mullah's hand was very badly
cut. His followers began to murmur, and wonder how the giver of this
charmed rice could himself be wounded in battle. The Mullah was,
however, smart enough to invent a story about having seized a bayonet
and purposely cut himself. His simple followers believed him, and
continued to use the wonderful rice.
The withdrawal of this crafty priest from active opposition will be a
great assistance to the British cause, which has also been greatly
strengthened during the last few days by the friendly attitude of the
Ameer of Afghanistan.
We told you how the British suspected that this ruler had helped to stir
up the rebellion: at one time it was decided to send him another letter,
calling him sharply to account for his double dealing.
Before any such action could be taken, news was brought that the Ameer
had caused the arrest of forty important tribesmen, who were supposed to
have assisted the mad Mullah in rousing the people against the British.
This action has had such an excellent effect on the tribes that many
people suppose Great Britain's frontier war is over.
The English have still a great deal to do on the borders of Afghanistan.
For the sake of their future power in India they dare not let the
natives think they can rebel against England without being severely
punished. Whether the revolt is really over or not, a force will have to
be sent against the rebellious tribes to teach them proper respect for
* * * * *
General Woodford has arrived safely in Spain, and is to be presented to
the Queen Regent in a few days.
He has, in the mean while, met the Duke of Tetuan, and has been very
A great sensation has, however, been caused in Havana by the publication
of a letter from General Azcarraga, the present Spanish Prime Minister.
In this letter the minister says that the Spanish Government will not
listen to any demands from the United States, that no one in Spain
thinks our country has any right to interfere in the Cuban question, and
that rather than submit to American dictation, Spain is prepared to
In the letter it is also said that if it becomes necessary to declare
war, Spain is confident that she will have the support of the nations of
Europe. It is argued that if we succeed in freeing Cuba we will be
certain to try and get Canada and Jamaica away from England, and the
French possessions from their mother country.
The General asserts that if the United States succeeds in freeing Cuba,
European rule in the New World will soon cease to exist.
Finally, he says that if General Woodford's mission is after all merely
to claim damages from Spain, he will be listened to with the utmost
politeness, and then informed that Spain also has her claims against
America. But if General Woodford persists in entering on the subject of
the Cuban war, he will be told that Spain does not admit the right of
the United States to interfere in her private affairs, and the
ambassador will be politely but firmly requested to mind his own
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