The Tragedy of the Korosko, by Arthur Conan Doyle

Chapter 5

The camels, some brown and some white, were kneeling in a long line, their champing jaws moving rhythmically from side to side, and their gracefully poised heads turning to right and left in a mincing, self-conscious fashion. Most of them were beautiful creatures, true Arabian trotters, with the slim limbs and finely turned necks which mark the breed; but amongst them were a few of the slower, heavier beasts, with ungroomed skins, disfigured by the black scars of old firings. These were loaded with the doora and the water-skins of the raiders, but a few minutes sufficed to redistribute their loads and to make place for the prisoners. None of these had been bound with the exception of Mr. Stuart,— for the Arabs, understanding that he was a clergyman, and accustomed to associate religion with violence, had looked upon his fierce outburst as quite natural, and regarded him now as the most dangerous and enterprising of their captives. His hands were therefore tied together with a plaited camel-halter, but the others, including the dragoman and the two wounded blacks, were allowed to mount without any precaution against their escape, save that which was afforded by the slowness of their beasts. Then, with a shouting of men and a roaring of camels, the creatures were jolted on to their legs, and the long, straggling procession set off with its back to the homely river, and its face to the shimmering, violet haze, which hung round the huge sweep of beautiful, terrible desert, striped tiger-fashion with black rock and with golden sand.

None of the white prisoners with the exception of Colonel Cochrane had ever been upon a camel before. It seemed an alarming distance to the ground when they looked down, and the curious swaying motion, with the insecurity of the saddle, made them sick and frightened. But their bodily discomfort was forgotten in the turmoil of bitter thoughts within. What a chasm gaped between their old life and their new! And yet how short was the time and space which divided them! Less than an hour ago they had stood upon the summit of that rock and had laughed and chattered, or grumbled at the heat and flies, becoming peevish at small discomforts. Headingly had been hypercritical over the tints of Nature. They could not forget his own tint as he lay with his cheek upon the black stone. Sadie had chattered about tailor-made dresses and Parisian chiffons. Now she was clinging, half-crazy, to the pommel of a wooden saddle, with suicide rising as a red star of hope in her mind. Humanity, reason, argument,— all were gone, and there remained the brutal humiliation of force. And all the time, down there by the second rocky point, their steamer was waiting for them,— their saloon, with the white napery and the glittering glasses, the latest novel, and the London papers. The least imaginative of them could see it so clearly: the white awning, Mrs. Shlesinger with her yellow sun-hat, Mrs. Belmont lying back in the canvas chair. There it lay almost in sight of them, that little floating chip broken off from home, and every silent, ungainly step of the camels was carrying them more hopelessly away from it. That very morning how beneficent Providence had appeared, how pleasant was life!— a little commonplace, perhaps, but so soothing and restful, And now!

The red head-gear, patched jibbehs, and yellow boots had already shown to the Colonel that these men were no wandering party of robbers, but a troop from the regular army of the Khalifa. Now, as they struck across the desert, they showed that they possessed the rude discipline which their work demanded. A mile ahead, and far out on either flank, rode their scouts, dipping and rising among the yellow sand-hills. Ali Wad Ibrahim headed the caravan, and his short, sturdy lieutenant brought up the rear. The main party straggled over a couple of hundred yards, and in the middle was the little, dejected clump of prisoners. No attempt was made to keep them apart, and Mr. Stephens soon contrived that his camel should be between those of the two ladies.

“Don’t be down-hearted, Miss Adams,” said he. “This is a most indefensible outrage, but there can be no question that steps will be taken in the proper quarter to set the matter right. I am convinced that we shall be subjected to nothing worse than a temporary inconvenience. If it had not been for that villain Mansoor, you need not have appeared at all.”

It was shocking to see the change in the little Bostonian lady, for she had shrunk to an old woman in an hour. Her swarthy cheeks had fallen in, and her eyes shone wildly from sunken, darkened sockets. Her frightened glances were continually turned upon Sadie. There is surely some wrecker angel which can only gather her best treasures in moments of disaster. For here were all these worldlings going to their doom, and already frivolity and selfishness had passed away from them, and each was thinking and grieving only for the other. Sadie thought of her aunt, her aunt thought of Sadie, the men thought of the women, Belmont thought of his wife,— and then he thought of something else also, and he kicked his camel’s shoulder with his heel until he found himself upon the near side of Miss Adams.

“I’ve got something for you here,” he whispered. “We may be separated soon, so it is as well to make our arrangements.”

“Separated!” wailed Miss Adams.

“Don’t speak loud, for that infernal Mansoor may give us away again. I hope it won’t be so, but it might. We must be prepared for the worst. For example, they might determine to get rid of us men and to keep you.”

Miss Adams shuddered.

“What am I to do? For God’s sake, tell me what I am to do, Mr. Belmont! I am an old woman. I have had my day. I could stand it if it was only myself. But Sadie — I am clean crazed when I think of her. There’s her mother waiting at home, and I ——” She clasped her thin hands together in the agony of her thoughts.

“Put your hand out under your dust-cloak,” said Belmont, sidling his camel up against hers. “Don’t miss your grip of it. There! Now hide it in your dress, and you’ll always have a key to unlock any door.”

Don’t miss your grip of it
Don’t miss your grip of it

Miss Adams felt what it was which he had slipped into her hand, and she looked at him for a moment in bewilderment. Then she pursed up her lips and shook her stern, brown face in disapproval. But she pushed the little pistol into its hiding-place, all the same, and she rode with her thoughts in a whirl. Could this indeed be she, Eliza Adams, of Boston, whose narrow, happy life had oscillated between the comfortable house in Commonwealth Avenue and the Tremont Presbyterian Church? Here she was, hunched upon a camel, with her hand upon the butt of a pistol, and her mind weighing the justifications of murder. Oh, life, sly, sleek, treacherous life, how are we ever to trust you? Show us your worst and we can face it, but it is when you are sweetest and smoothest that we have most to fear from you.

“At the worst, Miss Sadie, it will only be a question of ransom,” said Stephens, arguing against his own convictions. “Besides, we are still close to Egypt, far away from the Dervish country. There is sure to be an energetic pursuit. You must try not to lose your courage, and to hope for the best.”

“No, I am not scared, Mr. Stephens,” said Sadie, turning towards him a blanched face which belied her words. “We’re all in God’s hands, and surely He won’t be cruel to us. It is easy to talk about trusting Him when things are going well, but now is the real test. If He’s up there behind that blue heaven ——”

“He is,” said a voice behind them, and they found that the Birmingham clergyman had joined the party. His tied hands clutched on to his Makloofa saddle, and his fat body swayed dangerously from side to side with every stride of the camel. His wounded leg was oozing with blood and clotted with flies, and the burning desert sun beat down upon his bare head, for he had lost both hat and umbrella in the scuffle. A rising fever flecked his large, white cheeks with a touch of colour, and brought a light into his brown ox-eyes. He had always seemed a somewhat gross and vulgar person to his fellow-travellers. Now, this bitter healing draught of sorrow had transformed him. He was purified, spiritualised, exalted. He had become so calmly strong that he made the others feel stronger as they looked upon him. He spoke of life and of death, of the present, and their hopes of the future; and the black cloud of their misery began to show a golden rift or two. Cecil Brown shrugged his shoulders, for he could not change in an hour the convictions of his life; but the others, even Fardet, the Frenchman, were touched and strengthened. They all took off their hats when he prayed. Then the Colonel made a turban out of his red silk cummerbund, and insisted that Mr. Stuart should wear it. With his homely dress and gorgeous head-gear, he looked like a man who has dressed up to amuse the children.

And now the dull, ceaseless, insufferable torment of thirst was added to the aching weariness which came from the motion of the camels. The sun glared down upon them, and then up again from the yellow sand, and the great plain shimmered and glowed until they felt as if they were riding over a cooling sheet of molten metal. Their lips were parched and dried, and their tongues like tags of leather. They lisped curiously in their speech, for it was only the vowel sounds which would come without an effort. Miss Adams’s chin had dropped upon her chest, and her great hat concealed her face.

“Auntie will faint if she does not get water,” said Sadie. “Oh, Mr. Stephens, is there nothing we could do?”

The Dervishes riding near were all Baggara with the exception of one negro,— an uncouth fellow with a face pitted with smallpox. His expression seemed good-natured when compared with that of his Arab comrades, and Stephens ventured to touch his elbow and to point to his water-skin, and then to the exhausted lady. The negro shook his head brusquely, but at the same time he glanced significantly towards the Arabs, as if to say that, if it were not for them, he might act differently. Then he laid his black forefinger upon the breast of his jibbeh.

“Tippy Tilly,” said he.

“What’s that?” asked Colonel Cochrane.

“Tippy Tilly,” repeated the negro, sinking his voice as if he wished only the prisoners to hear him.

The Colonel shook his head.

“My Arabic won’t bear much strain. I don’t know what he is saying,” said he.

“Tippy Tilly. Hicks Pasha,” the negro repeated.

“I believe the fellow is friendly to us, but I can’t quite make him out,” said Cochrane to Belmont. “Do you think that he means that his name is Tippy Tilly, and that he killed Hicks Pasha?”

The negro showed his great white teeth at hearing his own words coming back to him. “Aiwa!” said he. “Tippy Tilly — Bimbashi Mormer — Bourn!”

“By Jove, I got it!” cried Belmont.

“He’s trying to speak English. Tippy Tilly is as near as he can get to Egyptian Artillery. He has served in the Egyptian Artillery under Bimbashi Mortimer. He was taken prisoner when Hicks Pasha was destroyed, and had to turn Dervish to save his skin. How’s that?”

The Colonel said a few words of Arabic and received a reply, but two of the Arabs closed up, and the negro quickened his pace and left them.

“You are quite right,” said the Colonel. “The fellow is friendly to us, and would rather fight for the Khedive than for the Khalifa. I don’t know that he can do us any good, but I’ve been in worse holes than this, and come out right side up. After all, we are not out of reach of pursuit, and won’t be for another forty-eight hours.”

Belmont calculated the matter out in his slow, deliberate fashion.

“It was about twelve that we were on the rock,” said he. “They would become alarmed aboard the steamer if we did not appear at two.”

“Yes,” the Colonel interrupted, “that was to be our lunch hour. I remember saying that when I came back I would have —— Oh, Lord, it’s best not to think about it!”

“The reis was a sleepy old crock,” Belmont continued; “but I have absolute confidence in the promptness and decision of my wife. She would insist upon an immediate alarm being given. Suppose they started back at two-thirty, they should be at Haifa by three, since the journey is down stream. How long did they say that it took to turn out the Camel Corps?”

“Give them an hour.”

“And another hour to get them across the river. They would be at the Abousir Rock and pick up the tracks by six o’clock. After that it is a clear race. We are only four hours ahead, and some of these beasts are very spent. We may be saved yet, Cochrane!”

“Some of us may. I don’t expect to see the padre alive tomorrow, nor Miss Adams either. They are not made for this sort of thing, either of them. Then, again, we must not forget that these people have a trick of murdering their prisoners when they think that there is a chance of a rescue. See here, Belmont, in case you get back and I don’t, there’s a matter of a mortgage that I want you to set right for me.” They rode on with their shoulders inclined to each other, deep in the details of business.

The friendly negro who had talked of himself as Tippy Tilly had managed to slip a piece of cloth soaked in water into the hand of Mr. Stephens, and Miss Adams had moistened her lips with it. Even the few drops had given her renewed strength, and, now that the first crushing shock was over, her wiry, elastic, Yankee nature began to reassert itself.

“These people don’t look as if they would harm us, Mr. Stephens,” said she. “I guess they have a working religion of their own, such as it is, and that what’s wrong to us is wrong to them.”

Stephens shook his head in silence. He had seen the death of the donkey-boys, and she had not.

“Maybe we are sent to guide them into a better path,” said the old lady. “Maybe we are specially singled out for a good work among them.”

If it were not for her niece her energetic and enterprising temperament was capable of glorying in the chance of evangelising Khartoum, and turning Omdurman into a little well-drained, broad-avenued replica of a New England town.

“Do you know what I am thinking of all the time?” said Sadie. “You remember that temple that we saw,— when was it? Why, it was this morning.”

They gave an exclamation of surprise, all three of them. Yes, it had been this morning; and it seemed away and away in some dim past experience of their lives, so vast was the change, so new and so overpowering the thoughts which had come between them. They rode in silence, full of this strange expansion of time, until at last Stephens reminded Sadie that she had left her remark unfinished.

“Oh, yes; it was the wall picture on that temple that I was thinking of. Do you remember the poor string of prisoners who are being dragged along to the feet of the great king,— how dejected they looked among the warriors who led them? Who could,— who could have thought that within three hours the same fate should be our own? And Mr. Headingly ——,” she turned her face away and began to cry.

“Don’t take on, Sadie,” said her aunt; “remember what the minister said just now, that we are all right there in the hollow of God’s hand. Where do you think we are going, Mr. Stephens?”

The red edge of his Baedeker still projected from the lawyer’s pocket, for it had not been worth their captor’s while to take it. He glanced down at it.

“If they will only leave me this, I will look up a few references when we halt. I have a general idea of the country, for I drew a small map of it the other day. The river runs from south to north, so we must be travelling almost due west. I suppose they feared pursuit if they kept too near the Nile bank. There is a caravan route, I remember, which runs parallel to the river, about seventy miles inland. If we continue in this direction for a day we ought to come to it. There is a line of wells through which it passes. It comes out at Assiout, if I remember right, upon the Egyptian side. On the other side, it leads away into the Dervish country,— so, perhaps ——”

His words were interrupted by a high, eager voice which broke suddenly into a torrent of jostling words, words without meaning, pouring strenuously out in angry assertions and foolish repetitions. The pink had deepened to scarlet upon Mr. Stuart’s cheeks, his eyes were vacant but brilliant, and he gabbled, gabbled, gabbled as he rode. Kindly mother Nature! she will not let her children be mishandled too far. “This is too much,” she says; “this wounded leg, these crusted lips, this anxious, weary mind. Come away for a time, until your body becomes more habitable.” And so she coaxes the mind away into the Nirvana of delirium, while the little cell-workers tinker and toil within to get things better for its home-coming. When you see the veil of cruelty which nature wears, try and peer through it, and you will sometimes catch a glimpse of a very homely, kindly face behind.

The Arab guards looked askance at this sudden outbreak of the clergyman, for it verged upon lunacy, and lunacy is to them a fearsome and supernatural thing. One of them rode forward and spoke with the Emir. When he returned he said something to his comrades, one of whom closed in upon each side of the minister’s camel, so as to prevent him from falling. The friendly negro sidled his beast up to the Colonel, and whispered to him.

“We are going to halt presently, Belmont,” said Cochrane.

“Thank God! They may give us some water. We can’t go on like this.”

“I told Tippy Tilly that, if he could help us, we would turn him into a Bimbashi when we got him back into Egypt. I think he’s willing enough if he only had the power. By Jove, Belmont, do look back at the river.”

Their route, which had lain through sand-strewn khors with jagged, black edges,— places up which one would hardly think it possible that a camel could climb,— opened out now on to a hard, rolling plain, covered thickly with rounded pebbles, dipping and rising to the violet hills upon the horizon. So regular were the long, brown pebble-strewn curves, that they looked like the dark rollers of some monstrous ground-swell. Here and there a little straggling sage-green tuft of camel-grass sprouted up between the stones. Brown plains and violet hills,— nothing else in front of them! Behind lay the black jagged rocks through which they had passed with orange slopes of sand, and then far away a thin line of green to mark the course of the river. How cool and beautiful that green looked in the stark, abominable wilderness! On one side they could see the high rock,— the accursed rock which had tempted them to their ruin. On the other the river curved, and the sun gleamed upon the water. Oh, that liquid gleam, and the insurgent animal cravings, the brutal primitive longings, which for the instant took the soul out of all of them! They had lost families, countries, liberty, everything, but it was only of water, water, water, that they could think. Mr. Stuart, in his delirium, began roaring for oranges, and it was insufferable for them to have to listen to him. Only the rough, sturdy Irishman rose superior to that bodily craving. That gleam of river must be somewhere near Haifa, and his wife might be upon the very water at which he looked. He pulled his hat over his eyes, and rode in gloomy silence, biting at his strong, iron-grey moustache.

Looking for some landmark
Looking for some landmark

Slowly the sun sank towards the west, and their shadows began to trail along the path where their hearts would go. It was cooler, and a desert breeze had sprung up, whispering over the rolling, stone-strewed plain. The Emir at their head had called his lieutenant to his side, and the pair had peered about, their eyes shaded by their hands, looking for some landmark. Then, with a satisfied grunt, the chiefs camel had seemed to break short off at its knees, and then at its hocks, going down in three curious, broken-jointed jerks until its stomach was stretched upon the ground. As each succeeding camel reached the spot it lay down also, until they were all stretched in one long line. The riders sprang off, and laid out the chopped tibbin upon cloths in front of them, for no well-bred camel will eat from the ground. In their gentle eyes, their quiet, leisurely way of eating, and their condescending, mincing manner, there was something both feminine and genteel, as though a party of prim old maids had foregathered in the heart of the Libyan desert.

There was no interference with the prisoners, either male or female, for how could they escape in the centre of that huge plain? The Emir came towards them once, and stood combing out his blue-black beard with his fingers, and looking thoughtfully at them out of his dark, sinister eyes. Miss Adams saw with a shudder that it was always upon Sadie that his gaze was fixed. Then, seeing their distress, he gave an order, and a negro brought a water-skin, from which he gave each of them about half a tumblerful. It was hot and muddy and tasted of leather, but, oh, how delightful it was to their parched palates! The Emir said a few abrupt words to the dragoman and left.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Mansoor began, with something of his old consequential manner; but a glare from the Colonel’s eyes struck the words from his lips, and he broke away into a long, whimpering excuse for his conduct.

“How could I do anything otherwise,” he wailed, “with the very knife at my throat?”

“You will have the very rope round your throat if we all see Egypt again,” growled Cochrane, savagely. “In the meantime —”

“That’s all right, Colonel,” said Belmont. “But for our own sakes we ought to know what the chief has said.”

“For my part I’ll have nothing to do with the blackguard.”

“I think that that is going too far. We are bound to hear what he has to say.”

Cochrane shrugged his shoulders. Privations had made him irritable, and he had to bite his lip to keep down a bitter answer. He walked slowly away, with his straight-legged military stride.

“What did he say then?” asked Belmont, looking at the dragoman with an eye which was as stern as the Colonel’s.

“He seems to be in a somewhat better manner than before. He said that if he had more water you should have it, but that he is himself short in supply. He said that tomorrow we shall come to the wells of Selimah, and everybody shall have plenty — and the camels too.”

“Did he say how long we stopped here?”

“Very little rest, he said, and then forwards! Oh, Mr. Belmont ——”

“Hold your tongue!” snapped the Irishman, and began once more to count times and distances. If it all worked out as he expected, if his wife had insisted upon the indolent reis giving an instant alarm at Haifa, then the pursuers should be already upon their track. The Camel Corps or the Egyptian Horse would travel by moonlight better and faster than in the daytime. He knew that it was the custom at Haifa to keep at least a squadron of them all ready to start at any instant. He had dined at the mess, and the officers had told him how quickly they could take the field. They had shown him the water-tanks and the food beside each beast, and he had admired the completeness of the arrangements, with little thought as to what it might mean to him in the future. It would be at least an hour before they would all get started again from their present halting-place. That would be a clear hour gained. Perhaps by next morning ——

And then, suddenly, his thoughts were terribly interrupted. The Colonel, raving like a madman, appeared upon the crest of the nearest slope, with an Arab hanging on to each of his wrists. His face was purple with rage and excitement, and he tugged and bent and writhed in his furious efforts to get free. “You cursed murderers!” he shrieked, and then, seeing the others in front of him, “Belmont,” he cried, “they’ve killed Cecil Brown.”

What had happened was this. In his conflict with his own ill-humour, Cochrane had strolled over this nearest crest, and had found a group of camels in the hollow beyond, with a little knot of angry, loud-voiced men beside them. Brown was the centre of the group, pale, heavy-eyed, with his upturned, spiky moustache and listless manner. They had searched his pockets before, but now they were determined to tear off all his clothes in the hope of finding something which he had secreted. A hideous negro, with silver bangles in his ears, grinned and jabbered in the young diplomatist’s impassive face. There seemed to the Colonel to be something heroic and almost inhuman in that white calm, and those abstracted eyes. His coat was already open, and the negro’s great black paw flew up to his neck and tore his shirt down to the waist. And at the sound of that r-r-rip, and at the abhorrent touch of those coarse fingers, this man about town, this finished product of the nineteenth century, dropped his life-traditions and became a savage facing a savage.

His face flushed, his lips curled back, he chattered, his teeth like an ape, and his eyes — those indolent eyes which had always twinkled so placidly — were gorged and frantic. He threw himself upon the negro, and struck him again and again, feebly but viciously, in his broad, black face. He hit like a girl, round arm, with an open palm. The man winced away for an instant, appalled by this sudden blaze of passion. Then with an impatient, snarling cry he slid a knife from his long loose sleeve and struck upwards under the whirling arm. Brown sat down at the blow and began to cough — to cough as a man coughs who has choked at dinner, furiously, ceaselessly, spasm after spasm. Then the angry red cheeks turned to a mottled pallor, there were liquid sounds in his throat, and, clapping his hand to his mouth, he rolled over on to his side.

He rolled over on to his side
He rolled over on to his side

The negro, with a brutal grunt of contempt, slid his knife up his sleeve once more, while the Colonel, frantic with impotent anger, was seized by the bystanders, and dragged, raving with fury, back to his forlorn party. His hands were lashed with a camel-halter, and he lay at last, in bitter silence, beside the delirious Nonconformist.

So Headingly was gone, and Cecil Brown was gone, and their haggard eyes were turned from one pale face to another, to know which they should lose next of that frieze of light-hearted riders who had stood out so clearly against the blue morning sky, when viewed from the deck-chairs of the Korosko. Two gone out of ten, and a third out of his mind. The pleasure trip was drawing to its climax.

Fardet, the Frenchman, was sitting alone with his chin resting upon his hands, and his elbows upon his knees, staring miserably out over the desert, when Belmont saw him start suddenly and prick up his head like a dog who hears a strange step. Then, with clenched fingers, he bent his face forward and stared fixedly towards the black eastern hills through which they had passed. Belmont followed his gaze, and, yes — yes — there was something moving there! He saw the twinkle of metal, and the sudden gleam and flutter of some white garment.

A Dervish vedette upon the flank turned his camel twice round as a danger signal, and discharged his rifle in the air. The echo of the crack had hardly died away before they were all in their saddles, Arabs and negroes. Another instant, and the camels were on their feet and moving slowly towards the point of alarm. Several armed men surrounded the prisoners, slipping cartridges into their Remingtons as a hint to them to remain still.

“By Heaven, they are men on camels!” cried Cochrane, his troubles all forgotten as he strained his eyes to catch sight of these new-comers. “I do believe that it is our own people.” In the confusion he had tugged his hands free from the halter which bound them.

“They’ve been smarter than I gave them credit for,” said Belmont, his eyes shining from under his thick brows. “They are here a long two hours before we could have reasonably expected them. Hurrah, Monsieur Fardet, ça va bien, n’est ce pas?”

“Hurrah, hurrah! merveilleusement bien! Vivent les Anglais! Vivent les Anglais!” yelled the excited Frenchman, as the head of a column of camelry began to wind out from among the rocks.

“See here, Belmont,” cried the Colonel. “These fellows will want to shoot us if they see it is all up. I know their ways, and we must be ready for it. Will you be ready to jump on the fellow with the blind eye, and I’ll take the big nigger, if I can get my arms around him. Stephens, you must do what you can. You, Fardet, comprenez vous? Il est nécessaire to plug these Johnnies before they can hurt us. You, dragoman, tell those two Soudanese soldiers that they must be ready — but, but ——” his words died into a murmur and he swallowed once or twice. “These are Arabs,” said he, and it sounded like another voice.

Of all the bitter day, it was the very bitterest moment. Happy Mr. Stuart lay upon the pebbles with his back against the ribs of his camel, and chuckled consumedly at some joke which those busy little cell-workers had come across in their repairs.

His fat face was wreathed and creased with merriment. But the others, how sick, how heart-sick, were they all! The women cried. The men turned away in that silence which is beyond tears. Monsieur Fardet fell upon his face, and shook with dry sobbings.

The Arabs were firing their rifles as a welcome to their friends, and the others as they trotted their camels across the open returned the salutes and waved their rifles and lances in the air. They were a smaller band than the first one,— not more than thirty,— but dressed in the same red head-gear and patched jibbehs. One of them carried a small white banner with a scarlet text scrawled across it. But there was something there which drew the eyes and the thoughts of the tourists away from everything else. The same fear gripped at each of their hearts, and the same impulse kept each of them silent. They stared at a swaying white figure half seen amidst the ranks of the desert warriors.

“What’s that they have in the middle of them?” cried Stephens at last. “Look, Miss Adams! Surely it is a woman!”

There was something there upon a camel, but it was difficult to catch a glimpse of it. And then suddenly, as the two bodies met, the riders opened out, and they saw it plainly. “It’s a white woman!” “The steamer has been taken!” Belmont gave a cry that sounded high above everything.

Norah, darling, keep your heart up
Norah, darling, keep your heart up

“Norah, darling,” he shouted, “keep your heart up! I’m here, and it is all well!”

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/doyle/arthur_conan/korosko/chapter5.html

Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 21:33