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I spoke too late. The man had gashed Raymond’s arm and his mouth as well. Masson sprang forward. The other Arab got up from the water and placed himself behind the fellow with the knife. We didn’t dare to move. The two natives backed away slowly, keeping us at bay with the knife and never taking their eyes off us. When they were at a safe distance they swung round and took to their heels. We stood stock-still, with the sunlight beating down on us. Blood was dripping from Raymond’s wounded arm, which he was squeezing hard above the elbow. Masson remarked that there was a doctor who always spent his Sundays here, and Raymond said: “Good. Let’s go to him at once.” He could hardly get the words out, as the blood from his other wound made bubbles in his mouth. We each gave him an arm and helped him back to the bungalow. Once we were there he told us the wounds weren’t so very deep and he could walk to where the doctor was. Marie had gone quite pale, and Mme Masson was in tears. Masson and Raymond went off to the doctor’s while I was left behind at the bungalow to explain matters to the women. I didn’t much relish the task and soon dried up and started smoking, staring at the sea. Raymond came back at about half-past one, accompanied by Masson. He had his arm bandaged and a strip of sticking plaster on the corner of his mouth. The doctor had assured him it was nothing serious, but he was looking very glum. Masson tried to make him laugh, but without success. Presently Raymond said he was going for a stroll on the beach. I asked him where he proposed to go, and he mumbled something about “wanting to take the air.” We— Masson and I—then said we’d go with him, but he flew into a rage and told us to mind our own business. Masson said we mustn’t insist, seeing the state he was in. However, when he went out, I followed him. It was like a furnace outside, with the sunlight splintering into flakes of fire on the sand and sea. We walked for quite a while, and I had an idea that Raymond had a definite idea where he was going; but probably I was mistaken about this. At the end of the beach we came to a small stream that had cut a channel in the sand, after coming out from behind a biggish rock. There we found our two Arabs again, lying on the sand in their blue dungarees. They looked harmless enough, as if they didn’t bear any malice, and neither made any move when we approached. The man who had slashed Raymond stared at him without speaking. The other man was blowing down a little reed and extracting from it three notes of the scale, which he played over and over again, while he watched us from the corner of an eye. For a while nobody moved; it was all sunlight and silence except for the tinkle of the stream and those three little lonely sounds. Then Raymond put his hand to his revolver pocket, but the Arabs still didn’t move. I noticed the man playing on the reed had his big toes splayed out almost at right angles to his feet. Still keeping his eyes on his man, Raymond said to me: “Shall I plug him one?”