Otakar and Sam are saying good-bye to an Indian reservation. The Indians say something about Devil?s bed ? you must definitely avoid that.
The two friends are passing Las Vegas and are ascending endless mountains to Arizona. First day, second. They are finding themselves in the gloomiest quarter of the world. All around there is nothing but stones. No traces of a living creature. The rocks that have cracked thanks to the heat of the sun look like enchanted spectres
The horse whinnied and stopped.
Water! Sam is pointing.
A small lake is shining deep under us at the bottom of the gorge.
Sam asked Otakar to pass him a bottle. He was going to lower himself down and would bring some water.
Otakar is looking down into the sheer gorge. Yes, there is water, but there is absolutely no greenery around. That is very strange.
Perhaps the sun cannot reach there. They had to water the horses.
Otakar is passing a bottle to Sam. He is mastering the vertical twenty-metre wall. Finally he is at the bottom and is happily waving back to Otakar. He is walking along the stony sediment. He is calling something. Otakar is shading his eyes in front of the sun and he can see that between the two stones there lie leftovers of a man. A skeleton and riding boots, which were half falling to pieces. A little way further Otakar can spot another yellow pile.
Sam is bending to the lake and is dipping water.
Suddenly he shouts out and staggers. Otakar can see that he is sinking onto his knees; again he pulls himself together and is running to the wall of the gorge. He is trying to climb; now is sinking and is staying to lie motionless.
He is not moving. The top part of his body is hanging from a stony ledge.
Devil?s bed ?shoots through my head. This is the gorge against which the Indians warned us. He is throwing away his hat, belt with ammunition, anything that would be in his way on his descend into the gorge. He starts making a few first steps but then. What if he was going to finish exactly like Sam? They would both be lost. Carry him up a twenty-metre rock; in any case he could not do that. And what about pulling Sam up on a rope? He is running towards the horses and pulls down from the saddles firm lassos. He ties them together, on one end he is making a loop and the second one he is tying to Jupiter?s saddle. He is throwing the rope into the gorge. On third attempt he is managing to fasten Sam under his shoulder. He is urging the horse. The rope is tightening and the loop around Sam?s chest is holding fast. Otakar is calling Jupiter and the horse is slowly beginning to ascend the mountain path. Otakar is holding with both hands onto the rope to make sure that Sam?s body would not lacerate on the ledges of the rocks.
He succeeded. Sam is lying on the path. After several minutes? effort with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation ? he is opening his eyes.
Sam became sick down there? as if he was falling asleep.
?Carbon dioxide,? Otakar called out. That is why the Indians said, that it is the place where the devil slept. Somewhere there carbon dioxide springs up and he who will breath it will die.
After two hours rest Otakar and Sam are riding down from the ridges; a silver stream, which is winding through the valley is river Colorado.