ADVENTURE AT ADEN
There was a bright moon. Each van held six passengers, which was rather a close fit in such a conveyance for such a long, tedious trip ; but I know that I for one thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was seldom inside ; I either ran alongside or mounted on a small step outside and did 4 conductor,' leaving more room for the others. We saw a few gazelles and sand-grouse, and visions of future sport flitted before our eyes. Even at that time of the year the sun was very powerful, and at some of the halting-places it was no uncommon sight to see a fowl spin round and round* and then drop down dead, to be speedily converted into 'spatch-cock,' which in the East is generally termed 4 sudden death.'
We had many spinsters on board. We cadets saw very little of them, as they were monopolized by our seniors, but of course we came to know most of them. There was a pretty little girl, Miss G., bound for Aden to join her sister, who was married to a doctor on the Bombay side, attached to the European regiment then quartered there. We reached the port rather late at night, so late that passengers were forbidden to land until next morning, as the captain, an officer of the Indian Navy, said it was not safe to venture on shore during the dark, as there were many bad characters about.
But Miss G. wanted a letter taken to her sister, so I volunteered, and with another cadet slipped into a boat that came alongside. We were not seen, and got ashore all right. We did not know a word of Arabic
Hindoostani, or anything of the place, but we simply trusted to luck. We found a few donkeys readyHindoostani, or anything of the place, but we simply trusted to luck. We found a few donkeys ready