Read CONCLUSION of The Petticoat Commando Boer Women in Secret Service , free online book, by Johanna Brandt, on

The veil is lifted for one last brief glimpse.

Ten years have gone by since the declaration of peace, ten years each more wonderful than the last, full to overflowing of life’s rich experience of joy and grief.

By some strange turn in the hand of Destiny, our heroine finds herself, after many vicissitudes, an inhabitant of the Golden City that Golden City which had wrecked her youth and very nearly wrecked her life.

For years it has seemed incredible to her that she should have been destined for the position she now holds, a position of so much trust, so difficult, so critical.

A plaything in the hand of Fate, she thought at first, when looking from her balcony she saw the Golden City, with its extensive suburbs stretched out at her feet, and heard the distant, never-ceasing roar of the innumerable mine-batteries of the Rand. But the resistless hand of Fate was drawing her into the sphere of work for which she longed most ardently woman’s work, at home, abroad and the glamour of Johannesburg stole over her in time.

The terms of peace have been fulfilled, responsible government for the Transvaal and Free State, and Hansie thinks with an intolerable pain of that day at Teneriffe. Had she but known had she but known but the cables (she had called them “lying cables” then, and she was not far wrong) had spoken only of a glorious victory for the English and unconditional surrender on the part of the Boers. No word about the terms, the only terms on which the Boers would ever have yielded their independence.

Responsible government has been followed by the Union of the South African provinces.

South Africa is united in name, if not yet in reality, but the time will surely come, as we have said before, when, under the softening influence of time, a great united race will be born.

Closely pressing around Hansie as she writes are eager little faces, reverent little fingers touching the scattered pages before her, brave eyes of blue and brown, looking wonderingly into hers.

“Writing a book, mother? About the spies? And the lemon-juice? Oh, mother, what will the English say?”

And the accents falling on her ear are in the expressive sweetness of the South African Dutch, in its most cultured form.

Hansie ought to be a happy woman. None of the joys of life have been withheld from her, and yet and yet