National Geographic : 1934 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by James C. Wilson A KHARTOUM WOODWORKER HAS AN INGENIOUSLY ASSEMBLED "LATHE" He turns the piece with a bowstring and steadies the tool with his great toe. His shop is against any mud wall which affords a bit of shade. trappings of an organized, orthodox expedi tion, we ought to be able to do it without even a razor to encumber us. ABESHR GIVES A RECEPTION There's a big celebration in our honor at Abeshr, and another at Adre, last point in French territory. Adre has no radio sta tion, and the officers can't believe that we've come clear from West Africa on our motorcycles. We exhibit our passports, signed by the commandants of the nine French forts through which we have passed. "Alors," says the commandant, scratch ing his head, "it is a fact indubitable, but you will have to give me a little time to get used to the idea. Messieurs, your ex ploit is simply stupendous. You will never convince them back in America that it is true. By camel it is quite possible; by motorcycle-non!" Fifteen miles beyond Adre is El Geneina, first village and post in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. This is the land of the sand bur, two feet high and thicker than wheat in a field. The trail is so sandy that we have to ride off to the side to get traction. We haven't any socks and our shorts are in tatters. After three days of it we pull into El Fasher, looking like porcu pines. The British Governor of Darfur * receives us into his beautiful home, tatters and all. Dinner won't be ready for half an hour. We can't help squirming, and his wife notices what is wrong. She brings in two pairs of tweezers and says, "Go at them, boys. I'd pull them out in the presence of King George him self, if I had as good a crop as that." We extract our quills one by one and drop them into the Governor's Chinese vase. The British are good scouts. AN "IMPOSSIBLE" TRAIL THE BEST YET "It's 400 miles to El Obeid," said the Governor, next morning, "and absolutely the worst road in Africa. You'll never be able to make it by motorcycle. I'll give you a military escort, and when you can't get any farther you can load your bikes onto the lorry and-" * See "Adventures Among the 'Lost Tribes of Islam' in Eastern Darfur," by Maj. Edward Keith Roach, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for January, 1924.