Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/369

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361
THE PITFALL—RELEASE.

and held his head forcibly down, while with my right hand, and by the aid of a stick that I picked up, I scraped away the soil on one side of the pit so that it became in a degree an inclined plane; with my feet I also so far leveled the wall that it formed a kind of platform. This matter being arranged, I laid myself on my back on the edge of the pit and pulled stoutly at the bridle. The horse understood me, for with a violent jerk of his body he sprang on to the platform, and next to the inclined plane, where for a moment he nearly lost his equilibrium, but at last successfully cleared the abyss.

The poor brute was so sensible of the danger he had escaped that, on finding himself on firm ground, he uttered a wild, half-suppressed neighing, or rather scream, and continued to tremble violently for several minutes. On examining him, I found he had sustained no farther injury than the loss of a few inches of skin and a quantity of hair. As

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PITFALLS.