Page:Thirty-five years in the East.djvu/85

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THIRTY-FIVE YEARS IN THE EAST.

Bagdad; we could speak the Persian, Arabic, and Turkish languages, had long beards, and addressed each other as Hajee, i. e., pilgrim. Our carpets, which constituted our beds, were quite similar, and were placed close to one another. We ate together, according to the eastern custom, using our fingers instead of knives and forks ; in fact, we played our parts so well, that none recognised us as Christians. Having our quarters in the mosque, it was very annoying for us to see the musselmans come five times in twenty-four hours, to offer up their prayers. They thought it strange that we, as pilgrims and their guests, did not join in their devotions. It is true, we could easily have done so, but knowing how to excuse ourselves, we did not like to push our dissimulation any further. We had only to whisper into the ear of one of them that we were unclean. From that expression they inferred that we had the gonorrhcea, which excuse became a public secret ; and we thus got out of the difficulty. From Mooltan to Lahore we went on horseback.The journey from Bagdad to Lahore occupied four months ; I. e., two by water, and two by land. On my arrival at Lahore, I found that the king, Runjeet Sing, with his army and the four French officers, was absent, having gone towards Peshawur ; but at the commencement of the rainy season, in the middle of June, they had all returned to Lahore, and I was well received. The first patient I had to attend, after my arrival at Lahore, and before I got public employment, was Achilles, an adopted son of General Allard. This boy was afflicted with a fistula on the spine, of long duration, and which had been several times superficially healed by the native surgeons. He was so reduced, that one could truly say, he was but skin and bone : "Ossa atque pellis totus est," which of course rendered the case most difficult. I was convinced that my medical reputation depended upon this case. Greneral Allard told me that the boy would die, if not attended to, that he could no longer bear to see him in that pitiful state, and urgently so-licited my aid. He did not at that time imagine that his darling Achilles would outlive him ; but the destiny of man