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It is a marvel how some letters reach. Mrs. Rhodes sent me two envelopes to look at, addressed simply “My dear Lady Rhodes in the Cairo (Egypt),” and “Mr. Road in Egyptian railway."
Mohammed Maghrabi received the appointment for which he thirsted, and his letters thereafter take on a more cheerful tone.
" WASTA, UPPER EGYPT,
“ 22nd Sept. 1904. “ MRS. CR. ROADS, “My respective Madam,
"I am exceedingly obliged for your kindness, and heartily asking the Almighty to keep you enjoying the hapiness; and the Providence to give both of you and Mr. Roads long live and happy life.
"I embracing the opportunity before Mangoes finish to send you ten more.
"Mr. Roads is here tonight, and he is in good health, thank God.
“My wife and children are asking God from the bottom of their hearts to keep you at the first rate of health. “ Yourr very obedient and humble servant,
“ MOHAMMED MAGHRABI."
His letters of congratulation were sometimes varied by telegrams.
TELEGRAM. "All of me family and children heartly wilh (wish) you altogether with respective madame and liece (niece) a merry Christmas, long live and happy life.
“ MOHAMMED MAGHRABI."
Another letter from M. M. began,“ Modestly I beg to inform you that I am granted four days leave to go to Cairo on the 4th previous.” And ended, “ Accept Sir my hearty calls
that God will give you and madame long live and happy life. I am for ever, sir, your very honesty and most obent servant."
A letter to Cromwell Rhodes began, “The Chief Mason Mohammed Ali does his duty with great splendor, notwithstanding his little knowledge of reading and writing."
Another began, " A thousand thanks for your tender letter, which I am sure is the greatest kindness to me.”
The subjoined shows the cloven foot of the Levantine. “ LADY CR. RHODES, Esq., City,
“Will you kindly to see the coal, what kind of coal I send to your honourable haus, and how is Criblet? Because I saw the report yesterday that the coal whiche I supply with slake, never me, lady, just kindly to see. But the cook came many times, he asked me for bakshish. I not give to him as I sell at very low prices.
"C. CARAVASSILIS. "P.S.-A cheque from your goodselves for settlement of your bill will oblige me too much.
I may fitly conclude this chapter by quoting a week's entries from a Coptic and Mohammedan Calendar : SEPTEMBER Sunday 27 Disturbance of the bile. Lettuce and celery
come up. Monday 28. It is agreeable to look at the clouds. Tuesday 29. The sap of trees recedes. Good season for
making dresses. Wednesday 30. Tharid should be eaten. Great abundance
of small fishes.
His aspirations make one European worthy of admission to this Valhalla—" Young German seeks lodgings of lady very severe. Under 'Birch,' Poste Restante, Cairo"
On the Humours of the Suffragi, the Egyptian
the Egyptian servant. They discuss at afternoon tea-tables, and in the Egyptian Gazette, whether the Arab or the Berberine has most faults. One of our greatest friends in Egypt, a bachelor, used to be amusing on the servant question as it had presented itself to him. Most of the time that we were there his chief servant was a minute Egyptian, a glorious example of Egyptian precocity ; for he was only twelve or fourteen at the end of his gay and chequered career as Ramidge's servant.
Before he came to Ramidge he had been assistant in a bicycle shop. He wished to be hired as servant for cleaning a jibbing motor-car which Ramidge possessed. Ramidge refused to have anything to do with him at first, but as the boy cleaned the car, and stayed by it for a whole fortnight for nothing, he felt that he had to take him on. The car, for one thing, was kept absolutely spotless.
That boy had not made these sacrifices for nothing. Having achieved a footing in the house, he proceded to try and get rid of the two Berberine servants. When Ramidge woke the first morning, the cleaner of motor-cars was standing by his bed watching the Berberine doing his valeting. Everything that the Berberine did that morning the Egyptian had done before the Berberine was up the next morning. For a fortnight Ramidge was in clover ; then the Egyptian nature reasserted itself. One afternoon, when Ramidge woke up from his customary siesta, the car and the boy had both
disappeared. Ramidge gave information to the police, who ascertained by telephone that he had been seen driving about Ghezira, the favourite promenade of the fashionable rich.
On the next day it was discovered that Mustapha had capsized the car in a ditch as he was turning a corner. He pressed all the passers-by into his service until it was righted, and then made a man help him for nothing to push it to a garage, where it was safely stored. The police arrested the boy's father as well as the boy, but recommended Ramidge to confiscate his pay instead of prosecuting. The boy was then released and discharged. I forget what happened to the father, but he does not seem to have brought any action for wrongful imprisonment, or I should have heard of it.
On the next morning, when Ramidge went round to the garage, there was Mustapha busily cleaning the car, and he had bought a new motor-horn as a present for his master.
Ramidge absolutely refused to take him into his service again, even when Mustapha offered to come for nothing. But the next morning Mustapha brought the car to Ramidge's house, so that he should not have the trouble of walking to
And Mustapha stayed. After about a month of very good work, Mustapha took the car out again one Saturday morning, and was seen with sixteen other boys piled up on it, though it was a very small one, driving round and round the Esbikiya Gardens.
Ramidge offered him his choice of going to prison or taking a good thrashing; he gratefully accepted the latter, and Ramidge caned him like a schoolboy till he was tired, and sent him to Alexandria. Three days later he turned up again with a basket of dates. Ramidge found him on the car when he went down to the garage in the morning. The basket of dates was a peace-offering.
For the three months after that, till Ramidge went to England on leave, Mustapha was nearly perfect. He effected the discharge of one Berberine, and the other, though he was twice his size, was terrified of him. He took entire charge of Ramidge's valeting.