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he went ahead to investigate. Between curses we discussed the 'Ford of the Bad Crocodile,'
as we had already named the one about which we had heard the evening before.
After several hours of painfully slow progress, wet and muddy up to our waists, we came
leafed jungle-plants were growing everywhere, and mosquitoes buzzed around us in clouds.
We soon found a place that looked like the ford we had been told about, and prepared to cross
over to the other side.
in an upright position, and to prevent the load from over-balancing I tied a rope over the top
and secured it to the wide girth. I told the guide to do likewise on the other side, but somehow
wade across, the guide going in front whilst I followed behind driving the pack animal before
which was some ten feet high. We made for a steep, narrow gap, and presently the guide's
horse scrambled out of the water, followed by the pack-animal. It was not easy to get out of
the ford as it was fairly deep and the bank steep and slippery, and I was just about to reach
safety when the load fell off the horse in front of me. As I had tied it to the girth on one side,
the frightened animal bolted up the incline, dragging the saddlebags behind. I hurried Mancha
out of the water, and when we came to the top of the bank I saw the pack-horse rushing in and
out among the trees, dragging the load with its precious contents behind him, kicking it every
carrying a fair supply of these in the pack, which also contained different instruments, field-
glasses, medicines, clothes, etc. With every kick a puff of white came out of the pack, and I
suspected that either the talcum powder or bicarbonate of soda tins had been damaged.
Suddenly the frightened animal came tearing straight at me, and Mancha got such a scare
that he reared up, staggered backwards, slipped, and both of us tumbled backwards into the
water. Somehow I suddenly remembered the old 'croc', and to this day I do not know how I
stuck on the horse, although I was under water for some seconds, and this with him on top
of me. When I reached high and dry land again, I found the pack-horse lying on the ground
entangled in a mess of pack, girth, lasso and rope. I soon freed him and then, with bad presen-
timents, started to investigate the damage.
The saddlebags were ripped open in several places where they had been kicked. One cam-
cines, sugar, beans, etc., were all mixed together, and smelt something like a concoction of
haggis, sauerkraut, and Limburger cheese; but, worst of all, nearly all my silver pesos were
missing. I threw away what had been rendered useless, washed other things, and then laid
them down to dry.
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