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Chapter 6 (continued)
She did not, however, reaching the opposite bank as fresh, apparently, as when she entered the water. Victory is a wonder. Each day that we were together brought new proofs of it. Nor was it her courage or vitality only which amazed me. She had a head on those shapely shoulders of hers, and dignity! My, but she could be regal when she chose!
She told me that the lions were fewer upon this side of the river, but that there were many wolves, running in great packs later in the year. Now they were north somewhere, and we should have little to fear from them, though we might meet with a few.
My first concern was to take my weapons apart and dry them, which was rather difficult in the face of the fact that every rag about me was drenched. But finally, thanks to the sun and much rubbing, I succeeded, though I had no oil to lubricate them.
We ate some wild berries and roots that Victory found, and then we set off again down the river, keeping an eye open for game on one side and the launch on the other, for I thought that Delcarte, who would be the natural leader during my absence, might run up the Thames in search of me.
The balance of that day we sought in vain for game or for the launch, and when night came we lay down, our stomachs empty, to sleep beneath the stars. We were entirely unprotected from attack from wild beasts, and for this reason I remained awake most of the night, on guard. But nothing approached us, though I could hear the lions roaring across the river, and once I thought I heard the howl of a beast north of us--it might have been a wolf.
Altogether, it was a most unpleasant night, and I determined then that if we were forced to sleep out again that I should provide some sort of shelter which would protect us from attack while we slept.
Toward morning I dozed, and the sun was well up when Victory aroused me by gently shaking my shoulder.
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