Puslapio vaizdai

ful and his court soon withdraw from the palace. Nevertheless, on this tour of the city.

city his face betrayed no evidence of surAll were now waiting for their mighty prise or interest. Sultan to give the word. It passed his lips: Later in the day I went directly to

“To-morrow, if it pleases God, I visit bother that cheerful procrastinator, the the shrines of the saints."

Amin, in whose charge the animals and Meanwhile he was deeply engrossed in other necessaries of camp life rested. He painting a still-life of my hat.

had picked up some English, and as he In the dim gray of that memorable dawn was always "very bewzy" and wished to my soldier could have been seen at the be "’scused,” it required repeated visits mouth of a street gate, pestering the throng before finally, upon entering the stablewith his everlasting: "Stand aside for the yard, I was greeted by an irregular medley doctor!”

of mules and gigantic pack-saddles, in Scarce were we stationed when the van- charge of three Arabs, who answered to guard appeared, expanding from a near-by the Arabic equivalent of the titles, “ Pilgate.

grim the Arab," “ The Lion," and "Son of After a short pause the Sultan emerged,

the Sultan emerged, Fathers of Shops.” followed by a mixed assemblage of officials Further visits and more“ bewzniz” were and tribesmen. Shuffling animals carried required before the tents and water-skins this cortège-for all was quiet and solemn arrived. - in our direction, and as they swept by Who does not long for a glimpse of the we joined them through the succeeding mysterious compound at night, viewed by gateways, until the tomb of the first saint the vague light of a tallow lantern laid was reached, just outside the Red Gate. close to the earth : a kettle of boiling water

The Sultan, dismounting with unaffected balanced uneasily upon the top of a pot of be ing, entered alone to commune with fire, moving apparitions clouding the inthe long-departed saint, which duty he closure, great shadows lifting along the wall accomplished with amazing rapidity, and to the very sky, the indispensable cups of returning, proceeded without delay to the tea, and fearful hissing of noisy drinking ? other shrines.

The Lion must leave in the morning, as For seven long years the Sultan's the other two refuse to travel with him, glimpses of his city had been confined to saying his tribe are all lazy. the little street through which he passed Now all were impatient for the order to on his way to the mosque close to the move, which soon came, and the first camp


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chosen was to be at Binsasi, a two hours' was indeed such a barrier to my plans that journey.

I at once withdrew in a very disconsolate The following noon my baggage was frame of mind, when I chanced to think loaded upon the seven pack-mules, a lame of a small opening through which the carone receiving his burden first —“to limber penters and masons were hurried, and hashim up," as the wise Pilgrim said.

tening to it, was happy to find it open. Surplus household effects were given to Inside the grounds the wild animals were ragged Arab friends, who left nothing be- still captives in their massive cages. The hind fit even for a begging saint.

boars, the mountain goats, and a few reWhat a sight in the narrow street out- maining slaves seemed, owing to the sealed side! Boxes, tents, poles, pots, and kettles gate, destined to perpetual dreams. were suspended on all corners of the mules, Preparing to close the studio door, I the many legs and flapping ears of which looked regretfully about. What would it were alone visible.

resemble in a few months ? “Rrrah! Zeed!” (“Get up! Go on!") Skurrying in the direction of the flowing yelled Pilgrim the Arab.

mass of Arabs, we simply joined them and Amid the dull whacks of clubs, the packs drifted beyond the city toward the camp. were soon pitching about like tubs in a The Sultan had left the city with royal choppy sea, pushing, bumping, tilting, pomp a few hours previous. An hour on dragging, wedging, and compelling scribe the road brought us to a few camels aland wayfarer alike to scurry aside with ready exhausted and lying by the wayside gathered garments.

to die. A scarcity of animals and the lateI turned my horse toward the palace to ness of the season were sources of much secure some material for sketching on the anxiety. journey. Imagine my dismay upon ar- Surrounded by the black veil of night, riving at the inner gate to find its opening we arrived at the outskirts of the camp, filled with solid masonry, while, tightly and awkwardly groped our way through hemming the wall, burly masons flicked the maze of tents, ropes, and upturned the perspiration from oozing pores. This faces of soldiers, drinking tea and smoking

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kief. Much wandering in an uncertain way At dawn, my tent showing signs of colbrought us at last to the tent of the Min- lapse, resulting from the efforts of the ister of War, near which, after unloading restive guardsmen, I emerged, and was the animals, we spread our own.

amused to see all tents down save the SulSleep was relieving drowsiness as I lay tan's and my own. Starting early, to avoid in my tent, gratified that no one had in- the heat of the sun, already most of the duced the Sultan to countermand his re- court were on their way to the next enquest that I journey with him, when sud- campment, about four hours distant, which denly, from not far distant, a voice called : was the average daily journey. Circle the

It was extremely cold, and as I mounted Close to my ears a discordant“ Circled !” in the gray of the morning nothing was to bellowed from a dozen throats in response. be seen but vague white specters moving in I listened, now wide awake. Again came faint outline against the sky. These were the challenge; again the “Circled!" from the great mass of self-directing court-folnear my tent-ropes, which were now being lowers, who pursued no regular road, but disturbed. At a signal were they to pull kept to a general direction, spreading up the stakes and, with me inclosed, drag loosely to the width of a mile. the outfit back to the city ?

Soon we wound through a very sandy “Circle the animals!" I now made it stretch, dotted with huge bushes. The out. But why call throughout the night? effect was not unlike countless numbers of Sleep was impossible.

monster serpents squirming slowly between Objections in the morning were of no the shrubs, one moment bursting into view, avail: it was the only safeguard against hidden again the next. mule robbery, I was told. Each night my Suddenly there was a shout, guns and animals and tents were to be guarded by pistols were fired, and clubs were hurled. A soldiers, challenged by an officer to pre- little streak seen dodging for life was finally vent them from sleeping. Strange to say, brought down-a rabbit! The enthusiasm

, after the first night this clamor had no and excitement suggested an elephant effect on my rest.


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Beckoning my soldier to come along the same which I saw later weighing so we hurried to an abrupt hill some distance heavily on the mules ? ahead for a better view. Upon mounting No tents were allowed to be pitched to the summit, we turned our eyes upon a until the Sultan's was in position, although vast, shimmering sky bending over an the Sultan's might be the last to arrive; equally vast earth, which, as far as the eye and to insure absolute privacy a circular could pierce, was dotted with many atoms canvas wall was speedily staked around it. – thirty thousand human beings, as many

The tents of his ministers were put up in camels, mules, and the like. What a reve- close proximity, and no doubt those mulelation to see them at a distance in that baskets and -bags which were strewn about clear, tropical atmosphere!

in such reckless fashion before the Amin's In the distance could be seen a toy tent, tent, just like so much coal, really did conand at once, as if by magic, hundreds of tain gold and silver. The tents of other still more diminutive ones seemed to spring court officials, slaves, and servants were from the earth all about it. We rode toward strewn all over the grounds, but always in them. Two hours later we beheld the Sul- the same relative position day after day; tan's great camp, a veritable city of canvas, so that it was easy finding one's way about while the endless plains peeped timidly after having once mastered the plan. here and there over the shoulders of the All this court circle was then surrounded tents.

by the tents of soldiers, pitched very Where the earth was uneven the highest close together, forming a sort of barrier. spot was chosen for the Sultan's tent. This The tent in which the Sultan held court was raised by his tent-pitchers, while a few was placed close outside the canvas wall, hundred soldiers radiated with the guy which had an opening on that side, which and tent-ropes. The huge canvas at once he alone used. In front of the tent was a bulged and swayed like a gigantic balloon. large open space, which was always kept Surely, if the soldiers loosened their hold, clear by the guards, and the farther end was it must soar away to the sky. Could this taken up by the artillery, the guns being airy monster, trying to burst its bands, be stretched out in a broad line. As the front


of the court tent was entirely open and his peared, his mask-like visage turning neither Majesty sat close to the opening, it en- right nor left. With garments swaying abled him to see the greater part of his rhythmically, he walked to the chair and camp while holding court.

seated himself. A slave at his side fanned My tents were always pitched between him with a white silken cloth, to defend the artillery and the infantry. A camp- his sacred master from imaginary insects. bed, a table, two chairs, and two rugs He whispered to the slave, who called to were the furniture of the largest tent. An- one of the ministers. Hurriedly he apother was used as a kitchen, while a third peared, lowering his hood; then, after was occupied by the servants; and al- removing his slippers just back of his though piled with baggage, the six men Majesty, presented himself, and after a found room in it to eat, to sleep, and to short conversation was dismissed. Prespray.

ently five gorgeously saddled horses were A fearful hissing sip, like tearing pieces brought before their royal master, who, of new linen, invariably made by the Arabs with a motion of his hand, chose one, the while drinking tea, issued day and night others being taken away, while he rose from this region.

with great solemnity, and mounting, rode At the broadest end of this irregular to all sides of the square, to be thrice satriangle of tents the animals were tethered, luted by each body of soldiers. This cerebeing fastened by their fore feet to ropes, mony completed, the musicians, armed which were again fastened to a long rope with oboes and tom-toms, disturbed the at. staked in the ground. In the center of all mosphere with a doleful, prehistoric dirge, this were the water-skins, hung on a tripod. and the procession was under way. It was The first duty of all drivers upon arriving nothing but an entanglement of artillery, at camp was to take their animals to the infantry, flags, horsemen, and court ofti. nearest watering-place, good or bad, and cials in a mad riot, but, as in a threshingat times an hour's distance.

machine tearing its insides furiously, the All horses, even the best of the Sultan's, wheat, straw, and chaff found their chanare without shelter during the entire jour- nels at once, and left the ignorant beholder ney, and when covered with mud and clay spellbound. Behold! they were moving are dismal sights.

with military precision, a brother of the The royal stables were tethered close to Sultan at the head, followed by an exone side of the protecting canvas wall, tremely wide row of mounted soldiers about twenty horses in all, and most of carrying silken standards of all colors. them, too, well fed. Although his Majesty Then came the artillery, rattling and never used them when once in camp, three bumping, and coming to grief often were always saddled, ready to carry their where the roads were bad. Next followed master to battle or to a place of safety. mounted soldiers and a score of governHis favorite en route was a rather small, ment officials, a sort of police. After a black horse, which traveled very smoothly short space, riding alone, came the kaid at an exceedingly rapid pace; while for of the mishwa (master of ceremonies), entering cities he used a wonderful horse- very straight and very black, pictur“golden, with silver mane and tail," as I esquely hugging his gun close to him. have heard it called.

After him followed four led horses In the morning, at four o'clock, the bugle abreast, all richly saddled, for the Sultan's sounded to break camp; the foot-soldiers use should he tire of his mount. Then, with arose, pulled up their tent-pegs, and were some distance intervening, came the Sulaway in the darkness. Gradually the re- tan, alone, save for six black slaves, who maining tents came down, and the throng kept up a continual wafting of white cloths of Arabs were on the move. The Sultan's in the direction of his face. tent remained. A little to one side his A palanquin containing the blue chair ministers and kaids patiently waited, the then appeared, carried between two mules, latter forming a large, hollow square, at just in front of another row of mounted one end of which stood the ministers, while standard-bearers, followed by the Minister in front of them a spacious blue-and-gold of War and the important members of the chair awaited its sacred occupant. court. All were obliged to turn aside and

Presently the wall opened and he ap- make way for this cavalcade.


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