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that it would be better to return whence I had come, especially since the desert was hot and full of hardship, the Beni Lam up in arms, etc. But I was obstinate, said that my opinion of Arab hospitality had received rude shock, and that whatever hardships were ahead could not last longer than two days, which was not prohibitive. Finally a young Arab agreed to take me a roundabout way under cover of darkness, to act as guide, and cast me on the mercies of Mithikal Sheik of the Beni Said at the edge of the desert, to all of which I agreed except the night part.
I hope that horse is dead now-he spoiled incipient spiritual thoughts.
High mounds, all that remain of some ancient Chaldean city, were scattered about, each in turn serving as a landmark, and behind each in turn the guide promised that should see the black tents of Mithkal. When an Arab points with his beard and says: “There it is," depend on it you have still a day to travel ; when he says he sees it, six hours is a low figure; when he claims to smell the camp coffee, three hours at least. Fortunately I did not know that then. And so, buoyed up with false hopes, we crept on, watering our horses at one place from a brackish pool left by the rain. At four in the afternoon the guide registered an oath by my head that behind the next landmark we would goal. We passed the mound, met a wandering Arab, and found that Mithkal had moved two days to the south. But on we went, hoping to find some shelter, to seek Mithkal any more being now out of the question.
On the horizon loomed a small camp, and thither
rode, and found to our joy that it was one of Withkal's tents left behind for some of the horses and slaves. But the slaves seemed sliy of me, and adlvised me to hurry on to the edge of the desert, a distance of three hours, where Sheik Ismail might entertain us. So on again, hoping to reach Ismail before dark. But my horse now began to hang his head low, and the other to stumble painfully. At that rate we could hope to make 10 progress and then, thank God! behind a slight elevation we spied a group of tents, to which we turned for shelter.
The sheik came out to meet IIS, took my reins and as I jumped from the saddle salaamed me warmly, and handing the horse to a servant led the way into the tent. The sun was still hot, but the cover of goat's hair gave sufficient shelter, and I stretched my weary limbs, thankful
It was finally decided to start at the first streaks of dawn. After supper
the mudir kindly took me for a walk in the desert, and then a two-hours' talk at the cloor of his hut, while the Arabs gathered and plied me with questions about Frankistar. As evidence of our genius in machinery, a Dover egg beater was produced, used by the mudir for making butter in small quantities. He had just brought it from Bagdad. Amid the "ajeebs" of the bystanders it was pronounced a marvel.
At dawn I was awakened by a servant who brought tea and a small piece of Arab bread. After a short delay the horses were brought, my cook and I mounted, the guide followed afoot, and with loud cries of “Ya Allah," we turned our faces into the desert.
In the Desert Sand! sand! sand !-everywhere sand! and as the sun rose higher the glare became blinding; but I drew my kafial well over eves and experienced little discomfort, except from my horse, which was blind on his port side, and persisted in drifting to starboard. Vigorous kicks in the ribs were of no avail, the beast would only "heist," as the boys used to say, and keep on drifting. until I tied the left rein short to the sadcile horn, and, thus properly "reefed in," he kept the course.
for so much of the journey over. Ismail, as I first intended, but to The tribe soon gathered, the sheik llassan-el-Hakkam, as roasted, pounded and brewed the more likely to be found there. Three coffee at the door of the tent, and hours brought us to the edge of the before long we were chatting in a
, friendly manner. I shall long re
drowned out by the recent rains, member with gratitude the gaunt smoking a disconsolate water-pipe. Sheik Nasif, rude and rough, but There the guide left us, after vainly a gentleman at heart. To-day, as I trying to extort more backsheesh, to sit in my room at Busrah, I can, the tender mercies of the drownedstill imagine myself back in that out sheik. camp, can still see the traveling Per- It was now ten in the morning of sian merchant measuring out yards Monday, and the needs of the inner and yards of red and white Man- man began to make themselves felt. chester cloth, the women busily Since the evening of Saturday we pounding grain, and can still hear had had only one meal, and that at the rustle of the whispering "Sa
short rations. Sheik Hassan had rahs" peeping at me through a hole anticipated my needs, however, and in the flap that separated us from announced that after dinner I should the harem.
be free to begin my swamp journey. At nightfall the horses were gath- With eager eyes I watched for the cred and tethered in a circle within
coming platter, and when it came the camp, the fires were lighted and my heart sank-a huge slap of ricesupper served-rice, a chicken, and bread baked in dung-ashes, hard as a bowl of water. Careful question- leather, and a decayed fish which ing as to our whereabouts, aided gave notice of its presence from afar by rough observations taken by a I fell to for hospitality's sake and pocket compass, revealed the fact tried to be happy, but it was a failthat we were then seventy-five miles ure. The mud-like slab would not due east from Jilat Sikron the go down, so to give the appearance Shatt-el-Hai. The sheik gave me
of appreciation I slipped a huge choice of sleeping in the tent or un
chunk into my pocket, which I later der the stars. For various reasons shied at a mud-turtle. The fish still I chose to sleep in the open, and so
haunts me. A canoe was promised my blanket was spread on the sand,
when the sun should have declined and
camels' hair pillow a little, and so we drearily waited swarming with fleas given for my in the goats'-hair tent, gasping for bed. I slept soundly that night de- air in that low-lying hollow, while spite the dew, which by morning had
the desert-flies stung like needles. the effect of fine rain. At the first streak of dawn I was awakened by
Canoeing Among Robbers the bustle and stir of the women At four in the afternoon an old breaking camp.
announced that her and rolled up, and all were waiting was now at my service, so my box the sheik's word to move.
was shouldered, or, rather, “headed," And now the guide from Hataman and after a brief salaam became sullen, and demanded more Sheik Hassan to complain of his "backsheesh." He did not know hard luck, and started across the the rest of the wav; he was afraid
swamp. It was really a beautiful to go farther, as there was a blood- ride--no longer hot, the water fine feud on between his tribe and the and clear, the air fragrant with the marsh Arabs. But after the promise odor of many marsh flowers, while of a mejidie (80 cents) he consented, gorgeous birds started up at our apand we mounted and rode on, not to proach. For three hours we pad
dled steadily on, and then on asking "skill" was indicated, and in a trice whither I was being taken I was ab all the lame,, blind and halt were ruptly told that, on account of a re summoned. The varieties of diseases cent feud, we should have to make a treated by
twelve medicines wide detour and, instead of going to would put an American practitioner Sheik Soleima, were to be cast on to shame. Bicarbonate of soda, tonic Sheik Mussellem. Just as the sun and calomel, quinine and zinc sulsank in the west Mussellem's camp phate, iodine, boracic acid and brohove in sight, the first of the real mide covered the ground of the Ma’dan. Here and there a canoe whole British pharmacopoeia. lay idly swinging at its rope of twist At last the sheik cried "Enough," ed reeds, but for the rest, not a soul ordered the crowd to disperse, and in sight, when all of a sudden we when they lingered, vigorously scatturned a corner and the canoe tered them hither and thither with cleverly beached in front of the
his huge fists and feet. Then for sheik's hut, lapped on four sides an hour we sat in front of the door by water.
of the hut on a mat, while two hunMussellem himself stepped for dred of the tribe gathered in a close ward, a huge, half-naked savage, semicircle about me. In the backwith hair to his shoulders. As he ground herds of water-buffalos snortgave me his hand, I said, “Dakhil,”
ed in the water. An old woman and he quietly led the way into the
up, gingerly touched
my hut. But no
sooner had I become glasses, and asked if I had been seated than the whole tribe gathered, born with them on. A huge savage looking like so
water-rats whom I had noticed came in with children entirely naked, women half, the sheik when I
asked to and men entirely, except for open my box, put his finger on my breech-cloth. The hut was filled to heart, and slowly said: “We had suffocation, men,
women, children made up our minds to stab you there, crowding closer and closer, and still but when we found you were a doccoming. The first word the sheik tor we concluded to wait. Now you said was, “You are a deserting offi are safe, and we trust you.” Cheercer of the Turkish army."
ing words, those! I quizzically asked doubt had good reasons for his suis whether my “dakhil" had not picions, as my cook resembled a sured my safety, but he only ansoldier, and with my gaiters and swered, "We are Ma'dan." khakis and white head-dress, I looked Then the sheik made a proposiconsiderably like
hard-luck tion. He would build me a hut, give lieutenant.
me his niece, a girl of fourteen, to At a word from the sheik the hut wife, and I must stay among them. was cleared and we were left alone. The crowd murmured in approval. After five minutes the sheik and The bride would be brought next five men filed in, pointed at my box morning and the ceremonies at once and demanded to know its contents. performed. I thanked the sheik for I assured him that it contained medi his kindness, assured him that I cine, that I was a traveling doctor would be proud to be his nephew, seeking to please Allah by treating but that there was one great obstacle the sick free. So he brought for at present—my medicine was nearly ward a gray-headed villain writhing gone. If he would treat me well in the agonies of colic, and said he and give me a canoe next morning, would test my skill. Fortunately I
and help me
on my way, I would had a bottle of morphine pills in my proceed to Amasa, replentish mu kit, and in five minutes the patient stock of drugs, and if God willed, was calmly sleeping at my feet. My return. And I do want to return if
the Church will provide the doctor. box and refused to let it go, saving My excuse seemed reasonable, and it was to be held as a guarantee of Mussellem promised to let me go
return. But the chief rudely After a hearty supper of buffalo kicked the intruder away and we milk and rice, an entertainment was were off, to be cast on the hospitality planned for my benefit. The "bucks" of Kheinuba two hours down. We of the tribe gathered, and filled the passed up the small stream which hut to Overflowing. In the center here has separated itself from the a bunch of reeds was kept burning marsh, past miles and miles of huts, for light, and at my side stood the and at last into the open lake beperformer. He sang of the deeds of yond. The canoe
was small, the his fathers, then of the clisgrace of wind had risen and the waves were Sheik Seihud, who two weeks be- high; the water came in by bucketfore had been routed with a loss of fuls, and I had already begun to two hundred men in an invasion into calculate whether I could swim to ,these parts. Then the singer sang the opposite shore now looming up of my virtues and "skill"'; I was tall in the haze. But a Va'eidi is a and supple as a marsh reed, my eyes skilled canoeist, and
he reached the eyes of a young buffalo, etc. Kheinuba. (Let the Board of Trustees take no- About half a mile from his hut tice-examine your next candidate we grounded the canoe to stop a leak, for buffalo eyes.) It was a strange
and then I bribed the big paddler in sight, the rush-fire fitfully ligliting the stern to go on to the next camp. up the savage countenances,
the four hours away, where I had heard antics of the singer, while the wa- was a Nejde chief, Yuseph, who had ter-pipe kept going the rounds. settled among the Va clan. A Sejdi
And then I thought--and started is always an honorable host, less at the thought--are these also my treacherous than the Ma'dan, and brethren? Must I love even these, this particular one the most powerand if need be give my life to re- ful chief in the whole district. We claim them? Yes, if Christ died for threw out the guide from lussellem, greater sacrifice than
gave him a tin tobacco box and told His
ever made. o Church him to be quiet, and sped on to Yuof the living God! in what are you seph. Then the canoe turned into better than these children of nature? a rapid, turbulent river, on and on Your good clothes, your education, till Yuseph's fort came into view-which is, sadly enough, mostly of a huge mud structure bearing marks head and little of heart, your morals, of the recent fracas. We landed opyour manners? Does He regard posite; I got out and walked into the clothes, or a little Latin and Greek, *mudhif" and sat in the guests' or a code of morals or Chesterfield- place. The whole concourse rose to ian manners? Saved by grace and salaam. I at once asked for a cigarenlightened because had the ette, and was safe, according to all chance—no merit to us. The rush- rules of Arab etiquette. I think St. light climwed and died, but not so Paul himself would not have let a will the loving God quench the smo- cigarette stand in the way under king flax.
similar circumstances. Altho they That night I slept next to the speculated among themselves, and plunder taken from Seihud a fort- audibly; as to my identity and businight before. At lawn I asked per- ness, some questioned me directly. A mission to go; my box was hauled young Arab swore that he knew me out, the canoe brought up, and when a distinguished officer of the I wanted to embark bear-like Turkish army, and to this was atMa eidi quietly seated himself on my tributed my Arabic brogue. Feign
ing weariness, I lay down and slept At 4 p. m. we reached Amara, tired to prevent further questioning. After and hot, but happy, for the missionary a hearty dinner of rice and mutton, and not the government expedition a canoe was brought up, three armed had drawn a fine red line across the men were sent with us as guard, and blank space on the map. we left Yuseph's camp.
Of what benefit was the trip into l'p the river, hour after hour, past the wild country? mud forts recently shot to pieces, till 1. It proves that the Ma’eidi can near sunset the Turkish flag greeted be reached in his home, and that it our eyes, and we reached a military is safe to go among them, if the outpost of the government. Never Church will send out a young, healthy before was I so glad to see the star doctor, handy with the knife, who and crescent, for it meant, at any loves a little of Bohemian life for rate, safety—and bread.
six months a year—the grandest dir heartily welcomed us, brought opportunity ever offered a young tea, brought supper, and then we man to mold a whole people, numclimbed to the roof of his mud-fort, bering thousands, into the image of for the air was close, I could have Christ. hugged that kindly Turk--no better 2. I have an inkling that we are host ever bade me welcome in an on the right clue to successful misAmerican parlor.
sionary work in Turkey. The govThe next morning I left in a large ernment officials at Amara now becanoe, with no guard, to go twenty-five lieve me when I say that our motto miles to Amara. With us embarked is. “Glory to God and love to man.” an Arab woman with four children Islam contains no such element. and an infant. The sun was hot, the 3. The course of two rivers was dried skins in the canoe at my head traced and roughly mapped, soil exfearfully odorous, the flies tortured, amined, antiquities located, peculbut Amara was near, and we minded iarities of language and customs nothing About ten miles below noted-all interesting side issues Amara the Vujer-es-Saghir joins the which may some day be of value in Tigris with a rush.
the regeneration of Mesopotamia.
THE MISSIONARY WORK OF FRENCH PROTESTANTS*
BY W. SOLTA', PARIS, FRANCE The Protestant population of ments twenty have Protestant France is not more than 2 per cent. church at all, and twenty-four have of the whole, between 650,000 and but one church in each. Thus in 700,000 only of the thirty-nine mil more than one-half of the country lions of France being called Prot there is not yet one church in a Deestant; and when deduction is made partment. In and around Paris they of children and of those who are but number about 60,000. such in name, and whose life and There are about 1,200 Protestant acts in no way distinguish them from churches, of which 900 belong to the their Roman Catholic neighbors, it Eglise Réformée and 100 to the will be seen that the number belong - Lutherans: the remainder belong to ing to the churches is much the Free, Weslevan, and Baptist deduced.
nominations. There are also gathThe Protestants are very unequally erings of the brethren in many parts. divided. In the eighty-six Depart Then there are the mission halls of
Condensed from the Evangelical Alliance Quarterly.