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neither was hit, but it was cedare most advisable at the rather like & snipe getting first place where we should be through the pattern of No. 5's. allowed to stop for more than
Considerable recrimination a few hours; suoh soanty inin three languages ensued. formation as we had of the Everybody was on the run, and Bedouin tribes to southward; we were roughly hustled away the accessibility of the Turkish on foot from the vicinity of the officials, and the most conroad. The planes had climbed vincing way of persuading again and were clearing off. them that money promised Ballast passionately harangued would be paid "on delivery of the Turkish officer on one side, goods"; the best method of whilst a mob of Tartars assailed surprising and “doing in” him on the other. He under. silently the armed guard; even stood neither, of course, but the time that would be required hurried along thoroughly to learn Turkish or Arabio frightened of both parties. sufficient to give one & reasonExcitement gradually subsided. able chanoe, should we eventuThe Pilot, who naturally felt ally be incarcerated at Broussa more aoutely both the dig- or elsewhere without having appointment and the difficulties had a single previous opporabout the airmen, soothed tunity of escaping. down the wrothful Ballast. Only once did we oease from He was confident that the these fantasies,—and that was Flying Corps would not give at dusk, when we came down up yet; they would certainly off the plateau on to the rivermake at least one more attempt. plain, where it was thick with The recognition of the party; flowers and the smell rose up the finding of a suitable land- and caught us by the throat. ing - place in this difficult It was England in one rush : country; the timing of the all one's memory of May month exploit; and, most of all, the in England. And we—out of circumventing of the escort, it: able - bodied but helpless made the odds against suocess and useless, whilst the War enormons. It was agreed, was being fought to & finish. however, that in any case, That was the blackest moment whether an attempt at rescue of all. or at escape, the most im. Soon afterwards the Pilot portant thing for us, and the glapoed over his shoulder and most diffioult, was to get away said, “Look at that." Standfrom the guard : any oppor. ing upon the horizon was & tunity for doing this must be single blazing pillar of silver carefully watched for and taken fire-& thing unique-80 that advantage of at once. One's for a moment we had no thoughts and conversation ran thought of moonrises. Extraalmost exclusively on osoape. ordinarily impressive and most That one idea is an obsession wonderfully beautiful. In the with a prisoner. Every possi- whole sky there was no other bility was oanvassed : the pro- cloud. After that there was
Fenouglar yond ko talk
selves 19 nith sleeping the only the War in budate and littera coping ponhe four filtre course conolusiopint on the latamavailablo me" of the gallery wick of
silence, but the Pilot's oonfi. orders at once for food to dense never failed him again. be prepared, and we all sat
Night fell, and it grew cold down to await its arrival. on the camels, so we got down Presently our Turkish officer and walked the last three arrived and joined us in his hours. After & very long deliberate, ox- like way. It time a light appeared on the took over two hours to produce horizon, and, like all lights at a meal, but the time passed night, seemed to resede as we pleasantly enough. Our flabby approached. However, even host was a regular young man night-farers do eventually make about Bitlis, very ready to talk progress, and at long-last we about himself and his achievedrow up at the gate of the menta. Possibly he was someramshackle, mud-walled square what flattered by this, his of a miserable khan. The door first meeting with British was barred and bolted, but officers, and the condescension our escort parloyed with the of his position in regard to keeper, and we soon found our them in spite of their superior selves in a filthy courtyard rank. At any rate, he was littered with sleeping Tartars graciously pleased to expound and drooping ponies, the only to us the immediate strategy of available oover the four filthy the War in Europe, its future little rooms of the gate-house. course, and the date and results In one of these & smoky wiok of its conclusion. He threw an was burning in a tin of oil, and entirely new light on the latter two men were poring over part of the Mesopotamian Camaccount books. We demanded paign as influenced by his own to see the Commandant. One achievements, the finale of of the pair, a moek-looking which was an account of his bearded man,rose and answered escape from the last Thermoin good English: “Well, sir, pylæan stand at Ramadie by I was the Commandant until swimming the river at the head yesterday. The present Com- of his men. mandant is asleep upstairs." At last the long-looked-for He was an Armenian, of food appeared : black bread course, and, like all the Ar- and a big bowl of barley-broth, menians we met, & most into which we all dipped. Exkindly and obliging fellow, but cellent stuff. Date-syrup and broken.
more black bread followed. We were tired and hungry, By this time our host was in and insisted on seeing the great fettle, and, to top up Commandant. He turned out with, suddenly dived his hand to be a well-nourished young behind a box in the corner and man, his hair smooth as his triumphantly produced a small manners, his podgy hands be- bottle with the magio words ringed, scented, silky, and “Ean de Vie." This was bis resplendent in a frogged, fur- last drop, and we did justice to lined coat, which he wore it, share and share alike all over his night-shirt. He gave round. Fair do's. The stuff
was a pretty vile sort of us before then. Wo dallied arraok, but warming enough, over our toilets as much as and had a great effeot on the possible; and, what with that Commandant. He was full and the right royal breakfast of protestations of friendship, that was served, it was halfmeetings after the War, ex- past ten before we got under ploits of gallantry in a fairer way. Our hosts had been field. Then he waxed confi- as good as their word of the dential and gave us a great night before, and gave us & deal of professional advice, say- breakfast of roast lamb, ohuing that when we had soldiered patties, and another generous as long as he had we would bowl of barley-broth. A good recognise the soundness of it. whack of the two former (Ballast had, as a matter articles was transferred to the of plain faot, just six times growing store in our emergency his service. Then he grew bag. rather quarrelsome, and finally We found the courtyard of reached the sleepy stage, and the post full of Tartars and was taken off to bed. It was Arabs; and a good number now 2 A.M., and we rejoiced of seattered individuals were that we were pretty certain of visible moving steadily along considerable delay and a late the road, all in a westerly start next morning, especially direction. Just outside the as we had been promised a gate we stumbled on a small good meat-meal before leaving. party of Germans. This gavo We were thoroughly ready for us another chance of delay. sleep ourselves, as we had not They told us they were a had a night's rest since we wireless section, and obligwere captured. The earthen ingly furnished us with the floor of the room was very latest details of the German filthy, and there was only one advance in France. A little benob. But in a corner was a more time was taken up in small, raised, briok dais, and persuading them to accept a the Armenian officer was most message for British Headhelpful. He not only got this quarters which the Pilot wrote brushed and cleaned, but in- down, stating that we were unsisted on lending us each a wounded and asking that our blanket of his own. The room kit might be dropped. They had no windows and only one demurred at this, but eventudoor, which was looked and had ally took the message without a double sentry just outside it. making any promises : probNo chance of esoape here. So ably in order to get rid of we were off to sleep at once, us without further trouble. and knew nothing more till They refused to give us any nine o'olook in the morning. news of the operations in pro
The dope of the night before gress. But we knew that the had evidently had its effeot only wireless station thereon our Mohamedan friends, for abouts had been at the town no attempt was made to worry we left at midday yesterday.
We decided to walk the first Aolatter of hoofs behind part of the maroh in order to made us look round. It keep our feet hard, although was & comio figure that was it meant having four extremely overtaking us, the complete smelly Tartars in very close German tourist of oarioature: proximity, one on each side & monstrous cloth sunshade and two just behind, all al- flapping wildly from the back ways unpleasantly oasual about of his flat oap, green speotacles, handling their rifles. When water-bottle, haversaoks, mapriding the oamels one was at ease, revolver, strapped on all least out of nose-shot of them, round him gear of all kinds Half a mile on we came on which banged up and down & small mixed unit laagered on his flanks as he bumped by the side of the road, among perspiringly along. The whole them about twenty white men outfit was insecurely balanced of various ranks. Three officers on top of a pair of bloated were standing together inspeot- saddle-bags astride of a big ing the outspanned animals. grey mule, the latter being One, a cheerful lathy individ- most inadequately controlled ual with a red goatee, after by a picketing chain secured our first salutation, opened the to its headstall. ball with, “Well, have you We called out “Good mornheard the news from France ? ing," and were promptly You're being properly smashed swept away by the blast ofthere." Next to him was a nautical-language that foltall bearded man with thick lowed. He had evidently spootacles and three ribbons, learned his English in AmerGallipoli, Iron Cross, and a ica, not in a Sunday-school. yellow and white which we There was something partioudid not know. There is some- larly incongruous in the man's thing to be said for the pink-and-white baby complexsystematic similarity in the ion and the blaspheny which general design of German modal poured forth as he leaned back ribbons, with their two white to take in, hand over hand, stripes on backgrounds of his steering chain. In a mist various colours; at least, it of profanity he navigated his prevents the noisy polychro- craft round in diminishing matio squabbles that are vis- circles till he brought it to a ible on the chests of many standstill alongside of us, its British officers to-day. They head pulled round hard against told us they were a Telegraph his starboard knee. Detachment; but as they wereIt was an entertaining half busy and uncommunicative we hour that followed. Our were unable to waste much breezy mariner was full of time here, so passed on. And grievances, and far past the at that time two magpies flow stage when he could refrain up on to the rooks. Magpies from the relief of unburdening are not common in Mesopo- himself. He had been set upon tamia,
by the Arabs last night as the
Germans were evacuating the haze of violent invective, rooktown, and only just escaped ing precariously on his high with his life and what he had peroh as he heaved furiously on him. After three years in at his steering -obain, whilst the place! Three years! And the mule trotted diagonally, he hadn't been given a single in bored indifference, towards decoration. Not a single one. the hills. And for all we Jealousy of superiors. And know, he may still be thus these ungrateful Arabs-after oooupied. At least, it is certhree years' experience of Ger- tain that he is swearingmans to take the first oppor- swearing endlessly. tunity of looting their quarters. Two magpies flew across the Yes, and after three years' ac- read, and then another pair, quaintance to try to murder A little farther on we passed him. If he hadn't been so through a big caravan of nippy he'd have been shot. Arabs resting in the river.
Yes, he reckoned he spoke plain. They were & striking English pretty sliok. He had crowd, and all seemed to have been skipper of a big Hamburg- new clothes on; all their Boston boat four years, until oamel gear also and saddlethe war; had been navigating bags looked fresh and olean. matoh - boxes on this paltry It gave them an unreal sort triokle (modesty, unfortun- of theatrioal appearance; and, ately, prevents reproduotion most improbable of all, in the of the extremely forcible middle, three or four stately metaphor he used here) of a old Bedawin were walking river ever since. And now about shading themselves just when, at last, they had under pink parasols ! given him three motor-boats, All these strange omens, and he had got two big guns which would have struck the safely down-stream, and landed most ignorant Roman Legion. below all correot, beggared if ary as sure presages of somo the whole lascivious lot hadn't impending aot of the gods, beon collared by the English passed before our sophistiArmy.
bated eyes merely in jestingHis language was lurid; it wise. Indeed, when one o'olook was of a saltiness impossible oame, and we halted for fifteen to oonvey. But his oigarettes minutes' rest on the river's were anexoeptionable. Aneo- edge, we had began to feel dote, abuse, reminiscence our esoape would now depend poured forth to a continuous entirely on our own exertions. 2000m paniment of the most we were here well over a original and devastating blas- hundred miles from the British phomy. The mule, however, front line we had left. The was quite untroubled thereby, only things that could posand continued to display that sibly reach us now were aeroalert aloof air so characteristio planes. And it would soon of these animals. We left the be getting a bit far for them. Master-Mariner eventually in a Moreover, no really praoticable
VOL. CCIV.-NO, MCCXXXIII.