Having Passed Through This
Trouble I Immediately Fell Into Another.
My hardly-earned Alexandrian
passport required a double visa, one at the Police office, the other at
the Consul's. After returning to Egypt, I found it was the practice of
[P.128]who required any civility from Dr. Walne, then the English
official at Cairo, to enter the "Presence" furnished with an order from
the Foreign Office.
I had neglected the precaution, and had ample reason to regret having
done so. Failing at the British Consulate, and unwilling to leave Cairo
without being "en regle,"-the Egyptians warned me that Suez was a place
of obstacles to pilgrims,[FN#18]-I was obliged to look elsewhere for
protection. My friend Haji Wali was the first consulted; after a long
discussion he offered to take me to his Consul, the Persian, and to
find out for what sum I could become a temporary subject of the Shah.
We went to the sign of the "Lion and the Sun," and we found the
dragoman,[FN#19] a subtle Syrian Christian, who,
[p.129]after a rigid inquiry into the state of my purse (my country was
no consideration at all[FN#20]), introduced me to the Great Man. I have
described this personage once already, and he merits not a second
notice. The interview was truly ludicrous. He treated us with exceeding
hauteur, motioned me to sit almost out of hearing, and after rolling
his head in profound silence for nearly a quarter of an hour,
vouchsafed the information that though my father might be a Shirazi,
and my mother an Afghan, he had not the honour of my acquaintance.
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