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

 -  Before noon a small caravan which followed us came
in with two dead bodies,-a trooper shot by the Badawin - Page 350
Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton - Page 350 of 571 - First - Home

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Before Noon A Small Caravan Which Followed Us Came In With Two Dead Bodies,-A Trooper Shot By The Badawin,

And an Albanian killed by sun-stroke, or the fiery wind.[FN#1] Shortly after mid-day a Caravan, travelling

In an opposite direction, passed by us; it was composed chiefly of Indian pilgrims, habited in correct costume, and hurrying towards Meccah in hot haste. They had been allowed to pass unmolested, because probably a pound sterling could not have been collected from a hundred pockets, and Sa'ad the Robber sometimes does a cheap good deed. But our party,

[p.266] having valuables with them, did not seem to gather heart from this event. In the evening we all went out to see some Arab Shaykhs who were travelling to Bir Abbas in order to receive their salaries. Without such douceurs, it is popularly said and believed, no stone walls could enable a Turk to hold Al-Hijaz against the hill-men. Such was our system in Afghanistan-most unwise, teaching in limine the subject to despise rulers subject to blackmail. Besides which, these highly paid Shaykhs do no good. When a fight takes place or a road is shut, they profess inability to restrain their clansmen; and the richer they are, of course the more formidable they become. The party looked well; they were Harb, dignified old men in the picturesque Arab costume, with erect forms, fierce thin features, and white beards, well armed, and mounted upon high-bred and handsomely equipped dromedaries from Al-Shark.[FN#2] Preceded by their half-naked clansmen, carrying spears twelve or thirteen feet long, garnished with single or double tufts of black ostrich feathers, and ponderous matchlocks, which were discharged on approaching the fort, they were not without a kind of barbaric pomp.

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