THE BURDEN OF THE SHAIKH
T HE bells of the two mules laden with Haji Rikkan's packs jingled musically in our rear, as he and I jogged on our way towards the Duwairij marsh. We had left the riverain cultivation in the early morning, and the sun was hot on the bare ground of the desert when we heard behind us a party of horsemen, who were rapidly overtaking us as they came on at a steady canter. Coming up with our little cavalcade, they drew rein to exchange greetings. The leader of the party proved to be Mullah Yunis, an old acquaintance of mine, who with a few tribesmen was returning to his master's tents from a mission of importance.