The New York Times/Mr. Winston Churchill's Capture

Mr. Winston Churchill's Capture  (1900) 
by Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

From "London to Ladysmith via Pretoria", published on June 3, 1900, Wednesday, Page 27, "Current Literature"

I turned and ran between the rails of the track, and the only thought I achieved was this: "Boer marksmanship." Two bullets passed, both within a foot on either side. I flung myself against the banks of the cutting. But they gave no cover. Another glance at the figures: one was now kneeling to aim. Again I darted forward. Movement seemed the only chance. Again two soft kisses sucked in the air, but nothing struck me. This could no endure. I must get out of the cutting - that damnable corridor. I scrambled up the bank. The earth sprang up beside me, and something touched my hand, but outside the cutting was a tiny depression. I crouched in this, struggling to get my wind. On the other side of the railway a horseman galloped up shouting to me and waving his hand. He was scarcely forty yards off. With a rifle I could have killed him easily. I knew nothing of white flags and the bullets had made me savage. I reached down for my Mauser pistol.

"This one, at least," I said, and, indeed, it was a certainty; but, alas! I had left the weapon in the cab of the engine, in order to be free to work at the wreckage. What then? There was a wire fence between me and the horseman. Should I continue to fly? The idea of another shot at such a short range decided me. Death stood before me, grim, sullen Death, without his light-hearted companion, Chance. So I held up my hand, and, like Mr. Jorrock's foxes, cried: 'Capivy.' Then I was herded with the other prisoners in a miserable group, and about the same time I noticed that my hand was bleeding, and it began to pour with rain. Two days before I had written to an officer in high command at home, whose friendship I have the honor to enjoy: 'There has been a great deal too much surrendering in this war, and I hope people who do so will not be encouraged.' Fate had intervened; yet, though her tone was full of irony, she seemed to say, as I think Ruskin once said, 'It matters very little whether your judgments of people are true or untrue, and very much whether they are kind or unkind,' and, repeating that, I will make an end."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1965, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 57 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.