With the Touaregs, the civil, or war against the Arabs, replaces the war against the Christians, and has not been less actively celebrated: "We have saddled the shoulders of the docile camel, I excite him with my sabre, touching his neck, I fall on the crowd, give them sabre and lance; And then there remains but a mound, And the wild beasts find a brave meal." Masqueray, pp. 228, 229.
When the caravan came into the country of the Touaregs he rode near her day by day, and at night lay as close to her tent as he dared. Sometimes he noticed that Stanton eyed him cynically when he performed unostentatious services for Sanda, but outwardly the only two white men were on civil terms.
These things she had heard of as among the minor perils of Stanton's expedition, and there were many more formidable, of course, such as Touaregs and Tibbu brigands. She made Max swear that, if they were attacked, and there were danger for the women, he would shoot her with his own hand. That would not be a bad solution. And there were others.
Her friend may, without being censured, cut the name of the lady on the rocks or chant her virtues. ‘Friends of different sexes,’ say the Touaregs, ‘are for the eyes and heart, and not for the bed only, as among the Arabs.’” Letourneau, in quoting these passages from Duveyrier, makes the following comment: “Such customs as these indicate delicate instincts, which are absolutely foreign to the Arabs.
The French humour him, and let him do whatever he likes, no matter how eccentric his ways may be, because he's got them to believe he is trying to help the Government in the wildest part of Algeria, the province of Oran and with the Touaregs in the farthest South; and that he promotes French interests in Morocco.
James, does it never worry you dreadfully that life is so short? I wonder how we all bear up about it. One ought to live for adventure. I want to go away, right away. There are such lots of lovely places where there are palms, and people get romantically shot, and there's a town somewhere where poppies grow on the roofs of mosques. I would like to see that. And queer people masked Touaregs "
"But would they have begun to work again, if soldiers were coming?" "Yes, if help were so far off that the Arabs might hope to reach us before it came, and get away in time. Ben Halim's one hope is to make an end of some of us. It was well enough to disguise the whole band as Touaregs, in case they were seen by nomads, or the landlord here should escape, and tell of the attack.
"Well, she told me that she was the daughter of a Caidi of the Ouled Sidi Cheik, and of a woman whom he had carried off in a raid against the Touaregs. The woman must have been a black slave, or, at any rate, have sprung from a first cross of Arab and negro blood. It is well known that negro women are in great request for harems, where they act as aphrodisiacs.
Far to the south of the Anti-Atlas, in the yellow deserts that lead to Timbuctoo, live the wild Touaregs, the Veiled Men of the south, who ride to war with their faces covered by linen masks.