A Dweller in Mesopotamia by Donald Maxwell

By Donald Maxwell

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BY THE SAME AUTHOR THE LAST CRUSADE ADVENTURES WITH A SKETCH BOOK WITH BIBLE AND BRUSH IN PALESTINE [In preparation] THE BODLEY HEAD PREFACE Few adventurous incidents in our lives seem romantic at the time of their happening, and few places we visit are invested with that glamour that haunt them in recollection or anticipation. I remember comparing the colour scheme of a barge in Baghdad with that of one in Rochester. It was a comparison most unfavourable to Baghdad—a thing the colour of ashes with a thing of red and green and gold.

The progress is slow and there is often a good deal of waiting, for in the region between Ezra's tomb (above Kurna) and Amara there is not room for two steamers thus encumbered to pass with safety. These waters are known as the Narrows. Signal stations are placed at various intervals, and a signal is made to clear the way, generally for the down-river boat, the up-river craft, which, with the stream against them, will not have to turn round in stopping, tying up to the bank. This manœuvre is done in a few minutes.

R. in the Dalhousie stationed at Basra. N. victims to find a new route to somewhere or other which could not possibly be approached by water. His enthusiasm had been so infectious that he had persuaded these gallant and guileless officers to go with him, and was, at the moment of my arrival, attempting to get a better geographical idea of the surrounding country by climbing a palm tree and shouting directions to the unfortunate occupants of the boat below, who were hopelessly stuck. The sudden impact of the bellam, uncomfortable as it was for all concerned, succeeded where they had failed, in getting them off the mud.

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