It has now been seven minutes. Seven anxious minutes, listening for sounds, watching for movements up ahead, and hoping for Makali’s whistle that all is safe. Nothing so far. In the distance I hear the song of robins and warblers. The wind seems to be swirling now. This could be very bad! Ten minutes. Nothing. Suddenly a sound of swift movement in the grass behind us. I turn, raising my rifle.
“Easy Cowboy. Careful with that thing, Mate.”
“Damn, Miles.” I’ve never been so happy to see anyone before. Miles and Benga fall-in besides us, loaded and ready. In a low whisper I quickly update both as to the situation. The four of us re-assume our kneeled positions. Twelve minutes!
A whistle. Finally. I painfully stand and see Makali walking towards us at about 20 yards.
“Bwana! Bwana!” almost in a scream. “You no believe. You no believe. No simba now. Yes, they here. Bwana you no believe!”
he four of us start walking swiftly toward Makali. “Stay alert, men,” I say, “Watch the grass!”
Makali continues to walk toward us. He is covered in mud from the crawling and I see blood dripping from a long scratch on his right arm.