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184 THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM CHAP.
Upper Egypt was the scene. . It is best to quote the official account subsequently sent by General Allenby to the Foreign Office :—
" On the train which left Luxor at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 17th, were two officers and eight other ranks. When the train stopped at Nag' Hamadi some natives entered the train and insulted the men. The two officers noticed this, and took them into their first-class carriage. They reached Assiut in the early morning of Tuesday, March 18th, where three of the men left the train, and Kaimakam Pope Bey, Inspector in the 'Egyptian Prisons Department, joined it. The train left Assiut at 4 a.m. Crowds had collected at every station ; they threw stones at the train and attempted to board it, shouting for the c Ingleez ' (English). Several stations were passed in safety, but on arrival at Deirut a huge crowd rushed at the train, pulled the driver from the engine, and forced a way into the first-class carriage, where the British were now collected. It seems probable that two of the party were killed here. The train went on again, some of the natives of Deirut remaining on board. On arrival at the station of Deir Mowas another large crowd joined them, and there, with stones and knives, murdered the remainder of the party, not one of whom was armed. All the bodies were left in the train, except one which has not yet been traced, and the train went on. At every station huge crowds had collected who raised shouts of joy on hearing that the English had been killed. When the train reached Minieh, the bodies were taken from the train and buried."
The bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. Every conceivable brutality was committed on them. One had his leg cut off, and, as Egyptian extremists have been found to boast, some of the assailants in their frenzy drank his blood. Another was hung up, whilst those lying on the ground were spat on and had filth thrown on them. And all the while the crowd watched, screaming its delight.
Nor were the ruffians who took part in these outrages a mere village rabble. A large number of arrests were made in connection with the murders, and eighty-five accused persons ultimately tried at Assiut included the Omdeh, or village headman, two schoolmasters,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