Getting through these we meet the war hedge again, and after a conscientious struggle with various forms of vegetation in a muddled, tangled state, Sasu says, "No good, path done got stopped up," so we turn and retrace our steps all the way, cross the river, and horrify Herr Liebert by invading his house again. We explain the situation.
We come to another fallen tree over another hole; this tree we recognise as an old acquaintance near Buea, and I feel disgusted, for I had put on a clean blouse, and washed my hands in a tea-cupful of water in a cooking pot before leaving the forest camp, so as to look presentable on reaching Buea, and not give Herr Liebert the same trouble he had to recognise the white from the black members of the party that he said he had with the members of the first expedition to the peak; and all I have got to show for my exertion that is clean or anything like dry is one cuff over which I have been carrying a shawl.
After all the rain we have had, the road was of course worse than ever, and as we were going through the forest towards the war hedge, I noticed a strange sound, a dull roar which made the light friable earth quiver under our feet, and I remembered with alarm the accounts Herr Liebert has given me of the strange ways of rivers on this mountain; how by Buea, about 200 metres below where you cross it, the river goes bodily down a hole.
Liebert, a very willing, industrious, and gifted singer, has never sung the part, I shall go through it with him separately once or twice. In all probability the performance this year will be better than the previous ones. The "Flying Dutchman" was given yesterday, to the increased satisfaction of the public.
I do not like to say "so much the better," because it would have sounded ungrateful, but I knew from my Ogowe experiences that a forest that looks from afar a dense black mat is all right underneath, and there is a short path recently cut by Herr Liebert that goes straight up towards the forest above us.
Herr Liebert gives me some interesting details about the first establishment of the station here and a bother he had with the plantations. Only a short time ago the soldiers brought him in some black wood spikes, which they had found with their feet, set into the path leading to the station's koko plantations, to the end of laming the men.
The impression on the whole public was striking and inspiriting. The Mildes were called Liebert was called, and even my nose had to show itself at the end. In brief, the two evenings gave me a degree of pleasure which only my fear that you, glorious, dearest, best of friends, might be in trouble, could impair. But to continue.
It had been made to go to a clearing, where ambitious agricultural operations were being inaugurated, when Herr Liebert hurt his foot.
CITIZEN-GENERAL I have read with interest the account of what you did to re-establish order in the fifty-second demi-brigade, and also the report of General Liebert, dated the 5th Vendemiaire. Tell that officer that the Government is satisfied with his conduct. His promotion from the rank of Colonel to that of General of brigade is confirmed. I wish that brave officer to come to Paris.
Thus in the same affair Bonaparte, in a few days, from the spontaneous expression of blame dictated by hate, was reduced to the necessity of declaring his approbation, which he did, as may be seen, with studied coldness, and even taking pains to make his praises apply to Colonel Liebert, and not to the general-in-chief. Time only served to augment Bonaparte's dislike of Bernadotte.