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bless you, my dear sir, God bless you!” It was strange to see how she and her was all he said.
mother kept their changed places; Mrs. Miss Eliza instantly took her knitting Aylmer grew to be afraid of no one, and in her hand, but she did not attempt to Joyce still clung to her mother in any diffikoit; the needles looked four times the culty like a child. size they generally did, and as for the silk, But stranger still was the squire's conwhy it was all colors and quite confused ! duct. He, who once had been so passion. She laid it down with a jerk.
ate, and who could brook no opposition, “Dora must not be allowed to take her was now so gentle, not only in his own out in the sun again,” she tried to say, home but everywhere, that no one ceased and then her fan and pocket-handkerchief talking of it. rolling out of her lap, she got up quickly One Sunday, a little boy, forgetting the and dabbed a kiss on the squire's cheek. manners of the Aylmer tenants, pushed
“ Law! bless my soul, Eliza !” he cried out of the west door before the squire had in astonishment, and then he began blow- passed. ing his nose also very vigorously.
His mother tried to pull him back, but
the squire, laying his hand on the child's Strange whispers were creeping about head, said, “ No, no, let him come. Fine in the little village round Aylmer; the little man! Good little man! Whose cottagers tried to look wise and nod their boy is it?" heads, but none really knew the cause of “ Hodges', please, sir,” said the woman, the family's departure, nor of Miss Ayl- with a curtsey. Hodges had been garmer's mysterious illness. She had been dener at the Hall for twenty years, but so carefully guarded by her mother during none of his children had ever dared to that sad time that few had any idea of the look in at the gardens, and had run for nature of it.
their lives if they had seen the squire Strange, too, was the sudden reappear- anywhere about. ance of the family among them again. « Oh, Hodges', is he? Fond of apples, Miss Eliza was the only one unchanged. my boy? Must tell your father to give “She was too much of an Aylmer for you some. Hope you are kind to him, that,” some of the country folk said ap- Mrs. Hodges; can't be too kind to chilprovingly. The whole ire of the place fell dren, you know," patting the boy's head on Mrs. Aylmer for having left Aylmer again as he walked off. without one of the name in it for a year. * Well, I never !” said one
“A curse will fall on the family,” said " What has come to him? I remembers one old man, who dedicated his children the time when he hated children ; aod how and grandchildren and great-grandchildren he did curse and swear at them, too, to be to the service of an Aylmer long before sure !" they could even speak. “ A curse will “And if he did,” said Margaret Silverfall on the family, see if it don't. My dale, the oldest woman in the village, comeyes shall be closed before then, but falling down the churchyard path, " is it you, it will," and he rapped his stick prophet- Mary Fenton, to judge him? There ain't ically.
another family the whole country round “He ought not to have given us a wife to come near them, and honor to whom from down south,"one neighbor of a more honor is due,' I say.” She walked slowly revolutionary turn of mind said. “ The down the path leaning on her stick, and squire, he would never have left us, but though her words were strong her heart she always was a weakly-looking thing. was sad, for she could not bear to see the And now as for Miss Joyce, why, she family that once had been so bright and never rides or hunts as she used, and she powerful, come down now to one heiress; looks as altered – there – it's just all that and that heiress so frail and unlike an travelling and leaving home, and that Aylmer. comes from a southerner being put at the head of us."
All the five voices in this tale are hushed Joyce did not ride or hunt, it is true, now. Henry Cotterville's was the first for her constitution had received such a to be hushed. He married as his mother shock, she never became really strong; wished, but he did not live many years but her mind was restored, and, very after his marriage. It was neither a happy mercifully, the whole of her illness and nor an unhappy one. He bore his disap. its cause she never referred to again. pointment about Joyce very philosophThat part of her life was completely a ically, and in talking of it to a friend one blank to her.
day said, “ It was really a peculiarly un
pleasant business, for there was no doubt Here we looked forward to getting a about it the poor girl was uncommonly glimpse of the boundless sea of sand, fond of me, but it would have been too snake-charmers, dervishes, and other Araawkward, you know, to have had a wife bian wonders. L'homme propose, however, liable to go mad."
and on our arrival at Algiers I received a Mrs. Aylmer and her daughter outlived pressing summons to go at once far inland the squire and Miss Eliza many years; to Aïn Khenchela from the wife of M. and they lived so happily together that Wolff, the commandant supérieur of an death did not divide them, for Joyce died immense" circle” of administration which the same year her mother did.
stretches from Khenchela due south to Every one's life forms a history; but the extreme limits at which the flag of the pages written in this world, whether France has been hoisted. The general long or short, are but the preface to the represented that at best at Biskra we life which is eternal. And to each pref- should only see a Frenchified oasis, and, ace the word Finis must sooner or later further, that the snake-charmers, dancers, be written. The Finis to the old music and other gentry of the kind were a very book before me is written to a plaintive spurious article seized with no epileptic little song called "A Dieu." And with frenzies, but “got up” to ensnare the these two simple words I leave Joyce British tourist, and turned on like the Aylmer.
water.tap, as occasion demanded, for a few francs. The general offered to take us with him under military escort for a three
weeks' tour which he was about to make From Good Words.
amongst some of the tribes under his ad.
ministration ; and during our trip we were A RIDE IN THE GREAT SAHARA.
to visit curious oases, Roman remaios, BY J. H. FORBES.
etc. In short, we were offered a chance FIRST PAPER.
which we should never again get in our THERE is an epidemic which is very apt lives of seeing the real Sahara. to seize members of my learned profes. Taking advantage accordingly of the opsion towards the end of March. It has portunity, we started off as fast as we could been given no generic name by the med- for our new destination. We steamed to ical faculty, but it generally manifests Boujie, and from thence drove through itself in an almost irresistible feverish the far-famed pass of Chabet-el-Akhra to : longing to cast away the law-books, the, that uniquely situated town Constantine. wig, and the gown, and to follow the swal-| At a junction a few miles from this town lows in search of sunshine and novelty. we got into a train which carried us by a In March, 1890, I succumbed to a rather curious zigzagging narrow-gauge line over severer attack than usual of the malady, great table laods which afford grazing and, having secured a compagnon de voy- for countless flocks and herds, and upon age, I started on the twentieth of the which were encamped at intervals Bedouin month to get cured of my fever.
Arabs. A day's journey brought us to Our present plan was to go straight to Aïn Beida, a military outpost, and another Algeria and to spend our vacation there. day to Aïn Khenchela. This town, which The country is one of the most fascinating the reader will find on his map, is half in the world, as well on account of its French and half Arab, and is placed in a climate, scenery, and fine vegetation, as of depression in the chain of the Aures its Roman remains which are almost Mountains at a height of from three thoueverywhere to be found in fine preserva. sand to four thousand feet above the seation. It is easily reached from Marseilles level. Here, roughly speaking, may be by a very fine line of steamers which run said to end the Telí, or the first region straight to Algiers. The steamboat ser into which Algeria is said to be divided, vice along the coast is good, and, in addi. and the immense country which stretches tion to a railway running from Oran on to the edge of the great Sahara, and over the west to Tunis on the east, there are which we were about to journey, is known numerous lines which branch off the main as the second region, or the hauts plaline and run south into the heart of the teaux. country. The enterprising Mr. Cook has Our host's military command includes exploited all its known regions, and has the control of what is known as the even stretched his octopus-like arms as Bureau Arabe, which is established at all far south as Biskra, an oasis on the edge the strategical points of the country, and of the great Sahara.
which forms the machinery by which the
French control the whole of Algeria. occasionally much needed. Sleep was
over great ridges and ranges of mountains
them also as heliographic stations. My friend and I had a very spacious
After a rest we continued our march tent, and as we each had a canteen we over great rugged rifts and mountains, and could take lots of clothes, which were enjoyed splendid views of the Aures on
the right and the Plaine de Garel on the hands and clothes and then raising his left; and at about 5 P.M. we reached the hand to his lips. He then remounted, site of another Roman city called Aïn and placing himself at the head of our Roumi by the Arabs, and amidst great party be escorted us into an extraordinary massive blocks of stone standing on end, village formed in the rocks, out of which doorways, and old walls, we found our we saw women and children peeping at tents all ready pitched for us. Here we This district is watered by the Foum visited an old Roman aqueduct, which is Guentis, and we amused ourselves with to be repaired to convey water to the plain fishing for barbeau, or barbel, which ran below. It is impossible to store water in from a quarter to one pound in weight, reservoirs, the caïd told me, as two days and which were caughi in a primitive of the scirocco, or desert wind, would manner by a long stick with a cord at. completely evaporate it. The night was tached to it and a baited hook and a float. so bitterly cold, owing to the north wind Next morning we started for a very inblowing from the Aures, that we made a teresting day's march. We were still at short sederunt of our dinner, sitting hud. an altitude of three thousand feet, and our dled up in great coats and rugs, and were route lay over the same rocky, burot-up nearly petrified all night in our camp beds. plateaux. Our path, if path it could be This, however, was to be our last cold called, was made by the French soldiers night for some time to come, and next as a highway to the oasis of Negrine, morning we defiled under a glorious hot which lay to our east in the Sahara. It sun mainly over the same bare plains and was, however, but a track, and a very dan. mountains, and arrived for breakfast at gerous one, now literally open on either the remains of a once mighty Roman city. side to frightful precipices, now carved It is named by the Arabs Enchir Gourçats, out of the massive rock which rose up on and is of the fourth century. We found either side to a great height. Here we the remains of a Christian church, a great found ourselves climbing down a deep slab of red stone with the cross and dove ravine, there struggling up a steep stratum and the vine beautifully carved upon it; of rocks, the surface of which, heated by and also a triumphal arch dedicated to the the fierce sun, had been planed as smooth Emperors Valens and Valentinius (A.D. and as slippery as ice. At last we reached 370). All these Roman towns date from the Plateau de Brileau (about the thirty. the second to the fourth century, and their fifth parallel), and, as the general had destruction is due to Genseric, king of chosen to halt here for breakfast, we were the Vandals, who landed in Africa in A.D. able at our leisure to gaze upon the stu429, and destroyed nearly all the Roman pendous prospect which lay below us. fortresses. While walking through the Rising up from the great desert we saw ruins I picked up pottery and old coins of a great range of sphinx-like mountains, all sizes which had been lying crumbling called the rocks of Zekron, rearing up in the hot sand all these centuries. This their crests from an immense depth of town must once have been a city of great heat and mist. They were absolutely importance, proud in her temples, colon- bare of vegetation and were, as it were, nades, and triumphal arches. Now, how. scarified in a formation of symmetrical ever, she presents a pathetic picture of straight lines by the ever-burning sun. departed glory, the stunted grass and sand The weirdness of their shapes and forms vying with one another as to which is to was intensified by their pink and red color, cover up the ruins.
which made them seem as if they were Our halt for the night was to be at Sidi blushing for a sun whose unrelenting fury Abid, and as we pursued our journey could transform them into such eerie thither we saw in the distance three horse- shapes. Stretching away from the base men galloping like the wind to meet us. of these moosters, as far as the eye could They proved to be the sheik of the tribe see, there rolled the great Sahara – a at Sidi Abid and his two cavaliers. He plain of irregular sand, vast and melanwas a splendid old fellow, dressed in red choly like an ocean. burnous, white turban, and red leggings, As we had a dangerous and arduous and his raven beak, fine dark eyes, and march to make to reach our night quarters, white beard gave him the appearance of a we had to tear ourselves from this most man born to command. When about one wondrous scene. The sun was now shin. hundred yards from us he jumped off his ing vertically with great force over these white horse, which he handed to his cava. fearsome and thirsty valleys, down which liers, and advanced to salute the caïd and we had to crawl. One had to stick to one's the general, touching with his hand their horse like a leech, and felt that a single false step would dash burse and rider into pieces, and showed us the peculiar horos eternity. The little horses, however, over the brute's eyes, which give it its which we rode are wo' derfully sure.footed name. We expected to see many large and must be left to themselves. They and curious snakes, but owing to the rainy have their own way of climbing, like cats, spring we were, perhaps luckily for us, up precipitous rocks, and walking down ten days too soon for them, although we steps carved out of slippery and calcined saw a good many specimens of the horned marble, down which a human being would viper, and of a very large and dangerous crawl on his hands and knees. Both lizard. The heat here was so intense that horses and men were thoroughly tired out after breakfast we were ordered to our when we reached Riran bou Dokhan, a tents, and we lay gasping on our beds, in curious hole in a sort of rocky dune, the very scanty raiment, till the sun being village of a tribe who water their flocks at lower in the horizon we again started off. the Oued (river)bou Dokhan. Fishing in On arrival at Bir Djabli, between the this swiftly flowing and limpid stream, one thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth parallels, on the could scarcely realize that some fifty kilos route to the great oases of Negrine and farther south it would lose itself in the Ferkhane, we found a large portion of the sand and cease to exist.
tribes of Ouled Rechaich, under our caïd's Next day, starting betimes, we passed caïdate, encamped with their flocks and a place where a number of poor Kabyles herds, their tents being irregularly pitched in the last rising had escaped from the and surrounded on every side by camels, mountains and had dragged themselves sheep, goats, poultry, and dogs. I was down to die of thirst, little knowing that a lucky enough to secure some photographs few kilos farther south there were wells of of the in:eriors of these tents (truly water in abundance. At last we reached wretched abodes), the general kindly stopthe gates of the great Sahara. It con- ping the caravan and directing the spahis sists of great zones of flat, hard sand, upon to draw their sabres and keep off the great, which one could have a lawn-tennis tour- savage, yellow watch-dogs while I got to nament for the whole world zones of work. The male Bedouin is a dignifiedbroken, rocky sand, zones of soft, powdery looking, if dirty, specimen of humanity, sand, and dunes of sand. Owing to the but he is lazy and useless, the drudgery rains, which had been exceptionally heavy of keeping the tent and looking after the in the spring, we saw a sight seldom seen, beasts being, for the most part, done by and which made one realize what a coun- his two or three wives. These women try Africa would be if only the rains came are married at twelve years of age, when down in spring and autumn regularly as they are dark and good-looking. They they do with us. The desert was cloihed generally wear red or blue dresses, and in a robe de fête, and was literally ablaze huge earrings in their ears. At about as far as the eye could see with the myriad twenty years of age, however, they become colors of countless wild flowers, which haggard and hideous. seemed to have caught the glory of the The tribes, as here, always take advanAfrican sun. Every few hours of our tage of spots where there is some alluvial march we met caravans in charge of deposit brought down by the rivers which strange-looking men, coming with their descend from the Aures, and which die camels loaded with merchandise from the in the desert, where they form a sort of Soudan. The men invariably came up delta. This delta would be as feriile as and saluted our caïd, and formed a truly that of the Nile if the rivers, which de. picturesque enlivenment in our hot and scend in torrents after storms, did not dry arduous journey,
up so quickly, or if the heavens regularly As we neared our halt for breakfast, sent down in spring and autumn the rain's Oglat Trudi, the sheik of the tribes who which our spahis called “la bénédiction were watering their flocks there, came out d'Allah.” In a good year, such as 1890, with his cavaliers to salute us. He was the crops give an extraordinary yield. walking with his hand on the bridle of the The caïd told me that a single seed will general's horse when he suddenly darted yield five hundred ears of barley. Every forward, striking with a heavy stick a long drop of rain is then worth its weight in snake, which made off along the sand at gold. great speed. This was our first sight of As soon as the general's tent is set upit the vipère cornue, a very dangerous rep. is surrounded by some forty or fifty tile, whose bite proves fatal if not promptly swarthy Arabs, who squat on the sand and most energetically treated. One of outside in front of the tent door. The the spahis drew his sabre and cut it to "reclamation” now begins. At first, a