"You can eat
this," I said. "I guarantee it's fresh." I felt like a cannibal,
but I ate my share, and I was glad that I had when the advertised turkey came
on. "Vulture rod," I said conversationally to the girls, "is
something of a specialty in these parts." They didn't even say thanks when
they sent it back.
So we proceeded to
the Christmas pudding. No trouble had been spared to make a real spectacular of
this part of the show. Our waiter leaned over, struck a match, and the whole
thing went up like an anti-personnel mine. No bacillus could have survived that
explosion. We tucked in.
We were at the
coffee stage when Mr. Sabreez poked his head around the door and started
gesturing. I made my excuses. "See you at dinner tomorrow night," I
night," said Thelma firmly, "we shall be eating in our own fiat in
Cairo, even if it does mean driving through Christmas Day."
Rudi was in the
bar. He had a large Scotch in front of him. "Now," he said, "you
will have the little Christmas drink?" I told him I'd have the same. Why
shouldn't I share in the proceeds of my barracuda? "Tonight," he
continued, "I am arranging the sport for you. It is the hunting. You are
not letting me do the fishing, but I am a kind man. First, though, a little
business. That is the chief of police over there. I must speak to him about the
The chief of
police looked the part as he squatted over his drink. He wore a black uniform
heavy with insignia, dark glasses and a sadistic mustache. No local sat within
30 feet of him. We went over, and Rudi invested in another little Christmas
drink for the chief. Rudi then started to explain his position. The chief broke
"Why are you
so interested in staying in Egypt?" he said sneeringly.
This was too much
for Rudi. "Because," he said, "I wish to warm my butt on the sand a
little longer. Is that all right with you?"
had met. Chiefy roared with stage-villain laughter. He told Rudi to come to the
office the next day and be fixed up. He expanded. He discovered my nationality
and announced, "In the springtime, the English countryside is the most
beautiful in the world." This I graciously acknowledged. "You must come
over to the police barracks tonight," he continued, and whispered
confidentially to Rudi.
man," whispered Rudi to me, "wishes to invite us to a hashish