but when the goods are landed, the customary import duty of eight per
cent, must be paid on their value. The fishing is almost exclusively
carried on by Bedouin Arabs, who have settled on the Asiatic and
African sides of the coast. The chief places where the trade in Pearls
is conducted are Jeddah and Kosseir. The lofty Bedouins refuse to dive
themselves, but train their young slave-boys to the art. The slave
while training, will be shown a shell at the bottom, and told to fetch
it. If he fails to bring it up, he is bound to be flogged, and his very
life is jeopardized ; and even when he brings up the most valuable
shells, scanty food is his only reward. The Red Sea fishery formerly
exhibited slavery under one of its worst aspects. In return for the
barbarity of man, mother Nature appears to yield but a scanty supply of
Pearls, and indeed, the Pearl-fisheries of the Red Sea may now be
regarded as practically extinct. The shell however is still imported.
The price of Egyptian shell at the present time (October, 1886), ranges
according to its quality, from 52s. 6d. to £4. 10s. per cwt.