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visit these places for the purpose of rifling the bodies, and carrying off the bituminous substances with which they have been embalmed. From the chamber above described, two passages lead into the interior and lower part of the mountain, and we penetrated about the distance of a hundred yards into that which appeared the largest. Slipping and crawling amongst the various fragments of these mulitated bodies, we were only able to save ourselves from falling by catching hold of the leg, arm, or skull of a mummy, some of which were lying on the ground, but many still standing in the niches where they had been originally placed.-(p. 108.)
On their arrival at Siout, they received the unwelcome intelligence that the plague had made its appearance at Alexandria; to ascertain the truth of which, they dispatched a courier to Cairo; and in the mean time landed at Manfalout, to examine some mummy pits in the desert, near the village of Amabdi, of which they had heard an extraordinary account from a Greek whom they met with at Thebes, of the name of Demetrius. He told them, that in pursuing some fugitives, they were suddenly observed to disappear. On coming to the place, they found a pit which he and some others descended; at the bottom were fragments of mummies of crocodiles scattered about, but no fugitives to be seen. This story raised the curiosity of our travellers, and they determined to visit those subterraneous chambers, in which the sacred crocodiles had been interred, and which Herodotus was not permitted to see. The party consisted of Mr. Legh, Mr. Smelt, the American interpreter, an Abyssinian merchant of the name of Fadlallah, and three of their boat's crew, Barabras, whom they had brought from the Cataracts. Having wandered about four hours in search of Amabdi, they at length observed four Arabs cutting wood. These people shewed an unwillingness to give them any information-talked of danger-and were heard to mutter that if one must die all must die':-this, however, did not deter the party from proceeding. The story of this adventure is so well told, and is so painfully interesting, that, though rather long, no apology will be required for giving it in Mr. Legh's own words.
We were bent on going, and the Arabs at last undertook to be our guides for a reward of twenty-five piastres. After an hour's march in the desert, we arrived at the spot, which we found to be a pit or circular hole of ten feet in diameter, and about eighteen feet deep. We descended without difficulty, and the Arabs began to strip, and proposed to us to do the same: we partly followed their example, but kept on our trowsers and shirts. I had by me a brace of pocket pistols, which I concealed in my trowsers, to be prepared against any treacherous attempt of our guides. It was now decided that three of the four Arabs should
while the other remained on the outside of the cavern. The Abyssinian merchant declined going any farther. The
sailors remained also on the outside to take care of our clothes. We formed therefore a party of six ; each was to be preceded by a guide -our torches were lighted-one of the Arabs led the way,-and I followed him.
We crept for seven or eight yards through an opening at the bottom of the pit, which was partly choked up with the drifted sand of the desert, and found ourselves in a large chamber about fifteen feet high.
. This was probably the place into which the Greek, Demetrius, had penetrated, and here we observed what he had described, the fragments of the mummies of crocodiles. We saw also great numbers of bat: flying about, and hanging from the roof of the chamber. Whilst holding up my torch to examine the vault, I accidentally scorched one of them. I mention this trivial circumstance, because afterwards it gare occasion to a most ridiculous, though to us a very important, discussion. So far the story of the Greek was true, and it remained only to explore the galleries where the Arabs had formerly taken refuge, and where, with out doubt, were deposited the mummies we were searching for. We had all of us torches, and our guides insisted upon our placing ourselves in such a way, that an Arab was before each of us. Though there appeared something mysterious in this order of march, we did not dispute with them, but proceeded. We now entered a low gallery, in which we continued for more than an hour, stooping or creeping as was necessary, and following its windings, till at last it opened into a large chamber, which, after some time, we recognized as the one we had first entered, and from which we had set out. Our conductors, however, denied that it was the same, but on our persisting in the assertion, agreed at last that it was, and confessed they had missed their
the first time, but if we would make another attempt they would undertake to conduct us to the mummies. Our curiosity was still unsatisfied; we had been wandering for more than an hour in low subterranean passages, and felt considerably fatigued by the irksomeness of the posture in which we had been obliged to move, and the heat of our torches in those narrow and low galleries. But the Arabs spoke so contidently of succeeding in this second trial, that we were induced once more to attend them. We found the opening of the chamber which we now approached guarded by a trench of unknown depth, and wide enough to require a good leap. The first Arab jumped the ditch, and we all followed him. The passage we entered was extremely small, and so low in some places as to oblige us to crawl flat on the ground, and almost always on our hands and knees. The intricacies of its windings resembled a labyrinth, and it terminated at length in a chamber much smaller than that which we had left, but, like it, contained nothing to satisfy our curiosity. Our search hitherto bad been fruitless, but the mummies might not be far distant, another effort, and we might still be successful.
"The Arab whom I followed, and who led the way, now entered another gallery, and we all continued to move in the same manner as before, each preceded by a guide. We had not gone far before the heat became excessive;--for my own part, I found my breathing ex
tremely difficult, my head began to ache most violently, and I had a most distressing sensation of fulness about the heart.
• We felt we had gone too far, and yet were almost deprived of the power of returning. At this moment the torch of the first Arab went out: I was close to him, and saw him fall on his side--he uttered a groan-his legs were strongly convulsed, and I heard a rattling noise in his throat-he was dead. The Arab behind me, seeing the torch of his companion extinguished, and conceiving he had stumbled, past me, advanced to his assistance, and stooped. I observed him appear
faint, totter, and fall in a moment—he also was dead. The third Arab came forward, and made an effort to approach the bodies, but stopped short, We looked at each other in silent horror. The danger increased every instant; our torches burnt faintly; our breathing became more difficult ; our knees tottered under us, and we felt our strength nearly gone.
“There was no time to be lost—the American, Barthow, cried to us to “ take courage," and we began to move back as fast as we could. We heard the remaining Arab shouting after us, calling us Caffres, imploring our assistance, and upbraiding us with deserting him. But we were obliged to leave him to his fate, expecting every moment to share it with him. The windings of the passages through which we had come increased the difficulty of our escape; we might take a wrong turn, and never reach the great chamber we had first entered. Even supposing we took the shortest road, it was but too probable our strength would fail us before we arrived. We had each of us separately and unknown to one another observed attentively the different shapes of the stones which projected into the galleries we had passed, so that each had an imperfect clue to the labyrinth we had now to retrace. We compared notes, and only on one occasion had a dispute, the American differing from my friend and myself; in this dilemma we were determined by the majority, and fortunately were right. Exhausted with fatigue and terror, we reached the edge of the deep trench which remained to be crossed before we got into the great chamber. Mustering all my strength, I leaped, and was followed by the American. Smelt stood on the brink, ready to drop with fatigue. He called to us God's sake to help him over the fosse, or at least to stop, if only for five minutes, to allow him time to recover his strength.” It was im. possible to stay was death, and we could not resist the desire to push on and reach the open air. We encouraged him to summon all his force, and he cleared the trench. When we reached the open air it was one o'clock, and the heat of the sun about 160%. Our sailors, who were waiting for us, had luckily a bardak* full of water, which they sprinkled upon us, but though a little refreshed, it was not possible to climb the sides of the pit; they unfolded their turbans, and slinging them round our bodies, drew us to the top.'-pp. 111-116.
The Arab who remained at the entrance anxiously inquired for his hahabebus, or friends; he was told they were employed'in bringing out the mummies ; the travellers then mounted their asses, * * The name of the jars, made at Kenné, of porous carth, and used to cool water.
and rode with all speed to their boat, in order to get away as quickly as possible;, but from the laziness or stupidity of the Reis, it was five o'clock the following moming before they weighed anchor. They had not gone far when they perceived four Turks on horesback galloping towards them, followed by two Arabs on foot, the latter bawling out and swearing that they would have blood for blood. The Turks said they were sent by the Cacheff to bring them back to Manfalout, to answer for the murder of the Arab guides. It was in vain to resist; they therefore returned to Manfalout, where about forty Arabs from Amabdi received them with a shout of revengeful delight.'
The Cacheff treated them in a stern and haughty manner, and poured out a torrent of abuse: they claimed the protection of their firman; but looking sternly at them, he observed sarcastically, 'I do not see that this firman allows you either to maltreat or kill the Arabs. He then left them, as they thought, to the mercy of the Arabs, who now began to surround them with menacing gestures. They were soon, however, sent for to attend the Cacheff, who thus addressed them :
• My good friends, I know I am, by virtue of your firman, bound to protect you, and my head must answer for your safety. I believe your story; but I have a guard only of fifty soldiers, and the village of Amabdi is 700 muskets strong. Should all the inhabitants take a part in this affair and come over, the consequence will be fatal both to you and myself; you must make your escape secretly, and in the mean time I will amuse and detain the Arabs.'
They took his advice; and escaping by the back door reached the Nile; but the wind being northerly, they were unable to make much way, and were presently stopped by a vast body of Arabs, who threatened to fire upon them if they did not come immediately to the side on which they were. Tbey turned back a second time to the town, and were assailed by three women and five or six children, all naked and smeared with mud—these were the wives and children of the men who had perished, and this they were told was the usual custom of mourning.
As we were armed, we reached without much obstruction the house of the Cacheff, whom we now found surrounded by more than four hundred Arabs, and amongst them the Shekh of the village of Amabdi. Making our way through the crowd, we luckily recognized the person of the Arab whom we had left and supposed to have died with his companions in the cavern. His appearance was most wretched, he was unable to stand, and was supported by two of his friends. We afterwards found he had escaped by the light of Mr. Smelt's torch, when he was obliged to remain for a short time to recover his strength at the edge of the trench. Our dragoman related our story again, and called upon the survivor to confirm the truth of it, but in vain; on the contrary be maintained we had taken him and his companions by force, and compelled them to conduct us to the place. In this falsehood he was supported by the Arab who had remained on the outside of the cavern, and whom we now saw for the first time among the crowd. In our defence we replied it was not possible we could have used any means of compulsion, as we were unarmed. This we boldly asserted, as the brace of pistols I had with me was never produced. Besides, we recalled to his memory that on our way thither one of the guides who had died, had replenished our bardak with water from a well near Amabdi.—This proved that we had gone amicably together.
• The Cacheff, who continued to treat us haughtily in public, commanded the Arab io explain the means by which the infidels (who he confessed were without arms) had killed his companions. He replied, by magic, for he had seen me burning something on our first entrance into the great chamber. This was the bai I had accidentally scorched. Our cause now began to wear a better complexion : part of the crowd, who treated the idea of magic with contempt, believed us innocent, and the rest probably dreaded the imaginary powers with which we had been invested. Emboldened by this change of sentiment in our favour, our dragoman assumed a lofty tone, and peremptorily insisted on our being sent, together with our two accusers and the Shekh of Amabdi, to Siout to Ibrahim Bey, the son of the Pacha (Pashaw) of Cairo, and the governor of Upper Egypt. The reputation of this man for cruelty was so great, that his very name excited terror in the assembly. It was now our turn to threaten, and we talked of the alliance of our King with the Pacha (Pashaw) of Cairo, and the consequence of ill-treating any one protected by his firman. This had its effect, and the Cacheff having consulted for some time with the Shekh, suggested an accommodation by money. This proposal we at first affected to reject with disdain, as it would in some manner be an acknowledgment of our guilt, though we were secretly anxious to terminate the attair at any rate. Our dragoman was sent to négociate with the Cacheff, and it was finally agreed we should pay twelve piastres or two Spanish dollars to each of the women, and the same sum we offered as a present to the Shekh of the village. All animosity seemed now to have ceased, and we were permitted quietly to return to our vessel, and continue our voyage.'--pp.121,2,3.
On their arrival at Miniet, they were met by their courier, with a confirmation of the alarming intelligence of the plague, which shut them up at this place, at Bulac, and at Rosetta, three months—one more than had been employed in the whole journey from Cairo to Ibrîm and back again to Miniet: but this misfortune could not have been foreseen, and all regrets were then unavailing, that the time had not been employed rather in Nubia than in passing the mornings at Miniet in learning to ride like the Mamelukes, and the evenings in attending the exhibition of those ministers of pleasure' called Almès, or dancing girls.
At Miniet they met with a soldier belonging to one of the seven Beys attached to the Cacheff, whom, to their utter astonish