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But times had changed: the luxurious Mahomet had left the comfortable Nile boat at Korosko, and he had crossed the burning desert upon a jolting camel; he had left the well-known route where the dragoman was supreme, and he found himself among people who treated him in the light of a common servant.

Suffice it then to say that Harry voyaged up the Nile to Korosko, and there joined a caravan across the desert to Abu Hamed, from which place he got passage again on board a diabeheeh, which carried him to Berber. With what excitement he beheld the white houses, the minarets, the palm- trees, grow nearer and nearer! Within those walls, as he hoped, Daireh was living.

At 5 A.M. we arrived at Korosko; lat. 22 degrees 50 minutes N.; the halting-place for all vessels from Lower Egypt with merchandise for the Soudan." At this wretched spot the Nile is dreary beyond description, as a vast desert, unenlivened by cultivation, forms its borders, through which the melancholy river rolls towards Lower Egypt in the cloudless glare of a tropical sun.

I had taken the precaution to provide water-barrels, in addition to the usual goat-skins; and, with a trustworthy guide, we quitted Korosko on the 16th May, 1861, and launched into the desert. The route from Korosko across the Nubian desert cuts off the chord of an arc made by the great westerly bend of the Nile. This chord is about 230 miles in length.

In the evening, having broken bread and prayed, I sat down at the door of the barber in peace to smoke, as becomes a man who loves God and His benefits. Five times I puffed, and then I stayed my lips, for why should a man die of smoke when he can die by the sword? But there are many men in Korosko whose lives are not as clean linen. These I did not love.

At first all seemed well, the country was fairly quiet, and Gordon hoped to be able to send the garrison back, and indeed did send in safety some 2500 widows and children to Korosko, but events soon occurred which destroyed all hopes of a peaceful retreat.

I determined upon the Red Sea route to Egypt, instead of passing the horrible Korosko desert during the hot month of August. After some delay I procured camels, and started east for Souakim, from whence I hoped to procure a steamer to Suez.

But Dicky Donovan, with his own horse lanced under him, knew that Seti made him mount the bobtailed Arab with Fielding in front of him, and that a moment later they had joined the little band retreating to Korosko, having left sixty of their own dead on the field, and six times that number of Dervishes.

The very sight of the Nile was delightful, after the parched desolation of the last seven days. The small village is utterly destitute of everything, and the sterile desert extends to the very margin of the Nile. The journey having occupied ninety-two hours of actual marching across the desert, gives 230 miles as the distance from Korosko, at the loaded-camel rate of two and a half miles per hour.

The little Korosko puffed and spluttered her way up the river, kicking up the white water behind her, and making more noise and fuss over her five knots an hour than an Atlantic liner on a record voyage.