But It Is A Great Way From That One To That Other,
And A Great Deep Valley Between Them.
OF THE DESERT BETWEEN THE CHURCH OF SAINT CATHERINE AND JERUSALEM.
OF THE DRY TREE; AND HOW ROSES CAME FIRST INTO THE WORLD
NOW, after that men have visited those holy places, then will they
turn toward Jerusalem. And then will they take leave of the monks,
and recommend themselves to their prayers. And then they give the
pilgrims of their victuals for to pass with the deserts toward
Syria. And those deserts dure well a thirteen journeys.
In that desert dwell many of Arabians, that men clepe Bedouins and
Ascopards, and they be folk full of all evil conditions. And they
have none houses, but tents, that they make of skins of beasts, as
of camels and of other beasts that they eat; and there beneath
these they couch them and dwell in place where they may find water,
as on the Red Sea or elsewhere: for in that desert is full great
default of water, and often-time it falleth that where men find
water at one time in a place it faileth another time; and for that
skill they make none habitations there. These folk that I speak
of, they till not the land, and they labour nought; for they eat no
bread, but if it be any that dwell nigh a good town, that go
thither and eat bread sometime. And they roast their flesh and
their fish upon the hot stones against the sun.
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