By Boat to Cairo
Sea still rough - and no steamer: tho' 'tis expected tomorrow. Dr Gale worse. Col. Weaver little better. Occupied best part of day with him. In afternoon, walked with Mr Pinkerton to Austrian Office and called at a native's house and were offered tobacco and a narghilee (a hookah) - quite the fashion here. Had a narghilee and rather enjoyed it.
All are in hopes of getting away today, tho' yet uncertain. Saw Dr Gale this morning. He was in very low state and appeared to be sinking. Weaver not much better, and has decided to wait a few days to recover strength.
Still at Joppa. Steamer in port, and went aboard about 11 a.m. Left Weaver much better. Sorry to leave him; but hope to see him again. Poor Dr Gale died abt. 5 this morning. Not been able to speak. Saw him last night and was recognised by him. His effects and burial left to Dr Deass, American Consul. Melancholy thought to leave our friend dead and unburied.
Got on Steamer all right. All thankful to leave Holy Land. Passage between the reefs abt. 25 ft. Had attack of indigestion thro' eating cheese for lunch 1 hr after breakfast - reached climax through motion of vessel abt. 4 p.m. when I vomitted freely and was at once relieved and able to eat my dinner. Slept poorly.
Arrived at Port Said abt. 8 o'clock. Entrance to canal guarded by long breakwater of two lines parallel with very long channel evidently deepened. Port Said a miserable place, built on sand-bank at entrance to Canal. Quite flat and only a few ft. out of the sea. Breakwater etc made with concrete blocks of enormous size. Saw the works but they were not in operation - consisted of mixers, waggons and tramways. Blocks are cast in wooden frames placed in long lines on which are placed rails for bogies to run. Blocks harden in a few weeks.
4 of our party are in bed, more or less ill, and much debating whether desirable to take them on or not. Decided to go on - the Hotel being wretched and whole place of same type. Cloudy oppressive weather, no doubt, makes the place look its worst. A few steamers lying about; but not much going on.
On Suez Canal. Started at 12 last night, sick men having to dress and turn out - hard lines. Steamer very small. Our cabin had sitting room for about 12; but our four sick ones filled it up, and some of us stretched under the sky on decks. Under circumstances made myself tolerably comfortable; but at 3 a.m. violent thunder and rain came on, and had to crowd into cabin, making it a close shop. One had diarrhoea and had to relieve himself in the midst of it - poor McKenzie. The lightning was very fine, illuminating the canal for us, the moonlight being obscured with clouds.
Canal to Lake Timsah very straight, and sandbanks high, only in places saw a scanty line of shrub along margin. Canal at P.S. muddy, at L.T. clear. Ismahalie (Ismailiya) on L.T. Landed there abt. 7, and we had to pass customs officer again, having gone through same process at P.S. Found the air pleasant. A fine road with avenue leads from ferry to town. Small, quite French, and principally of wood and plaster. Nicely planned; but very slow place now, many of the houses being empty.
Took train for Cairo about 12. Some miles sandy, and right on to Cairo very fruitful, fat land. Many miles of cotton, trees, irrigation all round, and various modes of raising water seen in operation.
Reached Cairo at 6, and came on to Shepherds Hotel in 'bus, sign of civilized life and got fixed in time for dinner. Large fashionable place, good attendance and appointments. P. Lindsay much better, and others no worse for journey, tho' much exhausted, placed themselves at once under medical advice here. Have room to myself first time since on steamer Trebisonde.