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THE CARAVAN. THE SHEIK OF ALEXANDRIA.—
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY
PROFESSOR OF MODERN LANGUAGES AT WEYMOUTH COLLEGE;
Translator of Riehl's 'Culturgeschichtliche Novellen'
LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET,
A LARGE caravan was one day travelling through the desert. Upon the immense plain, where nothing but sand and sky is seen, the bells of the camels and the small silver jingles of the horses already sounded in the distance. A dense cloud of dust which preceded it announced its approach, and whenever a breeze parted the cloud, glittering arms and bright dresses dazzled the eye. In this way the caravan presented itself to a man who came riding towards its flank. He rode a splendid arab, covered with a tiger-skin; on the harness of amaranth colour, hung little silver bells, and on the horse's head nodded a magnificent aigrette of heron's feathers. The rider looked magnificent, and his equipment corresponded in splendour to that of his steed. A white turban, richly embroidered with gold, covered his head; his coat and full trousers were of burning red, a richly-hilted scimitar was dangling by his side. His turban was slouched over his forehead; which, with the black eyes that blazed from under the bushy eyebrows, and the long beard, starting downwards from his curved nose, gave him a wild and bold appearance.
When the rider was within about fifty paces of the vanguard of the caravan, he spurred his horse, and in a few moments reached the head of the convoy. It was such an unusual event to see a solitary rider journeying through the desert, that the advanced guard of the convoy, fearing an attack, levelled their lances at him. "What do you want?" exclaimed the rider, seeing himself received in so warlike a manner. "Do you think a man single-handed likely to attack your caravan?" The advanced guard, ashamed, raised their lances again, while