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F tt' t1 ó). I\R'  Frc? the Mystencns?  E?sL i U i. ¡ ?-.?-?- Graphic fetter from an Ystrad- | 1 1, r 1 | ?? ?hus ?a?or-??: j A n" moirihs ago Mr. i-iek Jlilhvard—an } strwigynlai, reside; v. ) is serving oil K.Ai.S. City of Or ford—which was so ui;:eo.i idy interesting an<i descrip- tive, ihat invited hii to -.vrit-e- again ar.d a tew days -ago we r<'ceivcd I from him the follow ing vivid account of a visit to an Egyptian port. The iett >r >« chited i)-ee. 4th. Air. Miiiward proceeus:— 1 was agreeably surprised to nnd my humble elt'ort- printed in your paper, and if it is possible for it to give anyone a moment's pleasure it ire/oases mine a. thousandfold. As you invite me to write again I will ask you to come with me on an imaginary visit to the East. It is seven in the morning, hot, with a damp, unhealthy heat, and we are steaming our economical ten knots. The spot on the horizon that we have be-en watching for the last hour gradu- ally takes shape and becomes the light- house at the entrance of the Suez Canal an inpnense structure, the light frcin which, in peace time, can be seen some forty miles out at sea, but now it must remain dark as the light tJaat guides friends, guides foes also. As we watch, the fairway buoys and the breakwater come into view, and what appeared to be a figure on the sea wall becomes an immense bronze statue of the Frenchman, Dc Losseps, who engineered and superintended the making of the canal. Our engines are now stopped and we drift id]y along waiting for the pilot to come aboard. The pilot aboard we get under way again, but slowly now, as we are in the narrow fairway be- tween two rows of shipping lying at anchor; some ooaling, some loading or discharging cargo while others, under the white ensign, wait for orders to gu out and strafe the Hun. A tug has now got hold of us and is pulling us into our berth where we drop anchor. We are immediately surrounded by a howling horde of natives in rawing boats, touts for laundries, barbers, tailors, bootmakers, hotels and cafes; floating sliopL4 with fruit, silk goods, curios and general habeidasherv. Were we under the red ensign they would swarm aboard but on a ship of this description the strictest secrecy is o b- served, so they come as close as they dare and display and boost their wares in the noisiest manner possible. A loud voice seems to be the Egyptian's best asset. In front of us across the canal lies the big field hospital, behind us the custom house with its domes of inlaid mosaic reiiecting the sun in a thousand different rays, and the enormous wharf StD eked with food for the troops, camels and horses. We now get ashore, passing through the custom house. Were we in in civil- ian elress we should be searched for contraband, but in our uniform we pass out unmolested into the street. We are immediately pounced upon by a gentleman simply dying to fake us for a drive in his two-horsed "gharry, but we decline and proceed between rows of filthy shops into the better part of the town. We sit outside a cafe to have some refreshment and look round, but can we get peace? -N ,o. Here is an Arab who wants to sell roast peanuts, another with shrimps, a eoon with cakes, an Egypt- ian with curios, another with silk goods, his brother with cigarcttcs, and his friend with postcards, and still they come, so we move and proceed further only to be accosted by a blind beggar, a bootblack and a lemonade seller, who carries a sort of urn on his back and bangs his tins cups together as he walks along. Outside every shop I is a man shouting the particular warCi" his employer- desires to sell, and he mises nobody, "Charley," "Softy," "Tic-h," and "Tubby" being amongst the appellations he applies indiscrimi- nately to all who pass. Here is the market, with piles of enormous yellow pumpkins, heaps of oranges, bread- fruit or mangoes, garlic and onions— the smell is indescribable. Tho butchers' shops are very dirty and the moat poor, except the pork, which is mostly fat, the pigs live in small droves and grovel on the beach for the garbage washed up by the tide. We marvel at the different nationali- ties that buy and sell in this market. Bedouin A-rabs, Syrians, Soudanese, Chinese, Japs., Cingalese, French, Indian and African negroes, Algerians and Jews being but a few, and every one seems to talk his loudest in his owrr particular IODI/UP. The (ranks who want to abolish street noises should be sont out L t > h^ir this babel. Petticoat-lam- < *i uud- is a.s silent the tomb oompa ■<] with this. j What strikes us most is the dress of tho Arab and Egyptian women, every one dressed in a sort of black go. n covering them from head to feet ,nd sandals with no stockings. The married women wear tho "yashmar," a veil covering the faoo from the bridge of the nose downwards, and a. piece of thin, bamboo on the bridge of the nose with one. two or three gold rings, according to their station in life. They also wear silver arklets, which iintrle like hel's as they shuffle along. The police are rerv picturesque in their white uniforms, but their methods of administering justice is very crude. They carry a thin cane and use it on men women and children alike. I have seen a woman with a child m her amis soundly whipped by a policeman for begging aim.?. On the whole the Egyptian is very simple-minded, any child's game amuses him, and whakyer work he has to do he sings, and if possible, claps his hands in accompaniment. Their idea of the Britisher seems that lie has three pleasures in life, eating, drinking and giving them "backsheesh" (gifts). They expect "backsheesh" if they wish you goodmorning, or step out of you way and if you fail to comply they tell you what you are, in Arabic, and even the blind beggar knows how to swear in English. During the afternoon we go for a sail up the canal, on one side of which is the desert, while on the other, date palms, pampas grass, immense foxgloves and convulvuli grow in pro- fusion. Higher up is the Armenian refugee camp, where the women make lace goods and the men make wooden goods, which their children go out and sell. This wav thev make a living until they return to their own ('ountry. ¡ We return iu the evening in the light I of a glorious sunset, the like of which we never see at home. The cafes are now full and inside or on the balcony of each are musieians and singers, usually Spanish. On our way to the ship we pass the mosque with a service in full swing. There are no seats, wor- shippers either stand or kneel. On the whole they seem to make hard work of it and as much noise as possible, These services are held at all hours of the night and t-he droning monoto- nous invocations can often be heard long after midnight. As we pass through the now silent streets near the custom house the air seem.s^full of mystery, we cannot hear ourselves walk much less the Arabs. who pass us before we are aware of iii, on the sandy road, and the silence is intense. We pass once more through the custom house and now to our ship, I, feeling almost relieved to be amongst civilised beings once more, and to hear the mother tongue snoken, and so to bed. I must apologise for writing at such length, and I doubt if you will ask me again, but writing helps to while away the tedium of an idle hour, so I will close, wishing you and all friends a Happy New Year. DICK MILWARD (M.M.R.) I [Mr. Miiiward may rest assured that I ? as long as he writes in such a fresh and graphic manner as he has done i hitherto, we shall be very glad to pub- lish his letters; and we have no doubt our readers will join with us in hoping that he will "while away the tedium" of many more idle hours in a similar manner.' His letter did not arrive until the beginning of February; but it is never too Into to reciprocate kindly wishes.—Ed. L.V.]



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