W. H. Allen and Co., Limited,
Text on page 155
the trees around, with a view to taking up my position in one of them for the night.
Even then 1 should not be beyond the reach of tigers, snakes, and black ants; while, if I fell asleep, I might have occasion to prove the literal truth of the words: Periculosior casus ab alto !
The outlook, both above and below, was certainly as bad as bad could be, and I felt sick with anxiety, and so weary with suspense that I almost wished the end would come and leave me at rest.
It was, however, decreed otherwise, and to my intense satisfaction the trees became further apart and the undergrowth less dense, andaoh, joy!aa familiar sound smote my ear, and I once more stood on the brink of a stream.
This was a relief in many ways. First and foremost, I lay my gun down, tucked up my sleeves, and drank greedily, for I was both hot and thirsty; and then I once more lighted my pocket companion and considered my position. Though matters had decidedly improved, I was still on the horns of a dilemma. We were encamped, it is true, on the banks of just such a stream as this; but, even if this were the identical one, ought I to follow its course up stream or down ? The pleasing thought also occurred to me that animals are wont to make for the water to slake their thirst during the first watches of the night, but this troubled me far less than the choice of direction.
The ultimate result of my calculations was a decision in favour of moving with the stream ; so I advanced with extreme caution, looking on all sides whenever I was following one of the many bends of its tortuous course.
Once, a large moving object loomed some way ahead,Once, a large moving object loomed some way ahead,