Bushes and fallen logs impeded their progress; the mud and water were in places leg-deep; and the men were permitted to pick their way as best they could. Suddenly out of a thicket a bullet came whizzing. Another and another followed. One tore the bark from a tree close by Captain Edney's head. "Keep cool, boys!" he said; "and aim low."
Trevarrow hauled on the rope, lifted the basket out of the sea, and a cataract of living silver was shot into the boat, accompanied by a mighty cheer. Basketful after basketful followed, until the men stood leg-deep in fish.
Brakes were put on and wheels double-locked, until the harness could be stripped off and the half-frantic animals set free to take a turn in the river. Sheep and oxen plunged down the banks and stood leg-deep in the current while they drank the grateful water. A few moments later all the refreshed animals were cropping the generous grass.
Beyond lies a certain Slough of Despond, a concoction of mud and liquid filth, ankle-deep, leg-deep, neck-deep in a word, of unknown bottom on which the lamplight does not even glimmer, but which I have occasionally watched in the gradual growth of its horrors from morn till nightfall. Should I flounder into its depths, farewell to upper earth!
I surprised the cattle in the field, and those ruminating leg-deep in the water turned their heads at my approach, swallowed their unfinished cuds, and scampered off as if they had seen a spectre. I surprised the fish on their spawning-beds and feeding-grounds; they scattered, as my shadow glided down upon them, like chickens when a hawk appears.
I will go down stream again, so that if you should slip I'll be ready to rescue." Boldly did Oliver step out upon the ledge; cautiously did he advance each foot, until he was more than leg-deep, and wildly, like an insane semaphore, did he wave his arms, as well as the heavy rod, in his frantic efforts not to lose his balance! At last he planted his feet, with a cheer of triumph, on the rock.
Beyond, lies a certain Slough of Despond, a concoction of mud and liquid filth, ankle-deep, leg-deep, neck-deep, in a word, of unknown bottom, on which the lamplight does not even glimmer, but which I have occasionally watched, in the gradual growth of its horrors, from morn till nightfall. Should I flounder into its depths, farewell to upper earth!
He had reached the shingly isle when he looked round for his companions; Humfrey and Philip were close behind him; but, in spite of the loud 'gare! of the guide, Aime, or his horse, for each was equally senseless with alarm, were making inwards; the horse was trying to tread on the sandbank, which gave way like the water itself, under its frantic struggles there was a loud cry a shrill, unmistakable woman's shriek the horse was sinking a white face and helpless form were being carried out on the waves, but not before Berenger had flung himself from his horse, thrown off his cloak and sword, and dashed into the water; and in the lapse of a few moments he struggled back to the island, where were Philip and Humfrey, leg-deep in water: the one received his burthen, the other helped him to land.
Lovely valleys debouch upon the stream; there are peaceful shadows in the steel-blue waters, and on the broad shoulders of the cattle on the banks we see the drapery of the shadows of the trees beneath which they rest. The fisherman standing leg-deep in the water can see his face as in a mirror. But at present our way does not lie through these scenes.