An Epic Life
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by Kev Richardson
Description: They travel half the globe to realise a dream, create a dynasty
eBook Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc., 2010 2001
eBookwise Release Date: August 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [315 KB]
Reading time: 189-265 min.
Oh! What a bloody to-do! Never have I seen forest so dense, especially when without end, forest so dense that a man can't tell what's more than a yard ahead. Any next step a man takes can have him hurtling over the edge of a precipice. I hear a waterfall, and it's close, but whether 'tis the top of one or the bottom, how to know? Nowhere can a man find a vantage to get his bearings. I can be travelling in circles and never know it! If there is any good luck attached to this it's that having to watch against falling down a cliff-face with any next step at least takes my mind off the cold and hunger. Even if a man feels thankful it's here, I'm lost without warm clothing in April rather than England, it's still cold when every stitch on me is saturated--yet whether it's rain making everything wet rather than mist from a fall, neither is there a way of knowing--I can tell only daylight from dark.
He'd lost all sense of time. For the last two nights, he'd slept in clefts of rocks never knowing if he were sharing his shelter with a snake. The first night he'd stumbled across a creek bed that at least had a rock shelf for quite a way along it, and he'd been following it, but he soon lost track of how many times it had swerved to the right and how many to the left.
And his entire neck and face were puffed and itchy from bites. And his body was tired. Worst drawback was that his compass was acting up. Sometimes it gave a clear reading, yet even when only a few yards further, it would begin dancing in wild gyrations. His scientific knowledge of minerals wasn't great, yet he recalled something from early RE training that if iron were present, even well below the earth surface, it could disorientate a compass...
...So maybe it's that, but how's a man to know that either? All I can be sure of is that, for most of each day, I've no certainty about which direction I'm heading. And neither can I get a view of anything from anywhere--unless the top of this waterfall I'm heading for can provide one.
He took a little solace, however, in the fact that so far he had not been confronted with finding himself on a pathway he'd already slashed. Or anybody had slashed.
Then I'd know I've been walking in a circle.
And if I were to follow the stream below the fall, either left or right, it would only take me to places where I'd be as lost as now! So what can a man achieve?
And his belly hungered. The small piece of bread he'd had, he'd found on his first night alone to have become saturated despite rolled up in a canvas bag. He'd eaten it nevertheless, along with a third of his sausage. Yesterday he'd denied himself breakfast. Two-thirds of a single sausage was all he had to last him until found. So he denied himself lunch. Fortunately there was water aplenty. Every leaf around was saturated with it. His handkerchief he used as a sponge on the leaves, and every time he felt a pang of hunger, he apologized to his stomach for offering it only the water he could suck from the kerchief.
He allowed himself a smile when remembering last night's 'supper.'
Supper? Hah! A third of a sausage is all I gave my poor stomach during an entire twenty-four hours!
He almost smiled again as his mind flew to his waking thought this morning, that today was Friday, the day Catholics forsake meat.
Thank the Lord I'm not Catholic. It least I'll be able to eat the last of my sausage come supper. Will God then take pity on me? That I'll hear a whistle-blast during the night? Or come morning?