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chiefs, who in their turn were tributary vassals
to the Sheiks of the principal tribes. Divided
into innumerable factions, the hordes of one val-
ley were at variance with those of another, for



162 THE MUSSULMAN.

no earthly reason but that their fathers had
been so before them, and that their only inherit-
ance had been a debt of blood.

Sonic days after IMourad's detention in the
camp, the chief informed him that in the public
assembly, where his fate had been the subject
of deliberation the preceding evening, he had
been his friend, and had procured for him such
terms as he would have reason to rejoice at.
The Pacha of El Masr, he said, had a long arm,
which extended even to the wadis of the wilder-
ness, and so long as his tribe remained within
the grasp of Mohamed Ali it would be impru-
dent to provoke his vengeance. Therefore, as
they intended to remain where their camp was
then pitched till the pasturage in the neigh-
bourhood was eaten up, they had resolved to
keep their prisoner until such time as they
had nothing to fear from his complaints to the
Pacha. It was in vain 'that Mourad talked of
the pressing nature of his business at Suez ; he
entreated permission to depart, and vowed to
bury the recollection of their plunder in obli-
vion. The chief told him his doom had been
decided on, and it would be impossible to alter



THE MUSSULMAN. 163

wliat had been pronounced ; but he took u}3on
himself so far to modify the sentence as to suffer
him to depart after a long expected engage-
ment with a neighbouring tribe had taken
place, which was now at hand. It was ex-
pected, he said, by the tribe, that he would
give the assistance of his arm to their cause ;
and as it was a just and ^.necessary war, he
could feel no repugnance at becoming a party
to it. Mourad cared little about the justice
and necessity of the war ; like other heroes, the
only justice he dreamt of doing was to his own
interests, and the only necessities he consulted
were his own individual ones ; he made no in-
quiries about the nature of the quarrel, but he
manifested all the alacrity of a Turkish Dalgetti
to fight for any cause he was requested to
espouse. That evening at sunset, the customary
hour of holding their assemblies, the whole
tribe was gathered together and the Chief in
the midst; each man of any substance carried
his mat with him, and, as he sat down, he de-
posited his wca])on, sword or dagger, on the
ground before him. When the circle was com-
plete, the chief addressed the assembly in the



164 THE MUSSULMAN.

following words : — " God bestowed the wide
wilderness on the children of Ismael and their
seed for ever for an inheritance ; he bestowed not
cities and walled towns on his favourite chil-
dren, neither did he place them in fine houses
and clothe them in silken garments, for God
hates the effeminate and the voluptuous. In
the midst of the wilderness he gave them wadis
more beautiful than all the gardens of the world,
and in his infinite mercy he scattered wells here
and there, so that it is impossible for a Bedouin
to doubt that he is the favourite of Heaven, when
he cannot wander two days in the desert without
meeting with water either fresh or salt. But as
it would be too great a happiness to enjoy such
blessings without some mixture of discontent, it
has pleased Allah from time to time to cause
some unworthy members of the family of Ismael
to spring up amongst us, in order to remind us
by their mischief we are not living in the gar-
dens of Paradise, where malice has no abode.
And now, within sight of our tents, have the
ancient enemies of our tribe pitched their camp.
For fifty years have we sought an honourable
satisfaction for a grievous insult, even for the



THE MUSSULMAN. 165

blood of one of our tribe, shed, as our fathers
have informed us, by a dog of the tribe of
Hassan. Hitherto have we been unsuccessful
in the pursuit of vengeance, but the time is at
length come ; to-morrow, if it please God, the
long account of vengeance shall be finally settled.
With Heaven on our side, what have we to
fear .'' is not our tribe more numerous than the
stars ? Is it not easier to count the sands on the
sea shore than the heads of the brave men about
me ? (Mourad looked around him and he found
the whole number of the innumerables to be
two hundred men.) Who then can doubt of
our success? In the name of Allah, this night
let us attack them, surprise their tents at mid-
night, cut the throats of the kafirs while they
are asleep, and carry off their cattle and their
women, and all their other property before
morning. With the assistance of the Prophet,
and due attention to our match-locks, the attack
will be successful. Our prisoner, the young
Turk, who appears to have more brains than
the generality of his stupid nation, is desirous
of accompanying the expedition ; he shall be
gratified ; though it has not pleased Heaven to



166 THE MUSSULMAN.

have made him a Bedouin, he has the air of a
free-born Arab ; and, if I mistake not, he will be
the first to commence the attack. Remember,
my children, ours is the cause of virtue ; remem-
ber that we fight for vengeance, and he who can
most injure his enemy is most capable of serving
his friend."

The chief ceased speaking, and every one
applauded his discourse, especially the last
moral maxim he propounded. The mode of
the attack was the subject of a long discussion,
in which Mourad took a part that gained him
the confitlence of the wliole tribe. Amongst
otlier important suggestions, lie pointed out tlie
certainty of an alarm being given at their ap-
proach by the dogs, which form the outposts of
every Bedojiin camp ; he therefore proposed
getting rid of this danger by carrying the offals
of a camel to the windward of the adversary %■;
camp, and when the famished mongrels were
busy with the carrion, then to surprise their
foes. This delicate stratagem so pleased the
Bedouins, they swore had he been born in the
desert, he could not have manifested a better
understanding or a brighter wit. The evening



THE MUSSULMAN. 167

was occupied in getting the matciilocks in
order, and furbishing the rusty swords. All
the grinding stones of the camp were put in
requisition ; and the same implement whicii
served for preparing the staff of life, served
likewise for sharpening the instrument of death.
In both occupations the women were the ope-
ratives. When the army of the two hundred
innumerables was on the point of marcliing, the
chief harangued his tribe in an admirable
speech, in which he talked not about honour,
glory, or any such absurdity, but he told them
they were in want of cattle, and their enemies
had plenty, and without slaying these enemies,
there was no getting at their possessions. And
moreover, they were going as the avengers of
blood, and therefore they had justice on their
side, and were walking to the fray under the
shadow of the Apostle. A pagan might have
talked of the protection of Bellona, a giaour <if
the shield of Providence ; but it is doubtful if
the wortis of either would have produced so
encouranjin"; an effect as those of the robber of
the wilderness. It was just midnight when
they reached the outskirts of the adversary's



168 THE MUSSULMAN.

camp ; our hero's project for taking off the at-
tention of the out party was successful. There
was something striking in the appearance of
Mourad in his Bedouin accoutrements ; he was
still pale from the eflPect of his late illness, but
the cicatrix on his cheek gave an expression
of fierceness, if not of ferocity, to his features,
lit up as they now were with the horrid plea-
sure of anticipated havoc. The murder of the
Mamelukes had brought the first red cup of
slaughter to his lios ; and havino- once tasted
blood he thirsted for more, and mistook the
unnatural cravings of a depraved appetite for
the laudable desire of obtaining glory. The
insensible influence which a strong mind ac-
quires over a weak one, gave Mourad an as-
cendancy over the Bedouins ; they involuntarily
abandoned their chief, and flocked round our
hero, whom with one voice they besought to
lead them against the enemy. Mourad desired
nothing better ; imposing silence on his host, he
advanced at their head with the stealthy pace
of midnight robbers, and reached the tents
without any alarm having been given.

" Now," cried Mourad to tlie horde, " is the



THE MUSSULMAN. 169

time for vengeance. In the name of the Pro-
phet, every man to his work, and let the camp
be entered with the universal shout of Allah !
Illah !"

In an instant the cry of blood was up, and
havoc was let loose in every tent. Mourad, at
the head of his cut-throats, carried desolation
into the heart of the encampment ; scores of
poor wretches, scarcely awake, and stupified
with astonishment, were cut down. Every
where the sword of Mourad was seen gleam-
ing in the moonlight as he rushed from tent
to tent, spreading devastation where he went.
But the assailants at length met a check in
front of the tent of the adversary's sheik.
There some fifty of their tribe had rallied,
and though hardly recovered from the terror
of the unforeseen attack, they made such des-
perate resistance, as caused the assailants, who
had hitherto been acting on the offensive, to
turn their tactics to the defensive. The single
arm of Mourad repeatedly turned the fortune
of the day, but at length a spear-wound in the
arm put him hors dii combat, and from that
moment the success of his party became more

VOL. in. I



ITO THE MUSSULMAN.

than doubtful. The chief, who kept at a con-
venient distance from the scene of action, was
unfortunately espied and taken prisoner. When
the Bedouins found themselves without a com-
mander, the disorder became complete, and the
)notto of each was sauve qui pent. Mourad
was encompassed by a host of howling Arabs,
whose shouts were sufficient to terrify the soul
of any one unaccustomed to such a war-whoop.
But wounded as he was, he succeeded in fight-
ing his way through the enemy, bearing down
a host of his adversaries at every step, and leav-
ing the impression on their minds that they had
been vanquished by a superhuman arm. In the
mean time the assailants had fled in terrible dis-
order to their camp, pursued by their foes, and
harassed by them at every step. Mourad took
an opposite direction, by that part of the camp
where the women and children were stationed,
awaiting the issue of the conflict; dozens of them
fled screaming as he ran past them, some utter-
ing imprecations on his head, others throwing
handsful of dust in the air, and shrieking like
so many gouls. At the door of one of the
tents, the fugitive observed a horse picketed,



THE MUSSULMAN. 171

the accoutrements by his side. To throw the
saddle on his back, and the bridle on his neck,
was the work of a minute ; with his sword he
cut the cord which bound his fore-feet to the
stake, and, ere his pursuers were at hand, he
was mounted on the back of as noble a steed as
ever bore a Bedouin over the sands of the de-
sert. For two good hours he never pulled a
rein ; now and then he looked behind him,
and had a distant view of his pursuers ; but so
far from gaining on him, they became every
moment more indistinct, till at length he lost
sight of them altogether. All night long he
pursued his journey, totally unacquainted with
the route, and unprovided with any of the ne-
cessaries of life ; the fatigue of the conflict
and the flight, the w^ant of refreshment for so
many hours, had worn him out, and completely
exhausted him. Tormented with thirst, he
glanced his eye in every direction as he gal-
loped on in search of a well ; but the customary
verdure, which is the indication of the fountain,
was no where to be seen. The sun was now
beaming in all its fierceness on the arid soil, and
the sultry vapour rolled in waves over the burn-

I 2



172 THE MUSSULMAN.

ing sands. The sky for some time had been
assuming a lurid yellow tint, and the wind blew
from the south as if it issued from the mouth
of a heated oven. Gradually the sun became
eclipsed, and the heat became intolerable ; while
the swift simoom every moment bore a new
gust of poison from the south, and contami-
nated the wholesome air with its oppressive
breath. The burning sands were blown about
in a thousand whirlwinds, and a suffocating va-
pour swept over the soil, threatening destruc-
tion to every living creature that came within
its pestiferous vortex. In vain did Mourad
look round him for a shelter ; on every side
the horizon was bounded by an ocean of agi-
tated sands. He breathed with difficulty, he felt
a burning heat within him, but no perspiration
moistened the dry skin ; his parched tongue
clove to his palate, his limbs became enervated ;
when he dismounted from his panting steed, his
exhaustion was so great he could hardly keep
his legs. The horse seemed to share the suf-
ferings of the rider ; he trembled all over, and
snorted as he snuffed up the suffocating air ;
he seemed almost instinctively to lie down and



THE MUSSULMAN. 173

keep his nose to the sand, in order to escape
the sweeping gust of the Kamsin. Mourad lay
prostrate beside his steed, his head enveloped
in his blanket, and his limbs half buried in the
accumulating sands. His thirst became more
intolerable, his lips clove together, and the
fibres of his parched throat grew more rigid
every instant, till at length it seemed as if the
whole arid surface was splitting into a thou-
sand fissures. Had the wealth of the universe
been his, he would have given it all for one
blessed draught of cold water. The pangs of
raging thirst momentarily increased, and the
intensity of suffering sent a thrill from the
bosom to the brain, and threatened the mind
with madness. A thousand horrible fancies sug-
gested themselves to his soul : one moment it
appeared as if he were tossing on a sea of
molten lead ; at another instant as if a legion
of infernal beings were breathing a burning
atmosphere around him : and in the midst of
all his sufferings, the horrible consciousness of
approaching frenzy was present to his mind.
He believed it was written that his unfortunate
career was to terminate in the desert ; that the



174 THE MUSSULMAN.

journey of his life was to end even where he
lay. One moment he ])raycd to Allah to re-
lease him from the torments he endured, the
next he uttered incoherent curses on the heads
of the IJcdouins, and on the father of the Delhi,
who carried him into the wilderness. Distrac-
tion at length seemed to have taken possession
of his soul ; he gashed his arm with his sword,
and sucked the streaming blood with all the
avidity of a famished maniac. In the madness
of the moment, he would probably have pro-
ceeded to the commission of some more fatal
act, had not nature sunk under the accumula-
tion of such misery, and a state of insensibility
ensued. How long he continued in that con-
dition he knew not, but when he came to his
senses, he found himself in the midst of a cara-
van, surrounded by Arabs, and his horse by his
side, drinking at a hollow scooped in the sand,
and covered with a sheep-skin. His own head
and neck he found had been plentifully bathed
by the Arabs ; and when he awoke, one of them
Avas kneeling by his side, holding a vessel of
water to his lips. His blessing was all he
could give to his charitable attendant ; he put



THE MUSSULMAN. 175

his hand to his gu'dle, but he recollected the
Bedouins had stripped him of every thing."

" Ah, Bedowee !" said the Arab, " these
Turks, whose beards are hatefid to our souls,
are not all kafirs alike ; had it not been for niy
master, Suleiman Aga, you and your poor horse
would have been left to perish.^'

" Suleiman Aga !" cried Mourad, in accents
almost unintelhgible to the Arab : " Who is he,
I beseech you, and whence comes he ?"

" He was the Aga of Bournarbashi," replied
the Arab ; " he is coming from Anatolia, and
is proceeding, like a pious hadgi, on a pilgrim-
age to the holy city. Perhaps you have known
some one of his name ; but my master it is im-
possible that you can have known, for he is mak-
ing the pilgrimage for the first time, and, I fear,
for the last, unless it please God to cure him of
the fever he caught at Cyprus. For sotne days
after our setting out," continued the Arab,
" he was well enough to sit his camel and
smoke his pipe all day long, but now he is
forced to travel like a woman, in a pannier, and
has not asked his totoun-bashi for a pipe the
last three days."



176 THE MUSSULMAN.

« He must be ill indeed," said Mourad, " if
he cannot smoke ; but how came he to observe
me ? Was he the first to see me ? and is it to
his compassion I owe my life ?"

" One of the guides,'' rephed the Arab,
" was the first to perceive your horse, and, on
approaching the spot, to see you extended like
a corpse on the sands. It was he who informed
the Aga of his finding a horse standing over the
dead body of his master, who had probably
been suffocated in the late Kamsin. The Aga
would not suff'er the guide to take away the
steed of the poor Bedouin, without ascertaining
himself that the last spark of hfe had departed
from the body. Sick as he was himself, from
the terrible eff'ects of the suffocating wind, he
rode to the spot, and bade me pull the blanket
from your face, and pour some water over your
parched lips. While I did so, you revived,
and the Aga had his tent pitched at a little
distance, being worn out with the sufferings he
endured during the Kamsin. But how does it
happen," continued the Arab, "that you do
not talk hke the other Bedouins of this desert ?
Is your tribe of the Hedjaz, that your tongue



THE MUSSULMAN. 177

is so different from that of the tribes of Sa-
hara ?"

" No," replied Mourad, '' my tribe is not of
the Hedjaz ; the tents of my people are pitched
in the green wadis of Barrh-el-Cham, and our
dialect is not that of the Hansirs hereabouts.
I am a wandering hakkim of the wilderness,
going about to see where I can do good ; and,
in my beneficent pursuit, it has been my mis-
fortune to have fallen into the hands of a hos-
tile tribe, and I have reason to account myself
happy to have escaped their claws, with no
worse injury than this spear-wound in my arm.
IBut it gineves me," continued the impostor,
" to hear that this kind master of yours, to
whose clemency I am so much indebted, should
be so ill as you represent him to be. The in-
hospitable desert is a sad place for a sick man,
and even for the healthy it is a melancholy
abode ; where wealth is scarce, and water is not
abundant ; where a physician is not to be found
to look after the body, nor a priest to be
hired to follow the remains. But Heaven, not-
withstanding, is sufficient for us all ; the same
shadow of the Apostle, which spreads its blessed

15



1T8 THE MUSSULMAN.

influence on the palace of the Prince, overhangs
the tent of the Bedouin. But a few minutes
ago, tile angel of Death was hovering over my
head, and Pi'ovidence sent your compassionate
master to my succour ; and now my benefactor
stands in need of a physician, and it has pleased
Heaven to throw me in his path."

" Wallah el Nebi !" cried the Arab, " these
are wonderful words — you a hakkim .'* you
who were just now on the brink of eternity,
the healer of the sick ? By the beard of the
Prophet ! if there be any truth in your callam,
your speech would be paid with gold. I will
run and tell my master we have a hakkim in
the desert. Mashallah ! praise be to Allah for
all his goodness !"

*' Go !" exclaimed Mourad, "I am indebted
to your master more than I can repay with
words ; but if it please the Apostle, I will ma-
nifest my gratitude by deeds of service."



THE MUSSULMAN. 179



CHAPTER XIII.

It is a gi-eat deal better to have a quiet and settled
mind, lying upon the ground, than to have much trouble
on a bed of gold. Pythagoras.

The extraordinary excitement produced by
the Arab's intelligence, removed all at once the
exhaustion of Mourad, as if by n:iagic. He
was no longer the poor pallid wretch, famished
and attenuated, he so lately appeared to be ;
his haggard features brightened up, his dim
eyes sparkled, and the limbs that only now
seemed to totter under their weight, suddenly
acquired an unwonted vigour.

*' Praise be to the Prophet !"" exclaimed he,
" whose propitious influence has preserved me
from a thousand deaths, and brought me to the
enjoyment of this blessed day to behold the



180 THE MUSSULMAN.

destroyer of my mother's peace, to look upon
the robber of my father's life. The long ac-
count of vengeance has been only partially
settled ; one great item of blood remains to be
added before it be finally cast up. Every thing
seems to conspire to facilitate revenge, as if the
unerring hand of justice directed every step,
and put my mortal enemy into my path for the
especial purpose of permitting me to wreak
destruction on his head. My garb, my late
accident, the alteration in my looks, all favour
my disguise. Who that beheld me ten years
ago, with the bloom of youth, and health, and
innocence on my cheek, would now recognise
these weather-beaten features, scarred, and dis-
figured as they are, and furrowed with the
lines of every crime and passion ? Grant, Holy
Prophet ! they remain undiscovered ; enable me
to steal into his heart, and infirm as he is, if
there be such a thing as conscience in his breast,
I will wring it with every torture of remorse,
till he writhe in the agonies of death, and
mingle with his last gasp the imprecations of
despair."



THE MUSSULMAN. 181

The Arab put an end to his supplication to
the beneficent Apostle, by bringing a summons
from the Aga for his immediate attendance.
Mourad followed the messenger to the tent of
the sick hadgi, pulling his Bedouin head-gear
over his brows as he went along, and disposing
his Arab blanket on his person so as thorough-
ly to conceal his figure. On entering the tent
of the Aga, it was with difficulty he could
repress the emotions which thrilled through his
heart ; there lay his deadly enemy before him in
the character of his preserver, as he had once
been in that of his father and benefactor, now
claiming his services as a hakkim, as he had
once done his affections as a child, and destined
to find the former no more than the latter claim
allowed.

The head of the sick man was enveloped in
his Arab cloak, when Mourad approached him.
" The ])eace of Allah be upon you !*" said the
latter ; " the poor Bedouin your clemency has
rescued from the brink of the grave, has come
to thank you, Effendi, and to lay the proffer of
his services at your feet, and, if it be your will
to accept them, to restore you to health."



182 THE MUSSULMAN.

The invalid slowly threw back the covering
from his face, and regarded intently the features
of the speaker, as if he was desirous of scru-
tinizing the physiognomy of the hakkim in
whose skill he was about to trust his life.
Mourad's glance at the same time was fixed
on the Aga, and the fear of recognition was
merged in the astonishment he felt at observing
the alteration in the looks of the ex-governor :
his features no longer bluff, his figure no longer
portly, and every indication of the rude health
of fat, contented ignorance, and insolent autho-
rity completely gone. He lay extended on his
carpet, shivering beneath a pile of cloaks and
blankets, notwithstanding the heat of the tent was
such as the attendants could hardly endure.
The fine bold features of the proud Moslem
were shrunken and collapsed, the fire of his
fierce glance was subdued, and the scorn of his
full lip was changed into the sad gesture of
suffering and complaint.

Mourad could hardly bring himself to believe
he was gazing on the dignified figure of the
governor of Bournarbashi, but the well-known
sound of his voice, hollow as it now was, left



THE iMUSSULMAN. 183

no doubt as to the identity of the Aga. He
addressed our hero in a low tone in his native
tongue ; but the latter gave him to understand
he knew no language but his own, whereon
Suleiman put the few words of Arabic he was
acquainted with in requisition, and made himself
sufficiently intelligible to the hakkim.

" Young man," said he, " if men's faces had
any thing to do with their professions, I would
have taken you for a soldier rather than a
physician ; perhaps you are both ; and if you
excel in either, your friends have reason to
praise God for your ability. An indifferent


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