The shocking evidences of the disastrous repulse were on every hand, with the body of poor Quincal lying at the feet of the assailant whom he had slain, and with nearly a score of dusky bodies stretched in every conceivable attitude.
A CHANGE OF CAMP.
Professor Grimcke and Jared Long stood like a couple of warriors, exhausted from the desperate conflict which they had been waging for hours.
And yet the sanguinary contest had lasted but a few minutes, while they who had wrought all this destruction did little more than stand, aim and fire their guns. The task of the natives was tenfold harder, as the results were tenfold worse against them.
Like old hunters, the first thing the explorers did was to fill the magazines of their Winchesters with cartridges, after which their revolvers were reloaded. Then they were ready for business again.
At this moment, Bippo and Pedros crept from the wood, the picture of quaking terror. They had been roused at the beginning of the tumult, but deeming discretion the better part of valor, scrambled farther back into the forest, where they remained almost dead with fright, until sure the awful scene was over.
There can be little question that Quincal was as much terrified as they and possibly more. It was his very excess of panic, which turned his head, and caused him to do that which would have been beyond his power under other circumstances.
When they saw the dead body of their comrade, Bippo and Pedros broke into loud lamentations. There could be no doubt that they mourned the poor fellow as much as did the explorers who had witnessed his death.
The surroundings of the camp were so frightful that the Professor proposed they should get beyond sight of it by drifting further down stream, a proposal to which his companion willingly agreed.
What should be done with the body of Quincal? This was the question which caused the party to hesitate a minute or two after the canoe was shoved into the water and ready to float down stream.
The wishes of his companions were asked, and Bippo replied that the most fitting burial, and one in accordance with the peculiar customs of their people, was to give it burial in the Xingu.
This was in consonance with the feelings of Grimcke and Long, and they at once made arrangements to carry out the plan.
The remains were tenderly carried into the boat, and a large stone fastened by means of a piece of rope to the ankles, which were tied together. Then the craft was paddled to the middle of the river, and the body carefully lifted over the side. Holding it thus suspended for a minute or two, Jared Long and the Professor lifted their hats and closed their eyes while the New Englander uttered a brief prayer, committing the soul to Him who gave it, commending the other body, lying alone in the dark forest where it had fallen, to the same merciful Father, and beseeching his protection to the living through the perils by which they were environed. A splash followed, and all that was mortal of the native sank out of sight to sleep until awakened by the trump of the resurrection morn.