I’ve been Ill …

I’ve been in bed with the doctor and the antibiotics. It’s been a tight squeeze.
I’ve not slept, not eaten. Don’t want to. No interest.
And the weird dreams! Lucky I can’t remember most of them.
The one that scared me half to death, was the one where I was in a party of slavers, making our way down through Africa from the lakes to our dhow, waiting to ship the slaves to the markets in Stone Town on Zanzibar. The slaves had been told by their chief that they would be shipped off to the Sultan of Oman’s palace, and live out their lives in luxury – so they didn’t give any trouble.
We’d also picked up a nice couple of tusks and some slabs of fresh elephant meat as part of the deal. That was the trouble.
We were moving as quietly as we could through that pitch dark African night to avoid ambushes and attacks by other slavers. Human eyes are amazing – but they must have some light!
Then it started. ‘Cough.’ ‘Cough.’
You don’t live in Africa long without learning the sound of a lion. This one sounded an old male hunting alone – probably a man-eater. Couldn’t light torches without giving our position away – and you don’t stop a charging lion in the dark with a musket ball!
All those weary miles through that still deep rich darkness ‘Cough’ now to this side now to that!
My nerves were shattered by the time we caught sight of the welcoming fire our mates had built on the beach.

2 thoughts on “I’ve been Ill …

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