By Walter Harris

Till 1912 Morocco had by no means suffered overseas domination, and its mountainous inside used to be as closed to foreigners as Tibet. Walter Harris used to be the exception. He lived within the kingdom for greater than thirty-five years, and because the instances correspondant he saw each element of its lifestyles. He describes the unfettered Sultanate in all its darkish, melodramatic splendour. Harris was once an intimate of at the least 3 of the ruling Sultans and a guy able to befriending even his kidnapper. integrated during this quantity is his account of his so much audacious excursion. in simple terms 3 Christians had ever visited the walled urban of Sheshouan: one used to be poisoned, one got here for an hour disguised as a rabbi… the opposite used to be Walter Harris.

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We had ridden far into the depths of the great Agdal gardens to a summerhouse, where His Shereefian Majesty was waiting to receive the British Minister. A tangled jungle of orange-trees; vines climbing over broken trellis, and clinging in festoons to great cypresses; here and there a broken marble fountain or a tiny stream – such were our surroundings. With our escort of white-robed Moorish cavalry, led by the Master of the Ceremonies, we rode through the great garden to dismount before a kiosk of arches and pillars, of green-glazed tiles and red geometric frescoes on a yellow wall.

The answer did not come for eleven days, and all that time Si Mohammed Soreir remained chained to his brother’s corpse! The brother survived. In 1908 he was released after fourteen years’ incarceration, a hopeless, broken, ruined man. Everything he had possessed had been confiscated; his wives and children had died, the result of want and persecution. He emerged from his dark dungeon nearly blind, and lame from the cruel fetters he had worn. In his days of power he had been cruel, it is said – but what a price he paid!

In the course of time – and how long those ten years must have been – Haj Amaati died. The Governor of Tetuan was afraid to bury the body, lest he should be accused of having allowed his prisoner to escape. He wrote to Court for instructions. It was summer, and even the dungeon was hot. The answer did not come for eleven days, and all that time Si Mohammed Soreir remained chained to his brother’s corpse! The brother survived. In 1908 he was released after fourteen years’ incarceration, a hopeless, broken, ruined man.

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