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had turned that devil's country party started back on their to a fairyland, and dreary heavy trudge to their comlittle gares to fairy castles. pany, slipping and slithering And then, as the light went out down the shifting sides of the of the sky, Sinai turned steely golden dune, and through the grey, and prepared for the camel-thorn, while the desert infinite pity of sleep.

rats scuttled and scampered The glare and heat of the away before them. desert had died away as the That was the last seen of sand gave up its sunstroke, Havildar Muhammad Ismael and the heavens had cleared of and his nine Punjabi Muhamhaze, so that Rigel twinkled madans. to Betelgeux, and Betelgeux The sand - storm increased, across to Aldebaran, and a and obscured even the .guidgreat peace lay on the land. ing ball of the rising sun. By Away among the camps the 9 A.M. the company commander bugles had sounded Retreat, wondered where they had got since there was nothing to to. They had not arrived by hide by silence, and the long- 9.30, and he called up the drawn final notes had rolled neighbouring posts, but there over the dunes. "Whip be

'Whip be- was still no sign. Had Havildar hind !” “Whip be ... hind !” Muhammad Ismael, always a

Whip be ..... hind !” On careful Moslem of religious the Canal a passing ship was habits,

habits, deserted ? Had that lighting up the banks with the roll of the drum ecclesiastic glare of her cluster light, that been reverberating in his ears was reflected far inland, and under that quiet and soldierprevented the outlying piquets like demeanour Hardly-yet from feeling lonely.

9.30 10 10.30 Apparently the night passed news from neighbouring piqquietly enough at the outpost uets and outposts, only an of Muhammad Ismael. By orderly from the cavalry, who early dawn a strong wind had reported that the party had risen, and had set the sand last been seen trudging east a-trailing. The cavalry piquet at 7 A.M. in a sand-storm which that was to relieve Muhammad had much increased, so that Ismael arrived with difficulty now at the outpost you could at the high dune, and duly see nothing and hear less. took over the post. No Bed- The colonel of the Punjabis ouin watchers had been seen. looked unutterable things, and Muhammad Ismael and party well he might, for the honour had rolled their cloaks and of a regiment is as the honour marched

away despite the of a mistress. The Pathans heavy sand, that was drawing were different, but these lads sparks from the steel rifle- from Jhelum bank and Salt barrels. The ball of the rising Range scar! Never ! Jamais ! sun showed East and West Kubhi Nahin ! Ghair Mumkin! clear enough, and the infantry There had been foolish talk at

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headquarters of the danger of The battalion had believed Islamic fervour and sympathy that a similar tragedy had hapwith the Turkish proclamation pened to the havildar's party. of Jehad among the Indian Not so an incredulous military Moslems. But was that com- world. But, because the batpany of Punjabi Mussulmans as talion was famous since time rotten as the Pathans ? God was, and also perhaps because

The officer command- it might not be good policy to ing the latter company took admit more desertion, the ten heart of grace.

How could bis men were returned as Pathans withstand an Islamic ing,” and not as missing, excitement if the P.M.'s could believed deserted.”

And 80 not Gossip ran up and down they stand in the returns to the brigade, and the telegraph this day, forgotten of all men to Cairo clicked and muttered save their colonel and their There had been much talk company commander, and those again of this Holy War pro- village women who wait beclaimed from mosque and min- yond the Jhelum, the widows aret in the name of the Pro- and the betrothed girls who phet. The Senussi was stirring, have no husband. and men talked of a second And that is the end of the Mahdi. The Agha Khan visited unfinished story, just one forthe camps in a European suit gotten little tragedy of the war. to explain that this was not a Unfinished, or it would have Holy War.

been unfinished, but for Mr In the battalion it was firmly James Breasted. believed that Muhammad Is- What actually happened is mael had lost his way in the this. The havildar and his blinding sand, and that his party in the sand-storm had party had merely tramped till first drifted somewhat south they dropped in the waterless of their line to their company's desert. Sinai was a grim step- camp. This involved them in mother to soldiers. Once upon a mass of parallel dunes of a time, long ago, those with loose shifting sand, unaided by long memories will recall how scrub, which in other parts

, a party of the 4th Punjabis, tended to solidify the banks.

, marching out of the long-aban- Losing direction, they wandered doned frontier outpost of Rukki on, now to the right and now on the Bilooch border, wan- to the left, and at last got to a dered in a storm, off the Sakki harder surface, which, while

Sarwar-Dera Ghazi turnpike, apparently leading west, was 3

tramping the sand - dunes in really tending south-east. After circles till they were found a few miles, they wearily days afterwards trudged to climbed hillock, hoping death.

A high lighthouse in against hope that they would that dune area prevents a see some sign of the British repetition of the tragedy. camps through the driven sand.


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Disappointed and dead to the able, the interrogation began world, they sat down at the at once. After the usual quesfoot, and wrapping ears, nose, tions as to unit, and such miliand eyes in their puggaries, re- tary information as they were mained a-crouch, too weary and likely to possess, the Prussian helpless even to set a watch. changed his tone. “How is

They were aroused a bit it," he demanded, "that you later, to find themselves sur Indian Muhammadans are enrounded by a mixed force of gaged in fighting your some fifty mounted Bedouin religionists 9 Surely you are and Turkish cavalry. Resist- aware that a Holy War against ance was out of the question, the English and their Allies and they could only give up has been declared from the their arms.

The enemy had mosques of Islam." some camels with them, and The havildar thought for a the prisoners were told to climb bit, and then made answer: thereon. The whole party “This is a political war, and then marched away into the not a religious war. Therefore east, and eventually arrived at we remain with our own units, Nekl, the abandoned Egyptian and observe our enlistment oath station that was used by some and our faith with the salt we of the mounted troops of Kress eat.” Kressenstein's “ Desert That

may be," said the Force," which Djemal Pasha Prussian, and he shut his mouth had placed under his orders with a scowl. “There are ten as a reward for the energy he Turkish uniforms in the corner had shown in tackling the there. I will give you five military difficulties of Sinai. minutes to put them on or be Orders soon came to the com- shot as deserters from Islam, mandant at Nekl to send the whose lives are forfeit.' prisoners through to Beersheba, The havildar looked at the where was the base.

Prussian, and perhaps wonOn arrival at Beersheba, they dered what such as he had to had a meal and a short rest, do with the officers he knew. and then were taken before a His eye perhaps ran wild for a German officer. The Turkish minute, and then his mind took Army in Palestine had several charge, that faithful patient German officers with them in mind of the Indian soldier. various staff capacities, as well “May I have speech alone as certain German specialists with my comrades?and technical troops, while later “Three minutes," came the on came the “ Yilderim or pitiless reply. " March them

Lightning organisations of out!" actual fighting troops. It was And those ten men of the a Prussian officer of the General Jhelum and the Salt Range Staff before whom the ten held converse one with another Indian Moslems were brought,

for a brief space. An interpreter being avail- Can we imagine the scene

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in little Beersheba, where rifle-butts of their guard clanged Father Abraham fed his flocks ? on the floor. Well,” would Just a little town, where the the Prussian have said, “there Turks quite recently had es- are the uniforms; what is sayed to make a centre from your answer?” which they could control the And then-fame has blazoned Bedouin. A town square, with the answer, I hope, as jewels an office and a hospital and a that on the forefinger of time post-office, a row or two of blue sparkle for ever.

The party, gums waving in the morning soldierlike while in extremis, breeze, with rolling veldt all drew themselves up, and there round, green for a while in rang forth as fine a challenge spring, but brown the rest of to a cruel tyrant as the world the year, with now and again has ever heardà dust-devil pirouetting wider

cheers for King shins down the road. A little George !" tin-roofed dorp, for all the The Prussian lifted his hand,

Ladysmith on and they were led out through smaller scale, with Arab sheep the crowd of fierce flushed faces on the sky-line, a park of thronging the door, and a Turkish lorries in the square, volley wrote their simple vilwhere the Cape carts would be, lage names on the great book and a row of cannon.

of Fate. I cannot refrain Then the drama of the mo- from quoting that wonderful ment, the tender ruth of the verse from Malachi that always Prussian, the little group of comes to my mind whenever I Indian soldiers, and a ring of hear of some deed of sacrifice; Turkish guards, impassive, ob- it was the favourite verse of an livious after their kind of any- old Highland officer who taught thing but orders. It was ap- it to me: And they shall be parently a unanimous little mine, said the Lord of Hosts, group; one can imagine that in that day when I make up some one perhaps said “Jo my jewels." Hukm,which being interpreted Revenge and bitterness is means, whatever authority," bad for any one to harbour, in this case havildar, but the story of those lads

cheering for their King and Then with great dignity the being marched to the firing havildar will have said, Tell wall is enough to rouse all the the kaptan that we are ready”; devils of hate that can enter and the Prussian would have a man's


And Mr said, “ March them in."

Breasted, who told it me, felt The party would have filed the infinite glory and pathos of in and formed in line, or per- it all as keenly as any British haps clustered together as the officer.

“ orders."

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Pereunt et imputantur.



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OUR friend, René Guizet, the and such are the attendant little journalist of ‘Le Grand circumstances that I dare Bavard,' sat himself down at not publish it! Quelle guigne, the third table on the right in hein ? I knew I should have the Café Provençal with the your sympathy. Yes, I have air of one afflicted by a great written that story-composed weariness of the soul.

it word for word in imaginaOne remembers without tion-and not a word of it mirth, he said unsmiling, a have I set down on paper. Not particular quotation from that a line of it shall ever be set great writer, Boileau, who knew down. too much about the world ever Does that awaken curiosity ! to find happiness in it. You Your

eyes look questions. will, perhaps, recognise the pas- Good ! Dare I, then, take sage :

advantage of my position to

wreck the Government ! To Le monde est plein de fous et qui n'en

make authority bow a shamed veut pas voir,

head before the derisive laughDoit se renfermer seul et casser son miroir.'

ter of two worlds ? Pull the trigger

that would loose Yes, mes amis, that is very an international complication true. The foolishness of this which might fall to earth in world is something remarkable, some place as disastrous and one realises presently that unforeseen! No, even being the foolishness of little great myself, René Guizet, I dare men to whom we arch our not, and it breaks my heart backs in empty homage is in to know that my inky fingers no way either more or less must refrain. Yet I shall offer remarkable than the folly of myself this consolation. our good little selves.

amis, I swear you to secrecy, You ask me why I should and then I tell you this story be so melancholy that even which shall never be whispered the thought of many bocks along the boulevards—a story has no power to chase le cafard which, if it were published, from my foolish brain ? One would for ever exalt the name grants that I am not usually of 'Le Grand Bavard.' 80 afflicted, farceur that I am. But the affair was so simple But consider this, mes amis, yet so far-reaching in its effects ! then share my sorrow : I have so little happens, and that so just become possessed of the little creates an amazing situagreatest story of my career, tion which has power to move


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