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week after week, more rapidly down a
stream of tragic excitement, such as
sometimes seizes and bears along resistless the
population of whole cities.

On a bright, scorching, dusty day in
August, the triumvirate in the bazaar,
moved by the exclamation of an old woman
who passed with a tray of bread upon her
head, left the bench where they were lazily
smoking, and advanced to a point whence they
could look out beneath the broad arched gateway
down a dark lane, as through a telescope,
into the sunny country. There was no doubt
about the matter. A small caravan of
camels, attended by some gaudily decked-
out servants, had certainly halted there.
Presently a tall, handsome young man, dressed
in a garb that seemed Persian, stooped to
enter, and came rapidly towards the courtyard
accompanied by a little, shrivelled, old
man with a black turban. The three gossips
made way, but stared with all their eyes.

"Is that the shed ? " enquired the young
man, looking with half-closed eyes and a
contemptuous curl of the lip at the walls of
the uninhabited house.

"A large shed," suggested Dando, across
whose mind vague visions of a customer
began to float.

The stranger acknowledged this interruption
by a slash with a little whip which he
twirled in his hand. Daudo dispersed in the
direction of his shop, Sohmed and Ibn Daood
followed. The old man, who carried a vast
wooden key like a club, went down the
impregnated lane, and, after some fumbling
contrived to open the door of the house. The
barber, rubbing his shoulder with one hand,
stretched out his neck and opened his eyes,
but saw nothing but a gulf of darkness for a
moment and then the solid planks of wood

Soon afterwards a procession of servants,
all black, and too terrible-looking to
encourage familiarity, passed by like shadows,
bearing heavy burdens. They went
backward and forward for some time. Then the
old man with the black turban made his
appearance once more, hastened across the
courtyard, mounted a mule held by a slave
near the gate, and rode away. The camels
had already disappeared; so that within an
hour after the Cassar had been thus disturbed
there was no sign whatever of the new arrival,
except that the three tradesmen, a few old
men too weak to go forth to work, and all the
women of the placeusually so silent and
sadwere eagerly discussing this remarkable
occurrence. The eastern narrators will have
it that, by a kind of instinctive revelation, all
knew that they were soon to become the
neighbours of strange actions, perhaps the
victims of terrible disaster.

Early rising was the rule in the Cassar,
but next day everybody was astir an hour
before the usual time. Great was the rumour
and greater the conversation; but there is so
much news, and, above all, so much wisdom
current in the world, that it would be fastidious
to repeat anything that was said. We all
know the rich variety of surmise that can be
based on a fact comprehended by nobody. In
this case even Dando who, within an hour,
was equally positive that the new tenant of
the great house was a Persian physician, an
Indian juggler, a Chinese shawl-merchant,
and a Muscovite emissary, never approached
within a parasang of the truth.

A provoking circumstance was that the
day passed by, and the great time-stained
door of the old house never opened. No
loquacious black, no garrulous servant-girl
appeared. "And, by the by," observed the
barber, "we saw no woman enter. This is
against the rule. There are no harims in the
Cassar. We live here in no Wakalah. It is
not the custom for bachelors to lodge in the
midst of families. Some bold man should
go and make this representation. It would be
a good opportunity to see what is passing
behind that door."

The Muslem crowd, forunusual circumstance
a crowd had collected, thanked
Dando for his solicitude; and suggested that
he was the identical bold man wanted at this
critical conjuncture. But his shoulder still
felt the smack of the whip; and he very
humbly admitted that he was not a lion. In
Egypt no man loses his own esteem or that of
others by pleading guilty to cowardice. It is
considered a mark of taste and piety to be
chary of that inestimable possessionlife.

Next day a very old black man with fierce
rolling eyes came out of the house and went
rapidly across the little square. A number
of women who were laying in wait addressed
him as " My Lord Steward," and proposed
dealings in eggs, butter, milk, and other
provisions. They had stopped up the way, not
at all frightened by his fiery eyes and bright
teeth, nor discouraged by his obstinate reply,
that he wanted nothing. "But your master
cannot live without eating," exclaimed the
barber's wife. " Perhaps he does'nt eat bread,"
replied the black man with a horrid leer.
The crowd fell back and allowed him to pass.
In an incredibly short space of time it was
known that a cannibal had come to inhabit
the Cassar; and mothers began to call their
children within doors, and to count them

In a couple of hours the black old man
returned followed by a porter, who grunted
under a huge basket of provisions, as Egyptian
porters usually grunt when they are near
the end of their journey, and are calculating
the amount of the present they are about to
receive. He was not allowed to enter the
house, but emptied his basket and received
his money at the door. It appears that he was
well paid; for whilst the women, who
determined not to abandon the charge of
cannibalism, were crying out against the wretch
who despised to buy of his neighbours, the