EGYPT AND THE SOUDAN 91
redolent stuff that our water-skins afforded, and so on for four more days, when we reached the Nile at Abu Hamed, having cut across its huge bend. Oh! the delights to such tourists as we were, of a temporary exemption from the discomforts of the desert, and of unlimited rations of water. We travelled farther by the side of the Nile for another three clays or so, till Berber was reached, when we paid our dues and said good-bye to the camels. The Governor of Berber was very civil ; the sherbet he gave us, though made from limes and not from lemons, tasted heavenly. He gave me a monkey, and I bought another, and these two were my constant companions on camel-back and everywhere else for many months, until I reached England.
A boat had here to be hired to take us up to Khartum. We got one in which the part below decks was much too low to stand in, and it swarmed with cockroaches, but it sufficed. The people at Berber were unruly, and so obstructive that the boatmen feared to enter with us into their own boat. However, we showed determination, and pushed off into the stream, with the result that first one and then another of the men ran alongside and plunged into the water and swam to the boat and turned its head up stream. We then set sail to Khartum.
In due time we passed Shendy, the scene of the recent massacre of Abbas Pasha, a younger son of Mehemet AN. He was sent to collect imposts and to overawe the people. At Shendy he and his soldiers committed all sorts of outrages, and finally he (lemanfled the d.mg-htcr of the Deftader (or
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