Eothen By A. W. Kingslake

































 -   We soon
found the stream, and following its course for a few yards, came to
a spot which was thought - Page 130
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We Soon Found The Stream, And Following Its Course For A Few Yards, Came To A Spot Which Was Thought To Be Fit For Our Purpose.

It was a sharply cold night in February, and when I dismounted I found myself standing upon some wet rank herbage that promised ill for the comfort of our resting-place.

I had bad hopes of a fire, for the pitchy darkness of the night was a great obstacle to any successful search for fuel, and besides, the boughs of trees or bushes would be so full of sap in this early spring, that they would not be easily persuaded to burn. However, we were not likely to submit to a dark and cold bivouac without an effort, and my fellows groped forward through the darkness, till after advancing a few paces they were happily stopped by a complete barrier of dead prickly bushes. Before our swords could be drawn to reap this welcome harvest it was found to our surprise that the fuel was already hewn and strewed along the ground in a thick mass. A spot for the fire was found with some difficulty, for the earth was moist and the grass high and rank. At last there was a clicking of flint and steel, and presently there stood out from darkness one of the tawny faces of my muleteers, bent down to near the ground, and suddenly lit up by the glowing of the spark which he courted with careful breath.

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