National Geographic : 1962 Aug
bagpipes, the dances were performed in an open area before the sultan's home. A hopping charge with sword held high, a piercing bat tle cry, and a long speech proclaimed the dancer's loyalty. A two-man mock duel sim ulated war. A slow pivoting with arms out stretched like a bird arrested in flight displayed the admired coordination of the warrior. Each dancer was in costume, a strangely Arabian dress with a rolled turban reminiscent of a Saracen soldier. Bridge Out-and No Warning The road east from Dompu was boulder lined, chuck-holed, dust-smothered. It ran through parched country, a brown land of 248 stubbly growth and bamboo villages on stilts. Blue smoke rose from burning forests, a com mon method of clearing land for cultivation. And always the kulkuls presaged our coming. Each bend in the road brought a surprise a deer, a wild boar, a tree down. Then I heard Helen shout from her vantage point atop Tortuga's hatch: "Stop! A bridge is out." There was no barricade, no sign to indicate danger. I stepped hard on the brake; the Jeep slowed, but the pedal went to the floor, and the sharp odor of brake fluid filled the cab. I snatched at the hand brake, but Tortuga's 5,000 pounds had too much momentum. Al most as in slow motion, I saw the ruined bridge creep toward us.