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Upon thy head, gateman, thou—" a safe place to spend the night, pitched
Guard thou!” interrupted the invisible our tents, and prepared for rest. sentry. “God keep ye until morning!" But sleep was out of the question, for
In a state of great agitation the men all night long the noise from the camphuddled together and excitedly exclaimed the singing, shouting, and calling aloud to that death would be our almost certain fate God-and the cries of the sentry could should we attempt to spend the night in be heard. My mind, too, was busy with the neighborhood, infested as it was by the events and circumstances which had robbers, whose victims' bodies might be brought me to the walls of this ancient found almost any morning under the very Moorish city. shadow of the gateway.
Some years before, after a short visit to “Come with me," said the soldier. Tangier, it had become my ambition to
So we proceeded along the wall, our return to Morocco to work in this almost tired beasts, exhausted by the four days' virgin field for the artist. Algeria, Egypt, journey from Mazagan, stumbling over India, are all more or less hackneyed substones and through ditches, and frequently jects, but Morocco remains almost unthrowing their riders. After an hour of touched by the ruthless army of modern this rough work, we arrived at the Red innovations which are fast bringing all the Gate. Through this gate alone the Sultan world to a prosaic level. enters or leaves the city walls, but here, Yet the difficulties are many. The probas at the Thursday Gate, his name failed lem of securing models is not an easy one to prove an open sesame, the sentry refus- among a people who fly before the evil ing to admit any save the sacred person of eye of the camera as before a Gatling gun, the Sultan himself.
and who shun the artist at his work as they As a detachment of troops were would one unclean. In attempting to camped near here, we decided this to be sketch the picturesque scene in one of the
narrow and crooked streets of Tangier, break off, and his circle of listeners would lined on each side by little shops or booths scatter to the four winds. Even the begin which the merchants sit cross-legged, gars lining the Kasbah wall, too lazy to chatting with the people, who come to move, would cover their faces until I had gossip rather than to buy, and who for passed. None so low as to lend himself to hours at a time stand in groups and lean the sinful work of picture-making. In the against the walls in the laziest, and there- months since I had begun my work there, fore the most graceful, attitudes, I would I had been able to secure a single model, no sooner begin my work than the loung- and she a creature of the slums. ers, though apparently unaware of my One day while at work in my studio at presence and purpose, would begin to dis- Tangier I was approached by a mysterious appear, the shutters would be up in all stranger, a Moor, with the question : "Can the little stalls, and the street would be de- you keep a secret ? " serted of every living thing, except perhaps I replied with a common phrase in Araa mangy dog or a small boy peeping around bic: “ Try me and see." a corner to shy a stone at me.
He then informed me that a representaAt my approach, the carpenters at their tive of the Sultan wished to see me. I arwork would drop their tools and fee to ranged a meeting, and learned that this cover, the snake-charmer would cease to representative was commissioned to secure charm, the story-teller, reciting the tales of an artist- a master — who was to go at once the “ Thousand and One Nights,” would to the court at Morocco city and to take all his pictures with him. Beyond this I could shade of the royal umbrella, the materials get absolutely no information. Knowing and models which I had before found imthe Mohammedan prohibition to represent possible. anything which has life, I was at a loss to Two days later I embarked with my know what could possibly be wanted of an man Mohammed for Mazagan, the seaport artist at the court, unless (and the stipu- on the western coast, four days distant from lation to bring all my pictures with me Morocco city. At Mazagan we made up seemed to confirm the suspicion) it was the our party, secured the mules and supplies
Sultan's purpose to lure me into the interior for the journey, and engaged our escort of and there to rid his dominion at one stroke soldiers. One incident of the journey, of a rank offender against the law, together which lay through stretches of almost with the evidences of his crime. Would it desert country, I shall never forget. I had not be the very irony of fate if I should been told that the Atlas Mountains would now suffer imprisonment, torture, or even come into view about a day's journey from death for doing only too well that which, our destination. So, eagerly, on the mornfor doing so vilely, I was inclined in mying of the fourth day, I was on the lookmodest moments to confess myself deserv- out for the first glimpse of the highest ing of the extreme penalty of the law ? If, peaks. For hours I scanned the horizon on the other hand, the Sultan, acting in in vain. Only vast stretches of waste, good faith and defying the religion and some low hills in the distance, and the sky traditions of his race, desired to engage a above greeted the eyes. We jogged on painter for his court, here was the oppor- with our tired mules until about two in the tunity for which I had been looking, and afternoon, when, chancing to look up, for which had come to no other man— the op- a moment my heart stood still as with an portunity to secure, under the protecting electric shock. There, high above the clouds, the blue peaks of the Atlas reared ing into soft and brilliant rugs, would guide their snow-capped crests! How often do me through numberless gates and intricate we miss the transcendental truth and beau passageways, rich with mosaic and araties of the universe because our eyes are besque, gold-embroidered silken hangings, fixed upon the earth! That night we came and all the wonderful products of the Eastto the gate of Morocco.
ern loom, into the very heart of the mar
THE FIRST AUDIENCE WITH THE SULTAN
velous Moorish palace of which I had
long dreamed. The noises from the camp were dying I was awakened by the irregular beating out. One by one the soldiers seemed to be of many drums and the tramp of soldiers going to rest. I tossed about in drowsy entering the gate. My mind had been so thought: to-morrow I should enter the busy during the night, submissive to the city, and probably in a day or two be wildest fancies, that I moved to the openushered into the presence of the Sultan bying of my tent in a jaded condition. I slaves whose ebony feet, silently burrow- beheld in the morning sun the most unique
collection of soldiers ever seen off the me that I had but to mention my wants comic-opera stage-boys of ten or twelve, and they would be immediately supplied.
. carrying antiquated guns twice their own Taking me mysteriously aside, he asked me length; old and middle-aged men, armed for medicines for various ailments with with bayonets, swords, and drums, and which he was afflicted, which I promptly dressed in uniforms of such variety of cut gave
him. and color that "polyforms " would seem The place, he explained, was not in the to be the better term. At intervals smart- best condition, but there were very few looking soldiers, carrying quite modern houses to be had, and they were obliged weapons, passed by: these were the ha- to turn out one of the Sultan's personal rabba, the Sultan's own.
attendants to secure me this. Then assumHowever, as I was impatient to learn ing a truly magnificent attitude of comthe fate awaiting me within the walls of mand (with which I hope I appeared duly the citadel, we soon passed through the impressed), he sent the men scurrying about Red Gate into the red city; for the walls, to make the many changes which I sugbuilt of the earth upon which they stand, gested. The gardeners at the palace are all of a dull, faded red. As directly as grounds were sent for, and presently apthe narrow, winding streets would permit
, peared, bringing plants and flowers. Carwe made for the residence of the Amin, - penters and masons were set to work, and Minister of Finance, — who expected me, soon the place began to take on a more and I was immediately shown into his pres- inviting look.
. ence. I had on the dress of the Moors, but In the midst of this excitement three not being at that time thoroughly familiar court soldiers came running in, crying, with the customs of the people, I had failed “Our lord wishes to see the master"; to remove my slippers upon entering the and in spite of my protests for time to house. Soon realizing my mistake, how- make myself presentable, they hurried me ever, I apologized for this breach of eti- on toward the palace, saying: “The Sulquette; but my genial host assured me that tan waits for no man." there was no offense, as he knew some- Passing through a number of gates and thing of the manners of the English, having tortuous passages, we reached an inner spent some time among them. After offer- portal, which was opened in response to ing me refreshments-tea, almond-paste, our knock by a very dignified Moor, who, and sweets of all kinds-he advised me to perceiving me in the garb of a Mussulman, go at once to the house to which I had instructed me to return to my house at once been assigned and prepare to meet the and put on my regular attire, as his Majesty Sultan, who was impatiently awaiting my wished to see me in European dress. I exarrival.
plained that I had been told to wear the I followed the soldiers, acting as guides, costume of the country, but he insisted to my residence, which, upon inspection, I that our lord desires to see the other refused to accept. Small, old, and dirty, clothes.” I protested that I had none other it was far from being the mansion prom- save the clothes I had traveled in, and that ised me by the Sultan's representative in I did not care to appear at court as a Tangier. My guides urged me to take this burlesque entertainer. Upon this he disapuntil a more desirable place could be found. peared, to return a moment later with the This I would not do, knowing that if I ultimatum that the Sultan would receive once accepted it I should get no better, me only in the dress of the Christian, and and I simply sat down on my baggage and reluctantly I went back to my house to told them that I would wait there until they make the change. found me a suitable house.
I was beginning to feel considerably out They left, and in about an hour's time of sorts. Thinking this due, perhaps, to returned, saying they had found me one the fact that I had not as yet partaken of the best houses in the Kasbah. I fol- of any breakfast, I proceeded to do so at lowed them, and, upon entering the little once. Now soldiers appeared, urging me garden, was met by a grand man, sur- to make haste, and, as I continued my rounded by soldiers, no less a personage mo more soldiers arrived upon the scene, than the governor of the Kasbah himself, until they came piling in like ants from an who welcomed me to my house and assured ant-hill. “The Sultan waits for no man,”