Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/150

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146
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

what disgusted, Wayne started to leave Egypt, but the viceroy notified him that he would present six camels to the United States government. After delay the animals came. Porter after looking at them wrote an indignant letter refusing to accept the gift. They were "worthless and diseased" he said, and "I can not conscientiously receive them." The attempt of the Egyptian officials, he said " fraudulently to force a present on us" was a "discourtesy" to the United States which he would not tolerate. The viceroy laid the blame upon his servants and finally six good dromedaries were secured. Only three others were taken on board here, and the Supply sailed for Smyrna to complete the cargo.

The loading of the camels was done under Porter's supervision. Before leaving the United States he had prepared a "camel deck" or stable on the lower deck and had cut through the upper deck to secure a constant supply of fresh air for the animals. To get them on board he constructed a long flat-bottomed boat which could be run ashore. On this was a strong car with wheels which could be pulled out on land to receive the camels who often had to be dragged into it, and then the car was rolled back on the boat. From the boat the car holding the camel was hoisted into the ship and let down to the "camel deck."

While in Alexandria waiting for the viceroy to act, Mr. G. H. Heap, an American who had lived in Tunis and who accompanied the expedition, was sent on ahead to purchase other camels and equipments. When the Supply reached Smyrna, on January 30, 1856, Heap had the camels, saddles and other supplies ready. They were taken on board and on February 15 the Supply was turned toward America. The cargo consisted of thirty-three camels: nine dromedaries (Arabians) from Egypt; twenty Arabian burden camels; one young Arabian camel; two Bactrian (two humped) males; one Booghdee or Tuilu, the offspring of a Bactrian male and an Arabian female, having one hump.

Before leaving Smyrna the females that were not already with young were covered by the males, since it was the rutting season, and it was desired to increase the herd as fast as possible. To take care of them four Americans, two Turks and three Arabs were brought along—all under the supervision of Albert Ray, an army wagon master.

During the return trip, which lasted three months, the weather was rough. Wayne and Porter had been requested by Davis to stop at the Canaries[1] to see the camels there, but they were prevented by heavy winds. Wayne occupied himself in writing a long report to the secretary of war and in translating French works relating to camels. He wrote Davis that the information furnished by the letter had been generally accurate. The report gave a detailed history of the camel, an

  1. See Leonard, p. 13.