Dutch born Robert
Marchand was Pinney's travellng companion across Europe, to India and Burma. Marchand appears often in Dust on My Shoes their great friendship
evident as several times the two go in different directions only to meet up again, further along the road.
Pinney describes him: "The debonair, the cynical, the light-hearted, proud and resolute Marchand; the budding philosopher, the youthful sage, the peerless companion."
Extract from Dust on my Shoes, p.43 / Pinney meets Marchand
tall young man came over to where we sat, and threw a challenging glance
at thefour staring officials who sat by me. Then he saw me, gazed keenly
at me a moment, and his face relaxed a little.
"Bonjour, monsieur," he said experimentally.
"Bonjour, buona sera, and good afternoon," I replied, and
returned his smile. He saluted me with a casual gesture and sat down,
ignoring the perspiring porter at his elbow, and stretched his long
legs under the table.
"At last, here is someone who is not an imbecile," he said
in English. I bowed.
"These fools do not know what a Hollander is," he continued.
"They have never heard of les Pays-Bas, and consider me a Russian.
I seem to be under arrest. Do you speak their benighted language?"
"No, I arrived only yesterday, from Greece."
"And I this morning, from Bulgaria. But is there not a war in Greece?"
is there not an Iron Curtain about Bulgaria?"
regarded each other with interest. I wondered who and what he was, this
self-possessed and scornful traveller."
In the last chapters of the book, Peter and Bob walk across the dangerous
jungle terrain from India to Burma, without travel permits, in the company
of head-hunting tribes people.
Arriving in Burma in the monsoon and political and military strife they
go to a Buddhist monk to arrange a letter of safe conduct, in the belief
it will help on the road out if they are met by armed communist insurgents.....
you don't wish to know the end of Dust on my Shoes,
then stop reading here!
already know, or are willing to forego the unknown