noble draped figures walking beside them or majestically perching on their rumps. And for miles and miles there will be no more towns--only, at intervals on the naked slopes, circles of rush-roofed huts in a blue stockade of cactus, or a hundred or two nomad tents of black camel's hair resting on walls of wattled thorn and grouped about a terebinth-tree and a well.
[Illustration: map of Morocco]
Between these nomad colonies lies the bled, the immense waste of fallow land and palmetto desert: an earth as void of life as the sky above it of clouds. The scenery is always the same; but if one has the love of great emptinesses, and of the play of light on long stretches of parched earth and rock, the sameness is part of the enchantment. In such a scene every landmark takes on an extreme value. For miles one watches the little white dome of a saint's grave rising and disappearing with the undulations of the trail; at last one is abreast of it, and the solitary tomb, alone with its fig-tree an
This is fascinating, but the writing style itself is less wonderful than you might expect. Wharton is clearly blown away by what she sees, on one of the first tours of Morocco by a Western person since the French occupation began, and there are many beautiful moments. The writing is impressionistic but oddly formal. If you're interested in Morocco or the Merinid/Almohad empires, this will be interesting; it's also key if you are interested in Wharton's own life and travels.