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EGYPT AND THE SOUDAN   87

interesting man than we had supposed, and had much to tell us in Ii rench. He invited us to see his hut, where everything was perfectly clean and well ordered. Small as it was, a scientific and literary air pervaded it. There were maps, good books and scientific instruments of various kinds, so my heart warmed towards him. Then he began to address us in fairly good English, and made us understand that he was quite aware of our phrases when we were cross, and that he forgave us, but did.so in a dignified way. There was one thing we could do well which he could not, and that was to provide a really good dinner. Evard and the cook rose at once to the occasion, and nothing could have been managed in better style under the

circumstances.

The stranger proved to be Arnaud Bey, one of the distinguished St. Simonians who, having been banished from France, helped greatly to civilise Egypt in the days of Mehemet Ali.. He had just returned from a long exploratory journey after gold and other valuable products in the districts about the Blue Nile. It will be hard now for a reader to put himself in the attitude of geographical ignorance that was then almost universal in respect to those places. Arnaud said at last, " Why do you content yourself like other tourists to go no farther than Wady Halfa ? Why not travel overland by camel from this very place, Korosko, to Khartum ? The Sheikh of the intervening I isll;tri l )c~~~ rt i,, ii) the village, it this very nmonment. 1 know Min well, tall(_[ call cagily arrange that he shall take you to Berber at moderate cost. You will then find your way by boat to Khartum." We were amazed at the proposition, for the very names of those places