Why, It May Be Asked, Did I Not Try To Cross Where I Had
I must confess my want of courage.
river here was not half, not a third, of the width of the
scene of my disasters; but I was weak in body and in mind.
Had anything human been on the other side to see me - to see
how brave I was, (alas! poor human nature!) - I could have
plucked up heart to risk it. It would have been such a
comfort to have some one to see me drown! But it is
difficult to play the hero with no spectators save oneself.
I shall always have a fellow-feeling with the Last Man:
practically, my position was about as uncomfortable as his
One of the worst features of it was, what we so often
suffered from before - the inaccessibility of water. The sun
was broiling, and the and soil reflected its scorching rays.
I was feverish from exhaustion, and there was nothing,
nothing to look forward to. Mile after mile I crawled along,
sometimes half disposed to turn back, and try the deep but
narrow passage; then that inexhaustible fountain of last
hopes - the Unknown - tempted me to go forward. I
persevered; when behold! as I passed a rock, an Indian stood
He was as naked as I was. Over his shoulder he carried a
spear as long as a salmon rod. Though neither had foreseen
the other, he was absolutely unmoved, showed no surprise, no
curiosity, no concern.
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