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Burnaby
Burnaby
381

velled as usual with little baggage (only 86lbs.), and at great speed crossed the steppes unimpeded by the Russian officials. The winter was unusually severe, and he suffered much from intense cold and frost-bite, He succeeded in reaching; Khiva, fortunately going there without passing through the fort of Petro-Alexandrovsk; but before he could press on for Bokhara he received a summons from the commandant of the fort, and on going thither was handed a telegram from the commander-in-chief, the Duke of Cambridge, recalling him to England. The Russian government would probably have stopped him at the frontier had he endeavoured to reach Khiva from the south. In 1874 Captain C. M. McGregor was turned back on his way to Merv. They did not venture to stop an Englishman travelling through European Russia, but adopted the expedient of appealing to the English government. Burnaby accordingly returned, and wrote, in a rather extravagant style, his 'Ride to Khiva,' which at once became highly popular. In a year it reached its eleventh edition, which was published in 1877; it was translated into several foreign languages, and a new edition appeared in 1884. The 'ride,' however, was not remarkable for its dangers or difficulties of exploration, for by 1876 the Russians had effectually pacified the desert, and Messrs. Schuyler and McGahan gave Burnaby in St. Petersburg full information about routes. The real feat was the ride in an exceptionally hard winter across the three hundred miles of steppe, from Kazala to Khiva. Encouraged by his success he spent his winter leave in 1876 in a five months' tour in Asia Minor and Armenia, with the object of seeing the Turks, as they are, away from European influences. Having read up the subject he pursued a route from Scutari viâ Angora, Tokat, Sivas, Ersinjian, Erzeroum, Van, Khoi, Bayazid near Mount Ararat, Kara, and Ardahan to Batoum. The Russian government vwatched his movements to Constantinople, and there losing sight of him disseminated photographs of him along the frontier, and gave instructions that the original, 'un ennemi acharné' of Russia, who was expected to cross it, should he turned back. On his return he published his 'On Horseback through Asia Minor,' which passed through seven editions: 2,500l. was paid him as a first instalment for this book. It is a more important book than the 'Ride to Khiva,' with some useful military appendices, but is conversational in tone and defaced by extreme anti-Russia sentiments. Being anxious to see the Russo-Turkish war, he joined General Baker at Adrianople in November 1877, nominally as the agent of the Stafford House committee. Actually, however, he was frequently under fire, and at the fight of Tashkesan on 31 Dec. he commanded the fifth Turkish brigade. An attempt was made to poison him, General Baker, and Shakir Bey by a Bulgarian acolyte at the house of the Greek Archbishop of Gumurdjina, which failed. His great desire, which he did not accomplish, was to have crossed the Balkans and have slipped through the Russian lines into Plevna. On his return to England he took to politics in the same spirit of adventure as he had travelled, professing extreme conservative and philo-Turkish views, and advocating protection, purchase of commissions in the army, and military law for Ireland. He was invited on 5 June 1878 by the Birmingham Conservative Association to contest Birmingham, and after many stormy meetings and a controversy with Mr. Gladstone about the latter's use of phrases attributed to him by Burnaby, the election of 1880 resulted in his defeat, though he polled a large number of votes. He continued, however, to interest himself in politics, and on 23 July 1884, at the annual conference of the National Union of Conservative Associations, was elected third on the list of the council. He was now approaching the period of compulsory retirement from the army, and was severely attacked with heart and lung disease. In 1882 he was much disappointed that he did not receive the command of the detachment of the Blues which went to Egypt, However, on 10 Jan. 1884, he started without leave for Egypt as a volunteer, joined General Baker at Suakim, and commanded a detachment at Trinkitat. He served also with the intelligence department under General Graham, and on 21 Feb. was wounded at El Teb, where he did so much execution, 'clearing out a stone building with his double-barrelled shot-gun,' as to provoke an indignant interpellation in the House of Commons. For this service the Khedive gave him the Soudan medal and clasp and the Khedivial star. He was very anxious to join the Khartoum relief expedition, having designed, in case no expedition had gone out, to penetrate to Khartoum himself; but knowing that if his design became known he would be forbidden from headquarters, he gave out that he was going to Bechuanaland, and with great secrecy and despatch made his way to Korti, which be reached on 9 Jan. 1885. He was sent up in charge of a convoy to Gadkul, and joined the Intelligence department. On the 17th, at Abu Klea, he was in command of the left rear of the square, performing a brigadier-general's duty,