losing blood at a dangerous rate, but I cared little for that: in sight of my eyes death was yielding to life ; a soul was gathering strength to save me from loneliness; we would go away together, and I should speedily recover !
The garments were at length finished, and, contemplating my handiwork with no small satisfaction, I proceeded to mat layers of the fibre into sandals.
One night I woke suddenly, breathless and faint, and longing after air, and had risen to crawl from the cave, when a slight rustle in the leaves of the couch set me listening motionless.
' I caught the vile thing,' said a feeble voice, in my mother-tongue; I caught it in the very act!'
She was alive ! she spoke ! I dared not yield to my transport lest I should terrify her.
' What creature ? ' I breathed, rather than said.
' The creature,' she answered,' that was biting you.'
'What was it?'
' A great white leech.'
' How big ?' I pursued, forcing myself to be calm.
' Not far from six feet long, I should think,' she answered.
' You have saved my life, perhaps !—But how could you touch the horrid thing ! How brave of you!' I cried.
'1 did !' was all her answer, and I thought she shuddered.
' Where is it ? What could you do with such a monster ?'
' I threw it in the river.'
Then it will come again, I fear ! '
91 do not think I could have killed it, even had I known how !—I heard you moaning, and got up to see what disturbed you; saw the frightful thing at your