from Dust on my Shoes, p 311 - 312
days had passed, the floods had begun to subside. The owner of
the canoe was recompensed, the rescuers were rewarded, and the
police notified Rangoon by radio. Such trifles we had possessed
- packs, clothes, rubber sheet and kindred items- were disposed
was not yet in the sky when I stood upon the headland, under the
stars and amid the dew-wet grass. Behind me the westering moon
was setting, diffusing its pallid glow on the cotton-wool mists
which shrouded the three knolls and hid the monastery from view.
The stars were bright, the river before me was profoundly black.
One could hear the hiss and gurgle of the turning waters, the
restless Chindwin, the seeker of death who sighed for human victims.
was dead. The debonair, the cynical, the light-hearted, proud and resolute
Marchand; the budding philosopher, the youthful sage, the peerless companion.
The Chindwin had claimed him, and rendered no return.
stood alone by the shore, and the moon slid behind the shoulder of a
distant hill; Khayyam's moon, falling into India. For a time there was
abysmal darkness, and then the early dawn climbed in the sky, shedding
a cold, pale aura over the jungled hills in the east, over Yu-e, and
the road to Mandalay.
river became a belt of shimmering steel, an endless moving belt slipping
darkly down past the mouth of the Kale, and the flooded rice-mill, round
the great sweeping bend to the pass between the hills; stealing south
with muffled sounds, secret, sullen, slinking down through jungle wastes
and the silver mists of dawn, to the sea...."
wrote to Marchand's family, telling them of his death and later went
to visit them in Europe.
Marchand was the only man Peter Pinney had yet met "who did something
which I dare not "
Extract of Pinney's letter to Marchand's family...