Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 475

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[Page 475]

train. Between it and the railway line, which, by the way is as straight as a Melbourne street, is the fresh water canal used for irrigation purposes and I must admit that this sand when well watered produces very green, rich returns. The oasis are exactly as one imagines them and so are the date palms, and the sand, and the mud-huts, and the niggers. Indeed the most surprising thing about Egypt is that it looks so like its photos. The train goes very slow – I believe the engineer is in league with these Arabs who run alongside the carriages "bakshishing" like phonographs. Every now and then the train pulls up at a one-camel station whilst the engineer considers the advisability of proceeding. At a couple of stations we didn't stop and on one of these I saw Rowley standing. I bawled out to him but we were past the light (it was dusk) before he had time to look up. We detrained at Zeitoun and marched to Heliopolis where a lot of Australians are and there I spent about five days, when we were suddenly told to report to the Superintendent of the Citadel with 1 days

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