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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 38

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Π-] GlPSY-VANS ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTIES. 2 1 paradise, " &c. A s Cyprus was an island of only 140 miles in length, there would be a limit to these boundless descriptions ; but I had already heard enough to assure me that the usual want of veracity upon this subject was present in the accounts I had received. The newspaper correspondents had just contributed ridiculous reports to their several employers. Because the market of Larnaca was well supplied with woodcocks, red-legged partridges, and hares, at low prices, these overworked gentlemen of the pen rushed to a conclusion that the island teemed with game : forgetful of the fact that every Cypriote has a gun, and that numbers were shooting for the consumption of the few. Larnaca was the common centre towards which all gravitated. As the rate of wages was only one shilling a day, it may be imagined that sport afforded an equally remunerative employment, and game was forwarded from all distances to be hawked about the public thoroughfares. The fact is, that game is very scarce throughout Cyprus, and the books that have been written upon this country are certainly not the productions of sportsmen. I had read in no mean authority that " the surface of the ground was covered with heather "—positively there is no such plant in Cyprus as heath or heather. As we passed the outskirts of Larnaca, we were introduced to the misery of the plain of Messaria ; the so-called heather is a low thorny bush about twelve inches high, which at a distance has some resemblance to the plant in question. Brown is the prevailing colour in this portion of the island, and the aspect was not cheerful as we slowly marched along the native track or highway towards Arpera, carefully avoiding the new government macadamised road.

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