In Morocco eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 173 pages of information about In Morocco.

Luckily there are other things to think about.  At the first turn out of Tangier, Europe and the European disappear, and as soon as the motor begins to dip and rise over the arid little hills beyond the last gardens one is sure that every figure on the road will be picturesque instead of prosaic, every garment graceful instead of grotesque.  One knows, too, that there will be no more omnibuses or trams or motorcyclists, but only long lines of camels rising up in brown friezes against the sky, little black donkeys trotting across the scrub under bulging pack-saddles, and noble draped figures walking beside them or majestically perching on their rumps.  And for miles and miles there will be no more towns—­only, at intervals on the naked slopes, circles of rush-roofed huts in a blue stockade of cactus, or a hundred or two nomad tents of black camel’s hair resting on walls of wattled thorn and grouped about a terebinth-tree and a well.

[Illustration:  map of Morocco]

Between these nomad colonies lies the bled, the immense waste of fallow land and palmetto desert:  an earth as void of life as the sky above it of clouds.  The scenery is always the same; but if one has the love of great emptinesses, and of the play of light on long stretches of parched earth and rock, the sameness is part of the enchantment.  In such a scene every landmark takes on an extreme value.  For miles one watches the little white dome of a saint’s grave rising and disappearing with the undulations of the trail; at last one is abreast of it, and the solitary tomb, alone with its fig-tree and its broken well-curb, puts a meaning into the waste.  The same importance, but intensified, marks the appearance of every human figure.  The two white-draped riders passing single file up the red slope to that ring of tents on the ridge have a mysterious and inexplicable importance:  one follows their progress with eyes that ache with conjecture.  More exciting still is the encounter of the first veiled woman heading a little cavalcade from the south.  All the mystery that awaits us looks out through the eye-slits in the grave-clothes muffling her.  Where have they come from, where are they going, all these slow wayfarers out of the unknown?  Probably only from one thatched douar[A] to another; but interminable distances unroll behind them, they breathe of Timbuctoo and the farthest desert.  Just such figures must swarm in the Saharan cities, in the Soudan and Senegal.  There is no break in the links:  these wanderers have looked on at the building of cities that were dust when the Romans pushed their outposts across the Atlas.

[Footnote A:  Village of tents.  The village of mud-huts is called a nourwal.]



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In Morocco from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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