Page:Lands of the Saracen 1859.djvu/29

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LANDING AT QUARANTINE. 19 the city, in which there are representatives from the two hotels, hovers around us, and cards are thrown to us. The zealous agents wish to supply us immediately with tables, Deds, and all other household appliances; but we decline their help until we arrive at the mysterious spot. At last we float off — two lighters full of infected, though respectable, material, towed by oarsmen of most scurvy appearance, but free from every suspicion of taint. The sea is still rough, the sun is hot, and a fat Jewess becomes sea-sick. An Italian Jew rails at the boatmen ahead, in the Neapolitan patois, for the distance is long, the Quaran- tine being on the land- side of Beyrout. We see the rows of little yellow houses on the cliff, and with great apparent risk of being swept upon the breakers, are tugged into a small cove, where there is a landing-place. Nobody is there to receive us ; the boatmen jump into the water and push the Tghters against the stone stairs, while we unload our own baggage. A tin cup- filled with sea-water is placed before us, and we each drop six piastres into it — for money, strange as it may seem, is infec tious. By this time, the guardianos have had notice of our arrival, and we go up with them to choose our habitations. There are several rows of one-story houses overlooking the sea, each containing two empty rooms, to be had for a hundred piastres; but a square two-story dwelling stands apart from them, and the whole of it may be had for thrice that sum. There are seven Frank prisoners, and we take it for ourselves. But the rooms are bare, the kitchen empty, and we learn the important fact, that Quarantine is durance vile, without even the bread and water. The guardiano says the agents ot the hotel are at the gate, and we can order from them whatever