By Donald Maxwell
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The wretched painter is then hauled triumphantly into a car surrounded by the artistic, who regard him with almost heathen veneration and feel thrilled by the fact that they, too, observe that the sky is blue and the trees are green. Arriving at the chosen scene and viewing it from the spot "from which they always take it," the unfortunate artist is stood or seated down, book in hand, complete with paintbox and water, and expected to begin. He does not have any voice in the choosing of the view.
The Chief showed up most of them with his torch, and so I fell about only just enough to get used to the feel of the ground as a preliminary to what was coming later. It had rained heavily two or three days before, consequently there were lake districts, slimy reaches of mixed oil and mud and dried, hard-looking islands that were in reality traps to the unwary. The top only was firm, and it had the playful property of sliding rapidly on the greasy substratum and thus sitting you down without warning when you thought you had reached dry land.
The sketches here collected might be described as a bye-product of my mission in Mesopotamia; but most of them are the property of the Imperial War Museum, and it is by the courtesy of the Art Committee of that body that I have now been able to reproduce them. The Beacon, Borstal, Rochester. June 12, 1920. CONTENTS I. The Fiery Furnace 1 II. The Venice of the East 15 III. Sinbad the Soldier 27 IV. The Wise Men from the West 37 V. By the Waters of Babylon 49 VI. Arabian Nights in 1919 67 VII. In Old Baghdad 89 VIII.