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number of them in their houses. Whenever he entered a house every one, who could get into the room where he was, squeezed in; the rest filled up the doors and the windows. It was unimaginably hot. The Fayum is the only place in Egypt where the women make themselves really useful in their houses. When he left these suspicious people, who were too suspicious to see their own advantage, he went and watched a case which a judge was trying under a tree. A man had wounded his wife's hands with a knife, and then divorced her. Dogs came creeping up to see if there was anything to bite; fowls wandered by ; the litigants had to sit still till all the other cases were finished, which took about two hours. The case they were going to try was, “Is it legally right for a man to wound his wife by accident ? "
HE Khedive Ismail had a protégé, whom he created a
pasha at an age when nobody but a royalty is ever made an officer in the army nowadays. He sent this boy, whose name was Hoseyn something or other, to England to be educated. He became very English in his ideas, and always liked to be taken for an Englishman. He was not in the least like one-he was a fat old thing, with his chin down on his chest, and foolish; he had no neck; he was a little bit wanting in everything.
When he was at school in England he became so absolutely English that Ismail sent for him. When he came into the Khedive's presence there were a lot of people talking Arabic. Ismail asked the boy some questions; the boy did not answer, but looked rather vacant. Then the Khedive spoke to him again, and Hoscyn turned to his tutor and said, “Please tell his Highness that I don't speak French." He was never allowed to go to England again after that.
He was very English even in Agenoria's day; he affected Agenoria a great deal. “Oh, Mrs. Rhodes,” he said, "you do know how to have jolly fun.” She always humoured him, and treated him with extreme politeness.
Once she got him to her house for ping-pong. He had never seen it before, but they made him play. He had never played anything in his life, but plunged at it wildly,
Hoseyn was always talking about playing tennis. He got
· These chapters upon native life in Egypt I owe to Agenoria, and I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to retain her own spontaneous wording.
so far as buying tennis shoes and a racquet and white trousers, but that was all. He was always going to play tomorrow.
The Pasha's first wife was old Khadijah, whose exploits adorn the next chapter. He divorced her, and would never let any one know who his second wife was. As he did not introduce Agenoria to her, Agenoria used to say, “I should just like to come and see her Excellency"; but he always made some excuse like his reasons for not playing tennis.
One day he bought a new palace; he took Agenoria to see it. It was very simply and very beautifully decorated. When he had moved into it, he took her there again. He had called in an Italian artist, who had covered the ceiling with the most garish stencillings; he had made a Moorish room, and had filled the whole palace with atrocious FrenchyOriental furniture, and he puffed himself out over it like a very proud turkey-cock.
Once upon a time the Pasha thought he would like to give a picnic, because Agenoria used to give donkey-ride picnics in the evening, to which every one had to bring a lantern and some musical instrument. She asked the Pasha to bring his flute. He could not play a bit. Of course he came in a very grand carriage and pair, and she had to drive with him : it would have been beneath his dignity to ride a donkey. She got him to play the flute all the time to encourage the others. The rest went on donkeys and bicycles and so on. Nothing much happened till they got to the artificial ruins erected by the Khedive Ismail round the Ghezira Palace, which was their second rendezvous after fooling round the Ghezira. When they got there, Agenoria suggested to the Pasha that he should get out of his carriage and climb a little hill, which had a rustic seat, and play his flute. She got him on the evening sky-line against the moon, where everybody could see him, and he tootled away.
They were all to go back to Agenoria's house to supper, but some of the young couples were lost altogether. One couple sat on a garden wall waiting for another-they were a girl and a man; they did not arrive until " frightfully"