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Land, and after the Persian Gulf, if the Nautilus wants to visit the Red Sea, the Strait of Bab el Mandeb is still there to let us in!"

At an altitude of 2,150 feet the air-liner slid out over the Sea, the waters of which shone in the mid-afternoon sun with a peculiar luminosity. Only a few sambuks, or native craft, troubled those historic depths; though, down in the direction of Bab el Mandeb familiar land to the Master a smudge of smoke told of some steamer beating up toward Suez.

This khat, gathered in the mountains back of Hodeida, on the Red Sea not far from Bab el Mandeb, had been preserved by a process known to only a few Coast Arabs. The plant now in the bowl was part of a shipment that had been more than three months on the way; yet still the fresh aroma of it, as the Master crushed the thick-set, dark-green leaves, scented the darkening room with perfumes of Araby.

At Babel Mandeb I believe the temperature of the sea rises to 100° F. The islands we pass on the shore to the east, distant about fifteen miles as I write, are interesting enough. I suppose the inhabitants are somewhat irresponsible, and were we to land there in the boats unarmed, might find us full occupation for the rest of our lives as slaves in the interior.

Bab el Mandeb is called as above by Humayd from its astronomical position. Jebel Mayyum is in Africa, Jebel Zubah or Muayyin, celebrated as the last resting-place of a great saint, Shaykh Said, is in Arabia. Ajam properly means all nations not Arab. In Egypt and Central Asia it is now confined to Persians.

Eastward, if they troubled their heads about the matter, they had a notion that there was a terribly wild coast, inhabited by fierce savages, and northward, inside the big island of Madagascar, that the Portuguese had some settlements for slaving purposes; that further north again was Zanzibar, and that the mainland was without a town or spot where civilised man was to be found, till the Strait of Bab el Mandeb, at the mouth of the Red Sea, was reached.

By this dim half-illumination the Master beheld, there before him in the middle of the tremendous golden pavement, a strange, pyramidal object rising four-square in the shape of an equilateral triangle just such a triangle as was formed by the locations of Mecca, Bab el Mandeb, and El Barr. This pyramid, polished and elaborately engraved, towered some ninety feet above the floor.

On February 5 we finally put into the Gulf of Aden, a genuine funnel stuck into the neck of Bab el Mandeb and bottling these Indian waters in the Red Sea. On February 6 the Nautilus cruised in sight of the city of Aden, perched on a promontory connected to the continent by a narrow isthmus, a sort of inaccessible Gibraltar whose fortifications the English rebuilt after capturing it in 1839.

"They are searching the market," said Canaris calmly. "They take us for a party of drunken Arabs out on a lark." "Then they don't suspect the truth?" asked Guy. Canaris laughed. "If it were known that the Emir's English prisoners had escaped," he said, "the fiends up yonder would be making more noise than the surf that breaks on the rocks at Bab el Mandeb."

They took possession, therefore, of Zayla, which they made a den of thieves, established there what they called a custom-house , and, by means of that post and galleys cruising in the narrow straits of Bab el Mandeb, they laid the Indian trade to Adel under heavy contributions that might indemnify them for the great desertion their violence and injustice had occasioned in Arabia.