In The Heart Of Africa By Sir Samuel W. Baker 
 -  It was only a wonder that the horse had
escaped in ground so difficult for riding. Although my clothes were - Page 130
In The Heart Of Africa By Sir Samuel W. Baker - Page 130 of 337 - First - Home

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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.

My 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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