Chapter 14 Summary
Before the battle, Infadoos rouses his troops. The Greys (along with Sir Henry) and the Buffaloes (with Quatermain) will bear the brunt of the first fighting. Infadoos promises rewards to all should they prove victorious.
Quatermain, looking over the gallant men, realizes that most of them will soon be dead. The troops give their king a salute worthy of a Roman emperor.
Ignosi puts himself at the head of the Buffaloes, which will serve as a reserve force supporting the Greys. Quatermain looks on as the battle commences. Twala’s forces attack the Greys, who give ferocious battle, soon passing over the dead bodies of their foes.
There are heavy casualties, however, with the Greys losing one third of their number. Quatermain is heartened to see that Sir Henry is still among the living. Twala’s forces suffer four thousand casualties among the dead and wounded.
A second force attacks, but this one is even stronger. The outcome is in doubt, but the Greys manage to prevail. Twala’s regiments fall back, but now there are only six hundred Greys left, Sir Henry still among them.
Quatermain, admitting that he is usually a coward, is now full of a warlike spirit, eager to fight. He asks Ignosi if the Buffaloes are just going to stand by and watch the Greys fight, but Ignosi announces that their time has come. The Buffaloes charge. Quatermain unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of the Greys, standing beside Sir Henry. He thinks what a gallant vision it is to see the fighting men before him.
Twala confronts Sir Henry, fighting in close quarters. He is shocked when the right and left flanks of Ignosi’s army charge just as Sir Henry is struck to his knees by Twala’s blow. Clearly overwhelmed, Twala’s forces take flight. There are only ninety-five Greys left.
Infadoos praises his troops as well as Sir Henry. Ignosi announce that he is pressing the attack. Captain Good is found alive near a pile of bodies. One of these supposedly dead warriors suddenly springs up and attacks Good repeatedly with his spear. Good, who is wearing his chain mail, is unhurt.
Ignosi returns to Loo, where some of his troops are stationed at all exits. Twala and what is left of his army are inside. Entering the kraal, Ignosi finds Twala attended only by Gagool. All his wives and all his troops have deserted him.
Twala asks for the boon given to Kukuana kings, to die by combat. He chooses to fight Sir Henry to the death. Quatermain and Ignosi urge Sir Henry to refuse, but Sir Henry accepts the challenge.
Twala and Sir Henry do one-on-one battle. Sir Henry is disarmed but manages to grab Twala’s battle axe and cut off his head. Infadoos takes the crown off Twala’s head and presents it to Ignosi, who begins a victory chant.