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crawl on to the tram and crawl off And you find it so unexpectedly, off a again when it stopped quite close to tangle of narrow alleys. It 's like the the door of that hospitable Mrs. Todd. one at Mecca, and somehow, the first Her husband had a job at the Tanzim, time, I seemed to see it packed with -it 's the department that tries to bloody-minded fanatics listening to keep the place clean,-rather a busi- the word and feverish with their hate ness, with everybody chewing sugar against the infidel. Really, it was alcane and eating melon and throwing ways empty and always dead; no one what they can't swallow into the street. prays in an old mosque if they can find There was Mrs. Todd, with her hus- a new one. Sometimes you found the band and the two children; but they peace of God there, and sometimes the don't matter much, except that they place and the ghosts you saw in it got were very kind.

on one's nerves. I remember the first “When we 'd lunched and got into time. There were women in a nearour pajamas, and plump little Mrs. by house exorcising a devil, howling Todd into a muslin wrapper, and when and shrieking as though they themI'd slept and sweated in the darkened selves were possessed. You could see room, with all its shutters closed, and nothing; you were only aware of that had a cold shower and drunk a cup or infernal din. I seemed back in the two of tea, then I'd get my second Dark Ages, or as though I had wanwind and go out to explore. Cairo dered away into some wild corner of was mysterious to me in those days, the Hebrew Bible; and there was a before I could understand their Arabic little Egyptian I had picked up with and think their thoughts and speak beside me, apologizing. He was disand listen. It was all wonderful and tressed because he thought I might rather fearful. Yes, sometimes it fancy his compatriots were uncivilgave me the blue funks. When you 're ized. But they are; that 's the charm the only white man among crowds and of them to us who try to escape our crowds of natives you 'll understand chains. what I mean.

"And there was the Sultan Hasan “The old Moslem city beyond the Mosque, the perfect mosque, so beauEzbekiah and ending at the tombs tiful that it hit you like a woman loved and gates and flowing round the cita- at sight. Arab art reached its climax del fascinated and lured me. This here, could go no further; it has never world was new to me, as it was to you. reached that perfection since, will We lived close by Kasr el Nil, all dull never touch it or come near it. Coldly, and European, and I would get on a you may realize that the thing is tram and hop off at Gamamiz or the mathematics, an arrangement of lines junction outside the Mousky, and then and curves, and lacking the warm I'd prowl. One walked a few yards, humanism we breathe into our masterand Europe was ended. At first I pieces. But that great mosque justiused a guide-book with a map and fies everything; for Arab art can do no found the great mosques. I began more than that, has said its say. I with Ibn Tulun, and I 'll never forget stood under the dome and gloated, and it-that vast and surprising courtyard the same little Egyptian I had picked under the fiery blue. The size of it! up with was pleased because I was

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pleased, and flattered and conciliated. darkling streets and alleys I had pic

“The other mosques were mostly tured the antipathy and hatred of the repetitions; so when I had seen enough lower for the higher animal. I laughed of them I dropped them out and sim- over it when I came out. ply passed away my evenings in the streets-those narrow, unpaved streets, two camels wide, where it never rains, "The summer went at last, and we and where life is a perpetual procession. could breathe more freely. The great I knew most of them between the cita- heat was over, and the man whose del and the towers and walls that place I had taken returned from Saladin built

the whole breadth of Europe. I was now out of a job, but the city. I had no money worth men- I had no difficulty in finding a new tioning, and the bazaars did not one. Indeed, I had my choice. There greatly tempt me: but these strange, was a man I had met-his name was chattering, light-hearted people, these Marini, and he was a mixture of all men in gowns, caftans, and colored kinds, a true Levantine, though he slippers, with their mysterious affairs spoke French better than either Greek that I could never follow; these smil- or Arabic or Italian, and for some uning women, with their black garments, known reason he had chosen to call their black veils, a metal cylinder on himself a British subject. All these their nose, their bare bosoms, and feet mongrels put themselves under the on which shone anklets—they all protection of foreign consulates. filled me with a wonder which it took “This Marini was an enterprising long to outgrow. At the end of many chap. He owned a second-rate hotel, a vista was the gray bulk of Mokat- a third-rate music-hall, a gamblingtam, those starved and naked hills house, an Oriental carpet-shop, and that always reminded me of a back various other trifles. With the tourcurtain in a theater. The light would ist season approaching, he had decided grow less and less, the dusk would on a further venture. It was before come swiftly, and I would be tired the days of cars and the internal-comfrom constant looking and wondering bustion engine. He proposed to open and prowling; and then sometimes a first-class livery-stable where the the whole place would become sinister tourists could hire carriages and horses. and dark, and I would feel that all It was all to be done very smartlythose people hated me, the interloper. Arab ponies, open coupés, and a bright I might disappear quite easily. In dress for the drivers. He had bought those narrow streets, those haphazard the coupés in Paris, and he could lay byways, who would find me, who his hand on stables, horse-flesh, and would ever know? I felt sometimes the men. Would I go into it and be like an animal enmeshed, and was glad his manager? As most of the tourists to come out into an open street, with were British or American, he wanted policemen and lighted lamps.

some one who could deal with them in Of course it was my imagination. their own language. It was to be beJust as in Ibn Tulun I had filled the yond anything of the kind ever seen in great courtyard with a horde of Cairo. He was eloquent and persuabloody-minded fanatics, so in these sive, a man of imagination.


"I took it on because I was n't tired and always very frank about his of Cairo, not by a long chalk; and af- troubles. He had three wives and ter sticking out the summer, I wanted families between Cairo and Alexanto spend the winter and see the city dria, and I said to him that a man of

a full and at its best. The Todd family his temperament ought to become a agreed with me, but warned me not Moslem and be done with it. It would to trust Marini; so I said that if he come far cheaper, and he'd be perpaid me each month's wages in ad- fectly respectable. But he had a queer vance, I'd take it on. He agreed to fear of the social consequences of such that. He was glad to get hold of me, a step. He had social ambitions, and for I understood horses, which he did one day, when he was rich enough, he not, and now I knew enough Arabic said, he'd clear off to Europe and to run a stable-yard of men. We came start over again there, where nobody

to an agreement, and he found me an would know him. As a matter of fact, office and furniture and a brass plate he came a most awful cropper after the and a telephone, then quite new in land boom which followed later, and Cairo; but if we were to be at the dis- had a stroke, and finished his life in a posal of the tourists in the hotels, then chair. But just now Marini was in the first thing was to put in a tele- high fettle and had given me charge phone. I drew my month's wages in of his newest enterprise. advance as well, and Marini, once we "I sat in my private office most of got going, being fully occupied with the day and answered the telephone his other and ever-increasing enter- and kept the accounts, or, when I was prises, left me pretty much to do as I tired of that, I strolled into the yard pleased.

and jollied up the grooms and washers "He was a curious fellow, restless, and coachmen, and kept an eye on the never satisfied. In Europe or America horses and saw that our carriages were he would have become a millionaire or turned out spick and span. And I'd a stupendous bankrupt. He wanted chaff the Arab women who came after to have a finger in everything, and he the dung, which they dried for fuel. felt that if anybody started a scheme "We made headway, for really and in Cairo without his assistance, he was truly we beat the old gharry-drivers being defrauded of his dues. He had hollow and everybody else, and a a share in somebody's auction-rooms, coupé from Marini's was almost as he was in partnership with a man who good as a private turnout and often sold dubious antiquities, he was a mem- better. The tourists took to us,-I ber of the stock exchange, and he fixed that with Cook's, and I'd bribed owned a casino on the sea-coast farther every hotel porter and even some of

north. At the same time he was al- the native Egyptians, those lovers of ways getting into trouble with the new things, and came in and gave us wives and daughters of his friends, orders, though rather distressed about who blackmailed him unmercifully our charges, and inclined to tumble in and followed him and made scenes. ten at a time when we sent round to That was why he was so often short of them. . ready money, he would explain to me. "It was a peaceful, regular life for A curious, unblushing rascal he was, me, and I seemed settled to it; and soon I got a clerk to do the donkey- that in my eyes even the great Yaswork, while I saw Cairo in the winter, mina, who sat unveiled, was fat and when the city is gay and cool and full ugly and rather ridiculous, with her of bustle. And now that I knew some bleached hair and made-up face and Arabic and could find my way around her overpowering jewelry. alone and understood most of what I saw and heard, I used to go to the

§ 3 Egyptian theaters and the concerts "I was attracted, and in a way faswhere they danced and sang. The cinated, by this native life, so close to audiences amused me. Most often I the ground, so near to savagery and was the only European in the place, all the primary emotions. It was not and there was that perfervid audience, the same life that is offered to the wild with ecstasy when Yasmina tourists, who see only the horrible sang her few lines and her voice things that are done to catch the mondropped and she sang again, barely ey of the infidel. I had not fathomed interrupting the musicians who were the life, and it needed a spark, some playing for her. They went on, and personal touch, to make it start into every now and then, with an inde- reality. I was outside it all, and looked scribable languor, she would join in likely to remain so.

likely to remain so. But the touch, with three or four love-sick verses; the spark, whatever it was, came: it and when it had gone on for some came quite suddenly. You remember little time, half the Gyppos in the there was a telephone on my office hall, young and old, were offering her wall. I approached it one day. I their hearts, their hands, their treas- rang up the exchange and gave the ure, with passionate outcries and ges- number of our grain merchant. The ticulations. She sat quite still and girl at the exchange-one spoke in took no notice of them. And then a French to her-put me through to the special attendant would go round wrong number. That had happened yelling, 'Shut up! and quieting them, before, and it was not the last time. so that the concert could go on again I heard a voice at the other end, and I

a I and work up to a new explosion. There began in English: ‘Mr. Vignolles, was a similar lady in the place near speaking from Marini's stables, and I the station, equally plump, equally want Mr. Coronakis.' indifferent, and full of the same lan- "Instead of the plump Greek with guor and voluptuousness. My little whom I was about to place an order, Egyptian friend Fahmy would some- I heard a ripple of laughter, and next times go with me and sit, all eyes and in French:

And when the declarations be- You are an Englishman? I would gan, and old men in dirty galabiahs like to speak with an Englishman; but and fat men in caftans and bucks in I speak little English. “Ow you do?” European clothes howled their undy. I can say; and, “I am very well.” ing affection and smote their hearts, "I was puzzled at the moment, but and the attendant at last went round soon I tumbled to it. I had been put yelling, 'Shut up! he seemed to catch through to some stranger, evidently a. my point of view and laughed with me; lady, with time on her hands and perbut he never seemed to understand haps of a coquettish turn. The situa

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tion amused me, and I dare say I an- 'Well, to-morrow at four o'clock. swered in kind. When one is young What is your number?' and not especially busy-but she had "I gave it to her, and she repeated gone on with it.

it, and repeated it once more to make You are a tourist?' she next asked. sure. 'Till to-morrow,' she said, 'at “No, I live in Cairo.'

four o'clock. You will be there?' Mashallah!' she cried. "That is 'I will.' better.' And next, 'You are in the Parole d'un Anglais?' she said and Government?'

laughed. "Say it in English?' “No, I govern myself,' I answered. On the word of any young man

"She laughed at that. She must who loves to listen to a beautiful have laughed very easily.

voice,' I said. 'You are an Englishman and you “There was no answer. I waited, live in Cairo and you are not in the I listened, I spoke. All was silence. Government. Ah, you are an officer I hung the receiver up on its hook and of the army?'

“'Not even a simple soldier,' I "It was a ridiculous adventure. replied.

Everything in Egypt was ridiculous, "She hesitated; and then said: it sometimes seemed. I did not take

'You are an archæologist; you look the affair very seriously. I tried my for mummies,' she cried, evidently luck again with Mr. Coronakis, and quite pleased with herself. 'Tiens, I this time I found him.” have guessed right?' she asked.

Vignolles paused here, I remember. “No, you've guessed wrong,' I "It is ridiculous," he exclaimed, answered very ungallantly.

“to think that the chance mistake of a "And then an idea struck her. girl in the exchange, to think that an “'Perhaps you are in business?' absurd instrument like a telephone, “Bravo!' I cried.

could make all the difference.” "She asked me all about it, just as "Something has to make all the difan inquisitive child might do, and I ference," I answered; “if it is n't the told her of Marini's and the stables telephone, it 's some other accident. and the horses and the carriages and But go on with it; I am interrupting how I passed my time.

you. Did she ring up next day at "When I had done, she said:

four?" It is not very chic-not very ele- “But don't you realize what had gant. Still, you are an Englishman, happened? I had been put through to are you not?'

a harem; I had been speaking to one “'Is that elegant?' I asked her. of the guarded ones, to one of the hid

“'They always speak the truth,' den pearls, to one of those delicate said she, 'do they not? "Parole d'un ladies who so aroused your admiration, Anglais," she quoted. It was all, with their white veils and their kohlseemingly, that she knew about us, darkened eyes. And their little hands but she was eager to learn more. and feet. I suppose you noticed them 'Will you speak to me every day,

as well?" Mr. Englishman?' she asked me.

I had noticed them; but instead of “'Try me,' I answered.

replying directly, I only whistled.

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