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The Washington herald. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1906-1939, December 20, 1914, Society Section, Image 20

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045433/1914-12-20/ed-1/seq-20/

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Basra, Reputed in Fable to Be
Adam's Birthplace, Is
Ancient Town Alto Said to Have Been
Haunt of Sinbad. the Sailor. Who
Was Real Character.
Cairo. Dec. 15. In capturing Basra. tost
below the mouths of the Tigris and the
Euphrates, the British now have the sat
isfaction of eontroling the spot where
God is popularly supposed to have
created Adam. Basra is also the place
from which the ship of Sinbad the Sailor
carried him on his amazing adventure.
From a political point of view Basra
Is Important because the Germans In
tended to end their Bagdad railroad
there. It Is the center of the world's
dste trade.
Basra is on the Shstt-TJl-Arab, an es
tuary formed of the combined waters -if
the Tigris. Euphrates and Karun rivers.
The Shah empties into the Persian Gulf.
The British already controlled Fao, a
cable .station on the gulf. From here
the expedition proceeded up the western
or Turkish bank of the Shatt Beautiful
date palms line the waterway.
Was Garden of Edr.
The bank on the eastern side forms one
edge of Adagan Island, traditionally the
site of the Garden of Eden, but now
boasting principally the refineries of the
Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The oil
runs down 1J0 miles from the Bakhtlarl
Mountains of Persia, where crude pe
troleum gushes from the ground in
Another site on the way to Basra is
the home of the powerful Sheikh of Mo
hammera. The British steamers always
fire a salute when passing, because the
Sheikh once came to the rescue of a
British boat attacked by pirates near his
Basra itself is on the southern side of
the river. It is entirely modern, the old
rlty of Basra from which Sinbad the
Sailor made his seven voyages being
now a good four miles Inland. Old Basra,
now called Zotbelr, was in those days
for Sinbad Is not an entirely fictitious
character on the saa or, at least, on the
salt tide that ebbed and flowed along
tb Khor Abdulla, then the chief mouth
of the Euphrates.
lit to Stead Nlrse.
The most conspicuous buildings in Bas
ra are the British consulate, a sturdy,
verandaed house, that, properly sand
bagged, could give a good account of it
self against mere rifle-Ore, and the Lynch
offices, almost nest door. A little farther
upstream Is the Ashar, a creak that ex
tends for some distance southward from
the river. It Is crowded with boats of
all sues, from canoes to bungalows, and
on the southeastern side is s kind 3f
promenade between the creek and a row
of tumble-down houses which represent
the Piccadilly of Basra.
Away in old Basra there is not much to
see except the minaret of Bash-Ayysn,
which la, perhaps, Ko years old, and has
a picturesque courtyard. Nothing, un
fortunately, recalls the Basra of Sinbad
any more than modern Bagdad repre
sents the Bagdad of the good Caliph Ha-
i run-er-Raschld, except the dlrectldn of
the streets and one lump of hard brick
work, which is. alas fast dropping Into
the Tigris. Bat the date gardens be
tween Old and New Basra have a special
interest of their own, for It waa the clay
between the roots of the date palm at
Basra that Jehovah gathered the clay
with which he fashioned Adam In the
Garden of Eden. For this reason the de
vout afohamedan will never abuse his
date trees, however much they fall him,
for the command In the Koran runs:
"Respect the date palms, for they are
your aunts."
Date Palms Sacred.
Gibbon mentioned "The Christmss of
St John, of Basra These are the Seba
cans, a strange race that lives In the
Euphrates' bed, and. besides dairy farm
ing, earn a livelihood by making the one
remaining mystery of metal work in the
world. They execute beautiful Niello de
signs in silver, gold and black, and would
die rather than surrender the secret of
the workmanship. They are a quiet folk,
if only because they believe that St.
John the Baptist was the real Messiah,
and worship only him and the Pole Star.
They keep thslr doctrine as much a se
cret as their metallurgy, but certain
tenets are admitted by them which link
them not only with Christianity and
Gnosticism, but with Islam and Zorcas-trianism.
The letter carriers In Portugal save
themselves much walking on Sundays by
delivering letters at church.
Whitettone Man Will Not Tell Which I
Country Ordered It.
Whitestone. L. I . Dec. 19 George j
Cove, for the past three years a resident j
of Breechhurss. has a contract from one
of the European governments to build
an aeroplane for use in the present war.
It Is being secretly constructed In the
old tin can factory oa North Eleventh
Mr. Cove admitted that the machine Is
to be used In the war, but refused to
state what nation had ordered It. The
machine will be built along the lines of
the Curtis flyers and will be equipped
with a patented balancer Invented by
Mr. Cove. 1
Cove has for years been experimenting
with flying machines and has a number
of other patented inventions which will
be used for the first time In this new
flyer. It Is to have room for a mschlne
gun and for bombs.
Wealthy Raekvllle lirnrr Leaves
laeosae to Widow.
Seeds is The Huhisftou Henud.
Ruckville. M! . Dec. 1 -The will of
Joseph T. Moore, financier, farmer and
former State senator from this county,
who died suddenly of heart failure re
cently, has been admitted to probate In
the Orphans' Court here. It disposes of
a large estate, the value of which Is vari
ously estimated at from SMO.000 to 11.000 -000.
The will, dated April 18, 1906. names
Joseph W. Tilton and Thomas U Moore,
son-in-law and son. respectively, of the
testator, as executors.
Thomas 1. Moore, Frederick P. Moore
and George H. Moore, sons of th- tes
tator, each are given a paid-up lire In
surance policy of SS.OO0. The will provides
that 00,000 In life Insurance be equally
divided among the six children of the
deceased, and that the Income from the
residue of the estate be paid to the widow,
Mrs. Ellxa H. Moore.
"Gibson Girl's" Husband Slain.
Ixndon. Dec. 19 Tonight's casualty
list Includes among the names of officers
killed In the fighting in France and Bel
glum that of ('apt. Hon. Henry U Bruce,
of the Royal Scots. Capt. Bruce was the
heir of Lord Aberdare and was married
to Camllle Clifford, the New York act
ress, who was known as the original
"Gibson Girl."
International Book Store
1233 Seventh Street N. W.
A Columbia Grafonola should be in your or your friends' boose.
The Meteor
'The Favorite'
The Eclipse
The Jewel
January Records for 1915 are on sale now. Records from 65c to $7.50, always in stock.
Open late evenings and Sundays.
It's All Wrong, Papa; It's All Wrong. -By Goldberg.
( opvTsfht, 114, bjRL. Goldberg
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