Following his advice, I halted near noonday at that wind-swept village. There was no need to make inquiry for the European residents; they were all duly recorded in the “comrades’ Baedeker.” As in Cairo, however, they offered money in lieu of work, and clutched weakly at the nearest 长沙桑拿都有什么服务 support when I refused it. A young Englishman, inscribed in my notes as “Bromley, Pasha, Inspector of Irrigation; quite easy,” gave me evening rendezvous on the bank of the canal beyond the village. Long after dark he appeared on horseback, attended by two natives with flaming torches, and, being ferried across the canal, led the way towards his dahabeah, anchored at the shore of the Nile.
“I fancied I’d find something to put you at,” he explained,
as he turned his horse over to a jet-black groom who popped up out of the darkness, “but I didn’t, and the last train’s gone. I’ll buy you a ticket to Assiut in the morning.”
“I have a pass,” I put in.
“Oh,” said the Englishman, “well, you’ll put up with me here to-night, anyway.”
He led the way across the gangplank. The change from the bleak wastes of African sand to this floating palace was as startling as if Bromley, Pasha, had been possessor of Aladdin’s lamp. Richly-turbaned 长沙桑拿论坛交流 servants, in spotless white gowns, sprang forward to greet their master; to place a chair for him; to pull off his riding boots and replace them with slippers; to slip the Cairo daily into his hands; and sped noiselessly away to finish the preparation of the evening meal. Had Bromley, Pasha, been a fellow countryman, I might have enjoyed the pleasure of his company instead of dining alone in the richly-furnished anteroom. But Englishmen of the “upper classes” are not noted for their democratic spirit, and the good inspector, no doubt, dreaded the uncouth table manners of a plebeian from half-civilized America.
Breakfast over, next morning, I returned to the village and departed on the south-bound express. The third-class coach was densely packed with huddled natives and their unwieldy cargo; all, that is, except the bench around the sides, on which a trio of gloomy Arabs, denied the privilege of squatting on the floor, perched like fowls on a 220roost. The air that swept through the open car was as wintry as the Egyptian is wont to 长沙桑拿论坛 experience. Only the faces of the males were uncovered. The women, wrapped like mummies in fold after fold of black gowns, crouched utterly motionless, well-nigh indistinguishable from the bundles of baggage. Even the guard, wading through the throng, brought no sign of life from the prostrate females; for their tickets were invariably produced by a male escort.
The congestion was somewhat relieved at the junction of the Fayoum branch. The men who had reached their destination rose to their feet, struggled to extricate their much-tied bundles, and rolled them over their fellow travelers and down the steps. Not a female stirred during this unwonted activity of her lord and master. When he had safely deposited his more valuable chattels on the platform, he returned to grasp her by the hand and drag her unceremoniously out the door.
Around the train swarmed hawkers of food. Dates, boiled eggs, baked fish, oranges, and soggy bread-cakes, in quantity sufficient to have supplied an army, were thrust upon whomever ventured to peer outside. From the neighboring fields came workmen laden down with freshly cut bundles of sugar cane, to give the throng the appearance of a forest in motion. Three great canes, as long and unwieldy as bamboo fish rods, sold at a small piastre, and hardly a native in the car purchased less than a half-dozen. By the time we were off again, the coach had been converted into a fodder bin.
The canes were broken into two-foot lengths, and each purchaser, grasping a section in his hands, bit into it, and, jerking his head from side to side like a bulldog, tore off a strip. Then with a sucking that was heard above the roar of the train, he extracted the juice and cast the pulp on the floor about him. 长沙桑拿按摩一条龙 At each station, new arrivals squatted on the festive remnants left by their predecessors and spat industriously at the valleys which marked the resting places of the departed. The pulp dried rapidly, and by noonday the floor of the car was carpeted with a sugar-cane mat several inches thick.
My pass ran out in the early afternoon, and I set off to canvass the metropolis of upper Egypt. Several Europeans had already expressed their regrets when, towards evening, I caught sight of the stars and stripes waving over an unusually large building. I
turned in at the gate and made inquiry of a native grubbing in the yard.
“Thees house?” he cried, “you not know what thees is? Thees American Hospital.”
221I drew out my notes. Beneath the name of the hospital appeared this entry:—“Dr. Henry and Dr. Bullock, Americans; easy marks; very religious.”
“Come and see house,” invited the 长沙桑拿休闲娱乐会所 native. “Very beeg.”
He led the way to one side of the building, where nearly a hundred natives, suffering with every small ailment from festered legs to toothache, were huddled disconsolately about the office stairway.
“Thees man come get cured,” said my guide. “Thees not sick nuff go bed. American Doctors very good, except”—and his voice dropped to a whisper—“wants all to be Christian.”
The patients filed into the office, emerged with cards in their hands, and crowded about the door of the dispensary.
As the last emaciated wretch limped away, a slender, middle-aged white man descended the steps.