With powerful strokes we swam out in the path of the oncoming launch. Being a stronger swimmer than Delcarte, I soon was far in the lead, reaching the center of the channel just as the launch bore down upon me. It was drifting broadside on. I seized the gunwale and raised myself quickly, so that my chin topped the side. I expected a blow the moment that I came within the view of the occupants, but no blow fell.
Snider lay upon his back in the bottom of the boat alone. Even before I had clambered in and stooped above him I knew that he was dead. Without examining him further, I ran forward to the control board and pressed the starting button. To my relief, the mechanism responded--the launch was uninjured. Coming about, I picked up Delcarte. He was astounded at the sight that met his eyes, and immediately fell to examining Snider's body for signs of life or an explanation of the manner in which he met his death.
The fellow had been dead for hours--he was cold and still. But Delcarte's search was not without results, for above Snider's heart was a wound, a slit about an inch in length-- such a slit as a sharp knife would make, and in the dead fingers of one hand was clutched a strand of long brown hair--Victory's hair was brown. male strapon harness
They say that dead men tell no tales, but Snider told the story of his end as clearly as though the dead lips had parted and poured forth the truth. The beast had attacked the girl, and she had defended her honor.
We buried Snider beside the Rhine, and no stone marks his last resting place. Beasts do not require headstones. 7 inch strap on
Then we set out in the launch, turning her nose upstream. When I had told Delcarte and Taylor that I intended searching for the girl, neither had demurred.
"We had her wrong in our thoughts," said Delcarte, "and the least that we can do in expiation is to find and rescue her."
We called her name aloud every few minutes as we motored up the river, but, though we returned all the way to our former camping place, we did not find her. I then decided to retrace our journey, letting Taylor handle the launch, while Delcarte and I, upon opposite sides of the river, searched for some sign of the spot where Victory had landed.
We found nothing until we had reached a point a few miles above the spot where I had first seen the launch drifting down toward us, and there I discovered the remnants of a recent camp fire.
That Victory carried flint and steel I was aware, and that it was she who built the fire I was positive. But which way had she gone since she stopped here?