Among the rocks the
hurricane made a roaring sound, swamping the voice.
I asked how far we were from the summit. He said he did not know where
we were exactly, but that we could not be more than 800 feet from it.
I was but that from Italy and I would not admit defeat. I offered him
all I had in money to go on, but it was folly in me, because if I had
had enough to tempt him and if he had yielded we should both have
died. Luckily it was but a little sum. He shook his head. He would not
go on, he broke out, for all the money there was in the world. He
shouted me to eat and drink, and so we both did.
Then I understood his wisdom, for in a little while the cold began to
seize me in my thin clothes. My hands were numb, my face already gave
me intolerable pain, and my legs suffered and felt heavy. I learnt
another thing (which had I been used to mountains I should have
known), that it was not a simple thing to return. The guide was
hesitating whether to stay in this rough shelter, or to face the
chances of the descent.