A PICTURE-BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES 1129
greatest number, resounded round the camel ; and now he was journeying with the caravan across the desert.
' For many nights I followed the train. I saw them rest by the well-side among the stunted palms ; they thrust the knife into the breast of the camel that had fallen, and roasted its flesh by the fire. My beams cooled the glowing sands, and showed them the black rocks, dead islands in the immense ocean of sand. No hostile tribes met them in their pathless route, no storms arose, no columns of sand whirled destruction over the journeying caravan. At home the beautiful wife prayed for her husband and her father. " Are they dead ? " she asked of my golden crescent; "* Are they dead ? " she cried to my full disk. Now the desert lies behind them. This evening they sit beneath the lofty palm-trees, where the crane flutters round them witli its long wings, and the pelican watches them from the branches of the mimosa. The luxuriant herbage is trampled down, crushed by the feet of elephants. A troop of negroes are returning from a market in the interior of the land ; the women, with copper buttons in their black hair, and decked out in clothes dyed with indigo, drive the heavily-laden oxen, on whose backs slumber the naked black children. A negro leads by a string a young lion which he has bought. They approach the caravan ; the young merchant sits pensive and motionless, thinking of his beautiful wife, dreaming, in the land of the blacks, of his white fragrant lily beyond the desert. He raises his head, and------'
But at this moment a cloud passed before the Moon, and then another. I heard nothing more from him that evening.
' I saw a little girl weeping,' said the Moon : ' she was weeping over the depravity of the world. She had received a most beautiful doll as a present. Oh, that was a glorious doll, so fair and delicate ! She did not seem created for the sorrows of this world. But the brothers of the little girl, those great naughty boys, had set the doll high up in the branches of a tree, and had run away.
1 The little girl could not reach up to the doll, and could