On the following morning they passed out at the head of the mountain gorge and sallied forth into the open plain.
At early dawn they scrutinized the surrounding plain, to discover whether any enemies had been lurking about during the night; not a foot-print, however, was to be discovered in the coarse gravel with which the plain was covered.
One of these brilliantly white and level expanses in the midst of the brown and desolate plain, offers an extraordinary spectacle.
The death-like stillness of the plain, the dogs keeping watch, the gipsy-group of Gauchos making their beds round the fire, have left in my mind a strongly-marked picture of this first night, which will never be forgotten.
It has been said there is nothing appertaining to life upon the broad plain.
Now the great salt plain stretched before his eyes, and the distant belt of savage mountains, without a sign anywhere of plant or tree, which might indicate the presence of moisture.
Around spread a grayish plain, of a wild aspect, on which every relief was marked in yellow.
Toward the south, the plain was very flat, without one elevation, without one projection.
These are obliged to proceed in armed caravans, and are subject to murderous attacks from bands of Pawnees, Camanches, and Blackfeet, that come scouring upon them in their weary march across the plains
, or lie in wait for them among the passes of the mountains.
Rank grass, waist high, grows upon the plain of Phutra--the gorgeous flowering grass of the inner world, each particular blade of which is tipped with a tiny, five-pointed blossom--brilliant little stars of varying colors that twinkle in the green foliage to add still another charm to the weird, yet lovely, land-scape.
And as I crossed Phutra's flower-bespangled plain that time I seemed almost to fly, though how much of the sensation was due to Perry's suggestion and how much to actuality I am sure I do not know.
Shouting to a lieutenant to take command, and urging him upon pain of death to dispatch the Abyssinians and bring the gold back to his camp, Achmet Zek set off across the plain
in pursuit of the Belgian, his wicked nature unable to forego the pleasures of revenge, even at the risk of sacrificing the treasure.