It Was Only A Wonder That The Horse Had
Escaped In Ground So Difficult For Riding.
Although my clothes were of
the strongest and coarsest Arab cotton cloth, which seldom tore, but
simply lost a thread when caught in a thorn, I was nearly naked.
blouse was reduced to shreds. As I wore sleeves only half way from the
shoulder to the elbow, my naked arms were streaming with blood.
Fortunately my hunting-cap was secured with a chin strap, and still more
fortunately I had grasped the horse's neck; otherwise I must have been
dragged out of the saddle by the hooked thorns. All the men were cut and
bruised, some having fallen upon their heads among the rocks, and others
had hurt their legs in falling in their endeavors to escape. Mahomet No.
2, the horse-keeper, was more frightened than hurt, as he had been
knocked down by the shoulder and not by the horn of the rhinoceros, as
the animal had not noticed him; its attention was absorbed by the horse.
I determined to set fire to the whole country immediately, and
descending the hill toward the river to obtain a favorable wind, I put
my men in a line, extending over about a mile along the river's bed, and
they fired the grass in different places. With a loud roar the flame
leaped high in air and rushed forward with astonishing velocity. The
grass was as inflammable as tinder, and the strong north wind drove the
long line of fire spreading in every direction through the country.
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