Going Down from Jerusalem: The Narrative of a Sentimental Traveller

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Harper & brothers, 1909 - Egypt - 210 pages
 

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Page 119 - ... to my father, and sometimes lifting both his hands as one in amaze, ejaculating to the heavens. While they were thus reasoning together, worthy Ebenezer Muir came towards the house, but, observing where they were, he turned off and joined them, and they continued all three in vehement deliberation...
Page 44 - I have had a narrow escape," said the Turk; "my camel would have killed me to-night. By God and Mohammed the Prophet of God!" he swore, "I will put the beast in the bazar at Beersheba." I inquired concerning the future owner's prospect of long life. "He is in God's hands,
Page 139 - is a reasonable thing — not magic." They make a mystery of this obscure science of footprints. It is, at any rate, a marvellous thing, merely that, for example (and the thing is not only well known, but a familiar accomplishment), a man should be able to tell whence a camel or a wanderer — whether from city or mountain, sandy desert or hardbottomed waste — by the imprint of his feet; for the track, it must be borne in mind, is not sharply defined, not an accurate mould, but a thing blurred...
Page 146 - We put the camel-boys on the end of the line; we sent them tumbling head over heels — rolling over the soft sand like rag balls — far into the farther moonlight. Wellah! but they would be cracked again. By the Prophet! the thing must be done. And we cracked them with such joyous fervor that we never expected to see them more. In the uproar of laughter I put my hand on the shoulder of Ahmed. "Are you happy?
Page 129 - By God's Gate," he answered, shortly. I knew then that he was from the far wide desert to the east or south of Damascus, returning from some business in Egypt. In Damascus, being asked by the way, travellers to a secret destination reply that they go by God's Gate, and no more is said; it is an accepted form of evasion. The Bab Ullah of the city opens to the great desert.
Page 143 - You have walked far in the sand,' said he; 'are you not tired?' I answered again, ' I am not tired.' For the third time the khawaja put the question, and for the third time I answered, 'I am not tired.' 'For this cheerful behavior,' said the khawaja, ' I will once again work the magic of the match when the day's journey is over.' But the khawaja forgot; and now has come the second night, and he has still forgotten." Fortunately, the unkind forgetfulness was not hard to remedy; the khawaja gathered...
Page 134 - He was immediately assured by both parties that we were neither Moslems nor Christians, but fellow-travellers, passing in friendship into Egypt. "We are a company," he insisted, "of Moslems and Christians, and I hesitate to tell this tale." Eventually persuaded, however, that we were, every one, proof against animosity, in so far as the mere telling of tales was concerned, the cook (himself a Christian) proceeded: "Falling in with a company of Moslems on a Christian fast-day, Halfwit was accosted...
Page 142 - What's this?" Aboosh demanded. "It is the Half-wit of the Lebanon hills," cried Rachid, "come to entertain the khawaja with his trained bear!" Proceeded then this hilarious entertainment, to the accompaniment of such a joyous noise of bell and shouting and laughter as had never before, I fancy, amazed the solemn desert of those parts.
Page 125 - That's the man we're after!" The Bedouin took to his heels. A ragged abba flapping like a whipped flag, and he was over the hill before the gray pony had recovered from her astonishment. We choked the laughter of Elias — it was the hand of the admirable Aboosh — and gravely chastised him. He had scared a man from the well, who might not then, God knows! have filled his girbie.
Page 127 - I knew — all these desert folk — of being made ridiculous in the eyes of strangers; but I was now fairly shocked by the outburst of the mild and engaging Mustafa: he fetched the boy a hearty buffet — a quick, cruel blow — and employed his tongue in severer punishment. "Why does he take this so to heart?

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