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for when a gust from one direction turned an umbrella inside out the next one probably righted it. Jemil, usually the most docile of animals, showed a strong dislike to the situation; and when he met a more than usually furious blast, would suddenly and obstinately turn his tail to it, in defiance of rein and whip. It was difficult, too, to make a vigorous use of the latter-my umbrella was white cotton, of course (a Cairo purchase), it soaked water like a sponge and grew heavier every moment, needing both hands to hold it in such a wind; therefore as often as Jemil turned his back upon the proper road the umbrella had to be closed before he could be convinced of the error of his ways. As the other horses were equally unruly, our line of march must have presented an interesting variety.

Even our baggage horse yielded to the demoralizing influence of the storm, and, instead of following sedately in the rear, as usual, seemed to be looking for a place along the line where it did not rain so hard, and several times where the path was very narrow-between two great rocks, or on the slippery edge of a steep descent that misguided animal crowded past, his huge saddle-bags crushing against the riders. The way grew rougher and more slippery with sleet and mud, we were ascending always, though making slow progress against the storm; it grew perceptibly colder, and as I shivered at an occasional glimpse of the snow line, not far off now, I wondered how I could have admired it a few hours earlier.

Meanwhile we were getting wetter and colder, and visions of pneumonia and rheumatic fever intruded themselves, so that when about eleven o'clock we perceived a tiny village clinging to the mountain side a short distance ahead, it was a most welcome sight. We sought shelter in the first house, and were very kindly received by the two wives of the owner, who was absent himself. While they assisted to remove our wet wraps, the children ran to light a fire, assisted by as many neighbour children as could crowd in. Never was fire more welcome, and as the numbing effects of the chill disappeared under its cheerful warmth, I began to look about with keenest interest, for this was our first acquaintance with a strictly native house, entirely free from any European example. The house was well-built of square blocks of light grey stone, and contained two fair sized-rooms and two very small ones on the second floor; that underneath belonging to the animals, our horses occupying it just now. The floor and walls of grey cement were perfectly clean; recesses in the walls and partitions formed shelves, and one of these contained a neatlyfolded pile of rugs, which, with two very low wicker stools,

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comprised all the visible furniture. A round opening in the floor communicated with the stable beneath and admitted the warmth -and smell-of the animals.

The cheerful "crackling" of the fire soon led to the discovery that the fuel was the dried mountain thorn, and furnished another illustration of a familiar Bible phrase. It is to be regretted that we have no sketch of that most primitive fireplace; it was merely a cement platform about two and a half feet long and eighteen inches wide, rounded in front, built up two or three inches above the floor, with a back also of cement about one foot higher. The fire was laid against this back. Contrary to the usual custom, the house boasted a chimney, not, indeed, in any immediate connection with the fireplace, but its draught attracted part of the smoke and left the atmosphere comparatively clear.

We had been warned, as we rode up to the house, to be very careful not to give any offence, as the people in the village all belonged to the Druses, the fiercest of the Mohammedan sects. But there was nothing fierce about our two hostesses, who watched the inspection of their household arrangements with smiling approval, while the little, round, brown, half-naked babies

peeped shyly at us from the folds of their mothers' robes until they finally found confidence enough to lisp out, "Backsheesh."

Lunch having been laid out on a rug in the front room we proceeded to eat it, sitting à la native on more rugs on the floor; a position which the supple grace and flowing robes of an Oriental permit him to assume with ease, but in which an Englishman is the very picture of angular discomfort. We never had chairs or tables for this midday meal and had adapted ourselves to the situation with no little enjoyment of each other's awkwardness.

Our attention was presently attracted to a melancholy procession creeping slowly along the road below us, which was pronounced to be our camp, though we utterly failed to recognize it. There were no songs from the men, who were muffled from head to feet in their abayehs; the mules dragged sadly along with drooping heads; their very bells had a mournful sound, and the conviction came suddenly home to us that our camp was not likely to be ready for us to-night. An anxious inquiry of Abdallah confirmed this fear. We should probably be obliged to sleep in a native house in the village of Kefr Hawar. The prospect evidently had no charms for the rest of the party, but I secretly rejoiced. The exceeding simplicity of the domestic arrangements here had fascinated me, but I wanted to be sure that this household was a type, not an exception.

About one o'clock there was a lull in the storm, and, going to the door to reconnoitre, we saw "Mr. Cook" seated on a stone in front of the house, busily plucking fowls, with the air of being perfectly at home and quite satisfied with the situation. The prospect of dinner was consoling; and the rain actually ceasing now, we distributed "backsheesh,"* and set out, warmed and dried and hopeful that the worst was over. This hope was speedily dispelled, for our road still ascended toward the region of cloud and storm. Fierce gusts of wind and rain threatened to tear us from the saddle; sharp, stinging sleet fairly blinded us at times. For an hour we met successive blasts, with sometimes a little breathing space between; but, at length, when the increased cold proved that we had nearly reached the snow level, our road turned somewhat, and we gladly saw what we had long looked for anxiously-the water was running with us instead of meeting us; in a word, we had commenced the descent. Gradually the

* Before leaving, each one of the two wives came to us in turn and furtively informed us that she was the genuine wife and that the "backsheesh " should be given to her and not to her rival-from which we inferred that this domestic arrangement was not without its infelicities.-ED.

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wind fell, then we left the storm behind us, there were even temporary glimpses of the sun, though the thick grey clouds covering the whole range of Hermon showed that the storm still raged up there.

About four o'clock Abdallah received word, in the mysterious way in which things become known in the East, that at Kefr Hawar the only available houses were already occupied by other parties; we must therefore seek shelter in the village of Hîna, at the house of the Greek priest.

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"What if he refuses to receive us?" was my anxious question, for it looked like rain again, and our tents were hopelessly in the rear.

"He cannot refuse, he will be obliged to give us all we require," was the confident answer.

Some doubt remained as to the probable character of such enforced hospitality, though even that seemed preferable to any further experience of Mount Hermon's tender mercies.

Hîna is a tiny, isolated village on one of the low hills near the

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