At the time of this writing there is a railroad extending from Damascus to Mecca, but at the time of my visit the terminus was at Mezarib, a small town about fifty miles south of Damascus, near the northern boundary-line of Gilead. It was in my plan to travel that distance by rail; hence my presence at the city railroad station.

We are nearing Mezarib. All forenoon has been consumed in covering a distance of only about fifty miles. But by twelve o'clock we have passed almost completely across the land where Og was king, especially that part of his kingdom which, not long after being wrested from him and his giant followers, was assigned to the eastern half-tribe of Manasseh for a permanent possession.

I look upon the ruins of a number of these, but have little opportunity for a close examination. The most noted ruins that I see are at Sunamein and at Mezarib.

The ride to Mezarib, through Bashan, especially that part of it now known as the Hauran, is one of more than ordinary interest. For the first twenty-five miles the land is literally covered with black basaltic rocks, as is also part of the remaining distance. How it is cultivated I can scarcely understand, for I am sure that the American horse could not be made to serve well here.

The reader must remember that in all this region there is not a road over which a carriage can be driven, save that quite recently a few trips have been made from Mezarib to Gerasa.