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moment. This ought certainly to have killed it, but the beast rolled into the water, and was carried away by the stream. This is the sportsmen's own account. Meanwhile a day was lost in vain, and the heat had been quite unbearable: even late at night there was 80° Fahr.
March 6. The English mail arrived early in the morning, and I got some letters just a month old. Again a very hot day. Early in the morning the thermometer was at 106°; at twelve o'clock 140° in the sun, and 108° in my cabin. I certainly never felt any thing like the heat. There was not a breath of wind, and, added to this, there were swarms of the most impertinent flies, which one was constantly occupied in fanning away; an operation which only makes one still hotter, and effectually prevents one from doing any thing in the way of drawing or writing. The day was unlucky, too, as far as progress in our journey is concerned. We stuck fast an hour after we had started, and there remained nearly three hours before we got off again and were able to go on. About one o'clock we reached Korosko, from which place we sent off our mail. We left Korosko again at four o'clock, but soon found ourselves once more aground, both steamer and dahabeah. The poor captain was in utter despair, and he and all the men worked hard to get us off. The screaming and singing when they try to move the boats is not to be described. These boatmen always work their lungs and voices at the same time as their legs and arms, and it would seem that without this noise the work would not advance at all; but they certainly then work like horses. To-day, when our boats stuck fast, we all of a sudden heard some splashing in the water, and, looking down, we found about twelve natives trying to push us off. It was a curious sight to see these bronze-looking figures, with their half-shaved heads and bright teeth, swimming about, and looking much more like savages or monkeys than any thing else; indeed, I should think the Nubian must be very nearly related to the latter. Their heads are generally shaved altogether except a large round circle at the top or back of the head, where they allow the hair to grow, leaving it to stick up like a brush in the air, or else platting it. I was told that the reason they did this was their belief that when they die they will be lifted up to Paradise by that lock.
Of course we had now to stay for the night.
M rch 7. Proceeded all day without stopping. Passed some beautiful scenery, by far the prettiest part of the country we had yet seen. The hills most beautifully shaped, rising in succession, row above Entrance to Philae. Assouan.
row, with lovely soft lights thrown upon them, and the river twisting and winding about in the sharpest and most picturesque turns, form altogether one of the prettiest and wildest scenes I have yet visited. Some of the party compared it to Killarney, in Ireland. The weather to-day was delicious, a nice fresh breeze blowing from the north. The service was read by the Prince in the morning.
March 8. Awoke very early, and got up at six, to see the beautiful entrance to Philae; and any thing prettier than it all looked on our arrival here this fresh bright morning it is impossible to conceive. The view of the old temple—itself a beautiful object -surrounded by palms, with rocks and hills in the distance, and the Nile winding round it on all sides, is simply lovely.
We arrived at ten o'clock, and at twelve started on donkeys for Assouan, where we arrived at 1.30, having stopped on the way to see an unfinished obelisk, just as it was cut out from the quarry, probably thousands of years ago!
The ride in the middle of the day was rather hot. Arrived at Assouan, we lunched, and again took possession of our beautiful old home, our dahabeah, which, after the narrow quarters in the other boat, was doubly appreciated, at least by me. Every thing seemed quite luxurious in comparison.
Still I must say that we have thoroughly enjoyed our expedition to the Second Cataract. It has proved a perfect success in every way, and was worth much greater discomfort than we were called upon to endure.
Return Voyage Down the Nile.
RETURN VOYAGE DOWN THE NILE.
ARCH 8. After luncheon to-day, the Prince
and Princess, with myself and Sir S. Baker, crossed the river to pay Lady Duff Gordon a visit in her dahabeah, which she has now made entirely her home; living on board up here on account of her health. We had coffee and pipes, and returned home about five o'clock.
Received letters to-day from Sweden, but they were again a month old.
We dined on board the big steamer, which now seemed a perfect palace, after having dined for so many days on the deck of our little dahabeah between the Cataracts. It is just a fortnight since we left this. Went to bed early.
March 9. Left Assouan at 10.30. Again comfortably installed in our old quarters on board our pretty little dahabeah. We were towed by the big steamer, but the water being very low, they fear the latter will soon have to be given up altogether. In fact, we have already stuck fast several times, and are now on