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The Cradle of Mankind (eBook)

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FROM the eastern gate of Mardin the road decants itself plainwards in a skein of curves and zigzags-a vertical descent of 2000 feet, spinning out its gradients to a length of five or six miles. It is not at all a bad road. One could easily bicycle do...
Cod: f7ac5976-f750-49aa-8b75-46a8f2cdbd50 / 139793
Disponibilitate: In stoc
Producator: eKitap Projesi

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FROM the eastern gate of Mardin the road decants itself plainwards in a skein of curves and zigzags-a vertical descent of 2000 feet, spinning out its gradients to a length of five or six miles. It is not at all a bad road. One could easily bicycle down it-and perhaps even bicycle up it if in specially strenuous mood. But it is, as it were, the swan-song of the modern Ottoman Telfords, and as soon as it reaches the level it reverts into a sheaf of footpaths. Henceforth to the end of our journey we saw no more metalled roads. We had now, too, a further reminder of the fact that we were quitting civilization, for a couple of zaptiehs rode with us to escort us over the stage to Nisibin. Hitherto such protection had been deemed needless: but in these remoter districts the Government prefers to have some tangible assurance of a European traveller's safety, seeing that it is liable to be held responsible if he is unfortunate enough to come to grief. Thus that modest intruder finds himself passed on from city to city with all the pomp and circumstance of an armed cavalry escort; and afflicted at every stage with the consciousness that he is passing current at a face value vastly in excess of his intrinsic worth. The zaptiehs are a sort of military police, analogous to the Spanish Civil Guard or the Royal Irish Constabulary; though we fear that these two corps d'elite would not be likely to feel gratified at a suggestion that such deplorable ragamuffins should “march through Coventry” with them. Personally, for the most part, they are good-humoured and obliging fellows; accepting rough weather and hard lodging with the utmost philosophy. Also they rather welcome the chance of a little escort duty. It is a pleasant change from the monotony of garrison life; and there is a tip to look forward to finally, though this must be “under the rose.” “You have not mentioned that you've given us a present?” said one of our fellows with engaging naivete when we asked him to carry back a le
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