200 Life and Letters of Francis Gallon
en route after Malta?) I met with Montagu Boulton and his travelling companion, Hedworth Barclay, intending to, go up the Nile ; they having just toured in Greece. We went together to Cairo in barges, towed up the Nile by a tug-a most luxurious and charming night. At Cairo we three agreed to make a party together up the Nile. Barclay had a courier, a Greek, Christo, who would act as cook. Boulton had a very smart courier, Evard by name, who had been once groom of the chamber, he said, to Lady Jersey. He would be butler and I undertook to engage a dragoman as my special servant and he was Ali (Mohammed, Sureyah = the little).
We spent one day boar shooting, got no boar but wounded one and when among the tall reeds holding my gun vertically above my head, as the only chance of making way, a litter of wild pigs ran through at my very feet. I was quite helpless, could not get down my arms, but the sow did not pass me. We had to give a name to our boat and register it with its flag, and Boulton suggested an Ibis with the motto "Tutissimus," which we adopted. Barclay had a pointer for quail shooting. My impressions of the Nile were those that so many have expressed. Especially the pleasure of living all day barefoot and only half dressed, and of waking oneself by a header into the river, clambering back by the rudder. We lived in style and state. I think the awfulness of the Old Temples impressed me most at Carnac, going among them alone by moonlight and the silence broken rarely by the jackal. The feeling was so strong that it nearly made me faint away. A little above the first cataract, when near Korosko, the stream being swift, we went as usual by virtue of Barclay's firman to impress men to tug our boat, but found they had all been already impressed by the owner of a small and dirty looking Egyptian boat, who they told us was a Bey. We went to him and spoke impudently, like arrogant Britishers and discussed loudly in English together whether we should not pitch him into the river. He shortly astonished us by speaking perfect French and after a while discovered he was a much more interesting person than we had dreamt of. He was Arnaud, a St Simonian exile, in service of Mehemet Ali, who had lately returned from Sennaar where he had been sent to look for gold. He invited us to his mud house, at which I was charmed. Perfectly simple, clean, matted, with a barometer and thermometer hung up and other scientific gear, books, &c., like a native philosopher. He then, after we had become friends, explained to us, that though he spoke English badly, he quite understood what we had said among ourselves when we first met him and made me feel very small indeed. However, we got on very well and made him talk of his travels and tell us of the country ahead, we had then no map and knew nothing hardly. He said 1° Why do you follow the English routine of just going to the 2nd cataract and returning? Cross the desert and go to Khartoum." That sentence was a division of the ways in my subsequent life. We caught at the idea, he discussed it and said that the chief of the Korosko desert was then actually at the place with camels, that he knew him and would send for him to us that afternoon or evening, when we might finally settle matters. We asked Arnaud to dinner, received him in the grand style„ Evard doing his best, and gave our good friend and ourselves quite as much wine as was good for us. When in the midst of the carouse the door of the cabin opened, the cool air came in, and with the cool air, the dignified cold presence of the Sheikh, with the band of sand on his forehead, the mark of his having just prostrated himself in prayer. He did look disgusted, but we got over him and finally all was arranged. We were to start the