Green Fields and Foreign Faring 57
some of his spirit into me. Yesterday I walked through the bogs with him at the risk of sinking hopelessly and helplessly, for hours, and carried the dragoman's gun, which is a muzzleloader, with which I only shot several birds quietly resting upon distant limbs and fallen trees; but I felt I must keep up with Teedie."
The boy of fourteen, with his indomitable energy, was already leading his equally indomitable father into different fields of action. He never rested from his studies in natural history. When not walking through quivering bogs or actually shooting bird and beast, he, surrounded by the brown-faced and curious sailors, would seat himself on the deck of the dahabeah and skin and stuff the products of his sport. I well remember the excitement, and, be it confessed, anxiety and fear inspired in the hearts of the four young college men who, on another dahabeah, accompanied us on the Nile, when the ardent young sportsman,' mounted on an uncontrollable donkey, would ride unexpectedly into their midst, his gun slung across his shoulders in such a way as to render its proximity distinctly dangerous as he bumped absent-mindedly against them. When not actually hunting he was willing to take part in exploration of the marvellous old ruins.
In a letter to "Edie" I say: "The other day we arrived at Edfoo, and we all went to see the temple together. While we were there Teedie, Ellie, Iesi (one of our sailors), and I started to explore. We went into a little dark room and climbed in a hole which was in the middle of the wall. The boys had candles. It was dark, crawling along the passage doubled up. At last we came to a deep hole, into which Teedie dropped, and we found out it was a mummy pit. It didn't go very far in, but it all seemed very exciting to us to be exploring mummy pits. Sometimes we sail head foremost and sometimes the current turns us all the way around-and I wish you could hear the cries of the sailors when anything happens."
They were busy days, for our wise parents insisted upon