Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Whilst we stayed in this village rumours were circulating that bandits were making a high
pass unsafe, and this did not help to encourage my companion, whose only desire now was to
reachcivilisation again.Histhirstforadventurehadbeenmorethansatisfied, andbythistime
he had lost all the interest he had formerly taken in the surroundings; the beauty of nature and
the scenery no longer appealed to him, and all day long he cursed the Spanish Conquistadores
for having chosen the highest and roughest trails. I had heard so many bandit stories before
that I took next to no notice of this one, for after all there was nothing else to but to go ahead
and chance it, and should the worst come to the worst, I had an idea that I would be able to
make things pretty hot if I were given half a chance. Indians sometimes attack government
officials andotherswhomake life amisery forthem, notsomuchtorobthem asoutofpurely
revengeful motives. As I had no personal enemies to fear, nor much property worth taking, I
knew that we were relatively safe.
Whilst climbing towards the very pass we had been warned about, a heavy rain began to
fall, and the ground became so slippery that further progress was made difficult, and spotting
a solitary hut, I proposed to spend the night there, hoping better weather would prevail on the
morrow. The small hut was inhabited by a man and his two sons, and as there was not room
enough inside for all of us, we were offered a place outside in the shelter of the far overlap-
ping roof. We tied the animals to some bushes near us, and once I had cut sufficient grass to
last them for the night we had a few bites to eat, and then I spread our saddles and blankets on
the ground and made ready to retire. It was up to me to do all this work, for my companion's
hands were rendered useless by the infections.
me about the bandits who were supposed to be lurking in this region. He insisted that I should
prepare all the firearms and knives, and lay them alongside us. In spite of his bandaged hands
he chose my repeating shotgun and practised the use of it, and when he was satisfied with his
rehearsals he laid the weapon alongside him. The last words of advice I heard before sleep
overtook me were not to aim at the head but at the body. He woke me up several times during
the night to ask me if I had heard this or that noise, and once he swore that somebody must
that he had reached and fumbled much too far away in his hurried efforts to find it in the dark.
This amused me so much that I had to make great efforts to suppress a hearty laugh.
Next day, as we were nearing the heights near the top of the pass, a man on horseback
appeared over a ridge and began to descend over a grassy slope, making a great semi-circle
around us. Mr W., who had been on the look-out for trouble all the time, was the first to spot
this lone rider, and he followed him with his eyes, and every now and again had a quick look
at the ridges ahead of us to see if all was clear there; for all the world he looked like a prairie
owl gazing from side to side on a fence post. However, nothing happened, and our weary pro-
cession moved over high mountains where the climate was raw and cold, and again we came
to valleys exuberant with tropical vegetation, where brightly coloured humming birds darted
Search WWH ::

Custom Search