Last spring a rather torse message from Palestine told of an injury sustained by Kirsopp Lake when "bumped by a camel". Just how a camel might bump was a question which perplexed Harvard minds, steeped in their accidental provincialism.
The mystery which shrouded the bumping episode has been cleared up now that the victim has returned to Cambridge. Allowing for Harvard ignorance on the general subject of camels and their management, Mr. Lake prefaced his remarks concerning his injury with a discussion of the approved technique a dromedary mounting.
"In order to climb into the saddle, you put your knee on the brute's side, twist a bit, swing the right leg over its back, and--there you are, if you're lucky."
Mr. Lake was decidedly unlucky when mounting his camel just before the ascent of Mr. Serabit on the Sinali Peninsula and gave the muscles of his back a severe wrenching. Once in the saddle, however, he decided to continue the journey up the mountain, believing the injury to be slight.
But the pain increased and later investigation revealed a kidney had been ruptured. Unable to travel farther, he was carried to the feet of the mountain by his companions and a car summoned from the nearest town. The ride back from to civilization was over a long, hot route not improved by the exceedingly poor roads.
"It was all very unpleasant," is the way the archaeologist sums up the entire experience. He spent the reminder of the summer in Jerusalem, recuperating and looking over old manuscripts.
On a previous expedition, Mr. Lake had an equally unpleasant experience. A sudden heat wave overlook him and his party far from camp. A wee nip of Scotch was proposed to lessen the ravages of climate. The suggestion was approved. A bottle was produced, opened,--and dropped with disgust. The servants had packed vinegar by mistake.