Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/607

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ASPECTS OF NATURE IN THE SAHARA.

other meteorological phenomena which pertain more properly to the land surface than to the air, the winter climate of this spot is probably all that need be desired; but the oasis, and with it the town, lacks those attributes of pleasurable comfort which are needed to sustain and insure periodic change to the resting body. The kaleidoscopic sublimity of the Atlas Mountains, receiving that indescribable glow of coloring which even the painter's hand can hardly touch, entrances by its polychrome effect; the passing caravans are an interest for some days or perhaps even weeks; but the utter

PSM V52 D607 Leader of the caravan.jpg
The Leader of a Caravan.

sameness of the desert beyond, its vast monotonous solitudes of resting or driving sands, begins to pall upon the mind, which seeks for change, for some relief whether of climate, life, or scene, but finds it not. It is true that in their customary way as colonizers and as seekers of the humble pleasures, the French are striving to make tenable those amusements which are a part of the habit and life of the mother country; the polo field, tennis court, and racecourse are all here, but they are not sufficient to wear away the wearisome sameness of Biskra life. Even the clamor or glamour of an Arab or Ethiopian market, especially where the