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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

264                    THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM                CHAP.
•
sions on their own account into the Provinces.    There was a very thorough organisation for watching  every member's movements, and especially those of any one of them who tried to visit the villages and, get into touch with the fellaheen and see for himself the conditions in which they live.   Emissaries from Cairo dogged his tracks and often, but not always, succeeded in frightening tiie wretched villagers out of their wits with threats of the awful things that would happen to them if they ventured into  contact with the  " unclean JJhing."    Wherever   a member of the Commission travelled or was expected to travel, the local Nationalist Committee was warned from headquarters in Cairo to be on the alert, and even at small railway stations on the line demonstrations consisting often of a mere handful of schoolboys headed by a few vociferous effendis, generally lawyers and schoolteachers, were   in   readiness to shout   " God crush  (or sometimes crash)  Miner ! "  " Long live Egypt 1  Long die   England! "    and  other  such  amenities.    So  keen were they not to allow a single member of the Commission, to escape their attentions that on one or two occasions travellers who had no connection whatever with it found themselves   unexpectedly   treated   to   these   patriotic displays as the victims of mistaken identity.    At Assiut the local Bar threatened to leave the court if Mr. Hurst, the legal member of the Commission, who wanted to attend an ordinary sitting of the provincial tribunal, presumed to enter the court-house.   They got for their pains  in  this  instance  an  extremely  dignified  rebuke which in any other country than Egypt, and even in Egypt at any other time than this, would have made them feel very foolish.   At Tanta the Nationalists discovered too late that the town had been already harbouring Mr. Spender for a couple of days, and that whilst they were gathering in their thousands at the railway station to give him a warm send-off, he had departed quietly by motor for Cairo.    So they turned their attentions to the Governor,   who   had   committed   the   heinous   offencecially in o particular case which Egyptian public opinion, rightly that Egypt' wan quit** unripe for such democratic