The ravine up which our road lay was badly choked with massive rocks, patches of trailing-pine, and dense thickets of alder, and it cost us two hours' more hard work to cut a trail through it with axes. Before dark, however, we had reached the site of our second day's camp, and about midnight we arrived at the ruined yurt where we had eaten lunch five days before.
To the right, beyond a steep ravine, was a small village and a landowner's house with a broken roof. In the village, in the house, in the garden, by the well, by the pond, over all the rising ground, and all along the road uphill from the bridge leading to the village, not more than five hundred yards away, crowds of men could be seen through the shimmering mist.
"It is, Dias, an extraordinary place; and if the people who built it wanted, as I suppose they did, to avoid observation, they could not have chosen a better. When those trees were growing it would have been impossible to catch eight of them without coming down the ravine." "It looks very still," Dias said in a doubtful voice.
As Herhor did not move, Eunana stood and looked him in the eyes, like a faithful dog which having received one morsel from his master is wagging his tail and waiting. "And now," continued the minister, "confess, Eunana, why Thou didst not tell whither the heir to the throne went when the army was marching along the ravine with such difficulty.
Sanders waited no longer. He crawled back from the lip of the ravine a dozen yards, drew his revolver, and fired twice. His guess had been that the attacking party, startled at the shots, would hesitate and draw together for a whispered conference. This was exactly what occurred. An explosion tore to shreds the stillness of the night. Before the first had died away a second one boomed out.
"Then you do not believe the story you heard to-day, about about " "My father? Yes, I believe it; but that is no reason why I should be unkind to Rosa. Poor girl! 'twill be hard enough for her to lose you." "Is there no way of escape?" I shook my head. "An armed sentry stands outside; a hundred soldiers are in the ravine; the path is closely watched. I would help you if it were possible."
The mules stepped out well, and in the shade of the ravine we pushed on steadily through the heat of the day. We had left the macchia far below us, and the road wound between and around sheer scarps of grey granite on the edge of precipices echoing the trickle of waters far below. We rode now in single file, and so continued until Evvisa was reached, and the upper hills began to open their folds.
At the first drive a beautiful buck roe deer ran out of a ravine into the main valley where I was stationed. Suddenly he caught sight of us where we sat under a rock and stopped with head thrown up and one foot raised. I shall never forget the beautiful picture which he made standing there against the background of snow with the sun glancing on his antlers.
So I walked along to the top, and as I did so numbers of them flew up. I shot a couple; most of the others soon settled again, but some kept flying round and round, and in ten minutes I got as many as I wanted. Then of course I had to go down into the ravine by the rope and the steps to gather them up. I returned the way we did, by the rope we had left hanging from the top of the wall."
Then the Roman army moved forward, and was soon engaged in a succession of combats. Every valley and ravine was defended, invisible foes rolled down masses of rock among them and a hail of arrows, and it was only when very strong bodies of archers, supported by spearmen, climbed the heights on both sides that the resistance ceased.