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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter III: We find our Eden,   pp. 34-49

Page 37

                    We Find Our Eden                         37 
were a rather hungry lot, though this surprised me afterwards 
when I saw the wholesale slaughter of cattle in which Hugo was 
wont to indulge. While we strapped our heavy rucksacks on our 
backs Hugo shouldered his dearest possession, an old-fashioned 
gun, which had been given him by Captain Bruuns, and our great 
trek began. 
  An enchantment lay upon the day; a more than natural beauty 
seemed to invest the whole island. The light was different from the 
light of other days, the air was sweet, the landscape full of more 
than earthly charm. The sun-parched, lifeless Galapagos brush 
seemed different here from the same vegetation on Isabella and 
Santa Cruz. There I had had no desire to penetrate the jungle that 
their matted thickets formed, but now I could hardly wait, while 
Frederick bravely hacked a path wide enough for us to push our 
way through. That is to say, a path existed, worn by the giant 
turtles in centuries of toilsome journeying between the seashore 
and the springs; but the turtles had long since gone away from 
Floreana, and the merciless tropic growth had overgrown their 
road, so that it was hardly even to be traced. Frederick led the 
way, slashing his sharp knife downwards with a strong stroke. I, 
pressing too close to him in my eagerness to see what lay ahead, 
received a cut in my finger. It was not a very deep cut, but as I 
took out my handkerchief to wipe away the blood, I thought how 
incongruous this symbol of civilization looked in such surroundings. 
  We came to the first lava field. To the eye it was small enough, 
certainly not more than fifty yards, but to the feet-more accurate 
judges-it was at least five miles. The lava stones were sharp as 
knives. One felt in crossing them that they might have been 
invented by the designers of medieval torturers, so fiercely did they 
lacerate even the shod feet. How Hugo could walk upon them on 
his bare soles was more than I could ever understand. The stones 
lay about, loose, like pebbles, so that it was all that one could 
do to keep one's footing. But to have fallen would have meant 
many and painful gashes. We picked our way with all the care 
we could, Frederick and I stumbling cautiously, Hugo and the dogs 
bounding agilely ahead, and crossed five bad stretches like this 
within an hour. The strips of land connecting the lava fields were 

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