中国公司建造非洲第一大悬索桥

The noise in the dock is maddening. The Customs, the police, the health-officers, all mob the voyager with undreamed-of formalities, such as a paper to be signed declaring that he has but one watch and one scarf-pin, and that their value is in proportion to the wearer's fortune. Then, again, the dispersal of the luggage, which must be fished out at another spot amid the yelling horde of coolies who rush at[Pg 4] the trunks and use the portmanteaus as missiles, till at last we are in the street.

And from every stone, and in the rifts in the rocks, hung stalactites, like glittering icicles, and these too were of salt. But this suburb is now no more than a heap of huts and hovels. The tombs, ruined and overthrown, are few and far apart, heaped with sand, and showing as arid hillocks amid the level of withered grass. The plain beyond, laid out in rice-fields of a tender green, furrowed with silver streamlets, spreads unbroken to the foot of a huge wall of the hue of red gold enclosing a hill; and on[Pg 99] entering the precincts, behold, in the bays of the thickness of the wall, a whole village where dwell the families of the soldiers who guard this citadel.

[Pg 157]

And again ruins. Under an archway still left standing on piers carved with lilies and foliage, lay a whole family of pariahs covered with leprosy and sores.

Under the central dome sleeps Mumtaj-Mahal, the well-beloved sultana, for whom Shah Jehan erected the most beautiful mausoleum in the world.

Above the mausoleum a fort with battlements towers over the pass, "an impregnable position," the guides tell us.

All the day long a solid blue mass melting into rain hid the mountains and darkened the nearer view; and our return journey was made between two grey walls, through which the trees, which sometimes met in an arch overhead, were but dimly visible.