Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/30

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considerable fatigue. A few meters from their starting point, there were only five explorers left -- their companions having decided to reverse their steps. Those five did not let themselves be demoralized by a most excusable defection, and continued their strange expedition.

Coming to the part of the desert where distances between the blocks were shorter, they began jumping from one to another, but this presented its own type of danger, the top of a rock being barely wide enough to allow two feet to rest on it at the same time, and a fall on those sharp ridges being dangerous and painful.

After several hours of this kind of gymnastics -- for one cannot call the crossing of the Pedrigale a march -- Captain Lee and his companions reached its extremity. It was not too soon. They were exhausted, and a storm -- one of those Mexican storms which overthrow nature completely -- burst over their heads. Looking for a shelter under a rock, one of the party saw, at a very small distance, a Mexican sentinel carelessly guarding what seemed to be a powder magazine. Still other clues lead Captain Lee to surmise that more troops must be nearby and feel in total security. They could reasonably consider that the Pedrigale was, by itself, a strong enough defense against any attack. He proposed to his companions to return across the Pedrigale and inform General Scott of their discovery.

The four officers considered they were too exhausted to