[P.312] In Four Hours And A Quarter We Passed The Village Called Mokad,
Which Also Produces Dates.
We stopped here for a quarter of an hour; where we were surrounded by
many of the inhabitants; and on remounting my camel, I found that
several trifling articles had been pilfered from my baggage.
is particularly dreaded by the Hadj caravans; and stories are related of
daring robberies committed by the Arabs which appear almost incredible.
They dress sometimes like Turkish soldiers, and introduce themselves
into the caravan while on their march during the night; and in this
manner they carried off, the year before, one of the finest led horses
of the Pasha of Damascus, the chief of the Syrian caravan. They jump
from behind upon the camel of the sleeping hadjy, stop his mouth with
their abbas, and throw down to their companions whatever valuables they
find upon him. If discovered, they draw their daggers and cut their way
through; for, if taken, they can expect no mercy. The usual mode of
punishment on such occasions, is to impale them at the moment the
caravan starts from the next station, leaving them to perish on the
stake, or be devoured by wild beasts. The horrors of such a punishment,
however, do not deter others from committing the same crimes; and
individuals among the Bedouins pride themselves in being reckoned expert
Hadj-robbers, because great courage and dexterity are necessary to such
a character. From hence our road lay N. 20 E. A barren valley about
three hundred yards across begins here, which, at the end of six hours
and a half, conducted us with many windings to Djedeyde, situated in a
spot where the road becomes straight and has a steep ascent.
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