Day after day the walking went easily enough for Marie and Etienne. Further and further south they went.
At night they gazed at the moon and stars together. One night Marie said to Etienne, "It is time I told you why we are on this mission together. Grande Cheval whinnied ever so slightly. Marie turned and softly rebuked the mule, "I am glad you agree my friend, but I didn't know I needed your approval," she said smiling. Etienne reclining on his mat laid on the ground next to Marie's, was humming to himself and stopped and getting up on one elbow said, "I am all ears, dear lady." Marie leaned over inches away from his face and breathing very softly and low said, "I am going to the Mountains of the Moon and find my fathers herb. My father was Docteur Devereux, a Physician and Scientist as you know. His specialty was herbalism. His herb cures many diseases. A Docteur Erhlich's magic bullet indeed! Many unscrupulous men would do terrible things to stop me. They don't want it ever known."
Etienne looked intently at Marie and said, "We must turn East at some time then, for the Ruwenzori are in that direction as well as South." Marie nodded and smiled coyly and whispered, "you have been such a good friend, what you would you have from me?" Etienne smiled back and said, "a kiss, my princess." To which she quipped, "and you will turn into a frog if I do?" Etienne looked intently into her eyes an said nothing and moved to within an inch from her face. Marie leaned next to his cheek with hers and turned and kissed his cheek and murmured. "a buss for the prince and now we must to sleep, tomorrow is early."
They retired and slept close to one another under the warm African night sky of midnight blue, with moon and stars to keep them company. The embers of the fire glowed red and comforting. Grand Cheval stood guard in his sleep. The dawn would come soon enough. Etienne slept like a log, contented. Marie was in a deep dream sleep. Many dreamt things passed her way that night. They slept the sleep of innocence.