UP THE NILE. 1879-80. ÆT. 59.
ONE morning at the close of October, I received from a young lady a note saying--"Will you not come and bid me good-bye before I start for Egypt?" Of course I went forthwith.
Already I had been telling my friends that if I could get fit companionship I would again spend the winter in the South. Egypt was a country to be visited; and as I was now fifty-nine, there was not much time to be lost if I meant ever to see it. What if, instead of saying goodbye, I should become one of the party!
The party I found consisted of a clergyman, his wife, and the young lady in question; and it had been arranged that each of the ladies should choose a gentleman who, added to the rest, would make up a number sufficient to occupy a dahabeyah and share the cost: the intention being that the selections should be made from those in the hotel at Cairo. How the matter came about I do not remember; but it was soon perceived that I entertained the thought of joining; whereupon I was pressed to do so. As the pressure was added to by the father of the young lady, who happened to be present, I felt inclined to yield. Not then deciding, however, I took time to consider whether such a journey might be undertaken without too great a hindrance to my work, and