Warburton, Eliot
Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, or, The crescent and the cross: comprising the romance and realities of eastern travel — Philadelphia, 1859

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CHAP. XVII.]

SMUGGLERS—DEBATE.

177

der me, as the silence of those " who tell no tales" was important
to them; and yet I lay smoking my pipe with as much calmness,
if not indifference, as ever I did under the shelter of the English
flag. Three most sinister-looking ruffians approached me, after
a long consultation : they all squinted violently, so that they might
have seemed to have only three eyes among them, only, that each
time I looked, I saw the eye in a different ball. These were now
all glowering in six different ways on the gold tassel of my sword-
knot : at length one of them asked me, " what brought me there
at that hour of the night ?" and for a moment the reply rose to
my lips, that I was come to make arrangements for buying silk,
which I thought would have at once secured me safety and
popularity.

A moment's reflection saved me from making use of a false
plea ; those old crusading shores seemed to look reproachfully on
the very thought. I said I was an English traveller, and that
my servants were following me. The Arab shook his head ;
but, at that moment, a young Syrian entered the tent, and, to my
agreeable surprise, accosted me in French. He said very cour-
teously that I was not aware of the danger I was in, and that he
would advise me to remain there till morning : " what guard have
you ?" he added, " or on what protection do you rely V—" On
the name of Englishman," I replied ; " my country is known
never to let an injury pass unnoticed ; if, as you suggest, I should
be murdered, it will be known at Beyrout to-morrow, and a garri-
son will be placed here, which would spoil your traae. * JJo
you know," said the Syrian, " that on the road you are about to
travel, a young Frenchman was murdered only last week ? Be
advised by me, and stay here until morning."—"L>am much
obliged for your friendly warning," said I, " but I must proceed;
the Frenchman you speak of was unarmed ; I shan't die alone,
you may depend upon it." I mounted my horse deliberately,
and, as I gathered up my reins, the three Arabs placed themselves
in my path : I well knew that my only chance of escape now lay
in resolution, and saying to the Arabs, " the first man that puts
out his hand dies as surely as I live !" the moonlight glimmered
on the barrel of my pistol; the Syrian spoke a few hurried words,
whose meaning I could not catch ; and, the next moment, I was

PART II. 13
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