"December 14th - Arabs fired two shells at the Palace this morning; 546 ardebs dhoora! in store; also 83,525 okes of biscuit! 10.30 A.M. The steamers are down at Omdurman, engaging the Arabs, consequently I am on tenterhooks! 11.30 AM. Steamers returned; the Bordeen was struck by a shell in her battery; we had only one man wounded. We are going to send down the Bordeen to-morrow with this journal. If I was in command of the two hundred men of the Expeditionary Force, which are all that are necessary for the movement, I should stop just below Halfeyeh, and attack the Arabs at that place before I came on here to Kartoum. I should then communicate with the North Fort, and act according to circumstances. Now mark this, if the Expeditionary Force, and I ask for no more than two hundred men, does not come in ten days, the town may fall; and I have done my best for the honour of our country. Good bye.