TOMBS OF THE KINGS.
man toga • but he had a fine bold brow, and fearless eye, and a
graceful, courteous bearing, whereby gentle blood vindicated
itself in this aristocrat of the desert, as clearly as in the courtly
It is unnecessary to add that danger never entered into the
Sheikh's calculation; if the representation of it had obtained a
few hundred piastres more from me, it was tail) j if it actually
presented itself, it came in no new form, and it was tail still.
He bargained stoutly for an exorbitant price, because his tribe
expected him to prove himself a subtle lawyer, as well as a bold
leader ; but once the price was fixed, he said no more about it,
and money was never named again between us.
After finishing his pipe and coffee, he departed to make prep-
arations for the journey, and I soon heard his Arab steed gal-
loping down the steep and stony street.
My own poor horse had never recovered from the effects of his
cruise in the Mediterranean; and, although nursed by Abou
Habib, Salome, and Eleesa, assisted by the best medical advice
in Jerusalem, he was quite unfit to resume his journey. Leaving
him, therefore, in charge of my fair friends, I mounted an Arab
mare of the desert breed, and rode forth to take a last view of the
Mount of Olives, and to examine the Tombs of the Kings.
M. Schultze, the Prussian consul, kindly accompanied me, and
proved clearly where the ancient walls had run; they embraced
the hill of Bezetha and a much wider extent than the present to-
wards the north, but a less extent towards the north-west, leaving
Calvary outside their circuit.
Passing through some thin olive groves, we came to the Tombs
of the Kings, which did not appear to advantage after those of
Egypt; but are interesting and curious, nevertheless. A square
enclosure is hewn out of the solid rock, like a huge tank; into
this we crept, through a small orifice, on our hands and knees,
and found the vertical sides of the enclosures hollowed out into
small chambers, from which opened cryptas. Though devoid of
ornament, the excavations were admirably done, and the stone
doors turned upon stone pivots, that were once let into the rock.
The only carving was on the exterior, and seems to be of Herod's