in the post of danger in the extreme rear, and tied
securely to five guides apiece.
Our armor-bearers carried
our ice-axes, alpenstocks, and other implements for us.
We were mounted upon very small donkeys, as a measure
of safety; in time of peril we could straighten our legs
and stand up, and let the donkey walk from under.
Still, I cannot recommend this sort of animal - at least
for excursions of mere pleasure - because his ears interrupt
the view. I and my agent possessed the regulation
mountaineering costumes, but concluded to leave them behind.
Out of respect for the great numbers of tourists of both
sexes who would be assembled in front of the hotels
to see us pass, and also out of respect for the many
tourists whom we expected to encounter on our expedition,
we decided to make the ascent in evening dress.
We watered the caravan at the cold stream which rushes
down a trough near the end of the village, and soon
afterward left the haunts of civilization behind us.
About half past five o'clock we arrived at a bridge which
spans the Visp, and after throwing over a detachment to see
if it was safe, the caravan crossed without accident.
The way now led, by a gentle ascent, carpeted with
fresh green grass, to the church at Winkelmatten.
Without stopping to examine this edifice, I executed
a flank movement to the right and crossed the bridge
over the Findelenbach, after first testing its strength.
Here I deployed to the right again, and presently entered
an inviting stretch of meadowland which was unoccupied save
by a couple of deserted huts toward the furthest extremity.
These meadows offered an excellent camping-place.
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