A Handsome Pistol-Cord, With Its Tassels, Costs About 12
Shillings In Egypt; At Meccah, Or Al-Madinah, The Same
upwards of a pound sterling.
[FN#30] My diary-book was made up for me by a Cairene;
It was a long
thin volume fitting into a breast-pocket, where it could be carried
without being seen. I began by writing notes in the Arabic character,
but as no risk appeared, my journal was afterwards kept in English.
More than once, by way of experiment, I showed the writing on a loose
slip of paper to my companions, and astonished them with the strange
character derived from Solomon and Alexander, the Lord of the Two
Horns, which we Afghans still use. For a short trip a pencil suffices;
on long journeys ink is necessary; the latter article should be
English, not Eastern, which is washed out clean the first time your
luggage is thoroughly soaked with rain. The traveller may use either
the Persian or the brass Egyptian inkstand; the latter, however, is
preferable, being stronger and less likely to break. But, unless he be
capable of writing and reading a letter correctly, it would be
unadvisable to stick such an article in the waist-belt, as this gives
out publicly that he is a scribe. When sketching, the pencil is the
best, because the simplest and shortest mode of operation is required.
Important lines should afterwards be marked with ink, as "fixing" is
impossible on such journeys.
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