98 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
and Mrs. Petrie at Abydos, where he and his very capable party were about to excavate. Abydos lies on the western side of the Nile, roughly one-third of the way between Thebes and Cairo. We were met at the railway station by that most capable lady, then Mis3, now Dr. Alice Johnson, mounted on the one horse that the camp possessed, and who with kurbash in hand and voluble Arabic extricated us quickly from a crowd of troublesome natives, and rode with us a distance of eight miles or so to the camp. This consisted of a row of mud huts with a space in front, the whole enclosed with a low mud wall and a wicket gate. The pottery, etc., that had recently been dug up was arranged in front of the huts. They had only mats for doors. One of the huts was the diningroom, and the others were for members of the party, the farthest from the entrance being that of Mr. and Mrs. Petrie. I was prepared for cold nights, but found them more severe than I expected. Being little short of eighty years old, I had lost much of the resisting power of youth, and heaped every scrap of clothing I could find over my body, with only partial success. I amused myself on one occasion by counting the number of layers of these that lay on my chest, and found it to be seventeen. A single skin rug capable of excluding the nimble dry air would have been worth more than half of these flimsy coverings. Our host and hostess were peculiarly independent of ordinary comfort, but the consumption of marmalade at their table was enormous.
I had no idea before of the strenuous life led by a great excavator. The mere digging can be delegated, but the rest seemed to occupy every faculty of our