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An unprotected female at the pyramids


TheProjectGutenbergeBook,AnUnprotectedFemaleatthePyramids,by
AnthonyTrollope

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Title:AnUnprotectedFemaleatthePyramids

Author:AnthonyTrollope

ReleaseDate:January16,2015[eBook#3710]
[ThisfilewasfirstpostedonJuly31,2001]
Language:English
Charactersetencoding:ISO-646-US(US-ASCII)

***STARTOFTHEPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKANUNPROTECTEDFEMALEATTHE

PYRAMIDS***

Transcribedfromthe1864ChapmanandHall“TalesofAllCountries”edition
byDavidPrice,emailccx074@pglaf.org


ANUNPROTECTEDFEMALEAT
THEPYRAMIDS
INthehappydayswhenwewereyoung,nodescriptionconveyedtousso
completeanideaofmysteriousrealityasthatofanOrientalcity.Weknewit
wasactuallythere,buthadsuchvaguenotionsofitswaysandlooks!Letany
onerememberhisearlyimpressionsastoBagdadorGrandCairo,andthensay
ifthiswasnotso.Itwasprobablytakenfromthe“ArabianNights,”andthe
pictureproducedwasoneofstrange,fantastic,luxurioushouses;ofwomenwho
wereeitherveryyoungandverybeautiful,orelseveryoldandverycunning;but
ineitherstateexercisingmuchmoreinfluenceinlifethanwomenintheEastdo
now;ofgood-natured,capricious,thoughsometimestyrannicalmonarchs;and
oflifefullofquaintmysteries,quiteunintelligibleineveryphasis,andonthat
accountthemorepicturesque.
AndperhapsGrandCairohasthusfilleduswithmorewondereventhan
Bagdad.WehavebeeninacertainmannerathomeatBagdad,buthaveonly
visitedGrandCairooccasionally.Iknownoplacewhichwastome,inearly
years,sodelightfullymysteriousasGrandCairo.
ButtheroutetoIndiaandAustraliahaschangedallthis.Menfromallcountries
goingtotheEast,nowpassthroughCairo,anditsstreetsandcostumesareno
longerstrangetous.Ithasbecomealsoaresortforinvalids,orratherforthose
whofearthattheymaybecomeinvalidsiftheyremaininacoldclimateduring
thewintermonths.AndthusatCairothereisalwaystobefoundaconsiderable
populationofFrench,Americans,andofEnglish.Orientallifeisbroughthome
tous,dreadfullydilutedbywesterncustoms,andthedelightsofthe“Arabian
Nights”areshornofhalftheirvalue.Whenwehaveseenathingitisneverso
magnificenttousaswhenitwashalfunknown.
ItisnotmuchthatwedeigntolearnfromtheseOrientals,—wewhogloryinour
civilisation.Wedonotcopytheirsilenceortheirabstemiousness,northat


invariablemindfulnessofhisownpersonaldignitywhichalwaysadherestoa
TurkortoanArab.WechatterasmuchatCairoaselsewhere,andeatasmuch
anddrinkasmuch,anddressourselvesgenerallyinthesameolduglycostume.
Butwedousuallytakeuponourselvestowearredcaps,andwedorideon


donkeys.
NorarethevisitorsfromtheWesttoCairobyanymeansconfinedtothemale
sex.LadiesaretobeseeninthestreetsquiteregardlessoftheMahommedan
customwhichpresumesaveiltobenecessaryforanappearanceinpublic;and,
totellthetruth,theMahommedansingeneraldonotappeartobemuchshocked
bytheireffrontery.
Aquarterofthetownhasinthiswaybecomeinhabitedbymenwearingcoats
andwaistcoats,andbywomenwhoarewithoutveils;buttheEnglishtonguein
EgyptfindsitscentreatShepheard’sHotel.Itisherethatpeoplecongregate
whoarelookingoutforpartiestovisitwiththemtheUpperNile,andwhoare
generallyallsmilesandcourtesy;andherealsoaretobefoundtheywhohave
justreturnedfromthisjourney,andwhoareofteninaframeofmindtowards
theircompanionsthatismuchlessamiable.Fromhence,duringthewinter,a
cortégeproceedsalmostdailytothepyramids,ortoMemphis,ortothepetrified
forest,ortotheCityoftheSun.Andthen,again,fourorfivetimesamonththe
houseisfilledwithyoungaspirantsgoingouttoIndia,maleandfemale,fullof
valourandbloom;orwithotherscominghome,nolongeryoung,nolonger
aspiring,butladenwithchildrenandgrievances.
Thepartywithwhomweareatpresentconcernedisnotabouttoproceedfurther
thanthePyramids,andweshallbeabletogowiththemandreturninoneand
thesameday.
ItconsistedchieflyofanEnglishfamily,Mr.andMrs.Damer,theirdaughter,
andtwoyoungsons;—ofthesechiefly,becausetheywerethenucleustowhich
theothershadattachedthemselvesasadherents;theyhadoriginatedthejourney,
andinthewholemanagementofitMr.Damerregardedhimselfasthemaster.
Theadherentswere,firstly,M.Delabordeau,aFrenchman,nowresidentin
Cairo,whohadgivenoutthathewasinsomewayconcernedinthecanalabout
tobemadebetweentheMediterraneanandtheRedSea.Indiscussiononthis
subjecthehadbecomeacquaintedwithMr.Damer;andalthoughthelatter
gentleman,truetoEnglishinterests,perpetuallydeclaredthatthecanalwould
neverbemade,andthusirritatedM.Delabordeaunotalittle—nevertheless,


somemeasureoffriendshiphadgrownupbetweenthem.
TherewasalsoanAmericangentleman,Mr.JeffersonIngram,whowas
comprisingallcountriesandallnationsinonegrandtour,asAmerican
gentlemensooftendo.Hewasyoungandgood-looking,andhadmadehimself
especiallyagreeabletoMr.Damer,whohaddeclared,morethanonce,thatMr.
IngramwasbyfarthemostrationalAmericanhehadevermet.Mr.Ingram
wouldlistentoMr.Damerbythehalf-hourastothevirtueoftheBritish
Constitution,andhadevensatbyalmostwithpatiencewhenMr.Damerhad
expressedadoubtastothegoodworkingoftheUnitedStates’schemeofpolicy,
—which,inanAmerican,wasmostwonderful.Butsomeofthesojournersat
Shepheard’shadobservedthatMr.IngramwasinthehabitoftalkingwithMiss
Dameralmostasmuchaswithherfather,andarguedfromthat,thatfondasthe
youngmanwasofpolitics,hedidsometimesturnhismindtootherthingsalso.
AndthentherewasMissDawkins.NowMissDawkinswasanimportant
person,bothastoherselfandastoherlineoflife,andshemustbedescribed.
Shewas,inthefirstplace,anunprotectedfemaleofaboutthirtyyearsofage.
Asthisisbecominganestablishedprofession,settingitselfupasitwerein
oppositiontotheoldworldideathatwomen,likegreenpeas,cannotcometo
perfectionwithoutsupporting-sticks,itwillbeunderstoodatoncewhatwere
MissDawkins’ssentiments.Sheconsidered—oratanyratesoexpressedherself
—thatpeascouldgrowverywellwithoutsticks,andcouldnotonlygrowthus
unsupported,butcouldalsomaketheirwayabouttheworldwithoutany
incumbranceofstickswhatsoever.Shedidnotintend,shesaid,torivalIda
Pfeiffer,seeingthatshewasattachedinamoderatewaytobedandboard,and
wasattachedtosocietyinamanneralmostmorethanmoderate;butshehadno
ideaofbeingpreventedfromseeinganythingshewishedtoseebecauseshehad
neitherfather,norhusband,norbrotheravailableforthepurposeofescort.She
wasahumancreature,witharmsandlegs,shesaid;andsheintendedtouse
them.Andthiswasallverywell;butneverthelessshehadastronginclinationto
usethearmsandlegsofotherpeoplewhenshecouldmakethemserviceable.
InpersonMissDawkinswasnotwithoutattraction.IshouldexaggerateifI
weretosaythatshewasbeautifulandelegant;butshewasgoodlooking,and
notusuallyillmannered.Shewastall,andgiftedwithfeaturesrathersharpand
witheyesverybright.Herhairwasofthedarkestshadeofbrown,andwas
alwaysworninbandeaux,veryneatly.Sheappearedgenerallyinblack,though
othercircumstancesdidnotleadonetosupposethatshewasinmourning;and
then,noothertravellingcostumeissoconvenient!Shealwaysworeadark


broad-brimmedstrawhat,astotheribbonsonwhichshewasratherparticular.
Shewasveryneataboutherglovesandboots;andthoughitcannotbesaidthat
herdresswasgotupwithoutreferencetoexpense,therecanbenodoubtthatit
wasnoteffectedwithoutconsiderableoutlay,—andmoreconsiderablethought.
MissDawkins—SabrinaDawkinswashername,butsheseldomhadfriends
aboutherintimateenoughtousethewordSabrina—wascertainlyaclever
youngwoman.Shecouldtalkonmostsubjects,ifnotwell,atleastwellenough
toamuse.Ifshehadnotreadmuch,shenevershowedanylamentable
deficiency;shewasgood-humoured,asarule,andcouldonoccasionsbevery
softandwinning.Peoplewhohadknownherlongwouldsometimessaythat
shewasselfish;butwithnewacquaintanceshewasforbearingandself-denying.
WithwhatincomeMissDawkinswasblessednooneseemedtoknow.Shelived
likeagentlewoman,asfarasoutwardappearancewent,andneverseemedtobe
inwant;butsomepeoplewouldsaythatsheknewverywellhowmanysides
thereweretoashilling,andsomeenemyhadoncedeclaredthatshewasan“old
soldier.”SuchwasMissDawkins.
Shealso,aswellasMr.IngramandM.Delabordeau,hadlaidherselfouttofind
theweaksideofMr.Damer.Mr.Damer,withallhisfamily,wasgoingupthe
Nile,anditwasknownthathehadroomfortwoinhisboatoverandabovehis
ownfamily.MissDawkinshadtoldhimthatshehadnotquitemadeupher
mindtoundergosogreatafatigue,butthat,nevertheless,shehadalongingof
thesoultoseesomethingofNubia.TothisMr.Damerhadanswerednothing
but“Oh!”whichMissDawkinshadnotfoundtobeencouraging.
Butshehadnotonthataccountdespaired.Toamarriedmantherearealways
twosides,andinthisinstancetherewasMrs.DameraswellasMr.Damer.
WhenMr.Damersaid“Oh!”MissDawkinssighed,andsaid,“Yes,indeed!”
thensmiled,andbetookherselftoMrs.Damer.
NowMrs.Damerwassoft-hearted,andalsosomewhatold-fashioned.Shedid
notconceiveanyviolentaffectionforMissDawkins,butshetoldherdaughter
that“thesingleladybyherselfwasaveryniceyoungwoman,andthatitwasa
thousandpitiessheshouldhavetogoaboutsomuchalonelike.”
MissDamerhadturnedupherprettynose,thinking,perhaps,howsmallwasthe
chancethatitevershouldbeherownlottobeanunprotectedfemale.ButMiss
DawkinscarriedherpointatanyrateasregardedtheexpeditiontothePyramids.


MissDamer,Ihavesaid,hadaprettynose.Imayalsosaythatshehadpretty
eyes,mouth,andchin,withothernecessaryappendages,allpretty.Astothetwo
MasterDamers,whowererespectivelyoftheagesoffifteenandsixteen,itmay
besufficienttosaythattheywereconspicuousforredcapsandfortheconstancy
withwhichtheyracedtheirdonkeys.
Andnowthedonkeys,andthedonkeyboys,andthedragomanswereall
standingatthestepsofShepheard’sHotel.Toeachdonkeytherewasadonkeyboy,andtoeachgentlemantherewasadragoman,sothatagoodlycortégewas
assembled,andagoodlynoisewasmade.Itmayhereberemarked,perhaps
withsomelittlepride,thatnothalfthenoiseisgiveninEgypttopersons
speakinganyotherlanguagethatisbestowedonthosewhosevocabularyis
English.
Thislastedforhalfanhour.HadthepartybeenFrenchthedonkeyswouldhave
arrivedonlyfifteenminutesbeforetheappointedtime.Andthenoutcame
DamerpèreandDamermère,Damerfille,andDamerfils.Damermèrewas
leaningonherhusband,aswasherwont.Shewasnotanunprotectedfemale,
andhadnodesiretomakeanyattemptsinthatline.Damerfillewasattended
sedulouslybyMr.Ingram,forwhosedemolishment,however,Mr.Damerstill
broughtup,inaloudvoice,thefagendsofcertainpoliticalargumentswhichhe
wouldfainhavepoureddirectintotheearsofhisopponent,hadnothiswife
beensopersistentinclaimingherprivileges.M.Delabordeaushouldhave
followedwithMissDawkins,buthisFrenchpoliteness,orelsehisfearofthe
unprotectedfemale,taughthimtowalkontheothersideofthemistressofthe
party.
MissDawkinsleftthehousewithaneageryoungDameryellingoneachsideof
her;butnevertheless,thoughthusneglectedbythegentlemenoftheparty,she
wasallsmilesandprettiness,andlookedsosweetlyonMr.Ingramwhenthat
gentlemanstayedamomenttohelpherontoherdonkey,thathisheartalmost
misgavehimforleavingherassoonasshewasinherseat.
Andthentheywereoff.IngoingfromthehoteltothePyramidsourpartyhad
nottopassthroughanyofthequeeroldnarrowstreetsofthetrueCairo—Cairo
theOriental.Theyalllaybehindthemastheywentdownbythebackofthe
hotel,bythebarracksofthePashaandtheCollegeoftheDervishes,tothe
villageofoldCairoandthebanksoftheNile.
Heretheywerekepthalfanhourwhiletheirdragomansmadeabargainwiththe


ferryman,astatelyreis,orcaptainofaboat,whodeclaredwithmuchdignity
thathecouldnotcarrythemoverforasumlessthansixtimestheamountto
whichhewasjustlyentitled;whilethedragomans,withgreatenergyonbehalf
oftheirmasters,offeredhimonlyfivetimesthatsum.
Asfarasthereiswasconcerned,thecontestmightsoonhavebeenatanend,for
themanwasnotwithoutaconscience;andwouldhavebeencontentwithfive
timesandahalf;butthenthethreedragomansquarrelledamongthemselvesas
towhichshouldhavethepayingofthemoney,andtheaffairbecamevery
tedious.
“Whathorrid,odiousmen!”saidMissDawkins,appealingtoMr.Damer.“Do
youthinktheywillletusgooveratall?”
“Well,Isupposetheywill;peopledogetovergenerally,Ibelieve.Abdallah!
Abdallah!whydon’tyoupaytheman?Thatfellowisalwaysstrivingtosave
halfapiastreforme.”
“Iwishhewasn’tquitesoparticular,”saidMrs.Damer,whowasalready
becomingrathertired;“butI’msurehe’saveryhonestmanintryingtoprotect
usfrombeingrobbed.”
“Thatheis,”saidMissDawkins.“Whatadelightfultraitofnationalcharacterit
istoseethesemensofaithfultotheiremployers.”Andthenatlasttheygotover
theferry,Mr.Ingramhavingdescendedamongthecombatants,andsettledthe
matterindisputebythreatsandshouts,andanupliftedstick.
TheycrossedthebroadNileexactlyatthespotwherethenilometer,orriver
guage,measuresfromdaytoday,andfromyeartoyear,theincreasingor
decreasingtreasuresofthestream,andlandedatavillagewherethousandsof
eggsaremadeintochickensbytheprocessofartificialincubation.
Mrs.Damerthoughtthatitwasveryharduponthematernalhens—thehens
whichshouldhavebeenmaternal—thattheyshouldbethusrobbedofthe
delightsofmotherhood.
“Sounnatural,youknow,”saidMissDawkins;“soopposedtothefostering
principlesofcreation.Don’tyouthinkso,Mr.Ingram?”
Mr.Ingramsaidhedidn’tknow.HewasagainseatingMissDameronher
donkey,anditmustbepresumedthatheperformedthisfeatclumsily;forFanny
Damercouldjumponandofftheanimalwithhardlyafingertohelpher,when


herbrotherorherfatherwasherescort;butnow,underthehandsofMr.Ingram,
thisworkofmountingwasonewhichrequiredconsiderabletimeandcare.All
whichMissDawkinsobservedwithprecision.
“It’sallverywelltalking,”saidMr.Damer,bringinguphisdonkeynearly
alongsidethatofMr.Ingram,andignoringhisdaughter’spresence,justashe
wouldhavedonethatofhisdog;“butyoumustadmitthatpoliticalpoweris
moreequallydistributedinEnglandthanitisinAmerica.”
“Perhapsitis,”saidMr.Ingram;“equallydistributedamong,wewillsay,three
dozenfamilies,”andhemadeafeintasthoughtoholdinhisimpetuousdonkey,
usingthespur,however,atthesametimeonthesidethatwasunseenbyMr.
Damer.Ashedidso,Fanny’sdonkeybecameequallyimpetuous,andthetwo
canteredoninadvanceofthewholeparty.ItwasquiteinvainthatMr.Damer,
atthetopofhisvoice,shoutedoutsomethingabout“threedozencorruptible
demagogues.”Mr.Ingramfounditquiteimpossibletorestrainhisdonkeysoas
tolistentothesarcasm.
“Idobelievepapawouldtalkpolitics,”saidFanny,“ifhewereatthetopof
MontBlanc,orundertheFallsofNiagara.Idohatepolitics,Mr.Ingram.”
“Iamsorryforthat,very,”saidMr.Ingram,almostsadly.
“Sorry,why?Youdon’twantmetotalkpolitics,doyou?”
“InAmericaweareallpoliticians,moreorless;and,therefore,Isupposeyou
willhateusall.”
“Well,IratherthinkIshould,”saidFanny;“youwouldbesuchbores.”But
therewassomethinginhereye,asshespoke,whichatonedfortheharshnessof
herwords.
“AveryniceyoungmanisMr.Ingram;don’tyouthinkso?”saidMissDawkins
toMrs.Damer.Mrs.Damerwasgoingalonguponherdonkey,notaltogether
comfortably.Shemuchwishedtohaveherlordandlegitimateprotectorbyher
side,buthehadlefthertothecareofadragomanwhoseEnglishwasnot
intelligibletoher,andshewasrathercross.
“Indeed,MissDawkins,Idon’tknowwhoareniceandwhoarenot.Thisnasty
donkeystumblesateverstep.There!IknowIshallbedowndirectly.”
“Youneednotbeatallafraidofthat;theyareperfectlysafe,Ibelieve,always,”


saidMissDawkins,risinginherstirrup,andhandlingherreinsquite
triumphantly.“Averylittlepracticewillmakeyouquiteathome.”
“Idon’tknowwhatyoumeanbyaverylittlepractice.Ihavebeenheresix
weeks.Whydidyouputmeonsuchabaddonkeyasthis?”andsheturnedto
Abdallah,thedragoman.
“Himberrygooddonkey,mylady;berrygood,—bestofall.CallhimJackin
Cairo.HimgotoPyramidandback,andmindnoting.”
“Whatdoeshesay,MissDawkins?”
“HesaysthatthatdonkeyisonecalledJack.IfsoI’vehadhimmyselfmany
times,andJackisaverygooddonkey.”
“Iwishyouhadhimnowwithallmyheart,”saidMrs.Damer.Uponwhich
MissDawkinsofferedtochange;butthoseperilsofmountinganddismounting
weretoMrs.Dameragreatdealtooseveretoadmitofthis.
“Sevenmilesofcanaltobecarriedoutintothesea,ataminimumdepthof
twenty-threefeet,andthestonetobefetchedfromHeavenknowswhere!All
themoneyinFrancewouldn’tdoit.”ThiswasaddressedbyMr.DamertoM.
Delabordeau,whomhehadcaughtaftertheabruptflightofMr.Ingram.
“DenwewillborrowaleetlefromEngland,”saidM.Delabordeau.
“Preciouslittle,Icantellyou.Suchstockwouldnotholditspriceinour
marketsfortwenty-fourhours.Ifitweremade,thefreightswouldbetooheavy
toallowofmerchandisepassingthrough.Theheavygoodswouldallgoround;
andasforpassengersandmails,youdon’texpecttogetthem,Isuppose,while
thereisarailroadreadymadetotheirhand?”
“Yevillcarryallyourshipsthroughvidoutanytransportation.Thinkofthat,my
friend.”
“Pshaw!YouareworsethanIngram.OfalltheplansIeverheardofitisthe
mostmonstrous,themostimpracticable,themost—”Butherehewas
interruptedbytheentreatiesofhiswife,whohad,inabsolutedeedandfact,
slippedfromherdonkey,andwasnowcallinglustilyforherhusband’said.
WhereuponMissDawkinsalliedherselftotheFrenchman,andlistenedwithan
airofstrongconvictiontothoseargumentswhichweresoweakintheearsof
Mr.Damer.M.DelabordeauwasabouttorideacrosstheGreatDesertto


Jerusalem,anditmightperhapsbequiteaswelltodothatwithhim,astogoup
theNileasfarasthesecondcataractwiththeDamers.
“Andso,M.Delabordeau,youintendreallytostartforMountSinai?”
“Yes,mees;veintendtomakeonestartonMondayweek.”
“AndsoontoJerusalem.Youarequiteright.Itwouldbeathousandpitiesto
beinthesecountries,andtoreturnwithoutgoingoversuchgroundasthat.I
shallcertainlygotoJerusalemmyselfbythatroute.”
“Vot,mees!you?Wouldyounotfindittoomuchfatigante?”
“Icarenothingforfatigue,ifIlikethepartyIamwith,—nothingatall,literally.
Youwillhardlyunderstandme,perhaps,M.Delabordeau;butIdonotseeany
reasonwhyI,asayoungwoman,shouldnotmakeanyjourneythatis
practicableforayoungman.”
“Ah!datisgreatresolutionforyou,mees.”
“Imeanasfarasfatigueisconcerned.YouareaFrenchman,andbelongtothe
nationthatisattheheadofallhumancivilisation—”
M.Delabordeautookoffhishatandbowedlow,tothepeakofhisdonkey
saddle.Hedearlylovedtohearhiscountrypraised,asMissDawkinswas
aware.
“AndIamsureyoumustagreewithme,”continuedMissDawkins,“thatthe
timeisgonebyforwomentoconsiderthemselveshelplessanimals,ortobeso
consideredbyothers.”
“MeesDawkinsvouldneverbeconsidered,notinanytimesatall,tobeone
helplessanimal,”saidM.Delabordeaucivilly.
“Idonot,atanyrate,intendtobesoregarded,”saidshe.“Itsuitsmetotravel
alone;notthatIamaversetosociety;quitethecontrary;ifImeetpleasant
peopleIamalwaysreadytojointhem.Butitsuitsmetotravelwithoutany
permanentparty,andIdonotseewhyfalseshameshouldpreventmyseeingthe
worldasthoroughlyasthoughIbelongedtotheothersex.Whyshouldit,M.
Delabordeau?”
M.Delabordeaudeclaredthathedidnotseeanyreasonwhyitshould.


“IampassionatelyanxioustostanduponMountSinai,”continuedMiss
Dawkins;“topresswithmyfeettheearliestspotinsacredhistory,oftheidentity
ofwhichwearecertain;tofeelwithinmetheawe-inspiringthrillofthatthrice
sacredhour!”
TheFrenchmanlookedasthoughhedidnotquiteunderstandher,buthesaid
thatitwouldbemagnifique.
“YouhavealreadymadeupyourpartyIsuppose,M.Delabordeau?”
M.DelabordeaugavethenamesoftwoFrenchmenandoneEnglishmanwho
weregoingwithhim.
“Uponmyworditisagreattemptationtojoinyou,”saidMissDawkins,“only
forthathorridEnglishman.”
“Vat,Mr.Stanley?”
“Oh,Idon’tmeananydisrespecttoMr.Stanley.ThehorridnessIspeakofdoes
notattachtohimpersonally,buttohisstiff,respectable,ungainly,well-behaved,
irrational,anduncivilisedcountry.YouseeIamnotverypatriotic.”
“Notquitesomuchasmyfriend,Mr.Damer.”
“Ha!ha!ha!anexcellentcreature,isn’the?Andsotheyallare,dearcreatures.
Butthentheyaresobackward.TheyaremostanxiousthatIshouldjointhem
uptheNile,but—,”andthenMissDawkinsshruggedhershouldersgracefully,
and,assheflatteredherself,likeaFrenchwoman.Afterthattheyrodeonin
silenceforafewmoments.
“Yes,ImustseeMountSinai,”saidMissDawkins,andthensigheddeeply.M.
Delabordeau,notwithstandingthathiscountrydoesstandattheheadofall
humancivilisation,wasnotcourteousenoughtodeclarethatifMissDawkins
wouldjoinhispartyacrossthedesert,nothingwouldbewantingtomakehis
beatitudeinthisworldperfect.
Theirroadfromthevillageofthechicken-hatchingovenslayupalongtheleft
bankoftheNile,throughanimmensegroveofloftypalm-trees,lookingout
fromamongwhichourvisitorscouldeverandanonseetheheadsofthetwo
greatPyramids;—thatis,suchofthemcouldseeitasfeltanysolicitudeinthe
matter.


Itisastonishinghowsuchthingslosetheirgreatcharmasmenfindthemselves
intheircloseneighbourhood.ToonelivinginNewYorkorLondon,how
ecstaticistheinterestinspiredbythesehugestructures.Onefeelsthatnoprice
wouldbetoohightopayforseeingthemaslongastimeanddistance,andthe
world’sinexorabletask-work,forbidsuchavisit.Howintensewouldbethe
delightofclimbingoverthewondroushandiworkofthosewondrousarchitects
solongsincedead;howthrillingtheawewithwhichonewouldpenetratedown
intotheirinteriorcaves—thosecavesinwhichlayburiedthebonesofancient
kings,whoseverynamesseemtohavecometousalmostfromanotherworld!
Butallthesefeelingsbecomestrangelydim,theiracuteedgeswonderfullyworn,
asthesubjectswhichinspiredthemarebroughtneartous.“Ah!sothosearethe
Pyramids,arethey?”saysthetraveller,whenthefirstglimpseofthemisshown
tohimfromthewindowofarailwaycarriage.“Dearme;theydon’tlookso
veryhigh,dothey?ForHeaven’ssakeputtheblinddown,orweshallbe
destroyedbythedust.”AndthentheecstasyandkeendelightofthePyramids
hasvanishedforever.
Ourfriends,therefore,whoforweekspasthadseenfromadistance,thoughthey
hadnotyetvisitedthem,didnotseemtohaveanystrongfeelingonthesubject
astheytrottedthroughthegroveofpalm-trees.Mr.Damerhadnotyetescaped
fromhiswife,whowasstillfretfulfromtheresultofherlittleaccident.
“ItwasallthechatteringofthatMissDawkins,”saidMrs.Damer.“Shewould
notletmeattendtowhatIwasdoing.”
“MissDawkinsisanass,”saidherhusband.
“Itisapityshehasnoonetolookafterher,”saidMrs.Damer.M.Delabordeau
wasstilllisteningtoMissDawkins’srapturesaboutMountSinai.“Iwonder
whethershehasgotanymoney,”saidM.Delabordeautohimself.“Itcan’tbe
much,”hewentonthinking,“orshewouldnotbeleftinthiswaybyherself.”
AndtheresultofhisthoughtswasthatMissDawkins,ifundertaken,might
probablybecomemoreplaguethanprofit.AstoMissDawkinsherself,though
shewasecstaticaboutMountSinai—whichwasnotpresent—sheseemedto
haveforgottenthepoorPyramids,whichwerethenbeforehernose.
Thetwoladswereridingracesalongthedustypath,muchtothedisgustoftheir
donkey-boys.Theirtimeforenjoymentwastocome.Therewerehamperstobe
opened;andthentheabsoluteclimbingofthePyramidswouldactuallybea
delighttothem.


AsforMissDamerandMr.Ingram,itwasclearthattheyhadforgottenpalmtrees,Pyramids,theNile,andallEgypt.Theyhadescapedtoamuchfairer
paradise.
“CouldIbeartoliveamongRepublicans?”saidFanny,repeatingthelastwords
ofherAmericanlover,andlookingdownfromherdonkeytothegroundasshe
didso.“IhardlyknowwhatRepublicansare,Mr.Ingram.”
“Letmeteachyou,”saidhe.
“Youdotalksuchnonsense.IdeclarethereisthatMissDawkinslookingatus
asthoughshehadtwentyeyes.Couldyounotteachher,Mr.Ingram?”
Andsotheyemergedfromthepalm-treegrove,throughavillagecrowdedwith
dirty,stragglingArabchildren,ontothecultivatedplain,beyondwhichthe
Pyramidsstood,nowfullbeforethem;thetwolargePyramids,asmallerone,
andthehugesphynx’sheadallinagrouptogether.
“Fanny,”saidBobDamer,ridinguptoher,“mammawantsyou;sotoddleback.”
“Mammawantsme!Whatcanshewantmefornow?”saidFanny,withalook
ofanythingbutfilialdutyinherface.
“ToprotectherfromMissDawkins,Ithink.Shewantsyoutorideatherside,
sothatDawkinsmayn’tgetather.Now,Mr.Ingram,I’llbetyouhalf-a-crown
I’matthetopofthebigPyramidbeforeyou.”
PoorFanny!Sheobeyed,however;doubtlessfeelingthatitwouldnotdoasyet
toshowtooplainlythatshepreferredMr.Ingramtohermother.Shearrested
herdonkey,therefore,tillMrs.Damerovertookher;andMr.Ingram,ashe
pausedforamomentwithherwhileshedidso,fellintothehandsofMiss
Dawkins.
“Icannotthink,Fanny,howyougetonsoquick,”saidMrs.Damer.“I’malways
last;butthenmydonkeyissuchaverynastyone.Lookthere,now;he’salways
tryingtogetmeoff.”
“WeshallsoonbeatthePyramidsnow,mamma.”
“HowonearthIamevertogetbackagainIcannotthink.Iamsotirednowthat
Icanhardlysit.”
“You’llbebetter,mamma,whenyougetyourluncheonandaglassofwine.”


“HowonearthwearetoeatanddrinkwiththosenastyArabpeoplearoundus,I
can’tconceive.Theytellmeweshallbeeatenupbythem.But,Fanny,what
hasMr.Ingrambeensayingtoyoualltheday?”
“Whathashebeensaying,mamma?Oh!Idon’tknow;—ahundredthings,I
daresay.Buthehasnotbeentalkingtomeallthetime.”
“Ithinkhehas,Fanny,nearly,sincewecrossedtheriver.Oh,dear!oh,dear!
thisanimaldoeshurtmeso!Everytimehemovesheflingshisheadabout,and
thatgivesmesuchabump.”AndthenFannycommiseratedhermother’s
sufferings,andinhercommiserationcontrivedtoeludeanyfurtherquestionings
astoMr.Ingram’sconversation.
“Majesticpiles,aretheynot?”saidMissDawkins,who,havingchangedher
companion,allowedhermindtorevertfromMountSinaitothePyramids.They
werenowridingthroughcultivatedground,withthevastextentofthesandsof
Libyabeforethem.ThetwoPyramidswerestandingonthemarginofthesand,
withtheheadoftherecumbentsphynxplainlyvisiblebetweenthem.Butno
ideacanbeformedofthesizeofthisimmensefiguretillitisvisitedmuchmore
closely.Thebodyiscoveredwithsand,andtheheadandneckalonestand
abovethesurfaceoftheground.Theywerestilltwomilesdistant,andthe
sphynxasyetwasbutanobscuremountbetweenthetwovastPyramids.
“Immensepiles!”saidMissDawkins,repeatingherownwords.
“Yes,theyarelarge,”saidMr.Ingram,whodidnotchoosetoindulgein
enthusiasminthepresenceofMissDawkins.
“Enormous!Whatagrandidea!—eh,Mr.Ingram?Thehumanracedoesnot
createsuchthingsasthosenowadays!”
“No,indeed,”heanswered;“butperhapswecreatebetterthings.”
“Better!Youdonotmeantosay,Mr.Ingram,thatyouareanutilitarian.Ido,in
truth,hopebetterthingsofyouthanthat.Yes!steammillsarebetter,nodoubt,
andmechanics’institutesandpennynewspapers.Butisnothingtobevaluedbut
whatisuseful?”AndMissDawkins,intheheightofherenthusiasm,switched
herdonkeyseverelyovertheshoulder.
“Imight,perhaps,havesaidalsothatwecreatemorebeautifulthings,”saidMr.
Ingram.


“Butwecannotcreateolderthings.”
“No,certainly;wecannotdothat.”
“Norcanweimbuewhatwedocreatewiththegrandassociationswhichenviron
thosepileswithsointenseaninterest.Thinkofthemightydead,Mr.Ingram,
andoftheirgreathomeswhenliving.Thinkofthehandswhichittooktoraise
thosehugeblocks—”
“Andoftheliveswhichitcost.”
“Doubtless.Thetyrannyandinvinciblepoweroftheroyalarchitectsaddtothe
grandeuroftheidea.OnewouldnotwishtohavebackthekingsofEgypt.”
“Well,no;theywouldbeneitherusefulnorbeautiful.”
“Perhapsnot;andIdonotwishtobepicturesqueattheexpenseofmyfellowcreatures.”
“Idoubt,even,whethertheywouldbepicturesque.”
“YouknowwhatImean,Mr.Ingram.Buttheassociationsofsuchnames,and
thepresenceofthestupendousworkswithwhichtheyareconnected,fillthesoul
withawe.Such,atleast,istheeffectwithmine.”
“Ifearthatmytendencies,MissDawkins,aremorerealisticthanyourown.”
“Youbelongtoayoungcountry,Mr.Ingram,andarenaturallypronetothinkof
materiallife.Thenecessityoflivingloomslargebeforeyou.”
“Verylarge,indeed,MissDawkins.”
“Whereaswithus,withsomeofusatleast,thematerialaspecthasgivenplaceto
oneinwhichpoetryandenthusiasmprevail.Tosuchamongustheassociations
ofpasttimesareverydear.Cheops,tome,ismorethanNapoleonBonaparte.”
“Thatismorethanmostofyourcountrymencansay,atanyrate,justatpresent.”
“Iamawoman,”continuedMissDawkins.
Mr.Ingramtookoffhishatinacknowledgmentbothoftheannouncementandof
thefact.
“Andtousitisnotgiven—notgivenasyet—toshareinthegreatdeedsofthe


present.Theenvyofyoursexhasdrivenusfromthepathswhichleadto
honour.Butthedeedsofthepastareasmuchoursasyours.”
“Oh,quiteasmuch.”
“’Tistoyourcountrythatwelookforenfranchisementfromthisthraldom.Yes,
Mr.Ingram,thewomenofAmericahavethatstrengthofmindwhichhasbeen
wantingtothoseofEurope.IntheUnitedStateswomanwillatlastlearnto
exerciseherpropermission.”
Mr.Ingramexpressedasincerewishthatsuchmightbethecase;andthen
wonderingattheingenuitywithwhichMissDawkinshadtravelledroundfrom
CheopsandhisPyramidtotherightsofwomeninAmerica,hecontrivedtofall
back,underthepretenceofaskingaftertheailmentsofMrs.Damer.
Andnowatlasttheywereonthesand,intheabsolutedesert,makingtheirway
uptotheveryfootofthemostnorthernofthetwoPyramids.Theywerebythis
timesurroundedbyacrowdofArabguides,orArabsprofessingtobeguides,
whohadalreadyascertainedthatMr.Damerwasthechiefoftheparty,andwere
accordinglydrivinghimalmosttomadnessbytheoffersoftheirservices,and
theirassurancethathecouldnotpossiblyseetheoutsideortheinsideofeither
structure,orevenremainaliveupontheground,unlessheatonceacceptedtheir
offersmadeattheirownprices.
“Getaway,willyou?”saidhe.“Idon’twantanyofyou,andIwon’thaveyou!
IfyoutakeholdofmeI’llshootyou!”Thiswassaidtoonespeciallyenergetic
Arab,who,inhiseffortstosecurehisprey,hadcaughtholdofMr.Damerbythe
leg.
“Yes,yes,Isay!Englishmenalwaystakeme;—me—me,andthennobreakhim
leg.Yes—yes—yes;—Igo.Master,sayyes.Onlyoneleetletenshillings!”
“Abdallah!”shoutedMr.Damer,“whydon’tyoutakethismanaway?Why
don’tyoumakehimunderstandthatifallthePyramidsdependedonit,Iwould
notgivehimsixpence!”
AndthenAbdallah,thusinvoked,cameup,andexplainedtothemaninArabic
thathewouldgainhisobjectmoresurelyifhewouldbehavehimselfalittle
morequietly;ahintwhichthemantookforoneminute,andforoneminuteonly.
AndthenpoorMrs.Damerrepliedtoanapplicationforbacksheishbythegiftof
asixpence.Unfortunatewoman!Thewordbacksheishmeans,Ibelieve,agift;


butithascomeinEgypttosignifymoney,andiseternallydinnedintotheearsof
strangersbyArabsuppliants.Mrs.Dameroughttohaveknownbetter,as,
duringthelastsixweeksshehadnevershownherfaceoutofShepheard’sHotel
withoutbeingpesteredforbacksheish;butshewastiredandweak,andfoolishly
thoughttoridherselfofthemanwhowasannoyingher.
NosoonerhadthecoindroppedfromherhandintothatoftheArab,thanshe
wassurroundedbyaclusterofbeggars,wholoudlymadetheirpetitionsas
thoughtheywould,eachofthem,individuallybeinjurediftreatedwithless
liberalitythanthatfirstcomer.Theytookholdofherdonkey,herbridle,her
saddle,herlegs,andatlastherarmsandhands,screamingforbacksheishin
voicesthatwereneithersweetnormild.
Inherdismayshedidgiveawaysundrysmallcoins—all,probably,thatshehad
abouther;butthisonlymadethematterworse.Moneywasgoing,andeach
man,bysufficientenergy,mighthopetogetsomeofit.Theywerevery
energetic,andsofrightenedthepoorladythatshewouldcertainlyhavefallen,
hadshenotbeenkeptonherseatbythepressurearoundher.
“Oh,dear!oh,dear!getaway,”shecried.“Ihaven’tgotanymore;indeedI
haven’t.Goaway,Itellyou!Mr.Damer!oh,Mr.Damer!”andthen,inthe
excessofheragony,sheutteredoneloud,long,andcontinuousshriek.
UpcameMr.Damer;upcameAbdallah;upcameM.Delabordeau;upcameMr.
Ingram,andatlastshewasrescued.“Youshouldn’tgoawayandleavemeto
themercyofthesenastypeople.AstothatAbdallah,heisofnouseto
anybody.”
“Whyyoubodderdegoodlady,youdemblackguard?”saidAbdallah,raisinghis
stick,asthoughheweregoingtolaythemalllowwithablow.“Nowyouget
noting,youtief!”
TheArabsforamomentretiredtoalittledistance,likefliesdrivenfromasugarbowl;butitwaseasytoseethat,liketheflies,theywouldreturnatthefirst
vacantmoment.
AndnowtheyhadreachedtheveryfootofthePyramidsandproceededto
dismountfromtheirdonkeys.Theirintentionwasfirsttoascendtothetop,then
tocomedowntotheirbanquet,andafterthattopenetrateintotheinterior.And
allthiswouldseemtobeeasyofperformance.ThePyramidisundoubtedly
high,butitissoconstructedastoadmitofclimbingwithoutdifficulty.Alady


mountingitwouldundoubtedlyneedsomeassistance,butanymanpossessedof
moderateactivitywouldrequirenoaidatall.
Butourfriendswereatonceimbuedwiththetremendousnatureofthetask
beforethem.AsheikhoftheArabscameforth,whocommunicatedwiththem
throughAbdallah.Theworkcouldbedone,nodoubt,hesaid;butagreatmany
menwouldbewantedtoassist.EachladymusthavefourArabs,andeach
gentlementhree;andthen,seeingthattheworkwouldbepeculiarlysevereon
thisspecialday,eachofthesenumerousArabsmustberemuneratedbysome
verylargenumberofpiastres.
Mr.Damer,whowasbynomeansaclosemaninhismoneydealings,openedhis
eyeswithsurprise,andmildlyexpostulated;M.Delabordeau,whowasrathera
closemaninhisreckonings,immediatelybuttoneduphisbreechespocketand
declaredthatheshoulddeclinetomountthePyramidatallatthatprice;andthen
Mr.Ingramdescendedtothecombat.
Theprotestationsofthemenwerefearful.Theydeclared,withloudvoices,
eageractions,andmanifoldEnglishoaths,thatanattemptwasbeingmadetorob
them.Theyhadarighttodemandthesumswhichtheywerecharging,andit
wasashamethatEnglishgentlemenshouldcomeandtakethebreadoutoftheir
mouths.Andsotheyscreeched,gesticulated,andswore,andfrightenedpoor
Mrs.Dameralmostintofits.
Butatlastitwassettledandawaytheystarted,thesheikhdeclaringthatthe
bargainhadbeenmadeatsolowarateastoleavehimnotonepiastrefor
himself.EachmanhadanAraboneachsideofhim,andMissDawkinsand
MissDamerhadeach,inaddition,onebehind.Mrs.Damerwassofrightenedas
altogethertohavelostallambitiontoascend.Shesatbelowonafragmentof
stone,withthethreedragomansstandingaroundherasguards;butevenwiththe
threedragomanstheattacksonherweresofrequent,andasshedeclared
afterwardsshewassobewildered,thatsheneverhadtimetorememberthatshe
hadcometherefromEnglandtoseethePyramids,andthatshewasnow
immediatelyunderthem.
Theboys,utterlyignoringtheirguides,scrambledupquickerthantheArabs
couldfollowthem.Mr.Damerstartedoffatapacewhichsoonbroughthimto
theendofhistether,andfromthatpointwasdraggedupbythesheerstrengthof
hisassistants;therebyaccomplishingthewishesofthemen,whoinducetheir
victimstostartasrapidlyaspossible,inorderthattheymaysoonfind


themselveshelplessfromwantofwind.Mr.Ingramendeavouredtoattach
himselftoFanny,andshewouldhavebeennothinglothtohavehimatherright
handinsteadofthehideousbrown,shrieking,one-eyedArabwhotookholdof
her.Butitwassoonfoundthatanysucharrangementwasimpossible.Each
guidefeltthatifhelosthisownpeculiarholdhewouldlosehisprey,andheld
on,therefore,withinvincibletenacity.MissDawkinslooked,too,asthoughshe
hadthoughttobeattendedtobysomeChristiancavalier,butnoChristian
cavalierwasforthcoming.M.Delabordeauwasthewisest,forhetookthe
matterquietly,didashewasbid,andallowedtheguidesnearlytocarryhimto
thetopoftheedifice.
“Ha!sothisisthetopofthePyramid,isit?”saidMr.Damer,bringingouthis
wordsonebyone,beingterriblyoutofbreath.“Verywonderful,very
wonderful,indeed!”
“Itiswonderful,”saidMissDawkins,whosebreathhadnotfailedherinthe
least,“verywonderful,indeed!Onlythink,Mr.Damer,youmighttravelonfor
daysanddays,tilldaysbecamemonths,throughthoseinterminablesands,and
yetyouwouldnevercometotheendofthem.Isitnotquitestupendous?”
“Ah,yes,quite,—puff,puff”—saidMr.Damerstrivingtoregainhisbreath.
Mr.Damerwasnowatherdisposal;weakandwornwithtoilandtravel,outof
breath,andwithhalfhismanhoodgone;ifevershemightprevailoverhimsoas
toprocurefromhismouthanassenttothatNileproposition,itwouldbenow.
Andafterall,thatNilepropositionwasthebestonenowbeforeher.Shedidnot
quiteliketheideaofstartingoffacrosstheGreatDesertwithoutanylady,and
wasnotsurethatshewaspreparedtobefalleninlovewithbyM.Delabordeau,
evenifthereshouldultimatelybeanyreadinessonthepartofthatgentlemanto
performtherôleoflover.WithMr.Ingramthematterwasdifferent,norwasshe
sodiffidentofherowncharmsastothinkitaltogetherimpossiblethatshemight
succeed,intheteethofthatlittlechit,FannyDamer.ThatMr.Ingramwould
jointhepartyuptheNileshehadverylittledoubt;andthentherewouldbeone
placeleftforher.Shewouldthus,atanyrate,becomecommingledwithamost
respectablefamily,whomightbeofmaterialservicetoher.
ThusactuatedshecommencedanearnestattackuponMr.Damer.
“Stupendous!”shesaidagain,forshewasfondofrepeatingfavouritewords.
“WhatawondrousracemusthavebeenthoseEgyptiankingsofold!”


“Idaresaytheywere,”saidMr.Damer,wipinghisbrowashesatuponalarge
loosestone,afragmentlyingontheflattopofthePyramid,oneofthosestones
withwhichthecompleteapexwasoncemade,orwasonceabouttobemade.
“Amagnificentrace!sogiganticintheirconceptions!Theirideasaltogether
overwhelmuspoor,insignificant,latter-daymortals.Theybuiltthesevast
Pyramids;butforus,itistaskenoughtoclimbtotheirtop.”
“Quiteenough,”ejaculatedMr.Damer.
ButMr.Damerwouldnotalwaysremainweakandoutofbreath,anditwas
absolutelynecessaryforMissDawkinstohurryawayfromCheopsandhis
tomb,toThebesandKarnac.
“Afterseeingthisitisimpossibleforanyonewithasparkofimaginationto
leaveEgyptwithoutgoingfarthera-field.”
Mr.Damermerelywipedhisbrowandgrunted.ThisMissDawkinstookasa
signalofweakness,andwentonwithhertaskperseveringly.
“Formyself,Ihaveresolvedtogoup,atanyrate,asfarasAsouanandthefirst
cataract.Ihadthoughtofaccedingtothewishesofapartywhoaregoingacross
theGreatDesertbyMountSinaitoJerusalem;butthekindnessofyourselfand
Mrs.Damerissogreat,andtheprospectofjoininginyourboatisso
pleasurable,thatIhavemadeupmymindtoacceptyourverykindoffer.”
This,itwillbeacknowledged,wasboldonthepartofMissDawkins;butwhat
willnotaudacityeffect?Tousetheslangofmodernlanguage,cheekcarries
everythingnowadays.AndwhatevermayhavebeenMissDawkins’s
deficiencies,inthisvirtueshewasnotdeficient.
“Ihavemadeupmymindtoacceptyourverykindoffer,”shesaid,shiningon
Mr.Damerwithherblandestsmile.
Whatwasastout,breathless,perspiring,middle-agedgentlemantodounder
suchcircumstances?Mr.Damerwasamanwho,inmostmatters,hadhisown
way.Thathiswifeshouldhavegivensuchaninvitationwithoutconsultinghim,
was,heknew,quiteimpossible.Shewouldassoonhavethoughtofaskingall
thoseArabguidestoaccompanythem.Norwasittobethoughtofthathe
shouldallowhimselftobekidnappedintosuchanarrangementbythe
impudenceofanyMissDawkins.Buttherewas,hefelt,adifficultyin
answeringsuchapropositionfromayoungladywithadirectnegative,


especiallywhilehewassoscantofbreath.Sohewipedhisbrowagain,and
lookedather.
“ButIcanonlyagreetothisononeunderstanding,”continuedMissDawkins,
“andthatis,thatIamallowedtodefraymyownfullshareoftheexpenseofthe
journey.”
UponhearingthisMr.Damerthoughtthathesawhiswayoutofthewood.
“WhereverIgo,MissDawkins,Iamalwaysthepaymastermyself,”andthishe
contrivedtosaywithsomesternness,palpitatingthoughhestillwas;andthe
sternnesswhichwasdeficientinhisvoiceheendeavouredtoputintohis
countenance.
ButhedidnotknowMissDawkins.“Oh,Mr.Damer,”shesaid,andasshe
spokehersmilebecamealmostblanderthanitwasbefore;“oh,Mr.Damer,I
couldnotthinkofsufferingyoutobesoliberal;Icouldnot,indeed.ButIshall
bequitecontentthatyoushouldpayeverything,andletmesettlewithyouin
onesumafterwards.”
Mr.Damer’sbreathwasnowrathermoreunderhisowncommand.“Iamafraid,
MissDawkins,”hesaid,“thatMrs.Damer’sweakstateofhealthwillnotadmit
ofsuchanarrangement.”
“What,aboutthepaying?”
“Notonlyastothat,butweareafamilyparty,MissDawkins;andgreatas
wouldbethebenefitofyoursocietytoallofus,inMrs.Damer’spresentstateof
health,Iamafraid—inshort,youwouldnotfinditagreeable.—Andtherefore
—”thisheadded,seeingthatshewasstillabouttopersevere—“Ifearthatwe
mustforegotheadvantageyouoffer.”
Andthen,lookingintohisface,MissDawkinsdidperceivethatevenher
audacitywouldnotprevail.
“Oh,verywell,”shesaid,andmovingfromthestoneonwhichshehadbeen
sitting,shewalkedoff,carryingherheadveryhigh,toacornerofthePyramid
fromwhichshecouldlookforthalonetowardsthesandsofLibya.
Inthemeantimeanotherlittleoverturewasbeingmadeonthetopofthesame
Pyramid,—anoverturewhichwasnotreceivedquiteinthesamespirit.While
Mr.DamerwasrecoveringhisbreathforthesakeofansweringMissDawkins,
MissDamerhadwalkedtothefurthercornerofthesquareplatformonwhich


theywereplaced,andtheresatherselfdownwithherfaceturnedtowardsCairo.
PerhapsitwasnotsingularthatMr.Ingramshouldhavefollowedher.
ThiswouldhavebeenverywellifadozenArabshadnotalsofollowedthem.
Butasthiswasthecase,Mr.Ingramhadtoplayhisgameundersomedifficulty.
Hehadnosoonerseatedhimselfbesideherthantheycameandstooddirectlyin
frontoftheseat,shuttingouttheview,andbynomeansimprovingthefragrance
oftheairaroundthem.
“Andthis,then,MissDamer,willbeourlastexcursiontogether,”hesaid,inhis
tenderest,softesttone.
“DegoodEnglishmanwillgibdepoorArabonelittlebacksheish,”saidanArab,
puttingouthishandandshakingMr.Ingram’sshoulder.
“Yes,yes,yes;himgibbacksheish,”saidanother.
“Himberrygoodman,”saidathird,puttinguphisfilthyhand,andtouchingMr.
Ingram’sface.
“Andyoungladyberrygood,too;shegivebacksheishtopoorArab.”
“Yes,”saidafourth,preparingtotakeasimilarlibertywithMissDamer.
ThiswastoomuchforMr.Ingram.Hehadalreadyusedverypositivelanguage
inhisendeavourtoassurehistormentorsthattheywouldnotgetapiastrefrom
him.Butthisonlychangedtheirsoftpersuasionsintothreats.Uponhearing
which,anduponseeingwhatthemanattemptedtodoinhisendeavourtoget
moneyfromMissDamer,heraisedhisstick,andstruckfirstoneandthenthe
otherasviolentlyashecouldupontheirheads.
Anyordinarycivilisedmenwouldhavebeenstunnedbysuchblows,forthey
fellonthebareforeheadsoftheArabs;buttheobjectsoftheAmerican’swrath
merelyskulkedaway;andtheothers,convincedbytheonlyargumentswhich
theyunderstood,followedinpursuitofvictimswhomightbelesspugnacious.
Itishardforamantobeatoncetenderandpugnacious—tobesentimental,
whileheisputtingforthhisphysicalstrengthwithalltheviolenceinhispower.
Itisdifficult,also,forhimtobegentleinstantlyafterhavingbeeninarage.So
hechangedhistacticsatthemoment,andcametothepointatonceinamanner
befittinghispresentstateofmind.


“Thosevilewretcheshaveputmeinsuchaheat,”hesaid,“thatIhardlyknow
whatIamsaying.Butthefactisthis,MissDamer,IcannotleaveCairowithout
knowing—.YouunderstandwhatImean,MissDamer.”
“IndeedIdonot,Mr.Ingram;exceptthatIamafraidyoumeannonsense.”
“Yes,youdo;youknowthatIloveyou.Iamsureyoumustknowit.Atany
rateyouknowitnow.”
“Mr.Ingram,youshouldnottalkinsuchaway.”
“WhyshouldInot?Butthetruthis,Fanny,Icantalkinnootherway.Idolove
youdearly.Canyoulovemewellenoughtogoandbemywifeinacountryfar
awayfromyourown?”
BeforesheleftthetopofthePyramidFannyDamerhadsaidthatshewouldtry.
Mr.Ingramwasnowaproudandhappyman,andseemedtothinkthestepsof
thePyramidtoosmallforhiselasticenergy.ButFannyfearedthathertroubles
weretocome.Therewaspapa—thatterriblebugbearonallsuchoccasions.
Whatwouldpapasay?Shewassureherpapawouldnotallowhertomarryand
gosofarawayfromherownfamilyandcountry.Forherself,shelikedthe
Americans—alwayshadlikedthem;soshesaid;—woulddesirenothingbetter
thantoliveamongthem.Butpapa!AndFannysighedasshefeltthatallthe
recognisedmiseriesofayoungladyinlovewereabouttofalluponher.
Nevertheless,atherlover’sinstance,shepromised,anddeclared,intwenty
differentlovingphrases,thatnothingonearthshouldevermakeherfalsetoher
loveortoherlover.
“Fanny,whereareyou?Whyareyounotreadytocomedown?”shoutedMr.
Damer,notinthebestoftempers.Hefeltthathehadalmostbeenunkindtoan
unprotectedfemale,andhisheartmisgavehim.Andyetitwouldhavemisgiven
himmorehadheallowedhimselftobeentrappedbyMissDawkins.
“Iamquiteready,papa,”saidFanny,runninguptohim—foritmaybe
understoodthatthereisquiteroomenoughforayoungladytorunonthetopof
thePyramid.
“IamsureIdon’tknowwhereyouhavebeenallthetime,”saidMr.Damer;
“andwherearethosetwoboys?”


FannypointedtothetopoftheotherPyramid,andtheretheywere,conspicuous
withtheirredcaps.
“AndM.Delabordeau?”
“Oh!hehasgonedown,Ithink;—no,heistherewithMissDawkins.”Andin
truthMissDawkinswasleaningonhisarmmostaffectionately,asshestooped
overandlookeddownupontheruinsbelowher.
“Andwhereisthatfellow,Ingram?”saidMr.Damer,lookingabouthim.“Heis
alwaysoutofthewaywhenhe’swanted.”
TothisFannysaidnothing.Whyshouldshe?ShewasnotMr.Ingram’skeeper.
Andthentheyalldescended,eachagainwithhispropernumberofArabsto
hurryandembarrasshim;andtheyfoundMr.Dameratthebottom,likeapiece
ofsugarcoveredwithflies.Shewasheardtodeclareafterwardsthatshewould
notgotothePyramidsagain,notiftheyweretobegiventoherforherself,as
ornamentsforhergarden.
ThepicniclunchamongthebigstonesatthefootofthePyramidwasnotavery
gayaffair.MissDawkinstalkedmorethananyoneelse,beingdeterminedto
showthatsheboreherdefeatgallantly.Herconversation,however,waschiefly
addressedtoM.Delabordeau,andheseemedtothinkmoreofhiscoldchicken
andhamthanhedidofherwitandattention.
Fannyhardlyspokeaword.Therewasherfatherbeforeherandshecouldnot
eat,muchlesstalk,asshethoughtofallthatshewouldhavetogothrough.
WhatwouldhesaytotheideaofhavinganAmericanforason-in-law?
NorwasMr.Ingramverylively.Ayoungmanwhenhehasbeenjustaccepted,
neverisso.Hishappinessunderthepresentcircumstanceswas,nodoubt,
intense,butitwasofasilentnature.
Andthentheinteriorofthebuildinghadtobevisited.Totellthetruthnoneof
thepartywouldhavecaredtoperformthisfeathaditnotbeenforthehonourof
thething.TohavecomefromParis,NewYork,orLondon,tothePyramids,and
thennottohavevisitedtheverytombofCheops,wouldhaveshownonthepart
ofallofthemanindifferencetosubjectsofinterestwhichwouldhavebeen
altogetherfataltotheircharacterastravellers.Andsoapartyfortheinterior
wasmadeup.


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