EGYPT AND THE SOUDAN 89
A more complete change can hardly be imagined than that from a luxurious cabin to nightly open-air bivouacs on the cold sand. Our first day was the customary march of little more than an hour, to be assured that nothing (r needful had been omitted. The next day the real journey began. The track we followed was presumably the same that has been followed since the most ancient days ; it bore marks of its continued use during recent times in the whitened bones with which it was strewed. Sometimes we came across a camel whose skin had not yet disappeared, but formed a hollow shell including marrowless and porous bones. These desiccated remains were of most unexpected lightness. My arm is far from strong, but I easily lifted with one hand and held aloft the quarter of a camel in this dried-up state
The ribbed rocks looked like the bones of the earth from which all the flesh' in the shape of soil and vegetation, had been blown away as sand and dust. Travellers by the railway that now runs along that very track can ill appreciate the effect the desert had on such as myself at that time. Ali proved an excellent and devoted servant. I long bore in mind his kindness to me on one bitterly cold night, for the nights were sometimes extremely chill, in quietly taking off his own jacket and wrapping it round my shivering body.
Many strangers joined our slowly moving caravan.
IC grn)III) was slich 'Is is fre'(111clitly shell Oil "4111ilar
14iolls ; it C()11";istc(l of a husband on foots with
his wife and child mounted on a donkey, like the often-painted subject of the Flight of the Holy