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A MODERN SOLOMON King Ibn Sa'ud of the Hedjaz, who recently declared war on his neighbor, the Immam of the Yemen, is one of the most powerful Arab rulers. His ambition is to be King of all the Arabs. When twenty years old he was an exile from his ancestral town of Riy adh. He decided to capture the town. He marced into the desert with a small force, left most of -them iin am bush outside Riyadh, and hid himself in the town with ten men. They spent the night in prayer. Next morning, though hopelessly out numbered, they attacked the town fort as soon as its gates were opened. They slew the Governor and drove out the defenders. That happened thirty years ago, and since then Ibn Sa'ud's power has extended every year.. He stands. six foot four inches. He shuns comfoit, and sleeps only five hours a day. He is introducirig Western ideas into the Hedjaz. He uses telephones, aeroplanes, motor cars and wireless in his country, though his people re sent them. Ibn Sa'ud is available to all. Any one can walk into his audience cham ber and address the King direct with' any personal complaint. Like Solo mon, he dispenses immediate. judg-' ment. Everyone is free to dispute or criticise his judgments if 'they think fit. He often makes the punishment fit the crime. A man accused of stealing will have his hand cut off on the spot. A native clan accused of stealing mayi be decimated by his order. Newcomer to doss-:ouse: ".Where •re:th??e'showe? ? I'- want! to taea batlh." ' ": e Old Hand: "Sorry, I don't .know; I've only been here six months." Rural Dean: -Is'this a :respectable place?" . Head .Waiter: "Yes.,bit clmae..on in, anyhow ."

Digitisation generously supported by
State Library of Victoria
Digitisation generously supported by

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