National Geographic : 1914 Jan
i.,ioto by i'rec.io., The fate of the ouled nail, or dancing girl, of Biskra is often that described by the prophet Jeremiah: "Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thy self fair; thy lovers will despise thee" (Jeremiah 3:30). and on turning saw an old woman pitch headlong into the abyss below. She had come out to throw rubbish down the precipice and had lost her balance and toppled over. She hit the boulders and rebounded like a rubber ball, and brought up at last almost out of sight in the valley below. We all thought she was dead, for a fall of about 900 feet surely meant death, and it seemed as if every bone in her body must have been broken. Her relatives and family went down to pick up .her remains, and two hours later she was brought up, more dead than alive. I expressed my regret to the sheik of the village, and he said she was only a woman and an old one at that, and that her time had come. This accident darkened my day's en- joyment, and for several days it was a very vivid and unpleasant memory. Im agine my relief on hearing later that she had entirely recovered, and that not a single bone was broken. From the Troglodyte caves of Guer messa to the valley below, where the springs of drinking water are situated, is a drop of about 1,800 feet. The path is over 3 miles long and zigzags all the way up. CAVE-DnwLLERS TIIAT LIVE BY THEM SaLVES From Gabes to Dehibat, and from Matmata over the Tripoli border, one finds, scattered here and there, small groups of cave-dwellers living in caves in the mountain side, sometimes only one family.