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the French consul why his master had remained silent.
“The King of France does not correspond with the Dey of Algiers,” was the haughty reply, whereupon Hussein struck the consul on the cheek with his fan, and said a lot of unpleasant things of both king and consul.
That was the downfall of Algiers. A blockade was established by the French, and three years later the French army of invasion marched in. Fifteen hundred guns, seventeen ships of war, and fifty million francs fell into the hands of France, as spoil of war. Algiers was no longer the terror of the seas. Over six hundred thousand Christian people had suffered the horrors of Algerian bondage, but with that July day, 1830, came the end of this barbarism, since which time Algiers has acquired a new habit—the habit of jumping at the crack of the French whip.
I may say here in passing that we were to hear a good deal of that incident of the Dey, the French consul, and the fan. It was in the guide-books in various forms, and as soon as I got dressed and on deck one of our conductors-himself a former resident of Algiers—approached me with:
“Do you see that tower up there on the hill-top? That is the Kasba. It was in that tower that Hussein, the last Dey of Algiers, struck the French consul three times on the cheek with his fan-an act which led to the conquest of Algiers by France."
I looked at the tower with greatly renewed interest, and brought it up close to me with my glass. Then he pointed out other features of the city, fair and
beautiful in the light of morning: the mosque; the governor's palace; the Arab quarter; the villas of wealthy Algerines. He drifted away, then, and the Diplomat approached. He also had been in Algiers once before. He said:
"Do you see that tower there on the hill-top?
That is the Kasba. It was in that tower that Hussein, the last Dey of Algiers, struck the French consul three times on the cheek with his fan-an act which led to the conquest of Algiers by France.”
He went away, and I looked over the ship's side at the piratical-looking boatmen who were gathering to the attack. They were a picturesque lot—their costumes purely Oriental—their bare feet encased in shoes right out of the Arabian Nights pictures. I was just turning to remark these things to one of the Reprobates, the Colonel, when he said:
“Do you see that tower up there on the hill-top?”
“Colonel,” I said, “you've been reading your guidebook, and I saw you the other day with a book called Innocents Abroad.”.
He looked a little dazed. “Well,” he said, “what of it?”. “Nothing; only that tower seems to be another Queen's Chair.' I've been to it several times in the guide-book myself, and I've already had it twice served up by hand. Let's don't talk about it any more, until we've been ashore and had a look at it.”
WE ENTER THE ORIENT
W E went ashore, in boats to the dock, then we
V V stepped over some things, and under some things and walked through the custom-house (they don't seem to bother us at these places) and there were our carriages (very grand carriages—quite different from the little cramped jiggle-wagons of Gibraltar) all drawn up and waiting. And forthwith we found ourselves in the midst of the Orient and the Occident—a busy, multitudinous life, pressing about us, crowding up to our carriages to sell us postal cards and gaudy trinkets, babbling away in mongrel French and other motley and confused tongues.
What a grand exhibition it was to us who had come up out of the Western Ocean, only half believing that such scenes as this—throngs of sun-baked people in fantastic dress—could still exist anywhere in the world! We were willing to sit there and look at them, and I kept my camera going feverishly, being filled with a sort of fear, I suppose, that there were no other such pictures on earth and I must catch them now or never.
We were willing to linger, but not too long. We got our first lesson in Oriental deliberation right there. Guides had been arranged for and we must wait for them before we could start the procession. They did not come promptly. Nothing comes promptly in the Orient. One does not hurry the Orient-one waits on it. That is a maxim I struck out on the anvil, whitehot, that first hour in Algiers, and I am satisfied it is not subject to change. The sun poured down on us; the turbaned, burnoused, barefooted selling-men rallied more vociferously; the Reprobates invented new forms of profanity to fit Eastern conditions, and still the guides did not come.
We watched some workmen storing grain in warehouses built under the fine esplanade that flanks the water-front, and the picture they made consoled us for a time. They were Arabs of one tribe or another and they wore a motley dress. All had some kind of what seemed cumbersome head-gear-a turban or a folded shawl, or perhaps an old gunny-sack made into a sort of hood with a long cape that draped down behind. A few of them had on thick European coats over their other paraphernalia.
We wondered why they should dress in this voluminous fashion in such a climate, and then we decided