It was only because Gordon and Baring were gentlemen that they failed to have an acrimonious discussion when they met at the British Consultate General at Cairo. They had nothing in common except that they sprang from the same social stratum and had both of them begun life as soldiers. This similarity of origin accentuated their basic dislike for one another. It gave each a more exaggerated idea of the barrier that separated them than would have been the case had they not come out of the same mould. Baring looked upon Gordon as a subaltern who had become a religious fanatic. The latter beheld in the former an officer who had forsaken the sincerity of the barracks for the duplicity of a Chancellery.