All good things have to come to an end, and so had my delightful stay with the boys. Man-
cha was fit again, but with the good fodder and inactivity he had become rather too fat and
soft. I returned to Camp Gaillard where the horses were, and next day set out with an almost
had new shoes fitted on by an expert army blacksmith, and I was given two spare sets, nails,
and new tools to work with. I had often watched the horseshoers at work and had been given
some good tips by them, and their advice helped much to improve me in the art of shoeing a
I returned to the provisional camp where I spent another night, and, keen as I was to con-
tinue, I was sorry when the moment of parting arrived. My delightful vacation had come to an
end, and I was about to leave a place and people that had found a warm place in my heart.
With Victor left behind, I would be all alone again with my two faithful equine compan-
to tell me that we would win through. To strengthen that feeling, being on Panamanian territ-
ory, I had bought a bottle of something special which I then handed round, every man taking
I needed much of the latter.
in many places it was difficult to find fodder, furthermore, the horses were at times literally
covered with wood-ticks and other insects. I found that a mixture of vaseline, sulphur, and
camphor lightly applied to the coats of the horses, especially on the legs, gave excellent res-
ults, and I sponged myself every night with creosote diluted with water. In spite of this, I was
oftenfulloflittle redtickscalled coloradillas ,whichIpickedupinthegrassshrubberywhere
I had to graze the horses. The irritation these pests produced almost drove me crazy at times.
Around the waist, where the belt made pressure and rubbed, I was raw and bleeding. The per-
cent solution of cocaine, which temporarily had a soothing effect.
Most people are under the impression that the republic of Panama extends from north to
south, and that the Canal goes from east to west. This, however, is entirely wrong, for the
Canal goes more or less from north to the south. Travelling towards Costa Rica, the sun rises
behind one and sets straight in front, or, in other words, one travels from east to west.