then presently, moved by some prompting instinct, I turned my head,
and, far off, through the narrow portal of the temple, I saw the girl-
child swathed in purple still lying, sinuously as a young snake, upon
the palm-wood roof above the brown earth wall to watch me with her
eyes of cloud and fire.
And upon me, like cloud and fire - cloud of the tombs and the great
temple columns, fire of the brilliant life painted and engraved upon
them - there stole the spell of Egypt.
I do not find in Egypt any more the strangeness that once amazed, and
at first almost bewildered me. Stranger by far is Morocco, stranger
the country beyond Biskra, near Mogar, round Touggourt, even about El
Kantara. There I feel very far away, as a child feels distance from
dear, familiar things. I look to the horizon expectant of I know not
what magical occurrences, what mysteries. I am aware of the summons to
advance to marvellous lands, where marvellous things must happen. I am
taken by that sensation of almost trembling magic which came to me
when first I saw a mirage far out in the Sahara. But Egypt, though it
contains so many marvels, has no longer for me the marvellous
atmosphere. Its keynote is seductiveness.
In Egypt one feels very safe. Smiling policemen in clothes of spotless
white - emblematic, surely, of their innocence!
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