Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton




























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As the black shadow mounted in the Eastern sky,[FN#17] I turned off the
road, and was suddenly saluted - Page 200
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As The Black Shadow Mounted In The Eastern Sky,[FN#17] I Turned Off The Road, And Was Suddenly Saluted By A Figure Rising From A Little Hollow With An "As' Salamu 'alaykum" Of Truly Arab Sound.[FN#18] I Looked At The Speaker For A Moment Without Recognising Him.

He then advanced with voluble expressions of joy, invited me to sup, seized

[P.152]my camel's halter without waiting for an answer, "nakh'd[FN#19]" it (i.e. forced it to kneel), led me hurriedly to a carpet spread in a sandy hollow, pulled off my slippers, gave me cold water for ablution, told me that he had mistaken me at a distance for a "Sherif" (or Prince) of the Arabs, but was delighted to find himself in error; and urged me to hurry over ablution, otherwise that night would come on before we could say our prayers. It was Mohammed al-Basyuni, the Meccan boy of whom I had bought my pilgrim-garb at Cairo. There I had refused his companionship, but here for reasons of his own-one of them was an utter want of money,- he would take no excuse. When he prayed, he stood behind me,[FN#20] thereby proving pliancy of conscience, for he suspected me from the first of being at least a heretic.

After prayer he lighted a pipe, and immediately placed the snake-like tube in my hand; this is an argument which the tired traveller can rarely resist. He then began to rummage my saddle-bags; he drew forth stores of provisions, rolls, water-melons, boiled eggs, and dates, and whilst lighting the fire and boiling the coffee, he managed to distribute his own stock, which was neither plentiful nor first-rate, to the camel-men.

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