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By this time we neither had a liking for valleys, cliffs, trees, nor people. We did not feel pleased at being led straight across the valley to a band of armed men, in a most unpleasant situation for us if they meant mischief. These were only Jabberi travelling, and they were told that we were friends of the sultan of Sheher, and not going to stay a minute.

If when my husband asked that a reliable interpreter should be recommended to him, he had been sent a man favourably disposed towards ourselves, and capable of inspiring respect in others, instead of a little clerk, aged twenty, from a coal-office, a fanatical Moslem who hated his employers, we should have been in a much better position, and have been able to pass on from the Jabberi to the Hamoumi, whereas travelling with the Jabberi through the Hamoumi country we had to encounter their enemies as well as our own.

Instead of going by Al Gran, we were to go by Wadi Manwab, retracing our steps as far as Furhud. Very early in the morning Imam Sharif came to us and told us that the Jabberi had not sufficient camels with them and that we must take camels of Mandob the first day or two, and that others would meet us in the Wadi bin Ali, so there was little hope of a move that day.

When we had gone some distance, and were out of sight of the strange caravan, we were amused at seeing the soldiers and the Jabberi, all in line, running on at a double, firing guns, and shouting, 'Hohh! Hohh!

We considered that, as Talib-bin-Abdullah, the chief of the Jabberi and so notorious a robber, was our Mokadam, we had better keep friends with him, therefore we spoke him fair.

In this uncertainty we had to turn back and my husband complained to the sheikh of Sa'ah, who said that this blackmailing had been planned by one of our three best Jabberi, Seid-bin-Iselem, who went with us, and that he would send men of his own with us in the morning.

The Jabberi afterwards said the Mandob way was much the longest, so we changed again. We delayed several days longer at Al Koton, hoping against hope that the sultan of Terim would grant us permission to pass through his territories, that we might prosecute our journey.

'Which is the best? he asked. 'I do not know, said Talib. 'Very well, said my husband, 'we will follow the camels. On we all went in great doubt, and the Jabberi told us awful stories of the Hamoumi intentions. We had five armed Jabberi, seven soldiers, and twelve Hamoumi, all armed, including two little boys. The soldiers, so brave the night before, said: 'We can do nothing we are afraid.

Rain was threatening, so the baggage was all stacked under the outer fly of our tent. The soldiers behaved most helpfully and the brave and bold Jabberi had not yet once mentioned bakshish in our hearing and were most polite. They were better-looking men than others we had seen, all tall, slight, wiry, and very muscular, a higher type than the Khailiki and much more dressed.

The Jabberi said the same, and Talib again wished us to ride off with him. The Hamoumi said it was all Talib's fault, for he owed a great deal of money at Al Madi, and was afraid of going thither. The Hamoumi then said they would take us to Ghail Barbwazir or Barbazir or Babwazir, but we must keep it a secret from the Jabberi and the soldiers.