All Were Ready
To Help In My Preparations; A Crowd Of Sympathisers Supported Me At The
Critical Moment Of A Bargain; Not A Step Was Taken But Was Heralded By
Glasses Round And Celebrated By A Dinner Or A Breakfast.
It was already hard upon October before I was ready to set forth, and at
the high altitudes over which my road lay there was no Indian summer to
be looked for.
I was determined, if not to camp out, at least to have
the means of camping out in my possession; for there is nothing more
harassing to an easy mind than the necessity of reaching shelter by dusk,
and the hospitality of a village inn is not always to be reckoned sure by
those who trudge on foot. A tent, above all for a solitary traveller, is
troublesome to pitch, and troublesome to strike again; and even on the
march it forms a conspicuous feature in your baggage. A sleeping-sack,
on the other hand, is always ready - you have only to get into it; it
serves a double purpose - a bed by night, a portmanteau by day; and it
does not advertise your intention of camping out to every curious passer-
by. This is a huge point. If a camp is not secret, it is but a troubled
resting-place; you become a public character; the convivial rustic visits
your bedside after an early supper; and you must sleep with one eye open,
and be up before the day.
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