And as he puzzled over the covered pit, there loomed suddenly before his mental vision a huge, gray-black bulk which lumbered ponderously along a jungle trail.
For an instant Tantor, the elephant, paused with upraised trunk and tail, with great ears up-pricked, and then he swung on along the trail at a rapid, shuffling pace--straight toward the covered pit with its sharpened stakes upstanding in the ground.
It came to pass, then, that having sallied forth one morning to practise and exercise himself in what he would have to do in the encounter he expected to find himself engaged in the next day, as he was putting Rocinante through his paces or pressing him to the charge, he brought his feet so close to a pit that but for reining him in tightly it would have been impossible for him to avoid falling into it.
By all that's good," was the answer, "and by the birth of whomsoever your worship chooses, I swear, Senor Don Quixote of La Mancha, that I am your squire Sancho Panza, and that I have never died all my life; but that, having given up my government for reasons that would require more time to explain, I fell last night into this pit where I am now, and Dapple is witness and won't let me lie, for more by token he is here with me.
Find it he did, soon after dawn, and not far from the sand pits
, which my imagination had pictured as bottomless, proved to be not more than a hundred feet in depth; but as its walls were smoothly polished it might as well have been a thousand feet, for I could never hope to escape without outside assistance.
It appeared from the little this man said to those about him, which was quickly repeated all over the circle, that the lost man had fallen upon a mass of crumbled rubbish with which the pit
was half choked up, and that his fall had been further broken by some jagged earth at the side.
Pierre glanced into the pit
and saw that the factory lad was lying with his knees close up to his head and one shoulder higher than the other.
By removing two stakes there would be left plenty of room for the lion to leap from the pit
, which was not of any great depth.
As he spoke the Count looked downwards towards the boxes behind us on the pit
Finally I gave him a fair choice between freedom and the pits
beneath the palace--the price of freedom to be full information as to where you were imprisoned and directions which would lead us to you; but still he maintained his stubborn partisanship.
Few there are who visit the pits
other than the dead, except my pupils--ey