Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Garden of Allah   By: (1864-1950)

Book cover

First Page:

THE GARDEN OF ALLAH

BY

ROBERT HICHENS

PREPARER'S NOTE

This text was prepared from an edition published by Grosset & Dunlap, New York. It was originally published in 1904.

CONTENTS

BOOK I. PRELUDE BOOK II. THE VOICE OF PRAYER BOOK III. THE GARDEN BOOK IV. THE JOURNEY BOOK V. THE REVELATION BOOK VI. THE JOURNEY BACK

THE GARDEN OF ALLAH

BOOK I. PRELUDE

CHAPTER I

The fatigue caused by a rough sea journey, and, perhaps, the consciousness that she would have to be dressed before dawn to catch the train for Beni Mora, prevented Domini Enfilden from sleeping. There was deep silence in the Hotel de la Mer at Robertville. The French officers who took their pension there had long since ascended the hill of Addouna to the barracks. The cafes had closed their doors to the drinkers and domino players. The lounging Arab boys had deserted the sandy Place de la Marine. In their small and dusky bazaars the Israelites had reckoned up the takings of the day, and curled themselves up in gaudy quilts on their low divans to rest. Only two or three gendarmes were still about, and a few French and Spaniards at the Port, where, moored against the wharf, lay the steamer Le General Bertrand , in which Domini had arrived that evening from Marseilles.

In the hotel the fair and plump Italian waiter, who had drifted to North Africa from Pisa, had swept up the crumbs from the two long tables in the salle a manger , smoked a thin, dark cigar over a copy of the Depeche Algerienne , put the paper down, scratched his blonde head, on which the hair stood up in bristles, stared for a while at nothing in the firm manner of weary men who are at the same time thoughtless and depressed, and thrown himself on his narrow bed in the dusty corner of the little room on the stairs near the front door. Madame, the landlady, had laid aside her front and said her prayer to the Virgin. Monsieur, the landlord, had muttered his last curse against the Jews and drunk his last glass of rum. They snored like honest people recruiting their strength for the morrow. In number two Suzanne Charpot, Domini's maid, was dreaming of the Rue de Rivoli.

But Domini with wide open eyes, was staring from her big, square pillow at the red brick floor of her bedroom, on which stood various trunks marked by the officials of the Douane. There were two windows in the room looking out towards the Place de la Marine, below which lay the station. Closed persiennes of brownish green, blistered wood protected them. One of these windows was open. Yet the candle at Domini's bedside burnt steadily. The night was warm and quiet, without wind.

As she lay there, Domini still felt the movement of the sea. The passage had been a bad one. The ship, crammed with French recruits for the African regiments, had pitched and rolled almost incessantly for thirty one hours, and Domini and most of the recruits had been ill. Domini had had an inner cabin, with a skylight opening on to the lower deck, and heard above the sound of the waves and winds their groans and exclamations, rough laughter, and half timid, half defiant conversations as she shook in her berth. At Marseilles she had seen them come on board, one by one, dressed in every variety of poor costume, each one looking anxiously around to see what the others were like, each one carrying a mean yellow or black bag or a carefully tied bundle. On the wharf stood a Zouave, in tremendous red trousers and a fez, among great heaps of dull brown woollen rugs. And as the recruits came hesitatingly along he stopped them with a sharp word, examined the tickets they held out, gave each one a rug, and pointed to the gangway that led from the wharf to the vessel. Domini, then leaning over the rail of the upper deck, had noticed the different expressions with which the recruits looked at the Zouave. To all of them he was a phenomenon, a mystery of Africa and of the new life for which they were embarking... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books