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31. CHAPTER THIRTY-FIRST.
Departure in the Night-time.--All Three.--Kennedy's Instincts.--Precautions.-- The Course of the Shari River.--Lake Tchad.--The Water of the Lake.--The Hippopotamus.--One Bullet thrown away.
About three o'clock in the morning, Joe, who was then on watch, at length saw the city move away from beneath his feet. The Victoria was once again in motion, and both the doctor and Kennedy awoke.
The former consulted his compass, and saw, with satisfaction, that the wind was carrying them toward the north-northeast.
"We are in luck!" said he; "every thing works in our favor: we shall discover Lake Tchad this very day."
"Is it a broad sheet of water?" asked Kennedy.
"Somewhat, Dick. At its greatest length and breadth, it measures about one hundred and twenty miles."
"It will spice our trip with a little variety to sail over a spacious sheet of water."
"After all, though, I don't see that we have much to complain of on that score. Our trip has been very much varied, indeed; and, moreover, we are getting on under the best possible conditions."
"Unquestionably so; excepting those privations on the desert, we have encountered no serious danger."
"It is not to be denied that our noble balloon has behaved wonderfully well. To-day is May 12th, and we started on the 18th of April. That makes twenty-five days of journeying. In ten days more we shall have reached our destination."
"Where is that?"
"I do not know. But what does that signify?"
"You are right again, Samuel! Let us intrust to Providence the care of guiding us and of keeping us in good health as we are now. We don't look much as though we had been crossing the most pestilential country in the world!"
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