of the Sahara
2. THE FLIGHT
The sailors on the boats are chugging flat out to get back to the docks,
the only place the gunboat can safely alight. The smaller tugs slow down
and consider alighting their marines on the banks nearby. The Ghosts who
had successfully ambushed the Tirailleurs turned their attention to the
marines and poured fire into them. Two marines were incapacitated and another
killed before the gunboat's canister shot caused enough casualties to kill
the enemy unit's leader – not before causing some friendly fire on the
retreating Tirailleurs behind them though.
|Perturbed by their
leader's demise, the ambush unit fled from the thicket and routed westward.
Their flight brought them into the fire arc of the train's gun whose canister
hastened their departure. The Tirailleurs take this opportunity to drag
their wounded into the area between the station and coal bunker and temporary
respite from the hail of lead.
|7. Back at the
aerodrome, the engineers have started the plane, but not before loosing
one of their comrades to the charging fire of the horsemen. They manage
to drop some of the chargers before running back to the shelter of the
redoubt while they still have time. This leaves Bigglau and Perdu sitting
in an open cockpit, with a cold engine facing a charge of firing cavalry.
Not having experienced the noise and smell of the aero machine before,
the Ghosts horses shy away from the roaring engine and their charge fails
to close. With little choice but to risk a seized engine, Bigglau opens
up the throttle and the cavalry attempt to charge home on the aero machine.
The horse fall back from the machine as it roars down the cleared runway.
Luck is with him and the engine remains operational. The retreating cavalry
take potshots at the passing machine but cause no damage.
||8. The train, having
now built up enough steam, starts moving forward continuing to fire on
the other charging horse, but realizing that its forward movement is taking
its gun out of arc of the cavalry, the engineer brings the engine to a
stop and backs up down the tracks. The horse unit in front of the train
is now suffering serious casualties and the remaining few veer back
the track and head to the redoubt.
||9. After leaving
Segu in the morning and getting a few miles out of town, the Shadows scout
heard what he thought was gunfire back at Segu. They paused for a while,
but when the cannons roared, they knew there was trouble back at the fort.
The arrived back from the east.
||The eastern most
hidden unit of the Tukulor Ghosts had left their hiding spots and was advancing
towards the dock. This became an obvious target for the Shadow who appraised
accurately exactly what was happening. The Chasseurs immediately approached
the unit advancing on the dock and killed its leader with gunfire.
||However, they were
surprised by a troop of Tuareg Meharistas who had thrown in their lot with
Ahmadou and fell on the Chasseurs’ rear. The Shadow's unit responded in
time and was able to counter charge and enter into melee with the Cameleers.
However, in doing this they presented their right to the unit whose leader
they had just killed.
||That unit, extremely
angered by the death of their hero went into a blind fury, through down
their guns, drew their swords and fell on the flank of the “pretty horsemen”.
The combined attacks
inflict heavy losses on the Chasseurs who retreat with 5 dead and the Shadow
severely wounded, but not before they has killed five of the Ghosts.