to them of the great and good queen beyond the seas, who would send her warriors to deliver and avenge the oppressed Indian.
The men are sleeping among the trees, some on the ground, and some in grass-hammocks slung between the stems. All is silent, save the heavy plunge of the tapir in the river, as he tears up the water-weeds for his nights repast. Sometimes, indeed, the jaguar, as he climbs from one tree-top to another after his prey, wakens the monkeys clustered on the boughs, and they again arouse the birds, and ten minutes of unearthly roars, howls, shrieks, and cacklings make the forest ring as if all pandemonium had broke loose; but that soon dies away again; and, even while it lasts, it is too common a matter to awaken the sleepers, much less to interrupt the council of war which is going on beside the watch-fire, between the three adventurers and the faithful Yeo. A hundred times have they held such a council, and in vain; and, for aught they know, this one will be as fruitless as those which have gone before it. Nevertheless, it is a more solemn one than usual; for the two years during which they had agreed to search for Manoa are long past, and some new place must be determined on, unless they intend to spend the rest of their lives in that green wilderness.
Well, says Will Cary, taking his cigar out of his mouth, at least we have got something out of those last Indians. It is a comfort to have a puff at tobacco once more, after three weeks fasting.
For me, said Jack Brimblecombe, Heaven forgive me! but when I get the magical leaf between my teeth again, I feel tempted to sit as still as a chimney, and smoke till my dying day, without stirring hand or foot.
Then I shall forbid you tobacco, Master Parson, said Amyas; for we must be up and away again to- morrow. We have been idling here three mortal days, and nothing done.
Shall we ever do anything? I think the gold of Manoa is like the gold which lies where the rainbow touches the ground, always a field beyond you.
Amyas was silent awhile, and so were the rest. There was no denying that their hopes were all but gone. In the immense circuit which they had made, they had met with nothing but disappointment.
There is but one more chance, said he at length, and that is, the mountains to the east of the Orinoco, where we failed the first time. The Incas may have moved on to them when they escaped.
Why not? said Cary; they would so put all the forests, beside the Llanos and half-a-dozen great rivers, between them and those dogs of Spaniards.
Shall we try it once more? said Amyas. This river ought to run into the Orinoco; and once there, we are again at the very foot of the mountains. What say you, Yeo?
I cannot but mind, your worship, that when we came up the Orinoco, the Indians told us terrible stories of those mountains, how far they stretched, and how difficult they were to cross, by reason of the cliffs aloft, and the thick forests in the valleys. And have we not lost five good men there already?
What care we? No forests can be thicker than those we have bored through already; why, if one had had but a tail, like a monkey, for an extra warp, one might have gone a hundred miles on end along the tree-tops, and found it far pleasanter walking than tripping in withes, and being eaten up with creeping things, from morn till night.
But remember, too, said Jack, how they told us to beware of the Amazons.
What, Jack, afraid of a parcel of women?
Why not? said Jack, I wouldnt run from a man, as you know; but a womanits not natural, like. They must be witches or devils. See how the Caribs feared them. And there were men there without necks,
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