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in his household, and mightily could he but matters that daily take up Nazarene courts of divorce. forsooth! A good old scimidamascene blade, hangs betwo silent timepieces in his in1-somewhat dull and blunt, demanding perchance a second oke to make doubly sure; yet uld it divorce a thoughtless wife ore rapidly, more effectively, than The grave deliberations of a whole mosque full of sapient fellow citizens. And Fatma has seen the old scimitar, and thinks it looks best where it hangs, and is circumspect in her glances, particularly when, in the narrow market way, her mouse-colored mule brushes the glossy black charger of the blue-eyed Nazarene riding even then to visit her owner and wondering whether that undulating form on muleback is set off by a pretty face.
Forth, then, to Si' Elarbi rides the what are Nazarene, having already visited him
of the cool hills. Such vultures! mighty, bare-necked cleaners of the earth, the chiffonniers of the desert; blessed fowl, that keep pestilence out of the land and are sometimes rewarded by a careless bullet from the barrel of some idle hound passing through the country in a brief space, and caring not a Christian dollar, so long as he gets away safe, whether the plague comes there or not!
Our wanderer was not a sportsman of this stamp. He would without a qualm shoot many a brace of plump turtle doves for lunch on the trek, but he found no pleasure in pumping bullets into a huge, unwieldy bird, so important when alive, so foul a mass of carrion, reared on carrion, when dead. In and out of their burrows flashed the lizards, brown and green, not as the Latin has it, skulking from the ardor of the midday sun, but startled merely from their basking-stones by the nearing beat of horses' hoofs. Every now and then a slow impassive chameleon would in leisurely measure cross the sunburnt path and lose itself in the brown grass by the wayside.
guest. The dishes are placed on the marble pavement before the caballero; the beehive covers of straw plaiting are removed, and one discovers black olives, another kous-kous, a third a savory mess of chickens, rice and onions. The interpreter strolls languidly towards the scene.
"Tell them," says his employer, "to give their master my greetings and best thanks for his kind remembrance of me."
"May God be with you!" says the sweet-toothed Syrian; "thank your lord for his gift, and let him see that next time he sends new dates and green figs, for truly my companion loves them above all things."
"Give them half a dollar each," drawls the Englishman; whereat the Shami' divides a quarter of a dollar among the three, makes a mental note to enter it as a dollar and a half in his weekly account of disbursements, and curses the head-slave, who murmurs a criticism of the meanness of the
baksheesh for a scurvy dog, whose mother (of like ilk) was no nicer in her conduct than she should have been. (This, by the way, is how all Englishmen-and their protégés-are treated in the East, when too lazy to distribute their own alms. Is a Syrian gentleman to have no compensation for sojourning in SO uncivilized a land?)
Silently, and with a grudging salaam, the three ill-requited blacks fade into the darkness; and the traveller tastes half a dozen of the black olives and gives the rest to his followers. These squat around the dishes and a guttering candle far into the night, chattering, singing, quarreling, withal praising Allah, who fashioned olives and chickens and fools of employers who appreciate not such gifts from Paradise. And the unconscious object of their scorn puffs away contentedly at his
cigar, giving himself up to the delicious abandon of a summer evening in a land five centuries behind the times, yet with passing qualms of regret for that home of his in the far North, where women show a little more of their person, and where cigars need not to be harvested on famine rations and gold flake treasured as if it were the precious metal itself.
Morocco is a paradise for the woman-hater. He who hath been scurvily served by the unfair sex may there find balm for his bruised spirit. Either woman is not seen at all or, if noticed in the public ways, is cursed and cuffed. Her highest ambition is to batten on sweetstuff as a caged bird on rapeseed; when her youth and beauty leave her, and kohl and henna no longer stave off the ravages of time and domesticity, she is thrown on public charity as a private nuisance. To the Moslem way of thinking, the New Woman would be as impossible of acceptance as is the New Testament. During his first few days in the land, any Englishman feels his blood boil at sight of skinny and uncomplaining old hags keeping pace painfully on the hot, sandy highway beside the mule that bears their husband, son, or brother; but habit softens the shock, and to his first impulse of rebellion in favor of an innovation of "equality" much abused in the fair cities of the North there succeeds a cynical acquiescence in this compensating survival of male ascendency and female obsequiousness, this relic of the old order, at the gates of Europe and not quite at the antipodes of New York.
Woman in Morocco, he soon perceives, is no more than a domesticated animal; but then students of social evolution assure us that she was once on that footing, purchased and fed that she might do the work of the house and bear the race, in what are
now civilized communities. It is the utter misconception of the romance of marriage that has raised her to a throne that she often shows herself wholly unable to grace. They manage these things differently in Morocco. The grave old pacha pays a good price to her parents for Fatma, and Fatma by that same token he keeps within doors, carrying the key of her apartments in his sash, or entrusting it to a slave answerable with his head. Fatma is pampered as long as she is young, and may even be treated with kindness in middle age. She can eat sweet cakes and drink green tea or sherbet, and deck her comely form in shoddy jewellery; and she can ride to the bath, closely veiled, and get a passing glimpse of the outer world, of which, on marriage, she took leave like any Christian novice taking the veil. And the good Si' Elarbi, her lord, is secure in his household, and would chuckle mightily could he but read of the matters that daily take up the time of Nazarene courts of divorce.
Divorce, forsooth! A good old scimitar, with damascene blade, hangs between two silent timepieces in his inner hall-somewhat dull and blunt, and demanding perchance a second stroke to make doubly sure; yet would it divorce a thoughtless wife more rapidly, more effectively, than the grave deliberations of a whole mosque full of sapient fellow citizens. And Fatma has seen the old scimitar, and thinks it looks best where it hangs, and is circumspect in her glances, particularly when, in the narrow market way, her mouse-colored mule brushes the glossy black charger of the blue-eyed Nazarene riding even then to visit her owner and wondering whether that undulating form on muleback is set off by a pretty face.
many times, and having in the first instance sent him presents of clocks and preserved ginger and silver-plated trays and ambergris and sweetmeats. The influential Elarbi may or may not make himself agreeable in return in the matter of a privy trading concession down on the ocean coast, where his brother is a mighty tribal chieftain, having power over full five thousand brawny and fanatical Arabs mouthing the Shellah' and willing to barter wrought copper against American rifles, or, better still, to get possession of the rifles and then withhold the equivalent, gaining such time as shall enable the troops of el Sidna' to swoop down and declare this trading with the unredeemed to be illicit. So long as the Powers mistrust one another, and the Moorish Government (with good cause) mistrusts them all, such irregular trading is certain to proceed. tune is that the importation of more rifles only aggravates the Morocco difficulty; but this is no problem for the simple mercantile mind that wants its honest hundred per cent. on the firearms and then to be quit for good and all of the country.
Beside the scheming Frank rides his interpreter, and before them runs their soldier, clearing the way and every now and again fetching a deft blow with his switch that achieves the lovelock of a Riffian or the pendulous and frothy lip of a camel. "Out of the way! out of the way, O you whose mulish mother is even now vainly kicking at the gate of Paradise! Out of the way for my lord caballero inglés, O son of a mother whose consent was foregone! May your father burn merrily in the pit! Out of the way, O bastard camel, mother of slowness, abode of dirt! Balak! balak! balak!" Thus runs the chant thoughtfully intoned by this precursor, and it is scarcely to be won
A language spoken in the Sus and generally Bouth of the Atlas.
dered at if the welcome he prepares for his patron should at times lack the display of enthusiasm, conveyed rather by wrathful frown and by spitting on the ground and murmuring against being thus ridden down by a Christian within the shadow of the Mosque.
Arrived at the gateway of the great man's dwelling, the party halts, and some moments elapse ere a crowd of lazy slaves and servile freedmen, loafing on a bench and criticising the newcomer, particularly his hat and halfboots, are scattered by the fine profanities of the soldier and interpreter, with whom one of their number is soon busy negotiating the baksheesh that shall be his if he instantly conducts them to his master's presence. As a matter of fact, his master is not within, for his chance of driving something of a bargain, already slender enough with the Syrian (who at least permits no one else to rob his own private preserve), vanishes with the clattering of mule-hoofs further up the alley, and the curses of a mangy dame flung against the wall.
In courteous greeting the approaching lord of the garden bends to his horse's neck, but not instantly may his guest follow him within the gates. Fatma, it is true, is absent, but there are other ladies to be warned off to their own apartments, and only after several minutes, with distant suggestion of the opening and slamming (ay, and bolting) of gates, does mine host once more appear in the archway of the courtyard, his somewhat sensual face wreathed in the smiles of prospective hospitality. Enter to him the booted and spurred Lothario from the North, who momentarily feels the disadvantage to which khaki shootingsuit, half-boots, and Panama straw are seen beside the flowing white robes, yellow slippers, and beautifully folded
'Our lord,' 1. e. the Sultan.
10 I. e. 'Out of the way! Look out!'
turban of the country. The Moslem motions his guest to a small and comfortless cane chair, and gracefully subsides on an orange-colored mattress beneath a shelf that proudly bears six clocks, all ticking loudly, all marking different hours, recalling to the Englishman a ladies' congress that he once was privileged to witness from 8 barred guichet, when all the fair ones talked together and each voiced a different opinion.
The hour is the hour of the afternoon prayer, and the old Moor is straight from Mosque, where he has recited the holy writings and droned the articles of that wonderful faith of trust and bloodshed, and great possibilities of proselytizing, and of trouble by no means ended with the nineteenth century.
"God be with you!" says the old gentleman amiably; "and I trust that to-day's mails from Bernsara brought you good news of your home." This apparently inane politeness was, in point of fact, a time-saving attack on the main business of the visit; but the Anglo-Saxon had, for all his young fair face and innocent blue eyes, learnt things on his travels, and he astutely bade his interpreter parry the thrust with a polite assurance that his father was quite well (the old kadi wished devoutly in his heart that his visitor's father might, for all he cared, burn in the pit), and that his brother had gone forth to fight his Sultana's enemies. "Who were the enemies this time?" asks the old gentleman. "Not the Francés, the nation without a ruler? Not the Pruss, who drink much yellow beer-men large in the waist, who ask no indemnities of our lord the Sultan? nor the Italians, nor Mosko, nor Austriaca! The Dutch? Who were the Dutch? Tradition has it that a Dutchman once embraced Ul Islam and became Wazeer and chief of the army-a false, ingratiating dog, who betrayed
every master he had ever served, and recanted every faith he had ever professed. But nowadays the Dutch trouble us not, and I doubt if there is one in all Maghreb. Still," concluded the old rogue, "it is my wish that your brother's arms may triumph, for are you not my friend?"
At length, after much more exchange of compliment, waning patience, and mutual resolve to give over with fooling, these different types of moneymaking humanity were on the right footing and came to the business of the day. Quoth the Englishman, per interpreter, "What says my friend's good brother to the syndicate's offer? In what terms has he answered my friend's letter?"
"God is great" answered the gentle Moor, parting his grizzled beard with delicate white fingers. "Two moons ago I had already apprised my brother, the Fki Mnasr, of your arrival from Bernsara, and, lo, he answered not. Only yesterday, though, at the hour of the evening prayer, there rode to my garden a trusted messenger from my brother. O Hmad!"-this summons brought from behind a pillar, where he had apparently been eavesdropping, a coal-black slave, who rolled the whites of his eyes encouragingly on his owner's guest. A whispered order sent this pampered animal away into the house, whence he presently emerged with a letter, oblong and redsealed, and flanked by two female slaves bearing aloft trays with tea, coffee, cakes and sweetmeats various. Gravely, and with due attention to an operation so important, the host added mint and sugar to a pot already overflowing in the electro-plated tray. Then refreshment was served. The old gentleman adjusted a pair of enormous round horn-rimmed goggles, and proceeded to read aloud, with a hesitation suggestive of elimination and selection, from the now unfolded letter.