Order for advance being given, the parade started for the lake. When they reached the water-side, Paul was requested to step into the little tent which had been erected for him and to be seated until the fence was made. The Grand Marshal then ordered all the people to fall back, while he stationed the guards with loaded shot guns at intervals around the entire lake.
The selection of the spot had been Frank's, and, though his chums had wondered somewhat at it, they agreed with him that it was a good place. There was a little stream running through the forest, not far from where they pitched their tent, and their first attempt was rewarded by a catch of several fine fish.
Upon their return to Colonel Warrener's tent they found their friends Captains Dunlop and Manners, and two or three of the officers most accustomed to native habits and ways, and all appliances for disguise.
The entertainment of the succeeding day was more sumptuous; the silk hangings of the second tent were embroidered in various figures; and the royal seat, the cups, and the vases, were of gold.
Then we packed in the boat's prow our tent and all paraphernalia that was not absolutely necessary for the sustenance of life, made each man a pack of his blankets, food and necessaries, and began our perilous foot march toward Whale River. I clung to all the records of the expedition, my camera, photographic films and things of that sort, though Potokomik advised their abandonment.
The giraffe has for his counterpart a set of shadow legs ten yards long, and the elephant in his shadow state goes on stilts. A man is followed by a pair of black compasses, and a squat tent flings to the east the shadow of a sword.
Gilbert, I asked for him, when Charley told me that our unfortunate companion was no more! He had come out of his tent with his gun, shot, and powder, and handed them to him, when he instantly dropped down dead. Upon receiving this afflicting intelligence, I hastened to the spot, and found Charley's account too true.
After the men had enjoyed food and a little rest, they were taken into the great tent, where the general sat, Willet having procured the interview, and accompanying them. Robert waited near with Grosvenor and Tayoga, knowing how useful Black Rifle and his men could be to a wilderness expedition, and hoping that they would be thrown together in future service.
The people are extravagantly fond of theatricals; and a kind of bamboo tent is erected for the performance, which is usually of inordinate length. Females, as in India, do not appear on the stage.