Sher Singh breathed one more prayer, of thanks this time, and scrambled down into the river-bed. He stepped into the rive usual, and deeper than it had been. Sher Singh had to go slowly made ready to move with Kunwar on his back once again. HAn Sher Singh had been to this river often. But it was colder than because of slime on the stones. Thank goodness there was a bridge at the second river, he thought. It was a flimsy thing made of bamboo poles, stones, thick grass and river gravel. But it was at least a bridge. As Sher Singh washed up on to the shore, water twinkled in his footprints before sinking into the sand. Coming up out of the river were another set of prints-a tigers and there was glitter in them too. Even as he looked, they dried. He plodded steadily on, and his body panted and sobbed. Towards midnight he heard the second river ahead of him. He heard it from far away, a steady roar of flood. When he came out on the shore, he saw it. A big head of snow must have melted yesterday and here it was. From bank to bank, the river foamed. He looked for the bridge. It was not there. Only a fierce crest of water showed where it lay, submerged. Branches caught against the bridge feathered the wild glissade of water. Underneath, boulders moved. He could hear the river grinding its teeth. Then a tree, churning over and over, crashed against the drowned bridge, which heeled and broke, throwing up its bamboo ribs like a fan. So, now, how to cross? There was not a chance to swim. Even alone, he would be lost. Perhaps among the wreckage of the bridge, there was a way? Sher Singh set Kunwar down and brought him water from the river in his hands. My brother-the little boy whispered, and drank. Sher Singh gathered grass and plaited it into a rope. He tied the rope round his brother and himself so they would keep together. Then he entered the water just above the bridge. The river seize them and flattened them against the wreck. He could not move a first, then he edged forward into the maelstrom, feeling for the spiuends of bamboo. The deluge deafened him, timber banged and bruised him. as scold he could hardly keep his hold.