My Three Days In Gilead By Elmer U. Hoenshel

 -  Man can have but
one paradise. My paradise is heaven; I cannot enter yonder city!
a city to-day of - Page 5
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"Man Can Have But One Paradise.

My paradise is heaven; I cannot enter yonder city!" a city to-day of unsurpassed beauty, when viewed from the distance, with its white domes and slender minarets rising above the shrubbery and trees of its thirty thousand gardens.

Here in this old city; in this historic city; in this beautiful city; in Damascus, I greet you and extend to you an invitation to join me in my proposed trip through Gilead.

My party as yet consists of but two persons. My dragoman, William Barakat, of Jerusalem, in response to a telegram sent from Constantinople, met me several days ago at Beyrout. He is a native Syrian, talks good English, dresses like an American, (save that he wears a red fez,) and is a Christian in faith. Before reaching this city he has already rendered me excellent service. He is intelligent, having attended the American College at Beyrout. I can trust him.

My arrangements with my guide are simple. He is to take me over my desired route by best possible methods of travel; to furnish the best of fare and lodging obtainable; to guarantee me a safe escort; and he is to do all this within a specified time and for a stipulated price. I did not then know how little I was asking as to fare and lodging, but when I knew that he was fulfilling his part of the agreement I had little cause for just complaint.

By early dawn, on October thirtieth, we had breakfasted and had bidden good-by to all the servants about the hotel, (many of whom I did not know to exist, but who, somehow, had learned of me, and had risen thus early to witness my departure and to ask a fee for services that I am quite sure some of them had had no part in rendering,) and had ordered the driver to lose no time in reaching the station of the Damascus-Hauran Railroad, about two miles distant.

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