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fifteen miles an hour, and capers in fresh and smiling at the other end. Habib did not advise dromedary travel. It is very rough, he said. Nothing but an Arab trained to the business could stand it. Once an Englishman wanted to go through by the dromedary mail, and did go, though they implored him to travel in the regular way. He got through all right, but his liver and his heart had changed places, and it took three doctors seven days to rearrange his works.
A multitude was pouring out of the city when we reached the gates—dwellers in the lands about. We entered and turned aside into quiet streets, the twilight gathering about mysterious doorways and in dim shops and stalls, where were bowed, turbaned men who never seemed to sell anything, or to want to sell anything—who barely noticed us as we passed through the Grand Bazaar, where it was getting dark, and all the drowsy merchants of all the drowsy merchandise were like still shadows that only moved a little to let us pass. Out again into streets that were full of dusk, and dim Aitting figures and subdued sounds.
All at once I caught sight of a black stone jar hanging at the door of a very small and dusky booth. It was such a jar as is used in Damascus to-day for water—was used there in the time of Abraham.
I had wanted one of the pots from the first. The carriage stops instantly.
"Habib! That black water-jar-a small one!” I had meant to bargain for it myself, but Habib is
ahead of me. He scorns to bargain for such a trifle, and with such a merchant. He merely seizes the jar, says a guttural word or two in whatever tongue the man knows, Alings him a paltry coin, and is back in the carriage, directing our course along the darkening, narrow way.
What a wonderful life the dark is bringing out! There, in front of that coffee-house, that row of men smoking nargileh-surely they are magicians, every one. “That silent group with shaven faces and snowy beards: who are they, Habib?”.
"Mongolians,” he says. “Pilgrims returning from Mecca. They live far over to the north of China, but still are followers of the Prophet.” The scope of Islamism is wide--oh yes, very wide, and increasing. That group gathered at the fountain—their dress, their faces
“Habib!” The horses come up with a jerk. “A copper water-jar, Habib! An old, old man is filling it-such a strange pattern”
Habib is down instantly, and amid the crowd. Cautiously I follow. The old man is stooped, wrinkled, travel-worn. His robe and his turban are full of dust. He is listening to Habib and replying briefly.
Habib explains. The pilgrim is returning with it from Mecca; it is very old; he cannot part with it. My heart sinks; every word adds value to the treasure. Habib tries again, while I touch the ancient, curiously wrought jar lovingly. The pilgrim draws away. He will hardly allow me even this comfort.
We return to the carriage sadly. The driver starts. Some one comes running behind, calling. Again we stop; a boy calls something to Habib.
“He will sell," Habib laughs, “and why not? He demands a napoleon. Of course you will not give it!”
Oh, coward heart! I cannot, after that. I have the napoleon and the desire, but I cannot appear a fool before Habib.
“No, it is too much. Drive on."
We dash forward; the East closes behind us; the opportunity is forever lost.
If one could only be brave at the instant! All my days shall I recall the group at the fountain: that bent, travel - stained pilgrim; that strangely fashioned water - pot which perhaps came down to him from patriarchal days. How many journeys to Mecca had it made; how many times had it moistened the parching lips of some way-worn pilgrim dragging across the burning sand; how many times had it furnished water for absolution before the prayer in the desert! And all this could have been mine. For a paltry napoleon I could have had the talisman for my own—all the wonder of the East, its music, its mystery, its superstition; I could have fondled it and gazed on it and re-created each picture at a touch.
Oh, Habib, Habib, may the Prophet forgive you; for, alas, I never can!
At the station next morning a great horde of pilgrims were waiting for the train which would bear them to Beirut-Mongolians, many of them, who had been on the long, long, pilgrimage over land and sea. At Beirut, we were told, seven steamers were waiting to take them on the next stage of their homeward journey. What a weary way they had yet to travel!
They were all loaded down with baggage. They had their bundles, clothing, quilts, water - bottles: and I wandered about among them vainly hoping to find my pilgrim of the copper pot. Hopeless, indeed. There were pots in plenty, but they were all new or unsightly things.
All the pilgrims were old men, for the Moslem, like most of the rest of us, puts off his spiritual climax until he has acquired his material account. He has to, in fact; for, even going the poorest way and mainly afoot, a journey of ten or twelve thousand miles across mountain and desert, wilderness and wave cannot be made without substance.
We took a goodly number of them on our train. Freight-cars crowded with them were attached behind, and we crawled across the mountains with that cargo of holy men, who poured out at every other station and prostrated themselves, facing Mecca, to pray for our destruction. At least, I suppose they did that. I know they made a most imposing spectacle at their devotions, and the Moslem would hardly overlook an enemy in such easy praying distance.
However, we crossed the steeps, skirted the precipices safely enough, and by-and-by a blue harbor lay below, and in it, like a fair picture, the shiphome. We had been gone less than a week-it seemed a year.
WHERE PILGRIMS GATHER IN
AT some time last night we crossed over the spot A where the Lord stirred up a mighty tempest and a great fish to punish Jonah, and this morning at daybreak we were in the harbor of Jaffa, “the beautiful,” from which port Jonah sailed on that remarkable cruise.
We were not the only ones there. Two other great excursion steamers lay at anchor, the Arabic and the Moltke, their decks filled with our fellow-countrymen, and I think the several parties of ship-dwellers took
paring the appearance of their respective vessels, than in the rare vision of Jaffa aglow with morning. Three ship-loads at once! It seemed like a good deal of an invasion to land on these sacred shores. But then we remembered how many invasions had landed at Jaffa—how Alexander and Titus had been there before us, besides all the crusades—so a modest scourge
butcher, Napoleon, who a little more than a century ago murdered his way through this inoffending land, he shot four thousand Turkish prisoners here on the Jaffa sands, after accepting their surrender under guarantee of protection. We promised ourselves that we would do nothing like that. We might destroy