MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
equivalent to temporary concubinage, which was a grave insult to her father, the most important man in the place. The Deftader was unable to resist ; so he resigned himself, but gave orders secretly. While Abbas Pasha with his suite were at dinner and stupid with what they had drunk, the Pasha noticed that great bundles of stalks of the native corn were being brought in and stacked about the tent. He asked and was told that it was forage and litter for his Highness's horses. When enough of this straw had been brought in, a signal was given to fire it, and every man who attempted to break through was massacred, including of course Abbas himself. The Deftader escaped to Abyssinia; something more of him will be said shortly.
Finally we reached Khartum, then a group of huts with a wagon-roofed hall for the audiences of the Pasha. We heard of an extraordinary Frank, believed to be English, who had arrived some weeks previously. We went to call on him, knocked at the door, were told to enter, which we did, and came into the presence of a white man nearly naked, as agile as a panther, with head shorn except for the Moslem tuft, reeking with butter, and with a leopard skin thrown over his shoulder. He was recognised at once by my companions as an undergraduate friend, Mansfield Parkyns. He had got into a College scrape, and, leaving Cambridge prematurely, found his way to Abyssinia, where during years of adventure he had made friends with the just-mentioned Deftader of Shendy, and was then acting as an intermediary and the bringer of a substantial present whereby to obtain, if possible, his forgiveness and restoration.