National Geographic : 1914 Jan
day, hour after hour, loomed up in the distance. In the foreground the figures of Sidi -Hadj, his sons, and the Troglodytes sil houetted against a sunset sky of green and gold; beneath us to the south and west stretched a reddish golden mass of sand-the Great Sahara in all its fasci nating mystery. Almost 2,000 feet below us wound and wriggled what looked like an earth worm-a belated caravan of camels heading toward some gourbis (Bedouin tents) whose camp-fire dotted the distant landscape. Everything was still and no one spoke; all felt the spell of that glori ous sunset. Even the horses, mules, don keys, camels, and those vicious, yapping Kabyle dogs seemed quiet. Twilight lasts about three minutes; then comes utter darkness, when the Troglodytes barricade their gates and doors and unloose their numerous dogs. The day's work was finished and we had had a hard day's ride. Those thick Per sian rugs seemed very tempting. What mattered it if 18 others slept in the same cave. But I could not let then close and lock the great cave door. A Troglodyte cave has air-tight walls, roof. and floor cut out of solid rock. Sidi Hadj begged and pleaded, saying that we would all be murdered; but I remained firm, and the door remained open. Undressing is quite simple for an Arab. He takes off some of his gar ments, unfastens his belt, puts his slip pers near him, also his gun or pistol, and rolls himself in his bernous. They sleep very heavily, and it is difficult to awaken them. About 2 a. m. I was awakened by a queer noise that I thought was made by thieves. I grabbed my Browning and waited. All the men in the cave slept soundly. A moonbeam fell through the open door, and I saw a large Kabyle dog creeping into our cave. I threw one of my heavy boots at him and he rushed out howling; but, in spite of the noise, no one stirred. Twenty minutes later back he came ; this time my other boot caught him on the head, and he made a fearful noise, but every one slept on. A TRAGEDY WITH A HAPPY ENDING Early in the morning, as I was exam ining Guermessa and taking some photo graphs of the caves, we heard screams, WILL HE COME. One of the great attractions of these daugh ters of the desert is the exquisite grace of their carriage and the unconsciously beautiful poses they adopt when at rest.