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We left the dissolving crowd, and saddled mule. Her life is that of all these strolled to the Turkish café, a strange roses born in a hothouse. A perfect creaplace, where women dance. The entrance ture of the senses, she will be sold to the is a dimly lighted Moorish arch that lends best buyer, be he twenty or sixty, while mystery, and leads to a courtyard sur- she is less than sixteen. rounded by huge pillars that support a Every day one may see the public part of gallery, from which men and women the marriage ceremony passing in the street. looked down. In the shadow behind them Down a narrow alley comes the slow beat were many small doors opening to rooms of drums. The shrill, mellow cry of the where people ate and slept, or kept their Moorish pipes rises in weird, discordant stores of rugs, draperies, and pottery from music that always halts for the breath of Fez, or any of the hundred things that the player. First appear two men bearing merchants bring to sell. When this house large Moorish lamps upon their heads, was built,- perhaps for a Moorish gentle within which are several lighted candles. man,- the court was open to the sky; but Then come many men walking, and a now it is roofed over, and the old court large mule with flat saddle, upon which has become the pit of a small theater, with the bride sits cross-legged. She is invisible tables set for drinking. On a raised plat within a box-like canopy of wood, covered form sat a row of women with tambour- with muslin in many thicknesses. Her ines, and a one-eyed man before a zither, negro slave woman walks sorrowfully in while a man and a boy with violins, held the procession, for she is going to lose the like 'cellos, completed the orchestra. A darling she has dressed and tended for woman rose, pale and weary of face, and years. The pipes and the drums precede with eyes and hair of a dark luster. A the bride or bring up the rear of the prosharp crash on the zither arrested the cession. They are going to a saint's tomb, hum of voices from the groups of Moors where she will be consecrated, and then, at the tables. Then a strange rhythm, an carried in the same fashion to the house of expression of Arab love, broke from the 'her lord and master. To-morrow she will violins, and clanged in the strings of the be separated from him for seven days, the zither. It was a plaintive note, which be- time being spent by the bride in seclusion gan high, and fell in little rippling cascades among her women, where the hours are of sound, only to rise and fall again in the passed in music and story-telling. The same waves of sound. Then the voices of bride sits high in a niche, carpets and the women caught the wailing love-note precious stuffs are spread before her, and and their tambourines beat the rhythm to thus, a goddess for the time, she has the which the dancer began to move.
incense of love burned before her.
A strange adventure may befall the WHEN Fatima and Ayesha first waited wedding-party. In Moorish law, an uncle upon me, I was disappointed but I re- of her own blood may claim the bride flected that a traveler in any of the Mo- from all comers. Such a one may stop hammedan countries must be content to the procession in the street and carry off see the women of the people. Those from the bride, while the intended husband can the country are lower than European peas- only execrate the robber impotently when ants, the veriest beasts of burden, bent the news is brought to him at home, where double beneath huge loads of fagots, which he has been ardently awaiting the coming they carry miles over hill and valley to of his bride. vend for a miserable pittance in the market-place. Luckier are those who sell scar- TIMBUCTOO, as we called him, is a Sudanlet tomatoes. Some of these have amassed ese. When he beams upon you, coins come wealth, which is displayed in gold and sil- unresisting from your pockets, and the exver bangles on the wrist and ankle, or tra sparkle of joy in his gnarled face is hangs suspended from the ear.
your reward, even if he does not shake favored with huge, dark eyes, lined with your hand and kiss his own daintily where kohl, that vaguely suggest the charms of it has touched yours, or murmur “God regal beauties hidden in the harem. Some- bless you" in Arabic. . times a figure, huddled in filmy veils that I met him first on the Marshan, a flat even conceal the eyes, passes on a richly plateau about which Europeans, Jews, and
a few rich Moors have built their dwellings, leaving a large, flat, open space beHere crowds come on days of
dle of a large ring of men were grouped holy flags set upon the ground, and near them were the priests who leaped, some
feasting, when religious frenzy needs scope times singly, jumping high in air, time for its expression.
Mulai-Abd-el-Hafid had been throned, and these children of the sun were giving thanks to Allah. In the mid
after time, and just touching the ground like a rubber ball that a child is bouncing. The great ring of men, holding hands, jumped in time with the priests. Then
rope bound with many-colored cloths was slung over his shoulder. From it were suspended ornaments of every description -sea-shells mounted on cords of red, keys, the teeth of animals, army buttons, a flat card covered with green and red cloth and surrounded by tinsel, tassels of red and purple, and cords of a deep cadmium yellow. From the other shoulder was slung a party-colored bag of mysteries, which I afterward saw opened. In it were money, food, pipe, and a strange medley of rags. In his hands he carried a pair of enormous castanets, and tucked under his arm was a short stick decked with many-colored rags, a sort of jester's wand.
Moors began to scowl and seemed to close in a little to prevent my progress. There was a sense of fanaticism and danger in the air.
Returning through the crowd to watch the lighter expressions of joy, I met Timbuctoo. He smiled with odd dignity as he passed, all a-glitter with dangling trinkets. His trappings were odd, bizarre, yet exquisite and entirely harmonious. They were as much a part of him as was his grizzled beard. Into his jelaba (outside garment), originally the color of undyed wool, patches of mellow and vivid colors had been inserted. On his head he wore a red cap covered with coins and teeth. About it, near the head, was coiled a turban of purplish red, one strand of which was looped loosely beneath his chin.
In my wanderings about the place I next came upon a group of Moors. The tom-toms were beating joyfully, and the great castanets were clattering merrily. In the perspiring group of dancing mimes Timbuctoo was easily king. As his slender legs, like black bronze, danced in time, he uttered a guttural "Uh-hoo-hoo! uhhoo-hoo!" then, seized by the spirit of the desert, turned round in a circle, always in four sharp jerks, pausing a perceptible instant at each of the four points of the compass. This he did many times, after which he threw his head back and forward to the beat of the dancing group.
THE Kasbah is the ancient Moorish city, set upon the hill that tumbles down in rocky bluffs to the sea from its high, en