A BREAKWATER OF BARBARISM. other day at Atandan, of swooping It is a pretty and peaceful-looking down on a defenceless village, slaying riverside settlement which meets the as many of its inhabitants as they come eye of the traveller up the Nile as he ap- across, and making off with as much proaches Wady Halfa. A little group booty as they can lay their hands upon. of houses, at which the steamer stops Against these desert wolves there is to deliver letters, and which has sprung nothing but the British soldier-shepherd up during the last few years under the to protect the Egyptian peasant sheep, protecting shadow of the British garri- and very vigilant, very rarely evaded, son, forms his first halting-place; in that protection is. another ten minutes he has rounded the It is not many weeks, however, since point behind which lies the military sta- these prowling ravagers slipped within tion proper and draws up at the landing the line of our guard-if that shadowy stage hard by the headquarters of the cordon, which, of course, it is impossible commandant. A flag flying over the to stretch along so many miles of river, roof of a bungalow surrounded by a can properly or fairly be so called-and rich garden with palms, lebbek and very evident is the natural soreness dispoinsettia, denotes the spot, and but for played by our genial hosts at the recolthese signs of tropical vegetation it lection of the incident. Their feeling on might be a sequestered villa on the the subject is eminently characteristic, Upper Thames. A little flight of half-a- and well brings out the everlasting condozen steps leading up to and through trast between Oriental apathy and the its shrubberies from the water's edge to strenuous energy of the West. The task the entrance contributes to the support which has been set to these British of the illusion. Some few hundred officers—that of policing some two hunyards down the river you have passed dred miles of absolutely exposed riveranother long, low building, set parallel bank from two stations, one at each end instead of transversely to the river, of the line—is an impracticable one, and which you judge, and rightly so, to be they know it. Yet they devote themthe officers' mess-room. Otherwise, selves to it with a cheerful and untiring there is nothing to show that you have activity which refreshes one to witness, reached a frontier“stronghold” of Egypt. and they are far more restless under

The place effectually hides its military occasional illustrations of its impossicharacter from this point of approach. bility than the people who suffer from It turns its warlike face away from the the fact. If ever there were a case river and towards the desert, and looks when the “Kismet" which amply satout only with the air of a smiling village isfies the victims of a robber raid in over the broad and tranquil Nile. Yet these regions might do consolation-duty this is Wady Halfa, the finger-tip, so to for their baffled protectors it is that of speak, of the arm of British protective the descent on the village of Atandan. power in Egypt, and as true a break. Yet our officers at Wady Halfa are quite water of barbarism as any that is to be unable to take that view of the incident. found on the face of the globe. For They discussed it freely enough, and here, to every pacific and law-abiding with a frank admiration mingling with cultivator of the soil within the Khe- their disgust. dive's dominion-here is the limit of “It was really not half a bad performpeace, order, and security in the Nile ance for dervislies," said the staff officer, Valley: beyond is chaos. South of this with whom we were conversing about position, or, at any rate, south of that it. “They came from a distance of over more southward zone which a salutary a hundred miles, and across a country fear of the Halfa garrison and its without wells, and they got safe back patrols keeps clear of the marauder, again with their booty, and without loslies a country tenanted or scoured by ing a man. Yes, it was a very well ortribes whose business is robbery and ganized and well executed piece of whose pastime murder, and who seek work." nothing better than a chance such as “How long did it take them to sack they found made for themselves the the unfortunate village?"'

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"Well, that would only be a work of days. The camels of a band of raiding two or three hours; but it was getting Dervishes ought to be a match for any back on to their own ground, and be- others. yond the risk of our cutting them off- “Wait till you have seen ours,” replied it was that which was the difficulty.” our friend, with a smile. “Our camel

“They cut the telegraph wires, didn't corps are mounted on the finest animals they?''

to be obtained anywhere in the African "Oh, yes, of course. They always desert. In fact, most people who come commence operations in that way. But to Egypt don't really know what a still they wouldn't have got anything camel is, and is capable of, until they like so long a start as they did if it had have paid us a visit. There is as much not been for the villagers themselves. difference between a cavalry camel of The fellows who were despatched to the first quality and the unkempt and this place to give us information of the ungainly brutes that shamble backraid actually put up for the night on wards and forwards between the Pyratheir way here, and we didn't get the mids and the Mena House Hotel as news till the next morning. What can there is between a cart-horse and a thoryou do with a people so 'casual' as oughbred. But look! Here come that?"

of the camel-corps back from exercise. It did seem a little easy-going, to be We have not got such a good show to

One tried to imagine the Malise day as we should have liked to give you, of Scott's poem stopping at a nighland but you can almost see the difference in inn, interrupting his wild career through their way of 'going,' even at this disthe glens, with “danger, death, and tance." deadly deed” behind him, for a cosy sup- Under a dense cloud of the desert dust per and a bed.

two considerable detachments of camelWhen the messengers did at last cavalry were seen approaching us at the arrive the troops of the garrison were, trot, which by the time they had got it seems, engaged in manæuvring- abreast of us had slackened into a walk. "Egyptian Army resisting an attack of Truly, there was no exaggeration in the Dervishes," being the order of the day's praises to which we had been listening. programme, and a droll misunderstand. The difference between what may be ing occurred. "The Dervishes have cap- called the camel of commerce and this tured a village, sir,” was the breathless humped charger was immense, astonishannouncement made to the commanding ing, to any one who has not seen it officer watching the evolutions of the almost incredible. It was the difference combatants; and “All right” was the between a slouching, morose, and natural reply. “So much the better for ragged street loafer and the same man the officer in command of them." It set up and smartened into the wellwas, of course, some little time before drilled soldier of a crack regiment. The the two armies could be generally ap- camel of commerce, as we most of us prised of the fact that it was a question know him, is a coarse-haired, untidy of real and not of sham Dervishes, and brute, knock-kneed and awkwardthat they must unite forces in pursuit of gaited, with a sullen, if not vindictive, the common enemy, who, thanks to the expression of countenance, and a coat leisurely proceedings of the villagers, all tags and tufts. But these were were by that time well on their way clean-limbed and comely creatures, with back to their base of operations.

skins that shone like satin in the even"It was too many hours' start to give ing sun. They carried their heads as if the rascals,” said our informant, regret- they were proud of them, and planted fully.

their feet with neatness and precision, We expressed the surprise of igno- keeping step perfectly as the rance at its being possible to give then chargers of a troop of cavalry. Merely any start at all. Surely a tribe whose to see them walk was enough to dispel business is "robbery under arms," all doubts as to their ability to outstrip would be as well mounted as a clan of any animal that a Dervish is likely to be Border-reivers in the old cattle-lifting bestriding. And as for drill and disci

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pline, we soon have an opportunity of hand, one sees the futility of any temjudging of their efficiency in those re- porary slipping of the collar. The watchspects when we follow our guide to the dog sees it himself. There would not be camping-ground and see scores of these the slightest difficulty in chastising the usually unmanageable animals kneeling perpetrators of this raid by a descent down in long rows at the word of com- upon the district from which they came. mand before the shallow trenches in But what would be the use? “We which the men have placed for them should probably kill five per cent. of the their evening meal.

men who were concerned in it,” ob“We keep a detachment of the Camel served a high official of the Intelligence Corps in a condition to take the field, Department, “and 95 per cent. of people. you might almost say, at a moment's who have no more to do with it than you notice," another officer told us. “Ra- or I.” There is nothing to be done but tions for the men, forage for the beasts, to keep “pegging away” at patrol work, arms and ammunition-everything in and trust to catching the Dervishes in constant readiness. In less than half the very act on their next attempt. It an hour after the order was given they may not be long before the opportunity would be on the march.”

occurs, for the Dervishes, one hears, are We looked along the lines of crouching full of elation at their recent success. and feeding camels, with their sturdy, They could hardly be "more cock-asable Soudanese riders standing motion- whoop," one of our friends puts in, "if less behind them—the picture of organ- they had sacked Cairo.” They are ized efficiency-and we could well un- boasting, it is believed, that it takes the derstand the present inclination of the camel corps of the infidels six hours to Dervishes to give them as wide a berth mobilize. It is the eager hope of every as possible. The Khalifa's followers man in the garrison of Wady Halfa that have had lessons in that wisdom since they will soon test the accuracy of this the severe one which they received at calculation. Toski in 1889. A year or two ago the In talk of this kind the golden aftercountry around Wady Halfa was alive noon wears away in a still, starry, tropiwith them, and though they never ac- cai night. Dinner awaits us at the hostually attacked our position, they had pitable mess-room looking over the the audacity to threaten it. But since moon-lit Nile, and it is time to bring our then they have been so effectually walk through the camp to a close. Tocleared out that this sudden excursion

morrow we set our faces to the north upon a Nubian village well to the north once more, and leave behind us this of the frontier which we defend was a

furthest outpost of civilization in northpeculiarly irritating surprise. It is the

ern Africa, with its garrison of stalwart more so because, for political and other blacks, and their cheery young English reasons, reprisals are out of the ques- officers, keeping inviolate the Pax Brittion.

annica, even as their spiritual fathers “The watch-dog," observed one of our in history kept the Roman Peace on officers, with some bitterness, "is, un- those distant barriers of their empire fortunately, tied. He is allowed to go against which, until the day of its deonly to the length of his chain, and then cline, the insurging tides of barbarism he is pulled up.”

beat so long in vain. Obviously, therefore, if the thief can From “From Cairo to the Soudan Frontier." only get start enough to save his calves By H. D, Traill. John Lane, Publisher Price he gets off scot free. Yet, on the other $1.50.

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CENTURY AGO. By Sir C. Gavan Duffy, Contemporary Review, II. IN NATURE'S WAGGISH Mood. By Paul

Heyse. Translated for The Living Age

by Harriet Lieber Cohen. Part III. III. TAE ANTIQUITY OF MAN. By Sir John Evans,



By the late Senor A. Canovas del Cas-
tillo. Translated for The Living Age

by Jean Raymond Bidwell, V. THE WORKS OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. First Notice,


OF THE JUBILEE. By Francis de Pres-

Nineteenth Century,
By Edith Lyttelton,

National Review,
VANLEY. By A. I. Shand,

Cornhill Magazine,

London Times,




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