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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 294

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THE FLOWER OF PROGRESS 291 is situated, and the passengers had to meet it at a landing stage on the Canal itself, which was some miles distant from the usual place of embarkation. The way lay across the driving sand of the desert, and I and my fellow-travellers—only two or three in number—were at once beset by a crowd of Arab donkey-boys offering us donkeys distinguished by English names. On one of them I was myself soon mounted—a charming little animal with the most delightful of paces. The boy ran at its side, shouting its name at intervals ; and I could not help smiling, in spite of the drift that blinded me, to find myself cantering in the foot-prints of Joseph and Joseph's brethren on a donkey whose name I discovered to be ' Mrs. Langtry.' But the Canal restored me to reflections of a more serious kind, as it mixed in my mind with certain memories of yesterday. I was watching the Canal now ; yesterday I had been watching the Nile ; and Egypt seemed to express to me all its past and pre-sent, when I thought of it as the land where the oldest of historical waters is at this moment flowing side by side with the youngest. Some twelve hours later I was in a totally dif-ferent world. I was pacing the deck of the English steamer for Brindisi ; I was in the middle of Anglo-India hurrying home to England. Around me were deck-chairs, shawls, and yellow-backed novels, plates of half-eaten sandwiches, and tumblers of brandy and soda-water. Men were moving about, distin- u 2

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