Neither the wealth of her father and mother, or all the powerful resources of the great republic were able to wrest the secret of her whereabouts from the inscrutable desert that had swallowed her and her abductor.
Twenty palm-thatched, beehive huts sheltered its black population, while a half-dozen goat skin tents in the center of the clearing housed the score of Arabs who found shelter here while, by trading and raiding, they collected the cargoes which their ships of the desert bore northward twice each year to the market of Timbuktu.
Some portions of it along the rivers may partially be subdued by agriculture, others may form vast pastoral tracts, like those of the East; but it is to be feared that a great part of it will form a lawless interval between the abodes of civilized man, like the wastes of the ocean or the deserts
of Arabia; and, like them, be subject to the depredations of the marauder.
Hot air isn't as good as gas, for if the air should get cold the balloon would come down in the desert
, and we should be lost.
Three or four hours out from Damascus we passed the spot where Saul was so abruptly converted, and from this place we looked back over the scorching desert, and had our last glimpse of beautiful Damascus, decked in its robes of shining green.
Beyond this charmed circle, for miles on every side, stretches a weary desert of sand and gravel, which produces a gray bunchy shrub like sage-brush.
But, the hundred pounds of water that we threw overboard would be very useful to us now; it would be thirteen or fourteen days more of progress secured, or quite enough to carry us over this desert
One evening I was sitting on the ground in front of the little tent I had with me, chewing the last leg of a miserable fowl I had bought from a native for a bit of cloth worth twenty fowls, and staring at the hot red sun sinking down over the desert
, when suddenly I saw a figure, apparently that of a European, for it wore a coat, on the slope of the rising ground opposite to me, about three hundred yards away.
In the first place," said the General, "we cannot march across the deadly desert
to the Land of Oz.
What you do with him in the desert
is none of my concern, but I shall not have the blood of a Frenchman on the hands of my tribe on account of another man's quarrel--they would send soldiers here and kill many of my people, and burn our tents and drive away our flocks.
Oh," said Dorothy, when the shaggy man had read the sign aloud; "I've seen this desert
before, and it's true no one can live who tries to walk upon the sands.
Westward the fertile Land of Ev suddenly ended a little way from the palace, and the girl could see miles and miles of sandy desert
that stretched further than her eyes could reach.
We set out for the valley of Guasco, following the coast-road, which was considered rather less desert
than the other.
Here do I sit now, The desert
nigh, and yet I am So far still from the desert
, Even in naught yet deserted
: That is, I'm swallowed down By this the smallest oasis--: --It opened up just yawning, Its loveliest mouth agape, Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets: Then fell I right in, Right down, right through--in 'mong you, Ye friendly damsels dearly loved
About three hours after, when we were entered upon a desert
of about fifteen or sixteen miles over, we knew by a cloud of dust they raised, that the enemy was at hand, and presently they came on upon the spur.