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Dixie Pasha

by Thomas P. Byron.

THE faith of an Arab is endless, so they believed him; for he had a pale luster in his eye that might have been the fire of the desert moonlight on the nights that he had watched and prayed alone in the mountains, and his voice had a deep, tremulous sob that made the flesh of men quiver and their hearts to burn. These were his words:

"I bear the name of the Prophet and I am a Hadgi of the brotherhood of the Derkaoua. For seven years have I lived alone in abstinence and prayer on the mountain called the Ksar of the Spirits where many among you have seen me. There I have spoken with Allah, who is the one God, and with Mohammed, who is His Prophet.

"I bring to the children of Islam the message that they shall repent from their sins and smite the Roumi and drive him from the land even as far as Ain-Sefra where they must tarry until Allah the one God and Mohammed His Prophet make known their further will through me—Mohammed Jebbour.

"Such is the command of the Most High, and in His name I proclaim the Holy War. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet."

It was in the month of Ramadan of the thirteen-hundred and twenty-sixth year of the Hegira that Mohammed Jebbour preached the jehad in the oasis of Bou-Denib by the River Guir in the heart of Morocco.

The Moors believed; for it was written that a prophet should come out of the wilderness to lead Islam to its own again, and his words fanned to a blaze the fanaticism and lust for spoil that smoldered in their breasts. So the word went through the desert on the wings of the sirocco, and the oases sent their men to Bou-Denib—even from the farthest ksars of Tafilet. And all who heard believed, for Mohammed Jebbour was an orator, and they gave him gold and fast camels with silken palanquins and stallions whose manes and tails swept the ground, and they raked the desert over for beauty for his harem—and "Bel-hakk" the Holy One was well paid for the seven years of fast that he had spent in the Djebel-Roh praying to Allah for the sins and sons of Islam.

The news came to the outlying oasis of Oudaghir, and the Ouled Abdul Kerin, stalwart desert-robbers who preyed on the caravans of all—even the Roumi and the phantom Touareg, sent a hundred men on swift meharis to fight for the true faith and for spoil.

And these, pushing haughtily through the faithful to the very feet of the Hadgi, heard and believed also.

Among them was a very tall, very black negro whose face was scarred by four deep scratches that ran the length of it, just missing both eyes, and as this one heard the passionate sob of Mohammed Jebbour's voice and saw the moonlight in his eye, his imagination blazed within him and set strange little pulses to beating in his throat and the roof of his mouth—just as would have happened had he listened to the words of a Haytian voodoo-doctor or a West Coast gree-gree man or an exhorter at a Georgia camp-meeting.

Then he went forth from the mosque and lay under the palms by the Oued Guir and dreamed, and presently he gathered the men of Oudaghir about him and spoke to them long and eloquently. And when the dawn broke they were gone, and their caravan was like a string of black ants on the flaming eastern horizon. Surely what was written was written, and Allah and Mohammed had settled the thing once and for all, and the scar-faced negro was as fanatical a believer as any. But one can not forget ten years in the Twenty-Fifth U. S. Infantry—even in the great Sahara.

This was in the days when one French column was at Casablanca, and another marched on Fey from Northern Oran, and still another advanced on Bou-Denib from Colomb-Bechar where ends the railway that some day will reach to Tomboctou.


AN ADVANCE-GUARD had seized the wells at daybreak and given the Ait-Usilt warning, and at ten both wells and the pools in the oued were sucked dry. All the moisture of the poor little oasis had been but a drop in the bucket for such a host—six thousand men, the horses of the cavalry, and the countless camels of the caravan that bore their provender and munitions of war. By noon the Ait-Usilt had swept the village clean of their belongings, and their tiny caravan had commenced to creep away to where the oasis of their brothers, the Beni-Garfa, lay in a tremulous green blur against the sand-dunes that were flung across the horizon like a polished string of flashing topaz. There they could find water and refuge until the plague had passed by and the wells had filled again.

A company of Zouaves guarded the water and were encamped beside the dried riverbed a half-mile or so from the deserted ksar, and from time to time they sent the camel water-corps with a load of moisture to the column that crept by a mile distant, like a great party-colored snake whose brilliant maculations were blending to a uniform shade in the sudden dusk.

The bright uniforms of the Chasseurs and the Zouaves ceased to flash, likewise the white turbans of the Spahis and the coats of the horses, and the machine-guns strapped on the camels, and the small cannon, and the auto-mitrailleuse that snorted through sand axle-deep and over rocky hammada. Even the hues of the tricolor blended and the snake became bronze—all bronze, the hue of men's faces and the fine desert sand that floated about them like a veil of delicate texture.

The Zouaves began to light their campfires, for their orders were to hold the wells until morning, when they would procure a last supply of water before deserting them.

An hour before they had thoroughly patrolled the ksar and found it vacant, and its inhabitants were plain to be seen, miles away—a poverty-stricken band of weeping women, squalling children and unwarlike men. There was little danger, for the scouting cavalry had reported that there were no bodies of Arabs in the sparsely-inhabited country that they were traversing.

But their guides did not know that beyond the shoulder of the mountains that lay to the south a hundred men waited in the naked desert.

"Regardez, mon Capitaine," said a sousofficier of the Zouaves to his superior. "Look. There is an Arab who comes from the ksar."

The Captain looked in lazy curiosity. A tall, black-faced man wrapped in a white haïk had walked slowly down to the edge of the river, and looked curiously at the camp of the Zouaves and at the column beyond, which had stopped and was making its camp for the night.

A sentry stopped the man when he would have crossed the oued.

"You can not pass here," he said contemptuously.

The man's bulk and his scarred face were formidable, but who would have dreamed of danger from a single Arab when a column of six thousand troops lay only a mile away, when the tents of a company of Zouaves lay just beyond the oued? The sentry did not think that already the darkness was blotting out the ksar—which was tiny, but a labyrinth—and that beyond that lay the great refuge, the great hiding-place, the desert.

The Arab smiled and made as if to turn. With a swift movement he seized the end of the musket and, wriggling aside from the thrust, tore it from the sentry's hands, turned it about and drove it through his breast with a single motion.

The other sentinel shouted and would have fired, but the Arab was upon him with a bound. The soldier threw up his weapon in defense and the bayonets locked. The negro forced him backward, jerked his weapon free and a sudden left-handed thrust sent the blade out six inches behind the Zouave's back.

The assassin planted his foot on the dead man's breast and drew the bayonet forth, seized the other gun and leaped away.

Balls whistled about his ears, twenty Zouaves sprang in pursuit, but a sharp command brought them back. The officer was furious.

"Why didn't you kill him—the rest of you?" he demanded while they gazed in consternation on their slain comrades.

It had suddenly become entirely dark and he redoubled the guard. " Shoot every thing that moves!" was his last command.

It was incredible—two sentries killed within fifty yards of the camp! And the murderer had escaped! Well, to-morrow there would be reprisal, for a squadron of Spahis or Chasseurs d'Afrique would be sent to Beni-Garfa where the assassin had undoubtedly fled.

THERE was no moon, but the night was clear, with the soft luster of the stars. The Milky Way shone like an incandescent ribbon of gauze stretched across the sky, and the shooting-stars fell like rockets all about the horizon. The long line of camp-fires of the column glowed like splashes of vermilion on the murk of the earth. Their light was reassuring, yet the sentinels of the Zouaves were uneasy.

It was the desert, mysterious, threatening and ravenous, that seemed to draw up closer and shut them in with horrors that waited just beyond the circle of light.

It was after midnight when a sentry thought that he saw something move in the dry bed of the oued. He watched it a moment and then raised his gun. But a hand was slapped over his mouth, his head was jerked backwards, a razor-edged secquin was drawn softly across his throat, and he fell back into a pair of arms that laid him carefully on the ground. It is a very simple thing for a twain that have worked together before.

But some one bungled a bit somewhere, for one Zouave managed to let off his gun.

The hubbub of screams and occasional shots that came faintly to the ears of the column lasted but a few moments and ceased altogether just as a Zouave, weaponless and breathless, burst in, gasping of an attack. The drums rolled the call to arms, and the column quickly formed. But the expected attack did not come, although the first Zouave was followed by a dozen corroborative others.

The Spahis, circling quickly about, came to the camp by the river. It was silent and the fires were extinguished. The rest of the Zouaves were there, and a dozen or so of Arabs to boot, but not many; the attack had been too sudden and overwhelming. Also there were a few rifles that had been overlooked, but not many of these, either.

It was a stunning blow. A company of Zouaves wiped out in five minutes within a mile of the main column!

The next day the punitive expedition went through Beni-Garfa with fire and sword. Of course the people there were not the assassins, but they must have known and should have told. And a lesson was never amiss among the children of the Prophet.

"It was a man of genius who planned that attack!" said the French General. "He has modem guns and plenty of ammunition. We shall find him at Bou-Denib with Mohammed Jebbour."

IN THE meantime the men of Oudaghir were dreaming, while the negro harangued them in his broken Arabic. He had been a marvel to them when he first came amongst them as a slave. He had been a marvel since, and now he was thrice a marvel that he had planned this wonderful coup and-won for them the weapons of their dreams. And Sam Ames, once of the Twenty-Fifth U. S. Infantry, and more recently an outlaw in the Republic of Liberia, looked on the eagle-eyed, hook-nosed sons of the desert that gathered about him with their bayoneted rifles and his chest swelled with joy. He had found the soldiers of his dreams.

So he drilled them and drilled them and drilled them relentlessly, under a sun that would have turned to molten metal the spinal column of a white man. Never soldiers toiled like these in the long days that he kept them at a tiny oasis behind the Djebel and filled them with his own fierce ambitions. And presently they were letter-perfect, ran to ranks like madmen at his shout, went through the manual with dash and precision, aligned the while straight as a string, maneuvered, marched in fours, formed in a square, fired in volleys, went through the bayonet-drill and lunged with the terrible left-handed thrust with which he had killed the Zouave at the wells of A&iumlt;t-Usilt.

There were eighty of them that had the new weapons, and one morning when he had drilled them, he paused, flashed a proud glance upon their gleaming eyes and bayonets and shouted a single word: "BouDenib!"

"Bou-Denib!" they roared back hoarsely, and the march began, the others following with the camels.

They never took the bayonets from their guns, did these soldiers. Sam Ames loved cold steel so—and intended to use it on the day that the Spahis of Mohammed Jebbour smote the Roumi.

Presently, as he listened to the measured swish of their feet in the sand, out of pure exultation Sam Ames began to sing. It was a song that he had sung to them a thousand times before, and not one among them but knew its meaningless words by heart. For there was that within it that made them grip their weapons hard and filled their breast with tumult like the words of Mohammed Jebbour.

So presently one took up the words in his harsh, guttural voice and then another and another, until the whole of the eighty chanted it forth, mangling the words and tune, but getting the fire and the rhythm of the thing.

Something caught in Sam Ames' throat and a mist passed before his eyes. "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet!" he muttered under his breath, and then he marched straighter and prouder than ever.

His soldiers were singing his song!


ALL the Spahis of Mohammed Jebbour rode in fantasia on the narrow plain that lay between a hill, which dominated all the country, and the Oued Guir, which separated it from the palmeraie and town of Bou-Denib.

The Hadgi himself, green-turbaned and white-robed, mounted on a milk-white stallion and surrounded by the sheiks, reviewed them as they rode about like men of quicksilver in seemingly inextricable confusion, firing their long fusils, throwing them high in the air and catching them again, with their long white robes flying a dozen feet behind them, grazing each other continually, yet never colliding. At the end of the plain they gathered and swept down in a cloud and stopped suddenly with a great shout, pulling their horses back upon their haunches.

The heart of the Hadgi swelled with belief in his own prophecies. Could the Roumi stand against Spahis such as these?

Again they wheeled and rode away and circled about again, but this time a body of them whirled past the flank of the hill.

"Look!" said a sheik to the Hadgi. "A caravan is coming. More Spahis."

Shrunk to Lilliputian size and distinct though tremulous of outline in the palpitating heat, a body of footmen were approaching. Behind them were others with camels. There was the beating of drum and the chant of a song.

The fantasia swept out and around them, yet still they came on, the drums beating, the song swelling louder, the sun glittering on their weapons.

Mohammed Jebbour saw that it was a company of men marching regularly in the order of the Roumi. Suddenly, at a shout from their leader, they swung out and advanced in a single line to within twenty feet of the Hadgi and the sheiks.

Their leader shouted another command, the song ceased and they halted, aligned straight as a string, heads on high, rigid of body.

A third time their chief roared a command and eighty muskets came forward as one in rattling salute to the Hadgi, and from eighty throats boomed out in unison the creed of Islam:

"There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet!"

The wondering Arabs pressed close on their heels, but the soldiers of the line stood like rocks. Mohammed Jebbour stretched forth both hands and there was silence.

He stared in wonder at the huge negro before him, at his scarred face and jet-black skin.

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"We are men of Oudaghir come to fight the Roumi."

"Your speech is not that of a Moor. Whence come you?"

"I come from a country of unbelievers that lies across the great salt water. I was a soldier there. I came to the desert from the fever country of the black men that lies far beyond Sus. £l was a soldier there, too. First I was a slave in Oudaghir. With four others I escaped. We were chained together by the neck, and a lion killed the four others, one by one. At the end I killed the lion. Then they took me back to Oudaghir and made me free, for they saw that I was protected of Allah. There be men of Oudaghir here who knew me when I was a slave."

"Are you a true believer?" asked Mohammed Jebbour, amazed.

"There is no God but God, and Mohammed is His Prophet. When I became a true believer they gave me the name of Mohammed."

"And you wish to fight the Roumi?"

"We wish to fight the Roumi. I and these men of Oudaghir have taken these weapons from a company of the Roumi that we slew at the wells of Aït-Usilt——"

A murmur went through the crowd. They had heard of the exploit at Aït-Usilt.

"These men of Oudaghir obey me as their sheik," went on the negro. "I have taught them to fight after the fashion of the Nasrani. You shall see."

He shouted a command and the Arabs gave them room as they began to maneuver. They went through the manual of arms like automatons worked by a machine. Then they marched and wheeled and threw themselves into a square with fixed bayonets, while Mohammed Jebbour and the sheiks rode slowly about the wall of bristling steel that met them everywhere. Then the negro from the center shouted hoarsely and they divided into two bodies, rushed upon each other fiercely with a shout of "Dickshi! Dickshi!" and their bayonets locked and clashed.

The eyes of Mohammed Jebbour kindled and his tremulous voice was deep. "It is plain that ye are good Spahis," he said. "The men of Oudaghir shall be my bodyguard. They shall fight under my eye and they shall throw about me that wall of steel on the day that we smite the Roumi! And you—you shall be their sheik and a pasha! Peace be with you!"

Thus Mohammed of Oudaghir became pasha of the bodyguard of the Hadgi Mohammed Jebbour who led the jehad, and he was honored among the sheiks and holy men. But the eighty that he led called him always Dixie Pasha—Dickshi Pasha, to be exact, for the song that he and they sang; and they themselves were called by all the faithful "the Left-handed Eighty of Dickshi Pasha."

And their leader drilled them and drilled them and drilled them, while the other Spahis rode in fantasia and sharpened their lances and simitars and loaded their long fusils with round stones and scraps of iron, cunningly piecing out their scanty powder with fine black sand, against the coming of the Roumi.

But Dixie Pasha—no wonder his heart swelled within him and he dreamed dreams! Eighty Spahis—eighty giants—who fought to obey his slightest command, who sang his song, who drilled like men of steel all day in the grilling sun; and each one of them had a modern rifle with a bayonet on the end of it and a belt full of cartridges! Surely the name of Dixie Pasha was to be written in great letters on the sands of Bou-Denib. It was Kismet.

And presently the Roumi came.


HIS guides had told him that the hill at the end of the little plain beyond the river dominated Bou-Denib and the surrounding country, and it was there that the French General had determined to plant his six-pounders to bombard the town. It was there also that Mohammed Jebbour, in the midst of his sheiks and the eighty, watched the approach of the column. The whole battlefield was spread beneath them like a great panorama illustrated by tiny, movable puppets. The incredible clearness of the desert air rendered every detail and every movement patent, although the actors were dwarfed to miniature as if they were beheld through the wrong end of a telescope.

On the town side the hill dropped abruptly to the narrow plain; beyond lay the river like a sheet of quicksilver, and then Bou-Denib, half-hidden behind the motionless fronds of the palmeraie, its blue-washed walls and house-tops crowded with women and children. Even a couple of priests could be seen on the minaret of the mosque.

But not a sound came to the hill. In the other direction the French column advanced in the form of a rectangle. The caravans had been left behind; the infantry formed the lines; within were the cavalry and artillery. A crowd of Arabs hung on either flank and kept up a continual harassing. Each puff of smoke when a gun was fired rose like a tiny white cloud. All day the French had been kept so continually on the alert that their nerves were worn to a raw edge. No one knew how many men Mohammed Jebbour had, and the desert as far as they could see was swarming with them.

And lives were cheap in the desert—Mohammedan lives were doubly cheap. At times the Arabs took advantage of a rise of ground to make a frantic charge and were swept back by the volleys of the infantry.

Soon the pops of the firing began to come to the Hadgi's ear as they drew nearer. The French could see him too plainly as he stood high on the crest of the hill in his green turban and snow-white haïk. He was within range and Dixie Pasha, who knew it, wondered why they did not open fire, for the sun was sinking and in a few moments it would be dark and too late.

He knew that the attack was to take place when it grew dark enough to get to close quarters without being swept down by the volleys. But the French were old hands at this sort of business. They, too, were waiting for the darkness to come—to administer a crushing blow.

"That is the Hadgi on the hill yonder," thee General had said. "Just before the Arabs start to charge, shell it and sweep in with mitrailleuse. When the enemy break and retreat, let the cavalry follow them around both sides of the hill and let the infantry support them. The hill is very difficult of descent on the other side, the guides say, and if he waits there a few moments longer we will get him."

But Dixie Pasha had a keen eye and he knew the warfare of the Round. When they trained the machine-guns and six-pounders on the hill he threw his men around the Hadgi and the sheiks and hustled them over the summit. At the same moment the cry of "Allah il Allah!" thundered from the plain below and the thousands of Arabs swept forward in a universal charge.

But they were not met by volleys this time. The infantry opened up and the machine-guns began to rattle when the Arabs were only a hundred yards away. They swept the floor of the desert clear in a moment and then the infantry poured a volley into the Arabs that completed the work, and the Spahis and Chasseurs d'Afrique rode out and cut down the few that had got to close quarters. But the bulk of the Arabs had broken and fled under the withering hail of the machine-guns.

Shells were bursting on the hill-top too, but the men of Dixie Pasha, with the Hadgi in their midst, were picking their way with difficulty down its precipitous farther side. A company or two of the Foreign Legion took the Mil, on one side of it the Spahis swept at a trot, followed closely by the Zouaves and Legionaries, on the other side the Chasseurs d'Afrique pursued, the Algerian Tirailleurs at their heels. It grew totally dark with the suddenness of the desert; the stars came out and a thread of moon swung over the minaret of the mosque dimly outlined against the sky.

The Arabs had seen the Hadgi himself flee in the last gleams of fight, and never drew rein until they had splashed through the oued and were gathered on the farther shore. And Dixie Pasha, with his eighty men thrown about the Hadgi and his sheiks, reached the foot of the Mil just as the two wings of French troops came curving around its flanks.

They met out beyond him in the center of the plain, between him and Bou-Denib. He was caught between them like a grain of corn between two millstones.

But first the millstones were to grind each other a bit.

The Spahis galloped up in the darkness. The sound of their hoofs was like far-muttering thunder, but only their white turbans were visible at a distance of fifty yards. The Chasseurs and Tirailleurs were waiting, and the last poured a volley into them, and then the Chasseurs were out to meet the charge with drawn swords. They in their turn were riddled by the blast of a volley from the Zouaves and Legionaries, and it was only when the cavalry gasped under the steel that they realized the horrible mistake and recognized each other for friends. On both sides the infantry had pressed forward at their heels, and the whole plain was lighted with the flashes of continual fusillades. The same cry echoed from everywhere at once.

"We are friends! You are firing on us—the Spahis—upon us the Chasseurs—upon us the Legionaries! Stop firing! Stop firing!"

The firing ceased, and they drew back and stared at each other, officers and men screaming questions and answers all at once.

"Where is the enemy?" they demanded. "The marabout—has he reached the town?"

Quick commands that rang out from the foot of the hill were their answer, and a volley swept a lane through them as a bowl clears an alley of ten-pins.

Again the cry of "Stop firing!" arose, and the soldiers sprang in a disorderly mass toward those who, they thought, had made this new blunder. Another volley met them, a hoarse chant arose, and the next instant a body of men were upon them, singing as they charged, with fixed bayonets.

Again the French fell back, screaming that they were friends. They could not believe otherwise. Arabs firing in volleys and fighting with bayonets! It was incredible.

An American negro of the Foreign Legion sprang before the advancing square. "Who yoh-all?" he cried. "Who yoh-all dat sing 'Dixie'?"

A bayonet through his breast was his answer, and the French, understanding at last, leaped upon them with screams of rage. These were the men who had slain the Zouaves at the wells of Aït-Usilt! Their leader was a renegade who had planned the attack and who had taught them to fire in volley and to fight with bayonets!

The Arabs met them with a wall of bristling steel, and the march of the eighty across the plain was begun. They had only three hundred yards to go to gain the river, but it must be cut through the mass of humanity before them with the bayonet.

They were in the square formation that Dixie Pasha had taught them, the Hadgi and the sheiks were in the middle, and the same single idea dominated each breast. The Hadgi must be carried in safety to Bou-Denib that he might lead the faithful to victory on the morrow.

The French infantry leaped on them and died on the left-handed bayonet thrusts; the cavalry rode at them over friend and foe, and horses and riders went down slashed to ribbons. The barrier of steel was always there and it ripped its way through them as a circle-saw rips through a log, and the eighty stamped their dead foes under foot and climbed over them steadily toward the river, cutting their way through flesh and blood, bone and sinew, leaving a trail of crushed humanity in their wake.

They all knew that it would be but a moment before the host beyond the river would understand and come charging to their rescue. And yet—could they last that moment? Two soldiers stood in the place of every one that was cut down; the Arabs ceased to sing and panted as they fought, holding their formation with utmost difficulty, for the enemy never relaxed his deadly compression, but cursed and tore at them and dragged them forth with their naked hands while the bayonets and sabers clashed against each other in their bodies.

Yet always the square was a square, and always the Hadgi was in the center of it, and always it moved onward as they shrieked their cries of "Allah il Allah!" and "Dickshi! Dickshi!" while they drove their bayonets home with their terrible lefthanded thrusts.

But the square and the eighty shrank and shrank and shrank—like a snowball under a July sun.

Dixie Pasha's head was gaping under a saber-cut, his breast and legs were slashed, yet he felt a wild thrill of joy as his men, under his hoarse commands, kept their formation and protected the Hadgi, and he fought with superhuman strength, heedless of his wounds. They were hemmed in by a world of enemies that was crushing them in ever-tightening constrictions and then—from the oued came a fierce yell of "Allah, il Allah!" as the Arabs charged to their rescue in a body.

The French met them with a straggling fire. The more recently arrived infantry which had still maintained its formation riddled them with volleys and drove them back. But the first furious charge had carried them to the heart of the tumult, where the remnant of the eighty still guarded the Hadgi, and when the Arabs fell back across the oued they carried the square with them.

Mohammed Jebbour was there and unharmed; at least a dozen of the eighty were there, and Dixie Pasha was there. As they splashed into the water he fell and was caught up by two of his men. One of them sobbed deep in his throat. They carried him across the river on their arms.

He heard the gurgling of the water and the irregular firing of the French, who had ceased to pursue on the edge of the oued. Above the minaret of the mosque he could see the moon pared down to a fragment of its glorious self, as was he—as were his Spahis. No, they were still there, for they were singing his song as they carried him—the song that had made him a soldier when he was known as the blackest nigger in New Orleans.

It sounded something like this:

"Am sufem landt ah tek mah standt
 Andt luff am dhoi am Dickshi."

Yes, they were there, and to-morrow, when he was rested, they would smite the Roumi, for the Hadgi was saved; and they would get more guns—and cannon—and he—Sam Ames—would drill them all—all the thousands of Mohammed Jebbour, and their army would sweep——

But he was very tired and must rest now. So Dixie Pasha closed his eyes.

WHEN the square was sucked back in the backwater of the charge the French had fired until they judged the enemy were safe beyond the walls of the town. Then orders rang out sharply, and they ran about seeking their commands, and the jumble became an orderly body of troops again.

Suddenly they all fell silent, for across the water they could hear the Arabs singing an air that dwindled away amongst the palms and maze of the streets of BouDenib. It came faint and hoarse and defiant through the soft desert night.

"What a terrible war-song!" said an officer.

"What soldiers!" said another.

"Hark! How the music carries!" said the first. "You can hear them singing it yet."

Yes, they were singing it yet, for the fragment of the eighty knew that Dixie Pasha was in Paradise with Allah and Mohammed and the bulk of his Spahis, and they were singing his song as they carried his body to its tomb.

THE following morning at daybreak a shell tore a hole in the minaret of the mosque, and then another and another. The faithful, their hearts full of fanaticism and greed for spoil, charged forth across the plain where Dixie Pasha and his left-handed eighty had died.

The shells burst among them as they huddled together, the machine-guns swept them down like meadow-grass before the scythe, and when thousands of them lay dead and the shells had shattered the town, they submitted themselves.

Mohammed Jebbour had disappeared, so they sat down to wait until another holy one might bring the message from Allah and Mohammed to destroy the Nasrani. For the patience and faith of an Arab are endless.