Desert Air

Desert Air

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Desert Air by Robert Smythe Hichens

Published:

1905

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Desert Air

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Book Excerpt

e fading yellow light.

"The aumônier met me at his door, and escorted me into a pleasant room, where his collection of Arab weapons, coins, and old vases, cups, and various utensils, dug up, he told me, at Tlemcen, was arranged. But to my surprise he scarcely took time to show it to me before he said:

"'Though a stranger, may I venture to speak rather intimately to you, monsieur?'

"'Certainly,' I replied, in some astonishment.

"'Your friend is young.'

"'Marnier?'

"'Is that his name? Well, I would not leave him to stroll about too much alone, if I were you.'

"'Why, monsieur?'

"'He is likely to get into trouble. The people here are a wild and violent race. He would do well to bear in mind the saying of a traveller who knew the desert men better than most people:

"If you want to be friendly with them, and safe among them, give cigarettes to the men, and leave the women alone.

"'I see a good deal, monsieur, owing to the situation of my li

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