Puslapio vaizdai

the Armageddon Hunt deserves this horse bore in his hand, not to pass unchronicled. I not the bow, not the great have given it that name be- sword, nor the pair of balances, cause the pack first hunted as but the hunting-horn whose a whole at the mouth of that stirring notes woke the echoes valley which, as the Book of along Carmel's side, which one Revelation and local legend day is to ring with the Last tell us, is to form the last Trump. battleground of all.

But why draw excuses out Israelite, Assyrian and Per- of tactics, geography, and hissian, Greek, Roman and Cru- tory for this small essay? The sader have marched their horse- pack's own feats, I hope, will men through the Megiddo Plain. justify a modest record.

Here will ride, on that day Eight and a half couple and whose coming has caused so two heroic terriers, they gave much Scriptural speculation, fields of from four to a hundred the white horse and the red, cavalrymen and what-not, genthe black and the pale horse, erals and jemadars, subalterns with hell following after. Mean- and sergeant-majors, two days while, a horse of less uncommon a week (and a sly bye) of the colour may have been seen finest runs wot ever these hunting mornings speed- seen ! ing across the plain, with (if And still, as the latest rethe appositeness of the expres- ports from Palestine tell, their sion may excuse its slight pro- successors are giving our succesfanity) the field following after sors good hunting on Sharon's like hell. And he who rode plain.



In the summer of 1919, the Master) went, there went his little cherub who sits aloft in two couple. True hounds, on Whitehall and plays blindfold the small side; great of jowl chess with soldiers (several and chest and bone. games at once), moved a pawn This is, I believe I hope from Alexandria to the 4th four years has not played Cavalry Division at Beirut. tricks with my memory-their

The pawn in motion occa- history. sioned some stir. The move- The Master had hunted them ment order read, “Lieut. M. in Italy, and knew their music, SL- R.F.A.” (name their legs, and their noses. not unknown in hunting). It Hardwick (believed to be from did not mention Hardwick, the Pytchley), Hengist, and Hengist, Skilful, and Actress ; Skilful were given him by a but where Lieut. M. S- former commanding officer, who - (hereafter called the left his yeomanry regiment, at the war's end, for the delights quintette, having changed at of the grass countries. Actress Ludd and Haifa and many was “found ” in the Army other places, arrived in dead sense) in Italy.

of night at Damascus, hungry Enter this quintette to the and not a little weary. placid calm of the Palestine There are hotels at Damascus. “posh "1 masterpiece of mili- Handbills describe them as the tary trains, that, running for most sumptuous of their kind, a day across the desert on a though corroboration from detrack pushed eastward in war parting guests is lacking. But time almost as fast as a man to face a Damascus hotel with can walk, joined the luxurious two couple of hounds at midbases and leave - haunts of night was beyond thought. A Alexandria and Cairo with the café-keeper at the station was birthplace of our English St induced to provide a bucketful George - Ludd, the military of miscellaneous and unwholemetropolis of Palestine.

some scraps, for which he had Their journey through the the temerity to ask 50 piastres Holy Land was not unaccom- (half a sovereign). He was told panied by incident. The rail- that he could have half that way authorities would not let sum or nothing, and, after hounds travel alone in the much haggling, departed chuckguard's van, declaring that they ling at the innocence of the would eat the luggage. The British, who will pay five shilMaster indignantly pointed out lings for a bucket of kitchen to these benighted heathen that waste. well-trained hounds never ate The wearied Master chained luggage, but without avail. Nor his now somnolent hounds to was the Master allowed, by the railings of the station platByelaw 4001 (a), to travel in form, and composed himself to the luggage-van with them. sleep in their midst. His bag

It ended by the Master travel- lay open beside him. All the ling as an ordinary first-class thieves of Damascus who were military passenger. Two couple not on duty came to peep at of hounds, with which he pro- the tempting sight—including, fessed no connection, were tied it is said, the Deputy Grand up in the corridor. They broke Master of the Larceny Lodge,their leashes. Hardwick and but decided that a guest and Hengist fought. Skilful appro- an ally, sleeping in their midst priated a seat reserved for a (surrounded by four large dogs), most gilded potentate of the should not be disturbed. Staff. Actress was sick in a Rules were not so strict forsimilar holy place. There were ward of Damascus, on the railmany expostulations, and some way or anywhere else. The body stole their food. The Master ensconced himself in a eggs cokt”

1 Scrumptious, elegant.

cattle-truck with his charges, of water, and his pockets stuffed in the company of five goats, with the

with four women, and a legion of which the Syrian stays himself children, some Hedjaz officers, on his travels. Unbroken of a mountain of luggage, and a is fare, hounds were disparty of Indian soldiers. At gorged from their truck at each stopping-place he rushed Beirut into the arms of a forth, returning with a bucket delighted crowd of sportsmen.


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Hounds had hardly arrived mosquito-nets, and they had before the 4th (Indian) Cavalry passed through some of the Division was ordered north to most malarial spots in the Homs.

Levant just at the time when Few billets were more that brisk little lady, the anoreluctantly left behind than pheles, was at her liveliest. Beirut. From trooper to col- When the Turk had thrown up onel, the Division felt—as they the sponge, and the Division turned in their saddles, high was recalled to winter at Beirut, up on Lebanon, for a last look it was, as the song says, a at the jewelled headland set little bit of heaven." in sea-blue five thousand feet An old Arab writer says that below-that they were leaving Beirut is like a beautiful sulbehind as jolly a little station tana (the lady, not the fruit) as a soldier might wish to reclining on a couch of green, serve in.

looking out across the blue They had come there an sea for the coming of her emaciated force indeed. Shot lover. by Allenby's bow from just The least ecstatic of men north of Jaffa, they had pierced, would admit, when he first at arrow speed, up into the steamed into St George's Bay, heart of Syria ; but as a long and the Naples of the Levant flight takes the speed and opened out before him, that “ vim out of an arrow, so the description is less hyperforced marches on tightened bolic than it sounds. belts, fierce little battles among

Houses of that almost superthe hills, and, above all, ma- natural whiteness that comes laria, had taken it out of them. of a dash of blue in the whiteTheir kit was what man and wash, red roofs reflected in a horse could carry, and then cut sea which, like the admiral's down by half, for it was to be story, seems almost too blue swift going.

to be true, crowd a spacious That does not allow for headland. Behind rise, step

· The female anopheles mosquito is the cause of malaria.

by verdant step, the vine-clad other face. Within a mile the foothills of the Lebanon ; while view had changed from a parahigh over all towers the giant dise in shifting shades of green saddleback of Jebel Senin, into a set piece that would changing with time and season have served as ante-room to the from snow-white to ghostly Inferno : scowling precipices silver, from smoky blue to and barren slopes ; not a house flashing gold. Set like jewels or a human being; just the on every tiny hilltop, over a sun beating down on rocks hot hundred villages may

be to the touch. counted. Below, linking Beirut Down on the central plain to the hills, lies a forest of of the Bekaa, and all became pines—the kind you see in the green again for a while; but tree-top scene of 'Peter Pan,' a day's trek brought the Divi-50 close and level that you sion once more into the stony cannot at first believe it is not land. Northward they marched, a lawn.

chased by that red-hot wind Camped among these pines which sweeps up the valley the 4th Cavalry Division had from, curiously enough, the spent the first half of the year. perpetual snows of Mount HerSwimming and fishing and foot- mon, and overwhelms men and ball, gymkhanas of a rough food and horses in clouds of sort, kept them fit and cheery ; red dust.2 Past the stately and each week-end there was columns of Baalbak, it pura race-meeting, either at the sued them until, grown into Parc, which would be ablaze a blinding gale, it blew them with the smart frocks of Beirut's into Homs. many lovely ladies, or among As a contrast in stations the trees at Bir Hassan, where Homs and Beirut would be in less formal surroundings you difficult to beat. One strip could spend as merry a “day flashes green, the northward in the country” as sportsman curve of the Orontes, with its could wish.

border of fruit gardens; the From this most reposeful of rest is wilderness. Ride where rest billets, then, the Division you will, the plain is strewn trekked to Homs, winding up with stones, with here and through orchards and pleas- there an outcrop of solid rock. ant hill resorts until they A huge and ancient mound, had their last glimpse of once the citadel palace of AsBeirut from 5000 feet above syrian potentates, rises above the sea.

a maze of hovels so intricate Here Lebanon showed its that even from this eminence

· Cælesyria, or Hollow Syria. ? From the red dust of the Bekaa, according to Arab legend, Adam was made.

* The Syrian Heliopolis, one of the most magnificent ruins in the world. Reputed locally to have been the site of the Tower of Babel.


the eye cannot trace its wind- they brought up litters in the ings.

ante-rooms; they yapped from Half-circling the town—and, every tent in the lines—dogs of needless to say, to windward — all shapes, colours, and sizes ; the graveyard, inevitable suburb war dogs who had “signed of a Syrian city, embraces the on” for the Army of Occupacommunity, as it were, in a tion as long as their masters' stranglehold of decay. Graves rations should last ; dogs dimly invade the very streets. Their reminiscent of many a homenearness seems to typify a born strain of hound and terrier Moslem fatalism. “When you and pointer, but divided from die, you have not far to go. that distinguished ancestry by Ma-leesh."1 Their shallowness, a perfect grille of bars sinister ; made evident by crumbling among them, slim, mincing, walls and fallen stones, shrieks and disdainful, a few Selugis, to at least two senses the reply, Persian greyhounds of as anAnd when you arise, you cient and pure a strain as our haven't far to come.”

Over it all, from two hours With such as these the yeoafter sunrise till two hours men and territorial horse gunbefore sunset,

sunset, whistles and ners and Indian cavalrymen whirls a pitiless wind, charged prepared to take the field. with tibn, sand, dust, the dried Alas, the trek through the sewage of the streets, and the red dust to Homs, and mishaps dessicated remains of ancient en route, sent a couple and a inhabitants.

half of the Master's genuine A Danteish spot; but even hounds to hunt, let us hope, in this, vigorously described as Elysian grass countries. When “the last place God ever made,” the last column of the trekking had one redeeming feature. Division had off-harnessed, one There were a few foxes, a good real hound, the immortal Hardmany jackals, and an abund- wick, survived to be mentor to ance of hares.

the bobbery pack which the Of dogs there is never, in advanced - guard had already the British Army, any lack. established. Real hunting had They swarmed in every mess; begun !


While the stony plain around ner, another pack was being Homs rang with Hardwick's brought together. solo, with quaint obligato from In the pleasant villas on the bobbery pack, southward Mount Carmel, towering over in Haifa, in less eventful man- the town, lived Headquarters,

1 Never mind.

2 Chaff.

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