+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

beyond them again and by the wall of
the khan were the horses and mules
tethered and munching their mid-day meal.
It seemed quite impossible that all these
preparations could be for us. There were
nine horses, mules, and asses, making, with
those we rode and Alee's, fourteen in all;
there were two tents, either of which would
have held the four of us, in what would
have seemed luxuriant comfort after our
experience at Sakkara, and there was a
third tent of equal size, at the door of which
was a large charcoal stove, and two Arabs
busily at work with stews, and meats, and
soup. There never was such a delightful

"Try nice glass of lemonade, sir; fresh
lemons just squeezed, sir, and all ready;
good after riding, sir," was Alee's greeting;
and, following him into the first tent, our
astonishment and delight increased. It
was lined throughout with light chintz, a
delicate moss-rosebud on a white ground,
and on each side was an iron bedstead, the
spotless counterpane and snowy sheets of
which made one long to go to rest then
and there. The floor was spread with
Indian matting, and in the centre, with
cloth laid, with napkins spread for each
person, and with a sufficient supply of plate,
crockery, and glass, stood our dinner-table.
We drank our lemonade with hearts
overflowing with loyalty to the Sheik, and we
began to regard Alee as a very remarkable
man. Picturesque we knew he was, and
standing as he did, giving the word, now
of command, now of encouragement to his
followers, always speaking to the purpose,
and never saying too much, we wondered
his appearance had not struck us earlier
as remarkable. A swarthy Arab skin,
jet black hair, high cheek-bones, a firm
mouth, and square chin which is kept
close shaven, a brilliant set of teeth, dark
eyes, which flash fire when the underlings
are disobedient, or slow, and a prominent
aquiline nose, make up Alee's face. In
stature Alee is some five feet ten, with a
broad pair of shoulders, deep chest, and
sturdy legs; his figure is soldierly, and when
riding with us, he makes his Arab horse
curvet, and bound, and arch its neck, until
his seat recals Franconi. Alee's costume is
only half Oriental. A bright silk Arab
kyfuar bound round the temples by a fillet
of camel's hair, flouts its long ends gaily
in the wind, and is turban and silk
puggaree in one. A loose-fitting coat of
brown cloth, a pair of black Turkish
trousers, ankle boots, and white socks,
which leave a margin of bare flesh peeping
at their tops, give him a rather rakish
air, and, particularly when he is on horseback,
remind one of the pictures of the defenders
of the Crescent. Alee, be it understood,
is a man of substance, and is worth,
we were told later, several thousand pounds.

In this business, the tents and plant all
belong to him and to his partnera somewhat
unprepossessing young man we met
one day near Ramleh with an old lady and
gentleman in chargeand he can accommodate
twenty people travelling in company
comfortably and completely. When
the party is large he provides a spacious tent
as evening saloon and meal-chamber, in
which no one sleeps; and he becomes quite
eloquent on the subject of ladies travelling
in the Holy Land, on hearing us hazard the
opinion that it must be rough work for
them. " Everything as comfortable as they
could have at home," Alee insisted; "you
gentlemen travelling in small party don't
know what I can do, have beautiful ladies'
tents, easy-chairs, sofas, carpets, looking-glass,
everything same as at home."

When our dinner has been served and
eaten, our mental attitude towards Alee is
one of affectionate respect, and every day
adds to this feeling and gives it strength.
We live far better than we can do at the
hotel. We have soup, fish, entrées, kibaub,
joints, sweets, and dessert, all faultless, and
we find our tents pitched, the cloth laid, and
our dinner in preparation at the end of
each day's journey. Wimbledon would be
amazed at the rapidity with which we
moved from place to place in the Holy Land,
always finding our comforts ready for us at
night, and always under the orders of our
Sheik. The Cave of Adullam, the banks of
the Jordan, the site of ancient Jericho,
Bethlehem, Bethany, were all visited thus, and
though I have since been under canvas in
India and on the Red Sea, the luxurious
tents provided by the excellent Alee Sulyman
of Jaffa are those I shall most exult
over at Wimbledon when camping with the


SERMONS, pure and simple, are excellent
in their way: whether preached from the
pulpit, the tub, the stump, or even the
coping; the difference is immaterial. In
the last three instances, where credit can
be given for sincerity and real earnestness,
the feeling can only be that of