Pericles was audibly careful to avoid the border regiments. He showered cigars as he passed; now and then he exhibited a paper; and on one occasion he brought a General officer to the carriage-door, opened it and pointed in. A white-helmeted dragoon rode on each side of the carriage for the remainder of the day.
A caravan of camels laden with blankets, tents, and military supplies, accompanied by a guard of white-helmeted English soldiers, almost blocked the road as they marched past. Bronzed-faced natives seated in the shade dealt in sugar-cane stalks, cutting pieces of cane from the pile of stalks beside them as they were sold.
The swarthy children of the desert might, and possibly would, be ready and willing to go forth and fight men with men's weapons for the freedom to live and die unmolested in their own native land; but against the blandly-smiling, white-helmeted, sun-spectacled, perspiring horde of Cook's "cheap trippers," what can they do save remain inert and well-nigh speechless?
There was a considerable crowd of people to receive us; ugly women with bright parasols, loafers and ragamuffins, fat burghers too heavy to ride at the front, and a long line of untidy, white-helmeted policemen 'zarps' as they were called who looked like broken-down constabulary.
The people down in the streets look curiously up and call one another's attention to the unaccustomed sight of a white-helmeted 'cycler and a muezzin upon the minaret together; but the fact that I am not interfered with in any way goes far to prove that the Mussulman fanaticism, that we have all heard and read about so often, has wellnigh flickered out in European Turkey; moreover, I think the Eski Babans would allow me to do anything, in order to place me under obligations to "bin! bin!" whenever they ask me.
Surveying his unconscious form for a moment and carried away by the animal-like simplicity of his face, I finally shout "Hoi!" Opening his eyes with a start and seeing a white-helmeted head surveying him over the top of a weird, bristling object, the natural impulse of this simple-hearted child of the desert is to seek safety in flight.
Pericles was audibly careful to avoid the border regiments. He showered cigars as he passed; now and then he exhibited a paper; and on one occasion he brought a General officer to the carriage- door, opened it and pointed in. A white-helmeted dragoon rode on each side of the carriage for the remainder of the day.
The most general impression seems to be that I am direct from the Soudan, some youthful Conservatives blandly intimating The Starley Memorial, Coventry, that I am the advance-guard of a general scuttle of the army out of Egypt, and that presently whole regiments of white-helmeted wheelmen will come whirling along the roads on nickel-plated steeds, some even going so far as to do me the honor of calling me General Wolseley; while others rising young Liberals, probably recklessly call me General Gordon, intimating by this that the hero of Khartoum was not killed, after all, and is proving it by sweeping through England on a bicycle, wearing a white helmet to prove his identity!
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