by Captain W. E. Johns



XI.                   GINGER CLIMBS DOWN  (Pages 129 - 142)


When Bertie fell in his attempt to escape being shot he thought his last moment has come.  In fact, Kisumo had not fired at all.  Ginger had climbed down the tree thinking the buffalo had gone.  He then fired at the buffalo when it charged him.  The wounded creature ran past Ginger as he dodged behind a tree and straight into Kisumo, goring him to death.  Kisumo got off two shots at the buffalo during the encounter which killed it.  When Bertie advances on the dead beast, Ginger appears from the trees and they exchange stories.  Ginger realises that Kisumo doesn't return, Kreeze will come looking for him.  It would be better if Kreeze thought Bertie was dead.  During discussions of the plan, Bertie accidently slips in the buffalo blood and gets covered in gore.  He is persuaded to lie still and play dead as they see lights advance.  Ginger hides in the bushes and is horrified to see Tug with the search party as he knows he will think Bertie is dead as well.   Kreeze then says what he says in Chapter X, only this time Johns changes what he said (he obviously didn't look back at what he had previously written!).  "It's plain enough to see what happened here" says Kreeze, "Kisumo did his job; the buffalo must have been in the timber, and charged; he fired two shots at it.  And he hit it, too, but it must have been too close for him to stop it.  The brute got him. We'd better leave things as they are until everyone that matters has seen this.  We shall need witnesses.  Dupray will make a good one.  No one will doubt his word.  We'll get some photographs in the morning to show to the authorities if they start asking questions.  We'll bring stretchers along at the same time and take the bodies back to the lodge for burial.  We'll put Lissie beside Carding.  A few graves will do no harm - teach people to do as they're told".  Kreeze leaves a native called Kolo and two others to keep the hyenas away but Ginger's imitation of a lion's growl soon has them running away, but only after Kolo has thrown a spear at Ginger which narrowly misses.  Bertie is up as soon as they have gone as he thinks its a lion as well.  Bertie and Ginger trample down the undergrowth and splash some buffalo blood around to make it look like a lion has dragged Bertie's corpse away.  They then set off back towards the lodge with the intention of trying to make contact with Tug but they hear aircraft engines in the distance as see Tug take off and fly away leaving them stranded.