辛识平:点赞!跑出战疫“加速度”的科技工作者

Out in the street a woman, bare-backed, was submitting to be brushed down the spine by a neighbour with a brush of cuscus; she scorned to answer me when I asked whether she felt better, but shutting her eyes desired the operator to go on more slowly.

A large building of red and white stone, with spacious arcades and a central dome, as vast as a cathedral, stands at the angle of two avenuesthe[Pg 6] railway terminus; and a great market of iron and glassCrawford Market. Here are mountains of fruit, greenery, and vegetables of every colour and every shade of lustre; and a flower garden divides the various market sheds, where little bronze coolies, in white, scarcely clad, sell oranges and limes.

In a suburb of little houses beyond a great open square stands a gatewaya monumental portico of pink sandstone inlaid with white marble, on which the texts from the Koran, in black marble, look green in the intense light. We went into the observatory, where the servants were sleeping in the open air on camp beds, lying across each other and blocking the entrance.[Pg 177] I went to gaze at the north star, looking very small, a tiny spangle of blue in the blue velvet sky, visible at the top of a crazy flight of steps that goes up to nowhere in the air from the topmost terrace.

Down in the streets the houses looked ghostly blue in the moonlight, the cross roads, lighted with the warmer glow of a few lamps in red paper shades, alternating with the black darkness, in which it was just possible to discern cows and goats lying on the ground.