Eothen By A. W. Kingslake

 -   This was not very tempting
drink to look at, for it had become turbid, and was deeply reddened
by some - Page 200
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This Was Not Very Tempting Drink To Look At, For It Had Become Turbid, And Was Deeply Reddened By Some

Colouring matter contained in the skins, but it kept its sweetness, and tasted like a strong decoction of russia leather.

The Sheik sipped this, drop by drop, with ineffable relish, and rolled his eyes solemnly round between every draught, as though the drink were the drink of the Prophet, and had come from the seventh heaven.

An inquiry about distances led to the discovery that this Sheik had never heard of the division of time into hours; my Arabs themselves, I think, were rather surprised at this.

About this part of my journey I saw the likeness of a fresh-water lake. I saw, as it seemed, a broad sheet of calm water, that stretched far and fair towards the south, stretching deep into winding creeks, and hemmed in by jutting promontories, and shelving smooth off towards the shallow side. On its bosom the reflected fire of the sun lay playing, and seeming to float upon waters deep and still.

Though I knew of the cheat, it was not till the spongy foot of my camel had almost trodden in the seeming waters that I could undeceive my eyes, for the shore-line was quite true and natural. I soon saw the cause of the phantasm. A sheet of water heavily impregnated with salts had filled this great hollow, and when dried up by evaporation had left a white saline deposit, that exactly marked the space which the waters had covered, and thus sketched a good shore-line.

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