Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/966

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950

��Popular Science Monthly

��which is the Arabic equivalent for "insult him." If these saucy sons of Ham are laughing up their sleeves at us, they will not get their mouthful of "eish" after all. And yet what recks it? We are not out for

���Fig. 2. The combination of the first spelling and this makes "eishtmo," Arabic for "insult him"

intellectual recreation and have the satis- faction of memorizing in these two groups no less than seven letters of the Morse alphabet.

The Arabs now call upon several more of their sun-scorched brethren to join them, and, thus reinforced, proceed to entertain us with a third grouping, a picturesque one withal, for we here get a combined figure of squatting and prone Egyptians, as in Fig. 3, which is certainly not a complicated figure, yet it helps us to tuck away in the recesses of our brain boxes six more letters, namely:

(A).- (U)..- (V)...-

m— .. (D)-.. (B)— ...

Happily these form no equivocal word in Arabic so we conclude we have been enter- taining unworthy suspicions of our desert

���Fig. 3. Positions of the men for making A, U, V, N, D, and B in the Morse code

friends. While we are mentally registering the six symbols, however, the top two sets of men begin quarreling and approach each other in a menacing attitude; but as we are at the safe distance of 500 ft. from the seat of disturbance, we content ourselves with merely adding another letter to the tablets

��of our memories, for the conjunction of the two opposing factions represents the letter

P (. .). Meanwhile the two couples

commence stealthily to maneuver round one another, so that, although they began thus . - — - . they presently stand thus — . . — which may be all quite fortuitous, of course, still we manage to profit by the chance grouping, since — . . — is X.

Do we realize that we are already con- siderably more than half way through the alphabet? Not without casualties, how- ever; for in the fracas above alluded to three men are injured : the first is therefore gently laid down, a dark visaged brother sits at his head, fanning him with the tail end of his robe, while another sits at the injured man's feet and tickles his toes with a spike of camel grass. We simply cannot resist the temptation to place another let- ter in our mental warehouse — viz., R (. — .) for the three men are now grouped thus.

���.f&wji.

��Fig. 4. The men take their places as shown which in the Morse code is W G '

The two other wounded fellows call out faintly for "water," so they are likewise tenderly laid out, head to head, and one of the onlookers sits between them, giving each alternately a sip of water out of his inverted tarboosh, hastily filled from the pump of Mena House Hotel close by ; thus the group becomes — . — and as it must be a hopelessly diseased wind that cannot manage to blow somebody some good somehow, we so far take advantage of the woes of these two unhappy wretches as to add the letter K to our rapidly growing Morse alphabet, thereby accounting for 17 out of the 26 letters.

Another group composed of six men evolves itself as in Fig. 4, but the com- ponent parts thereof immediately begin a • i20-deg.-in-the-shade argument. As far as our obliging Dragoman is able to make out from this distance and the echoes thrown back from the face of the pyramid, they are talking about cricket, and the left three

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