Roughing It

be a company of soldiers from the fort, and so we accepted that solution and jogged along a little faster still, for they could not be far off now. But the tracks still multiplied, and we began to think the platoon of soldiers was miraculously expanding into a regiment—Ballou said they had already increased to five hundred! Presently he stopped his horse and said:

“Boys, these are our own tracks, and we’ve actually been circussing round and round in a circle for more than two hours, out here in this blind desert! By George this is perfectly hydraulic!”

Then the old man waxed wroth and abusive. He called Ollendorff all manner of hard names—said he never saw such a lurid fool as he was, and ended with the peculiarly venomous opinion that he “did not know as much as a logarythm!”

We certainly had been following our own tracks.

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