Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/194

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180
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

self of its expansive comfort. His animals are destined to fare less pleasantly, inasmuch as they are generally left to dry their bodies in the open sun, with a temperature beating over their heads of possibly not less than 130° to 140° F. This habit of denying to the animals what little comfort was to be had was a trait painfully apparent in our driver, but it could be said in his behalf that he differed in this respect little from other members of his tribe. What special object he had in allowing his jaded horses to wilt under a burning sun, when a few feet approach would have brought them a generous temperature thirty degrees lower, could not be ascertained.

Saada, whose position on a bank slightly elevated above the Djedi saved it from the recent overflows, is one, sufficiently typical

PSM V53 D194 Our wagon plowing through sahara mud.jpg
Our Wagon Plowing through Sahara Mud.

in itself, of a series of caravansaries which are scattered at intervals through the northern Sahara. A large quadrangular space, intended to accommodate a goodly assemblage of men and animals, is surrounded by a stoutly built wall of masonry, the inner side of which is variously subdivided into rooms and stalls, yielding clean shelter joined to a refreshing shade. Entrance is by a single gate, closure of which means the guarantee of safety to those in the interior. The whole is under the military administration of a handful of leisure-loving Arabs, who look to the wants of the traveling caravans, and presumably as much to their safety as to their comfort. Long before reaching Saada the effects of the late storm had made themselves disagreeably apparent. The road, or what there was to represent it, was washed into gullies by the recent overflow,