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[505]

The next day after our arrival at Cairo we took our way to the Pyramids — from start to finish pursued by an army of beggars. My son's precaution to secure a proper dragoman and give him entire charge during the journey was indeed a wise one. In ascending the large Pyramid an English gentleman who had not taken that precaution was persecuted by volunteer helpers. One would aid him here and another there as he ascended the four-feet blocks, from one terrace to another. At last he became furious and swore at them and said if they did not let him alone he would throw them to the bottom, and I think he could have done it. Our dragoman protected us for the most part against such persecution. After our descent from the lofty height I was left alone with a guide to enter rooms that had been opened in the base of the Pyramid. I succeeded in getting up several difficult steps until we came to one room in which was found a sarcophagus long enough and deep enough to take in a giant man. The huge casket was made of granite. After ruminating awhile upon the object of these chambers and of what they contained, I turned back. At one point we came to a sharp descent of four feet. The stone was as smooth as polished marble and of great hardness. My guide turned around and let himself down to the next level. This with one hand I could not do. The guide stood back, and looking up at me smiling said, “Backsheesh, Backsheesh,” meaning a special reward. I was helpless, so I said, “All right,” and sprang into.his sturdy arms without being bruised, as I must have been had I tried to descend alone. I had given away all my change, but having a gold collar button, I pulled it out and gave it to him. He seemed satisfied and we worked our way slowly to

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