Placed in a rude box, on a wagon drawn by two oxen, Ford’s body was taken to the Ford farm and there prepared for burial, which took place a day or two later. According to tradition, the only persons present at the funeral were his wife, his daughter and her husband, two of his neighbors and about half a dozen slaves. A terrific storm suddenly came up while the little procession was marching from the house to the family graveyard, a distance of about a quarter of a mile. The slaves were in the act of lowering the coffin when a crash of thunder frightened one of them so badly that he dropped the rope with which he was helping to lower the corpse, and ran away. The head of the coffin struck the bottom of the grave and wedged the box into an angular position. Attempts were made to pry it to a level, but without success. While the storm was raging the remaining slaves, with all possible haste, filled the grave. After completing the mound, these superstitious negroes ran to their cabins and from that date “saw things” that have not been seen since, but have entered into many traditions pertaining to the Fords. For example: Some of them saw “Jim Ford land in Hell head foremost.”
It occurs to me that the readers who have followed me thus far in my narrative may find themselves at the conclusion of this book in somewhat the same situation as myself at the end of my journey. In that case it will,
There were other incidents, of course. The dried seaweed they slept on turned to powdery trash. They got more seaweed hauling long kelp-like strands of it ashore from where it clung to the island's submerged rocks. Ganti mentioned that they must do it right after the copter came, so there would be no sign of enterprise to be seen from aloft. The seaweed had long, flexible stems of which no use whatever could be made. When it dried, it became stiff and brittle but without strength.
And, of course, he would have been dead in the first place, anyway. The transition from FTL drive to normal space was instantly fatal except within the protecting shield of a ship's engines.
"But always," Retief said, "there was a critical point at which the man on horseback could have been pulled from the saddle."
We had no cause to complain of our guides, who were faithful and intelligent, and led us almost due south over wild and almost inaccessible mountains, for all the roads and even open places had to be avoided on account of parties of the English who were scouring the country in all directions; and, to our impatience, we wasted many days lying close when the danger was too pressing, so that we were nearly three weeks in making the journey.
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