"A prince from afar," another one suggested.
"If he were on an elephant, I would say he was a king."
A third man had a very different opinion.
"A camel--and a white camel!" he said, authoritatively. "By Apollo, friends, they who come yonder--you can see there are two of them--are neither kings nor princes; they are women!"
In the midst of the dispute the strangers arrived.
The camel seen at hand did not belie his appearance afar. A taller, statelier brute of his kind no traveller at the fountain, though from the remotest parts, had ever beheld. Such great black eyes! such exceedingly fine white hair! feet so contractile when raised, so soundless in planting, so broad when set!--nobody had ever seen the peer of this camel. And how well he became his housing of silk, and all its frippery of gold in fringe and gold in tassel! The tinkling of silver bells went before him, and he moved lightly, as if unknowing of his burden.
But who were the man and woman under the houdah?
Every eye saluted them with the inquiry.