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"What petition shall I make?" He is a youth of twenty or thereabouts, married to a young person of twelve or thirteen who stays with his mother. The society of neither of these ladies seems to interest him too intensely. He prefers to live in the stable with the other boys and the calf; he also loves to harden the mouth of the sah'b's horse; and when the time comes to work in the garden is he most in his element. We finally had to hide from him a pruning-knife we had obtained from abroad, so vastly did he prefer that toy to a dish-rag or a duster. I can't say that I blame him. He is much slower and stupider than is common in his quick witted race; but it takes a great deal to ruffle his temper, and the later we keep him up at night the better pleased he seems to be. He it was who during a period of interregnum spread the table for the sah'b's first bachelor dinner-party with one of the khanum's sheets, and not one of the best. Later in the evening, when supplementary refreshments were served, I noticed that Habib had covered a tray with one of the discarded napkins of the dinner-table. It was not really dirty, he afterward explained, and it seemed a pity. to risk spoiling a new lace doily! I discovered, though, that he was an excellent hand at decorating a dinner-table. Without any orders he once picked a lot of hyacinths to pieces and traced with the single flowers so pretty a pattern on the table-cloth that

I had n't the heart to affront him by changing it, though it was a little more feminine than I would have chosen for bachelors' hall. So does the genius of his race for design come out even in his humble fingers. On the whole I have learned more from him than he from me; as when he will politely take the store-room key in both hands, or ceremoniously call one aside in consultation, saying, "Without trouble, bring your honor here," or on state occasions serve tea on his knees. And he has given us strange glimpses of the world he lives in by speaking darkly of jinn in connection with some one's illness, and by telling us, when a lost watch was found in the house, that he had burned candles for its recovery.

The true head of the service is Mehmet Ali, the cook. Mehmet Ali was brought up as a butler, and an excellent one he is, though afflicted with a slight disfigure

ment of the mouth and a stammering of the tongue. But a domestic crisis drove him into the kitchen, where he quickly learned to make pancakes and cakes much more complicated as well as he did sauces and curries for pilau. which really sounds more like pileu, if you will pronounce it in the Ital

ian way. Consequently there are times when we are moved to call Mehmet Ali out of his kitchen and to say to him, with due ceremony, "Mehmet Ali, may your hand feel no pain." A

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By H. G. DWIGHT

Author of "Stamboul Nights," "Like Michael," etc.

Illustrations by Wilfred Jones

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THE CARAVAN

With my own eyes I saw in the desert That the deliberate man outstripped him who had hurried on.

The wind-footed steed is broken down in

his course,

While the camel-driver jogs on with his beast to the end of the journey.

ON

-SADI: "The Flower-Garden."

NE of my study windows, catching all the sun of the south, faces a narrow, tilted country of gardens, darkly walled by a semicircle of mountains. One of bedroom windows gives me my glimpse of sparser gardens and the claycolored town and the plain that dips and rises delicately against the north. But both rooms look east, into the desert.

It is the kind of desert that the Persians call biaban, not the vaster and more desolate lut. Beyond our own, however, no garden wall ventures into it. Neither house nor poplar breaks the simplicity of its flowing lines. The empty land droops away toward the left, intercepted only by the Musalla, that barren bluff which archæologists like to fancy the site of seven-walled Ecbatana. Not quite opposite my windows a smaller hill,

a

bare and pointed like a cone, pricks the horizon. Beyond it lies an invisible hollow, the farther edge of which marks the limit of my visible world.

Of the sights to be seen from the four sides of our house this view offers least. Yet because it is mine I like it, and because it is so open and solitary, and because the faithful Persian sun rarely disappoints me there of his morning miracle, and because at night stars hang there of a brilliancy I have never seen, and so low that I can watch them from my bed. And I am new enough from the West never to forget that those windows look into Asia. Beyond that uneven rim of the east lies Kum. Beyond Kum is the lut, that great desert which has small reason to be less renowned than Gobi and the Sahara. Beyond the lut are Afghanistan, and Kashmir, and Tibet.

In the morning the sun looks strange to me, because he is fresh from Tibet and Kashmir and Afghanistan. At night the stars make me wonder what other watchers see them-what riders of camels, what prowlers of the dark, what sitters by red embers. How many times have I made in imagination that journey eastward from my window, across

wastes of salt and sand and poisoned water, through forests and glaciers that prop the sky, into valleys the wildest and most secret of the earth, that journey which no man of the West could make alone or undisguised and come alive into the uplands of China. And if he did, no man of all he met could understand the reason of his coming. They have no curiosity about us, the lands we live in, the things we live for. Why have we so continuing a curiosity about them? Is it that in those distant and silent places we would not once hear a factory whistle or see a railroad track? Is it the lure of their jealous seclusion? Of their cloudy antiquity? Is it a simple astonishment that men can be content with so little, find the sight of the sun enough, and the sound of known voices? Who knows but there might be in it some vague ancestral stirring of nostalgia or a secret question of our own unrest? What if, after all, they of the East see the end from the beginning, and live a life more intense than we? But even there whistles begin to sound. Nearer and nearer creep the rails that thread the ends of the world. And what then? I could never tell all I see in the desert at night.

In the daytime I am more concerned with what passes between our garden wall and the crumpled rim of the horizon. There is no great passing on that tawny slope save of light and shadow, for the highways all march out of the town in other directions. Runnels of

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water flash in the sun at their seasons. In
the autumn and in the spring oxen tickle
the earth with the little wooden plow of
Asia. There is a time when I watch the
rippling of wheat like a lake. That is also
the time when I may hear, heightened by
distance, a melancholy singing. Peasants
occasionally pass, with russet rags flapping
about bare knees. A rare horseman gal-
lops afar, his dark mantle eddying behind
him.
tinkling from nowhere to nowhere.
Mules and donkeys are less rare,

Silence is so much the note of the place
that I was astonished one winter after-
noon to hear a new sound, a jingle-jangle
that grew louder as I listened. I was the
more astonished because snow was deep
on the ground, and passers had been fewer
than ever.
I went to the window to look.
Camels! Out of the crack between Mu-
salla and the town they came, the dark
line of them lengthening obliquely across
the snow till it reached the corner of the
garden above ours. I am a child about
camels. I shall never see enough of them.
It is not only their strangeness, however,
symbol of Asia.
which for us of the West makes them the
They are immensely
decorative in themselves, though they are
so much the color of the lands they live
in that they have a curious power of in-
visibility, for creatures so large, unless you
catch them against the sky. But the snow
brought out the silhouettes of these the

more fantastically because of the
loads lashed on each side of their
humps. I caught glimpses of sad-

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[graphic]

By H. G. DWIGHT

Author of "Stamboul Nights," "Like Michael," etc.

Illustrations by Wilfred Jones

[graphic]

THE CARAVAN

With my own eyes I saw in the desert That the deliberate man outstripped him who had hurried on.

The wind-footed steed is broken down in

his course,

While the camel-driver jogs on with his beast to the end of the journey.

-SADI: "The Flower-Garden."

NE of my study windows, catching

Ο
ONE of sun of the south, faces a nar-

row, tilted country of gardens, darkly walled by a semicircle of mountains. One of my bedroom windows gives me a glimpse of sparser gardens and the claycolored town and the plain that dips and rises delicately against the north. But both rooms look east, into the desert.

It is the kind of desert that the Persians call biaban, not the vaster and more desolate lut. Beyond our own, however, no garden wall ventures into it. Neither house nor poplar breaks the simplicity of its flowing lines. The empty land droops away toward the left, intercepted only by the Musalla, that barren bluff which archæologists like to fancy the site of seven-walled Ecbatana. Not quite opposite my windows a smaller hill,

bare and pointed like a cone, pricks the horizon. Beyond it lies an invisible hollow, the farther edge of which marks the limit of my visible world.

Of the sights to be seen from the four sides of our house this view offers least. Yet because it is mine I like it, and because it is so open and solitary, and because the faithful Persian sun rarely disappoints me there of his morning miracle, and because at night stars hang there of a brilliancy I have never seen, and so low that I can watch them from my bed. And I am new enough from the West never to forget that those windows look into Asia. Beyond that uneven rim of the east lies Kum. Beyond Kum is the lut, that great desert which has small reason to be less renowned than Gobi and the Sahara. Beyond the lut are Afghanistan, and Kashmir, and Tibet.

In the morning the sun looks strange to me, because he is fresh from Tibet and Kashmir and Afghanistan. At night the stars make me wonder what other watchers see them-what riders of camels, what prowlers of the dark, what sitters by red embers. How many times have I made in imagination that journey eastward from my window,

across

wastes of salt and sand and poisoned water, through forests and glaciers that prop the sky, into valleys the wildest and most secret of the earth, that journey which no man of the West could make alone or undisguised and come alive into the uplands of China. And if he did, no man of all he met could understand the reason of his coming. They have no curiosity about us, the lands we live in, the things we live for. Why Why have we so continuing a curiosity about them? Is it that in those distant and silent places we would not once hear a factory whistle or see a railroad track? Is it the lure of their jealous seclusion? Of their cloudy antiquity? Is it a simple astonishment that men can be content with so little, find the sight of the sun enough, and the sound of known voices? Who knows but there might be in it some vague ancestral stirring of nostalgia or a secret question of our own unrest? What if, after all, they of the East see the end from the beginning, and live a life more intense than we? But even there whistles begin to sound. Nearer and nearer creep the rails that thread the ends of the world. And what then? I could never tell all I see in the desert at night.

In the daytime I am more concerned with what passes between our garden wall and the crumpled rim of the horizon. There is no great passing on that tawny slope save of light and shadow, for the highways all march out of the town in other directions. Runnels of

water flash in the sun at their seasons. In the autumn and in the spring oxen tickle the earth with the little wooden plow of Asia. There is a time when I watch the rippling of wheat like a lake. That is also the time when I may hear, heightened by distance, a melancholy singing. Peasants occasionally pass, with russet rags flapping about bare knees. A rare horseman gallops afar, his dark mantle eddying behind him. Mules and donkeys are less rare, tinkling from nowhere to nowhere.

Silence is so much the note of the place that I was astonished one winter afternoon to hear a new sound, a jingle-jangle that grew louder as I listened. I was the more astonished because snow was deep on the ground, and passers had been fewer than ever. I went to the window to look. Camels! Out of the crack between Musalla and the town they came, the dark line of them lengthening obliquely across the snow till it reached the corner of the garden above ours. I am a child about camels. I shall never see enough of them. It is not only their strangeness, however, which for us of the West makes them the symbol of Asia. They are immensely decorative in themselves, though they are so much the color of the lands they live in that they have a curious power of invisibility, for creatures so large, unless you catch them against the sky. But the snow brought out the silhouettes of these the

more fantastically because of the loads lashed on each side of their humps. I caught glimpses of sad

[graphic]
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