The Other Side of the Lantern
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Frederick Treves
Excerpt from book: THE SUEZ CANAL. On the morning of the day after Port Said was reached the steamer from Brindisi arrived with mails and passengers. Some two hours were occupied in the transference of the mails, and as soon as the last bag was on board the Brindisi steamer slipped away, and we were free to start on our journey. The ship almost directly entered the Suez Canal. The canal, it is needless to say, extends from Port Said to Suez, and is nearly one hundred miles in length. The larger proportion of this distance is represented by an artificially made canal, and the rest by a channel through the Bitter Lakes and Lake Timsah. The vessel, in the charge of a pilot, proceeds at the rate of five or six knots an hour. The passage of the canal, therefore, may occupy some twenty hours, allowing for stoppages. The journey is remarkable, and is one of the strangest which can be made in an ocean-going liner. The canal is narrow and straight, while from sea to sea it traverses the desert From the deck of the ship the wandering plain lies stretched out on either side, an arid wilderness of yellow sand. Through this dead and barren waste the little canal makes its way like a stream of life. The landscape is the most rudimentary that the mind could imagine. It is almost in a monotone. The biscuit-coloured desert extends wherever the eye can follow, the sky is cloudless. Here and there are patches of starving bush or a rocky hillock half hidden in a sand drift There are a line of telegraph posts, a distant mud dredger with a few natives at work on the bank, and that is all except the stream of green water. The landscape is wearisome, the scene is repeated over and over againever the sand, the sun, and the small stream. If one stretched out a largesheet of dust-coloured paper and made a crease alo...