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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

168                    THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM                CHAP.
procession, some on foot, some in carriages, shouting for <c Independence " and " Down with the English ! " and waving national banners. They flocked to the houses of the Extremist leaders, and the leading Egerias of Nationalism addressed impassioned orations to them from their windows. They followed in large crowds the coffins of the rioters killed in the street affrays, and their shrill lamentations were an eloquent appeal for vengeance. They took a hand in the building of barricades, and though they generally dispersed when fighting actually began, some of them, it was noted, returned to gloat over brutal deeds of violence perpetrated by the men. When the Government officials went on strike excited groups of women acted as pickets outside the gates of the Ministries to hold up those who wanted to return to their duties.
In the fellaheen rising the women, embittered perhaps by the hardships they had suffered through the ruthless requisitioning of war supplies and the arbitrary recruitment for the Labour Corps in their villages, " by order of the British Government," as they were told, joined with the men in tearing up the railway lines and destroying the telegraphs, and in the pillaging and burning which took place up and down the countryside. Women were again equally prominent in all the noisy demonstrations against the Milner Mission, one of their favourite devices being to take possession of the tramway cars at "some terminus and drive through the city—without, of course, paying any fares—yelling " Down with Milner ! " and other patriotic amenities, and flaunting little paper flags in the faces of any Europeans who ventured to claim their right to travel in public conveyances.
Still more serious is it that the infection spread into the girls' schools. These, like the boys' schools, went on strike to mark their disapproval of Lord Milner and his colleagues, and children of eleven and twelve concocted passionate telegrams of protest to the Minister of Education, and even to the Prime Minister. Members of theGreek and Coptic usurers, and the woman's holdhave gone far to remove the sense of bitterness. After all the Syrian expedition would have been scarcely feasible without Egyptian labour and Egyptian supplies, and some expression of gratitude would not have marred its glory. But the saving word was never spoken ; and the payments due from the military authorities continued to lag for months behind, and the ugly past                    towns, the Central Government merely making certain