I faced about again, and rushed towards the approaching Martian, rushed right down the gravelly beach and headlong into the water. Others did the same. A boatload of people putting back came leaping out as I rushed past. The stones under my feet were muddy and slippery, and the river was so low that I ran perhaps twenty feet scarcely waist-deep. The stones under my feet were muddy and slippery.The splashes of the people in the boats leaping into the river sounded like thunderclaps in my ears.