Puslapio vaizdai

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.

Some are

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 dwell- dle of a large ring of men were grouped ings, leaving a large, flat, open space be- holy Aags set upon the ground, and near tween. Here crowds come on days of them were the priests who leaped, some

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feasting, when religious frenzy needs scope times singly, jumping high in air, time for its expression.

after time, and just touching the ground Mulai-Abd-el-Hafid had been like a rubber ball that a child is bouncing. throned, and these children of the sun The great ring of men, holding hands, were giving thanks to Allah. In the mid- jumped in time with the priests. Then



the motion changed to a strange bow made rope bound with many-colored cloths was with the whole body, and recovered with slung over his shoulder. From it were a backward jerk of the head and a straight- suspended ornaments of every description ening of the knees. Sometimes the feet-sea-shells mounted on cords of red, keys, were kicked out like the front line of a the teeth of animals, army buttons, a dat chorus, but always the ring bowed rhyth- card covered with green and red cloth and mically. A dull roar of voices calling surrounded by tinsel, tassels of red and purupon Allah mingled with the furious rat- ple, and cords of a deep cadmium yellow. tle of hands upon tom-toms, like a bass From the other shoulder was slung a note that did not blend with the wild party-colored bag of mysteries, which I shrieking of the pipes.

afterward saw opened. In it were money, Safely from balconies some Frenchmen food, pipe, and a strange medley of rags. were watching the wild rites. A few In his hands he carried a pair of enorEuropeans rode past on horses, but not too mous castanets, and tucked under his arm closely. Very few whites were on foot in was a short stick decked with many-colthe crowd. I walked close until the ored rags, a sort of jester's wand.

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Moors began to scowl and seemed to close

In my wanderings about the place I in a little to prevent my progress. There

next came upon a group of Moors. The was a sense of fanaticism and danger in

tom-toms were beating joyfully, and the the air.

great castanets were clattering merrily. In Returning through the crowd to watch the perspiring group of dancing mimes the lighter expressions of joy, I met Tim- Timbuctoo was easily king. As his slenbuctoo. He smiled with odd dignity as he der legs, like black bronze, danced in time, passed, all a-glitter with dangling trinkets. he uttered a guttural “Uh-hoo-hoo! uhHis trappings were odd, bizarre, yet ex- hoo-hoo!" then, seized by the spirit of the quisite and entirely harmonious. They desert

, turned round in a circle, always in were as much a part of him as was his

four sharp jerks, pausing a perceptible grizzled beard. Into his jelaba (outside instant at each of the four points of the garment), originally the color of undyed compass. This he did many times, after wool, patches of mellow and vivid colors which he threw his head back and forward had been inserted. On his head he wore to the beat of the dancing group. a red cap covered with coins and teeth. About it, near the head, was coiled a tur- The Kasbah is the ancient Vloorish city, ban of purplish red, one strand of which set upon the hill that tumbles down in was looped loosely beneath his chin. A rocky bluffs to the sea from its high, en


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