I was born to be a duchess: To our dismay, the track petered out altogether

Pic: Pixabay

TED explained about the state of the river and suggested a few places where they might have made a landfall.

Leaving Mrs H, amply protected by Rex, who was undoubtedly the largest Alsatian I have ever met, to patrol those points which were accessible by road, Ted and I took the two Land Rovers for a bush-bash.

The going was pretty rough, and Ted set a blistering pace.

With an empty trailer bouncing about behind me, and Katie four-wheel flying at times, I was petrified that Karen might be thrown off the seat. After a while, my fuel-gauge took a nose-dive and, figuring that a second vehicle with insufficient fuel was a worse liability than having no second vehicle, we left my Land Rover and continued our search in Ted’s.

The going got even worse and I was very glad not to be driving. As a passenger, I could at least hold on to Karen and make sure that she didn’t hit the roof every time the track disappeared into the depths of an antbear hole.

Eventually we emerged from the reed-beds and found ourselves in a completely open area. To our dismay, the track petered out altogether and we had to search for the river, with the moon as our only navigational aid. A man came out of a hut and told us which way to head, but it was quite hopeless.

With the new moon giving virtually no light, and the reeds masking our view in all directions, we simply could not see water.

There were rabbits everywhere. When we saw what we took to be the eye of a rabbit, in the middle of what we had thought was the river, we decided we were on the wrong track, and gave up. The moon was about to set and there was no sense in confusing the issue by getting lost ourselves.

(Meanwhile, back in the boat, they had seen our lights and were frantically trying to attract our attention. Unfortunately the flicker of a cigarette lighter failed to draw any response from us, because it looked exactly like the reflection of our spotlight in the eye of a rabbit.)


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Susan Cooke
Features Editor

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