The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings; Undertaken in Connection with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai and the Palestine Exploration Fund

By E. H. Palmer | Go to book overview

PART II.
THE FORTY YEARS' WANDERINGS.

CHAPTER XV.
THE DESERT AND ITS INHABITANTS.

Return to the East. — General Description. — The Tíh, — The "Negeb," or South Country. — The Teyábah Bedawín; their Character; Mode of Life; plundering Excursions. — Other Arab Tribes. — Agriculture as a means of civilizing the Bedawín.

AFTER a few months' rest in England, I found myself once more bound for the East, but this time under very different circumstances to those which had attended my first visit to Sinai. The Palestine Exploration Fund, ever anxious to promote a better knowledge of the Holy Land, had intrusted to me the task of exploring that wide and comparatively unknown tract of desert which lies between Judæa and the Sinaitic Peninsula; and my companion, Mr. C. F. Tyrwhitt-Drake, had been commissioned by the University of Cambridge to accompany me for the purpose of reporting upon the natural history of the country, and collecting specimens of its plants and fauna.

And here I must make a confession: when I began writing these pages, I determined not to obtrude my own private sentiments into them. But, when a man has lived alone with another for ten months in one small tent, and that other, in hunger, danger, fatigue, and illness, has always proved the same cheery companion and hearty cooperator, he may be pardoned if he can not introduce his

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